Marts and gold scrappers

Discussion in 'Member News and Views' started by musicguy, Sep 16, 2018.

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  1. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Kevin & Shutt,

    Because they provide a useful service to the attendees by paying cash for worn out junk.

    I believe Rob was mistaken in assuming the cases he saw being scrapped were good cases, maybe not, however It just doesn't seem likely to scrap good cases when you can sell them for more than scrap.

    Also, consider that these people are paying NAWCC members and usually are the higher priced Business members and the 2 that I mentioned buy up 4-6 tables per show, so why would you want to ban these members?

    Just to clear the air, Rob is a friend of mine. We have corresponded many times over the almost 2 years he has been a member and I have done work for him and we have talked on the phone. We can disagree and still be friends and I know he would agree so I didn't want anyone thinking anything different.
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    cindy - welcome, and thank you for your comments. yes, there are many entrenched and strong opinions to be found on the message board. thx for rolling with them! :cool:

    everyone else - the discussion is getting polarized and a little too personal. if you've already stated your position, there is no need to re-state it. if you can't state your position without telling someone else how wrong they are, keep it to yourself.






    THIS is the bottom line issue... is scrapping at marts allowed by the NAWCC? or does it go against policies and/or mission?

    i will work with rob / musicguy to get this question / complaint to the right parties for a more official response.








    this is not about 'looking closely at the goods being sold'... either scrapping is supported by the organization or it isn't... we don't know the current official answer yet.

    this comment is also way too judgemental and insulting. imagine how you'd feel if i responded that comments like this tend to come from crusty old long-time members whose personal interaction skills trail behind their clock and watch expertise? i guarantee you wouldn't like it... and two wrongs wouldn't make a right. :cool:

    i think what you're really saying is that not everyone who scraps is a bad person for scrapping... and there are no doubt people who err on the side of money, rather than horology... which is sad.









    again, this is a specious argument. you are the one who brought up the condition of the cases... it doesn't matter. the issue is whether the organization supports scrapping as a legitimate part of our horologic mission to preserve and educate.

    until we get an answer, i'm asking everyone to stand down... or at least play better with each other.









    you may be right... but what question are you answering? certainly not the one posted by the OP.

    what bottom feeders? what bargain hunters? who's whining?

    the loudest voices here are yours and jim's... and i would ask you both as long-time members to tone it down and have more civil discourse with your peers. 'bite (butt?) out', 'bottom feeders', 'too cheap'... really? this kind of hyperbole is unnecessary.


















     
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  3. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    Jim Haney, i dont feel its all scrap they buy, and others have witnessed it, so its something i feel that should be looked at by the NAWCC. As far as being civil to people i always try to do this and i like good discussions.
     
  4. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Jim Haney said.
    Complaints like this usually come from newer members who see this activity going on but don't bother to ask questions or look closely at the goods being sold.





    Bruce,

    Who are you to decide if my comment (in your opinion) is way to judgmental & insulting? It is not. It is based on the facts as Rob stated them.
    He is a newer member(fact) he didn't didn't ask any questions(fact) and he didn't look at the goods (fact)

    You ARE calling me a crusty old member by your statement above and insulting me with your comments about not having any personal interaction skills.

    Bruce this thread was doing fine until you decided to become a Moderator and correct everyone.

    You are the one who is not playing nice.Take your own advise and stand down.
     
  5. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    told you you wouldn't like it! :cool: sorry if i offended... again, two wrongs don't make a right.

    to answer your question: i am one of the admins responsible for keeping the message board running. i am one of the participants in the 'moderators and admins' forum who reviews the 'reported posts' forum... where this thread has landed several times already... with the ability and privileges to moderate posts as needed... but always try to defer to the actual moderators.

    this thread was not 'doing fine' until i came along.... one of our new members (and a participant... and a woman) made it clear that the heat was turned higher than expected in this forum and in fact the thread has been reported to the admins and moderators several times already.

    the OP reported discomfort with scrappers appearing to be endorsed or supported by the NAWCC at marts... and suggested that they shouldn't be. you thought he was dissing your friends (he wasn't) and tried to make the discussion about whether items should or shouldn't be scrapped. you and bryan then starting making comments questioning people's skill levels and/or commitment to the organization... hence multiple reported posts that the admins and moderators have had to wade through.

    i have sent an email to our executive director requesting a clarification on how the organization feels about scrappers, and whether allow them at marts fits with our mission (and non-profit status). i will circle back if/when i hear from him.

    in the meantime, everyone seems to have staked out their positions... let's see what management has to say.
     
