Soft Headgear and Price Trends
I note that there has been a lot of grumbling about prices of late, especially in the wake of the SOS. Most of those threads are geared to other areas of the hobby (daggers, medals, insignia, etc.).
I thought it would be interesting to hear thoughts on pricing on cloth headgear specifically, and where you see the hobby/prices going in the future.
So, lets hear your thoughts!
03-07-2014 04:59 PM
Although I haven't been in this hobby for nearly as long as some of you, my understanding is the prices have levelled off and stopped rising. A friend of mine was saying that this is because a lot of the older collectors are selling off their stuff.
the price of ss caps is realy incredible today, the dealers like more waffen $$ in to dollard, very sad...and the copy are legion... do you want my wish ? stop your purchase in the dealer corner, and buy to collectors and your friends.
Is there not some professional way to measure these things, i.e. a quantitative and even scientific way?
It is not my thing, mind you, as my advanced degree is not in this field, but I am sure there are useful metrics that are more revealing
than the on line opinion hashing about prices, which, so long as I have posted, has produced more smoke than light.
It's not surprising that prices have gone up exclusive of inflation. Some established collectors have some enviable collections but that reduces the available supply. Even without growth in the number of collectors the demand for a decreasing supply would drive the value/cost up. Then you add in new collectors, like myself, and that will further increase demand.
At some point prices would reach an inflection point where established collectors make purchases based on the desire to add a certain piece rather making a purchases simply because the price is "cheap."
I would imagine this would be a rather cyclical occurrence provided those previously mentioned large collections are broken up in the future. Perhaps we'll see a market correction in the future similar to other hobbies like sports cards, hummels, etc. saw.
Only speculation on my part.
Do let me say that I think German military regalia to be in a fundamentally different category than sports cards and hummel figures and or such objects in which speculative and or fad waves thrust prices up or down.
This is a conceit of mine, but this material manifests some far deeper realities about our society and its past, present and, indeed, future.
We salute the new collectors, and look forward to their role in all of this.
It is not as if this material was cheap and plentiful when I started, that is, SS material.
Tricky this one because things in this hobby are, in my opinion, only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.
I know this is stating the obvious but is nevertheles an absolute. We are not talking about essentails or necessities here, you are not forced to buy the item (although as we all know we are compelled) and as such need to make rational decisions on each item as it comes along.
When I started collecting an Army belt buckle was £4 which in todays market is a jaw dropping price, but when compared with my weekly spending power of 25 pence, that meant I could only buy one every four months.
Today I collect Army Visors which work out roughly £500 a go and guess what..........I buy one about every four months or so ! So my spending power has increased sunstantially on paper but ironically only to keep pace with prices.
As an early collector the prices always seemed way too much and this has been a constant factor in the last 35 years or so. Waffenrocks were at £100 each for a decade but now you are lucky if you can find one for less than £400.
Also as people sell their items they are looking for today's prices not the cost of the item when they bought it. In this light if the dealers buy stock from collectors selling up, then the price they sell it on for has to be enough for them to make a profit. That is a vicious circle for any new collector.
Reminds me of the housing market here in the UK actually.
I personally think prices have peaked, no pun intended, for the "average visor", speciality visors always command a premium price.
As with any market place their are always good deals to be found alongside the many pit falls.
just my opinion.
Well said and thoughtful.
I completely agree and certainly did not intend to imply a correlation between the two in the general purpose of collecting.
Although there is a limited and finite population of said materials which will always draw those who speculate or take on the hobby because they have more dollars than knowledge.
I understand, and thanks. Also, let me say that a too US American (I am a US American...) perspective is limiting here, in what is now something that goes well beyond the borders of the United States and the circle of persons
one sees as dealers or some noted collectors. There is a different dynamic at work which may not be apparent to people with only a superficial interest in the past and little knowledge of war, memory, politics and culture. Current events suggest that the age of total war has lost little of its power on the imaginations of millions, and Nazi Germany is present in many odd ways in many unlikely places.
For this reason, alone, I think this regalia has a bouncy future, even if the original group of people who have once collected it and who have managed to pay for it in decades pat disappear into dust.
Is not the regalia from the Napoleonic wars still in demand, if you can find it? Did not thousands gather in Leipzig to recreate the battle of nations just now in a manner I would never have imagined possible?
I take the point that the on line images from the US shows are those of grey, flabby old men, of which I am also proud and unapologetically one, but I also hardly think that this group is even as decisive as some assert. Our property will be dispersed. The Peppera collection is going to Europe and will be spread to the world from there. I expect mine will also do the same, and I do not expect that this material will land in a dump.
I also think that this inherent meaning and cultural place of these things suggests that they will carry on despite speculators and terrible simplifiers.
Per saldo, I cannot conceive of this stuff as a fad, or a bubble as happens with other items. The assertion that a certain model of old automobile seizes memory and passion and then gets discarded may apply in another context, but war, soldiers, battle, glory, and such have a different place in our culture and in our psyche than other objects.
Hence, I have never thought of this as a hobby, but as part of the conservation, reflection and analysis of the past which is a central part of culture and society. It is called material culture by adults. And with a reason.
And for this reason, the market aspects of it have never impressed me much, save for the signal fact that the money I stuck in such regalia since the 1980s did not fare
as badly as lousy housing or bum equities that vanished in the recent stock market crashes.