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Half of the Hobby?


cwnorma

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I had to take a year off of collecting.

 

It was mostly because I got sick of the jerks, frauds, and all-around bung-holes in this hobby. What do I mean? Imagine the sort of person who will hand your wife their card and tell her; "give me a call if you ever want to stick it to him," with three tables full of fakes--Lovely.

 

Sociologists would say that any group large enough should conform to a normal distribution but It seems to me there are only two types in our hobby: 1) Salt of the earth who really want to honor the memory of those who served. 2) Donkey-Wagons who would pimp their grandmothers if they thought they could get one more collar disk out of the deal...

 

There ARE a lot of wonderful people in the hobby, and I have made a lot of great friends along the way.

 

So my question is, what is it about our hobby that seems to attract the scum of the earth?

 

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So my question is, what is it about our hobby that seems to attract the scum of the earth?

 

 

I wouldn't necessarily say "our hobby"...sadly, there are unsavory people in every hobby, particularly any hobby where money is involved. Whether you're collecting baseball cards, model trains, artwork, jewelry, Beenie Babies, Disney pins, cast-iron cookware...the list goes on forever...if there's money to be made in it, you'll find people who are willing to bend the ethical rules to "get up on the other guy" and make a buck (or two) off people who they feel aren't as knowledgeable as they are.

 

It also depends on where you're dealing from too...before the Internet came along, I'd say almost every militaria collector I ran into in my local area (thanks to the local papers and "wanted" ads) were either people willing to screw you over to make a buck or downright sleazeballs. It wasn't until I started meeting people outside my local area that I started to find people who were good, honest, people who actually cared about others and more importantly, cared about the history of this "stuff".

 

Just my thoughts...

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia

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doinworkinvans

Follow the money

 

Any time , any where...follow the money

 

That is why the LOVE of money is the root of all evil

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

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USMF's custom photo resize tool:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/229816-custom-resize-tool-exclusively-for-the-usmf/




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mattsmilitary

Follow the money

 

Any time , any where...follow the money

 

That is why the LOVE of money is the root of all evil

 

Bingo!

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Matt's Military

milimportexport2@gmail.com


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I totally understand what you are saying and why you had to take a break. I think there are more types in this hobby so maybe we should divide further than half. :) The thing that turns me off the most from collecting is the constant bickering about whether or not an item is real. It is almost like “If it is mine or a member of my group of friends then it is real. If it is yours then it is fake”. :blink: I believe some people have taken a break from posting their items because of this bickering.

 

You are correct that there are some wonderful people in this hobby. I have met some of the most generous and caring people on here. They are what makes this a wonderful forum and makes this hobby fun.

 

...Kat

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It's the money and the environment I think. When you go to a show you basically have two sets of people...buyers and sellers. It's a competitive environment. The buyers want to get there first and get all of the good stuff and the sellers want to make more money than the other guy. The reason for collecting/respect for the actual items becomes secondary. It's like going to the grocery store the night before Thanksgiving. I don't go to the shows very often mainly because I don't like feeling like cattle. My collection may be lacking and I may be limiting my access to a lot of items but I enjoy the hobby and that is top priority for me. Build yourself a small network of people you enjoy interacting with slow down the pace.


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I wouldn't necessarily say "our hobby"...sadly, there are unsavory people in every hobby, particularly any hobby where money is involved.

Dave

 

Fair enough. Maybe I just had a string of bad run-ins. I have to say that the local collecting scene here in San Anto is pretty great. Here the ratio of good to bad is 10 to 1. Maybe it was just my luck but when I lived back east or further out west, those numbers seemed reversed.

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It is almost like “If it is mine or a member of my group of friends then it is real. If it is yours then it is fake”. :blink: I

...Kat

Kat,

 

I know! I have seen that specific behavior before as well--If I own it It is good; if you own it and I don't have one, It is bad. Another version of that is is the old: "Well, thats a real one but it isn't a very good example..." Again it always seems to come from someone who doesn't have one in their own collection.

 

Chris

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Follow the money

 

Agreed, but there are a lot of much easier ways to make money. Why militaria?

 

I haven't thought on it a lot so please take this with a grain of salt, but I think there is a certain kind of sociopathic personality type that simply enjoys screwing people over. I think they may also be drawn to the hobby because of the dark aspects of the Military (death, destruction, infamy, etc) On the other side of the coin are collectors who idealistically want to honor the history. These folks are drawn into the hobby because of the positive side of Military service (honor, bravery, sacrifice, etc).

 

I think the sociopaths especially enjoy screwing over idealists. It must be like icing on the cake for them.

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Agreed, but there are a lot of much easier ways to make money. Why militaria?

 

If there were no dealers where would the purist/idealists get their collections? I drive hundreds of miles a week and work from 8AM to 10PM 7 days a week (thanks to computers) so I can save historical artifacts from the trash can or ragmills and get them into the hands of collectors who appreciate the history and legacy of the militaria artifacts.

 

I don't determine the prices of anything I sell: the collectors do. I can ask for a certain amount but more often than not the buyers will let me know what they will pay and they prevail. Now I do run into old school dealers in all areas of collectibles who try to set a price a hold firm on it. They have the antique mall booths that have the same inventory as they did one year ago and their militaria (and other collectibles) show tables hold the same stuff you saw at previous shows.

