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I just did a cursory search around a few of the bigger US Dealer's websites last night. needless to say, I was pretty stunned at some of the prices I saw! :speechless1:

My question is... who the heck is buying this stuff at these levels??

1700 USD for an RK-25 GAB?

450 USD for an IAB

Yikes!

:speechless1:

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The pricing is starting to get a little ridiculous. A couple years ago when I started collecting IAB's $175.00 was a crazy price. Now I am regularly seeing common makers in average condition top $200.00 everywhere. Thank God for the German flea markets because once I leave here, I don't think I'll be able to be as active a collecter as I have been :( .

Me too. Attention all Imperial "Investors" don't do it! Stay far away.... buy a McDonald's franchise instead!

;>)

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This is a very interesting topic and one I've had much discussion with other collectors and dealers on.....particularly at the last few shows I've attended.

The problem, as I see it, with the Third Reich stuff is this; largely speaking, the collectors are all older, lets say 40 on up. Reason being is that we all grew up with WW2 movies in the theaters, Combat, Twelve O'Clock High, Hogans Heros, Rat Patrol, etc., etc. all over TV and when we played army in the neighborhood it was always the Germans versus the Americans. We also had fathers or family members who served in the war and had souvenirs which caught our interest. In other words, we have an early emotional attachment to this stuff. The Germans were the bad guys in the cool uniforms. The Darth Vader of our times.

Now, fast forward to 2006. Most of the collectors in the above described age bracket are late in their careers and are thus in their peak earning years. This is creating a competition to pay whatever you can to get the desirable piece you want before the next guy gets a crack at it, thus driving the prices up year after year and now really accelerating the pace.

The unfortunate result of this is that young collectors are now priced out of the market. Back in 1969 as a 12 year old I was buying tunics for $15 and collar patches for $5....affordable prices for a kid then. Mow a few lawns and you could buy a tunic. Now, I don't know of any 12 year olds in 2006 who get a couple grand for mowing three lawns

The BAD thing for all of us older collectors is that in the coming years (and I believe it is already starting) many will be retiring and there is going to be a glut of stuff coming back on the market in hopes of the big pay off to help fund those trips around the world in the golden years. Others will die and the kids will be left in a position to try and unload it. Bottom line is this; who is coming up from below (age wise), in the numbers that are going to be required, to be buying it from us at our now inflated values?

I'm not trying to be a pessimist here about militaria in general. I just think the Third Reich stuff is set up for another chapter of "The Rise and Fall of", if you know what I mean. And yes I've heard the argument again and again about how people in the sixties, seventies and eighties, etc. all complained of escalating prices and that it never stopped back then. Well, that argument is now getting as old as we are. Time for a serious pulse checking.

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Interesting points and I agree. It's the same with Imperial... we see very little "new collectors" coming into the market simply because prices are so high across the board. You see 3.Reich collectors drawn into Imperial, but not a lot of "new blood".

It will be interesting to see if this "glut" actually appears.

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One other important item is the position of the Euro vs. the US Dollar. At one point the large German dealers were coming to the big shows and when they stepped through the doors it was like they were getting a 25% discount. This was just a couple years ago, today it is more like 15%. In response the American dealers hiked their prices to offset the difference. The American dealers know full well if and when the Euro and the US Dollar are once again equal neither will drop their prices.

To get ready for what the dealers knew was going to happen they increased their prices on inventory they had bought when the Euro and US Dollar were reveresed. Because they knew they would eventually have to replace it with higher dollar items.

As collectors we have had to add fewer pieces to our collections each year. It does not take the fun out of collecting but it sure limits were I thought my collecting was headed. JMO

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Sooner than later, I believe we'll see the prices flatten out and maybe even start to decline. I've already seen some of the older dealers (and some high profile collectors like Angolia and Peterson) selling off their personal collections, yet keeping a small to moderate 'sales' inventory to continue to cash in on the high tide of prices. Many of them of course will argue against a future downturn, as they have a vested interest in keeping this good thing going as long as it can.

Some collectors will switch the need for their 'fix' to other areas of militaria that are more affordable.

