Buying and Selling Guidelines
MGO Buying/Selling Rules & Guidelines
Michigan Gun Owners is happy to provide a place where sellers and buyers can meet.

This service is provided free of charge. Consequently, Michigan Gun Owners does not endorse, sponsor, sanction, or guarantee any of the products, services, or ads that appear in the MGO Marketplace. All sales are private matters between the buyer and the seller. Buyers and sellers should do their own due diligence when buying or selling any item. This should include obtaining the proper licensing (if applicable) and verifying the legalities involved with the sale, purchase, and/or possession of any firearm, weapon or accessory.

MGO does not retain archives for information in the classified forums for any period exceeding 60 days.

Classified Ads
The classified "For Sale" forums in the marketplace are for private sales of private merchandise only. No ads for commercial merchandise or services are permitted in these forums.

Commercial Ads
Commercial Dealers that are MGO Members may place ads for specific goods or services in the "Commercial Dealers" forum.

What defines a commercial dealer? Meeting any one of the following criteria will serve to define what constitutes a commercial dealer.

A "Commercial Dealer"...
...conducts a trade or business that is primarily operated in a typical commercial manner.
...primarily operates on a profit basis rather than a cost-recovery basis.
...includes those individuals who may or may not possess an FFL, or may or may not operate a formally incorporated/organized business, but who nonetheless are observed by the forum staff to regularly use the forum to sell goods and/or services.
...primarily operates in competition with taxable entities carrying on in the same trade or business.
...offers goods and/or services being sold under an assumed name, or in the name of a corporation, a subchapter S corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership, or a limited liability partnership.
...collects sales tax.
...requires a form 4473 to be filled out when selling a firearm.

Interpretation of this criteria is at the sole discretion of the forum staff.

Rules and Guidelines

When posting in the Marketplace you agree to abide by the rules and guidelines set forth below. Failure to do so may result in a warning being sent, a temporary ban, or a permanent ban being issued at the sole discretion of the Admin or Moderators. Each violation is noted in the users account and repeat violations will be dealt with accordingly.

Here are some basic rules to follow:

1. Participation Beyond the Marketplace
If you want to sell here, please participate here. If you are here solely to promote or sell your non-firearm related commercial goods, please do not advertise them here.

2. Contact Info and Location
Make sure your user profile is up to date with your contact information and location.

3. Drugs
Do not post for sale or solicit the sale of any drugs.

4. Pornographic Material
Do not post for sale or solicit the sale of anything pornographic.

5. Illegal Items
Do not post for sale or solicit the sale of anything that may be illegal.

6. Auction Site Links
Including links to items you have listed on auction sites is prohibited.

7. Required Infomation
All Marketplace Ads: Must include the Description, Location (City, County, or Zipcode), and Full Price/Trade Value*.
Firearms for Sale:

  • When listing a firearm for sale, all non-optional fields within the provided template MUST be filled out completely and correctly (Description, Location (City, County, or Zipcode), and Full Price/Trade Value*).
  • Do not delete any of the auto-generated information or formatting in Title or the Body of the ad.
  • Do not list multiple firearms for sale in a single ad, list them separately while keeping rule #9 (below) in mind. (EXCEPTION: IF two or more firearms are being offered as a single collection sale ONLY (i.e., NO option to sell separate), they may be listed in one ad.)

Failure to follow this rule may result in the deletion of the ad without warning.

*"Trade Value" is a monetary dollar amount provided as the basis for trade negotiation.

8. Third-Party Sales
You must be in control of or have possession of the item you are advertising. You may not post a classified ad for a third party in the regular Marketplace Forum. All posts for items that you do not have the ultimate authority to negotiate an agreement and sell or trade the item MUST be listed in the "Found A Deal" forum. Contact info for the actual seller must be listed.

9. Quantity of Ads
"MGO Members" (i.e., paid members): Limit your ads on the first page of any Marketplace forum to 6 MAXIMUM.
"Forum Users" (i.e., free forum account): Limit your ads on the first page of any Marketplace forum to 3 MAXIMUM.
A "page" is currently defined as 50 listings/threads.

10. Redundant/Duplicate Ads
Do not post multiple ads for the same item within 60 days (Changes can be done through the EDIT feature). Deleting a current ad and then starting a fresh ad for the same item within 60 days will result in disciplinary action. After 60 days of inactivity, ads will be automatically removed from the marketplace. IF you delete your ad, then change your mind and want to offer the item again in less than 60 days since it was last posted, contact and ask that your deleted ad be restored.

