Your First Purchase : What Kind Of Helmet Should I Buy ?
The mistake most beginning collectors make is that they immediately want to go for the high-end stuff like SS helmets , camo helmets and chickenwire camo’s. You will find yourself in the most faked segment of helmet collecting. The most dangerous place for a beginning collector to be in and a lot of people drop out of helmet collecting after they discover they have been “had”.
It’s better to start more modest and get a feel for originals. Start with an M42 with no decal , a Single decal Luftwaffe helmet or a single decal Heer helmet.
Go for Quality instead of Quantity
You can find German helmets on second hand or bargain sites at low prices quite easily but the majority of these helmets will have issues. Swapped liners , reproduction parts , fake decals , repainted , poor condition and so on. You think you are doing bargains at buying helmets at less than half the dealers price but in fact you are hugely over paying for a messed with helmet. Instead of buying 4 such “bargain” helmets put your money in one 100% authentic example.
Good Photos are key when you need advice or buy online
You will only get useful opinions if you have good photos. If the photos are inadequate or the seller is not able to provide decent photos just pass and move on.
Certificates of Originality ?
Completely ignore these. Anyone can write one , you , me , the guy behind the counter of your local super market. They are worthless even if the writer is a subject expert and has written a book. They exist just to make money of beginning collectors and a fair share of fake militaria is accompanied by such a certificate.
Example of a fantasy certificate :
Where should I purchase my first helmet ?
Most forums have a for sale section where you can buy all kinds of militaria directly from collectors you can use the forums to have your item checked out before you buy.
As long as you are in the beginner stage of collecting it’s wise to avoid E-bay and other auction sites. Generally it’s best to avoid all sites with bad pictures as most of the time there’s a reason for the low quality.
Life time warranty ?
A life time warranty is no guarantee that your item is original even if the dealer claims it to be. It can be quite a hassle to return an item and get your money back.
Bargains , too good to be true ?
If you come across a militaria site or private seller whom has helmets priced well below the market value you can rest assured something is wrong. Bargains are rare in this hobby so do your homework.