 

There are a lot of people who snap up anything military at swap meets and estate sales hoping that some of it will reap a big profit: those kinds don't actually know about militaria or military history, they're just attracted by OD and shiny brass. These are the ones who will come across groupings and piece them out because they can make more money that way. I sold a major KIA grouping here two weeks ago for about 50% of what I could have gotten with an ebay auction but I promised the veteran's daughter I would get it in the hands of a collector who would treasure and preserve it. It was real cool to find such a grouping and bring it out of the woodwork: there's a lot of psychic reward in that, which is good because all of the running around and 90 hour work weeks doesn't result in a lot of cash rewards, pretty much just enough to pay some of the bills and have some capital for future buys (you can have a huge amount of money tied up in inventory that you seem to buy faster than it can sell).

 

As noted by others, none of the complaints are unique to militaria collecting: I suspect there are other collectible arenas that make militaria seem genteel. I don't know where you and others are running into all these sociopaths, but I think the best thing to do is just walk away when encounter them, maybe roll your eyes and give thanks nothing forces you to interact with them (the workplace has more than enough crazies we can't escape from, but some nut at a show can easily be avoided). Myself, I get a chuckle out of some of these old dinosaurs at shows - better to laugh at them then to let them get your blood pressure up.

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Bob,

 

My musing was not aimed at Dealers vs Collectors, but I see how it could read it that way now that I go back and re-read it. Unfortunately I can't edit the post now. Truly that was not my intent. What I should have said above was there are "others" instead of "collectors" in that post. Sorry for slap-dashing out a response, and doubly sorry if my poor wording seemed aimed at you (or other dealers). It wasn't.

 

To be honest, I personally count many of the dealers I know as being in the good egg category.

 

Just to be absolutely clear, I'm not impugning dealers. I'm only talking about the jerks in the hobby--not specifically dealers (although honestly some of them may be jerks) but this thread is not intended to a be a collectors versus dealers rant.

 

And like you said, it got so bad I had to take a vacation from it. I had to "walk away" like you said.

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Just a clash of personalities, better to smile and move on.

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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I agree with RC. I used to get a mad at some of the stuff that happens, but I've realized that they're not worth the effort. I have slowed my personal efforts for numerous reasons (one reason was the very same thing you stated above) and I have mostly been keeping to myself while refocusing and becoming a better collector in regards to research. I still keep in contact with those that I consider my friends in this hobby, and my blood pressure thanks me for it. Just remember, there are good people in this hobby, don't let a piece of trash ruin something that you enjoy.

 

Mike

I am always looking for named items to Central Illinois WWI veterans.

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Cap Camouflage Pattern I

This is why I usually go to flea markets and garage sales, hardly anybody around me collects militaria as far as I can tell so it's cheap and people will give me free stuff because I'm interested or because they don't want to haul it around. They're happy to have made $10 and I'm happy to have my whatever that I didn't plan on buying till I saw it.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a thousand pictures!

"I read that in war bad things happen, Ain't that the ************* truth" -1st Lt Mike Scotti

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've taken the better part of a year off for many of the same reasons cited by the OP. The bickering is tiresome as well.

I do not profess to be a militaria expert, but I conduct as much research as I am capable of and then write about my findings.
Check out my blogs, The Veteran's Collection (general militaria) and Chevrons and Diamonds (military baseball)

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  • 2 weeks later...
VladimirBerkov

It's the best of people, the worst of people. Some of the best guys I've ever known are collectors, and some of the worst.

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US Victory Museum

I had to take a year off of collecting.
It was mostly because I got sick of the jerks, frauds,
and all-around bung-holes in this hobby.

[...]

So my question is, what is it about our hobby that seems
to attract the scum of the earth?


:D
HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!

The only reason you could possibly say something like
this is because you have no experience in gun collecting.

The gun collecting hobby is a cruel and shallow money
trench, a long plastic hallway devoid of human dignity
where pimps and thieves run free, and good men die like
dogs.

I don't want to be accused of sugar coating things, so
I'll say that there is also a negative side to the gun
collecting hobby.

Please note: The people that have criminal records and
can't legally be in the trade end up in the Harley Davidson
business, ...in some capacity.

That would be a topic of its own.


Don't let the (you know who) grind you down!

 

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blitzkrieg gsd

The thing that gets me the most pissed is those who sells fakes and knows it. The guy at the show with nothing but junk and tells you it's all good. All of you who said money is the problem they are rite. When people figured out they could get a few thousand off a 200 dollar helmet when they added some paint it went bad. Now German items are even worse that's where the real crooks live and die. That's where I started but I ended up here to keep away from the crooks. It has helped but now with US stuff gaining in value they have followed us here now. All I can say is don't take the money side of the hobby to serious just do you and what makes you happy

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Jacka$$es are everywhere; every hobby, interest & profession imaginable. If you do something long enough, they'll find you.

"I fear all we have done was to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve". Vice Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

 

Number of defenseless people rounded up & exterminated in the 20th century because of gun control: 56 MILLION!

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AAF_Collection

I have been collecting since I was maybe ten years old, so over 25 years, though I'm well aware there are plenty on here who have been at it for much longer.

 

While there are undoubtedly scummy elements in every hobby, in my experience militaria collecting does, as others have said, seem to attract both the very best and the very worst of humanity. I have always done my best to stick with the mantra "Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself" and I refuse to deal with someone once they have shown themselves to be scum, be they a private individual or a dealer.

 

Matt.

Collecting WWII and pre-war Air Corps items-Unit Histories,Uniforms,Medals and Groupings.

*Seeking Pre-WWII Air Corps Officers and Enlisted Dress Uniform items!*

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Every village has an idiot or two, our village has just been blessed more than others. The "village idiots" aside, the rest of the population is made up of some really nice guys. :)

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."

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Way too much good stuff in the world to waste time on jerks, and besides, the law prevents us from breaking the nose of every AH who really has it coming. Glad you're back Chris.

Visit My Website

Falls Creek Collectibles
Selling Quality 20th Century Militaria


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