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How to Sell Your Class III Full Autos

Thompson Class3

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#1 Grease Gunner

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 08:06 PM

Fellow members it becomes a quandry whether to sell these high end collectibles in a soft market on Gunbroker,
Various Boards or use auction houses. I received a terrific e mail from John Keene of Morphy's on this very topic and I received permission from Dalbert to post this for all to read
 
I  have come to know John Keene of Morphys over the last few years and have met him personally twice.
I have found him to be very honest as well as extremely knowledgeable of every class 3 machinegun.
I  trust him implicitly. He has steered me toward some and away from others. His credibility is valuable to me. Mr Keene is a Master SGT US Army Retired and Currently is the NFA Specialist for Morphys Auctions. 
His E mail to me of recent is so well spoken!! Here it is:
 
"Haris
You are outstanding at finding good guns out on the internet.  I would have liked to bring these guns to auction, but also cannot possibly know what the backstory is behind them.   Although I can undoubtedly get better exposure and almost always more money than the gun boards, if the guns have some “issue”, or are tube guns, I am always as clear and honest about the description of the  guns as possible, and sometimes shall we say, that is not what the consignor is looking for.  Each man is their own sovereign, and if they want to sell some guns privately, and some through us, that is their personal choice.  Maybe they got more, likely they got less, but they are free to choose.  As I said, when a gun has an “issue” sometimes people don’t want it to have the public exposure and light that Morphy’s shines on it. 
 
The other unfortunate and very likely possibility that is a common misconception that many people fall into is, that they figure they will put the gun out on the internet at a high price, and then after months of exposure, figure they will give the auction house a chance to sell it.  What they are actually doing is hurting their chances of getting the most money.  Once a gun is exposed with a price, and it does not sell, when it appears later in auction, potential buyers who noticed it on the internet before realize that it did not sell on the boards, and their perception is that it is not worth the former asking price, or otherwise there must be something “wrong” with it.  Conversely, if a gun surfaces on the boards at a “good” price and is snapped up immediately, it is very likely we could have gotten more for the owner through the competitive auction process. 
 
I could quote many, many examples where a consignor bought NFA guns through either the gun boards or from a dealer and made a heap of money consigning through me to auction.  I have a couple of guys who fund their entire personal machine gun collections this way, and are consigning every auction.  We kinda joke about it between each other.  They are always reasonable about reserves .  Because I consistently have made them significantly more money then they could get posting the guns themselves, and they don’t have the time burden of dealing with the tire kickers, low ball offers, and in their own words, “stupid” questions, or of packaging and shipping the guns out, and worrying about complaints and “static” later.
 
Sometimes, for particularly rare items and/or high condition items, and with the consignors agreement I conduct a private treaty to “THE” or at least one of the top collectors/buyers in the country, and get whopping prices.  It is my primary job to get the most money for my consigning clients.  The one drawback for me is that it is very time-consuming for me personally, and I feel very personally responsible.  Photos, answering questions, facilitating transfers, corrections to misregistered NFA items, and follow-up all primarily are on me for private treaty sales, so they actually are pretty rare.  But, that said, when I have a client buyer who says, “I want a transferable near mint original Carl Gustav M45, and I will pay $25K plus $5K to either you or your company if you can get me one.”  When a potential consignor has just such a gun and they are looking for a $15,000 reserve with a $15k - $20k preauction estimate, sometimes what I do is take the gun in on consignment, then contact the potential client buyer, verify he still is serious, and then check with the client consignor.  Usually the client consignor follows my recommendation.  If they decide not to, that’s fine too.  I don’t normally recommend private treaty sale, but sometimes it is the best way for me to harness my contacts, expertise, and reputation to get the most for a gun.  Almost always it is for a rare high condition gun.  Once a gun is advertised by us, however, no private treaty is possible.  My personal rule. 
 
When you have wealthy clients who are in their 60s’ 70’s or even 80’s, the money is not important to them.  It is finding the gun in the condition they are looking for that is. 
 
Best regards and thanks again,
 
-John"
 

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#2 Petroleum 1

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 08:32 PM

Interesting read...thanks for sharing


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#3 huggytree

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Posted 25 July 2019 - 08:40 PM

are you one of those high end buyers Harris? i suspect you might be :)

 

thanks for sharing, interesting

 

id still like to know how they get $30k for a WH thompson once in a while


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#4 Gaffshot

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 09:10 AM

Do they charge a commission to both the buyer and seller?


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#5 Gaffshot

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 09:11 AM

Thinking of sending them a couple to them to liquidate.


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#6 bmarvin

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 09:43 AM

There's a rare MP40 that will be offered at Morphy's this fall.


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#7 Grease Gunner

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 03:27 PM

Feel free to reach out and  call John Keene at Morphy's. There is a premium to both the buyer and the seller. Buyer's premium is never 

negotiable. The Seller's is. It depends on the approx value of the items consigned. The phone number is 877 968 8880


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#8 Petroleum 1

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Posted 26 July 2019 - 03:36 PM

There's a rare MP40 that will be offered at Morphy's this fall.

Is it an MP40/1 ??


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#9 brucea4

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 02:23 AM

And that folks is how MG prices continue to climb prematurely out of reach of a majority of Americans!  


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#10 RoscoeTurner

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 03:20 AM

John is a super nice fellow, he is a regular visitor to our tables at Knob Creek and the Show of Shows.  


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#11 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 07:34 AM

And that folks is how MG prices continue to climb prematurely out of reach of a majority of Americans!  

which can be argued is why we still have them.  If M16's were $495 and were in stock at Dunhams do you think we would still be able to have them?  Politicians always limit those who have no ability to defend their rights.  Obamacare had zero effect on anyone with a net worth in excess of 5mil, because those people still have choices of cash payment, medical tourism, etc. 

 

To the topic, it feels eerily like 2007?  I have customers (municipalities included) blowing cash they don't have.  If you think you can buy low on the boards and flip high at an auction that's delusional.  While there's no doubt it's happened, you'd see the auction houses doing it for themselves, but they are not, nor can they afford to be "gamblers".  

 

The buyers premium actually can be negotiable, but you have to have volume.  At a recent auction I saw two buyers from cabela's or whatever they are called now, they sweep up all the fruit that falls to the ground and bought a lot of stuff while I was standing there. 


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#12 bmarvin

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 08:15 AM

There's a rare MP40 that will be offered at Morphy's this fall.

Is it an MP40/1 ??

It's a dual mag MP40. I believe it's one of two in the registry


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#13 maxfaxdude

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 01:07 AM

 

There's a rare MP40 that will be offered at Morphy's this fall.

Is it an MP40/1 ??

It's a dual mag MP40. I believe it's one of two in the registry

Only 2 MP40/1s are the registry?  Well, I guess I just saw the other one held in private hands by a bigtime collector in the Midwest this May.  He said he bought it several years back.  I asked him how much he paid and he said six figures! 


Edited by maxfaxdude, 31 July 2019 - 01:07 AM.

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#14 b_san

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Posted 31 July 2019 - 10:51 AM

 


 


There's a rare MP40 that will be offered at Morphy's this fall.

Is it an MP40/1 ??
It's a dual mag MP40. I believe it's one of two in the registry
Only 2 MP40/1s are the registry?  Well, I guess I just saw the other one held in private hands by a bigtime collector in the Midwest this May.  He said he bought it several years back.  I asked him how much he paid and he said six figures! 

There was an article online about one of these a couple years back that said there were 3 in the registry. Either way, it's pretty rare.
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