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How to Sell a Large Gun Collection

How to Sell a Large Gun Collection


Selling a large gun collection can be a complex and potentially risky process. It is important to approach it with care and knowledge of the law. In this article, we will go over the reasons you may want to sell a gun collection, the steps you need to take to assess the value of your collection, legal considerations, and the different options for selling your collection. We will also offer tips and advice to help you navigate the process to ensure a successful outcome. If you’re wondering how to sell a large gun collection, this article is for you.

Life events that trigger the need to sell your firearms

Boxtruck being loaded with boxes during a move.

The decision to liquidate a gun collection can stem from various reasons, each of which may impact the timeline, restrictions, and requirements of the selling process. Factors such as downsizing, financial needs, disposition of an estate, health concerns, legal issues, and changing interests may all play a role in determining the best approach for selling firearms. Understanding these reasons and their potential impact is crucial in approaching the process with care and knowledge of the law.


When downsizing or decluttering, you may choose to sell your gun collection. Additionally, if you recently acquired a collection but don’t have space or interest in keeping it, you may liquidate decide to liquidate it.

Financial reasons

Selling a gun collection can raise funds for unexpected expenses or free up money for other interests or hobbies.

Disposition of an estate

When you inherit a collection as part of an estate and you need to liquidate it, it is important to consider the legal and financial implications of the process.

Health-related reasons

If you have health concerns that make it difficult for you to handle firearms, it may be in your best interest to sell your collection and make someone else the new owner.

Legal reasons

If you have legal issues that prohibit you from possessing firearms, it is important to comply with the law and liquidate your collection.

Changing interests

Your interests and passions may change over time, and you may decide that it is no longer worth keeping a gun collection that you no longer have an interest in. In such cases, liquidating the collection may be the best decision.

Since you’re considering selling a gun collection, it’s important to take the next step of assessing the value and condition of your firearms. This can include obtaining professional appraisals, creating an inventory, and keeping detailed records. In the next section, we will guide you through the process of assessing your collection to ensure you have a clear understanding of its worth before moving forward with the selling process.

Assessing the Collection

Person working on a laptop with a diagram of the year 2023, a tax form, and symbols representing calculations.

When it comes to liquidating your gun collection, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the value and condition of each firearm. There are several factors to consider when assessing the value of your collection, including:

  • Rarity
  • Condition
  • Market demand

One important step in assessing your collection is to work to determine the value of your firearms. One way to do this is by obtaining professional appraisals or evaluations. However, this will typically cost you money out-of-pocket, so depending on your collection, you may decide to assess it’s value another way. One free way to assess the value of your collection is to submit your collection for a cash offer. Our deal sheet will go over the expected retail value of the firearms, as well as the costs involved in selling. Submitting your firearms to us will save you a lot of time in determining their actual value, especially if you have a large collection.

It is important to consider the real-time values of your firearms, not just what someone will tell you they are worth. Just like a real estate agent, a gun dealer may inflate the value of a firearm to earn your business on a consignment or auction, but it is important to remember that just like a house, if the price is listed too high, it may not sell. Talk is cheap, do your own research to ensure you are getting a fair market value for your firearms for today’s real market prices.

Your firearms’ value is based on what others will pay for them in the current market. As the owner, you may feel like the value exceeds the actual fair price in the current market. Check‘s ‘Completed Listings’ to see what similar guns have sold for, and focus on auctions that ended with bids rather than re-listed items. Looking at the auctions that ended with bids will show an accurate final price for the auction. This will give you an accurate idea of the worth of each firearm and help you make informed decisions when deciding on your asking price.

The Gunbroker 'Completed Items' search interface displaying the various search options available to find recently sold guns

In addition to assessing the value of your firearms, it is equally as important to organize and document your collection, especially if you are liquidating an estate that is in probate. Documenting your gun collection can include things like:

  • Creating an inventory, including any accessories, ammo or gun parts.
  • Taking high-quality photos.
  • Keeping records of serial numbers, purchase histories, and other documentation.

Keeping good track of your collection will be useful for legal and record-keeping purposes, as well as getting values on your firearm. Our submission form will outline the important details you’ll need to include to get a serious purchase offer from a buyer, including things like the Manufacturer, Model, Caliber, and Serial Number.

