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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious about your take on internet sales without pictures. Almost all of my purchases are from the internet and I have yet to buy without pics. I see lots of ads without them and think about inquiring, but I still have this skeptical feeling. I'm probably missing out on some good stuff. Just interested in some thoughts on the subject.
 

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Not only are photo's required but they must be good photo's. If they are blurred or dark I will not purchase unless the seller can supply photo's or better photo's.

I also require a 3 day inspection period. I recently walked away from a deal where the seller would not honor any inspection period. I told him "good luck finding a buyer that will assume the risk".
 

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I tend to ignore the ads that have no photos, but perhaps if it were something I really wanted I would ask. I understand the "photos on request" screening process but can't imagine just no photos. Now the other side of the coin. Many sellers aren't very good photographers. Of course you can ask and make your decision on the best they can provide. I have bought guns where the picture did not do the gun justice, especially nickel. I think you can develop a certain amount of ability to identify things that are likely just a photographic problem. However, I am currently in the midst of a deal where the picture, even an additional requested picture with zoom didn't show up the flaws although many features appeared quite clear. Unfortunately the rather obvious "in person" flaws were not mentioned in the listing either - quite the opposite. Resolution pending. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
 

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I've been burned on the internet even WITH pictures, which most certainly can lie. I'm in general getting ever more leery of buying any way but FTF, since I've received guns even from reputable dealers where the condition was not as advertised. One big exception: the late Don Nygord, who sold European target pistols new and used. They were always just as he described them.

Bill
 

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ah, that certianly brings back memories, remember gunlist and shotgun news. i agree that photo`s are a plus but i always READ the item description and if i am seriously interested call the seller and discuss any concerns. a few guns i have bought below market because the photo`s were not very good but i KNEW the seller and trusted the written description.i will not buy a gun without an inspection period, regardless of the price.
 

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This is really an interesting thread! I remember the old days when there were no pictures in the Shotgun News and Gunlist... I bought many guns that way and never had a problem. I have also bought guns off the web and not experienced a problem (Knock wood!) I guess it also depends on your collecting philosophy too... For my main collecting theme, I am trying to get all of the variations that I have identified. I don't really care about condition as long as it's a variation I don't have. I can always upgrade if I find a better condition gun later, but at least I have a representitive example. I think this question caters more to your individual collecting philosophy than anything else. If you are looking for condition, condition, condition... then you should just pass on by the ads with poor or no photos... If its variations then go for it! Just my humble opinion! :) Bob Best
 

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I had one misrepresented gun come into my possession but I had the 3-day return policy to back me up. Even a return to California was no problem. That was the only gun I had to return due to an obvious re-nickel.
 

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To be fair, I have been very satisfied with my internet acquisitions up to two out of the last three transactions. In the first case, the price was quite good and the appearance was pretty well in line with the photos and description, but the gun would not function apparently due to excessive wear to the ratchet and hand and whatever else. Clear misrepresentation, but refund including postage both ways with no problem. The current one as stated is pending. My accumulation philosophy is somewhere in the middle. Without belaboring it, I don't really want NIB because I am not collecting per se and want to be able to handle and shoot them without fear. At the same time I want as nice an example as I can find for a fair price and am not really obsessed with anything (yet). /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
Oh, and yes I've bought two Kalifornia guns that probably couldn't be returned and made out OK.
 

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We will not buy with out seeing pics. Gun buying from a distance is difficult enough without seeing what you are buying. Three day return is necessary, and we buy with a credit card when possible. The 3% is good insurance, when you are saving 6-8% sales tax in most cases. Dealers do not want to screw with their credit card companys.

Bought a NIB Diamondback last week from GA, and it came in with a crack in the left grip/stock. Called the gentleman, and explained that it would cost $150-$200. to replace the stocks. He offered a $175.00 refund, and the check came in four days from Eagle Eye Guns, LLC. I used a credit card, but John is just a straight up guy, and a credit to the internet selling business.
 

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With VERY limited exceptions, a picture (and additional detailed pics) is mandatory.
When I know the seller, I'll sometimes go without a photo. Just bought a Ruger Blackhawk w/out photos, from a fellow S&WCA member, and the gun exceeded my expectations.
Again, IF I don't know the source, and IF it's a rare or high-value gun, there must be pictures or I'll skip by in a hurry.
Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great comments and I agree with all.

I have a handful of dealers I've done regular business with and trust. If they call me about something special, I would buy without pics and without question.

I also seriously agree with the fact that digital pictures often make it hard to determine the true condition of a firearm. The smallest piece of dust or lint can look like a defect. On the other hand, good macro pictures can make a small (often not noticable) blemish look way out of proportion.

Robba - Eagle Eye Guns is one in the handful of dealers I mentioned above. I've worked with John quite a few times, and you are definitely correct when you say he is a credit to the internet selling business.
 

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I have and still do. I also remember not to long ago when I found guns advertised in the Gun List and Shotgun News. There were no photos. I ask alot of questions and usually know if someone is straight up by the way they answer them. So far I have not been burned. I also agree that photos can lie. Lighting can be used to hide certain things.
Maybe its just the percentages, but I have several hobbies and have found that "gun guys" are pretty much straight up people who on a whole can be trusted more than the regular population to be honest.
 

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Over the years, I have sold over 50 guns on the internet without pictures because I don't have the capability to post pictures. I have never had one questioned or returned because I assure that my detailed descriptions are accurate and always conservative. A phone number is always included for more requested details/information. I also provide a three day inspection with no questions asked return with full refund, less shipping.

So, don't always let no pictures prevent you from purchasing a gun you are after. Always request a three day no questions asked return and call if still not comfortable. Of course, references come in handy.
 
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