Discussion of ammo pricing


#1

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#2

No offense intended to anyone who actually sells items on the various internet sites, but I am often very surprised at the prices of some rounds offered. Now I am lucky to live in an area where I can attend 2 or 3 cartridge shows a year and numerous gun shows. I also correspond with many fellow collectors and do quite a bit of buying/selling/trading with them. I realize some dealers are trying to make a living with internet sales, but I truly feel sorry for any collectors who rely solely on Gunbroker, Auctionarms, etc. to feed their collections. I hope more collectors will avail themselves of the wider variety of cartridge sources out there. John, I really like your idea of letting others know you collect ammunition, within reason. I have gotten some nice items via that route. I have also gotten a few very funny looks and comments about my sanity. Well…I get those no matter what I do.


#3

NO MORE SURPRISED THAN I. All collectors are eccentric. Call it crazy if you like. America has shown itself to be a bottomless pit of collecting interests. Prices ? I get good prices for my stuff and pay good prices as well. My advice has always been: if you can buy it cheaper else where , do so. Before you sell - get my offer . When I started participating in auctions I was amazed at what I had to pay for rare items and what I could get as well. There are plenty of items which I would pay $1000 for which I passed up at $100 in years gone by and STILL CAN’T BUY THEM ANYWHERE. What you don’t learn until it is too late is that some of these items WILL NOT come around again at a “reasonable” price. Example: John Munnery turned up a box of 12.7Russian RIMMED some years ago and sold them in the $50-100 range. Try buying one at any where near that today ! I only bought one as I thought that there would be more - big mistake. I may not live to see more come to market. Items which exist only 3 or less are in fact PRICELESS. The sale price limited only by the finances of the interested parties.Most of us do not have a great deal of $$ to spend on our hobbies - I always wanted a helicopter but just can’t afford it. I never thought that I would pay $1000 for an item. This year I was out bid on a CTM box when I stopped at $10,050 on GUNBROKER.There are lots of good items for sale on Auctionarms and Gunbroker at good prices. Figure in the time and effort it takes to search this stuff out yourself while you are trying to make a living. I stopped going to long range gun shows and ammo shows because the price of the trip seldome was worth the items obtained. I still go to a few local gun shows and that is still the best place to pick up ammo for any gneral collection. I took Charlie Yust to his FIRST gun show at the Baltimore Armory. He was an old man with an enviable collection of ammo (right places at right times-White and Munhall,APG , APG MUSEUM) but had never been to a GUN SHOW. I am a buyer of any of the unique big dollar items which I have for sale . SELL ME YOURS ! You are welcome to give yours away if you are so inclined. I gave a collection to the people of the United States which is right now in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum , Wash. DC - WW2 hall. Check it out and , of course , you are welcome !


#4

John, you have made some excellent points. I will try to clarify my comments. I have seen cartridges that I buy for shooting ammo being sold for big money as RARE. I have seen rounds that I buy, sell, and trade for $3-$5 being offered for up to 10 times that amount. A rare item is a rare item, and worth what someone is willing to pay for it. However, the great abundance of junk being offered (and I guess sometimes sold) for astronomical prices does nothing positive for the hobby but add a mercenary aspect and cause others to decide that their junk must also be made out of gold and raise their prices accordingly. Unfortunately that is the nature of the beast and the curse of the “E-bay” age.
My God…I think John Moss has posessed me!!! Now if I could only convince myself to give me some of his collection!!!


#5

I have to agree that gun shows followed by cartridge shows have been very productive in acquiring new specimens for my collection. At some point though, the gun shows do not produce the rare specimens that take your collection to the next level. The time and travel expenses associated with going to cartridge shows make the few new additions to the collection hugely expensive. The internet has been a great benefit to us collectors. The online auction sites have connected many folks who would not ever get to a good gun show or cartridge show. The downside is the “Ebay” mentality of putting an insane price on a relatively common item. We have all seen the “super rare clandestine sterile sniper AP” ammunition for sale for ten or twenty times it’s current market value, or can be had from another vendor as shooter ammo for pennies. I have picked up a few nice additions that the seller did not apreciate the value of, but then again, value is in the eye of the beholder.


#6

Yes, it is expensive to go to a cartridge show far from your home. Unfortunately, I don’t get to many, but for other reasons than expense. However, what would it cost you to visit all of the fine people you meet at those shows - many old friends from all over the world - if you had to buy tickets to each one of their homes? That is the best reason for going, and why I go to SLICS every year. The few cartridges I pick up, and the sometimes ridiculous prices I usually have to pay for the items, makes it a total loser for adding to a collection, but the meetings with old friends are priceless - all in one place. It is a darned shame that the show is so busy and that those wonderful contacts have to be limited in time to sometimes just minutes! For me, the lifetime friendships I’ve made in cartridge collecting are worth far more than any cartridge could be. Yes, I’m way off point - not unusual for me. Sorry about that, but felt it should be said.


#7

It’s my opinion that cartridge collectors, and all collectors for that matter, are the victims of three circumstances. 1) A rapidly growing population. 2)Disposable income at virtually all levels of society. 3) The Internet and other global communications.

I suppose I am fortunate in that my primary collecting field is competitive and wildcat cartridges. Most of what I add to my collection come from fellow shooters usually at little or no cost. I have a secondary interest in protoype and experimental U.S. military and I pay dearly for those specimens, something that I am willing to do considering the cost to attend a single show.

There’s an old saying, “Buy the best and cry once. Do not buy and cry often.”

