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Thread: Last Big Deal of the Year Got Away From Me

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  1. #1
    Nov 2009
    1127 times

    Last Big Deal of the Year Got Away From Me

    I went to an estate sale a bout a week before Xmas. The guy that passed had served in Vietnam and kept a bunch of things from his time in service. Most of it was pretty common but there were a few gems. I picked up a nice pair of 2nd pattern jungle boots dated 1965. Unfortunately I didn't pick up what would have been the best buy of the day. I noticed a stack of what looked like military rifle cases. A closer look revealed that they were canvas cases for the M-1 carbine. All of them were in near mint condition dated 1944. I'd never seen one before so I whipped out my cell phone and looked up sold prices on eBay. The vast majority of them sold between $20-50 but there was also a handful that sold in the $90-200 range. These were priced at $20 each & I couldn't justify paying that for an item that would probably sell in the lower range. I knew the guy running the sale & he agreed to set them all aside for me at the end of the day and hold them for me at half price.

    Normally I would go home and research to find out why some were selling for a lot more than others so I could run back & buy if needed. This time I had an outing with the wife planned that took up all day. When I got up the next morning I brewed some coffee and fired up the computer. Turns out the cases I saw on eBay that sold in the lower end of the range were mostly replicas. The ones that sold in the higher range were originals with the same manufacturers & dates as the ones at the sale. When I got to the sale I asked my guy if he had held the cases for me. Unfortunately a guy showed up about 30 minutes before the end of the sale and bought every one. Guess he knew more about them than I did. There were at least 8....priced at $20 would have been $160......and they would have sold between $720-1600.

  2. #2
    Apr 2014
    984 times
    Thrift Stores/Ebay
    Yep, I have been that last guy buying something wondering how it sat there unnoticed all day! And Iíve been the guy two minutes too late. But we all do well in the end!

  3. #3
    Jan 2010
    DFW Texas
    Minelab E-TRAC, Garrett ProPointer, Lesche Digger
    2337 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I would have been on those like stink on _____. They were expensive years ago, and prices continue to climb. I think I paid $80 for an unissued '44 example 12 years ago, and that was a good deal then.

  4. #4
    May 2009
    NC USA
    Minelab Etrac, Minelab Excalibur, White's MXT, Garrett Infinium
    3736 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (5)
    Bummer. Iíve seen things get bought while I was looking them up. Jump on them first, ask questions later, and pass only with no regrets
    Drmad7 likes this.

  5. #5
    Nov 2009
    1127 times
    It's impossible to know everything about all collectibles. I'm really good at recognizing things that may have value & doing research on the fly. My main limitation is that when I look up solds I sort with lowest price first & go from there. My reasoning is that I want to be 100% sure I'm going to make enough profit even if I have to sell at the bottom of the market price. My basic philosophy is to not lose money and/or end up with "death piles" (crap that looked good but doesn't have enough profit margin to be worth listing).

    Most things I buy sell fairly quickly in the middle to top price range but for the ones that my research wasn't quite right I still make money. The problem with my method is that some things have a huge range of prices. When that happens I know that there's some sort of specialized knowledge needed to identify whether or not the item I'm looking at is at the bottom or top of the range. That specialized knowledge could be something as simple as the color of a vintage redline Hotwheels car or as complex as the number of eyelets in a vintage military boot. Figuring out exactly why there is a wide price range is something I'm more comfortable doing on a laptop than a phone.
    diggummup and Drmad7 like this.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    Aug 2013
    OC, CA
    XP Deus, Equinox 800 720i Stealth Scoop
    4875 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Yep! Been there, done that. The time to buy it is when you’re looking at it. Sorry you missed out.

    We are not what we take, we are what we leave.



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