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Dan Kary




Location: Canada
Joined: 12 Dec 2017

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Selling and upgrading         Reply with quote

Hi everybody,

This is my first ever post. I have, on occasion, checked out the site for general reasons but I am looking forward to being a member and reading through the great materials available.

I'll get to the point of this post right off and then go to the details: I am looking to sell off a lot of what I own, and use that money to buy fewer, but higher quality pieces. I'd like to solicit the forums for advice.

I have been collecting since around 2006. Almost everything I collect has been Cold Steel. This is no longer working for me for a number of reasons.

First, while I do like the cold steel aesthetics (acknowledging they are often quite far from actually historical) almost everything of theirs I own is almost exactly what I want. I've not come across much of theirs (with a few notables) that has been perfect for me.

Second, while I acknowledge that cold steel makes a good product for the price, I feel like I was going with quantity over quality. The result is that I have a house with this stuff and not a lot of room for it. I moved a year ago and I have a bigger house, but actually less good storage for this stuff (bigger rooms, but fewer storage rooms - the condo I moved from had a perfect walk in storage room I turned into an armory!). Another reason for this is, after having packed up my entire life and moving it, I realize how repugnant I am finding owning things in general and this is just an extension of my trying to become closer to a minimalist. A lot of this stuff does nothing but take up space and give me the occasional headache (when I have to move it all, for example).

Third, I have no idea how to even use most of this stuff. For example, I don't know how to use a halberd, but I own a halberd (why do I own a halberd!?).

What I want to do is sell this off and buy three pieces: a longsword, a messer, and a dagger. Why these three? It is because I did, for a very brief period of time, learned something of the basics of each. I am by no measure an expert in the use of these, but I do have some idea of how they work. I had to stop after a number of health issues caused my doctor to implore me to stop. It was pretty hart breaking actually. I want to have these not only because of a casual passion for this stuff, but because I'd like them as momentos of my brief time training with them. I figure if I am going to go with these three pieces, I might as well have quality (after all, there is no substitute for quality!). It is also a small enough collection that I think I will be both satisfied when I need to pull out something sharp and not drive myself crazy with all the stuff I have to polish, oil, etc.

Given all this, I want advice in two regards. First, recommendations on selling (how to) and, second, on what to buy.

In regards to the first, here is the progress I have: I have contacted local sword shops to see if they would be interested. They are not. Dead end. I don't think I want to go the pawn shop route because I will get so little for them. I also find the prospect of going online and shipping this stuff daunting. Especially since I am in Canada. This stuff is big, and oddly shaped. It could cost a fortune in terms of time alone just to ship this stuff (not to mention the actual shipping costs). What I am left with is trying to sell locally through something like Kijiji (I sell other stuff there all the time). Is there something I am missing?

In regards to the second, here the progress I have: I have done a bit of research online. It looks like Albion is the way to go. I looked at their roster of swords and I think for a longsword I am a big fan of the Regent and for the Messer I like the Soldat. I haven't found a dagger. I don't really think Albion has one (except for the one for the Templar TV show - I don't know what to think about them). What do you all think about these choices?

Thank you so much for reading this large post!
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, you certainly won't go wrong with Albion. Wink And we DO HAVE a Marketplace right here. Happy I'm sure you could find some buyers amongst us. Big Grin .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 983

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arms & Armor makes some really nice daggers. Their "Kln Messer" would go nicely with the Albion Soldat...

Or you could look at custom makers! There's undeniably a certain something, an added layer of significance, about a thing made specifically for you, and for such a narrowly focused collection I think this might serve you best.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,618

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also live in Canada and went through a similar stage some years back; owning a lot of entry level items, wanting to lower quantity and raise quality. I was initially nervous, but since then I have shipped many swords all over the world.

Here's my advice:

First, as mentioned above, there is a marketplace here that works just fine. You can also use the SBG marketplace (maybe more appropriate for entry level pieces). I have not tried e-bay or Kijiji because it was not necessary and seems like spam when you can target the right audience here. Start at the price you would like to get, and then if it doesn't go, drop price once a week or so until it sells.Sales are usually in US dollars. I always use paypal for convenience and safety.

