How to make Money via Gun Auction Services

So you want to make money selling guns online eh?

Well, you’re in luck, because I am going to breakdown exactly how you could get started in the business for yourself in this very post.

Before I begin, there are a few things I think you should have, although they may not be required in the state you live in, and those things are as follows:

  • Business License
  • Resale Certificate
  • Federal Firearms License

As mentioned already, these things may not be required for you to get started in your state of residence, but it is highly recommended that you do have them before you start selling other peoples guns on the internet.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll be using a gun auction that we brokered for a client back in June of 2019 as an example for this particular article.

With that being said, please understand that there exists different ways for you to make money online selling guns, but this post is going to focus on selling guns that other people bring to you to sell for them for a fee.

Other forms of making money online selling guns include, but are not limited to:

  • Buying guns from other folks, and flipping them online for a profit.
  • Having folks come to you to sell their guns online for them for a fee.
  • Buying guns online from a distributor to resell on your own website, or on one of the many different online firearm exchanges such as Gun Broker. (This option requires you to have a business license, resale certificate, and a Federal Firearms License.)

If you have any questions about the different ways to make money selling guns online listed above, please feel free to sound off in the comment section below, and I will gladly assist you.

Okay, now on to the example, which is the auction we brokered for a fellow back in June of 2019, where we were tasked to sell his Fabrique Nationale M249S Para “Squad Automatic Weapon”, which wasn’t actually an automatic, because it was the civilian model semi-automatic version seen below:

After many months of our client trying to sell it himself, he came to the conclusion that everyone was extremely low-balling him. In fact, one of the local pawn shops offered him $4,000 for it, which was quite insane in my humble opinion.

So he heard about my company through a friend of mine, and reached out to inquire about our gun auction services.

I told him to come on in to see me, and to bring all of the guns he was planning on selling via our auction services in for inspection.

Now please understand, that the inspection portion of this process is extremely important, and I will explain why further below, so if you plan on trying to do this in any non-local fashion, meaning having guns shipped to you from out of city or state, I highly advise against it.

The reason being, have you ever had someone tell you that what they have is the best thing since sliced bread, only to find out later when they bring it in, that it’s the biggest piece of (insert word here) you’ve ever laid eyes on?

Now imagine people like the ones mentioned above shipping you all kinds of guns… how many of them do you believe will be good-to-go?

Exactly, and now you’ll be stuck having to hurt their feelings and asking for shipping vouchers, or money so that you may ship their guns back, taking precious time away from things you could have been doing to actually make money… not lose it!

In fact, out of the many guns our client brought in that day, I only wound up accepting a few of them to sell for him, and directed him to a fellow dealer of mine who was kind enough to place the others on consignment in his store to try and sell them for him.

Enough of that though, because we are going to focus on the M249 for the rest of this post, and I am going to breakdown exactly how much money my company and I made off of this single auction.

Alright, the first thing you want to be totally upfront about whenever your potential client comes in with their guns is the cost.

You need to clearly brief your client on how much your services are going to cost in total, and inform them on just how much they are going to get if or when their gun sells at auction… all estimations obviously, because they may get more when the auction is all said and done.

Since there were no M249’s on Gun Broker in the “flat dark earth” finish, we had an advantage, since we would be the only ones at the time offering one up for sale.

It only took 1 day for us to make the sale, and the sale price we negotiated with the end buyer was for $8,400 in total out the door.

My company and I handled everything, which is something you are going to have to do as well, which is why it’s beneficial to have your Federal Firearms License, or else you are going to have to pay a transfer fee on top of everything else, in order to have a dealer ship the gun out to your end buyer.

I am going to breakdown the entire gun auction transaction below, including the profits we made off of this single auction.

Now, to be fully open with you, this particular auction was in fact a unicorn, and it’s not always going to be this lucrative.

You’ll have to learn over time what sells and what doesn’t, just like with any other business, or you can play the numbers game, and take in as many guns as you can to sell, which will add up to a significant amount of profits over time.

Before I breakdown the sales transaction for the M249 auction, please note that our fee for all auctions is a flat 20% of the total sale price of the gun in question, and our clients are responsible for all the fees associated with the sale.

You’ll obviously have to come up with your own pricing model for your gun auction services, but just make sure it’s fair, or your potential customers will just go see Bob down the block at your local pawn shop.

Now, what you’ve all been waiting for, the transaction breakdown, and how much we made off of the M249 auction when it was all said and done… well here it is:

Gun Sold for:$8,400.00
Tax:$0.00Sold out of state.
Auction Setup Fee:$25.00
Gun Broker Listing Fee:$6.45
Gun Broker Final Value Fee:$0.00Wound up selling it directly.
Credit Card Fee:$262.87
Shipping Material Fee:$10.00
Shipping and Handling Fee:$101.70
Banking Service Fee:$0.00Bank teller hooked me up!
Discount:(-) $17.00
Broker Commission Fee: (Us)$1,680.0020% of the total price sold.
Total Owed to Owner of Item(s)$6,330.98Much better than $4,000.00

So as you can see, we wound up making $1,680.00 in about a days worth of hard work, but again, this was a unicorn, and these types of auctions won’t come around too often, that I can promise you!

But for clickbait purposes, I decided to use one of our best gun auctions as the example for this post, because why wouldn’t I do that?

With that being said, go into this business venture with a reality mindset if you decide to pursue it.

Understand that not all auctions will be like our example above, but if you stick with it, this business model could be extremely lucrative, especially if you mix it with all the other things the gun world business has to offer you.

Good luck on whatever business you decide to start so long as you deserve it, and thank you so much for taking the time to read our post.

Comments 2

  • Hello! I am interested in learning the process of buying from folk and selling it to online folk or vice versa. I have very little knowledge of how the gun business works and would like to learn.

    • Hey Cesar,

      Right now it’s extremely difficult to do, because the big gun shops out there such as Bud’s Gun Shop are taking all the drop-shipping market share at the moment, so whenever you check with the main firearm distributors such as Lipsey’s, they’re pretty much out of everything.

      – Ryan

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