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#278077 - Thu Oct 06 2011 05:06 PM Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby
HI-OCTANE Online   happy
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Jul 07 2008
Loc: Albuquerque, N. M.
Over the years I've watched people come into the hobby,particularly on this site, and then either just leave it or become very inactive. I say this site simply because the hobby as a worldwide activity is on display for all to view and experience.
On a local scale I have watched the same thing with concern.They come into it with enthusiastic and active for awhile and then are just gone.
I'm wondering why ? Sudden interest to followed by complete abandonment does not occur without a reason IMO. What drove them away ? cost ? Not around here. Changing interest in collecting ? Possibly. Lack of an amiable group of enthusiastic who share similar interests and values ? I think so.
Thank you for your thoughts, I really do believe that if is important to keep experienced collectors in the hobby who will share their knowledge with new comers. otherwise, and I've seen it happen both groups simply become inactive.

Please use For Sale forums to sell

Please - NO offers to Buy or Sell in this forum category

Statements such as, "I'm thinking about selling this." are considered an offer to sell.
#278079 - Thu Oct 06 2011 05:25 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: HI-OCTANE]
KZ1000 Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Sun Oct 21 2007
Loc: Mass
I've been collecting Gas and Oil since 1985 or so, it used to be REAL fun. What has changed it for me and many others are:

REPROS, They HAVE ruined the hobby, as it is supposed to be the Collecting of Gas and Oil related original artifacts, not newly made *****. Every week some "NEW" item gets created or repopped so the future looks even worse than now. Just read the few posts on here and see the cunfusion.

GREED, There are many that are ONLY in it for the buck and don't give a care about the date/history/etc. of an item. It is only a business to them and the true collectors end up getting the shaft.

"Remember, history that is forgotten is doomed to repeat itself!"

#278081 - Thu Oct 06 2011 05:48 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: HI-OCTANE]
Nicole Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Thu Dec 09 2010
Loc: Maryland
Specific to posting on this forum:

Speaking as a newish person, I think there are a number of reasons. The longer you are on, the more you learn, the less questions you have--unless you are working on a new petro-related project (restoration work etc).

The other thing is the time suck that forums can be, no matter how much you enjoy them. If I had joined two years ago, I would not have been active for weeks at a time during the longer days of the year. Two years ago I was painting 4 to 6 days a week to get ready for a solo show. This year, I'm not as busy. Lots of folks have daylight activities that disappear in the winter.

There are occassional kerfluffles, but no need to take them personally. Also without the emoticons, or knowing that certain folks use sarcasm as 'joking', you could take things the wrong way. Sometimes you just have to step back and realize there are enough interesting/friendly threads on this list, that the kerfluffles are a drop in the bucket. Want to frusterate someone detrmined to get a rise out of you...don't respond. smile And if the person is becoming a real troll, the moderators will step in.

I've gotten a lot more amicable responders than crabs, and the crabs I just figure are having a bad day. Unless I think they are really oversensitive (from looking at other posts), I don't avoid them, and usually catch them on a better day.

Many probably don't leave the hobby, they just don't post as much because life gets in the way.

I do see how unmarked reproductions would make folks stop collecting...

Edited by Nicole (Thu Oct 06 2011 05:54 PM)

#278085 - Thu Oct 06 2011 06:20 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: Nicole]
vmc44 Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jan 08 2008
Loc: Panama City Bch, FL
I have been collecting since 1977 and my biggest reason for slowing down and the loss of interest is prices.... I remember running around North Dakota and Minnesota buying Husky and Buffalo globes for $600 - $1000 Showcase pumps and roman columns for $1500 to $2500 then run down to Iowa gas sell some of them make a little $ and buy globes and signs I liked and went home after a fun show..... Then supply and demand kicked in and prices started going through the roof and when I couldn't justify or afford globes and signs in the 10K+ range and decided it was time to let them go..... But remember in any hobby when there are big players paying big $ prices will rise when they quit buying prices will drop and KZ1000 had a great point what happens when prices get to high....

#278102 - Thu Oct 06 2011 07:42 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: vmc44]
57tbirdkid Offline
TBA Feature Host

Registered: Tue May 04 2010
Loc: NY
I am prob one of the youngest, serious collectors on this site. I have wanted to buy gas and oil signs for a very long time-but the prices of what I wanted discouraged me from this hobby for a while. There are many reasons why I believe people leave this hobby- financial, family, loss of interest... The true collectors will always stay around but people's lives change. Some of the reproduction signs that could easily decieve advanced collectors is something that is/will have a major impact on this hobby...I feel that the small dated trademarked /decorator reproduction signs do not hurt the hobby. I feel maipulated market prices have made this hobby unaffordable and takes away from the fun causing people to loose interest...