Ray


#8

[quote=“Jon C.”]John, you have made some excellent points. I will try to clarify my comments. I have seen cartridges that I buy for shooting ammo being sold for big money as RARE. I have seen rounds that I buy, sell, and trade for $3-$5 being offered for up to 10 times that amount. A rare item is a rare item, and worth what someone is willing to pay for it. However, the great abundance of junk being offered (and I guess sometimes sold) for astronomical prices does nothing positive for the hobby but add a mercenary aspect and cause others to decide that their junk must also be made out of gold and raise their prices accordingly. Unfortunately that is the nature of the beast and the curse of the “E-bay” age.
My God…I think John Moss has posessed me!!! Now if I could only convince myself to give me some of his collection!!![/quote] LOTS OF GOOD POINTS AND ALL TRUE: pricing ammo to sell or buy is an ART not a science. When I used to put out a fixed price list of rare ammo the first couple of buyers would buy most of it and the next many would miss out. That told me that the market for much of this stuff far exceeds the supply. When I started to AUCTION my items I found that items which I thought would sell well often did not reach my reserve price and items which I considered of much less value would sell for far more. What that taught me was this: an auction is only about who shows up and how much money they have to spend. I have been auctioning items now for over 20 years and still have little idea of what most things will sell for. My most recent auction of 37mm shells went very well with some common items selling for far in excess of their VALUE and far in excess of any expectation. WHY ? Some of the buyers have never seen these items which are common to me for sale in their lives. They are not in a postion to go to shows , buy on the internet nor do they have the time to attempt TRADES which are usually very difficult and time consuming at best. They do have money and can afford their hobbies. One of my long time buyers dropped out because the price on the item which he wanted was so high to start by the time he got through on the bidline. Many of the items which I offer in my auctions have NEVER been available for purchase in the history of collecting. Some I found , identified and offered for sale were never even catalogued ANYPLACE. The internet and other market forces mentioned in these postings all of which are true have changed the level of value of much of desireable material. I would buy back most of what I sold 10 years ago for 10 times what I sold it for especially the Japanese item and some German and Soviet items. At a show recently I was showing a fellow collector some treasures all of which were in plastic tubes for safe storage and transport. The big time machinegun and ammo dealer whose table we were in front of said ; " pampered ammunition in tubes ; you guys are over the top !". NO KIDDING. AMMUNITION IS A TOOL. It is designed to punch holes,bend or break things. Once removed from that PURPOSE it is WORTHLESS. Yes , WORTHLESS. THE VALUE OF THIS AND ANY COLLECTORS ITEM IS IN THE FACT THAT PEOPLE WITH MORE MONEY THAN THEY NEED WANT IT FOR THEIR OWN REASONS. BUY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD AND ENJOY IT. I own thousands of rounds which cost me a dime and I still like them (except,of course, for the ones which fall apart!). I hate those. ANYBODY WANT TO SELL ME A 1 INCH GATLING FOR $25. I’m a buyer.Truck load ?


#9

[quote=“JohnMoss”]Yes, it is expensive to go to a cartridge show far from your home. Unfortunately, I don’t get to many, but for other reasons than expense. However, what would it cost you to visit all of the fine people you meet at those shows - many old friends from all over the world - if you had to buy tickets to each one of their homes? That is the best reason for going, and why I go to SLICS every year. The few cartridges I pick up, and the sometimes ridiculous prices I usually have to pay for the items, makes it a total loser for adding to a collection, but the meetings with old friends are priceless - all in one place. It is a darned shame that the show is so busy and that those wonderful contacts have to be limited in time to sometimes just minutes! For me, the lifetime friendships I’ve made in cartridge collecting are worth far more than any cartridge could be. Yes, I’m way off point - not unusual for me. Sorry about that, but felt it should be said.[/quote] MOST OF MY FRIENDS FROM THE CARTRIDGE COLLECTING WORLD ARE IN THE CEMETERY. I AM NOW FORCED TO ENJOY THE FOLKS WHO I DON’T LIKE AND I AM GLAD THAT THEY ARE STILL AROUND! REMEMBER: CHARLIE YUST,WAYNE MARKOV,PETE BIGLER,HAL LOWE,PAUL VAN HEE, JERRY MARCELLO,JIM SONES,CLIFF SCHISLER,METRIC MITCH -LOTS MORE AS WELL HAVE GONE ON TO THAT BIG SHOW: TO PARAPHRASE A GATLIN BROTHERS SONG " DO THEY HAVE AMMUNITION IN HEAVEN ? IF NOT , WHO THE HELL WANTS TO GO ?"


#10

Yes, a lot of the great cartridge collectors are gone. I could add to that list, but don’t want to even think about it. I guess I have been fortunate - I have not met very many cartridge collectors that I don’t like.


#11

If you buy somthing at auction wheter it be a gun, Cartridge, Car or Anthing someone thought it was worth almost as much as you.

                                                                  Richard P.

#12

True but some dummies like me get caught up in the auction fever. You see something which sold for $5 and think that if I had just bid $6 it would have been mine. Does’t work that way. That’s what makes and auction. I own several items which I am sorry that I bought just because I got caught up in the action of the sale. That guy is not going to out bid me ! VERY EXPENSIVE THINKING. What I do now is bid what I can sleep with and go to bed.


#13

I have found gunshows and cartridge shows also to be the only semi-reliable places to get good prices, but I used to by lots from auctionarms, and often, in the lot would be cartridge that was worth near the price I paid alone, BUT, it has been awhile.
At the same time cartridge prices went up on auctions so did the prices of guns. It was as if the worse the economy got, the more everyone wanted for guns that once sold at reasonable to sometimes, very good (savings wise) prices.
The best deal I have had recently, was on some British pistol rounds from a fellow member I bought through this site.
I have forgotten just who it was, sorry, but thankyou sir, I now have cartridges that I thought I would never be able to afford much less buy.
Bob