Advice on buying a handgun via the internet
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:23 PM   #1
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Default Advice on buying a handgun via the internet

Hi,

I'm looking into getting my first handgun. I already decided on the specific gun (Sig P250 .45 ACP). Looking online, I've found better prices than in a local gun store. I'm in contact, through email, with someone offering a pretty good deal on a lightly used handgun that I noticed in an online classified ad.

How safe are transactions arranged over the internet? I found that a lot of sellers want you to send a check or money order. What's stopping someone from just keeping your money and not shipping the item?

I don't mean to sound so negative, or to insult anyone, but using ebay in the past has made me very cautious about these things. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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I have an 03 Collector's FFL, and shop on line a fair amount- HOWEVER- I am either buying from an established business, such as J&G Sales, Southern Ohio Gun, etc, or I am shopping on a gun auction website, such as auctionarms.com, or gunbroker.com.

Both auction sites list the feedback on sellers (and buyers). If there is a seller with 100 prior positive feedbacks, why would he suddenly decide to rip me off? Buying on line, DO remember that you will have to pay shipping, and pay a receiving FFL in your state to receive the gun, and do the paperwork. If the shipper is NOT a FFL, it must go by UPS or FedEx Next Day Air (about $65) and your FFL may charge you $20-150 to receive it. No set amount there- so be sure to include both costs in your estimates.

IF the shipper is an 01 FFL holder (dealer) he can use the US Mail- at about $20-25- but only dealers and manufacturers can MAIL a handgun.

As far as send him the money, he sends you the gun- does that not apply to everything you buy on line? Can't remember last time someone sent me merchandise of any kind that I did not pay for up front.

Find a seller with a good track record, understand the costs, look for a no questions return policy (you will still eat shipping costs)

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Old 10-28-2009, 10:35 PM   #3
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C3......You forgot to say Welcome to the Forum???

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Old 10-28-2009, 11:31 PM   #4
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I certainly did! Failed to notice the "1". Welcome to the animal house- good folks here- sorta like fudge- a few nuts, mainly sweet. Stop by the newcomers side, say hello, introduce yerself.

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Old 10-29-2009, 05:54 AM   #5
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Thank you for the welcome.

It seems that buying a handgun online carries a lot of added expenses that might not make the discount as appealing for the effort involved. I guess I'll just save up and check out a some stores in a month or so. Thanks a lot for the help.

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Old 10-29-2009, 01:00 PM   #6
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See if the seller will take a credit card. That is the best protection you have for online purchases. If not see if he will take Paypal. It's safer than a check but its not as good as a CC if he's scamming you.

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Old 10-29-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Yunus- paypal is almost rabidly anti-gun. If they find you in a firearms transaction, they have been known to freeze account. Would avoid like crazy.

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Old 10-29-2009, 02:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3shooter View Post
Yunus- paypal is almost rabidly anti-gun. If they find you in a firearms transaction, they have been known to freeze account. Would avoid like crazy.
I knew they were anti-gun but did not know they would freeze accounts or stop transactions. Good to know.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:26 PM   #9
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I feel sure that buying a gun from reputable sellers on the internet is
safe. That said, I just won't buy a gun unless I can see it and handle
it no matter the price. That's just me.

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Old 10-30-2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjp View Post
Thank you for the welcome.

It seems that buying a handgun online carries a lot of added expenses that might not make the discount as appealing for the effort involved. I guess I'll just save up and check out a some stores in a month or so. Thanks a lot for the help.
Welcome to the Forum jjp!

I, like C3shooter, also do a good amount of shopping online. And, like him, I only do so with larger entities, specifically Gunbroker.com and Budsgunshop.com. This is mostly because, while I think it’s important to support my local gun shops, I can pretty much always find what I'm looking for at a better price - even when additional fees are factored in.

For me it comes down to (1) Doing your homework: where can you find the best (i.e. lowest or nonexistent) transfer fee, which vendors have the lowest shipping fees, and remembering that an out-of-state, online, purchase should avoid sales taxes, and (2) Being patient.

My experience has been that if you do your due diligence with the research and are patient you will, more often than not, come out ahead.
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