I have an extensive collection of medals, uniforms, cloth and metal badges, buttons and oddments that I would like to sell. Please can anyone suggest a reputable dealer, or the best online DIY method for militaria.
There's obviously e-bay, but you need to think about various things;
1) How long will it take to photograph and accurately describe all your items in order to put them on eBay (or any one of the auction websites)? Will you sell them in batches or singly? Do you have an e-bay account and paypal, and if so can you get the money off them? Are you aware of the overheads on eBay, which can be up to 10%? Will you limit the countries you sell you (ie not Italy 'cos nothing ever gets there) and how much will you charge for P&P?
2) Do you have a local militaria fair? If so where and how often and how many dealers attend? Would it be worth taking a stall yourself? Bearing in mind that dealers want to make money off everything they buy will there be a dealer for the type of stuff you take along and will you be offered a fair price?
3) Ditto local antiques shops - same questions as 2) above.
4) Do you have a local auction house and if so does it do militaria sales? What comission would they charge you? Are sales well attended?
5) Would it be worth getting in touch with a specialist like Bosleys? He achieves phenominal prices for really high quality items, but probably won't touch the lower value 'tat'. He has achieved record prices for WW2 Commando items, SAS medals etc
Happy to talk off line (PM) as I've been thinking about 'what ifs' regarding my stuff as well. No final decisions made by me either, but I've achieved some startling results (both up and down) on e-bay.
eBay would bring you maximum price, but would be a long and tedious exercise if you have a lot of stuff.
Auctions are conveneient, but charge a ludicrous premium. However most auction houses are willing to negotiate a special commission rate for a significant collection or large number of lots. Try some of the specialist militaria sales:
Ahhh..But you are not allowed to sell Nazi memorabilia on ebay
A lot depends on what it is to tell the truth. For example, Scottish kit fetches a fortune in the US and Japan and certain regiments command even higher proces on ebay. But ebay is certainly the preferred route.
Do you need to get rid of it because you want the cash, or is it because you are running out of space? If the later, regimental museums and the like would greatfully display your stuff on long term loan.