Edited by 57tbirdkid (Thu Oct 06 2011 07:43 PM)
The most valuable commodity I know of is information-Wall Street

#278103 - Thu Oct 06 2011 07:48 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: vmc44]
Jarvis Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Wed Nov 01 2000
Loc: Evansville, In
KZ100, you hit the nail on the head for me. I used to post everyday and was very active on this site.
Looking for anything from Hoosier Pete, Platolene 500 and Red Bird.

#278112 - Thu Oct 06 2011 08:59 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: Jarvis]
55gasser Offline
Active Member

Registered: Sun Aug 21 2011
Loc: North Central Arkansas, USA
I myself think alot of people just go thru different phases.I started out and still are into the old cars.Then I started collecting Griswold cast iron (close to 100pcs.) then I started collecting antiques in general.Then I got a gas pump and wanted another now I have 3 pumps and 2 lubesters,a few oil btls and cans.I love the signs but havent been able to turn loose of that kind of $$$,they are hard to come by here in my area.Any way my point is I like many others may head in a totaly different direction tomarrow.But for now I am enjoying every minute of it!

#278114 - Thu Oct 06 2011 09:14 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: 55gasser]
Craig Osbeck Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Tue Jan 06 2009
Loc: Portland Oregon
I believe KZ100 said alot of what I am thinking. Prices, ways to get the stuff, availability, RERPOS, and just getting tired of the same old stuff is always a problem. I still like the stuff, money is a problem, restoring is very costly, and storage in which I now do not have as much of. I like fixing things, so porcelain signs, smalls, and things that do not light up just don't have that appeal to me anymore. But most of all your life changes with age, children, and other family members that need your time and help. Family matters alot for most of use as well as it should be.

Besides that I really learned how to type better on this site!

#278116 - Thu Oct 06 2011 09:19 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: HI-OCTANE]
1937 GMC Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Apr 22 2011
Loc: DFW Texas
I would have to agree with most of the posts so far that the rise in prices is one of the biggest factors for why many leave the hobby or have limited involvement as they only collect what they truly like or can afford. Approximately 20 years ago I was involved in the hobby and the prices were within most families "fun" disposable income; I left to raise a family and recently returned and was shocked on the high prices, an example of this was last weekend I attended the car event in Texas and went through the swap meet area there were two Wayne 60's in decent shape with asking prices of $2,000 each......they both sold before the end of the weekend. Another example of what I thought was a ridiculous high price was a 30" Shell sign that was in condition #5 or #6 shape, seller wanted $1,200 which I thought was 3 to 4 times what it was worth..............it did not sell.
Buying: Polarine / Red Crown Gasoline Globes and Signs, Early Chevrolet & United Motors Signs, and 1910's through 1940's Gas & Oil Signs.

#278120 - Thu Oct 06 2011 09:42 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: 1937 GMC]
1968pickup Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jun 07 2011
Loc: North dakota,mapleton
Its kind of a hard hobby to get into if you are young alot of the vetan collectors with disposable income kinda bid up most of the signs and pumps if you go to an auction. u gota kinda hunt a little harder and find stuff randomly to get any good deals.I have ended up buying a few plastic signs and pretty rough metal sign that end up selling for a decent price I would like the nicer older metal signs but if im gona spend 600 on a sign I would rather put that money into an old truck

#278122 - Thu Oct 06 2011 10:04 PM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: 1968pickup]
hotrodfun1 Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Oct 05 2009
Loc: Montana
you are all rigth.I think stuff in barns is getting to hard to find,and gas is not cheap.
Always looking for grizzly gasoline stuff, or any Montana gas and oil stuff.

#278142 - Fri Oct 07 2011 01:12 AM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: hotrodfun1]
Jack Sim Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Fri Nov 10 2000
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
I believe you are all looking at prices of items, wearing blinders. What make you think some of the prices people are paying today are high. Back in 1988 I took a completly restored Wayne 60 Display case pump to Iowa Gas (the second IG) and sold it $1000, minutes after pulling into my space. I though a made a killing.
Prices have not gone up, it is inflation, plus my pump wasn't that great a pump at that time. It has taken almost 25 years for us to decide that W-60s, 36Bs, etc. are desirable pumps. Once you decide what is desirable, the prices of these pumps go up. The same holds true for signs and globes.
Back in 1988, I though paying $50.00 for a Texaco pump sign was rediculas, or paying more than $400 for a W-60 was the same.
A few things have changed since 1988, almost of all the bulk plants have been cleaned out. Buying over 100 pumps and everything else the bulk plant owner didn't want, for $700 are long gone (what I did in 1988). But this doesn't mean there isn't anything out there to find.
This hobby hasn't changed a bit, people my age (76) are selling, newbies are buying, and everybody in between are looking.
Just go to either (or both) conventions, the CTO in June, or Iowa Gas in August, and walk away telling anyone the hobby is dying.
This hobby is just like any other, are you buing to keep, buying to sell or buying to sell so that you can buy something you want to keep. Don't judge others for their motives.
Have fun, buy what you like and can afford.

