Free Local on GunsAmerica – How Will It Work?

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This is close to what the homepage will look like with the new Local listings. All local sales with be competely free on GunsAmerica. No posting fee. No aftersale fee. Ads will last 30 days, and you can renew them twice. You can run five per month, and if you decide to go national, there will still be no fee if a local buyer happens to buy it.  Ads will be listed by date, much like they are on a Facebook board, so even if local dealers load up the whole store using our bulk upload utility, new private ads will be on top as they come in, yet you'll be able to search local, regardless of the age of the ad. It's a cool system and we think everyone is going to love it.

This is close to what the homepage will look like with the new Local listings. All local sales with be competely free on GunsAmerica. No posting fee. No aftersale fee. Ads will last 30 days, and you can renew them twice. You can run five per month, and if you decide to go national, there will still be no fee if a local buyer happens to buy it. Ads will be listed by date, much like they are on a Facebook board, so even if local dealers load up the whole store using our bulk upload utility, new private ads will be on top as they come in, yet you’ll be able to search local, regardless of the age of the ad. It’s a cool system and we think everyone is going to love it.


Monday we leaked the news that GunsAmerica will be implementing a new policy change in the coming days. You will get a special email about it, but since we didn’t get it out for this week (squashing the bugs still), I thought some explanation was in order.

Most of you reading already know that a couple weeks ago Facebook announced a new policy prohibiting the sales of firearms on their boards. I am a member of two boards in South Florida, and I watched the admins first change the names of the boards, then make them “hidden,” as if Facebook doesn’t know what they are. Unfortunately what escaped most of the commentary on the issue was that Facebook was just replicating a long time Paypal policy, because, drum roll please, Facebook launched a competing payment system to Paypal in December. Like always, it isn’t about politics. It is about money.

Fortunately, the Facebook guns for sales boards were also about money, your money as a private seller, trying to sell your privately owned firearms to another private citizen. When most people sell a gun, it is because they need the money, and the Facebook boards were a way to turn your gun over into cash without having to pay a GunsAmerica or Gunbroker aftersale fee.

Facebook has lumped guns in as a "regulated item," but it was really about their new payment system they are rolling out to steal market share from Paypal. The for sale boards are a ready made platform to take payments. Paypal commands more than 80% of online credit card payments, and they have notoriously forbid guns since they were purchased by Ebay, who themselves banned guns in 1999, two years after GunsAmerica launched as America's first automated guns for sale website.

Facebook has lumped guns in as a “regulated item,” but it was really about their new payment system they are rolling out to steal market share from Paypal. The for sale boards are a ready made platform to take payments. Paypal commands more than 80% of online credit card payments, and they have notoriously forbid guns since they were purchased by Ebay, who themselves banned guns in 1999, two years after GunsAmerica launched as America’s first automated guns for sale website.


There were some weaknesses to that system. The big one is that on Facebook you have to use your actual name, so posting a gun for sale was inviting a burglary, and that actually happened more than you would think.

So we had been considering making local sales free on GunsAmerica for some time. This was enough of a push to make it finally happen.

How it Works

All local sales are now going to be free on GunsAmerica, but not all ads are going to be exposed to a national audience. You can choose to display your ad to everyone, or to limit it to only local buyers. If you select “Local Only,” we will hide your ad from everyone who is further than approximately 50 miles away from you. This is done through a location finder based upon the person’s IP address, or by the zip code field for people who are logged in. IP lookup isn’t perfect due to mobile devices, but it should work pretty well from our testing. If you choose the local option, we will not display shipping information to the buyer, so even if someone changes their zip code manually, they still will only be able to pick up local. Obviously your name and address will not be exposed without you giving it out yourself, which allows you to use a local dealer to do the transfer if you so choose.

I am a member of what is now the South Florida Sportsmen board, but the URL is still SouthFloridaGunTraders, and it still says "This group is for buying and selling guns and ammo." Like Facebook doesn't know that guns are still being listed for sale. If you click to make it bigger, you'll see that the board is now "Secret," which means that the natural churn on Facebook will eventually kill it.  But the bigger picture is that posting guns for sale in a certain town with your real name was really risky to begin with. GunsAmerica has been wrestling with Free Local for years, and it is the best thing for everyone, now completely FREE to all.

I am a member of what is now the South Florida Sportsmen board, but the URL is still SouthFloridaGunTraders, and it still says “This group is for buying and selling guns and ammo.” Like Facebook doesn’t know that guns are still being listed for sale. If you click to make it bigger, you’ll see that the board is now “Secret,” which means that the natural churn on Facebook will eventually kill it. But the bigger picture is that posting guns for sale in a certain town with your real name was really risky to begin with. GunsAmerica has been wrestling with Free Local for years, and it is the best thing for everyone, now completely FREE to all.


There will be a posting limit of 5 local ads per month. This is to discourage abuse from people who are actually breaking the law and doing business in guns without a license. Obama’s “executive order” didn’t change anything. The ATF has been monitoring online sales since the Patriot Act, and all of the internet sites, including GunsAmerica, periodically get official requests for records. (The Facebook boards have been a source of investigations as well.)

The local ads will be alive for 30 days, and you will be able to renew them twice. This is similar to “bumping” posts on the Facebook boards, and of course this is also the way Craigslist works. If you don’t sell it within 3 months, you are asking too much, or you need to expose the listing to a national audience if you want to find a “seat for your saddle.”

