Dealing with Success Takes Black Market
Arms from Rural Missouri to the Global Marketplace

Black Market Arms (BMA), based in Auxvasse, Missouri came into existence because of the “Great Recession.” Until just more than six years ago, owner Ray Delashmutt had a prosperous flooring company. Then the housing market crashed. A firearms enthusiast and part-time gun shop employee who had squirreled away a lot of bargains over the years, Ray made the tough choice to start selling off portions of his own collection to pay bills. He knew about from the buying side of the equation and saw the opportunity to start buying guns and flipping them for a profit.

Encouraged by his success, he began looking for little niche markets where he could buy and resell “for $5 and $10 here and there,” Ray says. Then he began buying AR 15 detachable carry handles from China in bulk and selling them inexpensively for a small profit on each one.

“One thing led to another and I decided to get my FFL. I didn’t want to compete with the locals, so I started selling exclusively online … and here, we are today! What started out as a hobby got out of control!” laughs Ray. “The first 2 1/2 to 3 years I sold exclusively online and then to friends and neighbors who knew of me, but then we opened up a storefront a few years back.”

“About 85 percent of our business is done on; 10 percent over the phone or via email; and 5 percent is local, storefront business. So really is our business.”

Ray Delashmutt
Black Market Arms

Ray reports “About 85 percent of our business is done on; 10 percent over the phone or via email; and 5 percent is local, storefront business. So really is our business.

“Our favorite feature is the fact that auto-relisting comes without any additional fees! At other sites, when you have items that don’t sell, they charge you every single time you relist. On you pay them once up front for the listing and that’s it. Then you can relist that item as many times as it takes to sell for free. That’s huge for us.”

Efficient, economical transactions are critical to Black Market Arms success because of the volume of sales they do on They maintain between 1,600 and 2,200 listings active at all times. Taking the photos and writing the listings, Ray says, takes one full-time position to maintain that level of sales.

Ray offers a couple of tips for success: “We use the optional listing features a lot! Featured Listings is definitely worth the extra money on bigger ticket items like firearms. It can make a huge difference and mean a lot more visibility over people who don’t feature their items.”

The most successful and profitable items for Black Market Arms on are specialty products and items that buyers can’t find anywhere else. Ray says, “Firearm sales are so cut-throat, it’s hard to turn more than 1-2% there, but parts and accessories and stuff that people can’t find anywhere else, that’s where we hit niche markets and turn our biggest profits. Rare items and machine guns, particularly machine guns, are really hard to sell locally, but with you hit the whole global market if you have those to sell. We’ve done business all over the world via”

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