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Right or wrong

Posted By: Jack Sim

Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 07:31 AM

Tonight I received this request:

"Hey just scored two high boys super old what can ya tell me about these and what would you recommend as far as full restore or left original. I’m clueless but I really like these things."

First notice, no pictures.

My answer was:

"I thank you for asking me for the information you requested. I wish I had millions of dollars of money to help others how to sell items to others. I sell gas pump/oil related/etc. literature. I am not in the business of valuing other people's finds, although I was recently hired to fly to Palm Beach, CA, to value a $3,00,000 collection. If you wish to hire me to identify and value your finds, contact me and I will specify my charges."

How many others in this hobby get these type of requests. It seems that every time I help someone value the item, he sells it to someone for $1.00 more than I offered. Are we being used? We spend dollars and hours learning what we know, then because of the internet, others feel that they can bypast that learning process and just get an answer with a quick email or an click of the button. I have 41 files drawers filled with gas pump/air meter/service station equipment literature. Of course I have a great deal of money tied up in acquiring this information. Of course I will not sit here, look up the info. they want and send it to them. Does that make us bad guys?

Jack Sim
Posted By: RedHat

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 09:32 AM


It seems this happens to you frequently these days, so I’ll throw my two cents in for perspective.

I can understand why someone would seek your opinion as you are understandably held in very high regard with collectors around the world for the research you’ve done, people you’ve helped and books you’ve written. Being around this site for only a couple years (and lurking around the outskirts for some time before joining), yours was one of the first “household names” I came to hear on a regular basis, and for good reason. I think that this type of attention (unwanted or otherwise) unfortunately comes with the territory when being a “celebrity” (if you can allow me to use that word, for I have no better metaphor) in whatever niche someone pours their heart and time into. Be it your authors and writers, scientists and researchers, athletes and coaches, or whatever position you can imagine where someone effectively masters their field, people will always seek that individual’s advice at the cheapest cost for their own gain.

Now, being done playing that bit of devil’s advocate, I would say you are ABSOLUTELY entitled to tell anyone who asks for advice (ecspecially when nothing, not even first dibs, is offered in return) to either bug off, pick up one of your books or do the research and leg work themselves. Frankly, I think you have afforded that individual a kinder response than most would. I am sure that you have put decades of blood, sweat, tears and money into your research and love for this hobby, and I believe you should be afforded the respect you are owed. In my opinion, it is in really bad taste the way these people reach out to you with a feeling of entitlement to the knowledge you have spent a lifetime acquiring.

In short, they are the bad guys, not you.
Posted By: Morgan

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 11:37 AM

Maybe I missed it but I didn't see where he ask for a value.

This sort of reminds me of Hollywood types that want to be in front of a camera (when they are paid- movie, tv, etc) but try hide from paparazzi. But, easier to deal with since there is a delete button on the keyboard. When you present yourself as an authority, on any subject, people will ask your opinion. That's just the way it is.
Posted By: Hardy's Garage

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 01:28 PM

Well written RedHat. I couldn't have said it better and completely agree with your household name reference.

Those of us that have been in the hobby for any period of time know it is impossible to value anything with out knowing more information. It's like asking how much my used car is worth. Without the model of pump, a more detailed description of it's condition, and the all important pictures, no one could offer an intelligent response. If you want uninformed input try going on some of the social media sites that are out there.

I don't think there are many of us that would take the time to ask for all of the information needed in order to respond appropriately. This site offers a wealth of knowledge and I would suggest that anyone looking for information use the search engine that Jim has provided at the top of the page. A little self help goes a long way to getting the answer anyone needs.
Posted By: Craig Osbeck

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 02:35 PM

I too have asked people when I first started how, what, or where to get stuff. Did I ask whether to restore or not, sure who does not. Everyone asks someone with more knowledge than themselves, it is only natural. We do not know it all, we do not know where to get all the info, that is why we are asking. Yes many people now just want to make money on an item, that does not mean that they can't ask the questions. Can you charge, you bet, I do not but I do not have all that knowledge. We all just don't pick up a book and start looking as who will tell us where the books are at ? Not all on the internet, library or what have you. You seek out people you meet at shows, auctions, or what ever and ask them about stuff. If they want to purchase something off you so be it.
BUT, there is that group now who wants to keep on asking what it is worth, who to sell it to, and how to make it sell without extending their hand if they do make a sale. Have gone back several times and paid people for either info, referrals and the like. Guy here taught me that years ago. Do not get to bent out of shape when someone asks for help, it is kind of pleasing to know that you are helping another person with their issue or problem.
Posted By: Corey1955

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 05:19 PM

Being of the many people you have helped, I would like to give my perspective. First off thank you again for helping identify what type of item I had in this case it is a Erie Gas Cart and then a Gilbarco 101 in Gulf. I have both editions of your books but on my IPhone so it’s always with me. I am a new collector and I absolutely love the history these things have and the aesthetic beauty they provide. When I asked for help identifying them I used Old Gas because 1 the combined knowledge of the members here is like the library of Congress and 2 so others can see or use it for their research and to share with the community which helps gain a knowledge base for the forum. I am not identifying them to sell them. If other people are seeking your knowledge and you offer to buy and then they decide to they sell it with out first giving you the chance I also would be a little sore.
Posted By: KZ1000

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 05:36 PM

I think if you claim to be the #1 authority on something then answering people's questions should be expected, to a point.
To air in public Everytime someone ask a question you don't like, is just plain Wrong.
Posted By: cggas

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 06:19 PM

If you don’t want to help them then just ignore there request. And if it waz a simple question u can just answer off the top of your head, then I wouldn’t charge..... but if you had to research the answer, then I could see charging for your time. Chris
Posted By: Ohio Oil

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 06:54 PM

Lol ... another 1 a.m. post from Jack ... same theme.

Don't drink and post ... I'm just guessing.
Posted By: Cold Pizza

Re: Right or wrong - Wed Feb 07 2018 07:16 PM

And playing darts. wink
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