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Maybe I just have too much time on my hands.

Every now and then I visit E-bay.

I have bought a few things.

In fact only today the copy of Scout Pioneering that I won arrived in the mail. I paid $12.00.

Someone had borrowed my old copy and forgot to give it back.

It seems to me that some of the prices have gone wild.

Far be it for me to tell anyone how to spend their money. I also think that if the seller can make a few bucks, - Good luck to him.

Last week I saw a 1975 World Jamboree Subcamp 6 Neckerchief selling for $230.00

Then there was the Scoutmaster Ring from the last National Jambo selling for $153.00.

I have both of these items.

I never gave any thought to selling them. In fact the neckerchief has lived in an old tupperware box for the last 28 years and the patch is on my Jamboree Shirt.

I have no idea what other items I have that someone might be willing to pay big bucks for.

I have never been a what you might call a collector, more of a tupperware box type.


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I concurr.


Of course, I'm a bit jaded as a Scouting professional and have probably given to other Scouters or just plain lost or tucked away many items of value that could have been sold on E-Bay for a profit.


I know of one or two Scouting professionals who hang onto things they think will enhance their retirement accounts.


I have a few pieces (some of which I have lost or just don't know where they are) that are/were restricted to professionals for their accomplishments that I have heard receive a fair price at auction on E-Bay:


The Chief Scout Executive's Winner's Circle Ring from 1988

The Chief Scout Executive's Winner's Circle sterling silver belt buckle from 1993, etc.

I also have many "Distinguished Executive" items from the Region. I'm not willing to go to any length to sell them, but only value them for their practical value. The good marks on the resume mean far more than the item. Naked truth -- sorry.


Why do people pay for Scouting stuff? I don't understand and would appreciate any insight. If you weren't there and didn't earn it, why would you want it enough to pay for it?


Of course, I understand sentiment. I look forward to someday inheriting my father's badges from his tenure as a Boy Scout (although long may he live, forever and ever amen) but ain't about to pay money for someone elses stuff from that era.


Just curious.



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Why do people collect stamps? Why do people collect Beanie Babies or college sweatshirts?


I know a fellow likes the history of colonial Africa and collects military badges from that era. He's never been in any branch of any service and has never been to Africa. Oddly, he thinks that Scouters who collect patches are morons.


Often collections start out innocently enough. You go somewhere and get an X. Later, you get an X from another event that you've been to. Next, you are somewhere and see an X from an event that you didn't go to but you buy it because it looks neat. Now, you have a collection and start looking to fill it in.


I collect CSPs from councils that I've been involved with. Why? I don't know for sure. I like the history that they represent. I like them.


I have a collection of Scout Handbooks and other publications going back into the 40s. Why? I find them interesting reading, great for giving an historic perspective into the program and excellent reference materials (despite their EVIL nature).


I don't know that I'd seek out a Jamboree ring since I'm neither a Scoutmaster nor did I go to the Jamboree but if someone gave me one, I might wind up starting a new collection.


As for prices on ebaY, you need to be an aware consumer. For example, I found a CSP that I wanted on ebaY and around the same time I found an "internet store" that sold CSPs and had the one that I wanted for $1 less than the starting bid.


If nothing else, wasting money on a collection keeps historic items from winding up in a landfill and is usually cheaper than having a mistress.



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Generally, eBay prices are higher than what you will pay going through a reputable dealer. Most of the people selling stuff on eBay knows what the stuff is worth and the opening price is close to the fair market price. If you're looking to find things at below-market prices, eBay is the wrong place to look. Actually, it's more likely that buyers who don't know the market bid prices up. I'm somewhat guilty of that. Most of what I have bought on eBay are inexpensive CSPs. If a CSP I really want is worth $3 or $4, I may bid double that just to make sure I get the item. Yes, I've paid double the value or the item, but for only a couple bucks, I don't really care.


There is something genetic about collectors that makes them want to "complete" a collection. If something comes in a set of four, having three just isn't good enough. And if you're a non-collector, you just don't understand it. It's like any hobby, just something to do. Why do people hunt if they don't need the meat? I tried to collect presidential autographs a few years back, until the market went crazy and beyond the reach of normal folks. Collecting Scout stuff has a double interest for me.


I have two collections. One is of national jamboree stuff. I've tried to get a patch, neckerchief and back patch and leather patch for every jamboree. I've got a fairly complete set for all except the first three or four jambos. I could probably fill out the collection for a couple grand, but that ain't happening any time soon.


