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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
So, you are in it for the money as well now. I get it, but you should have understood that from the beginning. Supply and demand. Basic econ. You never thought that you could buy something at an inexpensive price to you, only to turn it around for profit later? Or realized that what you thought was a great buy, only to give it away later?

My point is everybody has a point to their purchase, no matter what it is. If it happens to "appreciate" more power to them. It's like me wanting my dads slide rules that he used to calculate stuff that enabled him and his team to design and build the first cyclotron that fit in a room. Slide rules aren't made anymore. There is value to them to me, even if I give them to the Smithsonian. (his sincrotron has been on display there. His daughter sent his notebooks to them after offering them to go along with their display)

Denny knows his stuff. You should hang around with him sometime. Would give you much better advice.
I'm not sure what your trying to say. I'm not sure what you think I should have known. I can do with my collection what I think is best. I plan on giving it to my son, because he would appreciate it. I might sell some things who knows. What I bought 50+ years ago, I still have, but that isn't the focus of my collecting anymore. Interests change.
As far as a dealer knowing his stuff, it's the business they're in. They constantly have their finger on prices. They know when they are pushing the envelope better than the average buyer. When looking for the worth point of your collection, I'm certain Empire Arms knows what that is better than the average collector checking sold prices on GB. I think we tend to think what we have is worth more than it really is, and we often buy at prices today that actually are futures, especially when there is so much competition to pay the listed price.

I remember using a slide rule in school, probably have a learning curve to get through, to use one again tho.
 

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I assign value to my collection for insurance purposes, not resale. If something really bad happened and my collection or some part of it were destroyed I'd like to be able to replace the guns. When it comes time to thin the herd I'll deal with it, chasing resale value before that is kind of pointless.
 

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I assign value to my collection for insurance purposes, not resale. If something really bad happened and my collection or some part of it were destroyed I'd like to be able to replace the guns. When it comes time to thin the herd I'll deal with it, chasing resale value before that is kind of pointless.
truth here,


as someone in the biz, on a much smaller scale than Kroh , I have realized that Current Market Value is an elusive beast sometimes,

I can look at completed auctions, Empire's past sales, GB etc and get you a good estimate on what your firearms are worth, and honestly, if I am appraising for insurance, I'll bump that up a bit , knowing that replacement cost on some things will increase over the years,
or I can make you a fair offer on what I think , with numbers to back it up, that firearm(s) will sell for,
however, sometimes they actually sell for much less, or the bidders/buyers will get excited and run an auction up,

it usually averages out in the end tho,,,

one thing you need to be careful with if you decide to sell, is what shop or dealer you are selling it to...

some folks know milsurps like the back of their hand, some don't have a clue if you hand them a broom stick or a broom handle,, which do you think will work to give you the best price?


also, and pardon for getting on a soapbox, if you , the collector/accumulator/hobbyist does not have a list of your stuff for your family, with some rudimentary information on it, (ex, accessories etc to go with it, notes on significance etc) and if no one in your family is into it like you are,,, then you are setting them up for getting low balled or honestly screwed by someone,

and not just the dealer down the street that I used in the broom analogy
been in the biz for a while, and have seen other collectors screw over the widow/family a few times, which to me is wrong on many different levels
 

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I'm giving away the fact that I'm not rich. A rich man can buy what he wants when he sees it. If it cost a lot he even can brag about how much he paid.
I see many times where guys wonder if they made a good deal. Why do you think that is asked so often?
We all seem to be more willing to fill a hole in our collection, and overlook price, then try to justify what we did.
One of the things, I'm getting at is the hype these dealers use. It's smart the way they work.
That Empire Arms website is something else, but more power to him. He must keep his edge.
"Filling a hole" is part of the quest. Price really doesn't matter when "filling the hole". If price mattered, you could have filled that hole long ago by paying double or triple what it was "worth". The quest is finding it, then buying it. Price doesn't matter. Collecting and rational though don't often coincide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
"Filling a hole" is part of the quest. Price really doesn't matter when "filling the hole". If price mattered, you could have filled that hole long ago by paying double or triple what it was "worth". The quest is finding it, then buying it. Price doesn't matter. Collecting and rational though don't often coincide.
That is basically what I've been getting at. When getting the hole filled matters more than price, that skews the supply and demand factor. When a dealer puts up his price list, collectors with that filling the hole mentality is factored in. When the hype breeds competition, and you need to factor in the lag time on your computer, the market that is created isn't the same as what you should expect the market to be for your example, unless it goes through that same dealer, and there is a significant cost for that. That is why I've said pump the brakes a bit on our collection values. There is a net after the sale.
I assign value to my collection for insurance purposes, not resale. If something really bad happened and my collection or some part of it were destroyed I'd like to be able to replace the guns. When it comes time to thin the herd I'll deal with it, chasing resale value before that is kind of pointless.
Insurance is another topic....someone else should take that one up. Not me!
 

