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 East Germany

Soviet Union &          Warsaw Pact

West Germany &          Other Countries

Koenig Seppi

Gowen Militaria
1404 Ragsdale Road
Greenville, NC 27858
ph: 252-830-5353
fax: 252-830-0122

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Why Buy from Gowen Militaria?

Gowen Militaria (formerly Richard Gowen Militaria) is America 's original specialist in East German militaria. We date back to 1990 when the DDR still existed. Our first venture was to negotiate with the East German Defense Ministry for the direct purchase of many collectibles never before seen in quantity in the U.S. We were the first to import NVA ("VOPO") helmets into the country, along with Stasi uniforms, visor hats, field equipment and numerous insignia.

Our pedigree, in a word, is unique. In lots of ways we were the first, including establishing layaway payments, and today still remain the only dealer specializing in Communist East German military collectibles!

But there is more! Here is a quick list of additional reasons you might want to take us into consideration when beginning your East German collection, or looking for new collectibles to add to what you already have:

  • Specialists:   We will repeat here what we said above. We are the only business in our part of the world specializing in East German collectibles: It is what we do! We handle other Cold War collectibles too, but our primary focus remains what it has always been: military and other collectibles of the former Communist East Germany.
  • Over the years we have built up an expertise in handling East German items that we believe has served our customers well. We don't know all the answers - no one does! - but what we don't know we admit and try to find out.

    Our library of reference books on the East German armed forces and related police units is, we believe, the most complete in the country. We state as a matter of fact that it is more extensive than even the Library of Congress. Who benefits from our unrivaled bank of information and experience? None other than you the collector, whether beginning or advanced. Try us and see.
  • Largest and most diversified inventory:  Our holdings are so extensive that they fill 4 warehouses/storage units, and when last inventoried (October 1997 - January 1998) took some 110 pages to get them down on paper. Check out our online Catalog and our bimonthly Specials lists, and you can see for yourself most of what we have available. (The list excludes individual tunics; we have over 2,000). No one has it all, but from years of experience we believe we are correct in saying that our stock of East German collectibles is unrivaled among dealers in the United States and Canada .
  • Reputation:  Gowen Militaria sells only authentic goods, period. As America 's acknowledged leaders in the field of East German militaria, we have a reputation for integrity that we are very proud of and determined to maintain. Our best salesmen are our customer-friends. It says a lot that many of them have remained with us from the very beginning. They will tell you that we are upfront and scrupulously honest in all our dealings.

    It has been our firm policy from the start to make no compromises with authenticity. When we have doubts about an item, we make it a point to share them fully so that you, the collector, can make a knowledgeable decision.

    A fact to consider. In the entire history of our business, we have never had a customer return a uniform saying that we misrepresented the condition or quality. Never! (We did unknowingly send out a helmet one time with a broken chinstrap, and a visor hat with a slightly off-center cockade. No one is perfect!).
  • Unrivaled network:  To supplement our extensive stock, Gowen Militaria maintains an excellent network overseas. We have the exclusive services of an agent in Germany -- our "buying partner" -- who helps us with the search for for new and requested collectibles. Our contacts with dealers in Germany , the Netherlands , England and elsewhere are also first-rate. Again, our customer-friends will tell you how successful we have been over the years acquiring collectibles exclusive to us. From us you get variety and often the excitement of looking at items never-before-seen by American and other New World collectors. Why content yourself with the same stale price list time after time?
  • Fast shipping:  No one in the business ships faster than we do. We learned long ago that collectors do not like to be kept waiting. We know exactly how you feel, because we collect too and want to see what we bought quickly. Under ordinary circumstances, we ship within 48 hours. Items ordered overseas and the like are exceptions, but even with them we make a point of always keeping you informed about the status of your order. With us, you never have to wait long. Why should you?
  • Family owned business:  Gowen Militaria is proudly owned and run by two brothers and their old man: Alex (director of intelligence research), Richard (director of overseas operations), and Bob (managing director: the old man). We built up the business as a family, and intend to keep it this way. On that you can depend.

    You should also know that we are collectors ourselves, specializing in hats and helmets. We know very well the kinds of problems our fellow collectors face, and genuinely enjoy helping them find what they are looking for. We believe in treating them the way we ourselves expect to be treated. Why not give us a try and judge for yourself?
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