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#128763 - 07/11/07 05:48 PM Advice to new collectors
Dave Online

Registered: 09/09/00
Posts: 13204
Loc: Southeast
This is intended for the new collector or collectors who have recently joined us on the Internet. More experienced collectors might also benefit from glancing through this, too

If you got this far, Welcome to GDC. We have a varied and sometimes anonymous membership. Most everyone signed up here to learn or to help build the knowledge base of our hobby. But, we have the occasional person who has signed up to seek out newer collectors so they can steal their money with various scams. Also, if you found GDC then you probably found eBay, other forums, various dealer sites, and other auction venues. They have their share of the same people too.

We have "For Sale" and "Wanted" Forums. All logged-on Members can see them. To post in these Forums, You will need to purchase a Premium Membership at $32.95 per year. Look at the top right of this page where it says CLICK HERE for instructions. If can't use PayPal or have other problems email me

We have a large number of knowledgeable collectors so feel free to ask their advice in any of the dedicated forums. It is often good to include a photo or two.

Again, Welcome

OK, now for some advice about the Dark Side:

- Do not ever respond to unsolicited emails offering you militaria. You have probably been selected as a pigeon to be plucked. One chronic offender is Pawel Tomasz Nowak of Poland. If he obtains your email address, he will send you documentation and incredible offers, but he will screw you.

- Don’t buy anything for a while except reference books. Go to shows and handle the stuff you like. Find local collectors who will help educate you. Ask questions here. Until you have a decent measure of knowledge in your particular interest you should keep your hands (and your wallet) in your pocket.

- Do not bid on German WWII Militaria on eBay unless you are considering like a $20 tinnie and can afford to loose $25. Note that it is against eBay rules to sell anything Nazi except books and stamps so that if you do get taken, you will get no sympathy or help from eBay or PayPal.

- If you DO decide to tempt your fate on eBay:

1. Never bid on an item where the seller’s feedback or bidders ID is hidden or ‘private’. You will hear various ingenious explanations why these are not shown, but do not be fooled.

2. Never bid on an item where ‘all sales are final’. The usual excuse is that these are consignment items, but that is hogwash. Honest sellers of consigned items give doinspection periods.

3. Read the seller’s feedback. Carefully.

4. Don't pay attention to the 'story'. It is usually 'taken off a dead German', 'brought in by the widow of a vet who needed grocery money', or something similar. It may be true .. or not, but that is not what you are buying.

5. Decide before you bid what the item is worth to you and bid no more. Auctions depend on ego competitions to pump up prices.

6. Do not take up second chance offers or offers from a seller after the auction is canceled.

Some General Advice:

1. Never buy anything from any of the old Warsaw Pact nations unless you live in that country itself or are very experienced.

2. Never buy anything where the payment is required to be by bank transfer or Western Union.

3. Buy only in the country in which you live if possible. You understand the legal system, speak the language, and have access to the police who can follow up your complaint.

4. Request that your purchase be sent via your country’s postal system. Most countries have much more severe penalties for those who use their postal service to cheat people than they do for those cheated via private companies like FedEx or UPS. Pay for insurance and for signature confirmation / tracking of delivery.

5. Remember that images can be stolen very easily so it is NOT a certainty that the seller really owns that item. If you have doubts, ask for a picture from a different angle or picture that includes a simple item like a coin. If you are refused additional photos, it might be because the person does not have the item … or there are cracks or dents that would appear in different views. Move on.

6. If you are in doubt about a seller, do a search here or on other forums, and Google. Or, post a question asking whether others have experience of this seller.

7. You should have a "no questions asked" chance to review and return the item with the proviso that you pay the original postage and insurance and well as the postage and insurance on the way back. Do NOT mess with the item because in that case you just bought it !

8. You should not have to pay a "restocking fee" or a similar charge if you return the item within the agreed period. If a dealer site says he charges for "restocking fee" for items returned under a "no questions asked" guaranty, then find another dealer.

9. If you put an item on lay-away and change your mind, then you SHOULD expect to pay some sort of fee as the seller was kind enough to take he item off the shelf for you when he could have sold it to others.

10. "Lifetime Guarantees" are sometimes offered. You should ask what that means as interpretations may well vary. Get specifics.


Edited by Dave Hohaus (05/13/13 06:42 PM)

#128764 - 03/12/08 05:58 PM Re: Advice to new collectors
doctorhifi Offline

Registered: 04/11/07
Posts: 32
Loc: MN
I tried sending you a private message but I guess I don't have permission.

Another suggestion for us newbies would be how we should handle asking on the forums about rarity of a particular maker and the McSaar rarity scale.

Perhaps you should suggest that we purchase the McSaar as well as reference books.

#128765 - 05/13/08 03:35 AM Re: Advice to new collectors
Richie B Offline

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 129
As a relative new comer to GDC, I have just come across this thread.

Very valuable advice especially about our “friend” Mr Nowak.

I would however like to comment on a couple of things Dave wrote from the perspective of a bayonet collector.

Never, ever, buy anything from any of the old Warsaw Pact nations unless you live in that country itself

I think this is a little harsh – I’ve purchased 20 - 30 Austrian, Czech and Polish bayonets from ex WP countries and never had a problem.