Advertising:. read the rules and provide pictures and detailed statistics, so people see what they are buying. Tell them what you have done with it (display, cutting fencing, whatever). Describe any damage.

Selling: People will send you private messages with questions and offers. Normal etiquette is to take the first offer that meets your asking price, unless you are flexible. People may need a bit of time to prepare funds (that's what 'pending' is for), but don't let people jerk you around if you can see they are not really serious about buying. Set reasonable time limits. Obviously, you will need to get shipping address when you make the sale.

Don't expect to make a profit. You're loosing some money, but getting some back so you can carry on with your hobby.

Packing is a bit stressful but not so bad when you get used to it. Hopefully you kept the boxes your items arrived in, that makes it easier. I always cover high carbon steel with some protection; sword oil or whatever, and lightly cover with some sort of plastic wrapping. Then pack well enough to ensure safety (something to protect sharp bits, enough packing material to prevent shifting) and enough tape to keep everything together, but no need to go nuts with the tape.

Shipping: Most of your sales will likely be in USA, because that's where the most collectors are. I use Canada Post for all my shipping, which dovetails to USPS for American sales. I have not had good experiences with private shipping - they charge a lot, ask receiver for brokerage fees at border, generally overstimate customs, and then mess up with deliveries in my own experience. Good thing is that there's no tax within Canada, and to my knowledge not much going into USA because the threshold at border is high ($800 US I think) and then states taxes are generally low compared to us (that happens at the other end anyway). When filling out shipping forms I label things like 'Replica Medieval Sword', provide the sale price, and point of origin if North America (for NAFTA purposes). Some say 'gift' but I prefer to be honest.

Shipping overseas - certainly doable, but more complicated because of higher shipping prices, longer delays, and local regulations that may bar entry of your item in some countries.

And don't worry - this is perfectly legal in Canada! Don't be intimidated by an ignorant post office clerk.

Make sure you get a tracking number and send it to your buyer! That avoids a lot of stress when holds ups occur. To my knowledge, no piece I have every shipped, anywhere has gotten permanently lost. Knock on wood.

I usually include shipping within the price so people know what they are paying. Shipping by Canada post is not very expensive (I just sent out a couple of insure swords to IL and LA for a total of $120, including insurance). Speaking of insurance...

For me, the whole packing, shipping thing is about one hour. But I wouldn't sell to much at one time. You'll stress yourself out.

Might sound like a lot, but you'll get the hang of it pretty soon, and save up for those few Albion pieces or whatever. You might even like it.

Next problem is that 3 pieces doesn't seem like so many after all, and the high end pieces then start to accummulate...what next? That's another hurdle to face when you get there.
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Dan Kary




Location: Canada
Joined: 12 Dec 2017

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips!

Yeah, I am really not expecting to do anything but lose (and, perhaps, hemorrhage) money here. It isn't as much about raising funds as the cathartic exercise of cleansing unnecessary items. Although, I'm hoping to get something out of this so that there is enough to actually roll over into the new items. I'm really hoping that I can just stick to these three pieces and call it quits. I have given myself the rule of "unless you have had some training in this, you can't buy it". That makes it almost certainly the case that I am limited to at least messers, daggers, and longswords. I'll also have to institute a rule where I can only have one of each thing. I'm just going to have to rely on will power. I'm also hoping that the cost of the upper end items will make expansion prohibitive. Otherwise I would be really tempted by...I love the Tyrolean and Burgundian from Albion too.

I don't have the boxes. I just didn't have the space (this is true moreso now) to keep them. This is my MAIN problem about shipping stuff. How do I pack these things? Where do I get the packing? etc. I understand it is probably foolish to go on Kijiji when I have a huge resource here, and elsewhere, but my ignorance is overwhelming and anxiety inducing. How am I going to pack and ship a 7 foot halberd? My local post office has shipping boxes, but nothing that would even come close to holding these things.

