Many foreign fanciers question the crazy prices that are paid for birds today and think games are played to keep up reputations.
Some others, the believers, think this is no sport for them since they can never compete the people with money who can afford 'to buy the best birds'.
Of course games are played.
It happens that a fancier whose birds are auctioned (in a room or on the internet) gives money to a friend.
This friend should use this money to raise prices or just buy back the bird for the breeder.
It also happened that a big name offered a super bird for sale on the internet and promised foreign friends that if they would buy it for a certain amount they would get 50 babies or so for free.
And naturally friends bid on birds from friends till a certain amount of money is reached.
But these 'games' are exceptions.
In most cases the prices that are published are real.
Sites that mention the names of the bidders are mostly serious and to be trusted.
If pigeons are really worth so much money as is paid for today is another story.
There is this man who offered two 3 year old birds for sale and at the same time he put bids on babies from other fanciers.
It is clear that the birds that he tried to sell were no good.
Sell good birds and at the same time try to buy others does not make sense.
Do fanciers who cannot afford the prices that are paid today have no chance to make it in this sport?
Of course they have a chance; they just have to be a bit smarter.
Moreover there is seldom a relation between price and quality.
If the price of a bird is say 3,000 euro, this does not mean it is better than a bird that is sold for 100 euro or less.
There are numerous examples of super birds that people got for free since the breeder had no buyers since no one liked or wanted the bird.
Foreigners focus on names that are hot, but do these names also have the best birds? I dare say NO !
Many are brainwashed by the press. They think the good birds are the monopoly of 'a happy few'.
They do not realise that many became famous because they race many birds.
If they would be able to study the COMPLETE results of big races they would be shocked to find that 'names that are hot' are seldom the people with the best birds.
They make the show if they win say 20 prizes in a race.
But what matters is the amount of birds they entered.
What do 20 prizes mean if they participated with 80 birds?
This means that 60 birds did NOT win a prize, but this is nowhere mentioned.
On the other hand there are many fanciers that only entered 3 birds or so that ALL won a prize on top. So they had a score of 100% while the big name only scored 25%.
But it is not striking if some one's name is only mentioned 3 times on a result sheet.
Today on numerous sites in both Holland and Belgium pigeons and vouchers for pigeons are auctioned. The money is for the club or Federation.
And what do we see?
The highest bids are not put on birds from world famous names but on birds from the REAL champs who are only known in their own area.
One example is that of, let me call him Mr X, who is known all over the world.
If foreigners want his birds he charges 750 euro or more for a baby.
On those sites Dutch or Belgians offer no more than 50 to 100 e for a bird of his.
The reason is simple.
They know the REAL quality of the birds from famous Mr X.
I would like to mention these sites on which you can bid and buy cheap birds from big names for little money and cheap birds from super racers as well.
But there are too many.
Furthermore there is something else.
If foreigners contact champions in Holland or Belgium for birds many of them charge higher prices than they normally do.
They have a price for fellow country men and a much higher price for foreigners.
But' they have a reason.
Many have experienced that if they charge a reasonable price foreigners do not want their birds since they think cheap birds cannot be any good.
I knew about a super bird that won several firsts in a real strong competition.
I went there and asked if I could buy 4 babies off the same parents.
That was no problem; the price was 50 e per bird.
A friend bought a round of the best breeders of another REAL super man.
They cost him 100 e each.
My friend and me doubt if we will ever get pedigrees of the birds we bought but we do not care.
We want to improve our family with birds that can win and we are not interested in fancy pedigrees or paper tigers.
To open eyes it would be a great idea if sites that sell birds would mention how many birds the fancier races from whom birds are for sale.