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Interesting thread.

I never bought any firearm with a thought to a "future" value. I bought what I wanted if the price made sense to me at the time. I'm not really a collector.

I signed onto this forum at a time when I was selling off my rifles and was happy to receive advice from generous members here who know WAY more than I do.

I now know what my rifles are worth...but I'm no longer interested in selling them. I only have four left and only one of those has serious "collector" value...but I only paid $125.00CDN for it back in the 1970's so I can get rid of it painlessly in any way I choose. Funny to think of it...it was the last firearm I ever bought and the only one I never got around to actually shooting?!?

I spent a lot of time finding out about it...and found that pursuit interesting.

I guess everyone has a different approach to these issues...
 

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I'm only 22 so I have the benefit of time. My collection pulls double duty: enjoyment and protection against inflation. Guns are a safe investment in that they're usually able to hold value if you spend the time to sell individually. Selling as a collection always nets less than buying the rifles independently by the simple fact that there are simply less buyers who are willing to spend $10,000 on 20 milsurp rifles than $700 on any one of the rifles from that collection. You're also much more likely to spend more one a rifle to fill the one "hole" in that set of rifles whereas buying them as a set, the buyer takes the "quest" it took to complete the set for granted. The bottom line is smaller margins over a larger market is and always has been the key to making money, not one big sale. It may hurt to split up a complete collection but it will probably net the most profit. Obviously doesn't apply to complete sets/packages that came from the factory that way etc.

Funnily enough I have a spreadsheet I use to list information, and seeing how the milsurp market has been climbing ever higher, if I sold off my collection one by one, it has actually been outpacing my IRA I started putting money into in 2018. Realistically when I sell large portions of my collection in 40-50 years I'll probably break even relative to current purchasing power. Of course you factor in ammo, storage, and other expenses related to firearms over that period of time then the "profit" is even less but I chock that loss up to exchanging little green colored pieces of worthless paper for happiness/enjoyment, which is more than a fair trade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I'm only 22 so I have the benefit of time. My collection pulls double duty: enjoyment and protection against inflation. Guns are a safe investment in that they're usually able to hold value if you spend the time to sell individually. Selling as a collection always nets less than buying the rifles independently by the simple fact that there are simply less buyers who are willing to spend $10,000 on 20 milsurp rifles than $700 on any one of the rifles from that collection. You're also much more likely to fill the one "hole" in that set of rifles whereas buying them as a set, the buyer takes the "quest" it took to complete the set for granted. The bottom line is smaller margins over a larger market is and always has been the key to making money, not one big sale. It may hurt to split up a complete collection but it will probably net the most profit. Obviously doesn't apply to complete sets/packages that came from the factory that way etc.

Funnily enough I have a spreadsheet I use to list information, and seeing how the milsurp market has been climbing ever higher, if I sold off my collection one by one, it has actually been outpacing my IRA I started putting money into in 2018. Realistically when I sell large portions of my collection in 40-50 years I'll probably break even relative to current purchasing power. Of course you factor in ammo, storage, and other expenses related to firearms over that period of time then the "profit" is even less but I chock that loss up to exchanging little green colored pieces of worthless paper for happiness/enjoyment, which is more than a fair trade.
I agree with you. You can enjoy your tangible investment while it appreciates. But I caution placing a value on your collection now, because reading the market(selling prices)has many factors that don't appear on the surface that I tried to outline in earlier posts. I think our collections are easily over valued more so than under valued. I realize that is an unpopular thought.
 