About two years ago I got fed up with where prices had gone and switched my interest over to U.S. and other nations militaria. I found the excitement and elation of buying really nice items for next to nothing (in comparison to Third Reich stuff) to be just as big of a high as buying the German stuff used to be.....plus it opened up a whole new horizon of interest and learning, which is just as much fun. I'll still pick up a piece here and there of the Third Reich stuff.....but now only when using something out of my collection, with its equally inflated value, as trade.

And in all of this discussion we haven't even brought the element of Third Reich fakery into the discussion, which we know creates problems for the future in its own right.

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Interesting comment regarding the Euro... I remember when the DM converted to the Euro... many dealers simply doubled (!! yes, doubled!!) their prices... amongst them were Weitze and Winkler... When the big guys "sneeze" everybody catches "the cold". Within a 90 day period we saw prices zoom upwards........ theres been some back-sliding, but for the most part, pricing seems to have stabilized at a significantly higher level than before.

This was one of the things that drove me out of some of the narrowly-focused badges I dealt with 3. Reich. When I sold mine, I was at least 30% below the asking elsewhere and it took exactly 1 week to sell about a dozen top-end numbered GAB's & PAB's. Since then, I have watched prices continue to increase and I am seriously glad I have chosen to stay away from them. When pricing for a GAB-100 exceeds 4K? How many people do you know willing to spend 4K on one badge?

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One thing is for sure and that is once the price goes up it will not come down. Another interesting thing happened at the same time. The Dealers from Europe used to come to the shows with a ton of high quality items enough to fill 5 - 7 tables. Now they only pay for 2 - 3 tables, bring below par items and a big bag of money.

Many of the long time collectors took advantage of the higher Euro and sold out and made a lot of money ( good for them ). But that also raised the bar another notch, now the "entry level" collector cannot afford to buy at these crazy prices so instead they hoard beanie babies. :rolleyes:

There are so many fine looking medals, badges and awards in the world that I have started to collect items with "eye appeal." The fine enamels and hand work from craftsman long gone to time. You can buy a ton of Turkish, Austrian and Estonian Medals for the price of one SS Dagger.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Coming back from a few US Militaria Shows in the past 2 weeks, I no longer know what to think about prices. They were off the charts!!

I rarely sell my Militaria, and when I do, I offer it at a price close to MY original purchase price or even just below. I don?t follow THE Market price! I?m not looking to make a profit. I?m just looking to make enough to turn it into other militaria that I enjoy. A self-propagating hobby!

However, at the shows, I found it difficult to sell a simple IAB at $80 but watched questionable IABs and other badges sell at a dealer?s table nearby for nearly double my price. But hey??they had 8 tables and really cool banners!!

So what do I think about pricing and buying???It?s all a matter of comfort. Most buyers are comfortable buying from BIG dealers because ?everyone does it, so it must be good stuff? and I?m sure they are thinking ?this price MUST be at the known Market price? and not seriously inflated. Yeah, right!!

I think only the experienced collectors can go through each table or website and buy pieces that fit their collection without asking second opinions. These type of collectors that buy based on experience/knowledge will know good pieces and buy at almost any price without hesitation. Those that buy on ?comfort? have to pay the dealer?s higher prices (and they usually do, because most people want to be comfortable!).

I think the table banners flying overhead really help people feel comfortable about forking over the dough!! :speechless::speechless:

(Another misconception about pricing is: low price = fake ? but that?s another issue!)

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  • 5 months later...

As a new collector and relatively young (28) I sure hope the prices go down a little, as I all I can afford are KVK's and tinnies, besides a couple exceptions. I think prices have dropped a bit as you can easily find IAB's out there for around 100-140 US price range, but some sites still have WAY too high prices. I made the mistake early on of buying a bunch of repro badges for about 10-90 bucks apiece without knowing what they were really going for or really anything about fakes etc, and I was shocked at how high the prices were when I first heard, and the doubt of originality gradually crept in and they were confirmed recently on this site. This alone would be enough to scare off most young collectors just starting out, but I intend to keep with it by only buying accepted pieces at a non outrageous price in the TR area (along with my Canadian stuff), so I guess there are a few of us "new blood" around!

