Is it a "chequebook" pastime?

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Scouter Bill, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Scouter Bill

    Scouter Bill Subscriber

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    In the past couple of days a “rare” Hendon Tilley Ceiling light has sold on ebay for £560...

    Which perhaps gives rise to the question: Is collecting/restoring pressure lamps becoming a “chequebook” pastime?
    I suspect most of us get a buzz out of finding a rusty old lamp at a bargain price and restoring it back to its former glory, however a nose on auction sites would suggest that (apart from the downright silly ones) prices seem to be on the increase.
    Thoughts anyone?
     
  2. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    In the last few years prices in general have gone through the roof, especially for the more desirable pieces. I write desirable, not rare, as sometimes there is no logic to it e.g. the Optimus 930 and brass 200P. The common models havn't gone up as much, but have still gone up. In a lot of ways this is taking the fun out of collecting.
     
  3. Derek

    Derek Subscriber

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    1465892795-Bodmin_Brough__Small_.jpg

    This is one of four Brough Superior motorcycles on a pallet. All four went for £573,700 (inc. commission). The one nearest with much of the fuel tank, mudguard and silencer corroded away completely, fetched £41,400.

    The Austin Seven powered, twin rear wheeled model (there were only eight made and intended for sidecar duty) that backs onto it, in only slightly better condition, went for £331,900 (incl. commission).

    Clearly there are folk with money that is gaining no interest sitting in some account, and so are 'investing' it in machines and other artifacts. But the cost of restoring such machines to useable condition is phenomenal. ](*,)
     

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  4. expat

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    It's the economy is the short answer. "Big Moneyed" people tend to be more in the know than us normal people(!) so when this sort of thing is happening it's because they feel that there will be greater reward in investing in things that are currently cheap but are anticipated to get much more expensive because they are no longer produced. Classic bikes are a great example of this as illustrated previously!

    It's another indicator that these people sensibly don't trust the financial markets so probably think we're looking at a crash in the medium/long term.
     
  5. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Well, most hobbies (particularly collecting anything) involve getting out the chequebook or flashing the cash and always have. The trick is to start collecting things that Joe Public has no interest in (yet) and therefore prices are low.

    How much anyone spends depends on how much disposable income they have and how quickly they want their collection to grow. On the other hand, it's still perfectly possible to pick up the odd lantern cheaply and many folk are happy with small collections that didn't cost much. It's very much 'horses for courses' and there's room for all folk in the hobby irrespective of their budgets - as long as they're interested in lamps, that's the key thing... :thumbup:
     
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  6. James

    James Subscriber

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    I didn't think the price of that OL53 was that unreasonable given they are genuinely rare.

    On the other hand I don't know what's going on with the crazy prices for Optimus 930s.
     
  7. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I expected that Tilley to reach a higher price because it's very rare, it appeared to be fitted with a 169 vapouriser and a standard 300 cp., burner, so it was probably an OL-52.

    The link below shows how those Tilley's were used.

    http://0flo.com/index.php?threads/1409
     
  8. george United States

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    Speculators, they will ruin any hobby. Thirty years or more ago the big craze were "muscle cars", the ones with the HUGE engines. My son bought a 1965 Buick Wildcat convertible and eventually restored and sold it for almost 2 1/2 times what he paid for it! It was so silly he simply got out of the hobby. A lot of people out there simply have "deep pockets"...
     
  9. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Indeed.
    My cousin bought a real Olds 442 W30 almost thirty years ago.
    Back then it was possible for a youngster to do so as soon as he got his first job.
    Today that same car cost atleast four times what he gave...
    Same thing with a friends Hemi Charger, which is priced at an insane tag today.

    Regarding lamps, I think it peaked a while ago. Atleast with Swedish lamps.
    Not too long ago, a normal Primus table lamp could go as high as $2000 or even more at some cases.
    They have not gone as high lately. Most has stayed just below $1000, even if a Primus 994 went for $2400 just a couple of weeks ago. There will always be the odd ones which attract two eager buyers.
    But still... it's just as Nils said; they aren't rare. Just desirable.

    But even if table lamps are getting "cheaper", it seems to be the other way around with lanterns, as already suggested.
     
  10. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    I've yet to see any evidence of real "speculators" in our hobby. Our stuff is small beer really.