Buy only in the country in which you live

I buy mainly from within the UK where I live, however, again I’ve never had a problem with the items I’ve purchased on eBay from the US and other countries.


#128766 - 05/13/08 07:09 AM Re: Advice to new collectors
Dave Online

Registered: 09/09/00
Posts: 13204
Loc: Southeast

Those comments are meant for the new collector so he does not get scammed until he learn the pitfalls of collecting.

If you have 20-30 bayonets, then you are more advanced than a new collector


#243785 - 04/25/11 01:11 AM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Dave]
Brian Ray Offline

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 46
Loc: Oregon
Lol, Didn,t join this site for more than 4 days and got a email from mentioned person. Pawel Nowak

#247998 - 07/04/11 06:17 PM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Brian Ray]
spacey Offline

Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 541
Loc: united states
Can anyone recommend the best book that covers WWII edged weapons, axis and/or allies? It would be nice to have one all inclusive book w/ photos instead of several smaller ones.
Von zwei Übeln wählt man besser das, was man schon kennt.

#248006 - 07/04/11 07:58 PM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: spacey]
Dave Online

Registered: 09/09/00
Posts: 13204
Loc: Southeast
That book has yet to written.


#248257 - 07/09/11 02:53 PM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Dave]
Krullies Offline

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 563
Loc: Netherlands
Originally Posted By: spacey
Can anyone recommend the best book that covers WWII edged weapons, axis and/or allies? It would be nice to have one all inclusive book w/ photos instead of several smaller ones.

Originally Posted By: Dave Hohaus
That book has yet to written.


Oh boy, yep, true, true ... BUT ...

Hi Spacer!

Well, theres not ONE book but there are several books, that you can read to learn! I learn\learned most I think from period\wartime stuff, but, also, from a book called "Me Fecit Solingen" by Skipper Greenwade. Thats older but, very good, and, very inspirational! And also, if you can, get your hands on "Service Daggers of SA and NSKK" by Siegert. That book has so much fotographs! And also a guide how to start collecting, that is nice to read, and helpful.

Also, wait for the book by William Warda and Thom Witmann, not sure, but, I ~~think~~ its gonna be good! The big series by Thom Johnson, is also very helpful, "collecting the edged weapons of the 3rd Reich", pick the 1st and 5th books if you only want SA/SS/NSKK.

For allies, I only know 2 Fairbairn-Sykes books ... 1 wartime book, "Get Touch" and "Fairbairn Commando Dagger". But, theres SO much to learn, around these things! Take Fairbairn, the name of a UK major actualy. If you learn about a knife, or dagger, you need to also learn, about the background, if you wanna know what is fake\faul and what aint. Even then its VERY difficult, to see, or understand. Each type, of whatever axis or allies, has a history, and a use, and people, stuck to the making, the designing, the using. Its great fun ... The knives\daggers, you collect, tell you more, if you know a bit more. And also, you know earlier, when people give you nonsense.

Reading from the period when your knives are from, are always the best. Period catalogs, or, sometimes just magazines with ads too. Its best to do your own research, dont depend on others, and, DONT take ANY modern book\forum\person for truth!!! But you can learn MUCH from them. Below, a 3rd pattern Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, with the wartime 1st print Get Touch book. Enjoy the learning-ride!!


Nichts ist Ende, nichts ist Anfang.

#282727 - 05/13/13 04:12 PM wanted posts [Re: Dave]
nurseswim Offline

Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 87
Loc: Indiana
how do I post on wanted threads?

#282739 - 05/13/13 06:46 PM Re: wanted posts [Re: nurseswim]
Dave Online

Registered: 09/09/00
Posts: 13204
Loc: Southeast
Look in the to right hand corner of this page. Where the leaf turns from blue to red.

If that does not work for you, email me

#313850 - 12/14/15 10:48 AM Re: wanted posts [Re: Dave]
Alex . Offline

Registered: 11/30/15
Posts: 189
Loc: NYC
Hi Gents,

I totally agree with Dave's General Advice #1: "Never buy anything from any of the old Warsaw Pact nations".

I have been burned twice:

1. I purchased my first dagger on EBay from Poland. The dagger was fake.
2. Purchased another dagger on EBay from Romania. Received different dagger. The item description page show dagger in mint cognition but I received rusted and scratched piece of junk.

Keep away from the old Warsaw Pact nations!


#325468 - 01/05/17 11:49 AM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Dave]
captsteveo Offline

Registered: 01/03/17
Posts: 2
Loc: GA
Hi Dave, I am new to the Forum. Joined to get some knowledge about German Daggers. About to purchase my first, a Model 1933 SS Dagger (Boker) and am a little nervous as I am an easy target. Dagger has never been cleaned. Obtained from family of someone in Rainbow Division. Ebony grip perfect.Scabbard 100% original and straight. Blade excellent plus condition except for surface age blemish where Vet probably touched and didn't clean. $3500. Hope that sounds about right. Any advice?
Best Regards,
Steve O'Sullivan

#325469 - 01/05/17 12:45 PM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: captsteveo]
Dave Online

Registered: 09/09/00
Posts: 13204
Loc: Southeast

Welcome. You've come to the right place.

