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 Post subject: The Reality Show Effect
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:05 pm 
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I wrote a piece for Military Trader on the "Reality Show Effect."
http://www.militarytrader.com/military-trader-news/true-militaria-has-reality-tv-created-unrealistic-expectations?et_mid=709410&rid=239527441


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 Post subject: Re: The Reality Show Effect
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Peter, the high expected price that many people now have is actually a good thing, it used to be that a lot of stuff went into the dumpster and to the land fills. Now every little bit is expected to be valuable, and that save a lot of stuff that would not have been saved. When someone offers me something at an inflated price, I will tell them what I would pay and what I think someone who was looking for such an item would pay, every now and then, I end up buying it for my price. If it is something I need to fill a gap, I am willing to pay a little more if it is something that does not show up often, but I explain that to the seller. As a person interested in history, I would rather see something priced out of my reach than to have it trashed.
By the way, pawn stars is a staged show, it may have started with people bringing things to them, and may even have some still, but a lot of the real interesting stuff is sought out and is not being offered by the owner.

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 Post subject: Re: The Reality Show Effect
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:17 pm 
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Gustaf wrote:
Peter, the high expected price that many people now have is actually a good thing, it used to be that a lot of stuff went into the dumpster and to the land fills. Now every little bit is expected to be valuable, and that save a lot of stuff that would not have been saved. When someone offers me something at an inflated price, I will tell them what I would pay and what I think someone who was looking for such an item would pay, every now and then, I end up buying it for my price. If it is something I need to fill a gap, I am willing to pay a little more if it is something that does not show up often, but I explain that to the seller. As a person interested in history, I would rather see something priced out of my reach than to have it trashed.
By the way, pawn stars is a staged show, it may have started with people bringing things to them, and may even have some still, but a lot of the real interesting stuff is sought out and is not being offered by the owner.


You are correct that Pawn Stars (and most of these shows) are now staged. The production crew isn't there 24/7 and couldn't wait around for items to show up. True is as far as "reality" Hardcore Pawn on TruTV is probably closer to the mark - with people making a scene, buying junk, etc. I mean who REALLY would go to a pawn shop to sell most of the stuff that you see on Pawn Stars? It wouldn't be my first choice to sell a painting or rare antique.

As far as saving history I agree with you that the higher prices do encourage people to save rather than throw away. My point in the article is that the shows have created almost unrealistic expectations.

Then again, my grandfather used to tell me that a lot of the stuff he had was truly "treasure." Well, the Korean War white smock covers he was sure were rare ("you can't find those") weren't that rare (and I found you can't find but no one wants them either); and the model "Gangster" cars were worth less than a model you could buy at the store today. It would have been more fun if I could have used the smock covers to play paintball (as I wanted) or to build the model kits with my grandfather. In the end the model kits were given to a friend who builds models so he could build them with his son, and I sold the damn smock covers for $30.

Ironically the 1930s vintage muscle magazines my grandfather had saved were worth a LOT of money. My grandfather would have been shocked to find out that the gay community loves those vintage magazines! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The Reality Show Effect
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:51 pm 
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I would like to address an error in my article. I want to publicly apologize to Tony Schnurr, who I have always counted as a friend. I referenced in my article a story he told me about a German helmet he purchased. I need to clarify that this helmet was not purchased at a garage sale as the caption of the helmet suggests. This was the result of a misunderstanding on my part, and I do want to set the record straight.

To Tony I'm sorry for the confusion. This was a mistake in my reporting.


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 Post subject: Re: The Reality Show Effect
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:02 pm 
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Nice article and I agree with both of you. It's good that people now think things have value and don't toss them, but also that overpricing on some shows is a problem… which we see often. From what I've seen, Antiques Roadshow in the US has been pretty good on military items, or at least the few I actually had some knowledge about.

I have a couple 'bargains' as well:

A nice M35 SS double decal on ebay for $250. The owner was told by an 'expert' that it wasn't original, so I bid anyway. Yeah, it's a good helmet. Named to the German and US Trooper who 'liberated it', full liner, 95% decals, 95% paint, all 'round nice. You know, one of those that makes your heart beat faster when you see it for the first time.

A 64th armored division M1 'steel pot' found at a garage sale. The woman selling it said it was her husband's and he was a Platoon Leader in Korea. The helmet had the 64th's 'elephant head' on one side and 3rd division 'square' on the other, with a 1st Lt. bar on front. There was even some white paint scuffed on the top of the helmet, from inside of the tank. Complete, liner, etc. Combat worn, Very nice. The woman said she didn't know what it was worth and I told her that at the time these helmets were hot because of a book that just came out, getting around $400 or more. She seemed happy, but I said honestly that I only had $125 to spend. She accepted that and I took the helmet home. I haven't checked the market lately, but don't really care, it's a nice helmet.

:D Ron

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