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The one that gets me is barrels and parts and accessories. In the past week I have tried to buy two different barrels from two different individuals off armslist and neither would ship. I saw the listing, emailed and communicated with the individual that was interested and if they still had the barrel for sale, they did, and once shipping comes up there is no communication. A day later I send another email asking what the deal I and the item is sold. I understand that shipping a firearm, can and sometimes is difficult to deal with. But a flat rate padded envelop is $7.20 and can go anywhere in the country. Throw the parts in there, write my name on it and your done. If your worried about getting the stink eye from the post office clerk, take the envelope out to your truck, out the stuff in it and bring it back in. Man its just frustrating to continually lose purchases because of this
 

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FTF transactions are a lot less hassle. I've only shipped a handful of items in the past year or so, but in the past year I've had 2 buyers start cases requesting refunds due to shipping damage or missing items. In both cases, I packed everything very well and even took pictures of everything before and after it went in the box. I spent a bunch of money on shipping and insurance. One of the items shipped had a ton of damage - like it was dropped off the roof of a UPS truck. Anyway, I fought like hell for their insurance to pay, and they denied. (Lesson - if you ship through UPS, pay for them to pack. If you don't, they will claim improper packing and you're screwed.)

On the other case, the buyer claims that they didn't receive the item. The shipper has a GPS tag on the location of delivery showing the buyer's address - it appears that the item was stolen from the buyer's porch. The shipper can prove that they delivered to the correct address, so no insurance claim. Yet, the buyer is pushing for a refund. I'm fighting it, as I feel that I did everything right - but ebay seems to be siding with the buyer.

As a seller, the amount of time and money spent packing, shipping and insuring the items are delivered in good condition is considerable. (The time is very considerable!) In the end, if the buyer decides to request a refund with the online auction, the seller has an uphill battle - and will probably lose.
 

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I've sold a bunch of guns....all FTF, you MUST provide me with a FLORIDA DRIVERS LICENSE and a CWP form Florida, I meet the buyer at a location Mall etc..I always have a second person with me, buyer gets in front seat of my car, my second is behind him.."monitoring" the situation....He, always so far, is rather limited in his movements so I feel pretty safe.
Shipping is a major PIA, I'd need to go to the UPS main location, a 20 minute ride, and have them inspect the package....etc...
 

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Shipping can be kind of PITA sometimes, FTF can be also.

That’s why I have decided I’m done with private sales. Unless it’s someone I know, not worth the hassle to me. I’ll sell on consignment or give it to one of my kids.
 

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I try to avoid Armslist whenever possible. Too many scammers and tire kickers. I prefer selling and buying from local forum classifieds with user feedback scores.

If I'm selling, then it's FTF only. The buyer gets to examine the gun. You give me cash, you get gun. Easy. We can meet at a FFL if that makes the buyer feel more comfortable, but the buyer is paying the transfer fee.
 

· PSO Survivor. currently in NW Georgia
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I hear you guys on quick FTF cash transactions. However, “FTF ONLY” transactions raise eyebrows to me.

And how hard is it to pack up a gun and take it to UPS, USPS or FedEx?
It is more difficult for many than you may realize...it must be taken to a Central Hub not just a UPS store ( unless you lie about the contents)...in my case, the nearest "hub" is is 90 miles away
 

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When I post a for sale ad, I make it clear, "FTF at a location near me", usually the Home Depot across the street. For this reason it makes it infinitely more convenient for me, than having to pack things up, drive to the post office, and or FFL (neither of them across the street), and deal with the paperwork or cost. Between work, dropping and picking up kids from school, and everything else that comes with it, time is precious for me, that extra drive matters. Now unfortunately Colorado went full liberal and now we can no longer do firearms transactions without an FFL, so I rarely sell anymore.
 

