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Where Are These Guys When I'm Selling!!


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This is why I almost never pass up a pre-55 EGA if I see it one a store or swapmeet for perhaps $40 and under. I do find nice ones for a buck so I figure that if I pay $30 for the next one, then I've picked up two nice pieces for an average of $15 :)

 

I am going to compile some numbers on the size of the Corps between wars which may show why the pre-WWII EGA's may be even rarer than we think, especially when you a take a particular pre-War style and then break it down by makers.


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Great thought... cannot wait to the numbers think.gif

 

Bob, I concur wholeheartedly with your sediments... the first three are, however, wacko. We all occasionally see someone whom is after a specific piece for a mate and so forth. This prices are 200 - 250% beyond the auction prices we've seen this year???


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Darrell,

 

It's something I've noticed about eBay and one reason I wont compete for emblems through that auction outlet anymore. When someone is willing to bid POST-WWII H&H Imperial collar sets or POST WWII GEMSCO visor emblems up to $504 and $506 with 3 days to go, it just shows that those bidder/buyers aren't putting any common sense into their collecting and are making other novices or newer collectors panic and think every Marine emblem that comes along is SUPER RARE. To set the record straight for those who don't know, the post war bronze H&H Imperial collar emblems are about as common as the M1962 officer's pattern and were used right up until the change over in 1962, so why someone would spend that kind of money is beyond me. They are really common enough that if someone pays more than $50-$60 for a minty set of bronze, or even $75-$80 for a set of war time sterlings, they're outright hosing themselves. While the GEMSCO visor emblem isn't as common as the H&H bronze emblems, it's still post war from a common maker and still isn't worth even a quarter of what that bidder paid for it. Sometimes, it makes me wonder just how much of this could be shill bidding or just a simple lack of knowledge?

 

Getting stranger and stranger!

 

s/f, Gary

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**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/15996-please-read-gary-mohrlang-glm/

 

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I'm not a believer in the shill theory - if for no other reason than that even with a shill you still have to have one real bidder who thinks an item is worth that much. I tell you I live in an area where people pay $500,000 for a 1300 square foot house built in the 50's, yet seemingly half the older baby boomers in town are riding around on new Harleys and even the ears of homeless people are plugged with the tell-tale white earbuds of $200 iPods. The news media loves to create scare stories about "how bad things are" so we will tune in to find out the proposed solutions, but frankly my observation as someone who spent 30 years in politics and journalism is that there is still a heck of a lot of expendable money out there, much of it in the hands of people who grew up listening to the Doors singing, "We want the world and want it....now!" Add to that Europeans and Asians who often see things priced in US dollars as bargains.

 

 

The other thing is: is this the price bounce predicted before Flags of our Fathers was released? If so, what will happen when Pacific War (think Band of Brothers for the Marines) comes out next year?


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Good points, Gary. But assuming the auctions are legit.....i.e., no shill bids, the hammer price is still that day's value, whether its pork bellies, sugar or EGAs. I personally think there are a goodly number of bidders with deep pockets who haven't done their homework and EBay is their place to shop. These prices do make me feel good when I look at my 'Estate". :rolleyes:

And the question that still begs answers....How DO you value a scarce or rare collectible that you can't buy at the Department store? If a person has the dough and the desire....in auctions the sky is the limit. Records are being made in all sorts of auctions with items selling well above estimates, so why not the humble emblems of our beloved Corps?

 

I once got an EMail that had some quotes from humorist Dave Barry. One of them said "There is a fine line between collecting and mental illness". :D

 

Semper Fi, Y'all..................Bob

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Bob,

 

While I agree with you about standard auctions, where you can physically look at the actual auction pieces before bidding and face down or compromise with other bidders, on-line or catalog auctions are a whole different story. With the new Bidder 1, Bidder 2, etc., format and their Big Brother contact of other bidder policies on eBay, you have no way of knowing if you're bidding against the seller's brother or cousin or friend and absolutely no way to contact and possibly compromise with other bidders. With catalog auctions like Manion's, you had to deal with his staff of "experts" redoing your description and lowering your reserve to where a photo wouldn't be shown on very nice, scarce pieces. Half the fun of finding these old "birds" for me is hitting antique or junk stores and malls, especially here in Colorado and Utah where many of the old folks running these places have never heard of computers and still think eBay is a new marina at Lake Powell. While I know we have to face the facts that we're living in an entirely different world, with instant cyberspace communications, I can't help but giggle and smile when some of these bidders take auction prices to the silly side of absurd. whistling.gif:D

 

s/f, Gary

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**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

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Well this is becoming too bazaar to believe... this same bidder snatched up another common set of dress EGA emblems last night for an astounding amount of $685 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...A:IT&ih=005 ...that's about 4x the price a set should bring. The same bidder bought all the gold badges last week at phenomenal prices.

