Opinions requested on "price guides" !

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Oct 26, 2005
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491
I'm about ready to admit you fellers got me hooked as the following request will confirm !
What are your opinions/recommendations on these knife price guides that I see? Particularly as to knife model physical characteristics,steel types,handle mateial,years produced,etc.
I've seen Sargents,Jarret's,Ritchie/Stewart's and I'm sure there are others.
With most people having internet access today,I'd assume that recent prices paid on eBay would eventually influence the price levels at knife shows,flea markets,and antique shops.
Thanks,
Ron
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2000
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Price guides often contain interesting information, sometimes accurate, rarely complete. They make good references and resources. As far as current values, the eBay Completed Items search function has completely replaced guidebooks, IMO. With a Completed Items search you can see what items actually sell for and how much $$ people are willing to pay, not what someone says they should be worth.

There's also no practical way that guidebook publishers can keep up with quickly-changing markets, such as Schrade knives.

Just my 2-cents. Can't wait to read what the rest of you guys think.

-Bob
 
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Nov 12, 2005
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Bob is correct! people pay alot more for these knives on ebay than any price guide would give them worth! ebay also destroyed the collectors value of some items such as old straight razors i sold old straight razors with boxes and papers on ebay a few years ago for far less than i could have gotten for the boxes or even papers alone from local collectors but since there are so many on ebay there value is now next to nothing!
 
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I also sometimes follow eBay prices for vintage computers. When eBay first came around the prices of common systems went through the roof. Then once the initial demand was met, prices bottomed out. No one had any idea how many Timex Sinclair computers were tucked away in closets and storage.

At the same time, eBay created a market for truely rare machines by matching sellers with buyers, and creating competition among buyers.

I see the same market fluxuations and reactions with knives. The best examples get fought over and prices skyrocket, while prices for common knives stagnate or drop as the demand is met by an abundance of sellers. Those are conditions that value guidebooks can't possibly predict or report.

Best Wishes,
Bob
 
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Having written one of these especially, on a subject that until my historical price guide had not been specificly addressed for 20 years I find your question aboslutely ( as the Brits would say spot on ) . Price guides are written as part of the overall purpose of a subject. Some are price guides, some include this information secondary, to historical or some other aspect the author or publisher is attempting to impart usually on the part of the publisher, to make money, I guess in most cases that is what the author wishes as well. While not my main reason I do not find money objectional.

Now what you have to understand is that in these instances especially in items not priced in 20 years ( except as pieces included in overall estimates such as doing all Case models and including the automatic versions in these evaluations ) it gives the author a lot of leeway in there interpretation of true value. Then there are the considerations of condition, rarity, and evaluation in terms of Retail or wholesale ( dealer pricing ). This of course is limited when there are predicate editions Sargent has done 6 editions, Ritchie and Stewart I have lost count. Then the situation changes in that the estimated value change can be reviewed over the years.

In my case my publisher said always go high retail. I actually set several prices depending on the actual examples in my book and what I felt a mint version should bring as well as a double rating system which I explain in the book.

I still have not answered your question the fact is that a knife is worth what someone will pay for it ( as is anything else ). Actual value of the human being in chemical composition, used to be around a dollar. The value of the actual materials of these atifacts is just as nominal. None the less what we covet, we value, to our wants and abilitys to pay for. I of all understand this indulgence. Ebay much like a spouse we must live with for better or worse has opened this availability to many with more money than brains, a syndrome to which I am certainly ( pleasantly ) afflicted.

The reason for these guides ( or at least mine ) was to accquaint people with artifacts ( which often were inherited or hand me downs ) with there history and relative retail value. Many dealers would pay pennies for these particular items and then sell them to collectors for ( what I feel ) were unfair profits. Then you had the other side of the coin in which people had heard that there items were worth zillions. All I and many authors of these guides offer is a rule of thumb and at best an educated ( in some cases), opinion .