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I agree with you. You can enjoy your tangible investment while it appreciates. But I caution placing a value on your collection now, because reading the market(selling prices)has many factors that don't appear on the surface that I tried to outline in earlier posts. I think our collections are easily over valued more so than under valued. I realize that is an unpopular thought.
I agree that at this current time (Year of our Lord 2022) the entire firearms market is overvalued due to a myriad of factors. That's why I'm sure I'll only realistically break even in terms of purchasing power rather than turn a true profit, and that's if selling individually! I've only sold a few firearms from my collection and it's a hassle. I can't imagine selling dozens one by one, it'd be a full time job for awhile almost, especially if I stay on the gun a month program for the next 40 years... I'd more than likely have to sell as a collection/take a good 30% or so loss to someone like Empire Arms though Mr. Kroh will be long gone by the time it's time for me to sell.
 

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I don't buy expecting to resell maybe ever. I buy pieces that interest me with discretionary funds that if I never see back will not negatively affect me.
I have a list of my guns with notes of what they are and when I aquired them with a note to keep or sell or if they are family heirloom guns, should something happen to me and my family has to figure out what to do to them. If I ever do sell down the road I will try to do it myself rather than go through a dealer or auction house.
 

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I don’t care about resale per se, because I am realistic about the fact that it doesn’t matter -I probably won’t sell, ever, and if I do it’ll be a long time. But, I also refuse to buy at a price that guarantees a loss should I have to sell tomorrow. That’s just me being prudent. If I can’t at least break even, I don’t want to buy, I’ll keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I don’t care about resale per se, because I am realistic about the fact that it doesn’t matter -I probably won’t sell, ever, and if I do it’ll be a long time. But, I also refuse to buy at a price that guarantees a loss should I have to sell tomorrow. That’s just me being prudent. If I can’t at least break even, I don’t want to buy, I’ll keep looking.
You and I think alike.
 

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When I was interested in selling...I wanted to know what the market was. No trouble, there...have a look around...I do agree with the OP that the recent values seem a bit inflated...small wonder there, too.

I put WAY too much of my time into this "concern" while I had convinced myself that I was overly concerned about this. But I knew I had just been a gun crazed kid...a long while back when I was acquiring.

I worked the 9pm-Midnight shift at an old record store in Toronto while I was in High School so I did have a bit of spending money.

My guns laid dormant except for intermittent care when I got back up to Canada...since about 1980. Every two years or so. The town I live in in the US is definitely not "gun friendly"...nowhere to use them and alarming to the residents. No problems; there.

I amused myself as the perceived value of one of my rifles seemed to soar within the last two years...but that very odd circumstance made me disillusioned. It seemed that a certain kind of "collector" might be after that type of rifle and a "hyper" buyer was of no interest to me. It seemed like a type of interest that had no relation to any value I had ever had in my life.

Why spend over $4,000.00 on a rifle I bought for $125.00 in 1977?!?

Possibly the best time to cash out but, somehow, troubling to my own perspective...I have attitude problems that I feel are a great inheritance!! :oops:;)

Sadly, I have had to take some tainted firearms to various police stations after tragic events. That was very bad.

I NEVER thought about resale/investment and, while I was engaged in selling, I always put my gun sale proceeds into a slush fund for my brother's kid's benefit, so I'm happy.

I haven't used my own firearms in 45 years and will probably not deviate from this path in whatever is left of my life. I might wish to have my Savage Model 24 (.22/20 gauge) handy for an overwinter project in Ontario in the not too distant future and the rest can go for whatever I choose as a satisfactory way to dispose of them.

I've had my fun...as some greatly missed friends of mine used to opine.

There are some truly GREAT collectors on this forum and they have my respect...I have, oftentimes, been in awe of both their acquisitions, intellect and dedication.

At this point the only temptation I have to sell is to raise funds for UNICEF's campaign for Ukrainian children but I already give to that and another gun in the world seems somewhat redundant. I grew up with influence from the Friend's Service Commitee.

