(This follows on quite nicely from my previous post ‘Our Hobby’.)
I attend as an exhibitor and visitor a small number of specialist Sunday militaria, fairs; not as many as I once did.
I have recently chatted to a collector via social media, regarding his feelings on such shows and his opinion of one recently attended (it interests me, buyers opinions and expectations of such shows).
Probably fair to say he was quite scathing regarding the show in general, particularly re., pricing, quality, originality and dealer/seller attitudes, not a great advert for shows in general.
Many points he made were totally fair; on the above issues, whats the answer ?
Sunday fairs, most definitely have changed, and not all for the better. I do see items, obviously modern copies, sold as real, rubbish abounds (and not only at said shows, internet auctions and auction houses are major supplies of dubious items), and what one man considers a collectable another might see as surplus. ‘Rubbish’ seems to sell at such shows, with the same sellers turning up time and time again; so their is a market for ‘such items’, its not for me, but is seems to suit some !
One perhaps should now attend such a show with some trepidation, but being prepared to see things through a traders eyes. As an example, TV shows have ‘educated buyers’ to make ‘insulting’ offers, never a good idea.
‘Many’ buy on price, this can be dangerous. If its cheap, ask yourself why, above all, know what your buying and pay only what you are prepared to pay; walk away if necessary, until the next time, the next show.
The genuine traders survive, the ‘players’ are found out many falling away.
An ‘educated’ collector knowing his subject will always get on with a genuine seller, they both knowing their subject and thus speaking on level ground as ‘equals. Knowing your subject is everything !
Advice I was given as a young collector (which served me well) I have passed on as a seller. “Know your seller, be comfortable with ‘him’ and deal with reputable traders offering a money back guarantee”. They are out there !
Be happy in your hobby…..its a hobby that can be rewarding on many fronts; what say you ?