THE GOLDEN RULES TO COLLECTING
Most collectors (and some dealers) buy German medals and badges both for pleasure and as an investment.
Certain items have outperformed the stock market. But before you all go jumping in and buying up anything with a swastika,
I would like to impart some sound investment advice.,
I feel the following are a few golden rules to enjoying the hobby with minimal chance of finding fakes entering your treasured collection.
1. Deal only with dealers who hold a good reputation, this means asking about and finding out exactly what their money back guarantees etc are. Never part with a penny until you know this information (All dealers make mistakes from time to time, it is what they do to rectify matters that counts).
2. I would always say buy the best quality piece you can possibly afford at the time.
Common items in poor condition are best left alone, as if ever you come to sell you will find the price you paid may never be recouped, cheap items always remain that, cheap.
3. Keep all your letters and receipts, build this up as much as your collection. Records are handy when you come to sell an item, knowing where it has come from, can help just as much to sell an item as the item itself. Another reason to keep receipts, photographs etc are for insurance purposes, an often overlooked part of our hobby,
4. Several dealers now offer a certificate of authenticity on items over £500.00 and in years to come I feel this will be an important part of our hobby. Just like meats and milk is now traceable, so too should your medals and badges be. I find that a large amount of collectors like to know where their item has been before they acquired it.
Returning to the condition of items I have taken from a couple of catalogues a few examples.
An item was in a catalogue a while ago and was enscribed, Bronze U boat Clasp being the First type with full makers name of Schwerin, with wear to the high points, and priced at £550.00 (A bargain you may well cry!) But the badge is a badly worn and pitted item.
Another item listed was a Spanish Blue medal. This was described as near mint, But the dealer did not say that all the gold has faded,. leaving the medal a grey zinc colour.
This type of mis-description is both annoying and costly to collectors, but unfortunately, my idea of a very good condition badge and a worn badge can differ from someone elses. So what should you do? Ask other collectors who they deal with. Why do they deal with these people? Some of us now deal over the internet, so ask for front and back scans of an item you want to purchase. (But a word of caution, no one will keep scanning items for you if you never buy anything and only want to build a picture data base. This is both unfair to the dealer and other customers.) A good idea so you can see what exactly you are buying in advance.
What do you do if at the end of it you are unhappy with your purchase for one reason or another? Well if you have followed the golden rules, your dealer will take it back, no problem and most will. This is why you must check a dealers reputation. Ask other Dealers, Collectors, look at their stock at fairs, (Buying at fairs is notoriously risky, as some dealers appear and disappear all within a few months. Items bought at these fairs are usually accepted to be sold as seen with no comebacks, many a collector has bought a "bargain" at a fair only to have nagging doubts (myself included ) and then you try to return it only to find that the dealer has long since gone)
ABOUT OUR POLICIES
As for our guarantee policy, all our items are guaranteed original to the best of our knowledge and we offer you a 30 day period to check this out etc and If subsequently the item is proven to be a reproduction within this year, you should return it to us for a full refund (including all costs and a refund will be forthcoming immediately,) the only major stipulation being that the item is in the same condition as sent.
On all purchases from ouselves, an Inspection Period for 30 days is given, so that you may return any item within this time span for a full money back guarantee minus postage costs. In addition, we offer a lifetime buy back at 66% of its total value at the time of sale.
Please feel free to visit www.thirdreichmedals.com. We update our list on a weekly basis.
We also do a wants list, where we record what people are looking for and do our best to fulful them, however there is never any obligation to buy these items, we would simply enter them up for sale on our website should the vendor change their minds.
Article written and supplied by Jamie Cross Collectables
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