Your description and price sound good but without pictures I could not be sure. Hope you can post some.


#325787 - 01/16/17 04:58 AM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Dave]
Boxster Offline

Registered: 01/15/17
Posts: 2
Loc: United kingdom
Hi Dave
I have just joined the forum I have experienced purchasing HJ pieces over a number of years but I am now looking to expand my collection into the more serious expense of SS and SA .during my research leading up to this change in my collecting direction I notice the name of rainbow company cropping up more and more as Steve has mentioned it above excuse my lack of knowledge but is there a reason why it seems to be so popular.

Thank you Graham

#325793 - 01/16/17 10:09 AM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Boxster]
Dave Online

Registered: 09/09/00
Posts: 13204
Loc: Southeast
Not sure what you mean by rainbow company.


#325851 - 01/18/17 05:20 PM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Dave]
Boxster Offline

Registered: 01/15/17
Posts: 2
Loc: United kingdom
Hi fellas
My mistake I was referring to rainbow division.I can only assume that they have a reputation over in your fine country for a large number of bring backs from the conflict.


#325853 - 01/18/17 05:31 PM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Boxster]
Jim W Online

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 3793
I must admit I am not sure what you are getting at.

Perhaps you can give us an example. I have not seen much advertised as related to the Rainbow Division. We also know to buy the item, not the story.

If you are seeing advertisements including that statement similar to Steve's, it could be the last of the Veterans are dying off and their estates are coming up. After all, the rainbow division fought in both wars.

Edited by Jim W (01/18/17 05:36 PM)

#325855 - 01/18/17 06:01 PM Re: Advice to new collectors [Re: Jim W]
Dave Online

Registered: 09/09/00
Posts: 13204
Loc: Southeast
Yes, tell us a bit more and we'll try to help.



GDC Reference Library

-- German Militaria References --

Awards and Medals

3rd Reich Badges & Clasps
3rd Reich Orders & Medals
Imperial Combat Badges
Imperial Orders & Medals
Iron Cross 1st Gallery
Iron Cross 1st Spanges
Iron Cross 2nd Gallery
Iron Cross 2nd Spanges
Knight's Cross Gallery
Oak Leaves, Swords, & Diamonds
Order of the German Eagle
Ribbon Bar Chart
Shields/Cuff Titles
Award/Medal Maker Marks

Daggers & Swords

Dagger Id Guide
Miniature Dagger Id Guide
Dagger Blade Mottos
Maker/Distributor Marks
SA/NSKK Group Marks
SA Transitional RZM Codes
SS RZM Codes
Eickhorn "Field Marschall" Swords

Insignia and Emblems

Belt Buckles
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - Imperial
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - NSDAP
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - SA
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - SS
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - Other NSDAP
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - Military
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - Government
Collar/Shoulder Tabs - Police
Cuff Titles - Non-SS
Cuff Titles - SS
SS Sleeve Diamonds
Foreign Volunteer Arm Shields
Helmet Decals
Military Career/Specialist Patches
Military Services Waffenfarbe
Uniform Eagle Insignia
Visor Cap/Hat Insignia

Manufacturer Codes

Erkennungs Unit Abbreviations
HeeresWaffenAmt Codes
Lieferant & LDO Numbers
Optics Maanufacturer Codes
RZM M1 - Insignia & Badge Makers
RZM M2 - Metal Work Suppliers
RZM M3 - Party Emblem Makers
RZM M4 - Buckle Makers
RZM M5 - Uniform Accessories
RZM M7 - Edged Weapons Makers
RZM M9 - Tinnie Makers
RZM M11/12 - NSDAP LS Medals & Minature Makers

-- U.S. Militaria References --

Aviator Wings
Army Enlisted Collar Discs
Military Medals
Ribbon Chart
WW1 Division Patches
WW2 Army & Corps Patches
WW2 Division Patches
WW2 Phantom Division Patches

-- Small Arms References --

Autoloading Pistols 1892-1909
Beretta Pistols 1915-1945
Colt Auto Pistols 1900-1945
FN (Browning) Pistols 1900-1945
Luger Proof & Acceptance Marks 1898-1945
Lugers - DWM Production 1895-1929
Lugers - DWM Military/Contract 1904-29
Lugers - Rework & Non-DWM 1915-1945
Mauser C96 Broomhandles 1896-1937
Nambu Pistols 1902-1945
Walther 1-9, PP, PPK, & P38 1910-1945
Walther Sport/Olympia Pistols

WW2 Pistols
WW2 Rifles
WW2 Sub-machine Guns
WW2 (German) Assault Rifles
WW2 Light Machine Guns

-- WW2 Armored Vehicles --

Axis Countries
Armored Vehicles of Germany
Armored Vehicles of Hungary
Armored Vehicles of Italy
Armored Vehicles of Japan

Allied Countries
Armored Vehicles of France
Armored Vehicles of Great Britain
Armored Vehicles of Poland
Armored Vehicles of the U.S.
Armored Vehicles of the U.S.S.R.

More to come ;)

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