This the 4th part of our ongoing series about how to beat the panic buyers. In this installment we will talk about the classifieds section of your favorite gun forum. Almost every gun related internet forum has a classifieds or equipment exchange section where people can list gear that is for sale. As of late, these have become pretty lousy places to buy something because everyone is trying to offload their gear while prices are high but there are still ways to get deals.
I like to concentrate on a more local gun forum, like one that services mostly just your state or region. These forums often have some better deals and sellers that are close enough to you that you can pick up the gear in person. If you can pick up the sale items in person, you can often use that as a bargaining chip to get the price down. There are also still occasional deals on the larger, national gun boards but you will need to be persistent and check multiple times daily.
If you are going to build what you need on the secondary market, persistence pays.
Some gun boards allow site sponsors to post in the classifieds section so keep an eye on these posts, too. A dealer may announce that something you have been looking for has come into stock. A lot of dealers are still selling these hard to find items at regular price or at least close to regular price.
If you really want to keep tabs on what is hitting the classifieds section, many forums allow you to subscribe to an RSS feed of all new posts in a particular forum. This gives you close to real time notification to your RSS reader when ever something new is posted.
Finally, if you are going to shop the classifieds, you may need to consider redefining your idea of a good deal. If you have an upcoming carbine course and no carbine, it may be worth it for you to pay a premium to get what you need right now.
A note on AR-15 upper receiver groups: Some of the best deals on uppers are the premium uppers that were expensive before the panic buying. Many people are grabbing for the cheaper uppers and don’t have the stomach to pay for a high dollar set up. Uppers that are already configured with rails, sights, and other accessories are often an even better deal since these items rarely add full value to the selling price of the upper.