 

I am sure that everyone's comments to the post are on target. Especially this from Bob "that there is still a heck of a lot of expendable money out there, much of it in the hands of people who grew up listening to the Doors singing, "We want the world and want it....now!" Add to that Europeans and Asians who often see things priced in US dollars as bargains."

 

Many know I come to this hobby after spending most of my adult life in Numismatics. I saw what happened to the hobby when the dealers interests were shifting from the collector to the investor... while it was certainly good for those whom had spent many years building a collection thumbsup.gif it was in large part a demise to the hobby in general that I understand it has not recovered from. Upon reflection of the past few weeks (remember the auction for a nice set of enlisted gooney's that brought over $500) :blink: ... we may see some folks backing out or away from the market and parking some money with these items. It happened frequently thru the years with the numismatic hobby. Those who road the high and low times did quite well.

 

Bobgee said "I've always felt that when the hammer goes down on an item at a seemingly ridiculous price, a new value is set, whether we like it or not. There's no standard list of values for an EGA that sold in 1935 for a $1.00 and now is worth hundreds. It's pretty much arbitrary pricing and a willing bidder/buyer." Well I agree to an extent, but, it will not make any of the rest of us run out an throw away the same kind of money because we know better. So I will set here and pick off those that I know have true value associated with some degree of one-off worth and let those showing a lack of good sense or judgment do their thing.

 

Lets hope this is not a precurser to a "Band of Brothers" run-up... Gary said it best "getting stranger and stranger". s/f Darrell


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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Darrell,

 

After checking some of this same bidders past auctions, it turns out he's the same fellow that bid the M1937 EM dress collar emblems from eBay posted last month up to $188 and also feels that Korean War era M1937 EM service clutch backs are worth $27 a set. Hopefully, he'll turn out to be an investment banker and we'll learn that he knows a little something about what is rapidly becoming more valuable than gold coinage. Just unbelievably amazing!

 

s/f, Gary

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**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/15996-please-read-gary-mohrlang-glm/

 

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Guess its time to go thru my emblems and put up some dupes. This is another example "over the top" bidding. Emblem is far to common to command this price. Already $256. with two days to go :blink:http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...A:IT&ih=018

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The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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That bidder is really driving up prices. Makes me wonder where he and a couple others are getting their values for the EGAs they are buying. Shame, I was enjoying this hobby.

 

Jeremiah

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Actively seeking WW1 4th and 5th Brigade USMC helmets and also a named WW2 Raider green blouse.
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail, if I could I surely would....

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Jeremiah, good point. You and I have been active in acquiring EGA's from ebay for some years now and can recite most of the folks who are in going to be in the running in most instances. In the past weeks, these two have been jumping on all sorts of EGA's w/o respect to value or for that matter rarity. Until some weeks ago, they have never been bidding on EGA's or bidding anything at that price level... just makes you wonder think.gif


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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i wish i had this info before i bid on that gemsco. too bad there isn't some type of price guide for us neophytes. please don't banish me from the collectors society for my bad judgement. i'm learning, and that was an expensive lesson. retnypdcapt bill doherty

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I really don't get it. :unsure: To me, the last 10-12 years of this hobby have gone wacko. The same thing happened to Civil War collectables after Ken Burns TV specials on the Civil War. The hobby went nuts. The same thing happened to Airborne items after Band of Brothers and SPR. Look at German helmets. They are completely insane. $20,000 for a double decal Fallschimjager helmet!! I think people with money take interest in these things and as previously stated, just gotta have it now! It just gives the wrong impression to unknowledgable folks. I remember watching a nameless USMC book author bid on Ebay. He put rediculous bids on items and got in bid wars with folks. Common USMC items went for 3-5 times their "worth" at that time. I pray that this end of the hobby doesn't take a turn for the worse.... er. er... crying.gif

***WANTED: MINT UNISSUED USMC DEPOT WEB GEAR AND A SIZE 38 P42 CAMO JACKET***

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Bill - Many of us who have been collecting Marine emblems for awhile understand the excitement and almost panic the newer emblem collectors feel when seeing an unbefore now seen to them emblem come up for auction. Never, ever feel bad about not knowing! That's part of the game when starting out! We've all made some newbie mistakes and paid too much for mostly common emblems and the only thing that will cure someone of that is paying $200 or $300 for an emblem, only to see 5 or 10 more of the exact same emblem sell for $25 or $30. We're hoping that this EGA Discussion Board and EGA Reference Section will help the newer collector in determining what is rare, scarce or common in emblems. Knowledge and experience is by far the best weapon, so hang in there and good luck hunting!

