“10 Questions on the Health of the Third Reich Market”-Military Trader Magazine with Bill Shea

Back in the Fall of 2014, Bill was interviewed by Military Trader Magazine, and asked several questions pertaining to the health of the Third Reich Market.  We plan to post many of these interview questions as Bill provides some great pointers, as well as some amazing stories.  The following is what was included in this interview.
Bill Shea of The Ruptured Duck making a presentation to a group of young executives at the Collings Foundation in Stow, MA. His talk was centered around leadership. Major Dick Winters from E Company, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment is being discussed.
Though Bill offers a wide range of military relics, he is best-known for his expertise on WWII militaria. With more than 50 years’ experience (now 60 years) in buying, selling, trading and collecting, he has a very good sense of the ebbs and flows of the hobby. We are pleased to offer his response to our
“10 Questions on the Health of the Third Reich Market.”
Military Trader: Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us. Let’s start off by paraphrasing a question we hear the most in our office: “With so many fakes in the Third Reich arena so readily available, how would you advise a new collector to approach this facet of militaria collecting?”
Bill Shea: Here are a few of my recommendations/suggestions: Knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can by interacting with knowledgeable collectors and dealers. The internet has a treasure trove of information with websites, forums, chat rooms etc. Collecting information, details and facts gives a person a good foundation and provides the pleasure of learning. Adopt a dealer or two early on along with a few advanced collectors. Honest dealers and sincere collectors are more than happy to provide novice collectors with sound information. I’ve often said that the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.
Many new collectors start out by making costly mistakes. By the time they find an honest dealer, they may have a fistful of reproductions. When you tell them the truth, you get that look of frustration and anger. Many new collectors end up getting out of collecting, and that is not good for the future of the hobby. So, my advice is to insist on a money back lifetime written guarantee for every item you purchase. If the seller balks at this, then walk away from the deal.


The interview Q&A with Military Trader will continue next week.....stay tuned!!