Ebay has become the wild card. My motto towards ebay has been from the beginning ( expressed politely ) the junk goes for gold the gold goes for junk. I love this medium in that I have found things I never would have searching stores and flea markets ect. I sure do not agree with many of there policys but it has opened up avenues and artifacts I never would have found some quite amazingly reasonable but again this is only until the public realizes what items are. I could give a lot of examples of this in the fields I have a bit of experience in but as everyone gets smarter it gets tougher. MY 2 cents worth LT
 

Codger_64

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My own take is: Price guides/collector guides offer a wealth of information on production and identification, and the prices quoted, as also noted above, have to be taken with a grain of salt. Like the tides, Schrade prices ebb and flow monthly, sometimes weekly. Now, this is speaking in relationship to eBay mostly. I am not able to attend knife shows where I live, and do not have contact with a local collector's club.

Even my own compilation of Schrade fixed blade pattern prices, done this past summer, are out of date. May, June, and July sales all showed significant differences. And compared to today's sales, I regard them as inaccurate. EXCEPT..... the graduated price differences between grades still holds true. Given the fluid market, I don't see how a book published in 2005 (likely written and edited in 2004) could be accurate on prices.

Many factors have changed since then such as collector/ investor interest, supply of knives in the marketplace (some flooding, some drying up). One thing that has not changed, except as a perception, is actual rarity. No matter how many show up on the market at any given time, only a certain number of each pattern, each tangstamp, each variant were made. Some by the millions, some by the thousands, some by the hundreds, and a few by the tens or singly. That is where the relevance of the prices in the guides comes into play. Say a knife is listed at $10, and it's varient at $50. Now the common pattern sells for $30, then expect the varient (if rarity is known and appreciated) to go for over $100. Possibly $100 - $150. A portion of that is just devaluation of the currency, but most of it is "more burros, fewer corncobs" as Don Luis has stated.

Codger
 
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relodr36 said:
I'm about ready to admit you fellers got me hooked as the following request will confirm !
What are your opinions/recommendations on these knife price guides that I see? Particularly as to knife model physical characteristics,steel types,handle material,years produced,etc.
I've seen Sargents,Jarret's,Ritchie/Stewart's and I'm sure there are others.
With most people having internet access today,I'd assume that recent prices paid on eBay would eventually influence the price levels at knife shows,flea markets,and antique shops.
Thanks,
Ron

:eek: I forgot to include the fact that I'm not too interested in publications like these for the purpose of establishing values.
I used(?) to be a small collector of traps,guns and antique ammunition and I found out that price guides were woefully short of being accurate.
There was one trap collecting guide whose author deliberately undervalued several makers/models of rare traps.Popular opinion of many other trap collectors was that Frod------ did that so he could add those models to his collection at lower cost.
I am interested them for info on knife model,physical characteristics,steel types,handle mateial,years produced,etc.I don't know if any of them provide quantities produced,or not.
Thanks for your comments as you mentioned several points that I hadn't considered. LT,Codger,Sdt,and Bob I really appreciate you taking your time to voice your thoughts as you guys have a wealth of knowledge and experience.
I agree that the "completed auctions" info on eBay is very useful,but as Codger has said,it fluctuates.When prices of an itemgo thru the roof,people apparently dig them out of their attics,basements,and barns;and flood the market and prices plummet.I've seen that with certain book authors and some brands of old ammo.
I'd still like to hear your comments if you have any opinions/recommendations on these knife price guides that I see? Particularly as to knife model physical characteristics,steel types,handle material,years produced,numbers produced,etc.I'd also expect that some authors have a better record of accuracy.I know Richard's would rate a 10 on a scale of 1-10.:)
I hope Dale came thru the operation,today,successfully! I'm sure that all of of us had him in our thoughts!
Thanks fellers!!:D
Ron
 
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Oct 11, 2005
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Thanks Ron,
I am home & doing better than I expected. I have my arm all taped up & it is hard to type left handed.
I will become a 'lurker' for a while. :D

Dale
 

Codger_64

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Oct 8, 2004
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Glad you popped back in so soon! And glad to have you as a guest. Though it doesn't take a lot to post a :D or a :mad: !

And as you have seen, punctuation and capitol letters aren't required here either, or proppur spalling. Again, happy it is going so well for you.

Codger
 
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Sep 6, 2002
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OK Dale.....

If typing is all you are doing lefthanded.....well, you know that is A OK. :D

Welcome back.....heal well.

Bill
 
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