Cheers,

Pat

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As a new collector and relatively young (28) I sure hope the prices go down a little, as I all I can afford are KVK's and tinnies, besides a couple exceptions. I think prices have dropped a bit as you can easily find IAB's out there for around 100-140 US price range, but some sites still have WAY too high prices. I made the mistake early on of buying a bunch of repro badges for about 10-90 bucks apiece without knowing what they were really going for or really anything about fakes etc, and I was shocked at how high the prices were when I first heard, and the doubt of originality gradually crept in and they were confirmed recently on this site. This alone would be enough to scare off most young collectors just starting out, but I intend to keep with it by only buying accepted pieces at a non outrageous price in the TR area (along with my Canadian stuff), so I guess there are a few of us "new blood" around!

Cheers,

Pat

Probably the best advice would be to first study the hell out of items that interest you.....read the books, read the forum threads, get to know the tiny differences between the good and the bad. THEN, go hit some militaria shows and meet some other collectors. Pick up your pieces through those avenues and avoid the militaria dealer websites as they are for the most part all way over-priced and just as filled with junk as anywhere else.

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Hello,

I can only concur with what has been said so far. The pricing has virtually exploded in the past few years.

For me it has become quite above my level of understanding that persons (collectors or dealers) are willing to spend over a few hundred US $ or even Euro (?) for simple awards as the EK 2, IAB, etc ....

That is for certain a tempo that will make the market explode and then the investor collectors will go out crying that they lost lots of money, etc ....

Here we have reached the point we should reach => collect because it is fun and because you love the item for what it is and what it does stand for (honour, bravery in the field, merit for logistics, qualification, etc ...) . The money is a important point but when collecting does only turn arround the $$$ involved then you will get a serious headache in the future. :speechless:

I for one have began specializing in the past few years and that has paid off, offcoarse it is a field that does not attract much interest . Namely German glider pilots. Most of the persons that are into Luftwaffe doesn't even recognize these things as they are always looking for the either Paratrooper or fighter pilots, that is a lucky thing => as then ic an pick up cherry's that are not recognized as such :cheeky:

The simple workhorses (=transporters as well as other branches) are often overlooked and then you get your chance. But learn, learn untill you do feel comfortable with a certain field. There are unexplored fields that needs to be redicovered (as that is what it is, REDISCOVERY of history).

Please do not collect for the value that these things are supposed to have, collect them for the history and because you like them.

As for pricing i have seen just today anotehr rather ridiculous kind of pricing, a person does find some awards => nice and original things for sure. Then he asks about what he could get for them. Some persons do tell him the correct todays market price and then some idiot does say start much higher, you can always come off from your price ???? EHHHH?? I even wonder iff these persons do realize how crazy this is getting :shame: (well let the dumb ones then eat each other for those to expensive things, not my kind of collecting.)

It would not suprise me that in some kind of future when i have reached my saturationpoint (= that is when i will no longer be able to contact and chat with glider pilots who are still amongst us at this day) that i also do stumble into imperial.

Anyway => the prices are indeed become insane :angry:

Cordial greetings,

Edited by Stijn David
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Very good and true points all! I do not know what some folks do for a living that enables them to channel $10,000.00 into a chained SS Dagger, or $3,500.00 - $ 7,500.00 into an SS Honor Ring. Even if you had unlimited resources I would think these are very volitile "investments." Folks often forget why they collect and they become followers. IMHO spending money like this on a collectibles from the TR could ensure that your dreams change from owning the items to how the H_ _L can I ever sell this stuff so I can retire.

:speechless:

This forum has a small amount of TR Militaria compared to most, as a result you can see what beauty lives on in almost any countrys militaria. You will sleep good at night and retire and collect the rest of your life.

:cool:

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Guest Darrell

The one item that has increased in the last few months are Cased EK1's. On a certain e-stand, rusty EK's and Battered cases are fetching over $350 :speechless1:

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Hi Darrell -

Well, at least folks are ASKING $350 or $450 for thier rusty banged-up stuff, but I have not seen a lot of it moving anywhere fast... Just saw an average cased KVK 1 with Swords for $450 - ouch! It's still there, however.

Here is an educated guess from an economic novice: In the next ten to fifteen years I think we will see a pullback in the prices of common items - IAB's, WB's, GAB's, issue visors, sidecaps, etc. I think that a lot of folks who collect will indeed be cashing in, and the common items will start showing up in greater numbers. The high end stuff, well, forget it - rare is rare. But $200 or even $150 for an average IAB? I really don't think the market can sustain that indefinitely. When was the last time you visited even a small web militaria site and there weren't 5-6 IAB's or wound badges each?

