How To Find Legit Used Guns For Sale

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When beginning to search for a new gun, whether it’s your first or one more of many, you don’t want to overlook the used gun market. Sure, there’s something exciting about buying a shiny, brand new gun that no one has shot yet. But just because it’s new, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best option out there.

Here are some of the best tips for buying a legitimate, used gun:

Know Where To Look

  1. Buy, Trade, and Sell Websites 

In today’s digital world, one of the first places that people go to find used guns for sale is through different websites. Different buy, trade, and sell websites can be a great source for purchasing any used item, including a gun. These sites are often broken down into categories and locations, which makes browsing convenient. 

When using websites, however, unless it’s a trusted gun auction site, never assume the seller is an expert on firearms. Hence, here are some important questions you may want to ask:

  • Do they have the firearm’s original paperwork?
  • How long have they owned the firearm?
  • Does it have any ‘customizations?’
  • What’s the reason for selling the gun?
  • Does it have a history of any malfunctions?

When buying used guns, both online or in stores, it’s important to vet the authenticity of the seller that you’re working with. 

  1. Gun Auction Companies

These are often the most reliable and safe way to find a used gun because they’re both established and reputable. Gun auctions are great places to find historically used guns. Plus, gun auction companies often have educated customer service representatives who have years of experience working with, selling, and buying firearms. 

To ensure they’re authentic and in good condition, they’ll also inspect each firearm before offering them to the public. 

  1. Estate Sales

It’s also common to find guns for sale at an estate or garage sales. Estate sales serve more like a hidden gem than a commonly used gun buying source because, in order to find one that does offer guns, you’ll have to do research beforehand. However, take note that neither estate nor garage sales guarantee you’ll find anything at all though, let alone offer options to choose from. 

Estate sales are the best option when you’re looking for a rare or unique gun. Since it’ll be a smaller estate, there won’t be much other competition to worry about. Plus, oftentimes, you can find estate and garage sales relatively close by.

Tips To Keep In Mind

  1. Buy What You Like/Don’t Settle

When you begin looking to buy your used gun, it’s important to research the different kinds of guns that are on the market and decide which you want for your purpose. For example, if you’re looking for a concealed carry gun, you may want to see what the most popular kinds of handguns for concealed carry are and narrow those down to a few that you would want to purchase. 

That being said, don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice in your search. At the end of the day, it’s your money that’s being spent. Thankfully, there are experienced sources available that can aid you in your search. 

However, it’s a best practice to walk into a gun store prepared with knowledge of gun terminology. At the very least, this knowledge can save you from being taken advantage of, especially if this is your first gun purchase. 

  1. Condition 

While the condition can be an important factor to consider when buying guns, this is more important when buying a used gun because you want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth; both worth and value relate directly to the condition. 

When it comes to guns, the most important part of the condition to look into is operation; whether the gun is operable. You want to make sure everything from the trigger to the action to the safety is working properly. Otherwise, you’re purchasing a gun that’ll immediately need repairs. 

Secondary to operation is external condition. While the appearance of the gun won’t affect its operability, external blemishes can be a way to lower the asking price. That being said, you want to look for cracks in the stock that may escalate into a problem down the road. 

  1. Return Policy

Asking about any possible return policy is extremely important, especially if you’re purchasing a gun that you haven’t been allowed to dry fire before buying. Before exchanging any cash, it’s a good idea to come up with some kind of agreement in case anything goes wrong in the first few days to a week. 

Reputable shops and other online markets make an effort to spell out their return policies, but individual sellers are where you have to be careful. This doesn’t mean you should never buy from individual sellers, but don’t be afraid to walk away if it feels like you may be in the position to be cheated. 


Buying a used gun can be an intimidating experience. However, with the right tools and proper research, there are great deals to be found on used guns. Whether you’re buying online, in-store, or at an auction, what you’re looking for to guarantee a legitimate used gun remains the same.