By taking the time to properly assess your collection, you’ll be able to optimize the value of your collection and make the liquidation as smooth as possible. You will also be able to cover yourself in case you need to provide a rationale for the values you sold for, which is especially important for estate liquidators with trustees to answer to, and estates that are going through probate.

Legal Considerations

When liquidating a large gun collection, it’s important to comply with federal, state, and local laws and properly transfer ownership of your guns, including using bills of sale and legal documents. Check your state laws and understand legal requirements for transferring ownership, including probate court approval if necessary. Consider these common legal considerations when selling your collection regardless of your location.

First, there are ten categories of persons who are not eligible to purchase or possess a firearm under federal law:

  • Those convicted of a felony (or equivalent)
  • Fugitives from justice
  • Unlawful users of, or those addicted to a controlled substance
  • People adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed to treatment
  • Illegal aliens
  • Those dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces
  • People who’ve renounced United States citizenship
  • Citizens with active protection orders against them (restraining order, injunction for protection, etc.)
  • Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • People under indictment or information for a felony

You can find more information about these categories on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms website.

An ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) Agency emblem embroidery with an American Flag background

Some more common laws include the following:

  • The buyer must be 21 years of age to purchase a handgun, 18 years of age to purchase a rifle or shotgun.
  • The buyer be a state resident to purchase a handgun, non-resident aliens visiting the state may need to complete specific forms or documents to be legally able to buy the firearm without an FFL involved.
  • If you decide to sell through a dealer, the transaction is considered complete once the dealer has completed and signed the ATF Form 4473. An additional background check is required for each additional transfer.

It is important to be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to purchasing firearms when it comes to selling guns. Make sure to check your state laws and consult with local authorities for more detailed information. Also, be aware that laws are subject to change, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on any changes that may affect your ability to purchase or possess guns.

Now, time for the best part, which is finding a new home for all the guns!

Selling the Collection

A zoomed out, overhead photo of a large group of buyers and sellers at a crowded gun show.

When it comes to selling a sizable collection, most people should consider taking some time to find the right buyer. There are many different options to consider, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some options include selling to gun stores, selling to an auction company like Rock Island Auction, or other auction sites, pawn shops, gun shows, and online buyers as well. Another option, which we’ve discussed previously, is selling to a private buyer, where you sell the firearms directly to individuals. We will go over the pros and cons of each.

Selling to

At Cash for Arms, we understand that selling a large gun collection can be a daunting task. That’s why we offer a preferred, no-risk way for you to get top dollar for your collection. Our company offers an Outright Purchase option, where we pay your money out the same day and cover all costs. Shipping your guns is easy with our simple shipping instructions. Depending on your preference, we can also ship you all of the packing materials, and schedule a UPS Pickup at your residence so that you can sell your guns without even leaving your house.

We also offer Cash Consignment options, where we auction the firearms using our reputable, top-rated brand and our exceptional product listings that reach tens of thousands of people. With our Cash Consignment options, you can rest easy knowing that we have a cash minimum guarantee, so you know what your minimum payout will be. Additionally, we share a generous 85/15 split, and routinely set records for the prices we earn for our consignees. If you are ready to get a no-obligation cash offer for your guns, click here to get started.

Pros of Selling to Cash for Arms:

  • No-risk option to get top dollar for your collection
  • Get cash quickly with our Outright Purchase option
  • Convenient shipping process with option for packing materials and pickup at your residence
  • Maximize your earning potential with consignment options from a reputable, top-rated brand that reaches thousands of potential buyers
  • Cash minimum guarantee for consignment options
  • Generous split for consignment sales (85% goes to you, the consignor)
  • We regularly set records for the prices we sell our consignors guns for
  • No-obligation cash offer available for instant evaluation of your collection’s value

Cons of Selling to Cash for Arms:

  • We may not accept all types of firearms, and are currently not accepting NFA Class 3 Weapons. However, most local gun stores don’t have this capability either. We are working on obtaining the license by 2024.
  • You won’t be able to get cash today. Payment will be issued once we receive your firearms, but we offer various payout options including same-day payment options.
  • If you choose Cash Consignment, you will typically receive your money 2-3 weeks after we receive the guns. If you need fast money, consider Outright Purchase option where we pay the same-day!