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  6. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi, in my humble opinion this is starting to go over the top; please everyone who is involved forget the differences of opinion, and move on to more fruitful discussion about Pocket Watches and movements!!! Regards Ray
     
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  7. mikeh

    mikeh Registered User
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    Several years ago, there was a guy buying nice, complete, and apparently original watches at marts, on ebay, etc. and parting them out. He would get lucky on some and make a big profit, but on many I tried to track, he would clear maybe a hundred bucks. There's no telling how many nice watches this member destroyed for a modest profit.

    Now the price of gold has surpassed the collector value for many watches. So the scrapper will buy a watch, scrap the case, sell the movement, and pocket whatever profit. I don't see many of them attempting to sell the complete watch, but maybe they are. I sense that they buy it to scrap, but that's just an opinion.

    Unless we want to get sued, the NAWCC is really powerless, so don't blame them. It would be interesting to see how far an ethics complaint would go though.

    As I recall, the guy parting out the watches claimed that if we paid more, he wouldn't be able to buy them and make anything. What a coincidence.

    Anyway, the result of both of these practices is a world full of movements for collectors to enjoy. Get used to it. I call them greedy and they call me cheap. Sigh.
     
  8. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    Just going to say-
    I know Bill Beams fairly well. He's not a collector, but is honest and pays prices as good as any other gold buyer I've dealt with.

    When I have worn out cases to dispose of, he does me a service if I happen to see him at a show and have junk to sell him.

    If I were so inclined, I COULD refuse to sell him a table at the show closest to him. I won't do that. He usually buys a few tables, and guys come to the show expecting to see him there. He lets them clean stuff out, and gets money flowing in the mart room-something that benefits all the other table holders. Again, I'm probably biased in that I consider him a friend, but I wouldn't ban him.

    (aside from that, a lot the the local guys would just wait a few weeks until the next gun show and sell to him there...)

    For those upset about scrapping-the next time I have a bunch of worn out gold filled cases, or a cheaply made karat gold case with a broken catch or other big issues, I'm certainly happy to give you the chance to buy it. I'll call Bill and get a price on it, and you can have it for what he'd pay me for it.
     
  9. Bryan Eyring

    Bryan Eyring Registered User
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    This about sums it up - there is currently an entire "class" of collectors that need to graduate soon, otherwise we will continue to see this destruction of the higher end pieces.
     
  10. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    #60 richiec, Sep 19, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    mikeh, unfortunately you can't carry a movement in your pocket. As a result of scrapping, the pricing on cases keeps going up, so the average collector, us poor guys, won't be able to collect even the mid grade stuff. Right now, mediocre 16 and 18 size gold filled cases are going for over $100, throw in a medium grade movement and now even average stuff is over $150 and so it will go on and on. And the stuff that the scrapper picked that I saw was not worn out, he didn't want the worn stuff. Tough to "step up" when your income doesn't allow it and prices keep passing you by as scrapping drives the other stuff up. Nice if you are on an unlimited budget but these days there is health insurance, workers comp insurance, liability insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, groceries, gas, car payments and maintenance, basically life in general. Maybe I picked the wrong hobby, didn't seem like it 12 years ago. With no new collectors, you can't sell the entry level stuff to buy the upper level stuff.
     
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  11. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Maybe there is a "good old boy" reason?
     
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  12. mikeh

    mikeh Registered User
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    You miss the point. You’re blaming collectors who are not willing to either pay more than collector value or bet that gold will continue to rise (at which point they themselves would have to scrap in order to recoup their cost). Scrap if you want, but don’t blame me. And don’t make it sound like they’re not advanced enough to know what they’re doing.
     
  13. rrstd

    rrstd Registered User
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    Like most collectors, I am a bit uneasy with the scrapping of cases. Having said that, I'm also a realist and understand that, to some degree, the activity is inevitable.

    Labelling scrappers as evil/undesirable or blaming collectors for being too cheap to step up and pay more will do little to change the situation. As long as it remains economically advantageous to scrap, the activity will continue. Unfortunately, these economics will always be fluid as collector value is based on supply/demand and gold has a fluctuating value. Using myself as an example, I would be buying a higher percentage of gold watches for my collection if gold were to drop to $500 and oz. At the same time, I would have little to no interest in buying gold if it were to jump up to say $2000 an oz.

