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When I go there’s going to be a great auction, you better get there at daybreak and be prepared to stay all day. The older I get the more I think about how much fun everybody is going to have at the auction, everything starts at a dollar and goes till the auctioneer’s tired of it. That will establish the value of my collection.
 

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truth here,


as someone in the biz, on a much smaller scale than Kroh , I have realized that Current Market Value is an elusive beast sometimes,

I can look at completed auctions, Empire's past sales, GB etc and get you a good estimate on what your firearms are worth, and honestly, if I am appraising for insurance, I'll bump that up a bit , knowing that replacement cost on some things will increase over the years,
or I can make you a fair offer on what I think , with numbers to back it up, that firearm(s) will sell for,
however, sometimes they actually sell for much less, or the bidders/buyers will get excited and run an auction up,

it usually averages out in the end tho,,,

one thing you need to be careful with if you decide to sell, is what shop or dealer you are selling it to...

some folks know milsurps like the back of their hand, some don't have a clue if you hand them a broom stick or a broom handle,, which do you think will work to give you the best price?


also, and pardon for getting on a soapbox, if you , the collector/accumulator/hobbyist does not have a list of your stuff for your family, with some rudimentary information on it, (ex, accessories etc to go with it, notes on significance etc) and if no one in your family is into it like you are,,, then you are setting them up for getting low balled or honestly screwed by someone,

and not just the dealer down the street that I used in the broom analogy
been in the biz for a while, and have seen other collectors screw over the widow/family a few times, which to me is wrong on many different levels
Quit honestly, if anything unexpectedly ever happens to me; my wife has been instructed to contact you assess the value of what I have. But that comes with years of trust and friendship.
 

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Field Editor ~ GUNS Magazine, Co-Author ~ Serbian Army Weapons of Victory &PH - Kudu Safaris
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Hello Gents,

On my 8th Birthday, my Nana took me to an Army Surplus store and told me I could pick out one item of my choice for her present to me. I selected a old M1917 Brodies helmet from WWI. That was 60 years ago!

When I was 14 I started collecting American Civil War items while in high school and well into my years in college. While playing for the "Bear" at Bama, I spent weekends and time off in a rental car visiting the Civil War Battlefields that were within easy driving distance of Tuscaloosa with my Girlfriend. We hit every antique shop along the way and the Collection grew in proportion to what I could afford.

When in my late 20's, I was traveling to Europe on a regular basis for both business and pleasure. After my first visit to the Battlefield of Waterloo, my interest in the Napoleonic Wars peaked. I started to collect Napoleonic era swords.

With my interest in the Civil War having taken a backseat to the midget from Corsica, I sold the majority of my Civil War Collection to reinvest the profits into Napoleonic swords. I more than doubled my investment in the CW collection when I sold it. ....... Very interesting??? ....... I doubled my investment? ....... This wasn't lost on me!

In the interim, while traveling in Europe, I did add a few items of opportunity here and there to my assortment of WWI items.

Over the space of 5 years, accompanied by several increases in my salary and bonus program, I amassed a Napoleonic Collection of 44 different swords and sabers. Absolutely beautiful examples of ALL of the key blades issued in the French, British, Russian, Austrian, Belgian, Prussian, Dutch, etc. etc. armies during Napoleon's reign! It was a truly amazing Collection that I enjoyed immensely.

Along the way I had continued to pick up odds and ends from WWI whenever I visited a museum or battlefield from the Great War,

Taking a step back, when I was a youngster actively collecting Civil War items in high school, all of the old-time dealers used to tell me,

"Damn John. ..... It's a shame that you didn't start collecting before the Civil War Centennial. ..... During the Centennial interest in the war peaked and prices skyrocketed! Before the Centennial you couldn't give away a Springfield bayonet for $5.00 U.S. ..... Now that same bayonet costs $75.00 U.S."

This information was never lost on me either and the Collection as an investment would forever remain in the forefront of my approach to Collecting.

When the time came to sell the Napoleonic Sword Collection, it was important to note that the swords of this famous era simply didn't exist in the U.S. market. All 44 blades had been purchased in countries across Europe. I set aside a single British P1796 Light Cavalry Saber that remains in our home to this day and sold the rest. I more than quintupled my investment in Napoleonic swords and sabers.

Then, while dining one evening at my favorite restaurant in the Grand Place in Brussels after another visit to the Royal Belgian Army Museum, I had an epiphany!

My 60th Birthday would coincide with the start of the Great War Centennial. ..... WoW!!! ..... I switched my efforts entirely towards WWI collecting and never looked back!

Czech & Slovak Museum & Library ~ 2018 Exhibition
Footwear Hat Military uniform Military person Security


Military uniform Military person Security Helmet Headgear


Sleeve Standing Military uniform Headgear Breastplate


Military uniform Helmet Military person Headgear Bag


Footwear Military camouflage Helmet Military uniform Military person


Military uniform Military person Helmet Soldier Security


Wood Air gun Shotgun Trigger Hardwood


Musical instrument Tool Wood Metal Knife


Luggage and bags Eyewear Wood Bag Shotgun


Footwear Trousers Military uniform Military person Cargo pants
Now at the age of 68 I've already been gradually selling certain items since I retired from my International Consulting Business five years ago. To date I've never publicly advertised to sell any high-value items. In each and every instance, I've had fellow collectors approach me with offers to purchase specific items. Since I prefer to see all of the Collection end up in the hands of a fellow conservators, not accumulators, I'll continue to part with a small number of items each year, ALL at my asking price. I never ever haggled with anyone when purchasing items for the Collection. If the price was too high, I simply passed.

Now here's the number one problem I'm facing!

To be continued...........
 

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I am currently in the process of thinning my collection. I have sold ten or so Mosins recently. The path I have chosen it to take them to the biggest local gun shop. I give them a suggested price and a bottom line price and they have been moving them quickly. The guys at the shop are good folks and I trust them completely, they mail me a check every Monday for what they have sold in the last week. They charge a bit more than 15%, but I still like the process. I have so little in a lot of the pieces, I just don't need to be greedy with the sale price. I am netting over three hundred bucks for guns that I paid less than a hundred for. I had a heck of a lot of fun gathering them in, and I am having fun, sending them on to new owners.

If I needed to dump a bunch of guns at one time, there are two nationally famous auction houses near me. I have let my wife know that if I check out without giving proper notice, that that is the way to go.
 

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you should start your own museum,

Hello Lyman,

I actually looked into the possibility of starting a museum, but it was going to require too much cash and hard work to pull it off. I would have had to start a campaign in search of donations to jump start the effort in order to find a decent building in a reasonable location. Then there are the issues of security, utilities, advertising, etc.

I did approach several of the casino hotels in Vegas to see if any of them wanted to provide a venue for the WWI Collection and all I received was crickets!

C'est la Vie my Friend! ..... A nice thought, but an unlikely outcome.

Warmest regards,

John
 

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I agree that at this current time (Year of our Lord 2022) the entire firearms market is overvalued due to a myriad of factors. That's why I'm sure I'll only realistically break even in terms of purchasing power rather than turn a true profit, and that's if selling individually! I've only sold a few firearms from my collection and it's a hassle. I can't imagine selling dozens one by one, it'd be a full time job for awhile almost, especially if I stay on the gun a month program for the next 40 years... I'd more than likely have to sell as a collection/take a good 30% or so loss to someone like Empire Arms though Mr. Kroh will be long gone by the time it's time for me to sell.
Overvalued is quite subjective. When have you seen military surplus weapons decline in value over the years? My personal observation, without research, is that they continue to climb in value, although not at consistent rates. I am in the process of selling part of the collection at this time and I am nearly tripling the money I paid ten years ago. I am selling through a local gun shop who's knowledge of milsurps is pathetic, they refer to 91/30s as "the long ones" and 38s, 44s and 91/59s as the "short ones." That is the only distinctions they make. ;)

Now, I will go off subject with an anecdote that I found very interesting. My guns are not selling to collectors of military surplus, but to gamers, according to the shop....He claims that they want to own the weapons that they are using in their online "wars."
 

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...Now, I will go off subject with an anecdote that I found very interesting. My guns are not selling to collectors of military surplus, but to gamers, according to the shop....He claims that they want to own the weapons that they are using in their online "wars."
Very interesting indeed.

I've learned over the decades to be skeptical of claims some class of collectibles will explode in value someday. Not just silly "beanie babies" and such but also more substantive items (real estate!), because tastes change. In firearms too, what's hot in one decade, cohort or generation changes.

Your post illustrates how values can also move in an upward direction for reasons one could never predict.
 

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Overvalued is quite subjective. When have you seen military surplus weapons decline in value over the years? My personal observation, without research, is that they continue to climb in value, although not at consistent rates. I am in the process of selling part of the collection at this time and I am nearly tripling the money I paid ten years ago. I am selling through a local gun shop who's knowledge of milsurps is pathetic, they refer to 91/30s as "the long ones" and 38s, 44s and 91/59s as the "short ones." That is the only distinctions they make. ;)

Now, I will go off subject with an anecdote that I found very interesting. My guns are not selling to collectors of military surplus, but to gamers, according to the shop....He claims that they want to own the weapons that they are using in their online "wars."
I have sold a lot of surplus to the gamers in the past 6 yrs or so
 

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I am in awe of your collection sir.
The time and thought put into your display is amazing.
Thank you ncreptile!

It's ALL yours Bud. ....... Just let me know what you want, and I'll quote you a price. (;>)

During some of the better off-season shows here in the greater Las Vegas valley, I'm going to set up several mannequin displays and see if anyone wants to acquire an entire display as is. ..... It will be interesting to see whether or not this approach will be of interest to fellow collectors???

If this pans out, we'll probably use the same approach in some of the larger shows such as Tulsa and the Show of Shows. That is of course if I'm not busy shooting large mammals on the Dark Continent!

Warmest regards,

John
 
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