So you are an avid fisherman, and one day while doing your weekly prowl of local garage sales, you spot a trout fly rod that appears to be quite old. You give it a good close look and find it very interesting so you ask the owner what the price is. He says it was his grandfather's rod and it is very old but he knows nothing more about it. He believes it to be a real antique so he wants $20 for it. You purse your lips and offer him $10. He says look I will throw in the reel that went with it if you give me $15. You take a look at the reel and it looks old and quite interesting so you hand over $15 to him and hope you have made a good buy.
You toss it in your vehicle beside the other items you found today. A couple of hours later you arrive home and get all your "finds" inside to check them out. You see a faint inscription on the metal cap below the rod handle. A good rub with your thumb removes the dirt and you can see a name--Hardy Bros, Alnwick England. You take a look at the grey metal reel which has a bone handle and make out the Hardy Bros mark on there also. In addition it says "Model Perfect". The name means nothing to you and you wonder if the rod and reel have any real value as collectors items. Were they a really great buy or have you overpaid?
You have often looked up garage sale finds on eBay, so you decide to try a search there to see what comes up. After typing the details of the rod in the search box, and hitting the enter button, you scroll through the listings that show up. You come across several similar rods which are up for auction but not sold yet. The starting prices run from $125 to $275. Wow this looks really great. Then you check the Model Perfect reel listings and find three with starting prices from $75 to $200. Your heart almost skips a beat. Have you really bought a rod and reel worth around $400 for just $15?
Both auctions are ending the next day just a few hours apart. The rod is coming up first and you are at the computer well before the auction ends. There are a couple of bids in now and the price is up to $185 already. A minute or so before the sale ends, bidding becomes brisk and several bids quickly raise the price to $214. Then with just a few seconds left there is a flurry of bidding and the price quickly soars to end at $237.65. Hard to believe but there it is.You have obviously made an amazing deal and the reel is still to be sold.
A couple of hours later you watch the auction for the reel which has several bids and has got up to $212. As the minutes count down more bids come in and the price is now $276. Then the snipers attack in the final seconds with an exciting barrage of bids, and bingo it all ends at $365.50. You total it all up in almost stunned amazement. The rod and reel have sold for a total of $633. Is it really true? Your $15 garage sale find is worth $633? Well, yes it is absolutely true. You have just been bitten by the collector bug and you will be infected for the rest of your days.You will continually be on the search for antiques and collectibles everywhere you go. Obviously at garage sales but also at flea markets, thrift stores, church bazaars and auctions.
Really good antique fishing rods and reels are quite scarce so you are not very likely to repeat that first jaw dropping find quickly. But that is how the game is played. You search everywhere and pick up lots of good stuff and once in a while an absolutely unbelievable bargain shows up. Its such great fun and it will get you up early every Saturday morning to hit the garage sales before the mob gets there. They will call you an "early bird" and you will be refused entry at a few sales, but you will always be able to get into several before the mass of buyers hits them, and cleans up all the "bargains".
When you go to auctions you must be really careful not to get caught up in a bidding war. You can quickly end up spending much more than you intended to if the excitement causes you to bid too high. Set your price in advance and stop bidding when you reach it. You will get some of your items and there will always be another day and another sale so don,t overpay for anything. Antique fishing rods and reels show up quite frequently at antique and collectible auctions in many cities. You can check them out and evaluate them before the auction begins. Most sales have viewing times for several days before an auction sale.
By constantly studying prices, for the items you collect, you will build up a knowledge base that allows you to evaluate many items you come across. If it is something you are not familiar with you can check it out on eBay from your cell phone these days, to find the going price for almost anything.