    I bought the stuff I have because I'm interested in it. I always supposed I would sell it some day because I've no-one interested enough to pass it on to. So in a way, it was also going to be 'something for a rainy day', a nest-egg or pension fund. As an aside, I mentioned the pension fund idea some years ago on another forum and was soundly put-down by some blow-hard Americans bragging about their extensive portfolios of property, stocks and shares etc. Funny how they all shut up when the markets crashed a few years back. But I digress...

    I've come to terms with selling most of my collection, now, and will continue to do so over the next few years. It's the sensible thing to do - better I dispose of it myself than leave it for someone else to get rid of, not knowing its worth. I've had my pleasure out of it and it's good to pass on stuff to other collectors so they can have a similar pleasure...
     
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  11. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Well, there's a guy who constantly buys Swedish lamps and stoves at our domestic auction site.
    Just shortly after that, they used to be sold by him at eBay for a lot more money.
    I think he could make many hundreds of pounds pure profit per each lamp in average, and there were many of them.
    That's speculation to me. And not on the risky side... only the safe and profitable one.
    But of course you couldn't call him a 'speculator' in our hobby... Just one who has found a way to make big money, and that has not much to do with the hobby. Apart from him profiting on it.
     
  12. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    :-k interesting comment :-k maybe they're just collectors that are happy to pay a fair price for a rare lamp


    Just saying ......... :whistle:
     
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  13. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    WHAT is a fair price for something that after all is made in hugh quantities. There was a time nobody in the German scene had a donut petromax lamp. Now everybody imports them from India.

    WHAT is rare ? A Russian thermo-generator lamp ? But I have found them or at least more then one. But I am pretty sure that there are enough of them around. Only the internet hasn't reached those areas.

    Btw: they are to expensive for me ;-( Or in a country that isn't known to be a safe trading post.
     
  14. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    It's all relative I guess Wim :-k Many people I know get through a heap of money pursuing their hobby or passion. Motorbikes, travelling etc , Some others renew their cars each year or two and think nothing of its yearly depreciation.

    Guess it comes down to what pleases you with the money that you can afford to spend on it

    If I didn't have such a money pit of a house, and I was still working full time, then I'd be interested for sure :thumbup:
     
  15. Ian Bingham

    Ian Bingham Subscriber

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    It needn't be a rich man's game but it takes more time and effort to avoid paying top pricee.

    Current prices on ebay, which is the easiest reference, seem very high such as 500GBP for a Tilley KL80 and even hundreds of GBP for a bare tank. There is a brass caged X246 with a non-original later hood running at 80+GBP which, in my view, is a 20GBP lantern.

    But if you are prepared to take the time (and I enjoy the process) you can still find good items for much less money. I have been collecting for 15 years now and have 100+ lamps in a fair-good collection and have made a notional net profit. I have only resold lamps that I do not want. Allowing for my time, it would be a different story.

    As examples in the Tilley line, SDR x 2, a Jacobean, CS56 and an AL8 track lamp have all been found for 5GBP. It is quite possibly getting more difficult than it was, but even this year I have purchased a TL136 short-stem table lamp and a IL47 indoor donut each for 20GBP on separate occasions.

    If you buy from your armchair (which I will sometimes) it is typically more expensive, but if you enjoy rummaging through junk shops and markets it can still be done cheaply
     
  16. Scouter Bill

    Scouter Bill Subscriber

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    Interesting comments.

    In my own situation I don't regard my lamps as an investment. I simply got "hooked" from initially restoring some Tilleys for Scouts!
    I have a small collection at the moment which are all "working" lamps and they do get used frequently at camps. The highest price I have paid for a lamp so far is £20 and it has been very much a case of being in the right place at the right time. It seems to be harder to find the bargain at boot sales etc as people seem to be generally more clued up on lamps nowadays but thats not to say you can't still find a bargain.I do agree with Ians comments about "armchair shopping" and for me nowadays the difficulty is finding time to go and "rummage" etc with the joys of three teenagers (and the promise of being shot by she who must be obeyed if I spend too much!)
    I did have a rummage in a local flea market a few days ago, but the best I could find was £70 for a rusty X246b (dream on!)
     
  17. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    I think the first thing that comes to mind for most people are the 'armchair' (I liked that description :) ) prices. They have gone up considerably in the last few years and as a consequence have affected market prices. I agree that you can still find a bargain but more often than not the seller will want a ridiculous price and say that that is what they are selling for on the net. I started early enough to have a nice collection, but anyone starting now needs to be a bit better off.
     
