a Small Black Pistol and Two Magazines Placed on a Dark Wooden Table

How to Get the Best Price When Selling a Used Gun

Pennsylvania’s Largest Gun Show is a popular place for people from your local community to trade and sell guns. Plenty of gun owners take the opportunity to make some space in their safe, get the money they need to buy a gun they’d rather have, or just pass on a weapon they don’t use to someone who will give it a good home. Used gun sales aren’t always as straightforward as buying from a professional gun vendor, but many people still show up looking for private sale deals that save them money or trade guns and leave with something they like better. Let’s take a look at how to get your firearm ready to get the best possible price.

Legal Used Gun Sales

In the State of Pennsylvania, the private transfer of a long gun does not require paperwork or a background check between Keystone State residents. Handgun transfers from one resident to another do require a background check, which can be facilitated by an FFL holder to make sure you’re selling guns legally. Interstate transfers, likewise, need to go through one or more FFL holders due to federal firearms regulations, including an FFL holder in the buyer’s state of residence. It’s your responsibility to only sell used guns to someone who can legally buy them from you to the best of your knowledge.

Getting Your Gun Ready for Sale

If you want to get the best value for your gun trade or sale, you have to start laying the foundation as soon as you take ownership. Even if you don’t buy a gun with the intent to sell or trade it one day, maintaining your weapon protects your investment.

a Disassembled Pistol Laying on Top of a White Cloth
  • Keep Up with Your Routine Gun Maintenance – That means regular gun cleanings after range trips, replacing worn or damaged parts, and not treating your gun like a prop in a YouTube gun destruction video. Regular maintenance helps preserve your firearm’s value and functionality.
  • Store Your Gun Properly – Along with regular maintenance, proper storage, especially if you won’t be using your weapon for extended periods of time, keeps it safe from dust, oily hands, and excess atmospheric moisture. Invest in a good gun safe you can trust.
  • Clean Your Gun Before the Show – The day before you try to sell any guns, take the time to clean them up properly. Give them a thorough cleaning, being sure not to over-lubricate them. You aren’t trying to hide damage; rather, you’re ensuring they look their best.
  • Look for Deal Sweeteners – If you have extra gear or accessories for a gun you’re selling, consider whether you need to keep them or if they would help you sell for a better price. Extra magazines or extensions for a gun you no longer have provide little value to you, but they may help your used gun’s value when a potential buyer is making their decision.

Getting Yourself Ready to Sell Guns

If you want to get better prices, put in better work preparing for the used gun sale. You can visit your local library, use popular commercial gun price guides, or visit retail used gun sales sights to find the information you need to be an informed seller.

Person at a Laptop Doing Research Writing on a Notepad Next to the Laptop
  • Know Your Gun’s Honest Value – Do your research to find out what your used gun’s value is. Now, decide what it’s worth to you. This can include identifying how low you’re willing to go or what gun trades you’re willing to entertain. 
  • Know Your Gun’s Value to Others – Not everyone is going to place the same value on your gun as you do. A collector looking for that specific model might be willing to pay full-price guide rates, but a vendor may offer you only a fraction of that amount. After all, they’ll need to turn a profit to stay in business.
  • Decide How to Sell Guns at the Gun Show – Private owners who want a comfortable place to set up and sell their firearms are welcome to book a table and become a gun show vendor, even if it’s just for one show. Other gun owners may just bring a single gun and carry it around, entertaining offers from other attendees or vendors. If you’re not sure whether you need to book a table, contact us to discuss your plans, and we’ll be happy to offer the guidance we can.

Final Preparations 

The prep work is done, so now it’s time to get ready to sell your guns at the gun show. It’s time to make your final preparations for a successful gun show.

  • Decide on Your Day – Gun shows provide a weekend of family-friendly fun centered on buying, selling, and trading guns. However, not every day will give you the best opportunity for your used gun sale. Many private sellers visit on Friday to scout the sales floor but sell guns on Saturday when attendance is highest. This gives them more potential customers and traders. Sunday may offer you the opportunity to catch vendors flush with cash from a successful weekend and needing more inventory for the next show.
  • Book Your Tickets – If you aren’t renting table space, be sure to book your tickets early. You should also arrive early to the show, ready to have your unloaded weapon inspected and tied at the door before entry.

The Next Local Gun Show is Happening Soon

Check our Pennsylvania gun show calendar to find the next gun show event near you and make plans. With a little preparation, you can sell your guns and find your next firearm all under the same roof. Subscribe to our email list to get gun show news delivered to your inbox. Book your tickets online to your next Eagle Shows Gun Show today.

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