Luckily, for me, I have a rather common form of rifle that I consider to be the only collectable variant in my "bag of tricks" so no trouble to the world how I choose to dispose of whatever I have left. They are professed to be "rare" but there are enough of them out there that mine won't count for much of a difference.

If I ever get around to seeing it again...I'll provide photos on the appropriate branch of these forums as I promised I might.

As I stated before; each one of us has our own position in these matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
When I was interested in selling...I wanted to know what the market was. No trouble, there...have a look around...I do agree with the OP that the recent values seem a bit inflated...small wonder there, too.

I put WAY too much of my time into this "concern" while I had convinced myself that I was overly concerned about this. But I knew I had just been a gun crazed kid...a long while back when I was acquiring.

I worked the 9pm-Midnight shift at an old record store in Toronto while I was in High School so I did have a bit of spending money.

My guns laid dormant except for intermittent care when I got back up to Canada...since about 1980. Every two years or so. The town I live in in the US is definitely not "gun friendly"...nowhere to use them and alarming to the residents. No problems; there.

I amused myself as the perceived value of one of my rifles seemed to soar within the last two years...but that very odd circumstance made me disillusioned. It seemed that a certain kind of "collector" might be after that type of rifle and a "hyper" buyer was of no interest to me. It seemed like a type of interest that had no relation to any value I had ever had in my life.

Why spend over $4,000.00 on a rifle I bought for $125.00 in 1977?!?

Possibly the best time to cash out but, somehow, troubling to my own perspective...I have attitude problems that I feel are a great inheritance!! :oops:;)

Sadly, I have had to take some tainted firearms to various police stations after tragic events. That was very bad.

I NEVER thought about resale/investment and, while I was engaged in selling, I always put my gun sale proceeds into a slush fund for my brother's kid's benefit, so I'm happy.

I haven't used my own firearms in 45 years and will probably not deviate from this path in whatever is left of my life. I might wish to have my Savage Model 24 (.22/20 gauge) handy for an overwinter project in Ontario in the not too distant future and the rest can go for whatever I choose as a satisfactory way to dispose of them.

I've had my fun...as some greatly missed friends of mine used to opine.

There are some truly GREAT collectors on this forum and they have my respect...I have, oftentimes, been in awe of both their acquisitions, intellect and dedication.

At this point the only temptation I have to sell is to raise funds for UNICEF's campaign for Ukrainian children but I already give to that and another gun in the world seems somewhat redundant. I grew up with influence from the Friend's Service Commitee.

Luckily, for me, I have a rather common form of rifle that I consider to be the only collectable variant in my "bag of tricks" so no trouble to the world how I choose to dispose of whatever I have left. They are professed to be "rare" but there are enough of them out there that mine won't count for much of a difference.

If I ever get around to seeing it again...I'll provide photos on the appropriate branch of these forums as I promised I might.

As I stated before; each one of us has our own position in these matters.
You seem like an insightful guy. I'll tell you a sad story that has nothing to do with gun collecting, but with trying to control what we can control. Which isn't that much.

There was this guy that owned a large piece of property. He didn't know how much more time he had left, but he had nurtured that property his whole life and it had a beautiful stand of trees on it. He wanted it preserved above all else after he was gone. Timber Companies wanted that property, but he wouldn't sell it to them, even though they offered a significant amount of money for it. The average person doesn't realize how much money is involved in timber. He didn't want his trees cut. Like I said, he wanted it preserved, and no amount of money would change that. He sold his property to a person he trusted. Someone who shared his goals for the property, and promised it wouldn't be logged, he would protect it. He sold it to him at a huge discount to keep his trees safe after he was gone. It wasn't long after the sale that there was another sale to that same timber company. All the trees were cut, and he was powerless to stop it. Sadly this is a true story.
Not that I have any advice to you on what to do with your sniper, as like you say we all have our own positions on things. I would only recommend that you not stress about it.
 

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I feel that firearms are unique from a lot of other products in that there is a lot less margin. It seems to be the same for collectible ones.