  18. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    ....Sorry but have to disagree.......The evidence points to people hoping to make money in the long run...

    ....The classic car scene is a good indicator of this......About 15 yrs ago you could pick up a decent 'runner'...affordable....Then 'Retro' took off.......TV programmes like 'Life on Mars' on the back of others got people interested, not a bad thing...

    ....Then auctions for sought after classics started fetching noticeably higher and higher prices...including basket cases similar to the pics Derek showed earlier.....

    ....Over a period of 5 or 6 yrs the affordable classics became out of reach... :/

    ...No reason to doubt the prices for the rarer lamps are related....

    PB
     
  19. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    I think you need to see the game as part of the antiques trade. There will always be individuals disposing of stuff. Some found in barns after a property sale or in the loft after grandad died. Some gets disposed of in garage or car boot sales and some ends up with a dealer of some persuasion. Antique dealers often specialise and our lamps are no different with some dealers who know what they are buying and what it can sell for. Whatever is being sold there have always been people looking at what sells and then buying to serve a market and as ever auctions are where value is determined. The internet created a wider market perhaps but the game has not really changed. Whatever you sell the demand at auction sets the value and in turn that sets a re sale value in your local antique shop or market. I am very fortunate that I started so long ago that a lot of my pile cost very little. I had around 300 lamps here before 1990 and I never paid more than £5 for any of them. Those were the days when there were very few collectors and pretty much no communication between us so the damand was low and prices cheap. ::Neil::
     
  20. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    ....Ah ok, guess i'm just a suspicious, miserable, grumpy old git most of the time....

    ....rest of the time just paranoid an feck'd off...
     
  21. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    So what? - would you expect me to sell my stuff and make a loss?

    I haven't sold a great deal of my collection up to now and it's mostly gone to other collectors I know and at 'mates rates' i.e. below typical eBay prices. I'm not out to rob anybody and, generally speaking, my 'profit' is the pleasure of having owned the lamp over the years, keeping it in the hobby and passing it on to another collector who will also get pleasure from owning it. Over the years I've also given away quite a bit of stuff to folk I like and respect, often paying postage costs myself. Probably naive, but there you are - it's nice to be nice. Quite often, I've received the same generosity from others and I've been most grateful for that. :thumbup:

    On the other hand, if I end up selling something on eBay, I'll happily take whatever the market brings and if that includes a profit, so be it and I won't feel guilty in the least... 8)
     
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  22. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    ....Exactly..."So What?".....

    ....I was just replying to a thread, not 'Getting' at anybody....

    ...I buy off ebay.... I have sold on ebay....

    ...Just saying that car auctions have gone silly and there is evidence that auctions for lamps will occaisionally (sic) do the same....

    ...Oh look its raining
     
  23. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Well, the point I was failing to make is that we have legitimate traders in the hobby, collectors who routinely trade lanterns with other collectors and people like me who are reducing our collections and pass on the odd lamp or two. None of these are "speculators" - not in my book anyway. I think lamps and lanterns are mostly not sufficiently valuable to make a huge profit on and it's very much a niche market. I don't think it compares to the classic car market at all - there are (or more probably, were), speculators there definitely at one time and many got their fingers burned.

    Speculators are folk whose sole interest is making money out of buying and selling objects without having the least or much interest in what they actually are. I've met no-one answering that description in this hobby. Just sayin'...
     
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  24. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    ....ok...look im really sorry if my words have offended people here....

    ....I had no idea you might think I was targeting you or anyone else on here....

    ...I didn't know what you were on about when you said So what....

    .....You are right, i was wrong to compare classic cars with Lamps....

    just ignore what i said, just forget it
     
  25. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Relax, PB - no-one's offended, certainly not me. 8)

    Prices go up, prices come down. In general, over the long term especially, they go up. It's just the way it is and sometimes you can make a few quid. No big deal.

    Sometimes you come across something cheaply and you can pass it on at the going rate. If the buyer is happy with the asking price, well, there you are. I remember buying a lamp for £1000+ and the seller asked me if I wanted to know how much (i.e. how little) he'd actually paid for it. No, I did not because that was his business and it was probably 50 quid or something like that. No drama - it was his good luck to find it for that and I was prepared to pay his asking price so the deal was done. Incidentally, just last night, a burner alone as fitted to that lamp was sold on eBay for over £400... :D/
     

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