I am obviously still a newcomer to this hobby, but I was wondering what is the best way to hunt down "woodwork" items?
When I drive thru the older communities, I cant help but think what military treasures these century old houses might posses. Is there a certain way to work your own community for artifacts? I am getting tired of looking at online outlets, and would love to stumble upon items myself.
Any help is always appreciated,
05-16-2015 01:33 AM
If/when you find out let me know...
I've asked my dealer the same question....strangely he won't tell me....LoL
My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them
"Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)
I'm guessing you just have to be blunt....
The only way that I have found items from the "woodwork" is by asking people at yard sales or estate sales if they have any military items, or know of anyone that might have some nice treasures in their garages.
There's a couple of ways to try it, if you're feeling gutsy and want to try a risk. When you find a likely looking town, find out what is it's main newspaper and put in a "Wanted to Buy" ad in it's classifieds. Run it often so people get to recognize your ad and remember it. Sometimes you get zippo and sometimes you might be surprised at a sudden phone call. Some guys rent a room for a day at a local motel and take out a Full Page Ad a week or 2 before- just like the scrap gold and silver buyers do. It's costly, but all you need to have is that One good item come in the door. They call these "Motel Buys" and sometimes you luck out. Some family getting rid of "Uncle Henry's old War Junk" which just might include who knows what? But if you Do try this, be Fair to the people and offer them decent prices. No one wants to leave feeling like they've been ripped off. Develop a Good reputation for fairness and honesty. Eventually, the Word will get out. "You got some old war stuff laying around? Call this guy....he's a good guy."
Years ago, I owned a brick and mortar store and you wouldn't believe the stuff that would walk in at random in the door. Most of the time....nothing. Be Prepared to draw Blanks and it Will Cost you money when it happens. But Then...here comes that old "Nazi Knife" with little skulls on the chains,or "Grandpa's old German gun" that turns out to be a Black Widow Luger in it's original holster.... Be open and Truthful. Tell them what it's Worth and what you could Sell it for and generally offer them Half of the full value-explaining that you have Bills to pay and costs that need to be covered. The newspaper ads-the motel rent-taxes, etc. Most people are good and will understand. And if they don't? Let them walk away. In the end, you'll be the better person and you just might end up with some interesting stuff!
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
Do your research and bulk up on information. when your all alone in the field you are gonna have to make that call.
You have an advantage. You live in the middle of no where. Its daunting but it is off the beaten path and with good old normal country folks that a few of my best items came from. They tend to have those items no one has seen since granpa put it in the attic after the war. they have no local militaria shops and gypsy motel dealers swinging in to rip people off.
A newspaper add is a good idea, so is craigs list, one thing I have found is posting a sheet or two at the local market or other well travled areas like the library. of course check for posting permissions first.
I don't have to tell you how much your reputation is worth because you know it inside and out from growing up out there.
Check auctions, yardsales ect. never underestimate what may be at some of these sales, if nothing is showing ask in a nice way.
It takes a lot of time and effort but the more you look. the higher your chances are at doing well.
Being in this hobby and finding decent woodwork stuff is like being an Illini or Boiler football fan. years of mediocrity, a few surprise wins here and there and ever 10 to 20 they get to go to the rose bowl.