Well said FB those old prices look cheap today but in those times they were high especially if you were making the minimum wage of one twenty five a hour or entered the US Army at a whole one hundred seventy seven a month such as my self. So if the cap was two hundred it just be as well two thousand as it might be today. But I do think money went farther in those days and I long for them which I will never see. Gone too are the old dealers of those times some were quite discusting in their crooked old ways but for some reason I wouldn't mind walking in and seeing some of them especially if I could return to that time none of which will never happen. timothy
Last edited by timothy; 03-08-2014 at 10:29 PM.
03-08-2014 09:40 PM
I suspose quite true I have no answer for Who sets the price for these things or should I say everything it just seems to have gotton insane on some of this? timothy
by N.C. Wyeth
Thus spake Stonemint: "....On the other hand, there are some areas resistant to this, and will continue to buck the aforesaid trend: SS items..."
Glad to read the foregoing.
I guess what also frustrates (irritates?) me are the pms and emails asking me: "whaddya think it's worth?".
I respond first with "whatever the buyer with the most money is willing to offer" ( a response that is deemed insufficient).
Then, when I give my opinion, I get the old "but I bought it from __________ guru dealer, and your value is 1/2 what I paid..."
The bottom line is expect to take a beating in re-sale if you buy from a guru and want to sell in less than a year.
1. Don't buy on impulse;
2. Don't buy if you are going to need to re-sell the item w/in 1-2 years;
3. Save for the absolute best quality/rarity/condition you can afford;
4. Buy with the intention of keeping the item for 5 years minimum;
5. Don't buy as an investment--buy to own.
Follow the aforesaid, and thus endeth the heartache....
Please Santa, give me a original ss hat with honnest price...
Thanks, the whole thing reminds me of Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra, but that is just me. The price thing is the unending repeat of the same thing, sorta.
I find Mr. Mint's buy and hold idea sound, and it is one that I follow. I have held most caps for a decade or more, some for several decades.
In general, in fifty years of collecting, I have always made a profit on what I sell, but
the profit motive has never been decisive for me.
The motive of a connection with the past is decisive for me, and I am willing to pay a high price for this intangible and thing, that for me, at least, is not a market or susceptible
to the breezy generalizations of MBAs.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 03-09-2014 at 07:37 PM.
Sage advice from all who have provided their thoughts so reread this thread in the near future as there are many lessons one can learn from. As alluded to earlier, an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay - that is the bottom line. For those new to the hobby, I can only impart that one must perform frequent reality checks when provided the opportunity to purchase an item in their field of interest. Oft times you will be unprepared financially when the opportunity presents itself and the collector must ascertain priorities to balance what he/she wants for "The Collection". Never buy something you can't afford and never pay Peter to pay Paul. Remember...this is a hobby and the hobby won't feed your family or pay your bills next week. More importantly, I have yet to meet a wife (or girlfriend) of any collector who is willing to give up her vacation or something else she may want so the husband can purchase an item that will sit in a room that she wont go into.
My collection is unique in that my jump off point into this hobby came from my father. As a 38 year Army veteran, he brought back more relics from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam that most collectors would envy. So it is not just German artifacts that I collect but I also maintain 3 generations of US Military history and artifacts for the family. But from the many years I have collected, I adhere to many of the principles already supplied by others:
- I buy best quality
- I search for history, specifically from the route taken by my father's 87th Infantry Division from the US to England to France through to Plauen, Germany as well as my Grandfather's similar trek in WWI
- I purchase only what I can afford and always pay full up front (yes, I have bought items at a premium only knowing I may not have a second opportunity to do so again ... but only if I can afford to)
- I sell only if I can upgrade an item
When I attend the MAX & SOS, I almost never hover around the " big time" dealers tables, since I can see their usually overpriced and long in inventory ( !! ) items on their websites. In over 20 years of attendance, I've never bought a cap from a major dealer.
I always look for the small dealer/collectors; as many know, that's where the bargains, or, at least, sensible prices are.
As to headgear prices themselves; it's obvious that the " common" items are not selling if they continue to be priced as they were before 2007 or so. The market abounds with enlisted & officer artillery & infantry caps, for example, but I'll be damned if I'll pay $ 1,200 for an infantry officer cap or, $ 600-700 for an enlisted version. There are many priced like this out there, and some with even higher prices. Same for the all so common Luftwaffe flight , flak, & signals enlisted caps.
IMHO, the prices for anything SS related are absurd. $ 5,000 or more for a A-SS enlisted cap, $ 15,000 for a W-SS officers cap? $ 1,000 for a totenkopf & eagle set? Just INSANE!
Or, $ 27K for a Luftwaffe general's cap; wonder how long that one will be on display?
For me, I must admit that it's disheartening to know that some caps that I desire will likely never be within my reach, but, that's true of many things in life. Oh, to recall those ads in Road & Track back in the 60's & 70's for $ 10,000 Ferraris & $ 5,000 Shelby Cobras!
I must say that I still enjoy the " hunt" , knowing that there are bargains out there; you just need to search harder for them. The thrill of finding one is great as well.
I have been drawn more & more to Imperial German peaked caps, for many reasons, with price being one of them. It seems as if I can buy two nice Imperial caps for the price of one TR cap, and that's compelling for me, as they are both pieces of history.
I still enjoy collecting, but I must say that the general state of TR collecting does not encourage a level of optimism within me. But'I'll keep plugging away!