I would like to share my final thoughts on the Show of Shows. I noticed that there was fewer Russian buyers at this year’s show. The Russian buyers that did attend mostly live in the US. In the past years there have been over a dozen Russian buyers buying mainly German daggers at this show. This year I did not observe this activity. This was the first show since the sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine invasion have taken effect making it more difficult for Russian citizens to travel and conduct business. This may cause a slump in the prices of German blades.
Next, I noticed many high prices for common military collectibles. As a dealer I am often tempted to pay more for an item just to have that item on the table available for sale. I observed that these items are not selling. I am returning to my old buying criteria 1. Originality 2. Condition and 3. Price. A good item should feature a combination of these three elements.
Last weekend I attended the R & K Gunshow at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, MO. I was hoping to find a militaria collector who was looking to sell some things. No such luck. In the past I have avoided these small local shows as a waste of time and money and little has changed. Despite the cold miserable weather this show was well attended and had two halls of vendors. However, the military collectible market was mostly non-existent. Two dealers from the Kansas City area had some things. But I saw nothing worth investing in and left after 40 minutes.
My Spring Calendar for Military Trade Shows 2023:
Spring is here and with it the start of a new season of collecting!
- Mar 31st – April 2nd: The 4,000 table Tulsa Wanamaker Gun Show
- April 8th: Halltown, MO Swap Meet (mostly farm & auto related but lots of good old stuff)
- April 14 – 16th: Wichita Military Show, Cesena Activity Center
- May 4 – 7th: What Cheer Iowa Big Outdoor Flea Market
- May 12-14th: Gold Rush Olmstead County Fairgrounds, Rochester, Minnesota
- May 20th: Tulsa Flea Market, at the Expo Center