We’re all for supporting local gun shops, but the fact is they don’t always have what you’re looking for or, if they do, it’s not always at a price that we can justify.
When that happens, auctions and classified sites can be a great way to track down a more unusual item or snag a great deal. But like with buying anything online, you want to make sure that you’re purchasing through a safe, trustworthy platform.
If anything, that’s even more true with guns since they are a higher-price item and there are so many laws surrounding their sale.
The sites we’re going to talk about here are good platforms to check out.
They all facilitate private sales. So, you don’t necessarily get the same assurances that you do when buying from a store, but they also take steps to ensure both buyers and sellers are protected.
They also all offer plenty of less common items and are great places to get good deals. We’re going to kick things off with sites that primarily sell via auctions, then move into sites that give off that classifieds vibe.
Whether you are trying to save some cash or find a less common gun, start your search here…
Table of Contents
Best Gun Auction Sites
You’ll find both online-only auctions and more traditional auctions described here.
GunBroker is basically eBay for guns. It’s the largest online auction platform for firearms. Like eBay, you can find really good deals and rare or otherwise difficult to track down items.
Also, like eBay, GunBroker is primarily an auction site. But there are some listings you can just straight up buy as well as others that offer a “Buy Now” option.
The “Buy Now” price is generally higher than the starting bid — but not by much. It’s not uncommon to see prices that are the same as the starting bid.
There are also some items that allow potential buyers to “Take a Shot.” That means you can offer a price which the seller can then choose to take or not.
Another thing that GunBroker has in common with eBay is that they merely host sales…they aren’t selling the items themselves. As such, they don’t verify all items, sellers, or buyers.
That means that there is inevitably a risk of scams.
Fortunately, you can see reviews, the length of time registered, and various badges for top sellers, verified members, FFL holders, and Premium Members. This helps you get an idea of who’s trustworthy.
You can find out more about GunBroker from our complete review.
What’s your take on GunBroker?
2. Morphy Auctions
If you’re looking for a more traditional auction house, Morphy Auctions is a great option.
Morphy sells antiques of all kinds, not just firearms. But they typically host four firearm-specific auctions per year.
Their Extraordinary Firearms Auctions take place in the spring and fall. These feature rarer or higher-end weapons valued at $2,500 or more.
The Field and Range Auctions occur in the winter and fall with lower-priced weapons — usually valued between $500 and $3,000. The big advantage of Morphy over sites like GunBroker is that it’s easier to find rare or unusual firearms in good condition.
On the other hand, you can only auction on their schedule. You have to be available to bid while the auction is going on and they don’t take any kind of advanced bidding.
Though you can bid in person at Morphy’s auction house in Denver, Pennsylvania (it’s a real place), most of us are probably best off using bid online or by phone options.
In addition, you can view the catalog for upcoming options well ahead of time. So you’ll know what’s available and can plan accordingly before the auction starts.
If you have an antique firearm (or another type of antique, for that matter) of your own that you want to sell, an auction house can be a great way to get the best possible price.
The audience includes a greater proportion of people that are knowledgeable about antiques and their value.
And once your items are reviewed and accepted, they’ll handle most of the work for you. It’s really easy, especially if you have several pieces you’d like to part with.
3. Rock Island Auction
This is another more traditional-style auction house…but Rock Island Auction specializes in firearms and related items — including bladed weapons and military paraphernalia, rather than general antiques.
Rock Island is very well established in the industry with a great reputation. In fact, Rock Island handled some of the highest-priced gun sales ever.
They sell some really cool stuff and, in my opinion, their auction catalogs are worth perusing just to see the interesting things they’re selling — even if you can’t or don’t want to buy.
Not everything is super expensive, though. While RIA specializes in rare and collectible items, you can also find great deals on more common, affordable used guns in excellent condition.
Rock Island Auction hosts up to seven Online Only Auctions per year. This is where you’ll find those lower-cost items.
On top of that, they host up to three Premier Auctions per year — where rarer items can be found.
As the name suggests, Online Only Auctions only allow online bidding. On the other hand, Premier Auctions come with more options — in-person, online, by phone, and absentee (a.k.a. sealed) bidding.
To take part in absentee bidding, you give RIA a maximum amount you’re willing to bid. They then bid on your behalf up to that amount.
