Do we need a new price guide?

With one reflection on the current price guide now, Is it time for a new price guide or Data Center that all of us can add items too?

The IAA is an all volunteer organization. It is not perfect but, in my opinion it operates pretty well. I challenge you, or anyone, to find a similar organization that is all volunteer and works significantly better.

A good rule of thumb in any all volunteer organization is not to criticize something that you are not willing to pick up and do better.

I have read the emails, but I suspect most readers of the forum have no idea what you are talking about above. You may want to reread it from a Forum members perspective and amend it so they understand your point.



My only question (re: the post above) would be how would anyone go about compiling the results of enough transactions of every cartridge, including headstamps and other variations, to make your suggestion viable or usable??? Auction prices are documented evidence of what certain cartridges have brought, in a market environment. Use that as a rule of thumb, or don’t.

I have no idea…

Assuming your talking about the guide published in the Journal, almost everyone knows it is a non-specific guide, listing a .30 WCF for .50 cents, but when a steel cased Winchester experimental is the round being discussed… The guide is moot.

As to what sells day to day … On the internet vs at a cartridge show you can get vastly different prices for exactly the same round, plus the fact that what often determines a price is how much a person has invested in it, whether they really care if they double / triple their money, or just want to get it to a good home / or off their table.

Even internet or cartridge shows you can find the same round both (internet or show) places at different prices,

I’m like Lew & Jon, I’m not sure I know what your point is?

As an auctioneer, I see the same round sell at different times for different prices, depends of who is buying & how bad they want it, and / or why they want it.

Had one round in this last that has not sold in two other sales but sold for $35 in this one. So what’s the answer to that?

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A “Guide” (such as those in the Journal) is useful to those who are not fully committed addicts to cartridge dealing. It provides a rough estimate or educated guess on the part of the compiler(s) as to what something might be worth. For most non-rare items it lets the user know if it seems to be a common item in the $1 or under range, or something scarcer ($2-5) or even more desirable, or perhaps something even better in the $25 up range. For truly rare stuff it at least indicates that the item is something rare.

Actual dollar values will be determined by what a willing buyer and seller agree on, which may be well under or above what a “guide” lists it at.

Those who find a guide useful will continue to use them, those who think they are not very useful will not.

Personally I find them very useful and appreciate the effort and space needed to have them in the IAA Journal.

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As a novice general collector I really appreciate the price list and the time the members spent compiling it. I do not collect headstamps (yet) I just enjoy the history of the old cartridges and when and where they were used and developed. The list is invaluable to me in that it it tells me weather the cartridge is common or perhaps rare. Keep up the good work. Jake

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I have always taken a price guide as a guide. I know more about lugers, since that is what I collect, and most price guides I see are usually too high or too low, but they are good starts.
Cartridges, well since I have a minimum idea, then likely the guide in the journal is good for me :)

But, I always point folks to a few big dealers and tell them to take 30-40% off, then suggest gunbroker, and look at sold items only…

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Like I said, who needs it. If it is not correct :-) Most dealers will gladly pay the price on many items on the guide. That should tell the readers something. My opinion only .

Do you take a price guide to a grocery store to buy a tomato ? Do you worry about the cost of an ice cream cone on a hot day, when you can buy a 1/2 gallon in a store for much less? Do you drive 20 miles to save 5 cents on gas ?

I see cartridges sell on auctions for $25.00 that I sell for $5.00, that does make me raise the price.
I see price at SLIC higher then I sell them for on line.
Prices are mostly set by cost and a persons stock and demand more then a price guide .

In the 1970s a price guide came out on baseball cards, people got caught up in it and it total killed the business in just a few years. Hope that does not happen on cartridges, a lot of history maybe lost.

Like most of you I enjoy the history more than having the cartridge, but having a piece of history is fun.

This subject is not about pointing a figure at anyone it is about up dating a guide to on going real retails, a Low / High Value to me would be better, or maybe none at all ?

It is the market that sets the retail. If dealers can’t find an item and have demand for it, they will pay more for it, and have to sell it for more, no demand they dump it…
The market drives prices not a guide.

Good discussion, we may never agree, which is OK, that’s called freedom ;-)

A computer program where people can report low and high prices would be needed, no one person could do all the work.

I look forward to downloading your Ap.

Not from me, it would have to be made by someone more knowledgeable then I. I’m just the data entry guy. :-)
We’re talking about an idea, hopefully it leads to better thing.

I used Ammo-One as my price guide when I first started collecting. I’ve since realized that it has no meaning since I can’t buy them from there anyway & what’s available in Canada is far more scarce than what’s available in USA. Overpaying and underselling!

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John, Thanks for your opinion john, God Bless.

Peter, I would love to get your prices. Great job!

I hope you all saw Trump today at the late day press conference, what a wonderful JOB! if you didn’t see if you can find it.

