Selling Antique Guns

Model 1874 Long Range Target Rifle No. 1 made by Sharps Rifle Company, Hartford, Connecticut with special order ornamentation by the noted arms engraver L. D. Nimschke.  Factory shipping records (still in existence) indicate this was a special order rifle that had been tested for perfection by the factory superintendent himself.  The rifle was given as a shooting prize to W. L. Ellison of Kansas City, Missouri in February of 1879.  Shown here with close-up detail with its long-range Vernier tang rear sight yet intact.

Model 1874 Long Range Target Rifle No. 1 made by Sharps Rifle Company, Hartford, Connecticut with special order ornamentation by the noted arms engraver L. D. Nimschke. Factory shipping records (still in existence) indicate this was a special order rifle that had been tested for perfection by the factory superintendent himself. The rifle was given as a shooting prize to W. L. Ellison of Kansas City, Missouri in February of 1879. Shown here with close-up detail with its long-range Vernier tang rear sight yet intact.

Putting Firearms On Consignment

Consignment is another method that can be utilized to realize a higher value from a collector’s gun. Many dealers will accept certain select pieces from their clientele to sell on this basis. Consignment allows the dealer to add to his stock, permitting a broader selection of merchandise, without having to invest capital. Because of this, the dealer is willing to realize more for the collector than he would be willing to pay cash on the spot. The collector agrees to leave his gun with the dealer for sale at an agreed upon retail price. Details should be clearly understood, and the agreement made in writing.

The collector further agrees to allow the dealer a flat percentage fee (normally about 20 percent) of the retail price if the item is sold. Should the item not be sold after a specified time, the collector has the right to take it back and to dispose of it at his own discretion. Normally, no charges are made to the collector if the piece is not sold, unless previously agreed upon. All these factors, especially the matter of the commission fee, should be definitely committed to writing at the time the consignment is made.

A great many fine firearms are sold by this method. Advantages are obvious for both owner and seller. However, to utilize this method successfully one must choose wisely the dealer who is to handle the item. Most dealers are not interested in taking insignificant, low value items on consignment; e.g., pieces worth $100 or less; nor questionable objects requiring guarantees to their clientele while the consignee is relieved of all responsibility.

Important in the choice of a consignment dealer is one that is not only reputable, but is financially reliable. In many instances the dealer sells his items on a time payment method (that is, the money comes in in dribs and drabs), or a trade may be necessary to realize the best transaction.

In such instances it is important that the dealer pays the consignee the full agreed upon price the moment disposal is made, regardless of how he was paid for it or whether a trade was involved. Regrettably in many instances, consignment has proven an unpleasant experience for the collector as it was found that the dealer selling on a time payment method could not come up with all the money by the time the final payment came in.

A trade situation also can prove to be a similar problem. It may be necessary where trading is involved that the consignee must sweat it out until each of the pieces taken in trade are themselves sold; sometimes an almost endless process. Thus, choose wisely and be sure to commit the agreement to writing.

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