The other is a collection of CSPs from all the councils in my home state which I started when I was a Scout. Like FOG, I like this collection because of the history and heritage behind it. I've got probably 75% of all the CSPs issued by the councils, including some fairly expensive early CSPs. It's a broad-enough collection that there are several rare CSPs that are hard to come by and make the hunt fun.



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I've bought and sold on E-Bay, and in my opinion, the nature of the bidding has changed and made it very frustrating for the casual user. There are web sites now that, for a piggyback fee, offer automated bid generators that end-load successive bids in the last couple minutes of an auction, to ensure you get the item you want. If you don't use automated bid generators, and don't sit in front of your computer 24/7, you're going to be constantly, and slightly, outbid by the SWAT team members. I've tried sliding in manually at the end of auctions and it just hasn't worked.


I still bid, mainly on used uniform items, but before I bid, I set a personal limit on how high I'll go, and don't go over that. I know the cost of new items, and in general, what I'll pay for used ones in good condition is slightly over half the cost of a new one.



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Prices???? I can not tell you about what is sold with the bsa but I put photo's on ebay. The high bidder recieces it. If you are willing to pay $100 for an 4 by 6, I will take your money. But that has never happened.



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I am an eBayer....I do it because my Dr advised me to "get a hobby...find something that you enjoy and do it for the pure fun of it." I'll have to admit, Scouting used to fit that description, but the more I learn about the District and Council and even unit politics, the more it feels like "work".


I collect Scouting memorabilia, but like the others, only things that have a personal meaning to me...like from my council or OA lodge, or CSPs of councils I have visited, or replacements for things I used to have, but my Mother thought should go to the Thrift Store. My first year of summer camp was 1966...I now have 3 of those patches from eBay. Why? Because I don't want some dealer in Oregon to have them. They are special to me. I have never been to Philmont, therefore I have no Philmont items. My last 3 uniform shirts have come from eBay...like new, but half the cost. My favorite is the one with a DL patch on it and advertised as "worn only once"! (LOL)

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I've bought several scout patches on eBay in the last few years. Like probably most people I only collected patches from events that I had attended. Somewhere along the way I thought it would be nice to get a complete collection of flaps from my OA lodge. Then a complete collection of patches from each OA conclave my lodge had attended. As of now those are the only collections I actively persue. I have paid a lot for a few pieces. But if you have ever tried to get a complete set of any collectable that other people also persue, when a rare piece comes up on eBay or else where, that you have never or have rarely seen you have to pay a premium price to get it. One reason prices are sometimes high on eBay is because there are thousands of people that look for items there to fill in holes in their collections. All it takes is two people that need the same item to drive up the price. I guess you need to be a collector to understand but every collectors goal is to complete his collection. In my case I only need two conclave patches and three lodge flaps to complete those collections. One of the conclave patches I need came up a couple of years ago and I bid $400 on it and got out bid. I'm probably getting a little off track here but I met the only man to have a complete set of First Flaps, that being the first flap issued by every lodge thats ever been chartered by the BSA, he has six figures in that collection. Like I said above, you have to be a collector to understand!









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Her Who Must Be Obeyed does at times mention the fact that Scouting is not cheap.

There is a never ending amount of dinners to attend some with big price tags.

With over 20 shirts the CSP's at $3.50 each is $70.00.

But She would kill me if I had more money in my Scout stuff then I had in my retirement account.

Still to each his own.


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I have bought on Ebay on and off for 3-4 years. I've found the selection to be outstanding and if you watch the site enough, you can get an idea of what people are buying just to make sure a dealer (outside of Ebay) isn't getting more margin that he deserves. I've gotten both Scout Handbooks and Scoutmaster Handbooks dating back to the mid-20's for a good price (the biggest tag was $45 for a two volume SM Handbook in great shape from the 40's). Everything else was between $15 and $30 each.


I've also sold off a good chunk of my patch collection the past year and a half. Of course, I've kept all the patches I've personally earned. I had over 300 CSP's and 200 Flaps at one point, several dozen JSP's. I realized last year that I hadn't done anything with collection in a decade. I picked what I really wanted to keep (I was pretty liberal in that area) and have sold most of the rest and gotten some decent money for it. Not enough to pay off a house, but I at least paid off a credit card and cleared out some shelf space.


Before you buy or sell anything, look at the different auctions for a few weeks so you can get a feel for what you are doing and avoid some costly mistakes.

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