How are the Key-3 of Scout memorabilia dealers on eBay doing?


As someone who sells a little on eBay I have always enjoyed keeping an eye on the big fish in the collecting hobby and as far as patch dealers on eBay you could arguably say that the “Key-3” of our hobby on eBay are The Scout Patch Auction, Brush Creek Trading, and Streamwood.

All three of these dealers now have a heavy presence on eBay including each operating an eBay store. Before I take a look at how they stack up compared to each other on eBay let me first say that two of them, Brush Creek and Streamwood have significant off-eBay websites where they do direct sales. I’m sure they all sell plenty over the phone and hit the TOR market so this comparision is not to say that it is an accurate ranking of the Key-3. But because selling on eBay is very transparent you can easily rank the three and compare them to what is happening on the site in total. So I took the last 90 days worth of sales dating back to the middle of January and ran the numbers. Here is what I came out with.


All Scouting Items in the boy scout Category

Total number of items sold: 60,212

Total value of all Scout memorabilia sold: $1,117,231 (yes that’s 1.1 Million!)


Ranking of The Key-3

#1 The Scout Patch Auction

Total items sold on eBay: 1,379

Total value of all Scout memorabilia sold: $86,096

Percentage of successful auction listings: 65%


#2 Brush Creek Trading

Total items sold on eBay: 1,039

Total value of all Scout memorabilia sold: $27,435

Percentage of successful auction listings: 66%


#3 Streamwood

Total items sold on eBay: 703

Total value of all Scout memorabilia sold: $12,305

Percentage of successful auction listings: 41%


How the Key-3 compare to the total for the category

Total items sold on eBay: 3,121 which is 5.2% of all items sold

Total value of all Scout memorabilia sold: $125,836 which is 11% of all items sold


I think the interesting thing about this analysis is just how many hobbyists are selling on eBay. If my math is right (which its basic math – and I used a calculator!!) then almost 95% of the items sold on eBay are done so by the thousands of small time Scout traders like me and probably others reading this posting. If that doesn’t tell you something about what eBay has done to this hobby then you need to think back to how things were 10 years ago in the days of catalog mailings and call back auctions. I still have lot of that paperwork which I guess needs to go into a museum. 😉




I have also noticed many Antique Dealers selling Scout items on ebay. Some of by best buys have been Antique Dealers. I don’t know how you can figure them in your statistics.

By BigJim on April 15th, 2007 at 6:42 am

Well if you have a particular seller I can search under their user id and pull up their last 90 days worth of stuff. Of course if you’re having lots of luck buying from them you might not want to tip off the rest of us. Ha ha:D

I guess one way I was going with this post was I remember there were some figures thrown around a few years ago about what a large share of the online market these guys had. I just think that there are so many small players (and as you mention people like antique dealers) that only about 1 in 20 purchases on eBay come from what some would consider the largest patch dealers still in the game.

By jason on April 15th, 2007 at 10:06 pm

During the late 80s and since, everyone has become an Antique Dealer. Look at the thousands of malls that have sprung up all over US. Back in early 70s all antique dealers had free standing stores and there were collectors to buy from them. Now everyone is a dealer and they go from mall to mall lookig for something that someone mis-priced or failed to realize what they had. When you go to a conclave or a especially a TOR, very little trading is done, just selling. Looks like our hobby is going the way of coins and baseball cards where the merchandise moves from one paunchy graying “collector” to another with no new real collectors showing up because they never have a chance to acquire a rare or unusual item in a 1:1 trade.

Those 1:1 trades are reserved for your NOAC or other special event items that become nearly worthless to anyone except memebers of the lodge. There are fewer name/number collectors each year ans soon, the only patches that leave the lodge will go to collectors of “cartoon chracters” or otters or beavers or eagles etc.

Where are we headed? I would love to hear what others think of this trend and where they see the hobby in 10 years.

Nick Loesch
paunchy graying, oops I mean balding, collector/dealer/trader since 1960!

By jason on April 15th, 2007 at 10:08 pm

First I want to say it’s good to see the site back up.

On the subject matter I think part of what we are seeing is people who used to wonder what to do with dads collection now have a venue to sell it. I’ve bought lots of stuff over the last roughly 10 years from children of old scouters who were bitten with the collection bug.

I’m fortune in that aspect in that my son is as big a horder as I am. I suspect my collection will stay together at least one more generation, and if my grandson see’s value and history in it maybe another.

We all know way to many of these old tough patches were simply thrown away when the owner passed. So we may at times become frustrated with the prices some of the more rare patches bring, at least they’re not going into file 13……….

By OkiePatchTrader on April 20th, 2007 at 2:50 am

Well I’m back from the mountains, I goto Mtn. Man Rendezvous most of the year. I am a seller on Ebay during the winter. I sure wonder why some stuff sells sometimes and other stuff doesn’t. I pay $5.00 for our lodge flap put it on ebay and get $10.00, then I buy noac patch for the same price and put it on and it don’t sell, so I drop the price to $3.00 and it still don’t sell. It’s a real wierd bussiness and you never know what people want to buy. I ready do miss the old days as a kid at philmont trading for cool patches, now I try and trade for a patch that will be worth more than the one I’m trading. In fact I havn’t even traded one darn patch this year, it sticks I want to trade the patches that people are not buying from me. Anybody want them?

By emajestics on November 17th, 2007 at 7:03 am

Good Afternoon!!!!!!
I just returned home from the Shu-shu-gah Trade-o-ree at Camp Alpine N.J. after a two hour ride. It’s a shame to say it, but it’s getting bad out there. Don’t get me wrong, Bill Mullrin and his gang do a great job but attendance is fadding.
Fewer tables again this year and only one patch that I wanted. A Na-Tasi-hi X1 that the owner wanted alot more than I wanted to pay and I usually step up to the plate for my needs. I am now on my computer searching eBay and know I have a better chance of finding what I want without leaving my home and spending almost $100.00 for petrol.
I have always prefered to trade, but the only thing the dealers want to trade for today is “picture paper”.
I went to a TOR in the late 60’s at the old Natl. HQ’s in NJ and had a wonderful time. My Scoutmastrer who drove us there noticed that a guy was doing the unheard of by buying cloth. He remarked that if this practice took hold the little guys would be finished. How profetic.
As Nick mentions, The only 1:1 trading is at NOAC or Jamborees, and they are too few and far between.
On the bright side, I enjoy our little hobby to no end. Since my days as a youth till today, it’s always fun and I always seem to learn something along the way.

By rlp3219 on November 17th, 2007 at 7:43 pm

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