Rock Island Auction Company

Trusts & Estates

Collectors of all types have many options at their disposal when determining what happens to their precious items when they are gone.  For many, this is a pleasant conversation, but it is a critical topic to address.  Planning ahead will not only ease the burden of the bereaved, but also save one’s benefactors and family a great deal of time and money.  Here at Rock Island Auction Company, we’re collectors just like you.  We know that even discussing the dispersal of your collection can be extremely difficult.  You’ve spent years, or decades, building a collection that suits your taste and focuses on what interests you.  It is exactly that difficulty that makes this matter so important to handle in advance.  Fortunately, there are many options available to you as a collector and we believe RIAC to be the most profitable of them.  Here is a list of the popular options.


Unfortunately, making no decisions regarding the final disposition of a firearms collection is all too common.  This has any number of negative consequences: expensive executors, wastes valuable time, and the collection may be sold in the interest of haste and not a fair value.  If items have been bequeathed informally to family members, doing “nothing” does not ensure they will receive them.  Those items may accidentally be sold, given to family members who do not care about the item, or be a long lasting source of familial conflict.  Doing nothing is generally the worst possible option for all those left to sort out the final affairs.

Give to Family

Of course, we at RIAC believe in continuing a strong tradition of collecting and passing down history to the next generation.  How else could the hobby continue so strongly?  However, make sure that your family members are on the same page.  Many times, family members have no interest in collectable firearms or guns as a whole.  Sometimes, they can be interested in the value, but not the object.  Either scenario can potentially result in family members with no idea of where to sell the items, or as the joke goes, “selling them for what you told them you paid.”  It’s best to have these conversations in advance to avoid disappointment or financial loss.  Some collectors may also choose to have their auction proceeds given to a beneficiary such as a museum or donated to charities such as the American Cancer Society, Wounded Warrior Project, American Red Cross, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Feeding America or one that RIAC recommends in securing gun rights at the legislative and political level, the NRA-ILA.

Selling Estate Guns

Selling your guns can be a lucrative option, but there are many things to consider.

Are you, or your family member, getting a fair value?

Can you reach other collectors who are ready to buy?

What kinds of records must be kept?

To alleviate these and many other issues many people choose to sell their guns the quickest way possible: a local gun store.  Whether a small mom-and-pop shop or a major “big box” chain, these stores will certainly know how to navigate the state and federal gun laws, but there is one major drawback.  Gun shops, much like a used car dealership, make money buying low and selling high.  The lower they can purchase an item or collection, the better for their bottom line.  This is a distinct conflict of interest.

Auctioning the Estate Guns with Rock Island Auction Company

Selling your items with RIAC has several important advantages over any of the previously mentioned methods.

Experience:  We have been auctioning collectible firearms for over 20 years and annually sell approximately 23,000 firearms.  We have been the world’s #1 firearms auction house since 2003.

Reach: Our history and our marketing efforts allow us to show your guns to like-minded collectors across the country and around the world.  Our client list contains over 110,000 people who share your passions.  That list continues to grow thanks to our industry-leading marketing efforts.  We seek out new collectors by advertising in trade publications, attending gun shows around the United States, utilizing an active social media presence, constantly improving our website, email, and placing ads in some of the nation’s top newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Chicago Tribune.

No Conflict of Interest:  Many of the previously listed options can provide an unfortunate conflict of interest.  Gun stores that buy low or other businesses that consign for a “sliding scale” are two easy examples.  At RIAC, we keep it simple with a shared goal: a high sale price.  When you make money, we make money.  It’s as simple as that.  And since we’ve been #1 in the world since 2003, it’s easy to see we’re pretty good at it.

No Hidden Fees:  Lots of places will sell your guns, but want to charge fees for any number of reasons: insurance, storage, photography, shipping, handling, etc.  These charges are often only discovered once an itemized statement has been provided after the sale.  At RIAC we charge one thing – a simple, all-inclusive percentage.  With just one up-front number that you agree to prior to the sale, we take care of the rest, making sure your item receives top care, the best marketing in the industry, and is seen by collectors around the world.

Of course, any of these options may be exercised while still on earth!  Many people choose to do just that, taking great comfort and satisfaction in knowing that their collection was dispersed appropriately to people that love it or watching the proceeds benefit a cause or someone important to them.  Whenever your choices take place, we cannot overstate the importance of having a plan in place.  It eases the burden on those left behind, both financially and mentally, and will leave you feeling more secure as well.

Regardless if you have a handful of items, a large collection of estate guns that spans rooms, or extremely high dollar items, RIAC can help.