Selling to a Local Gun Shop or Pawn Shop

Selling to a local gun shop or pawn shop can be a convenient option for those looking to sell their collection very quickly and with minimal effort. A gun store will typically offer you a cash amount and will handle all the necessary paperwork. A local dealer may also may offer consignment options as well so you can market your guns to their customers. If you’re faced with the choice, we recommend going with a gun shop as you will probably get a better offer.

Pros of Selling to LOCAL GUN SHOPS

  • Convenient and easy process
  • Ability to sell quickly for those who need cash today
  • Shop will handle all necessary paperwork
  • You’ll typically get more than a pawn shop


  • May not receive a fair price for your collection as local gun stores often depend on used gun sales to make most of their profit
  • You may have limited options in your area, or have to spend a lot of time out and about in new, and many times uncomfortable settings
  • Limited to the liquidity of the local shop. Many don’t have the cash on hand to make buy large collections

Selling to Private Buyers

When selling to private buyers, it’s important to be prepared to put in a bit more effort than if you were to sell to a local gun shop or pawn shop. As the seller, you will need to thoroughly clean the guns, take high-quality photos, and market them accurately to attract potential buyers. Additionally, finding a single buyer for an entire collection may be difficult, so you may need to be prepared to sell your guns one by one. You can find buyers using local classifieds like, or attending gun shows.

Pros of Selling to Private Buyers:

  • You have more control over the selling process
  • You may be able to get a higher price for your collection than at gun stores and pawn shops
  • You have the ability to interact with buyers and negotiate a price

Cons of Selling to Private Buyers:

  • You will need to put in more effort to clean, photograph, and market the guns
  • You may need to ship the guns, meaning that you will have to go through a local FFL for a fee (you can use this FFL Finder, courtesy of Gunbroker)
  • Finding a single buyer for an entire collection may be difficult
  • You may have to deal with haggling and negotiation
  • It may take longer to sell your collection compared to selling with Cash for Arms

Picture at a very large gun store with hundreds of rifles lined up on racks.

Selling with Auction Houses

Selling with an auction house, like Rock Island Auctions (Rock Island Auction), is another option for those looking to sell their collection of guns. Online auctions can reach a wide range of buyers and many of them are enthusiasts who appreciate the history and value of the guns they are purchasing. This can be a good way to get a fair price for your collection.

Pros of Selling with AN Auction House:

  • You can reach a wide range of buyers
  • Buyers are often enthusiasts who appreciate the value and history of the guns
  • You may be able to get a fair price for your collection
  • You can watch your auctions live and in person, if this matters to you

Cons of Selling with AN Auction House:

  • It will typically take at least three months for your auctions to become live, and then once they end, it usually takes at least 60 days for most auction houses to pay you. It seems kind of crazy to me, but that seems standard for most auction houses. According to Small Arms Review, it takes Rock Island Auctions (Rock Island Auction) 6 months for consignors to get their money, if not longer
  • You may not have as much control over the selling process
  • You may be disappointed in the prices you realize after months of waiting

Ultimately, the most appropriate option for selling a collection of guns will depend on the collection’s value, rarity, and the seller’s goals. At Cash for Arms, we are here to help you navigate this journey and to ensure that you get the best return for your collection, whether you’d like to participate in our Cash Consignment, which guarantees you a cash minimum, and usually gets you paid within 3 weeks, or our Outright Purchase program, which gets you your money same-day.

Finishing Up

When it comes to selling guns, and especially your whole collection, it is important to approach the process with care and knowledge of the law. Liquidating a large gun collection can be a complex and potentially risky process. As a gun seller, you are probably looking for the most amount of money, with the least amount of hassle. We’ve discussed the various reasons that may lead someone to sell their collection, as well as the steps needed to assess the value and condition of your firearms. Additionally, we’ve gone over the legal considerations and different options for selling your collection. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to one of our team members as we are more than happy to help guide you through the process and ensure a successful outcome.