Have you ever had an unusual firearm turn up, and you weren’t sure if it was worth $300, $400, or $4,000?
The Blue Book of Gun Values is the place to start. On the GunBroker.com website, go to Tools for Sellers, Listings, Check the Blue Book Value. Clicking on that link takes you to the Blue Book of Gun Values website.
If you need the value of one specific gun, use the Find Firearms Value box on the home page. Key in some basic make and model information, and for only $2.95 you will get pricing from the 36th Edition of the Blue Book – which is updated monthly. Chances are you’ll want to access this resource frequently, so you may want to order the book or CD_ROM. The book is $49.95 and the CD is $39.95. At 2,500 + pages, the book covers more than 1,500 firearms and is the firearms industry’s most trusted reference book. Both the book and CD include the 80-page color Photo Percentage Grading System (PPGS) to help you in nailing down the firearms’ condition factors.
If you prefer, you can order an online subscription or use the Blue Book app (available for iTunes or Android). The app itself is free, but does require a subscription to access the pricing service. The advantages of a subscription are: free monthly updates, historical pricing, and the ability to create a personal online inventory. Additionally, it is completely searchable. You can opt for just the Blue Book at $29.95 for a year, $54.95 for two years, or $74.95 for three years access.
They also offer a 3-pack service that includes the Blue Book of Gun Values, Blue Book of Airguns, and the Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Arms. Subscription prices are $49.95 for a year, $79.95 for two years, or $99.95 for three years access. One firearm priced right and the Blue Book service pays for itself.
Some firearms that may find their way into your shop likely will require evaluation beyond checking against the Blue Book. For example, in 2010, Teddy Roosevelt’s shotgun used on his 1909 African Safari hunt sold for $862,000. In 2012, guns owned by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow sold for $504,000. It may not happen often, but what if you had this kind of rare firearm to evaluate and potentially sell? What if it wasn’t just rare, but used in a famous gunfight or owned by a famous person?
Obviously, this calls for a different kind of appraisal. Consider GunBroker.com’s appraisal partner valuemystuff.com.
On the Tools for Sellers page, under Listings, click on the link for Get Your Item Appraised. This takes you to the valuemystuff.com website. There you will upload a photo of the firearm with any information you have including the make and model, serial number, provenance, certificate of authenticity, etc. Valuemystuff.com will assign an expert in firearms to appraise the item and e-mail the appraisal to you within 48 hours. A copy is also kept online for you to share as needed. The cost is only $10 for one appraisal.
Valuemystuff.com’s firearms expert works at Sotheby’s, has an FFL license, and has been trading firearms for more than 17 years. He has been a firearm collector for more than 40 years.
When you create your listing, make sure to include photos of the provenance, certificate of authority, and appraisal report.
If you are in doubt on an estimate, either of these services is well worth the price. You get an accurate purchase/sell price, which could save you a whole lot more money than you will spend. That’s a win/win!