It's out there still, and folks with patience can still get a bargain, but not as easily as five years ago. The "gotta have it now" mentality is what has driven prices up - not increased rarity. When I got serious about the hobby in 1997 (yes I am am still learning), you could get IAB's for $60 and issue infantry arty and infantry visors for $200 to $225 in good condition. Now, you'd be lucky to get a moth buffet for that price. IMHO, the market may have crested. How many were destoyed or somehow lost to posterity in the last ten years? Very few - so they are still there, maybe in a collection, but they have gotten no rarer, just perhaps harder to get - for now. Higher gas prices, an aging collecting community, fewer folks getting into collecting, the MTV generation, whatever you want to blame, I think the baseline may well drop when the next generation starts to get into the hobby, simply because they do not have that visceral conection that many of us have to the hobby.

However, my brilliant analysis aside, I am equally sure there were Centurians sitting around Rome in 50 BC saying "ten lira for a lousy Hun helmet? It can't last!"

:(

Don

Edited by DonC
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:cheers: Don's spot on.

It all comes down to "I don't want 'X' that badly." And somehow people who OVERPAID still seem to think they are entitled to full-money-back-plus on their VERY BAD "investments" gone sour. I don't "invest" and I long ceased caring about something that was the cost of a meal or whatever... when I bought it 25 years ago. My "return" has been many years of enjoying Said Wuzzit: "investment" repaid in full, to my mind.

I was a happy packrat young, and my eclectic tastes have never truly gone away. Priced out of Field 'Y" I simply move on (just as happily) to field 'Z.' No one's holding a gun to my head "making" me buy... anything. In the final analysis, ALL of this is a hobby that comes in BEHIND food & litter for Senior Cat on my scale of priorities.

Priorities! 1939-45 apparently is as remote to today's yout' AS that centurion. So let's consider Current Events and Future Trends, eh?

Now that Moscow's retired taxidermists are on urgent APB for an all-expenses-paid "top secret" long distance rush job...

is, I think a good time to be thinking about C-u-b-a-n.

Young (relatively) kiddoes will recall Grenada or even "Red Dawn," while Oldsters such as moi well remember spending that week in October 1962 under school desks while sirens blared and we all prepared for an end...

that has turned out entirely different some 44 years later.

Nuclear annhilation-almost... global armed revolutionary adventures...

and for a while, at least-- bargain prices as all that exciting Mystery Stuff comes out now that collapsed regimes no longer burn or bury their detritus... but sell it off on eBay.

People LAUGHED about there being any "future" for SOVIET collecting... 5 years ago.

... :rolleyes:

Most of us in at that start 10+ years back have now been priced out. :speechless1:

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Guest Darrell

IMHO, the market may have crested.

Don

Many folks are saying the same about the price of gas .... I have different opinions on that :rolleyes:

I sure hope your right ... but like EVERYTHING else we buy ... things wont be coming back down. Unfortunately, waiting for that bargain price usually means waiting a lifetime. I guess if you will still be a collector 30 years from now, you may eventually get it ....

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My take on pricing is different from the rest so far....The Internet is the MAIN REASON!!!! Info from around the world is at your finger tips, people showing there badges now find they have repros, they learn what a good one should look like, this really slants the supply and demand market...we are know more focused on authentic piece where the collecting community gives you the thumbs up or down on pieces, also I noticed a huge influx of under 25 year old collectors paying these high prices and making it more difficult on getting things from the same source as the competion for the same item is huge...as items at shows especially in Europe continue to diminish we will only see the demand never being met-so price will continue to rise-though hopefully not at the rate as in the last few years....

Best

Jeff

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You do realize that what my (Truly) Evil Twin? is attemting to do here, don't you?

Now that he has artificially inflated Soviet prices, he has sold off the 500+ piece collection and purchased a rather palatial estate for himself.

Now he's trying to make you think Cuban medals are a sound "investment" too..... as you boys & girls increase demand, prices will rise again to an artificially perceived level that is surely due to collapse. Of course since the (T)ET? has just sold off all his Cuban stuff while the "learning curve" takes place again.... he'll be able to park his new Viper in front of his new home.

You guys & gals are so easy......

:cheeky::cheeky::cheeky:

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