National ads will also show up in local, and there will be no aftersale fee if the item is sold to a local buyer. If a national buyer grabs it first, then there will be our standard aftersale fee of 2%/1% min $20/$10, depending on your account type.

Gun dealers, who of course would rather sell their guns local, will be able to use this to display shop inventory. National ads that display in local will not go away after 30 days. As long as you have the gun on your shelf as a viable national listing, it will be shown for sale locally to local buyers.

It is tragic to see people insist on using the now banned Facebook boards to get less and less for their guns.  There are only a handful of people still offering to buy the guns being advertised. Apparently people are afraid of breaking the policy by buying, not just selling. This guy could get a lot more for this gun on GunsAmerica.

It is tragic to see people insist on using the now banned Facebook boards to get less and less for their guns. There are only a handful of people still offering to buy the guns being advertised. Apparently people are afraid of breaking the policy by buying, not just selling. This guy probably won’t sell his Taurus Curve on Facebook, and he could probably get his price for the gun on GunsAmerica in a matter of hours locally.


But as a buyer, the nice thing is that the newer listings will be shown first, by date. You will be able to search local for what you are looking for, but also enjoy checking the website for deals you can snag first.

What About the Lost Fees?

Don’t worry, there is no “catch.” GunsAmerica has always taken the position that 99% of guns should be sold locally. I gave a speech about this at the 2009 Shot Show, just to give you an idea of how long “free local” has been on the table. GunsAmerica has always been primarily a dealer services website. You may not realize this, but there are a large number of local dealer websites running right now on the GunsAmerica automation system. We have a system similar to Wix and many other website automation tools, but ours if of course made for gun dealers.

Our industry advertisers also should be thanked in pulling this new system off. And in part, we also need to thank you for clicking on those ads. There is no way we could afford to do this without the success of our advertising campaigns for industry partners. The firearm industry is a very small family, and we are all in this together.

Part of this new system, you’ll notice, is also a completely new shopping cart purchase system. Gone are the old “Offer to Buy” messages, that stretched all the way back to 1997, before Amazon, and when GunsAmerica was the only automated site online to buy and sell guns. These days people are used to “Buy It Now” and shopping carts, so it is time to move on from the way we used to have to treat internet sales before everyone bought stuff on the internet.

As I said, you’ll be getting a dedicated email on this before we launch the new system, and the dealers will be getting a special email as well.

And thanks as always for being part of GunsAmerica. -ph@ga

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • J.M. Taylor February 27, 2016, 8:01 am

    Progress is a beautiful thing.

    Thanks

  • George February 26, 2016, 6:36 pm

    An excellent move on your part GunsAmerica! You are a class act!

  • Airborne 8 February 26, 2016, 2:47 pm

    How will the selling of guns on your site work for people in Ca. who must go through a lic. gun dealer paying their $39 fee.

  • Alroc06 February 26, 2016, 11:58 am

    Great explanation of how and why this will work. Shame on anyone who risks messing it up by taking unlawful advantage. GunsAmerica.com has always been one of my favorite sites for a number of reasons. Tons of good info on a variety of subjects, and the best of the online marketplaces. Thanks, and keep it up!

  • john tomczyk February 26, 2016, 11:00 am

    The 75 mile watershed would be much better for those of us who live in a rural or semi rural area.

  • IRONS February 26, 2016, 9:41 am

    Please, Please extend the coverage are to at least 100 miles. The area I live in is 60, 75, and 90 miles from the 3 decent size cities near here. And yes I have bought and sold in all three of them. This entire county is less than 40k people.

  • Gscombs February 26, 2016, 8:04 am

    Facebook closed my revolver group, since then they have ” reinstated” it pending removal of all existing posts, and Buy, Sell, Trade from the name/description. Like the 3500+ members will be interested. What surprised me most, after some of the posts I’ve seen, is that Facebook has standards…

  • flintman50 February 26, 2016, 7:41 am

    Thanks for living up to your name!

  • Steve Challis February 26, 2016, 7:31 am

    I echo the sentiments of Will above, 50 miles is a bit restrictive for rural areas and scammers should be subject to a report and ban system to protect the honest seller. Thank you for your efforts ,I will pass the info on to our gun dealers in the area.

  • An1 February 26, 2016, 6:52 am

    Thank you gunsamerica for stepping up and helping

  • bison1913 February 26, 2016, 6:23 am

    Wow! What a fantastic idea. Now all we have to do is play by the rules and not botch it up. It seems you have it all figured out.
    I also like the fairness of buy local no fees, buy national a nominal fee… a win, win deal for both the seller and GunsAmerica.
    I will definitely use it. Thank you for generosity GunsAmerica.

  • Will Drider February 26, 2016, 12:43 am

    Will there be a place for user/seller reviews for locals? Reporting scams? Quick action to remove them? Please consider expanding the local zone to 75-100 miles. I’ve lived in areas where there were few homes/ ranches/farms for 50 miles. I do understand “free” and applaud your efforts.

    • Bobby Turner February 26, 2016, 9:54 am

      A 75-100 mile limit would be much better for rural sellers and buyers. It would take that to encompass the 3 or 4 major towns or cities in our High Plains of Texas area.

      Thanks for the outlet …

      • Paul Helinski February 26, 2016, 10:17 am

        We are probably going to develop an algorithm that measures the local distance against subscribers demographically Bobby. Right now we just have to get it working. 🙂

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