Is there a real reason for out of control lantern prices?

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Hanzo, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Subscriber

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    I am really interested in getting to the bottom of this question. lol The last five years of my lantern enthusiasm has seen dramatic increase of lantern prices online and I'd like to know the core reason or various reasons why. Please don't say" supply and demand, son ". lol

    Possible reasons? Dramatic growth of Asia as the market for lanterns? Speculation by investors in lanterns as collectibles? Forum member hobbyists themselves growing the lantern market by becoming business sellers?
     
  2. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    It could be all of those things, in different levels of influence depending on where you are.

    Ease of access to the internet has facilitated growth in interest in lamps, lanterns and stoves. The growth in Membership of CCS and CPL is an indication of that.

    The platforms for buying and selling have also made it easier for international sales and purchases, which, in turn, expands the numbers of buyers and sellers. A larger marketplace means there is an increase in the probability that someone is willing to pay “over the top”.

    The ease of access to internet also means that someone setting or expecting a price looks at the Bay of Evil or similar platform and sees a “best price” and uses that as a guide.

    If I see something way overpriced in a second hand store I always tell them it’s overpriced. A common response is “that’s what it sold for on the Bay”. If I want the item, I will say if you haven’t sold it in 6 months I’ll make you an offer.

    I have paid over the odds a couple of times for items that I wanted to make sure didn’t leave Australia.

    Most of the time I will pay only what I think it is worth.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  3. JohanOptimus

    JohanOptimus South Africa Subscriber

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    Some international buyers with strong currencies have paid 5 x the price South Africans are used to for certtain lanterns. Examples would be Coleman kerosene models such as 201, 249, 339 and 241G etc. These used to go for $20-$60 and now sellers expect $70-$-300. In South Africa $300 is equivalent a months entry level salary

    Traders have taken note of this, and have been agressively buying up lanterns hoping for crazy profits. To our horror even a few collectors have turned into opportunists.

    Finally, obviouslsly it is a great hobby. I guess as more people become aware of it, increasing demand and inelastic supply will lead to price inflation.
     
  4. Pancholoco1911 United States

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    I’d say all in your second paragraph. I’m not a reseller so I don’t buy just to flip but to keep them.

    @JohanOptimus I would love to find some in those prices. Locally would be impossible since those models were for exportation only, saw a guy in FB offering them (South Africa) asking those prices plus shipping and that’s a lot of money. I see some guys doesn’t hesitate paying that kind of money but I cannot because my income doesn’t allow me.
     
  5. Johnny19

    Johnny19 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The interest in Lanterns is on the rise, even the missus has started collecting storm lanterns. I just got her an old Dietz that a couple of years ago would have been on Ebay for a couple of quid, but I made an offer for £20 and got it, which I'm pleased with, as they are going for way much more usually.
    The vintage Colemans seem to fetch a few quid.....Has anyone else noticed this?
     
  6. Matty

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    I have noticed some Australian lanterns are fetching a lot more than I would have thought. One example is, recently a Handi with enamel stripped off the hood and spray painted black went for $200 odd plus postage. I just don't get it. I then see other rarer lanterns going for a song. I don't get that either.

    Just because I don't get it doesn't mean the prices weren't justified. I obviously don't understand the nuances and those that paid what they did - they do get it.
     
  7. Jacky Young United Kingdom

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    I have just got into lamps and lanterns, For me it was a programme called “The Repair Shop” one of the guys repaired and fettled an old miners lamp, so I bought a few and fettled them up to what I think is a good operating condition. Speaking to collectors the prices started going up after the show and a few of them have been inundated with requests for lamps. For me it’s been an easy move to Tilley’s as they are a lot cheaper and not as big a hunt for them by the general public. Only my opinion of course.
     
  8. Johnny19

    Johnny19 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I got into Lamps watching an Outdoor/Bushcraft guy on Youtube showing his various lamps, torches, and lanterns etc, which brought back memories of being in the Scouts many years ago. Next thing I'm collecting them, and as I said on another thread my favourite ones are the Petromax, Hipolito types. (They also seem the most reasonable to buy).
    I also like Storm lanterns which are very expensive these days, for a decent one, even the used ones are expensive. (I don't mean the cheap leaky copies though).
     