11. Bumping (replying to) Your Ad
"Forum Members" (non-paying) are not allowed to bump their ads. ONLY MGO Members (paying members) are permitted. Info on becoming a paying member can be found here.
Replying to, or bumping your own ad is permitted only ONE TIME PER CALENDAR DAY ("Calendar Days" start and end at 12:00am EST).
When "bumping" your ad it is NOT necessary to "quote" it...rather, simply reply to it with a "BTT" (or similar) so that the first post of the thread contains all of the "current" pertinent information. You may update your ad with new information or pricing anytime by editing the ad. ABUSE OF THE "DELETE" FUNCTION TO CIRCUMVENT THIS RULE WILL RESULT IN DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

12. Taking Your Item "Off the Market"
Once your item has sold (or is otherwise no longer available), you have the option of deleting the entire ad or editing the title to include the word " - SOLD" (or appropriate word to indicate the status of the item).


13. SOLD Bumps
Do not reply to your own ad to say "Sold," "SPF," "Traded," etc., as this needlessly brings your ad to the top of the Marketplace forum.

14. Responding to Ads
Posted replies (where allowed) must not "hijack" or "stomp" the thread (i.e., posts made to intentionally derail or discredit the thread).

Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
1. Know who you are dealing with. It may be helpful to examine the post history of a user to see if they have contributed in a meaningful way to the other forums.

2. Communicate clearly. If you are the buyer, make sure that you know exactly what you are buying. If you are the seller, make sure you communicate exactly what you are selling. Most problems come up when users misunderstand something about the transaction.

3. The seller must ALWAYS include the Full Price or Trade Value (See rule 7). You can always ask for a higher amount and then take the best offer.

4. "Or Best offer" (OBO) is generally taken to mean best offer under the asking price. If an ad states a price along with "or best offer" ("OBO"), the price is considered to be the asking price that assures a sale and any offers lower than the asking price will be considered. Soliciting best offers over an asking price would effectively be an auction and not a classified ad. This is a classified advertising forum.

5. When the term "firm" accompanies a price, this means that the price is fixed and no lower offers will be considered at this time.

6. Use some common sense. People who feel comfortable sending money to someone they've never met for something they've never seen are bound to eventually receive a nasty surprise. That doesn't mean that you can't trade online. Just use some common sense precautions, like contacting the other party by phone and exchanging all the relevant contact information before proceeding with a transaction.

7. Be patient. There are few cons out there but the ones that exist online survive by moving the transaction along quickly. It is way better to miss out on a hot item at a good price than it is to lose money on a product that never arrives.

8. If something goes wrong, don't panic. Don't go public with a bunch of wild assertions. Use the contact information you got before the sale took place and put it to good use. Be friendly as you negotiate a resolution to the problem. If you put the other person on the defensive, your chance of working with that person drops to nearly zero.

Proceed with Caution

Be suspicious of anyone who is vague, uses delay tactics, seems inconsistent, or who is trying to motivate you to close on a deal faster than a reasonable person would expect. Because of the nature of the items typically listed here, be careful of any condition or request that may be considered illegal.

General Information

A sale will usually be made to the first person who says "I'll take it". However, the manner in which a transaction proceeds is really up to the seller. Keep that in mind. Sometimes, people get upset because a seller makes a deal with someone who doesn't appear to have provided the first response to the listing. The seller can sell to whoever he wants. He has to protect himself just like the buyer does, so it behooves him to sell the item to the person he trusts the most.

Likewise, some sellers get upset when a buyer backs out. The buyer might get cold feet because he decides the seller isn't trustworthy. Or it may be because he realizes that he can't spare the cash after all. It isn't unethical for the buyer to change his mind, even though it can be frustrating at times.

Keeping the above in mind, here is an example on how a transaction can logically take place:
The seller lists the item, providing a price or asking for "best offer".
Several buyers respond.
The seller communicates to each of them exactly what they are buying and answers any questions they may have.
One or several buyers commits to the purchase.
The seller chooses a buyer and posts in the thread to say "I am selling the item to ...". Since the buyer may be sending money during the next step, he should insist that the seller mention him by name in the post. That way the seller can't make arrangements to multiple buyers.
At this point, the buyer and seller can make arrangements for payment and shipping or a face to face transaction...

If the transaction is not going to occur face to face, the buyer sends payment by the seller's chosen means while the seller waits patiently for the payment. If the seller said he would accept a check (probably not a very good idea) then he should expect to wait at least a week. When the the seller receives payment in full (check must clear), he then ships the item and posts to the thread to say "item shipped". It would also be a good idea to PM the tracking information to the buyer.

It would be nice if every transaction went smoothly, but in real life people make mistakes. Sometimes people are even out to cheat other people. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. So you need to be on your guard.

Unfortunately, there isn't always much you can do when a transaction goes bad. So that means you need to be really careful about who you are dealing with. Never be afraid to back out of a deal if you start to feel like it isn't going to work out.

When something does go horribly wrong and you seem to be getting the short end of the stick, think constructively about what can be done to solve the problem. Focus on what you can do. Too many people get frustrated and angry way too quickly, destroying the possibility of reaching common ground.

Remember that the clearer you are in your communication with the other party the less likely it is that you will have a problem. And if you do have a problem, all that clear communication will come in handy.

Good luck!
Revised: April 14, 2018