Private Sales of Guns, Online-Seller Beware

5 MPI love guns. Rifles, handguns, centerfire, rimfire. I love guns. They can be an investment, too. That’s what I tell the wife when I buy something new. Collectible guns can be an investment, but common rifles and handguns are usually just money sitting around with no profit potential. However, if you need cash, selling common guns can be the answer since they can be replaced if need be. Online selling sources such as and are common websites. I’ve sold a few rifles and hanguns over the years on these websites. Always a local buyer. No problems. Until now.TB2

I had a stainless Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter with scope I needed to sell. Hated to, but life happens as they say. I listed it on both and After a month I had no inquiries. Then I got a cryptic e-mail asking if I’d lower the price to cover shipping and FFL. I assumed he was out of state, so I agreed.  I asked about the process, since I had never done this before. I asked: ‘who, what, where and when?’ pretty universal I thought. I got a selfie of him (or someone)driving a car and he said he lived in Texas. There are legal shipping services that handle the paperwork, so I assumed he would use them. He kept sending creepy e-mails wanting information but not asking in the normal manner. Then he texted he had sent the check and I received this strange e-mail:

How are you doing today? I couldn’t reach you because i didn’t get the tracking number for the mail from my dispatcher  and I’ve been down with severe headache. Payment for the Blackhawk should have arrived your location by now.

Blackhawk SS
photo credit
As soon as you get the fund, proceed to an ATM machine and have the check deposited. Once deposited, funds would be made available for withdraw the next day (within 24 hours or less). Email me with a vivid scanned copy or photo shot of the deposit receipt for record purpose and to post funds to you overnight.
I knew he was a flake. Sure enough, I received a check for $2000 when the deal was for $700. The old over payment scam. The check was from Connecticut, the text was an Illinois area code and he said he lived in Texas. He had led me along for two weeks.  I notified the Attorney General’s Office and sent him an e-mail saying so. He responded and wrote don’t trouble myself, I had caught him.
Be careful out there people. Don’t get scammed by the crooks. Selling online is a risk I had gotten lazy about. Now I know why I see sellers state they will only sell local. My need to sell changed and I got to keep my Ruger. Hopefully, I won’t have to sell again. Just buy.

Tracy Bates

My passions are my family and my church. The good Lord has blessed me with an understanding wife and sons. My other loves are reloading and hunting. I’ve been doing both for over 30 years. Hopefully, I can share my experiences with you and help you on your journey.

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