Jack Sim
Author, Gas Pump Identfication books 1st & 2nd Editions & Air Meter Identification books
We rebuild ECO air meters and sell parts.

#278159 - Fri Oct 07 2011 07:49 AM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: Jack Sim]
Ohio Oil Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Fri May 23 2003
Loc: Northwest Ohio
The reality is that the prices indeed have gone up.

Maybe not so much on unrestored pumps but I know for a fact the prices on signs have spiraled upward outpacing inflation.

Signs that I could have more easily afforded 10-15 years ago are now priced out of the stratospere....many times priced to the point I just shake my head in amusement.

So I def. agree with KZ on the price and also think repops have done their damage.

I think another huge reason why some aren't as active is because they have pretty much purchased about all they want. For me, my shop is full, and really there are just a couple more signs I'm looking to add when the time is right. Still love the hobby and read the boards everyday, just not on the hunt like I used to be.
I think there are a lot more lurkers than you realize.

And finally the infamous American Pickers show. I probably have a very different opinion on that, probably worthy of it's own thread as to not detract from this discussion.

#278160 - Fri Oct 07 2011 07:50 AM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: Jack Sim]
DWSheffer Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Thu Sep 20 2007
Loc: Hillsdale, Michigan
For me personally, collecting over the years has gone in streaks. I start out strong in an area and when the "newness" wears off and it gets harder to find new items, I slow down. (not to mention the items you want to aquire are the harder to find items with higher values) While I've never totally lost interest in any of the collections I've started, many have been put on the back burner only to be revived at different points over the years. I started out collecting coins at age 10. While I've gone in and out of active buying over the last 25 years, I still find myself looking for good deals on coins every time I'm out hunting for petro items. I think many others share the same experience.
I started seriously collecting gas related items 5+ years ago and my interest hasn't waivered at all. Every time I look on-line or go to a show I see something I've never seen before and that makes it interesting. I've had many fun experiences out hunting for cans with my brother, or talking with farmers and old station owners about the "old days" that I wouldn't trade for anything. That makes it more than worth it to me even if I can't afford $1000 signs and globes every day like some can.
Repros are a scary thing, and I certainly understand how they could keep many from entering the hobby. For instance the repro Polly lens recently discussed on here. THAT scares me, a lens so well made that a good many collectors wouldn't ever have questioned the authenticity of the piece. When pieces like this become the norm, I foresee a great many more leaving the hobby, unfortunately.
Darin Sheffer
Always looking for Mobil items I don't already have!

#278161 - Fri Oct 07 2011 08:17 AM Re: Why Do People Leave The Gas & oil Hobby [Re: DWSheffer]
Thunder II Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Fri Jan 20 2006
Loc: On the plains of Colorado
I think its safe to say that, NOBODY gets into a hobby, to SAVE money.... I would think that a person would get into a hobby for some sort of fun. As for myself, I have left other forums, and put those hobbies on the shelf, when the fun was gone.

I recently obtained ownership of a pickup truck. I've been wanting to fix it up like a "Camping World Series" race truck. I joined the F-150 forum, made a few posts... And received some inconsiderate, and downright STUPID responses... I dont go there anymore. I didnt share the suspensions mods with them. Nor the fabrication of the Ram-air system, or the Front air dam.

Same story with the Model T. I wanted a 20s era Race Car. Talk about fun! Go to the Model T forum, and ask which distributor works the best, then sit back and watch the fur fly!

Now both of these examples are forum related, however, the same sort of games go on here, in this hobby. And it happens on the forum. Thats where we see, whos here, and who isnt. I've said in the past, that this is the best darn forum on the web, and I DO mean that. There are however, certain people, certain posts, and certain situations, that have caused me to not participate as activly (sp?) as I have in the past.

And to keep the peace, I'll leave it at that.
Anything Chevron

I'd rather be flying.....

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