    In regards to banning those who are either directly or indirectly in the scrapping business from our marts, I believe this is a bad idea for the following reasons:

    1. Who will be the judge to decide who might be buying cases to scrap versus buying gold cased watches for either resell or their own collection. Those who are openly in the business are not the only ones scrapping cases.
    2. The scrappers who attend our marts usually have at least a basic knowledge of the watches and/or cases they are taking in. Unlike many local gold buyers, they are usually able to recognize cases and/or movements that have significant collector value and save these items back. By banning these individuals from doing business at our marts, we could end up doing more harm than good by driving more scrapping to local gold buyers who are more likely to toss movements and send ALL cases to melt.
    3. As others have mentioned, not all cases are worth saving. Badly damaged or worn out cases are of little interest to almost all collectors.
    4. Also mentioned previously, the scrapping activity also generates cash into the mart room. I have also noticed that watches are not all that is being scrapped at regional and national marts. A portion of what is being sold to scrappers is jewelry and other items containing precision metals. One has to believe that some of this cash ends up being spent on watches and clocks being offered by other dealers at the mart.

    As an organization, it is my belief that the NAWCC is better served on working towards increasing interest and knowledge in watches and clocks.
     
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  14. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I believe each mart sets it's own rules. Complaints made directly to the organizers of the mart would probably be more effective than a rule from the organization headquarters.
     
  15. Robert J. Moore

    Robert J. Moore Registered User
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    When I see available gold cases in good condition I buy them not only for my own collection but to preserve them from being melted down. What a waste of beauty and art and history
     
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  16. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    rrstd,
    I think this is a well thought out and well written answer. I do still feel uneasy about the scrappers who attend the marts
    but you do make some good points.

    Rob
     
  17. sprio

    sprio Registered User
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    This, in my opinion, is more than a policy or mission issue - this is a tenet of the Member's Code of Ethics that each member agrees to by virtue of paying their dues. If members do not follow the Code, and/or it is not enforced, what good is it? Why subscribe to a Code of Ethics at all? I understand that each Mart sets their own rules, but this is a MEMBER ISSUE, not a Mart issue - if you see someone who you feel is violating the Code to which we all subscribe, then report them. Let the Ethics Committee make the decision. If the overwhelming majority of Members disagree with what's in the Code, or how it's written, then work with the Board of Directors to amend the language so it's more clearly written and enforceable.
     
  18. Bryan Eyring

    Bryan Eyring Registered User
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    Mike, forget collector value - these people don't even want to pay the intrinsic value. If one is not willing to pay intrinsic value they're clearly not that advanced!

    Straight up this is a cheap hobby dominated by even cheaper collectors...and it keeps getting cheaper.

    Like I said earlier, we really need a graduating class here soon, lest the destruction continue.
     
  19. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Bryan, I'll state it again, if there are no new members to purchase the cheaper entry or mid level stuff, where does one get the money to upgrade to better stuff? It's not like I have thousands of dollars set aside to buy watches at my age, got to worry about a major illness and stuff like that. Sure, I'd love to have an 1872 Waltham in a gold case or a crystal plate '72 but until I can divest myself of some of the lower and moderate grade stuff, that ain't gonna happen. Not enough new blood in this field and right now, watch prices seem to be at an all time low unless it is 14 or 18K. If the owners of these watches are truly collectors, they would not scrap them. Face it, the marts are dying a slow death with eBay out there, can't sell an 18 size watch in a nickel case for $50 these days or a 17 jewel 12 size gold filled for $40. So I guess the scrappers win.
     
  20. Keith Conklin

    Keith Conklin Registered User
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    3. Members shall support the collection and preservation of horological items and knowledge, not engage in activities that encourage the loss of these to posterity, and shall take reasonable and proper care of all horological items in their possession.

    I respect the fact that the clocks in my possession are not being manufactured anymore and if I destroy them they will be gone.
    That's what this line means to me.

    If someone wants to destroy a horological item that belongs to them, it is not my business, saddened though I may be.

    If I go somewhere to be with people who share my love of something, having someone there whose sole purpose is to purchase those items to turn them into scrap kind of spoils the mood.

    Just my two cents.
     
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  21. Bryan Eyring

    Bryan Eyring Registered User
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    I wouldn't agree with this. I've had a lot of new blood buying $100 and less items from me on ebay, some with good margin.

    If you really aspire to own a 72 AWCO or CP and don't have the cash to do it then it sounds like you'd better start selling, even if it means doing so at a loss.

    Would you rather die with a hoard of common watches, or with a handful of rare gems?

    Quality over quantity - an axiom that differentiates the serious from the novice, and a concept that most collectors fail to understand, much less embrace.
     
  22. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    I agree with Bryan. The under $100 market is pretty strong with new buyers. I don't have much problem at all selling these low end watches. The high end is also pretty good as serious collectors will always buy quality. The middle is a completely different story! All those RR watches that were hoarded before the recession continue to sink as more and more of them come back on the market.
     
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