  9. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I think a number of considerations - in no particular order: 1) it is something interesting to do in these covid times. 2) the "prepper" community will wish to buy one or more of these. 3) people that sell "anything" on ebay will look at the highest price and try to price similarily without understanding condition/funtionality/rarity etc. I also think that the now easy access to information on how to fettle/light these as well as being able to get parts will have an effect on popularity. At some point prices will go back down so I would not recommend investing in overpriced examples now..

    Just my 2c worth..

    Chris
     
  10. BigStevie

    BigStevie United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Something is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. I know, I'm stating the obvious here, but this is the fact.

    That begs the question, why is someone prepared to pay a certain price for something? Ownership of non essential items (interesting, as the lamps were so essential in their day) is down to desire and means, which in turn generates demand.

    My pal put a rare old motorcycle in to a specialist auction about fifteen years ago as the tax man was on his back. The bike had a pre auction valuation of £20,000, the bidding soon got up to high teens, then two guys battled it out. The bike sold for £36,500 plus fees, a good example of desire and means.

    What makes the lamps a little different is that not everyone is aware yet of their increasing values.
    Lots of overpriced stuff on line, but still an odd bargain if you look hard. The real bargains can still be found.

    So, why so expensive? Demand. No other reason. Why and where the demand is coming from, that’s something we may never fully understand.

    What I've found refreshingly different in the lamp world is the level of generosity. Some members were really helpful when I was starting and it’s been a pleasure to reciprocate when I can. I don’t try to make money from the lamps.
     
  11. Sedgman

    Sedgman Subscriber

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    I also have noticed a lot of over-the-top prices for what are common lanterns. Old rusted or incomplete Tilleys being offered at prices often double or more what I think they are worth. You can buy a brand new Austramax cheaper than some of those inflated prices. I just feel sorry for some unsuspecting people wanting something for the man cave and thinking the inflated price is OK.

    Some Petromax clones are being offered at perhaps 3 times their value and then there will be a few at double and perhaps people buy them thinking they have a bargain by comparison. A while ago I saw a Tilley donut lamp get passed in a few times and then sold for around a grand. I’ll bet today it would be a bit more.

    I should declare I have never sold any of mine and only collect. I never used to buy online but I have a number of times to get a few ‘nice’ pieces that I now realise I might only find in a local market perhaps once in twenty years. However, I am now seeing the rarer ones going for big dollars. I don’t worry about this as I get the most happiness from finding an old cheaper unit and repairing it. Still bargains to be had in second hand shops and local fairs. I Recently picked up a Coleman HQ hanging lamp for $5 Australian; that’s luck. A far better way to go than spending big bucks.
     
  12. R100

    R100 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I think we should consider the Covid factor for price rises as during lockdown, folk were bored out of their heads and wanted "projects". The queues outside DIY stores illustrates this too.

    We need to replace our breakfast dispensing machines (aka hens) but I cannot find a breeder with anything within a sixty mile radius. They all said the same thing that lockdown gave a massive impetus to chicken keeping and even now their point-of-lay poults are all sold within two days of them being made available.

    I just hope that hens going to these homes are not suddenly abandoned when or if normaliy returns.
     
  13. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Chinese Petromax clones going for £60 is ridiculous but getting more common each week! I'm just very glad I started when I did or I'd only have a fraction of the lamps I've collected!
     
  14. adelcoro

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    If the prices rise for original and correct Coleman lanterns I say that probably acceptable but I'm wondering why people are paying so much money for stripped and polished brass fakes and or shinny lanterns with all sorts of cobbled up parts...but as long as it's shiny.
    The absolute opposite of railroad or any other antique lantern.
    The collectors will pay high prices for anything that's original and correct and fakes are called out immediately on their forums and pages.
    Reminds me of the way it used to be with Coleman Collecting.
    I may be old-school but I find it's taking away lots of prestige from coleman collecting.
    all I see are shiny fakes at very high prices.

    These lanterns are not original and most of the descriptions ,,,,, yikes!
    I know for a fact that many of these buyers have no idea that they are not original.

    Personally
    I don't find they have any place in a Coleman collection


    maybe I'm old-school ,,,I don't know!
     
