Looking for WWII U.S. dog tags
I'm a little late to the party but here is my penny's worth.
I do believe there is merit in regards to the idea of offering a private and impartial appraisal service for collectors who might wish it. However, it can't really be done unless the hat or whatever is actualy in the hands of the person offering this service. Authenticating items via digital images only, relies heavily on "best guess" judgments and I'm not sure if it can justify someone charging a fee for that?
As some of you know, I charge a fee for restoring/repairing hats. Within that service, you also get my opinion on whether the hat is original or not for no extra fee. It can only be this way because there is no point repairing a fake hat. It would be money down the drain. This arrangement works well in 9 out of 10 cases. The only problems I've had is when I've sent the cap back to the owner before payment has been made and then some people choose to take advantage and never pay me. I consider this my fault though as I'm far too trusting, well I was, not anymore though!
In the case of one particular hat, a grey SS NCO schirmmutze, I went a step further and took photos of each step of the repair work along with my observations about it's authenticity and compiled everything in a simple PDF photo report. This worked really well and the owner was very happy because not only was his hat repaired, he also had a hands on authentication judgement in a document that he could print and keep with the hat for the future.
Maybe this is the way to approach this. Perhaps for a small fee, a report can be produced based only on judging photos (sometimes, it's enough to be 99% sure) with the emphasis being on whatever you want it to be, the history behind items of similar nature, a technical analysis of the construction, some research into the name written in the hat, a short essay on the RZM and how it relates to the labels in the hat? The value of it based on what has sold before. Just thinking out aloud here...The main thing though would be the disclaimer that authenticity is based only on the photos and without a hands on inspection.
That would lead rather nicely to gaining the trust of the owner and easing their mind about:
1. Do you know what you are talking about.
2. Are you trustworthy enough to send a potentialy very valuable item to for a personal inspection.
It takes a lot of time to build up a reputation for being trustworthy with other peoples valuables so maybe this kind of "phase 1" report might work?
Last edited by BenVK; 02-03-2012 at 08:42 PM.
Forgot to add, the problem we face in this endevour is that we are all too used to the, what are they called? Letters of authentication from the dealers that sell the items that aren't worth the paper they are written on.
People will be wary that we have some affiliation with the sellers of the items we are judging and are not totaly impartial.
No problem for me, I don't like Kai Winkler or Craig Gottlieb ! just a joke!!! easy boys!
Last edited by BenVK; 02-03-2012 at 09:16 PM.
My comment about getting paid was ironic, really. Ben's reflections are very sound and illuminate more issues and challenges.
Best regards, Patrick
I've said it a million times before, forums like these are the most generous on the web. Other forums on other subjects require a lot of research and input before you can start asking questions and expect an answer.
My latest hobby is radio control helicopters but everyone is ignoring me on the forums at the moment because I haven't yet offered anything worth while in return to my questions. I'm not sure what they want from me but I'm working on it.
The biggest problem we've got in this hobby right now IMO is that we all expect an answer to every question we post regardless of whether, as an individual, we have spent any time researching the subject or not.
Whilst we are talking about youtube videos, a rare chance to see BenVK on holiday!
Holiday in Crete May 2011 - YouTube
Had a great time, hope you all enjoyed the video!
I don't mind making a fool out of myself for you all to see.
Perhaps we take all of this too seriously sometimes?...
I half expected to see a couple of somersaults there Ben but i daresay the waves were'nt big enough lol