I have tried to sell my Winchester Model 37 three times now but the sale fell through the first two times and I am in he process of the third attempt.
Maybe I am too particular but when I tell someone my terms, I mean to stand by those terms of sale and if the potential buyer does not want to abide by them there will be no sale. The second attempt at selling it, this time via GunBroker.com, fell through yesterday after several emails, over more than a week's time, back and forth between me and the guy who had the high bid on it. Everything went cordially but not smoothly. In the beginning I had a question for BATFE about shipping the gun to an FFL not in the same state as the buyer and about whether or not I could accept an emailed FFL from the buyer's dealer. They got back to me quickly and affirmed I could do both as far as the feds were concerned. That went okay and the buyer was happy to wait for me to get that confirmation. I notified the buyer that was all okay and he could send me the FFL, payment and a copy of his ID along with a signed statement that I require to make the sale:
"I (state name) affirm that I am 18 years old or older and am either a U.S. Citizen or legal resident alien permanently residing in the U.S. and that I may legally possess this Winchester Model 37, 12 gauge, shotgun at my shipping address and at my residence and or place of business. I have never been convicted of a felony nor of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, I am not the subject of a court restraining order, I am not under indictment for a felony offense or any crime of domestic violence, I am not addicted to or a user of any illegal drug, I am not addicted to any legal drug, I have never been adjudicated as mentally ill and am not under treatment for any mental health disorder including taking medications such as but not limited to anti-anxiety or anti-depression drugs.”
I know, it's not required under federal or state law. It is however, my requirement and my terms & conditions are clearly stated in my item descriptions when I sell anything via online auction or via gun forum. Many gun sellers on GunBroker list their terms likewise and many require a similar statement from the buyer.
The buyer sent me his ID and payment. There was no statement. He said his dealer would email me a copy of the FFL. I let the buyer know I needed the statement and that it was in the item description. He said he would send it. At some time in there, he also notified me his dealer could not email me the FFL because of some reason or another. I told the buyer to mail it to me and also told him to assure it was legible and signed in an ink other than the color of the photocopy (helps assure it is an original signature). I remained patient just as the buyer had done for me.
I received a partially illegible copy of the FFL in the mail some days later. The signed buyer's statement did not arrive by then. The buyer asked me to contact the FFL to tell the dealer what I wanted after I had told him the copy was unacceptable because it was partially illegible and the dealer's signature on it was not original. An original signature is required when a photocopy is used (funny it's not the same for an emailed copy but the dealer supposedly could not email it to me).
The buyer then asked for more time so he could use another FFL. As I had before, I remained patient, there was no hurry for me. As I understand, that FFL then apparently told him he had done all that was needed under federal law and something about the "it and the buyer then asked for his money back; that was yesterday. Of course, I had not cashed the money order and was okay with returning it but not happy. I sent it back today along with the copies of his ID and the FFL; no hard feelings were included. I have everything documented in emails so that if I need to, I can show those emails to GunBroker to get back the fees I had to pay for that auction. I have already filed a claim to have the fees refunded. Why anyone would bid on my item if he was not going to abide by my terms is beyond me; maybe that is a product of our society - people thinking, insisting and even demanding they get it their way regardless of the rules. At least this buyer remained cordial throughout and did not insist or make demands of me.
Am I a stickler for completing a sale as per the terms I clearly stated in the item description? You can safely bet that I am. There is no way I would ever accept a partially legible FFL when it is so illegible that you cannot plainly see the seal. Nor would I accept an illegible ID (which was not the case in this instance). There also is no way I would sell via an online auction without getting that signed statement from a buyer; it's just something to help cover one's arse (my arse in particular) and a similar statement is required by many sellers who use GunBroker.com; seeing one on GunBroker is what gave me the idea to require one in the first place.
Edited, On July 28th at1436, To Add: Well shut my mouth; the buyer (the second potential one) actually did send the statement to me and almost as I had scribed it. I just got it in the mail today. He said he would send it and did indeed send it. So, as it seems now, the buyer had been willing to comply with my terms. The only thing that killed this sale was the fact that the dealer did not send me another copy of his FFL (a completely legible one that was properly signed) or that the second FFL he was going to go with said everything had been done that needed to be done under federal law but then he had not seen the crappy copy of the FFL that had been sent to me. Had I gotten a proper FFL - the sale would have been completed. That blows.
Well anyway, I put the shotgun back up for auction last night. Because it 'sold' so quickly the last time for the 'buy it now' price of $200 plus shipping I decided to ask for a bit more. It sold in a day last time regardless of its fairly poor cosmetic condition which was plainly stated in the item description and shown in photos in the auction. So, this time I asked for a starting bid of $200 and a 'buy it now' price of $250. I guess that once again, I should have asked for more. It sold, at the 'buy it now' price, in much less time than it did the last time. It sold at the 'buy it now' price, in 23 minutes and 24 seconds of me putting it up for a 7 day auction. That time is some amazing coincidence because the first time I tried to auction it off on GunBroker, it sold in 24 hours 23 minutes and 24 seconds! As for maybe not asking for enough for it, as I said before, I see no reason to be greedy and will be happy if this deal actually goes through and I can put that money into my pocket.
If the deal does not go through, it will be the third failed potential sale of it and I will then have to consider that there is a curse on it - The Curse of the Winchester Model 37. But I am getting ahead of things saying that now, let's wait and see what happens this third time around. As the sayings go: "third time's a charm" and "third time pays for all". I can only hope so!
All the best,