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Buying experience

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:53 pm
by imfuncity
To Wildgoose and others who have asked and added their observation and questions, this is my short buying history. My wife wishes that I also had some selling history to add to this!! :o

I'm not a collector, more of an accumulator of irons that make big noise while throwing lead. 8-) At the beginning of 2010 I started collecting data on the model 8s, 81s, 14s, and 141 on the auction sites. After several months, I abandoned the idea when it became obvious that (as several have observed) there was no rhyme nor reason relative to prices, grade, condition, age, etc.

As to the buying experience, I have a very varied interest in shooters. I came into firearms with virtually no knowledge four years ago, very late in life. Since then I have been on a feeding frenzy regarding gaining knowledge and purchasing what I could - in both long and short guns. My worse purchase was a hands on Model 8 that I had been observing for several months at gun shows! It turned out to be even worse then it looked!!

Approximately half of the many that I now own came from the internet both direct sales and via the auctions. Although there have been issues: one was sent back as it was un-fire-able, another dealer was just ignorant regarding what he was selling, one seller was selling it for a friend so he didn't know it's condition, and there was a seller that tried to rip me off but he ended up the loser.

That said, I have been lucky and learned a few things. First, if it doesn't feel right I get out of the deal regardless of the price. Second, how do I know if it feels right? I email and ask questions, creating a communicate line with the seller. Third, I use the sellers information to research like-guns on the web and read forums. Last, sometimes I can draw on my own or friend's experience with particular guns, and/or I can see one locally - but usually I'm buying from virtual research and pictures no touchy-feelie.

Couple more auction observations (more casual vs. totally confirmed): The selling season (prices the highest) appears to be between mid-January and April 15. Second, GB sellers get a bit more on their sales then AA and at both sites the sellers get the most when they do NOT block CA sales.

Truth be told I have less buying resistance with it in my hand then when I'm looking at a picture. Plus my complete/careful research during the auction allows me to make a studied and deliberate decision.

On the whole, my buying experience on the web has been very favorable, much better then my face-to-face purchases; thus, I plan to continue :D - until my banker or big brother shuts me down. :cry:

Re: Buying experience

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:07 pm
by Wildgoose
Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps to get some kind of picture on this little corner of the gun market. I will have to admit it has become a pretty fun place to spend some time and for me of late a little money. I bought my first Woodmaster 81 but it has yet to arrive at my dealers, I will post more on it when its in hand. It was an on line purchase mostly based on talking with the seller by phone and looking at e-mailed pictures. I have looked at two Model 8's hands on and found them to be sound enough but too high priced for me to have to buy as is without any way to see what was inside or test fire. That is when I realized that an on line purchase was no more an act of faith than the hands on. So, much like you have stated I went with how the talk with the seller felt. I also went with not spending more than I could be comfortable with risking on winding up with a parts gun. I hope to find out how this will go soon but with the just past holiday and heavy shipping traffic going into the Christmas season it may be a few more days yet.

Re: Buying experience

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:22 am
by imfuncity
Indeed, the wait ... what hast thou wrought with thy hardearned ... like Christmas all over each time! I've learned to enjoy it very much. (My wife says way too much - something about needing a life!) :D

Re: Buying experience

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:38 am
by 81police
As usual Mitch, great tips and buying advice. The best thing is to be as researched as possible about a purchase to minimize being taken advantage of and fully knowing what it is you're purchasing. One of the reasons this website is here.

Re: Buying experience

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:44 pm
by 45guy
I hope nothing I sent your way is on the bad list.... Other than the Lebel that is...

Re: Buying experience

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:48 pm
by imfuncity
Nope, no issues with any of your stuff, we did well all the way around. As to the Lebel, it's in the same condition as it came. It‘s going to take some serious time to figure out what I have there :? - way down on the list.

Good point regarding buying issues though. Think this would be about my Point #5 re.: INTERNET (auction) sales, they allows for the resolution of problems, as oppose to gunshows (or even PP) sales, where usually a sale is a sale and that's that. Besides my experience, I am aware of at least two other buyers who have done well on the internet resolving issues.

More observations

Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:42 pm
by imfuncity
Couple more points (hope I'm not boring you guys :ugeek: ). These observations kind of cross over into what to do to make a good sale. But buying and selling is a trust relationship that must work hand in hand. The buyer must first feel like the seller cares about his product (via the presentation). Then that caring for his product must transfer to the buyer, "he will also care that I get a fair deal", after that the buyer can get involved: invest his capital and his trust, believing that the seller "will care" to provide what he has promised.

#6 - The Description, no need for a professional essay, just straight gun-talk BUT run it through a spell checker! (I type mine in Word, then cut and paste to the forum, let alone when I'm writing an ad or communicating with a seller.) Seller needs to hit the points that he (or any) buyer would want to know, both good and bad. FACT: :cry: bad write-ups trumps good quality product every time = poor sales/low bids/loss of $s.

#7 - Clear Pictures, those who want to get top dollar and sell quicker must provide quality pictures. First and foremost they must be clear, then close enough to really see it; real close-ups up of specific "issue" areas that a buyer needs to see. :o If the sellers pictures are shabby: fuzzy, too far away, doesn't show detail, then I figure his business is shabby (read shady) and that he'll treat me the buyer the same way.

Personal experience last spring. On a whim, I bid on a "pig-in-a-poke" just as the auction was ending. I had no time to go through all the steps that I've mentioned. This particular auction struck me - kind of like my wife would have if she had known what I was doing! :oops:

The write-up was one line, just the facts: model #, barrel length, etc.; no details on it's condition. The pictures were even WORSE. One picture made the forearm look like it had a large crack running the full length.

Still, I hadn't been in trouble for awhile :twisted: and wanted a gun like this one. I'm thinking at it's current price, (the "starting bid" - so far, no bids and no reserve) I could fix it. Mine was the only bid.

:shock: When the gun arrived it was in it's original box! The forearm picture was so poor that "the crack" actually was a shadow where very nice factory checkering started! The gun appears to have been a safe queen, only issue, all the oil had turned to grease! It is one of my finest guns and I "stole it" 8-) because the seller didn't take the time to "present it".

My guess is the seller (store front gun shop) got it dirt cheap from a lady, empting her late husband's safe. After I received it, I thanked the seller and ask if he had any details regarding the history of the gun ... :? surprise, 9 mons later I'm still waiting for a response.

Re: Buying experience

Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:58 pm
by jack1653
Hey Mitch,

What does an original box look like for one of these rifles? Would you mind posting some pictures of it? I have never seen an original box but I have been told some of the guns were shipped in wooden crate like boxes. I think there is one of these in Henwood's book. Thanks Mitch.


Re: Buying experience

Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:19 pm
by imfuncity
Opps, I should have been more specific, Jack - after all, I am on the 8-81 forum. :shock: My story was not regarding an 8-81 (wish it were) but an old Savage shotgun. :roll:

Re: Buying experience

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:09 pm
by 81police
I've got some pictures of an original model 81 box (there is one in Henwood's book as well), i'll post them tomorrow.


Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:13 pm
by imfuncity
GB #204972451 - defines OVER KILL not to say anything about over priced!! :shock: Perhaps like the Russian writers of old, they are expecting compensation for the number of words and pictures: 1,161 words and 223 pictures!! Way-over-the-top even for this seller!! :roll: