After having this website for several years, and having been a collector for almost 19 years, I
am quite often contacted by people who have an item from WWII and wants to sell it. More
often than not, they are shocked to find out the item isn't worth hundreds or thousands of
dollars. In some cases the items are rare and expensive, but more often than not, the item is
"common" or "fairly common". After several recent inquiries, I decided to put this page
together to try and answer some of the questions related to selling an item you might have,
and give visitors to my website my philosophy and thoughts about this topic. If after visiting
this page questions still remain, please feel free to contact me. I am always happy to answer
German helmets captured from just one Division near the end of the war.
My collecting philosophy:
Pure and simple, I collect WWII items because I am intrigued by the history behind each item.
I don't care about the value or the future value. I enjoy holding a piece of history in my hand
and wondering where it has been, who owned it, and what history it has seen. If the item has
a name attached to it, I enjoy doing the research behind the item and that person's history
during their military service.
I have paid three or four times the dollar value for an item I knew wasn't that valuable, but it
was something that intrigued me and I wanted to add it to my collection. I have had friends
and friends of friends bring me items to evaluate and put a price tag on. Some of the items
were very inexpensive, while others ranged into the thousands of dollars. I could have said
the items were worthless and given them a few bucks, but that's not me and I believe in being
fair. Some may scoff, but it's not worth it to me to be dishonest, just to add an item to my
collection. In one case, a gentleman brought me what he called a "German bayonet". In
actuality, it was a German Teno Officer's Hewer, in mint condition, with all accoutrement's. It
sold for $3,200.00.
My Buying philosophy:
99 times out of a 100, if I buy an item, it's to add to my permanent collection. Occasionally I
will pick up an item and learn I already have one, or purchase a similar item in better condition
than one I have, and sell off the other one from my collection. In some cases, I will purchase
an item because another collector I know may be looking for one. I correspond weekly with
WWII collectors from Norway, Australia, Germany, England, France, Russia, Japan, Belgium
and Canada. But, more often than not, it's something for my collection.
In some instances, I will purchase a large grouping of various, unrelated items. If any of the
items don't fit into my collection, or are not something a fellow collector is looking for, that item
will end up on my "for sales" page. However, this is only a hobby for me, not a business. I
am not interested in going through all of the hassle of purchasing items for re-sale. So if I
purchase the item, it is most likely going into my permanent collection.
The majority of the items I purchase come from the families of the veteran who owned the
items, or brought the items back as souvenirs. This is always my preference, and if the item
comes with a story, I will gladly produce a page on my site like "Tail of a 109" to share the
story behind the item with other collectors and visitors to the website. I think it is a fitting
tribute for the soldier who served our country, to have his story told where others could read
and enjoy details of his service and the history behind the items!
My collection is a permanent collection. I have no intention of parting with it. Due to it's size
and the items contained within it, I intend to make arrangements for my collection to be
donated to several local museums when I cease to exist. I would like for future generations to
be able to enjoy these items and the stories behind the items if at all possible. For this
reason, I take great care in preserving the items in my collections, whether it be handling
items with gloves, storing the items in archival materials or controlling the climate/humidity in
the room where the items are kept.
WWII Doesn't = Expensive or Rare! (but sometimes it does.......):
Most likely, you will not be able to retire and live in the lap of luxury by selling off those WWII
items that dad or grandpa brought home from the war! There are a great many items from the
war that are quite expensive to purchase and extremely valuable. If you have a nice SS
Chained daggers in mint condition, you might be on your way. However, there are more
items that were produced in the hundreds of thousands that has some value, but not enough
to buy that new Mercedes Benz you've been looking admiringly at. I have a large library of
reference books related to most items from WWII, so I can generally identify the item, medal,
patch etc., and know what it is you have.
Many times, I will give an opinion about the value of an item only to receive an email from the
person saying they saw the same item on the internet, selling for 5 times as much. Well,
probably not. There is a vast difference between an SA dagger and an SS Chained dagger.
There is a huge difference between a beat up Iron Cross second class missing it's ribbon and
a mint Iron Cross First Class Screwback version. I will not low-ball the value of an item just
to obtain it. At the end of the day, I still have to look into my young son's eyes and live with
myself. So, fair is fair.
Just because an item is German in origin or has a swastika on it, doesn't mean it's worth
several hundreds of dollars. However, in some cases, it may be worth thousands of dollars.
Like all major countries involved in the war, Germany produced items in the hundreds of
thousands. Every government building had a flag, every city had a flag, every German
parade contained hundreds of flags. But, while some flags still carry a very high value, others
may only command a fair value at best. It's a case by case basis. At the same time, some
German postcards are worth $5, and others may be worth $400. (Obviously the latter is
much more rare and not nearly as common.)
In general, the overall condition, the maker of the item, and the accessories accompanying
the item are what determine the difference in value of a particular item from another item
similar to it. Items that were produced in the hundreds of thousands are really not very rare
and do not command a high price. And, many collectors are specific to a particular portion of
the war in what they collect. (i.e. - Hitler Youth, Army Air Corp, U-boat items, American Navy
items, etc.) So while an item may not be worth anything to one collector, it may be worth
more to one who specialized in items of that type or branch.
Dealers: Dealers will generally offer somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 50% of the
value of an item to a seller, otherwise they can not re-sell the item and make any profit.
Nothing wrong with this, it's a matter of business. As a private collector, I will obviously pay
more for an item. It also means that the item will continue to be well preserved and kept in my
collection. If the seller has the history behind the item, that is always a plus and makes the
item more interesting for me personally. Many times, some of these very expensive items
listed on dealer sites are still there 6 months later. Just because an item is listed on the
internet, doesn't mean it will sell at that amount, it's simply what the dealer is asking for the
And unfortunately, when dealers buy lots or groupings of items, they will generally sell of each
item one by one. Again, nothing wrong with it I guess, it's their business to make money. But
for me, I hate the see one person's items broken up and scattered apart from each other. I
would much prefer to see the items stay together to tell the story of this one individual and the
details behind their career.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I am always happy to answer emails
and always interested in hearing from other collectors and the families of our veterans.
If you have an item that has some value but isn't of interest to me or a fellow
collector I know, I will always be happy to identify the item, provide an opinion as to
it's value, and point you in the right direction where you may be able to sell it.
Now to your item(s)!:
I am always happy to receive emails from people who have WWII items they would like to
have and can begin to establish it's value for you.
I promise to provide a fair price for the item, whether or not the item is of interest to me. The
collecting markets fluctuates as does anything working off supply and demand, but overall,
we should be able to get you a fair idea of the value of your item.
If the item is something I am interested in, I will happily pay cash for the item (if you're close
by) or I can use PAYPAL to make payment for the item. I am located in Torrance, California. I
am always happy to make arrangements to meet with sellers who are close by.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's see what you
have. If you're the relative of a veteran and want to get rid of a grouping of items, I will
happily keep the items grouped together and ensure their preservation as a whole. For me, it
is always an honor to be entrusted with the details and items from a serviceman's military
career for others to enjoy and admirer.
Thank you for taking the time to look over this page........I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for looking.......please enjoy the rest of the website.