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I really appreciate the guide in the IAA journal as it gives me a starting place, when I get to the auctions site. As I may want something too much and do something stupid, but by waiting it may get a better price.

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I totally agree with you, a starting place, however many feel it is the selling price :-(
As a dealer trying to buy as many items to service the collectors we have to buy at the staring place or more to get that product to that your customers want to0 bu…y that increases the price.
This is about to happen to all of us, Walmart will be raising prices on import items due to import taxes increasing and increased wages, they have to price their products higher.
This is why I a Low / High price guide maybe better? Not sure how to do this.
The writers of the price guide have done a great job, I think the problem is most of us did not know we had to call them with prices.
With 1,500 items that’s a lot of phone calls :-)
Maybe a program is needed, then we all can add low/ high prices on items (once) ???

Price guides are completely useless when you account for items that might be completely impossible to get in one country, and in a neighbouring country are a dime a dozen. See for examples the old Norwegian Kongsberg-Colts and the Norwegian rebarreled K98ks. Those are worth thousands in the US, whereas in Norway they’re barely worth anything. Or look at SVT40s, which are common in Canada, completely different situation in the US.

Frankly, and no harm intended, certain US collectible ammo websites have prices that are in my eyes completely absurd. I have paid just a few dollars for some of my cartridges, that are unheard of in Sweden and would be worth much much much more there.

Anyway - I guess this price list would only be any good for American users. Based on that the price list might as well be called the “NAAA price guide” rather than “IAA price guide”.


As someone who has sold a good bit of ammo on Gunbroker, and now in a retail store, vs. also selling / trading cartridges at SLICS and with other collectors for over 10 years, I offer this:

I find that some relatively worthless cartridges to collectors, such as tarnished 1950’s Czech 9mm rds, will sell for decent money to online bidders who treat it as rare “AP” ammo. The same is true for the mundane “metal piercing” .38spl rds which are nothing too special to collectors. Also, a Dardick Tround sitting on a table at SLICS for $4.00 or so, can fetch $10 from a retail buyer who wants “something weird they’ve never seen before”.

Price guides are always tough because they are giving an average perceived collector value for a typical random cartridge of a certain caliber. Such as, what is a 40-82 Winchester worth? Good question, probably about $5.00 individually (new loaded ammo boxes cost around $70 for 20rds), but then of course there are many older variations, some more rare than others. Maybe one is worth $50.00? I always had the feeling that the guides were mostly for people to reference the relative scarcity of a cartridge through average values. Like what would a .44M&H be worth to the unwitting novice collector - the price guide will show them that it is relatively more valuable than a 9x25 Export Mauser perhaps, but then maybe not as valuable as a 7mm baby Nambu ? which all probably seem equally unobtainable to the average person.

I feel like retail website prices for individual cartridges should generally be higher than whatever the price guides usually say because the website operator is going to a lot of trouble to organize, photo, and offer everything for convenient purchase via credit card & shipping, unlike the jumbled masses of cartridges found at the few random cartridge shows scattered around the country where serious collectors enjoy lower prices for the trouble of going to them and trading with other collectors in-the-know. Just like ketchup is more expensive at the 24hr convenience store than it is at the grocery store because if you need ketchup at 11:30pm, then you gotta have it.

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I tried to stay out of this discussion but…

I fully agree with Ole.
Prices do vary so much depending on the geographical location, time/date, the seller, the buyer and the exact variant of a cartridge + headstamp that any price named will be incorrect.
So a price will be only valid that day, on that spot for that exact cartridge and amongst the seller and buyer. Impossible to repeat even if wanted! Wanna list that? What for?

Imagine a 9x19, where to start here and where to end?
Basically every price has to start at 0 (zero) as that is what it is when people want to get rid of ordinary un-shootable stuff and then ending with a DWM brass drawn one-pice dummy at 1000 Euro (or more).
So what to write in a price list?
9x19 : 0 - 1000 Euro? Making an average and saying every 9x19 is then 500 Euro?
Whom will that help?
Prices are a very subjective thing as it reflects the seller’s view on the item and even if so it does not mean that a potentially interested person is willing to pay what the seller wants (we all know this well). So who’s idea of a price will be legit?
Any price list even if “correct” will be outdated the next day since a 1000 Euro cartridge today can be a 50 Euro cartridge tomorrow, depending who has dragged out a crate out of his basement or dug it up in the forrest. All this has happened many times!

Besides that a price list then will be only the one of a particular person and at best valid only to the one who composed it.
What reminds me of a German gun magazine which many decades ago was publishing such a price list composed by a well known collector. And odd or not all the scarce ones that guy did not have in his collection were surprisingly inexpensive in that list. Go figure.
And for a seller making such a list I would insinuate that he will raise prices in his own interest or simply always refer to the highest price listed in such a list. Very humane by nature but is that needed?

I never was a fan of price lists and never will be.

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