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Selling Used Rifle Optics: Top Tips to Keep In Mind

You’ve just purchased that gun you’ve been eyeing, but then you discover one big issue: the scope you own is not as nice as your new rifle.

You offer the old optic around, but none of your friends at the range are interested. It may seem daunting to have to resort to pawn shops or online resellers where you run the risk of getting scammed.

However, selling used rifle optics doesn’t need to be a painful process. In a few short steps, you can sell that scope you no longer have use for with confidence. And you can get a decent deal in the process.

Used Rifle Optics: Where to Begin

Generally speaking, you have a few options when it comes to selling your different types of rifle optics:

  1. Your local gun store might buy used stuff, but probably not the optic
  2. A pawnshop
  3. A local classified like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, but they seem to hate anything to do with guns.
  4. Online auction services such as Gunbroker.com
  5. Online gun forums

All of these are valid options that come with their own pros and cons.

How quickly you want to sell your rifle optics, and whether or not you want top dollar, will factor into how easy the process will be. If you want the convenience of a quick sale with a few questions asked, there’s a chance you’ll get a lower payout. A bit more patience, and hard work on the sale, might be worth it to up the price.

Your Local Gun Store

If you want a qualified gun user to assess your scope and give you a decent price, the local gun store may be your best bet. Depending on the business, there may be an opportunity to haggle here. The main benefit is that you will be handing your scope to someone who possibly knows their stuff.

A Pawn Shop

If you want that quick sell, a pawnshop might be the right place for you. While pawnshop owners are skilled at assessing a wide variety of items, they may be less familiar with the specifics of rifle optics. Unless you do a stellar job in convincing them, they may not realize how much the best rifle optic is really worth.

However, hagglers may be drawn to pawnshops since bargaining is the name of the game. This is the option that gives you the quickest cash.

A Local Classified

Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are excellent places to get a lot of eyeballs from local people. Selling your used rifle optics may be as simple as driving to a public place, letting the buyer take a look, and walking away with your cash.

Use these services at your discretion, though. Be careful how much personal information you give out. Avoid meeting buyers at your home or place of work.

Also, keep in mind that classifieds will stay out of any disputes. If someone pays you with counterfeit cash or cheats you in any other way, your only recourse will probably be to the police.

And, most of these big tech companies hate you, and your guns.

Online Auction Site

These are the most convenient option. You can list your item for a set price, or put it up for bid. Online resellers often will make it easy to get paid and may provide you a QR code or drop-off option to ship to the buyer.

Further, these sites come with a lot of built-in scam protection. If something goes wrong, you may have more recourse on your side than just the police.

Keep in mind that sites like eBay do not sell rifles, bullets, etc. They only sell rifle accessories. Used optics are perfectly acceptable, but remember that eBay hates you, and your guns.

Online Gun Forums

For the most patient among you, this might be the best option. You’ll be dealing with experienced gun enthusiasts who will know a good deal from a bad one. If you’re selling too expensive or too cheap, other users may point this out to you.

This option will require more time. You will need to participate regularly to keep up with interested buyers’ questions. Further, a solid forum ranking is essential if you want people to trust you as a seller.

A good listing takes hard work, and good pictures. Also, some forums require a certain number of posts, or a paid membership, before you are allowed to sell.

Checking Your Used Rifle Optics Before a Sale

The last thing you want is for a buyer to feel like you’ve ripped them off, and for that to damage your reputation for future sales. Make sure you’re thorough in preparing your scope or sights for a sale.

Ensure Your Optics Are Fully-Functional

Test the optics. Make sure you’ve got a clear view downrange to the target.

If necessary, bring your optics out when you go shooting one day. Or just take it outside where there’s bright sunlight to get a good image.

Is anything blurry, fuzzy, or hazy? A scope that is not clean and clear will fetch a lower price. If the scope is advertised as anti-fog, make sure that actually holds true when moving from cold to hot and vice versa.

Is the reticle functioning properly? Make sure that the windage and elevation adjustments are operable.

If your scope is powered, make sure that these functions are in working order. Check to make sure the batteries have not corroded their housings.

Listing Your Used Rifle Optics

It’s important that you’re thorough when describing what you intend to sell. Gun enthusiasts want the juicy details, after all!

Detail Everything About Your Scope

Really, give all the information you can here! Include paperwork, certificates of authenticity, original packaging, and anything else you have. Model numbers are very important.

Are there cosmetic scratches, dents, or other blemishes? Is the paint faded, or is the metal rusted?

If you’re providing pictures of your scope for an online sale, make sure you take them under good lighting. Take pics from multiple angles. More is always better.

If you’ve won competitions or passed this scope down from generation to generation, mention that too! Let buyers know where this scope has been and what it has done.

Hide nothing. If there is an issue with the scope, be upfront about it.

Consider Getting an Expert to Weight In

There’s no shame in taking your scope to someone who knows rifle optics. Who knows, they may recommend selling for more than your asking price.

Saying Goodbye to Your Used Optics

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to sell that scope of yours! If you’re stressed, relax. The firearms community can be a friendly, inviting space.

There are easier, less involved means of selling your scope for the best price. If you want to sell your used rifle optics to an expert and enthusiast, you always have a friend to turn to, at RKB Armory.

We buy and sell used optics, but what we’re really selling is speed, convenience and dependability.

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