Buying and Selling Used Scopes for Guns

You may have outgrown your old scope, which no longer suits your needs. Or you might be a first-time buyer and aren’t sure what you need to know when you buy a scope.

Regardless of your reasoning, there’s a large market for used scopes for guns. Selling used optics is a fantastic way to increase your funds. Used optics are also cheaper for people not looking to spend too much.

However, before selling or buying scopes for guns, you should know a few things. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so read on while we discuss what you need to know before you purchase or sell your used optics.

The Firearm Optics Industry Is Competitive

The firearm optics market is highly fragmented. When an industry is highly fragmented, its supply chain splits into various parts – the manufacturers spread production methods across suppliers and manufacturers.

fragmented industry has no clear leader; no participant in the market has a distinct advantage over its competitors. This means new market entrants have less difficulty growing their businesses in the gun scope industry.

Essentially, high fragmentation means there are plenty of optics out there. But having plenty of choices sounds like a good thing, right?

The answer depends on your perspective – choice is good, but too much can be overwhelming. Many companies manufacture scopes for guns. Leupold, Sig Sauer, Nightforce, and Vortex are just a few companies you can choose from.

Various choices aside, there are other reasons you should remember what a competitive market gun scopes are. We’ll continue to build off this initial point throughout the article.

You Need to Understand Scope Pricing

When a market is competitive, you can expect the products to have similar pricing. Competitive markets exist because there’s a balance created by the abundance of the item in question.

You can expect to spend hundreds on a decent gun scope. However, some gun scopes may cost less than $100, while others may cost slightly over that. You may also see optics that will set you back thousands.

Some manufacturers charge cheaply because they expect you to purchase more of their products which helps them recoup lost revenue. These cheaper scopes also use less expensive materials.

Other sellers will demand a lot because of the quality of their products. The more expensive gun scopes use pricier materials, and these costs transfer to the buyer.

Understanding scope pricing is crucial so you can budget accordingly. If you want a scope with high technical performance made of expensive materials, you will (literally) pay for it.

Understanding Depreciation

Depreciation is when an item decreases in economic value. Something you should know about purchasing gun scopes is that once you’ve purchased it, it will probably never be worth its original price.

It’s vital to understand depreciation if you’re looking to sell your used optics. You can’t expect your potential customers to pay the same amount for gun optics that aren’t in mint condition.

The used gun optics market is also competitive. The people selling these scopes realize their depreciated value and price accordingly.

Something to keep in mind is a high-quality scope will still be expensive even when used (and in good condition). It’s cheaper than the original price, but it’s still a highly-technical piece of machinery.

Refurbished Vs. Used

Potential buyers and sellers need to know the difference between “refurbished” and “used.” They’re both technically used, but sellers repair and test refurbished items to ensure they work.

An item listed as used may be sold “as is.”  You’d sell or buy an “as is” product in whatever condition they’re in at the point of sale.

If you purchase a gun scope “as is,” you agree to take the item in potentially poor condition. A refurbished scope is less likely to have overwhelming performance issues.

You shouldn’t expect to get away with charging too much for optics listed as “used” and unconfirmed as refurbished.

No one will pay what they consider an unfair price for used optics in poor condition when they can purchase ones they know have been refurbished from a reputable retailer.

You Should Know About Gun Scopes

You don’t need to know everything about firearm optics, but it’s never a good idea to purchase or sell anything without some knowledge of the item. A lack of knowledge may lead to wasted or lost funds.

It’s good practice for buyers to understand scopes for guns so they know what they want and what to buy. For example, you should consider why you shoot before you purchase a scope.

“Why you shoot,” in this context, mainly refers to the distance or from how far off you’re shooting. Let’s say you’re shooting large targets from 100 yards away.

You’ll only need a scope with 4x magnification – or one that makes objects appear up to four times bigger. If you’re a small game hunter, your scope only needs up to 10x magnification.

Off-hand shooters can suffice with scopes that have less than 10x magnification. Large game hunters will need a stronger scope. Some firearm optics have various magnifications depending on your range.

If you’re shooting from 750 yards, you can purchase a gun scope with 5-30x magnification. 5-30x magnification means the scope can magnify objects from five to thirty times their size.

You Should Know Popular Brands

Admittedly, knowing what popular brands are on the market may serve gun scope sellers more than buyers. That said, a buyer should still know what the most popular optics are so they have an idea of where to start.

Although it’s not always applicable, popularity often equates to quality. Many people flock to a particular brand because consumers can swear by its reliability.

A seller should understand what’s popular among firearms enthusiasts, so they’ll know what sells. Used optics from Burris are liable to sell better than ones with a less reliable name.

Burris Optics is renowned for its affordability and durable scopes. You could see a decent profit by selling your old Burris optics because people know they’re a good, quality brand.

You Should Know What Scope Specs Sell

Brand recognition won’t automatically sell your used optics, though. It’s got to have good specifications also. For example, some people are willing to pay more for a waterproof scope.

Sturdiness is another good selling point. No one wants to purchase something that’s going to fall apart instantly. The ability to withstand Recoil is another good specification for your scope to have.

Buyers want accuracy and compact size as well. A good rule of thumb is to think about what made you purchase your old firearm optics and why. Odds are, those qualities will attract buyers.

Purchase and Sell Scopes in Good Condition

If you’re buying a used scope, check to ensure it has all its parts. Refurbished optics will have all their parts in working order because they’ve been repaired or replaced.

It’s probably not a good idea to purchase gun optics from a seller offering sparse details on the item’s specs or condition. The lack of details doesn’t automatically mean it’s a potential scam or scope in poor condition.

However, the lack of details could hide something wrong with the scope until it’s delivered. Transparency is a good thing to look for when making a purchase and a good tool to employ when selling products.

If you’re selling an old optic, try testing your old scope’s functionality against your new one. An excellent used scope should work similarly to a new model, provided it’s been taken care of.

Here’s a checklist of what to expect when checking your used optic:

  • Scope illumination still works (if your scope has this function)
  • There’s good image clarity, adjustment, and alignment
  • The scope stays at zero when adjusted there
  • Adjustment won’t damage the turrets
  • The body isn’t too severely bent or scratched

You can refurbish the optic if you think it’ll be worth the money. But buyers won’t mind slightly damaged gun scopes as long as you’re honest about the damage and they’re in decent enough condition.

Obtain Original Documentation

Selling items with all their original parts, packaging, and documentation can increase the sales price. Selling the scope with its original documents ensures that the customer gets a quality product.

Gun scopes in their original packaging have either never been used or used lightly enough that they rarely left their boxes. While you still can’t charge the full price, you can expect a high return from your used optics.

Interested in Selling Scopes for Guns? 

Now that you’ve got a general guide on what you need to know about buying and selling scopes for guns, what are you waiting for? RKB Armory is at your disposal with free quotes today.

We have all the resources you need to sell your used optics. Of course, if you’re looking to purchase a gun scope, we can also assist with that. Contact us for assistance or more information.

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