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Why antique shops have no clue on militaria

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#51 Bodes

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:05 AM

I've run into the ebay road block many times....One lady I know has refused to sell to me, cuz I can get a whole lot more money on there...At least twice, this wasn't the case....First was a US armored pamphlet from WW2......Was convinced she'd get $200 on the internet....I offered $10....After numerous attempts to sell with a high BIN price, she started it off at $9.99.....Got one bid.....Second item was a pair of US double boots she had at an estate....Wanted $200 and I placed a $90 in the offer box, in case they didn't sell.....She pulled them prior to the sale ending, so she could list them in ebay.....I upped my offer to $100, cash and carry...She said she would list them with an opening bid of $90.....Nobody bid until under sixty seconds left......After paying fees and having to ship, she made less money....Karma got even with her, laughed pretty hard both times, Bodes

Edited by Bodes, 14 June 2018 - 08:09 AM.

#52 phantomfixer

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 11:55 AM

This is a pretty good thread...fun to read through the experiences of fellow collectors....most of buy and sell to fund the hobby...or business...

I like the antique malls...Sometimes you do find deals...and sometimes you have to wonder what they were smoking...laugh/chuckle and walk away

Edited by phantomfixer, 14 June 2018 - 11:55 AM.

#53 Thor996

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 12:49 PM

Went to an Antique Mall yesterday. There was a box of WW2 era letters. Just a few were V-Mail. The person was selling them for $1.00 ea. He said that he sells one or two per day. I asked what he would take for the lot. He said $100 for 135 letters. To me that sounded reasonable and that I would think about it. I looked around to see what else may be found. Due to where I live I usually grab whatever ever i can that is WW2 related regardless of the price. After further thought I decided against it because i have been focusing on purchasing division marked uniforms from Forum members and I did not want to purchase an impulsive buy albeit it may have been a great deal. I don't know? I told the seller that I will pass for now. He got mad and said that people are only trying to get a steal on deals. I objected to him and he then said not to bother to come back in! Ticked me off!! I really had to restrain myself from going back later and offering him $99 for the lot!!


unless the narrative in those letters are something reaaaaaaaal good, [or a really really rare APO or someone very special wrote em] you'd be wayyy  way over paying for that at 99$ 



#54 Longbranch

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 11:17 PM

LOL. Whenever I see a seller checking eBay to figure up an asking price during negotiations, I just let them know if they want eBay prices, they should probably sell whatever it is on eBay. And deal with the investment in time listing/packing/shipping, 13% cut for eBay, possible returns, etc.

Then I walk away. Lots of stuff out there that you don't need to play games to get.


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Posted 15 June 2018 - 04:55 AM

Having worked in an antique mall off and on for the last 8 years or so, I can say that it's usually ignorant optimism to blame for the prices. Most of the dealers I know who find a military item assume it must be WWII, and therefore must be valuable. Many are older and price things on their gut instincts rather than researching similar items online. As has bee said though, some people just don't want to hear it when you try to offer friendly pricing advice. Dealers used to ask my advice, and then essentially throw it out the window.

"Hey Ryan, what should I put on this (stripped, moth eaten) Ike Jacket?" "$25 and then take offers" "Ehhh... I'm gonna put $150 on it"


But like someone else mentioned, only 99% of the things in antique malls are overpriced. Sometimes there are deals to be had. One of my favorite antique mall finds was a numbered Purple Heart for $4.99. It was in a really lousy antique mall full of 90's toys, VHS tapes, fake primitives, etc. I almost gave up then I saw the medal in a case with a tag that said "Purple Heart Pin". I guess the dealer thought it was just jewelry. I couldn't get to the register fast enough to get the girl to open the case. The cashier knew what it was and changed the description on the receipt. I still have the medal, in a riker with the receipt. It's my little reminder to keep hitting the antique malls, despite the aggravation of seeing ETO ribbons for $15, Army good conduct medals for $50, AAF patches for $20, etc...








#56 USmilitaryMuseum

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 04:56 PM

There is an antique store in my town selling a WWI gas mask for $30, probably going to go this weekend to get it.  Same store has a 1970's USAF tunic completely stripped for $70.  Always a hit or miss.

Edited by USmilitaryMuseum, 15 June 2018 - 04:57 PM.

#57 huntssurplus

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 01:24 PM

Thought I would bring this thread back up with an experience of mine. 

I was visiting some family of mine around Christmas time 2017, and they have a small army/navy surplus store nearby. So naturally, I thought I would pop in and take a look around. Now I walk in and find a few things, a pair of Korean War wool pants, a nice WW2 Navy jumper with ruptured duck, and a 1950's PFC Ike jacket with a US army in Europe patch. First thing I see is the Ike has a tag that says $50, so I put that back. Then I take up my two other items to the cashier desk and ask to negotiate. I am able to get the pants for $5 but the lady is pretty stiff trying to keep the jumper for $25 so I let that go and walk away with the pants. Fast forward to now and a few weeks ago I found myself in that same store again while I was visiting family. I walk in and the first thing I see is that same Ike from Christmas. So I call over one of the women helping out and keep in mind the store is closing cause the couple who run it are retiring, and I ask if we can negotiate. The first thing she says is "I don't know especially since that jacket is authentic world war two". And I replied asking what was the lowest she could go, but she kept talking about how it is authentic world war two even though spec tag literally says "field jacket m1950". Suffice to say I put it back and said nothing about the jacket and what time period it's from. I just found it weird how after sitting in the shop for at least 6 months and the store closing down for good they wouldn't want to even try and negotiate. 


#58 MattS

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 05:20 AM

I went to an antique shop this weekend and found a plastic tote full of Boy Scout mess tins and aluminum cookware. Mixed in were two mess kits, one 1918 and one 1943 with utensils. I really didn't need them, but I pulled them out and asked about them. The entire tote was $55. I told the kid behind the counter that the military mess kits would sell better separately and showed him the dates. He thanked me and set them behind the counter. Just trying to spread a little knowledge. 

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