Thinking of selling again

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RD18

Single-Sixer
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Dec 11, 2004
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So I recently sold a fair amount of my collection ( about 1 1/2 yrs ago ) but held onto all of my Bearcats 97 of them. A full set of Alpha guns, S and D guns, matching D gun to its regular S/N gun, prototypes, 2 digits, 3 digits, misprints, almost all the different variations. Lots of Boxes and manuals. I suspect one of the most complete collections around. Now the quandary I have been thinking about letting them go ( Thinking is the key word ), yet I can't seem to figure out how to do this. It seems to me putting them at auction doesn't make a lot of sense as trying to move 97 Bearcats at one time probably just wouldn't work well. Selling one at a time may take forever. Finding a buyer for the whole collection would be ideal as the guns would stay together and give somebody the opportunity to have an awesome collection and continue to build on it. So besides keeping them or giving them away how would you handle this good dilemma ?
 

57springer

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Auctions are hard to predict as far as prices . I attend a lot of gun auctions and have bought some nice guns cheap . I have also seen current production guns sell far higher than walking into a gunshop for the purchase . If I were doing the auction route I would do my collection in segments.
 

BisleyBuff

Bearcat
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Jul 16, 2022
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Delaware County, NY
Auctions are hard to predict as far as prices . I attend a lot of gun auctions and have bought some nice guns cheap . I have also seen current production guns sell far higher than walking into a gunshop for the purchase . If I were doing the auction route I would do my collection in segments.
I agree, but if you follow one auction companies auctions over a couple of years you can get a feel for which ones yield higher prices for the seller. For example, the auction company I use gets the best prices in the Sept/Oct. and Feb/March auctions for the same guns. The December and january auctions typically yeild much lower prices for the same guns. This auction company typically has a monthly gun auction and the rest of the months are crap shoots, could go either way.

BisleyBuff
 
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good question RD18, and as you also knew of a couple of friemds of ours who passed away recently and not too long ago, their guns on line auction did NOT go well at all and Bills family LOST their butts on his 685 guns through Rock Island auctions.......know of quite few of them that went for way less than we offered them before they went off to auction....very sad.......Good luck
I would think if you try a couple of Ruger "theme" shows get a few tables,,,I think we had more than you say on about 3 tables...seen others with MANY guns on a "few tables"..last 3 shows here a friend sold a lot from a 325 gun collection ( estate) locally, but more common everyday guns......all too many just want to 'cherry 'pick, pull out a few here and there to fill in their collections,,,one reason why Laura got rid of so many of her old Bearcats and Single sixes ( LWs and RSSE) over the past few years, and the econony is what it is now also,,,,but we been lucky here, we have as show almost everyweekend here and then used to do OGCA< and now with ROCS doing there as well as Tulsa,,,you can try...........make a list and /or try to group them........:cool:;)
 

weaselmeatgravy

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A good auction house would know better than to sell them all at one sale and would likely parcel them out to maybe 15-20 per sale until they were all disposed of. If you follow an auction house over time, you will sometimes see guns from the same collection listed in several sales over the course of up to year. That way you don't overwhelm the bank accounts of those who may want more than they can afford at one session. Plus, some sales go better than others, so you reduce the risk of selling them all at one sale that turns out to be a stinker. For alphabet Bearcats, you might get some competition going on the first few, but not many guys want or can afford the whole set (or even understand the significance), so after a few guys get their alpha cat itch scratched, the rest might go cheap.

And prices will vary on the same items across different sales. For instance, over a decade ago, I was at a sale where a large collection was sold and after a point, I couldn't afford to buy any more. So I watched a gun that I really wanted sell for $650. Fast forward to this year and the same exact gun was sold again at the same auction house. This time I managed to buy it... for $550.

I've never sold any guns through an auction house, so I don't know the various commission rates, but I know they can be up to 20%. But I also have seen Poulin's, for instance, advertise that for large collections or significant pieces, they can offer 0% seller commission. Others may do likewise, now that they all make so much money on buyer fees.
 
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The masters in the collection game have all offered good advice above.
Me- I would have to convince myself there a real good reason to break up something I had worked so hard to get.
They if I did, I would group the guns together that you think should stay together then offer them that way through GB or auction houses, of course with RF being first listing. I wouldn't be in a hurry.
 

weaselmeatgravy

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Sure, keeping them together is noble, but it is up to the owner whether that matters as much as recovering his investment and maybe making a little money. Selling an entire collection to one buyer is likely to only bring bids from some deep pocketed buyers whose end goal is to break them up and maximize his profit by selling them one at a time anyway.

