November 7, 2015
Had an awkward situation today; a friend finally brought a couple of old Winchesters for me to see, possibly buy. I got excited, gathered up some cash and drove to meet him. (I had other business in the area.) First was a 1941 vintage 94 with a very good, but obvious metal refinish and a bit of road rash. The other was an inherited 1916 vintage 1890 in 22 short and no remaining finish. On top of that it had been abused by someone who didn’t understand the concept of using the right tool for the job. Some corrective lenses may have been a good idea as well. I finally got a price out of him, as I feared he thought way too much of them. I didn’t make an offer as both would be hard to sell and I didn’t want or need them in my collection.
I may have offended him but didn’t want to tell him what I felt they were worth. He’s mostly into black guns and cans but is getting older and feels he needs to thin the herd.
How do y’all handle this? I feel like I owe this guy a favor but I don’t want to haul these rifles around for a couple years before giving them away. I’m trying to buy 80% or better guns and these two barely added up to that. The 1890 had a certain rustic charm but that category is filled to capacity in my collection.
November 1, 2013
I may have offended him but didn’t want to tell him what I felt they were worth.
But you should have. What the hell, if your fly’s open, do you want to be told? That would be the “favor” you owed the guy. A fool that can’t appreciate good advice, be done with him.
April 15, 2005
Honestly is always the best way to handle things, including this situation. If the guns are not worth what he is asking, simply tell him that and explain in clear terms why they are not. If he is truly a friend, he should understand.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
June 4, 2017
I do pre-purchase inspections on guns only if they are on approval. It’s human nature to shoot the barer of bad news and I don’t need an enemy. When you tell someone the honest truth it can hurt, I try to avoid the situation.
If I’m buying it’s simple, if it doesn’t fit in my collection I don’t want it. T/R
March 14, 2022
Mike I can appreciate your situation. I don’t want to offend or strain a friendship so the way I personally handle it, I always explain to friends, inheritors, acquirers, and or newbies, there’s collector grade, shooters, and wall hangers, and I tell them exactly what I see. I use the words condition, standard, unserviceable, etc. They also may know more than they’re letting on and I don’t want to leave the impression I don’t know what I’m looking at.
Can be a tricky situation sometimes with friends or acquaintances but humble honesty works in most cases. Jmo
November 7, 2015
I did tell him in a roundabout way what they were worth and why a collector would probably not be interested in them. I wish I knew the story behind the 1890 as it has led an interesting life.
August 27, 2014