Is "Blue Book" the Standard for Used Gun Prices?

This is a discussion on Is "Blue Book" the Standard for Used Gun Prices? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am helping an older friend sell off his gun collection and am looking for an objective guide as to how much these guns are ...

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Thread: Is "Blue Book" the Standard for Used Gun Prices?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array McPatrickClan's Avatar
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    Is "Blue Book" the Standard for Used Gun Prices?

    I am helping an older friend sell off his gun collection and am looking for an objective guide as to how much these guns are worth. Is the "Blue Book" the "standard" for used gun values? Or should I use something else?

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Ksthumper's Avatar
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    IMO, you would get a better idea of value by looking on Gunbroker.com or by going to a local gun show, find comparables and subtract $100.

    I inherited a 6" barrel Nickel Colt .357 Python and went to two local gun shops. At both, the owner looked in a 'book' and then offered $400 and $450. On Gunbroker they were going for over $1,000.

    I sold it in a private FTF at a large gun show for $900 to a guy who was walking around. About an hour later, I saw the gun on a dealers table marked for $1,300.

    I had just gotten by CHL and needed a EDC so I bought a Walther P99 with the $.

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    "blue book" AKA gun bible is nothing more than a baseline, a place to start. The real factor in gun value is market trends and what somebody is willing to pay for it.
    For example, a year ago, you would be hard pressed to find an typical production AR for under a grand. Now, you can buy used all day long in the 7-800 range.
    Also, right now WWII era 1911's are hot. A few years ago a typical Remington would sell around 350-400. Now, I've seen them as high as 1200. I think the book still lists them around 4.

    One must be careful with gunbroker. A lot of sellers have their stuff priced 20-25% high than actual market value. The internet auction sites ain't what the used to be.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    One must not attempt to use Blue Book to document what a firearm ought to bring.

    If using GunBroker as a price guide, completely disregard "starting prices" or "reserve prices." Notice how many of those will just sit there with a big, fat "0" in the bid column. Those sellers aren't really interested in selling.

    Find the firearms in which you are interested and look at examples showing some actual bids. This is were the market is. Of course some auctions with bids showing will indicate "reserve not met" but the top bid on such an auction is a better indicator of true market value than the seller's "pie-in-the-sky" notion of value.

  6. #5
    Member Array Phantoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    One must not attempt to use Blue Book to document what a firearm ought to bring.

    If using GunBroker as a price guide, completely disregard "starting prices" or "reserve prices." Notice how many of those will just sit there with a big, fat "0" in the bid column. Those sellers aren't really interested in selling.

    Find the firearms in which you are interested and look at examples showing some actual bids. This is were the market is. Of course some auctions with bids showing will indicate "reserve not met" but the top bid on such an auction is a better indicator of true market value than the seller's "pie-in-the-sky" notion of value.
    If you become a member, you can search completed auctions. This will give you a much better picture of worth. Completely ignore current auctions as they have no meaning, especially on collectibles. Most listed way what anyone would pay for it. Completed auctions will show you want the going prices are.

    Also, you might want to pick up a Price Guide book such as Standard Catalog Of Firearms or Standard Catalog Of Military Firearms which you should be able to find at some bookstores or libraries.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    One factor which dramatically affects pricing is the "local value". I know in my area you cannot hardly give away H&K's so the base listing in the Blue Book, or even auction pricing is misleading. It's hard to judge "local value" except by simply watching interested parties shrug their shoulders, set it down and walk off.

    The auction sites (completed auctions) are what I use the most, if that helps. I also use Bud's for new pricing then knock off about 10-15% for good, used value.

  8. #7
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    "If you become a member, you can search completed auctions."

    I'm a member but have never checked that feature. Good idea.

    I guess I'm always busy looking for "a deal" among the guns offered for sale.

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