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    Senior Member lawrence_n's Avatar
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    Bidding Insanity!

    Just thought I'd share. I was following an online estate auction and hoped to pick up a few items to flip at the next militaria show. HOLY S#$T! Some people with VERY deep pockets and more money than brains really wanted the bayonets. For instance, a standard Sanderson SMLE sword bayonet with scabbard ended up going for $652.!!! Two '05 Ross rifle bayonets, one with the scabbard, one without; $520.! BTW, this is in Canadianicon dollars. Everything in which I had an interest went for crazy prices. I understand collecting and passionate collectors, but really? My brother remarked how, years back, a bidding frenzy erupted over a No.4 sniper rifle. It ended up going for almost $17000. by the time you factored in the buyers premium and taxes. How many of you guys have run into this?


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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    I’m a dealer and my main source of inventory is auctions.
    So I see this daily. Some people get really emotional about it!

    I can understand the rush though. In a lively auction bidding can trigger the same fight or flight reactions as a real fight.

    It all works both ways though. Every now and then a couple guys will get into a war over one of my items

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    Really Senior Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    I can't say I've ever seen anything quite that extreme but I see people overpay for a multitude of items and they are usually the ones I want. I generally try to be very careful at auctions because it is quite easy to get caught up in the moment and do something incredibly stupid but I have on a few occasions paid more than I wanted to for something and on other occasions breathed a sigh of relief when someone countered my stupid bid with one even more stupid.

    In my cases however, I'm talking about overpaying $50 on a several hundred dollar item because it's $50 and I want it. The three items I did this with have all exceeded the price I paid in current values, one considerably, so I don't care. They were in order of acquisition, an Australianicon cadet rifle now worth well about three times what I paid for it (I wanted the rifle with the kangaroo on it and the wife approved because it had a kangaroo on it), an all matching including bayonet Swissicon 1911 long rifle I paid for with scrap metal I took to the scrap yard the day before I bought it and a Nambu Type 14 pistol I treated myself to for some special occasion I can't remember what.

    I commonly see people exceed current values by $100-$200 on common rifles. One famously being a Mosin Nagant sold for $300 and I went to a Dicks Sporting Goods the very next day and bought an ex-sniper for $65. But then yesterday I spotted a 91/30 at my local gun shop for $399.00 so even that guy is probably saying now he got a good deal.

    All these things I see at the auction from hell as I like to call it in my home town. They hold a monthly gun auction that brings in the crazies from all around. I spotted a Dutch Mannlicher there that I valued at about $350, was willing to go to $400, sold for $600 and I found one on Gunbroker a week later that was in better condition, in driving distance to pick up and $300.

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    You say it was an "Estate Sale", so most of the "punters" were probably not bayonet collector's/experts/enthusiast. Most of the "punters" were most likely general antique/curio/2nd hand goods traders and buyers but not bayonet experts. I would suggest that it was a case of "a little knowledge being dangerous". Most people present probably knew that bayonets are collected and that some bayonets can be valuable and perhaps thought that all old bayonets are worth money but not the specifics of each one up for auction.

    I remember the first ever auction that I went to with the intention of bidding. I was a teenager and I wanted to bid on one lot of vintage tools because I wanted to use them as tools to make things. Hands were going up so fast on these rusty old tools that I didn't even manage to place one bid on them. They were sold for more than they were worth, to someone who didn't want to use them, because people had got the idea that because they were old they were valuable. I went home empty handed but I still had my money.

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    I suspect auction fever can strike most strongly when the bidders are either part of a relatively small group or from relatively small area, or else of course present in person. There is a provincial government surplus auction out here on which almost all items receive high and early bids - completely at odds with what we see on other online auctions. This is either shilling by people who have a stake in the outcome - we know who that would be - or ego driven jostling where the bidders know enough about each other to get the same sort of "fever" going as happens in person. Of course it could be both factors. Most of the more attractive equipment has had critical parts removed so that the people from the departments where it originated can, they hope, pick it up for a song and refit the "missing" parts.

    Despite the rigorous honesty auction houses are known for LOL, there is also the phenomenon of shills on the floor pushing prices up against the legitimate, but unsuspecting bidders, or fast-talking "bidding off the wall" where the purported competing bidder doesn't even exist.

    Other than the obvious reason, one purpose of this is to attract consignments from those who see exceptionally high prices being realized.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Really Senior Member mr.e moose's Avatar
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    You need to know what you are bidding on. Sometimes I find a jewel and triple my money.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Look carefully and bid wisely....yes there is always that possible shill bid happening to work the crowd.

    I have fallen badly 6-8 years ago an just after WWII F/S in absolute pristine cond the scabb had the tags removed as was pretty standard I got caught in the moment and I seriously doubt if I will ever recoup my money not that I ever sell anything anyway be up to who ever gets my gear when I perch it.
    Last edited by CINDERS; 02-09-2020 at 03:04 AM.

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    Senior Member lawrence_n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.e moose View Post
    You need to know what you are bidding on. Sometimes I find a jewel and triple my money.
    Let me expand a little on my original post. I've been collecting, buying, and selling militaria for close to 40 yrs. I've been at a lot of auctions and seen shills and ghost bidders and fools with more money than brains. The online estate auction site I keep my eye on has normally been pretty good to me and when I encounter things outside of my realm of expertise, the people on this site have been most helpful. Being retired now and on a modest pension. I try to pick up things that I can flip at the local gun and/or militaria shows and try to make a few extra dollars. If the site has come to the attention of people with deep pockets and no sense, I'm done. There were 2 '05 Ross rifle bayonets, one with the scabbard, one without. Hereabouts they'd sell for maybe $300. on a good day. They went for $520. A Germanicon 1st. pattern "98 bayonet with a troddel, no frog, went for $384. There are always coins and bills and I don't even bother to look at those since they go for way above market value. Even if I were still collecting, and wished to keep the items for personal reasons, one visit to a local gun show or a little basic research would give anyone a fair idea of market value. I'll probably never know who was so hot to trot on the bayonets and binoculars, but they've knocked me out of the running. I was always a smart bidder. If I saw something I wanted, I figured out how much I'd be willing to spend, factor in the buyers premium and sales tax (28% on the site), and I'd never exceed that. I've had friends and even family forget about those added fees and end up with buyers remorse.

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    Really Senior Member Roy's Avatar
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    Here in NZicon, after the compulsory gun buyback the demand for quality military bolt action rifles has risen steeply. Just yesterday a M1903A3 Springfield, nice but quite possibly a garage rebuild, sold for $5,300 NZD (about 3,400 USD).
    Keep Calm
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    Fix Bayonets

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Thats WOTT Roy

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