Prices & trade
SEM 25 and 35's - and their parts - are coming onto the market sometimes,
as the Germans are now laying of the systems. However, availability is
very changing - and prices reflect this indeed. Also, prices vary with
the location, Germany offering the best bargains; British
and American prices being much higher. But unless you speak & write
Some parts are easy to find, other
ones seem - up to now - extremely rare. Until the German Army sells a warehouse
full and all of a sudden you find them everywhere.
To give but one example, the Remote Control Set was something I wanted
to have badly, but I had more or less taken for granted that this would
be nearly impossible. A friend of mine had only the Local Control Set and that one incomplete, lacking it's outer casing. The theory behind
this was that these were fixed in the vehicles and hardly ever removed
in their entirety. So when I came across an Internet site selling the complete
set in a nearly new condition I jumped for it, paying some 180 German Marks
for it. Transport was to be extra, in the end it cost me just over one
hundred US dollars. But I was happy!
Then, only a few months later, a local Dutch trader started offering these
at 35 Dutch Guilders- say 17 dollars. Packed by the Army, stacked away for twenty years
and now flooding the market. I bought some more, and still was happy with
the original deal as that one was pristine; these were just good. Also,
I could never have foreseen these cheap ones becoming available.
In March 2001 I visited the trader who originally sold me my first
Remote Control Set. Nice fellow. We had a very enjoyable evening, talking radios.
By then he had bought more of these sets, straight from the German Army.
He had several hundreds in storage now - and was selling at whatever prices
the market would bear. He actually bought these for 2 German Marks each
- say, one euro...
However, I still do not feel unhappy about my original deal. I wanted
the darn thing and I got it. The fact that shortly after many more came
onto the market does not really make any difference, does it now? When
you are collecting old military radio's, there is no such thing as a steady
supply at fixed prices. There is not even such a thing as a real market
place, as many traders do not know - nor care - what others might charge.
Set your budget for the things you want and always realise that tomorrow
you might find the stuff that cost you dearly far cheaper. Or never at
Just to drive this last bit home, the same trader had the Retransmission
Set for sale. Expensive, without cables and bag. So, I declined. Never seen one
since and I am truly sorry I let that one pass me by...
Having said all that, it would be rather stupid to mention actual prices.
Some of the items I own I got ridiculously cheap, just by lucking into them.
Other were just as ridiculously expensive, because I wanted them and thought
it would be now or never. Also, a SEM 25 is heavy! So when you buy one
in the USA, you will have to pay for the shipping in the actual price you
pay. And if you would find a nice deal a continent away, you still pay
Another point to keep in mind is that a trader also might have been
paying too much in getting stock in the first place. Cables are on example
- they were very scarce until 1999. Prices since then have fallen - for
most cables, some are still scarce. But whoever is sitting on a stockpile
of cables that used to cost 25 euros will not easily come down to the
5 euros mark - that might be found elsewhere. It would probably be less then
he paid for them to start with.
However, I am stupid. And the world has changed the last few years -
with Internet and eBay there is finally a global market for these elusive
items. I will try to document prices I have encountered on eBay Germany
(in euros, of course) on this page. Do keep in mind that these are the
closing prices of the auctions - shipping will be extra, as well as getting
the payment in the hands of the seller. Also, a lot of German sellers have
the awkward habit of charging the eBay costs to the buyer...
Recent prices on eBay Germany in euro's
(incl. Spare Parts Box)
|SEM 35 Erganzungssatz 3
|SEM 35 Erganzungssatz 5
|SEM 25 Bedienteil mit Winkel
|AN/GSA-6 with Headphones & throat microphone
|Kabel Nr. 9 (5995-12-146-3753)
|Kabel Nr. 10 (5995-12-146-3752)
|Kabel Nr. 16 (5995-12-143-7906)
|SEM mains Power Supply
|SEM 25 Canvas Cover
|SEM 35 Antenna Set (long & short)
|SEM 35 Backpack
Traders come in two categories: professionals and hobbyists. And sometimes
it is hard to discern between the two...
Many - that I know of at least - have a web site. But no doubt many
do not, but these are harder to find. By far the most are based in Germany
for obvious reasons. Some of these might be willing to trade in Europe,
some might trade to every country on this Earth. And some will not bother,
you will have to come to their shop. A shop that might be open only on
Wednesday afternoon, if there is a full moon...
This list is no doubt not complete. Please let me know if you know other addresses
that should be mentioned here. Also, any views expressed here
are my own. Please do not bother to tell me about your experiences with
these traders if you expect me to mention these on this page - but I will
be most willing to read whatever opinions you might have as long as you
do not feel that these should be reflected here.