I have a lot of smaller items too, but I have no problem with these. It is the big stuff: halberd, boar spear, great sword, grosse messer, hand and a half sword, basket hilt sword, viking axe, etc. Not only is the stuff big, but is is very awkwardly shaped.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,618

PostPosted: Wed 13 Dec, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On occasion I've made my own boxes. It's just folded cardboard - not rocket science!
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 983

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, it's always hard to find boxes for long objects.

Personally, I've had good experiences with shipping swords overseas wrapped in cling film and a few layers of newspaper, sandwiched between pieces of plywood, empty spaces stuffed solid with newspapers and the whole thing wrapped like a mummy in two layers of duct tape plus another two layers on the edges and corners. Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Dan Kary




Location: Canada
Joined: 12 Dec 2017

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is another one for you all: how would I know what to charge for shipping? Do I agree to a price for the item, get paid, then charge for shipping after it is sent? Thanks!
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some sites have a shipping calculator. Im about to ship an axe in a 50x12x12 box to somewhere in North Dakota (across the country from me). When its all said and done package will be close to 12 lbs - about $20. Another package going to Ohio with similar weight and size is about $15. I would assume that most stuff youd send (unless youre shipping internationally) will be less expensive than this. Id say $10-$15 is plenty to cover everything other than your tallest items. And even then, the USPS will ship packages nationally up to 84 without charging special fees. Send me a message with some of the stuff youre looking to off-load - would love to see your collection - especially any swords you might have!
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Henry R. Gower




Location: United States
Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu 14 Dec, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Selling and Shipping         Reply with quote

A couple of months back, I did some selling to raise cash. It was a learning experience. One thing I learned is that shipping is often more expensive than you think. The following worked best for me: when I had a serious buyer, I let them know I would shortly get back to them with shipping. I actually packed the item up, took it to the UPS store and had them weigh it and measure it, and quote me a price. It was often 45 dollars or 35, and I thought it would be 20 or 25, using a calculator. If I quoted a lower price, I would eat it, but I learned not to guess. So, a word to the wise.
Henry
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Gregory T Kallok




Location: Northern Virginia
Joined: 10 Jul 2017

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Every collection should have some quality axes included. I would suggest ,"Peter Sazbo" FOR axes of a Viking nature. I have 2 and not only are they hand made, they are functional and unique. He ships quickly enough and after 3 purchases I am pleased and going to go back again. Also, Albion for swords ! The nearly year wait is worth it and I'm looking forward to the Fed x box this summer.
Keep your nose in the Wind and your eye on the skyline.
Del Q
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Dan Kary




Location: Canada
Joined: 12 Dec 2017

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the further tips.

I think I like the idea of making boxes. I imagine I just get a big cardboard box and fold the cardboard around the sword. Any ideas of where to pickup that much cardboard though?

I'm wondering if something like an axe or mace would be a good addition. I already have a couple axes and a mace but I think I'd want to upgrade these too. Not sure where to go for these, but I will check out Peter Sazbo for sure.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,256

PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've gotten lots of cardboard boxes from my local grocery store and Walmart store. Walmart may be harder to get from because they DO recycle it---and want to get every penny back they possibly can. Worried .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Dan Kary




Location: Canada
Joined: 12 Dec 2017

Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Last question (I hope): can I cross post? Somebody mentioned the SBG forum. I was also thinking, since the lion's share of this stuff is Cold Steel, the Cold Steel forum.
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Tue 19 Dec, 2017 2:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Amazon and other vendors sell boxes. They arrive flattened down. Several unfolded boxes take up the space of one assembled box.
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Gregory T Kallok




Location: Northern Virginia
Joined: 10 Jul 2017

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue 19 Dec, 2017 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can go to a Fed x hub and they have large triangle shaped boxes for posters and crap. Even if you plan on shipping regular mail we would turn them inside out buy cutting down one side and then taping it well. Wrap the sword well with newspaper and stuff it in being geneous with the newspaper so the sword doesn' shift. Next question, ? Lol!
Keep your nose in the Wind and your eye on the skyline.
Del Q
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