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I am thinking about buying a new handgun from a gentleman I met on a message board. I have had terrific success with this in the past but don't want to get "ripped off." If he ships the gun through his FFL, is there any guarantee that I have that I will get my gun? Or can I arrange something where I release the funds once the gun is received and inspected? Or use escrow?

Thanks.

Oh and by the way, if I bought a brand new gun from somewhere like Top Gun or Bud's, do I pay any kind of federal tax if I am not in the retailer's state?
 

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First, there really is not a clean way to do what you describe. I don't know of any at least. Without a neutral third party, someone is always going to have to go first. That is always going to be the buyer. Generally though, people are going to be as honest as you let them be. If you sent him money, he didn't deliver the merchandise, I believe your only recourse is small claims court.

You can be a little more protected, I think, if you go through an auction site and use gunpal or paypal. I am not very familiar with how those work though, as far as what the fraud protection stuff covers.

I do not know of any federal sales tax in place. I'm gonna say no to that.
 

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I have purchased through Bud's & they are great.
No tax if you are out of State (not for me at least).
 

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Law firms can do this for you. It is best reserved for larger ticket items since it can cost as much as $300. An escrow agreement is required to hold the escrow agent harmless.
 

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If you sent him money, he didn't deliver the merchandise, I believe your only recourse is small claims court.
Yes, you can take somebody to small claims court but here is the catch. If you are located in a different state you must travel to the court where the transaction took place or the state of where the seller resides. The seller can postpone the case several times and you must show up every time. You miss a date you must start all over.

You did not mention where the seller is located but you may find a member of DC that lives close to the seller and would not mind taking a ride over to examine the firearm and pay for it. May even get a better price.
 

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You did not mention where the seller is located but you may find a member of DC that lives close to the seller and would not mind taking a ride over to examine the firearm and pay for it. May even get a better price.
I did this with the 996 I purchased from an individual in Virginia...the examining, not the paying, before I flew out to look at it & buy it.
 

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What if I hold the funds until I receive & inspect the pistol? Would that be a normative process?
You can try it, but I sure don't know anyone willing to ship before receiving payment. Normal process is to get cash in hand before shipping. You can request a 72 hour (or more) inspection period, but you are running into the same problem of having to send cash first. If you can talk the seller into shipping without receiving cash, then absolutely go for it. On an inspection period, you would, of course, have to pay shipping back, along with FFL transfer if necessary, if anything was wrong with it.

Best bet is to get as many pics as you can, a phone conversation so you can hear him describe to you the condition and functioning and get him to answer any questions, and then hope for the best if you still want to buy. I would be very surprised if you found anyone willing to ship before your funds clear.
 

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What if I hold the funds until I receive & inspect the pistol? Would that be a normative process?
No. You pay they ship. That is how it works for any on line purchase. If you buy from Bud's (or a similar company) buy with confidence. They aren't going to rip you off.

If you are looking at an auction on GunBroker (or similar) check the feed back. I won't buy from anyone with less than an A+ rating and less than 100 transactions. People with high transaction counts are on auction sites as a business, and they don't want bad feedback. So they will treat you right.
 

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Use an escrow service like PaySAFEescrow.com

IF you're worried about fraud or a scam, use an online escrow company like PaySAFEescrow.com They hold the buyers funds in escrow until the seller delivers the product and the Buyer approves the release of money. For the sellers protection, the money is held in escrow free of scams and not refunded to the buyer unless the seller approves. It is a win/win and keeps honest people honest.
No. You pay they ship. That is how it works for any on line purchase. If you buy from Bud's (or a similar company) buy with confidence. They aren't going to rip you off.

If you are looking at an auction on GunBroker (or similar) check the feed back. I won't buy from anyone with less than an A+ rating and less than 100 transactions. People with high transaction counts are on auction sites as a business, and they don't want bad feedback. So they will treat you right.
 
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