In other words, they’ll match bids made by others up to your maximum amount. But you don’t have to pay that whole amount if bidding stops at a lower amount.
Absentee bids can be submitted by email, fax, phone, or mail.
Rock Island also allows conditional bidding for absentee bidding, which has to be set up by phone. Conditional bidding means your amounts can be changed based on the events of the auction.
For example, if you have two lots that you’re interested in bidding, you might have Rock Island raise your bid on the second if you don’t win the first.
And similar to Murphy Auctions, if you’re looking to sell, rather than buy, consigning with RIA helps you get great prices with very little work on your part.
Best Gun Classifieds
Maybe you want to just buy a gun instead of dealing with the involved process of an auction.
In that case, a classified site is a great option. A few of the above sites have classifieds in addition to auctions, but the ones below are strictly or mostly classifieds.
GunsAmerica is a pretty straightforward site with both auction and regular classified listings. But most of their listings are classifieds, which is why they sit in this section.
They offer items across all price points and host both local and national level sales. A huge advantage of GunsAmerica is the ability to save searches.
So, it’s easy to check back to see what’s available. You can also set up daily or hourly emails for each saved search to make it even easier to keep up with new listings.
Many sellers are gun shops and other licensed dealers rather than individuals, though those kinds of sellers are also allowed. You can filter your search results to show only dealer sales, though, if that’s what you prefer.
Similar to GunBroker, these are private sales, so there’s a risk of scams, especially from non-dealers.
GunsAmerica allows for feedback on sellers, but sellers can choose to hide the feedback. So don’t assume that a lack of feedback means everything is a-okay.
Also, the site doesn’t allow feedback for buyers, so be careful when selling.
That said, the site can still be a great platform for selling guns. There’s never a posting fee, usually just a fee after the item is sold.
For local sales within 50 miles, there’s no after-sale fee either.
However, GunsAmerica does allow you to add what they call “enhancements.” These help your listing get more attention or incentivize people to spend more for a fee upon listing.
The exact amount of the fees depend on what membership level you go with.
There are three membership levels — Basic Seller, Trusted Seller, and Platinum Access. The higher the level, the lower the fees, and the more other benefits you get. But there’s a monthly cost for the two higher-level options.
If you’re just looking to offload a gun here or there, the basic option works fine. Alternatively, the trusted seller option works best for people selling five or more guns a month.
Platinum Access is for gun shops looking to set up an online portal for their sales.
5. Calguns & Other Forums
Dedicated classified websites aren’t the only places you can find classified listings, but don’t bother looking at places like Craigslist, Facebook, or Reddit. Most generalized platforms don’t allow firearm sales.
Look for firearm specific forums instead. Almost all states have a gun forum and most of those forums offer a section for classifieds.
Calguns is one of the largest state firearms forums and is often looked to as an example. But again, pretty much every state has an online gun forum, and many states have multiple.
Just search your state’s name and “gun forum.” Some states even actually have entire forums or websites devoted to firearms classifieds for that state.
There are also regional equivalents that cover multiple states. They can be useful anyway, but especially if your state doesn’t have an active forum of its own.
There are tons of reasons to be involved in these types of online gun communities beyond just the classified ads. So, if you haven’t really used them before, this is definitely a good excuse to start.
Gunspot serves as a meeting point for people who want to sell or buy firearms. They have a lot of listings for guns of all categories, suppressors, and ammunition.
Users can create an account and list their guns for sale, or browse and search the numerous auctions going on. There are timers listed on each item that continually tick down to let you know the current bid and when it closes.
But the site also serves as a valuable resource to the community.
Gunspot has a section called Academy that offers great information on general gun topics, as well as how to use the site. You can also find guides and reviews in article or video format.
These sites are all great places to start when looking to buy or sell firearms, but it’s by no means a comprehensive list. There are definitely other great auction and classified sites out there.
I also recommend checking out Buying Used Guns Safely to make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid scams. And remember that buying through an auction or classified site doesn’t mean you can’t support your local gun shop at the same time!
Unless you’re picking your gun up in person, you’ll have to have it shipped to an FFL. Most gun shops will accept shipments for a fee, so you can still show them some support that way.
Have you used any of these sites? Do you have another favorite auction or classified site? Let us know in the comments below. Check out our list of the 10 Best Online Gun Stores for some more options.
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