What to Consider
Very few things hold their value like a well made gun. Works of art perhaps, but then again a well made gun is both a work of supreme craftsmanship and a work of art. Perhaps this is the secret to why so many preowned firearms hold their value for a decade or longer - or even longer still - after purchase.
But then again this depends on the name of the artist, first and foremost. In this instance we're not talking about Monet and Picasso but Beretta, Browning and Miroku. These tend to be the second hand brands that most people are in the market for. And for very good reason. They are works of art, very much considered as premium brands. But not works of art that sit on a wall collecting dust, in the best cases these are works of art that are supposed to be used, enjoyed, and loved as practical objects. Guns and shotguns are tools, after all, and tools must be used for the purpose for which they were designed and constructed.
While these items are supposed to be enjoyed, there is a lot of emphasis in the second hand market on guns that retain their value. This is an understandable preoccupation in a lot of people's minds. To the extent that likelihood of retaining value is often even a prerequisite to the initial purchase.
Many customers worry about what they are going to get for selling an item that they have not even purchased yet, let alone used and enjoyed. In the sport of shooting the emphasis should always be placed first and foremost on the sport element, and the reason for sport is simple enjoyment; of enhancing your life; of having something worthwhile that makes your life, even just that little bit more worthwhile. This is the part of the sport that is priceless. Therefore to focus always on this one aspect of resale value in the second hand market, at the detriment of everything else, is perhaps losing what should be the point of the endeavour in the first place.
All of these factors should be looked at in the cold light of day.
All of these factors should be considered especially when deciding to elect for a used top tier brand over a new gun in an entry level or mid-range brand. It is always worthwhile to seek the advice of experts. When looking for top tier used guns it may sometimes be just as worthwhile deciding upon a brand new gun in an entry level or mid-range brand like a Lincoln or Franchi.
When selling and buying, above all else, in the second hand gun market, do bear in mind that condition, while not everything, is almost everything. At Cluny Country Guns, and really everywhere else, when you are dealing in second hand guns 95% of what determines the price of an item - what we look at when we value a trade in or buy a gun back from a customer - is condition.
95% of the resale value is down to condition. Condition is king. Long live the King. This is only right and fair. People who take care of their guns should be rewarded for their diligence. But, again, not at the expense of never having really enjoyed them in the first place.
With this fact in mind, while everyone is after the Berettas, Brownings and Mirokus of the world, with condition being the main determiner of resale value, not only the big names, to a certain extent, retain their initial value.
The prudent operator in the second hand gun market is advised to look outside these top tier brands. There are real bargains to be had where very well crafted guns and shotguns are concerned. Just cast your eyes a little farther afield. Bearing in mind always that if the time comes to resell, 95% of the price of that resale will come down to the condition.
You would be advised to investigate the entry level and mid-range new gun brands when determining the best value – and ultimately the most fun you can have in the resale market.
Three brands you should especially consider:
- Yildiz (Turkish shotguns which have just got better and better over the years – now very reliable)
- Franchi (Italian gun makers owned by Beretta, they come from same factory as Benelli, so you are assured the quality is there)
- Lincoln (Another Italian gun brand making solid, reliable shotguns which are quite traditional)
Top Brand 2nd hand guns most people look for:
The new brand guns are, as are all the guns we stock - this is why we stock them - very, very reliable guns. The difference between these newer branded reliable guns comes down ultimately to aesthetics, and the finish of the top tier names. You may ultimately derive the same pleasure from one of these entry or mid-level guns over the top tier brands because of the satisfaction of procuring such a reliable weapon at a more affordable price. And there is also the factor that you may be more inclined simply to enjoy the gun and worry less about value and resale as you would perhaps with a Beretta etc.
However as always it comes down to personal taste and if aesthetics and finish are a primary determining factor in your purchase of a gun, it's true you can't beat the top tier brands. They are top tier for a reason. It is a bit like buying cars – a used Audi could cost roughly the same as a new Volkswagen, but Audi is superior.
Beretta, Browning, Miroku are premium brands, yes, and therefore are generally more sought after. All three are stalwarts within the shotgun market and will usually have higher grade wood and engraving than the mid range brands. Yes, well looked after top brands (Beretta, Browning, Miroku) hold their value well.
All of these factors are worth considering, but enjoying the sport should be first and foremost in our minds.