I tend to buy what I like or am interested in, but I will also buy about anything that seems like a great deal. I mainly care about value from an insurance perspective but I do consider "what could I sell this for in two days" when I'm buying a new one. I've sold quite a few over time as my interests or life situations have changed. Many of mine are tools to me, and I try to minimize a great deal of duplicates in modern stuff. For example, I sold two bolt guns in 7.62x39 when I started playing with 300 blackout a lot. To me they do the same thing.

While my son shares my interest in the hobby, he is less of a collector/hunter and more of a shooter. I've started considering value even more lately. I've started losing a lot of friends my age now and I don't want to leave a mess for someone else to clean up when I'm gone. I'm thinking I want to start trimming my collection, and I know that selling these will be like a second job.
 

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Downsizing part of my collection (in order to build space to buy more of a specific type) I've learned a bit about firearm value lately. We have to face the fact that, for collectible guns, value is strongly influenced by current "fads" and interweb generated hype. If you want to sell at large auctions up here right now you will rapidly learn that some models sell like hotcakes and generate prices that make you a healthy profit (even after auction fees) while other (equally "collectible") types generate little interest and you stand a chance of losing money with them. As specific examples, SVT 40's and certain Finn Mosins are easy money right now while Smle's and No. 4 Lee Enfields are pretty weak. Selecting items to sell by auction I focused on the current fads and did very well. I guess my point is that there's more to this than arbitrary "blue-book" values- you have to pay attention to trends and the market and be willing to act accordingly. In a way almost more like day trading than building a portfolio of blue chip stocks.

Ruprecht
 

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^^^ This…..Well said Ruprecht.
Stay in the collectible gun hobby for longer than a couple years and quickly learn that trends and fads are huge!
Now with the influence of social media ie:YouTube the fads are even more dominant.
Well referenced to day trading. Buying low when items are under appreciated and selling the hot “must have” fad of the month, can generate quite an impressive collection and save money while doing it in any market condition. It’s worked well for me at least.
Buying heaps of Arisaka when Obama was in office crying gun control and the panic buyers were buying all the semis they could muster. Pickings on bolt action C&R stuff was comical. Some of my nicest stuff I acquired for cheap during those 8 years.
 

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The only gun purchases I regret were ones made primarily as an 'investment,' with an eye toward selling an item for nice profits sometime in the future. Turns out the hassles and transaction costs associated with "turning over" that "merchandise" make this a bothersome investment.

OTOH, I don't care whether the guns I have bought over the decades to fill important niches in my collection rise in value. My heirs are the only ones ones who might care, because I'm not selling.

Coincidentally, I just notified the two most senior members of that heirs list of the collection's current gross value.

Related, on my current to-do list is getting a real will drawn-up, plus prospective "do not resuscitate" and related medical orders. The package willl include a spreadsheet with the original firearm purchase prices and estimated current value for all those keepers in my gun collection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The only gun purchases I regret were ones made primarily as an 'investment,' with an eye toward selling an item for nice profits sometime in the future. Turns out the hassles and transaction costs associated with "turning over" that "merchandise" make this a bothersome investment.

OTOH, I don't care whether the guns I have bought over the decades to fill important niches in my collection rise in value. My heirs are the only ones ones who might care, because I'm not selling.

Coincidentally, I just notified the two most senior members of that heirs list of the collection's current gross value.

Related, on my current to-do list is getting a real will drawn-up, plus prospective "do not resuscitate" and related medical orders. The package willl include a spreadsheet with the original firearm purchase prices and estimated current value for all those keepers in my gun collection.
I agree, if you acquired, and collected guns other than for your own enjoyment, the problem of liquidating your investment has a layer of bothersome hassle, that other tangible property does not.
What I see when it comes to estate liquidations the fastest, quick, and easy options are usually taken by the heirs. If not usually, it is often the case. I'm not talking just about guns in an estate, but guns with their inherent restrictions, make getting value more of a process. When people look at current values they tend not to look at the costs associated with selling, that being the bottom line or net from the sale. We want to think our heirs will get full value, but that may not be reality for a number of reasons. With your spreadsheet it should help them better to sell from a position of strength.
 
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