Buying Tips for New Collectors


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 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.


Checking Out Before You Buy

Beginning collectors are strongly advised to post any future purchase on the forum for opinions. Please note that we will only discuss items based on good photos. If the photos are inadequate or the seller is not able to provide decent photos just pass and move on.

1) Check the maker of the helmet , see if the decal corresponds to that maker.
2) Check if the decal could be touched up or restored in any way.
3) Check out the interior as carefully as the decal , smell the leather , old leather has a specific smell.
4) Check if the rivets look untouched. Rivets with double bends in the pins should be closely examined as this can point to a replaced liner.
5) Chinstraps and drawstrings are often replaced with reproductions. Also smell the leather of the strap.
6) Take a step back and see if everything adds up. The decal , the paint , the liner , the strap. A mint tan leather liner in a very worn combat helmet , a clean white drawstring in a worn liner , a brand new chinstrap. The condition of the parts should match the overall condition.


Certificates of Originality or XRFacts certificates ?

Just ignore these. Use the forum to authenticate your helmets and if you use the forum a lot you will be able to train yourself. Don't let yourself be dependant on one person or company that tells you if what you have is real. Here you have an entire community of experienced collectors that can assist you. A more indepth look at XRF can be found here : http://www.walhalla....f-observations/

Update : In the meantime XRFacts has been proven a dud and no longer exists.

Safest Place To Buy ?

Our Classifieds section with Feedback is a good place to start looking for a nice original helmet.
If the helmet you want to purchase there hasn't been discussed on the forum yet it's adviseable to post it up for discussion.
When making an expensive purchase you may want to ask for an inspection period.

Worst Places To Buy From

As long as you are in the beginner stage of collecting it's wise to avoid Ebay and other auction sites.
Advanced collectors know what to look for and can do good deals there even with bad quality pictures.

Generally it's best to avoid all sites with bad pictures as most of the time there's a reason for the low quality.

Never buy a helmet purely because the dealer says it's original and gives a return warranty. Often these return warranties last about 7 days , after that your money will not be refunded anymore. Don't forget the burden of prove is on you , if an item is fake you will have to convince the dealer to refund you.

Dealers that advise against asking an opinion on forums should be avoided. A non-informed customer is an easy prey for crooked dealers.


Too Good To Be True or Bargains ?

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.

Be suspicious when you come across sites that have many high-end helmets available like SS , SS camo and other kinds of camo helmets. Original SS and certainly camouflaged SS helmets are much looked for items by helmet collectors. Original SS camo helmets very rarely hit the open market as they are sold from collector to collector most of the time.

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    • CLASSIFIEDS RULES
      With the below rules we aim for a secure environment with high quality ads.
      Not complying with these rules can result in : Removal of the item for sale Removal of all items for sale Loss of access to the Classifieds section A permanent ban The Rules Camouflaged and wired items need to have been discussed on the forum , the link to the discussion topic needs to be included in the advert. Give a full description of what you are selling , lotnumber and maker are required when selling a German helmet. We expect high quality and detailed photos , minimum size is 800x600. Close-ups of decals are required ! All pictures must be uploaded in your ad. Off forum links are not allowed. State clearly if the item contains reproduction parts or if it was restored. Do not sell items on behalf of others. One item per advert No mention of COA's , they are of no value and GHW doesn't support the use of them. Close your advert when sold , traded or no longer wanted. There's a button 'close advert'. Don't advertise your sales (see forum announcement) Item listed for sale MUST be as it appears in ad, NO SUBSTITUTES ALLOWED All items may be freely discussed in the appropriate discussion forums.
    • Adding Pictures to Topics and Posts   1) Allowed max filesize is 2.1Mb. The recommended width/height for photos is 1024x768. 800x600 sized pics is the smallest size we allow , smaller pictures are not of this century anymore.     2) To add pictures make a new topic or post and click on the button "Choose Files" which is just below the text screen. If you reply to a topic and want to add pictures make sure to click the button 'More reply options' first. This will give you a browser where you can select up to 10 photos that you wish to upload. Select photos by holding the Ctrl key when clicking on them. When you are finished close the browse screen by clicking "Open" (wording depends on what browser you use). The files will be automatically uploaded and attached to your post/topic. (Screenshot #2)   3) If you cannot select more than one file check if ActiveX filtering is activated and turn it off (Menu Extra in Internet Explorer).   4) By adding the picture to the post you can determine the order of the pictures. (screenshot #4) If you do not use this the pictures will be posted in the order you see them below the text box.
    • Dear members ,

      GHW is the place to come to if you want to look at top quality militaria with high quality pictures . Blurry out of focus photos, and photos obscured by glare are not allowed on this forum.   In order to maintain that quality we have to ask everyone to respect our minimum allowed picture size. The minimum picture size we want to see posted on the forum is 800x600. (But bigger is better)
      Smaller pictures are not of this century anymore. The size we can display full screen now is even 1024x768.   When posting photos of helmets, please post both profiles, the interior, the maker, lot number, and size. Decal closeups are mandatory.

      It will benefit you and it will benefit other members. Good large photos will help members appreciate a helmet more , good large photos show more detail and help with an evaluation.
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      If you need help just let us know.

      Here a comparison where you can instantly see the benefit of larger photos.