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Kahuna

Memorabilia Prices: Urban Myth?

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I couldn't decide whether to place this here or under patch trading. I don't know beans about selling or trading patches and other memorabilia, but I keep hearing about huge sums being offered for patches and memorabilia. When I look at stuff selling on eBay, though, it appears most items there sell for very low prices. That was my experience with the few uniform items I have sold there. Only did that once, the effort wasn't worth it.

 

So I'm wondering if these stories I hear about huge prices being paid for certain rare OA patches, 1937 Jambo patches and that kind of thing are true or just urban myth. I'm not thinking of going into business, I'm just curious. :)

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Overall I think the stories about big prices being paid for Scout patches are largely a myth. I recall a couple of years ago seeing a 1924 World Jamboree patch being sold on e-bay for around $2,000. As I recall it was one of a numbered patch, something like 1 of 24. I heard a lot of stories a few years ago about lodge flaps from our lodge bringingover $100. Our lodge (kit-ke-hak-o-kut #97) is made up of 3 former lodges and supposedly the original flaps from the orig. lodges were highly prized. I never actually talked to anyone who paid a lot or sold one for a lot of money. Our Lodge trading post sells reproductions so maybe that killed it. For the most part, most patches seem to sell around $1-3. Seems like it takes something rare to beat that.

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Kahuna it is no myth,though the vast majority of items are reasonably priced. Some people do pay huge prices for memorabilia on eBay.

 

Did an advanced search of completed listings worldwide and found 8 items that sold for atleast $1,000.00

 

Also did a quick search of Boy Scout items currently on eBay worldwide. There are over 120 items listed for $100.00 and up. Vintage OA and vintage uniform items can be expensive. There is an OA patch from the 1940's its current bid is in excess of $13,000.00

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/BOY-SCOUTS-1940S-ORDER-OF-THE-ARROW-GIMOGASH-LODGE-214_W0QQitemZ7724955552QQcategoryZ39651QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 

 

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Signed pieces by the founders will put one into the very pricey range. That's because of the incresing rarity of finding high quality pieces. Also rare book, signed or not, by Baden-Powell, Seton and Beard get very big prices on eBay.

 

Founder's artwork?...get a bank loan.

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OA stuff can be pretty pricey. I constantly see OA patches offered in the $100-500 range, and occasionally higher. Sometimes MUCH higher. It's a classic case of supply and demand. Many OA items were issued in severely restricted quantities and no more are being made (notwithstanding unscrupulous counterfeiters). However, demand constantly goes up as new generations of Scouts are inducted and discover patch collecting. Other categories of memorabilia can also command surprising prices, especially very early BSA stuff and Baden Powell stuff. There are some passionate collectors out there with, apparently, huge disposable incomes...

 

Not in those rarified collecting circles, I'm happy with a $5 patch traded on a handshake. Still, my wife does not understand patch collecting at all. She tells her friends, "There's a fine line between hobby and mental illness."

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Holy Macaroli! Every time I've checked eBay stuff, I've never seen anything over about $100. That OA patch bid is unbelievable. I don't have anything in the OA line, but I do have a Schiff neckerchief signed in my presence (actually, on my back) by Olave Baden-Powell in 1970. I guess I'd better talk to my insurance company about that and be sure my heirs know not to throw it out. :)

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I don't know how much money these things are changing hands for?

I can't help thinking that even if it is a myth, it is in some ways changing the way we look at patch trading.

I listened to the Scouts that were at the Jamboree with me and the "Gee look at this neat patch!" Seemed to have been replaced by "This is worth..."

One Lad paid $35.00 for a patch!!

Needless to say I told him that he was off his rocker!!

I know that I might be an old stick in the mud. But I don't like big business creeping into what I have always seen as a friendly pastime.

I heard (But never really witnessed) the horror stories of patches being stolen at the Jamboree and to my mind I can't help but blame this idea that everyone is going to fund their retirement by trading patches.

Oh to bring back an age of innocence.

Eamonn.

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Eamonn, I understand your feeling. However, I know they were doing the same thing at the Jamboree in 1969. Of course, the prices were lower, but gas was 25 cents then!

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Reviving an old thread, I know, but I just thought I'd throw in my 2.

 

From what I've seen, if you want an original handbook, it's going to run $5-600. Saw a mint condition original Eagle patch sell for $560 (standard background, so it'd be even more if it were one of the sea scouting variants...). Most expensive I'd seen prior to that $13,000 patch above was $1,600 for a Skipper's Key square knot (which was only made between 1942-1944). The Ranger Award knot is similarly rare, I've only ever heard of about 4 documented finds of it (one in a display case at a council office, which indicates it's a real knot to begin with). Original BSA ranks that were combined with the scribe and bugler patches (which also have silver variants to indicate patrol leaders) will also shoot into the $500 range on a regular basis.

 

Every once in a while you get a fluke though. Don't feel like digging up the link at the moment, but right around Christmas someone stuck one of the current issue of Eagle medals up with the current patch and knot, a set which usually sells for $25 on eBay, and got $220 for it...In other words, make sure you know what you're buying first, in all cases. Sometimes it's better to wait. Picked up one of the mylar Eagle badges from 1985 for $17 because I decided not to outbid someone who had already laid down $35 for one the night before. Also helps to know how common things are on the market. All Eagle patches back to the second version are on the market on a regular basis, and you'll be hard pressed to go a week without finding a specific variant if for some reason it's not already on there. Seen two of the original go up as well. Only things I haven't seen come back out of what I've seen appear in the first place (as there's a lot that never shows up) have been the original rank insignia that's combined with the badges of office and the aforementioned Skipper's Key knot.

 

What they say on eBay when you sign up is true, you just have to know how much you're willing to pay for it and stick to it.

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Absolutely, if you dragged into a bidding war, you can end up going bankrupt.

 

It still amazes me how cheap some items are, though. I looked at a couple of old uniforms the other day. One of them was the WWI army type and it sold for $25 or something like that. Some of them are in great condition, too. There can't be all that many pre-1930 Scout uniforms around anymore.

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Kahuna

"There can't be all that many pre-1930 Scout uniforms around anymore."

Could it be that there aren't that many pre-1930 Scouter's around anymore?

(I'm sorry I just couldn't help myself!!)

Eamonn.

 

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Not all of 'em! I've got two from 1914. The guy died and his wife didn't want to bury him in 'em - or them with him. She gave them to me. :)

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The myth is true, it also depends on when one is buying patches (time of year). My girlfriend bought me the 1937 Jamboree patch for over $100 around the time of this past Jamboree. She said that in the weeks before, during and after the Jamboree, that those patches were all over the place on ebay. But now, if you look, there aren't too many. Between April of last year and up to this past December, she was able to purchase every Jamboree patch, all 15 prior to 2005 on ebay(not including the never held 1935 patch). I had already bought a 2005 patch while attending.

 

She said that the patches she had the most trouble tracking down, and being out-bid was for the 1937 patch, and ironically the 1997 patch. The artwork on the two were made to look similar for the 60 year anniversary. She said the 1997 cost more than some of the older ones from the 50's and 60's.

 

SO basically it depends on when and where your buying your patches.

 

YIS

 

 

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