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I inherited two nazi era armbands.
July 20, 2014 9:18 PM   Subscribe

I inherited two nazi era armbands. How do I sell them?

I have two nazi era armbands that I'd like to unload because I find them repulsive, but I realize they might be worth a few dollars. And I need the money for extravagant things like food and shelter.

One is an SA sports referee armband, and the other is a full blown swastika thing. They both have postage stamp sized labels attached to the inside of each. Each label is written in German and each armband has a serial number on it.

These things are pristine. I doubt they were ever worn.

If I wasn't so broke, I would offer them up to a Holocaust museum, but I am FUCKING BROKE and soon to be homeless. I hate to say it, but I would sell these things to white supremacists if I could make enough money to keep me alive til I can get a job.

Any ideas, hive mind?
posted by LoveAndBottleRockets to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It depends where you live/intend to sell such items.

I expect that, in some places, such sale would be illegal.
posted by pompomtom at 9:27 PM on July 20


pompomtom, USA. I believe these were made slightly pre-WWII. I don't plan on selling them in Germany or anywhere else, other than the USA where I live.
posted by LoveAndBottleRockets at 9:32 PM on July 20


Do a web search for established dealers in militaria in your local area. If you don't find anyone suitable, there are folks buying and selling on the web. eBay is not, I believe, an option for this stuff.
posted by in278s at 9:37 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I frequent antique malls, and it's amazing to me how much Nazi paraphernalia shows up in them. I'm assuming that means there's a collector's market. If there's an antique mall near you, someone might be willing to take it on consignment.

Also, as weird as it feels to suggest that someone put their Nazi armbands up for sale in a local antique mall, there have been points in my life where I've been really desperate for food money. So, I get it. I get both the ickiness of it and the necessity of it. Sorry for what you're going through.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:45 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]


I too have seen a surprising amount of Nazi gear at antique-ish places, and from my fuzzy recollection I think armbands went for about $100 each, give or take a few bucks. Just so you have a sense of what to expect.
posted by Jairus at 9:52 PM on July 20


mudpuppie: "Also, as weird as it feels to suggest that someone put their Nazi armbands up for sale in a local antique mall, there have been points in my life where I've been really desperate for food money. So, I get it. I get both the ickiness of it and the necessity of it. Sorry for what you're going through."

Not to thread sit, but thanks for that mudpuppie. I'd prefer to simply burn the evil things, but then my empty stomach chimes in. I'm tearing up as I type this. I feel as if I'm in a "Damned if you do, damned if you don't." situation. The one thing I know is, I have to eat. It's amazing the trials life puts one in. I try to leave the world a better place, but sometimes I just don't know.
posted by LoveAndBottleRockets at 9:56 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


eBay has lots of Nazi stuff.
posted by four panels at 10:03 PM on July 20


eBay has lots of Nazi stuff.

Possibly some of it's flying under their radar, but "Uniforms, uniform components, weapons, or other items that bear the Nazi swastika or SS runes, whether visible or covered" is specifically given as an example of content prohibited there.
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:07 PM on July 20


Poverty surely can compromise one's moral stance. I empathize entirely. I hope you sell them and realize that they are only symbols of a defeated ideology, most of which were taken as souvenirs by allied troops. Don't feel too bad. I think if they're pristine, you could get as much as 200 for each.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 10:10 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine had an Imperial Japanese flag supposedly taken from a battle by a relative who served in the U.S. Army during WWII. My friend disposed of it by donating it to a history museum. So that may be something else to look into.

(And I totally don't think you should feel bad about selling the Nazi arm bands. This stuff has genuine historical value).
posted by chrchr at 10:32 PM on July 20


Perhaps contact River Valley Militaria -- it appears that he deals primarily with WWII items, and is set up to sell on consignment, which means he should have private connections to collectors that you almost certainly wouldn't be able to make on your own as a nonexpert.

I also don't think you should feel bad. I totally get why you feel queasy over this, but these are items that have a legitimate collectors market, and you have a legitimate need to make money.
posted by scody at 10:49 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Me mail me. My father in law is an antiques dealer who specialises in WWII memorabilia, including Nazi stuff, and does so responsibly. I'm pretty sure he'd be interested.
posted by jrobin276 at 10:52 PM on July 20 [28 favorites]


I would resist the urge to explain your desperation when negotiating the price for these items. Just something to keep in mind.
posted by ryanrs at 2:32 AM on July 21 [8 favorites]


nthing antique malls as a way to find dealers who will be interested in these.

Don't sweat the moral angle. They're just pieces of cloth, not cursed artifacts. Burning them wouldn't help anyone; it'd just leave you without some badly needed cash.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:53 AM on July 21 [4 favorites]


There is a "oddities and antiquities" type shop near me that sells antique medical devices, taxidermy, occult books and items, etc. They have for sale a couple of red armbands with white circles, and then on the white circle there has been placed a Post-It note reading "You know what is under this." You can try and find such a place near you, or MeMail me and I'll give you their name.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:11 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


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