3 day non-shooting inspection. Buyer pays shipping both ways unless the gun is grossly misrepresented. ( barrel length, choke, LOP, etc )
Buyer should ask for pictures of all scratches, dings, rust, worn bluing etc up front. Sending it back because of normal wear is poor form. If the condition is important to you, buy new. If the gun is represented as 90%, ask for specific pics showing the 10% deduction.
But yes, for the most part, you need to have faith that the seller is a strait up seller. Ask for references or just hope.
TALK to them on the phone and ask questions about what concerns you. Communication goes a long way. That being said, if it is someone on here, check their history, did they join this week with one for sale ad or have they been a member since the year 2001 with thousands of posts.
Work out all details, is there a return possible if it is not right, who will pay the shipping, insurance? Have everything lined out. If it is someone on here, chances are everything will be fine. I have bought and sold a number of things on here and never been burned yet. If it is someone from some other site...your guess is as good as mine. Still, talking and details is the key to a smooth transaction.
A friend of mine bought a used K-80 receiver and forend iron some years back. The seller agreed to send it to Krieghoff International in Ottsville, PA for inspection and the buyer sent his certified funds there as well. When KI gave the parts a clean bill of health, they sent the seller his money and the buyer picked the parts up.
I buy guns online often, insist on an inspection period and have them sent to a local gunsmith who gives them a going-over for me. If he finds anything
edgy, I call the seller from my gunsmith's shop and we work things out.
That's only happened twice. Once, the stocks on an S&W revolver weren't original as advertised but looked "real" enough to fool me for a few minutes. The seller, who was not familiar with S&Ws and I'm sure was not aware they were clones, sent me $85 as compensation, asking only that I send the stocks to him so he could wrestle with the person from whom he bought the gun. The other time, a Model 700 arrived with a damaged trigger but without damage to the trigger guard or box, so the damage had to have been incurred between the time the ad photos were taken and when the gun was packaged for shipment. The seller paid my gunsmith to replace the trigger group.
You just have to employ common sense when buying online. Most sellers will pay to correct something minor instead of taking the gun back and reselling it.
I agree with Ed, but I insist on a three day SHOOTING inspection period (for shotguns). If the gun isn't regulated properly I don't want it even for free. If it had choke tubes and they didn't all shoot to the same POI, I'd want a partial refund to offset the cost of correct tubes.
I'm tired of buying someone else's problems and spending good money to fix them. I've had very good luck here. Like Ed, on two occasions there was a problem. On one the buyer was not even aware of the minor problem, but addressed it immediately. The other was a disagreement over what constituted a 90% gun. When I saw it at the FFL I called it 70%, the FFL called it 65%. I called the seller and he offered an adjustment.
When I sell something on this list, the potential buyers are going to get an accurate, honest description of what I am selling, and they are going to get a lot of SHARP, IN-FOCUS pictures to illustrate quality. I'd rather under promise and over deliver so the buyer is happy to get a little more than he thought he was going to. I expect the same when I am the buyer.
Pic's from all angles, inside and out. Full discription, % condition,
Get a bank check and copy it before sending it out. Reg mail with a tracking number. Call him that its in the mail with a tracking number. What gun shop is he going through? Get their name and number. Look it up by Google and or EarthGoogle. In other words make sure its a liget(sp) store, phone number and address. Once you are happy that things are good send the check with a letter of agreement 3 day inspection always, amount of gun and so on. Address to where its suppose to go to and his address. Copy everything for your records. Put everything in there If they don't agree with that then look else where.