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Future of the Hobby

Article about: I have been collecting IIRP militaria for almost the past 8 years and have seen the prices of items inch up and up during that time. I have read and heard the stories about 15 or 20 years ag

  1. #11


    I believe the hobby is alive and well...The Internet has been instrumental in creating the lucrative international market that we see today...There was nothing like this when I began collecting in 1974 as a youngster, when you were pretty much on your own with very few books, let alone anything even remotely like this Forum...I also believe that we're already seeing an increased interest due to the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of WWI (1914-18), and the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6th of this year...
    Btw, I've never been a man of wealth who could just buy a load of stuff and call it a collection...Because of this I've always had to rely upon my own research, knowledge, footwork and luck instead, to know a good thing when I see it, to develop a real instinct for this material, my German-language skills help of course, and constant price comparisons along with much patience in order to put my collections together...I don't think I've ever spent more than $400 on a single item in 38 years of collecting...Money helps, but Passion is surely the most important factor in successful collecting, in my opinion...
    cheers, Glenn

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    Last edited by bigmacglenn; 01-10-2014 at 04:14 AM.

  2. #12


    Bravo Glenn and all others who posted replies.

    In my words...even in study alone only strengthens ones knowledge. That is in itself...a part of collecting. Like building upon a small stone...just keep adding to it. Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  3. #13


    The art of the hunt when you find a item is all I need to keep going in this hobby. I bet younger collectors share the same excitement and will continue collecting. I do share the same feeling as Fred Green. My wife would probably just sell all my stuff for a $1 ea. However, I'm glad she doesn't ask too many questions about prices of my collection...

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  4. #14


    Lots of people prophesy doom in this hobby. While many like our friend from Poland think earnestly about this issue, there is a lot of petty jealousy involved with others. Many collectors are envious of those who have rarer, more expensive items than they do, so they project that the market will eventually crash—ostensibly hoping for some moment of Schadenfreude in the future.

    It is true that those at the forefront of the hobby are the children of those who fought in the Second World War, but the younger collectors like me are their grandchildren. These things will remain relevant to those who know the people who used and wore them personally. When you add to that the fact that WWII was the biggest, bloodiest, most widespread armed conflict in the history of the human race, there is always going to be some basic level of fascination in it and the relics that serve as its testament.

    Actually, in contrast to what a lot of the doomsday soothsayers project, it seems as though the high end items are the ones that remain the most bullet proof. I've noticed pretty clear stagnation in the overall market compared to when I started collecting about 4 years ago. But the high end items seem relatively unaffected. In fact, a couple nice SS caps sold recently for the price of a brand new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, to much of a similar kind of carnival barking.

  5. #15


    While from my perspective I do not consider myself young (18), I did start collecting at the age of 16. I don't know many people who collect personally, but I know a few people I have met online that hold my collecting interests as well. I fortunately got lucky and was able to meet a dealer ( a family friend) who introduced me to the subject. Though I would like to add that my collection could be no where near where it is today without the help provided through the generous people on this forum in the form of advice and expertise! I would try to thank you all individually, but there are too many!

  6. #16


    I don't doubt militaria collecting in general is here to stay. But will sub-fields like Polish militaria of the IIRP or PSZnZ find themselves in decline for being too specialized?

  7. #17


    I really wished UI could have started at an earlier age (42 now) I think as long as long as people have interests in the past there will always be collectors out there. My daughter is 16 years old and has a passion for history just like me. She had a chance to meet my great uncle before he passed away (WW II veteran served in France, Belgium, and Germany) and also has talked to my uncle (WW II veteran, US Navy, Pacific theatre) who is still with us but getting older every day. She enjoys listening and learning about the past and their military history. And then when we are in antique shops and she finds an old military piece, her face lights up as she wonders what kind of journey that piece had to take to be where it is now. She gets that from me. It does get passed down.

  8. #18


    Prices have been inching up since I got into this addiction in 1969/70 as a kid… I have heard over and over prices will top out - and unfortunately they never have. They seemed to have done nothing but go UP. The more time that passes, the more the population grows, the more the collectors there are out there, and as such - the more fakes are produced to handle the demand. If you research and make wise purchases, your hobby becomes an investment. The collectible field has done better than the stock market and has yet to crash. Time will tell… but what is better than an enjoyable hobby, the hunt, and a potential for another savings account in materials we all enjoy.

    Quote by LwowAK View Post
    I have been collecting IIRP militaria for almost the past 8 years and have seen the prices of items inch up and up during that time. I have read and heard the stories about 15 or 20 years ago, and I shake my head in disappointment I never had the inclination and knowledge to jump into the hobby when I first visited Poland in 1994.

    In any case, are we in a financial bubble when it comes to this hobby? I am 28 and cannot imagine many people my age or younger being passionate about history or the intricacies of collecting in this field. From my experience, most collectors tend to be older and more affluent. Is at some point this top echelon of collectors going to pass away like the original owners and a flood of items going to hit the market as the kids of these collectors decide to sell "dad's old military crap"? Will there be enough new collectors in 5 or 10 years time to absorb this supply if and when the time comes?

    Really open to your thoughts on the future of this hobby and the trend in prices (which at times seem completely idiotic - I live and work in Poland and cannot imagine who buys some of these things for 5000zl or more or 2000zl for that matter).
    Last edited by danno81; 01-09-2014 at 09:27 PM.

  9. #19


    Quote by danno81 View Post
    Prices have been inching up since I got into this addiction in 1969/70 as a kid… I have heard over and over prices will top out - and unfortunately they never have. (...)
    And they never will Sometimes the market gets softer but this doesn't mean it has topped out. Have a look at this: ZNAK SPADOCHRONOWY BOJOWY- GR.TECHN. LONDON

    Polish para badge has sold for almost $4K on Allegro today.


  10. #20


    There exist a lot more young collectors as you think ;-) I knew a few one here in Luxembourg (only 500.000 people are living here). And most of them spend enough money for their collection. For example for my last helmet I paid over 500 euro (over 2000zloty).
    Oh and I'm 20, I started collecting with 16 ;-)
    As said, there run many young collectors around :-)

    Greeting from Luxembourg

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