 

Marc - I've personally seen maybe a dozen "wacko high bidders" come and go on eBay since I first started looking and bidding with them ten years ago. Some have just disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. Some learned and started backing off their high bids, but I've also seen a couple of the same people try and recoup their losses by relisting the bogus and real stuff they paid way too much for, usually in fluffed up descriptions with originality never mentioned and bad pictures or added to medal groupings. I think we'll always see these bidders and it will always be part of eBay, but here lately, I've actually seen some real craziness going on and can't figure it out. :blink: Do you suppose the guy who sold his DD Fallschirmjager helmet for twenty grand decided to invest that money in several EGA's? :lol: A couple of possibilities of what might happen are, these really inflated prices are going to convince everyone that all EGA's are priceless, regardless of availability, or, the fakers are going to get really good at what they do, or maybe both.

 

s/f, Gary

 

P.S. The nameless USMC book author has bought from me before, so don't discourage him, buddy!! How's that for my mixed emotions on these way over inflated prices? naughty.gif

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**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

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Meanwhile back to the world of more absurd auction prices...

 

the grand prize goes to a unmarked set of dress collar gooneys for a whooping $510...

 

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this one went for $332...

 

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garden Variety dress collars, went for $300...

 

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garden variety Barracks cover emblem, went for $396...

 

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Not sure if this is all for the good of just plain saddening :unsure:


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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That's how I feel about the San Diego County housing market! An 875 square foot house (with a bad post and pier foundation, no insulation, no central heat and on a 4,000 sf lot) I sold in 1999 for $175,000 ended up being "worth" $725,000 four years later. It's probably worth more like $550,000 now.

 

It's the tulip bubbles - they always burst: http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=469


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Darrell,

 

Same person as the $188 mismatched dress emblems and most of the other outrageous realized auctions. If anyone knows who this bidder is, please send his address along to me. I think I'll contact him and offer my duplicate EM 37's for, oh, say the bargain price of $35,000.00!

 

s/f, Gary

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**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

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I looked back through that guy's feedback and not only is he way overpaying, he's letting someone or a couple someones shill bid the crap out of him. Seems his G2 is a little lacking in comparison to his disbursing department!

 

Jeremiah

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Actively seeking WW1 4th and 5th Brigade USMC helmets and also a named WW2 Raider green blouse.
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail, if I could I surely would....

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Jeremiah,

 

I also looked through his past auctions and the bidder histories. Is this a new eBay policy to camoflage usernames of the unsuccessful bidders by replacing letters with asterisks in the bidder history? I'm not sure it's shill bidding against him, but maybe that "bid all week long" type of bidding, or increasing a bid to see where the high bid is at, instead of sniping. I learned a long time ago that you can really irritate and cause panic with an early bidder by constantly going in and bidding something up to ridiculous prices if they wont learn to snipe. Just make sure you don't get stung on your own game! :blush: All I can say is this fellow is gonna be heartbroken once he learns that he's paying, in some cases, 10 to 20 times more than fair or reasonable prices. Unless he knows something the rest of us dont, it's gonna take him until the 23rd century to ever recoup his investments.

 

s/f, Gary

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**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/15996-please-read-gary-mohrlang-glm/

 

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One thing to keep in mind about ebay is that completed listing prices only stay up for a certain amount of time. I just searched for EGA and the oldest listing was for Aug-14. I think recently the market has been skewed by a few individuals with means to pay huge prices and that has influenced other sellers and buyers when they go searching for comps. It may well be that if there's a lull of even a few weeks in real high prices then the comps will be lower and things may stabilize, but I think that overall EGA's will continue to generally sell for more than they did even at the beginning of this year.

 

Part of that is the reasons we collect them: they are indeed fairly rare when you consider how small the Marine Corps was for much of it's first 175 years or so, and frankly EGA's are one of the most fascinating pieces of US military metal insignia, what with the many nuances in design, materials, etc. to say nothing of their connection with the mystique of the Old Corps.


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I'm up for a discussion but the market will be what the market is........Willing buyer....Willing seller. If an offer is made resulting in the sale of a relatively common item at 3 x the normal price, it may be a new standard or an anomalie. I personally want to pay as little as possible for great stuff! Am I alone? I think not. EBay reaches a huge market, all with their own personal opinions, info and financials. As collectors who have invested time and money over the years in our hobby, when we are ready to let these things go, will be sell them for what we paid 10 or 15 years ago? I think not. We'll see what the market is.....exceptions could be selling to a friend. This stuff is getting harder and harder to find in the old normal venues. I think we would best contribute to the Collector by keeping in touch with what's real and what's not and getting that info out on the EGA Forum. That's my Rant!

Semper Fi......Bob

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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