This is one of the cornerstones of our business: the First Dibs Guarantee.  We promise all of our customers that every catalog-grade item* that we acquire either through purchase or consignment will be sold on the catalog on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

I know that this is rather unusual in this sort of business.  Most militaria sellers will first offer the best new items to their friends or shop them around to noted collectors for those specific types of items, followed by other customers who have submitted 'want lists', etc.  By the time you see a website update, get a catalog in the mail, or run into them at a show, for all practical purposes you are looking only at their leftovers.  Isn't that exciting?  No?  We don't think so either. 

To create an atmosphere of excitement when our new catalogs open, we go to great lengths to ensure that the items that you see are new and fresh.  When 3:00 pm US Central Time rolls around and the catalog is finally open, you have the exact same chance to get the item that you want, whether you are our best pal who lives next door and has known us for 30 years, or if you are a new customer from Kuala Lumpur who just registered on the website earlier that morning.

How serious are we about this?  Well, as you might suspect several of us who work here also collect, including the boss.  When something comes through in a collection purchase or consignment that one of us would like to have for our own collection, it gets described, photographed, and included in the next upcoming catalog.  When the catalog opens, we must log in, find it, and purchase it.. just like everybody else.  We win some, and loose some.. just like everybody else.

Our dedication to keeping this promise has not been without cost.  We have actually lost friends over this.  A few of our oldest friends had always assumed that we would make a secret exception if we ever found something that we knew they would like, then flipped out when they saw an item in their area of collecting appear on the catalog.  More often, we find that people who missed a great item at a show will track it back to us, then try to shake us down, insisting that we 'owe it' to them to sell them the item right away rather than put it on the catalog because they might very well miss it again.  These conversations always start out with everybody on their best behavior, and usually end up with the person calling us every foul name they can think of - because we simply do not sell catalog-grade items before they appear on the catalog and are available to the first person who presses "buy now."

*Note: "Catalog-grade" merchandise is just that - items judged to be of a quality and value worthy of being sold on the AGM catalog.  In every collection that comes in, there are also varying quantities of stripped uniforms, items good for parts only, and some perfectly good items that would just simply cost us more to process than we would ever get out of them in a catalog sale.  These bits are typically not sold via the catalog.