  15. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Well, all of my lamps and lanterns are currently for sale, so if any of this is thread is true, you'd better buy them now while they're cheap! :D/
     
  16. Matty

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    I've noticed a few people mention they don't sell lamps for profit. I do whenever I can. I'm not ashamed of that. The hobby has cost me considerable money and if I can sell a lamp or two to recoup some of the coffers I most definitely will. The profits are funnelled back into my collection.

    If I have three of one and sell two to get one I don't have, I can live with that all day long.

    Some Coleman collectors have fakes in their collection because of the Coleman Lamp Co itself. One would take a 100% original lamp or lantern to them to have it repaired and depending on the repair or conversion, ones lamp could have the wrong valve/wheel, burner, collar - a multitude of possible incorrect part replacements - when it was returned to you.

    I understand your passion for keeping Coleman lamps in as original condition as possible but that's your passion. Others that find grubby, 80% paint loss to founts and clean them up and make them shiny, that's their passion.

    I personally wouldn't shame anyone for doing what they feel is correct for them. Certainly not if all they are doing is removing paint that can be re-applied.

    I kind of find it funny that some 'collectors' can cut up perfectly fine Coleman's and create actual fakes and they seem to get a free pass. I mentioned above I don't get it in regards to prices paid, I certainly don't get it when perfectly good lamps or lanterns are destroyed to make fakes.
     
  17. R100

    R100 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I may be interested. Have you published a list?
     
  18. Alex Smith

    Alex Smith United Kingdom Subscriber

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    And me!

    @David Shouksmith
     
  19. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Sorry, no, I haven't because I've got about 350 lamps, lanterns and stoves all over the place, most of which I can see but not get to for all the other junk that's in the way!

    Plan A is to list a couple lamps in the Trading Post here each week and if there's no interest they'll go on eBay. Currently there's a Dutch Tilley X246, a copper-tanked KL80 and a mint Veritas Superb to list. Oh, and 19 Tilley X246B globes...
     
  20. R100

    R100 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    David, I may be interested in the Veritas, could you pm me with details please?
     
  21. kero-scene Australia

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    About 5 years ago I placed my first ‘wanted’ advert on the online trading site Gumtree. I only kept it there a month or so. I’ve done it a few times since in the Australian summer when people are doing their summer ‘throw out’. My experience is that these ‘wanted’ ads drive up the price as people think that Granny’s old Tilley 246b must be highly sought after and contact you with an undue level of excitement in their voice.

    Back then I seemed to be the only person who placed these sorts of adverts. However, these days when I look there are up to 5 people who place ‘wanted’ ads continuously 365 days every year. So the ‘demand’ side has increased considerably.
     
  22. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Well... one of them is not me.

    I find Aussie Gumtree to either attract low price stolen goods or overly ambitious sellers.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  23. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

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    I find that placing a ‘wanted’ ad on Gumtree always brings out the scammer who has exactly what I’m looking for, sometimes even a pair!
     
  24. broadgage

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    I feel one reason for the increase in prices is "preppers" or "doomers" stocking lanterns for use in case in case of any prolonged utility outages that might result from the present pandemic, or any other out of course event
    This would only likely apply to the more common lanterns for which parts are readily available. The more recent Tilley lamps for example.
    A Tilley X246B might not be the best lantern, but has the merits of being readily available and familiar to many people.
    It seems to me that over the last year or so, that the "going rate" for a used but complete and functional X246B has roughly doubled from £30 to £60.
    The rarer or more exotic lanterns are unlikely to be purchased by preppers, but might tend to increase in price due to people saying "Oh look, a used and very common Tilley is now selling for twice last years price, therefore this rare lantern must now be worth £300 instead of £150."
    The most obvious alternative to a used X246B is of course a new one. Availability of new lamps has been rather variable in the last year, they are out of stock at present, and are well over £100 when available.
    That makes £60 ish for a good used example, with delivery in a few days, seem more reasonable.
     
  25. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Last time I looked, I think a new Tilley X246B was around £150... :shock: =;
     
  26. paul m

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    If you look on ebay sold items, one X246B NOS sold for £51 today
     

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