When I collected records, a friend who had a large collection died, and his sister contacted me for an estimate. I told her that the collection was individually worth over $50K but she would only get that by selling them one at a time which would likely take years. And probably not to expect an individual buyer to pay more than about $10K for the lot. She chewed on that for a while, and then solicited bids from several collectors and shops. I couldn't even afford my own $10K one-lot estimate so was only able to offer $6K. I did not win, but some months later I was at a used record shop and found many of the same records for sale there. I talked to the shop owner and he confessed to having bought the collection from my friend's sister for $6500.
 

chet15

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Not real satisfied with Rock Island's selling procedures... Have seen collections offered with mismatched boxes and also in group lots where stuff isn't described much beyond "4 bearcats" etc. Was able to get a factory "second" Bearcat in a group lot of 4 guns because the "S" gun wasn't described. The same auction also yielded one of the two known factory "second" 6-1/2" Super Blackhawks, also not described.
Amoskeag just did an auction, with initial prices pretty good... but it has been a strange market for a bit... stuff that you and I think is pretty rare and should bring quite a bit usually goes so-so but the used M77V Varmint rifle, nothing scarce in particular will bring $1,500.
Poulin is where I would do it because they have a Ruger collector there that helps described the guns in full detail. They are in Maine however so not sure about transfer of the guns, or their sellers or buyers fees.
Chet15
 
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Chet15 is spot on above and what I had said , plus being YOU live closer up to that area, it would behove you to check them out.............sad that so many of the folks that we already KNOW into the Bearcats already have MOST of what you now....Good Luck !!;):cool:
 

krw

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I just hope that I get to sell my acquired stuff. I gathered it up and I wanna sell it. But this also brings up a problem. There is a difference between want to sell or would sell. It would be basically impossible to get a premium for ea individual pc. This is a dilema lots of us will face
 

hittman

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To me, its only a dilemma if your focus is on the money; not the hobby.
Sure, I’d like to make money on everything I sell. But, the HOBBY is my enjoyment. If I get all wrapped up on pricing I lost the enjoyment factor.
 

eveled

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If you collect too many of the same thing (even slightly different) when you want to sell you can flood the market and drive down the prices.
 

AzGeno

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Well, I second Hitman regarding the success of online auctions.
I have used national, regional, and local auction houses and have sold over 40 Rugers over the last 18 months.
The Rugers sold were my extras and all brought top dollar and my net return was well over 50% after all fees.
‘Each gun received between 15-40 bids on Gunbroker with a 1 cent starting bid and 14 day auction.
The commissions range from 17% to over 20% But that handles all fees including photos, listing, auction fees, collection including any non-payment, and transfers/shipping, and returns of disgruntled buyers.
So for me it has worked out pretty good.
I feel the key is to provide a very detailed explanation of the gun and write the description in RENE and ROCS terminology and educate the Auction houses in what you are selling. Rock Island falls fall short in knowing what they are selling. and I hate multiple guns lumped together in one Lot.
 

weaselmeatgravy

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The same auction also yielded one of the two known factory "second" 6-1/2" Super Blackhawks, also not described.

I remember that auction and that gun. I spotted it in the catalog and looked it up in the Ref beforehand so I knew what it was. After it cleared the high estimate, I assume it was just me and the ultimate buyer going back and forth on it until it went over my preset limit and I let it go.

I have largely given up on RIA now that their buyer's premium has gone up to 17.5% for cash payment. And when I do bid, I do my homework before the sale and set up a spreadsheet where I enter my "what's it worth to me" value and then it calculates what lesser value I need to limit my bid to so that it doesn't go over my value once the 17.5% and shipping costs are added in.
 

Huskerguy72

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I will be following this thread as I am somewhat in the same boat. I don't have nearly what you have, that sounds like an amazing collection, one to be proud of for sure. My collection is not expensive but nice and well maintained. My kids have all they want which isn't much. I have all sorts of issues I am concerned about, here are a few.
1. I don't want to sell a firearm to the wrong person. A guy from my gun club said he has sold several of his and with higher end firearms he isn't concerned, The last think I need is the wrong person to end up with one my my firearms.

2. I don't want people coming to my house if I advertise things.

3. I have a friend who has a pawn/gun shop and would sell them locally for 10% commission. Then I worry about all the handling that goes on and just the lookers versus the buyers. No guarantees there for sure, especially in the market around here.

4. We have a good auction house but their fees are very high. It would definitely need to be a volume sale to come out.

5. I have all my guns on a spreadsheet listed by when and how much I paid and what has been done to them. At least I have a good starting point for this project.

6. Gunbroker is an option, I have purchased from there but not sold so I would need to educate myself on their terms.

7. I have way too much stuff overall and don't want to leave it to my wife and kids to clean up after I am with the Lord, When I was young and raising a family I couldn't afford much so most of this came in the last few years and now I almost regret it knowing that now I have to turn around and let it go. Thus is the circle of life.
 

krw

Blackhawk
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May 29, 2003
Messages
656
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Arkansas
Rent 2 tables at Tulsa. Take ya’lls collection there and sell it. You get to barter and you get to sell your own stuff
 

rmc25

Single-Sixer
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VA
I will be following this thread as I am somewhat in the same boat.
I'm in a boat that looks just like yours so I'll be following closely also.

I have found a few sellers on Gunbroker that will take the entire collection and after cleaning them up for presentation take all the pictures and put them on auction but at least one charges a flat 17% on the final sale price. The risk is that all auctions start at $.01 so there is potential loss on each sale.

My collection is in no way comparable to yours and includes other manufacturers. Earlier editions from Sig, HK, Beretta and the like. I getting older now and the things I enjoyed are starting to inflict to much discomfort.

I do have one gun reserved for a forum member when the time finally comes to sell and I'm looking to pretty much empty everything out except for my .22s. I still want to stay in the shooting game.

When that day comes I'll put all the leftovers like grips and spare parts on the Forum to give members first chance if anybody is interested.

Please let us know when and who makes it into your final decision. It might help point some of us in the right direction.
 

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