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Here's my perspective. I've bought 8 pistols in the last 4 years. 6 were purchased from my LGS, 1 was custom built from the ground up at Lone Wolf and one was bought from GunBroker from a shop which has a physical FFL shop in a state with an area I was familiar with before moving to Kentucky.
Walking into a gun store is easy enough to browse and purchase. Buying online from a gun store was easy enough as well, with phone calls replacing the usual ftf questioning about things. I've bought parts and ammo online to have them shipped to my house. Even the used gun I bought was at my LGS. I've never sent any of my guns off to have work done (that may change this year) so I don't have experience in that. I don't know what that entails and I'm not even sure if I would go to my LGS as it's also my FFL and do it there or if I would go to my local Post office and ship it. I don't know what to do when it comes to shipping and I don't want to mess it up or look stupid. That's the boiled down version.
I think that most gun owners are NOT on forums and do not seek out information from forums on other online info centers for stuff like this. I think that most of their gun related interactions are when they purchase their gun at a store and then maybe whatever happens if they go to a range to practice. Necessity versus hobbyists/enthusiasts. I think more people own one out of a feeling of necessity. Forums and clubs and such are more of an echo chamber, not for political mindsets but for mutual enjoyment of firearms. The lack of info readily available for people to easily find is what stops them from being able to do it or being comfortable in my opinion.
Think of it like car ownership. More people own cars for necessity than to tinker or mod with. Of the people who mod them or mess around with them, how many pay shops to do work versus the amount of people who do it themselves? What's the difference in them? Lack of interest as a hobby, confidence, knowledge and skill?

Purchasing a suppressor is easy to understand and do for some folks. Then Silencer Shop almost revolutionized the whole idea by coming out with those electronic Kiosks for doing so. Streamlined it so to speak. Anyone can walk up and follow step by step directions now.

All of this is not taking into account things like people not trusting other random folks. Personally, I would feel better shipping rather than meeting FTF. Imagine one of those craigslist stories gone wrong but with gun involved upfront.
 

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I have an FFL license and ATF requires that transactions be carried out at the licensed location. I have had some who wanted me to meet them somewhere for a purchase but never agree to that. Either it is done at my location or it ships to an FFL at their location.
 

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Yes, this is a rant, but I really do want to know why. Cruising through armslist and forum classifieds, it seems any deal I am interested in, the seller is not willing to ship. What is it about shipping that makes sellers not want to do it? Seems like shipping would be more convenient than trying to meet up with someone FTF. Do they not realize it will be shipped to a FFL? Are they afraid they are going to be scammed? Seriously, why not ship? So frustrating.
I have bought on line & what I do is simple If someone does not want to ship and split the cost I give them the option to meet at my local police dept lobby They are more then happy to acomadate
 

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The only risk I see for the seller is the business about buyer complaints after the buyer receives the gun, about "defects" that weren't disclosed in the pictures or description - that's an easy problem for the seller to avoid, by being completely honest and going beyond the minimum with a description and pictures. And, if the seller demands payment first (don't they all ??), and waits for the payment to clear, there are no issues with getting their money. It's a minor inconvenience to drop a gun at an FFL for shipment to a buyer - make the buyer pay the shipping and FFL fees.

The risk is almost ALL on the buyer here. When I buy an Armslist gun, I ask the seller to first put the gun in his FFL's custody before I send any money - once I verify that the FFL is a real FFL and he has the gun in his custody and he knows why I'm asking him to hold the gun, then I send a check or Money Order or whatever to the seller (NOT THE FFL) - I got scammed on an Armslist deal and I don't just send the money first any more.
 

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I’ll take a FTF transaction over the headache of shipping any day. Unless the gun is something unusual it can be impractical to try to sell it after shipping fees and transfer costs are figured in anyway.
 

· Μολὼν λαβέ
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Shipping overnight is expensive. Then devalues your gun because you have to ask for less. Now a FFL can ship Usps priority flat rate box for about $15. If your FFL charges you $75 + transfer fees or shipping fees or get off my dead a$$ fee they are just ripping you off!

When I was an FFL I could ship any handgun anywhere for $18 with insurance included. Think about that when you want $100 to ship the gun.

Last time I went to UPS to ship overnight several states away it was $80,, how crazy is that. How much less do you have to ask for your gun if you have to tack on $100. You'd never sell it unless you sell it for nothing
 

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Fake cashier's check can take up to 3 weeks after depositing in your bank for it to be discovered as fake.
Personal check only if the buyer has a branch near YOU so you can cash it prior to shipping.
Meeting FTF in a parking lot? Went for a dental visit a few weeks ago. Office was near a bank. 7 police cars were outside the bank. You guessed it. The FTF transaction was happening outside the bank and some person called the police. Hell people!! How stupid can you get!!
Selling anything is a royal pain. That's why I never sell a firearm. Buy quality and you'll never have to do that.
Or let an auction house do it. Trust me after their commission and other fees you'll get 60% of the selling price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Those are all good points. Seems like some just view it as a hassle, and I can appreciate that. I’ve had my fair share of bad shipping experiences. I know some state laws may vary, but in most cases you do not have to ship “from” a FFL, only “to” an FFL, so shippers don’t deal with FFL fees, only the buyer does. Thanks for all the comments.
 
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