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Our friend Marty said it best and it's worth repeating as new members join.  Marty would post this from time to time as a reminder. Marty was always there to help so let's honor his memory by following his suggestions.



Marty Fitzhenry

"Some members request help from time to time with an operating issue.  Here are a few things I would like to see in your request.



1. Make of engine and is it under warranty?

2. Item number of engine. (Not the road number on the engine. This the number on the box.  For example Lionel maybe 6-xxxxx or MTH 20-xxxx)

3. Command or conventional operation.

4. Transformer used.

5. New engine or used.  If used, is it a fleabay queen.  Fleabay has lots of junk for bargain hunters.  Remember, you only get what you pay for.

6. Did it run when you received it.

7. What have you or someone done or parts replaced.

8. Do not look for help and have people spend their  time  then state you are sending it out for repair.  Don't waste people's time if that was your plan from the start.

9. If members spend time helping you out and you get your issue solved, let members know as the situation could help others.  Many members looking for help pull the anchor up and never let anyone know the outcome.

I learn things every day from some smart people that make themselves available every day to assist OGR Forum members with problems.  Please follow what I have thrown out as it will help the members who are trying to help you."

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"If used, is it a fleabay queen.  Fleabay has lots of junk for bargain hunters.  Remember, you only get what you pay for."

Marty F. was spot-on, except for this. The provenance of used items is irrelevant, unless you are talking about a specific seller, with an established reputation. There is plenty of junk sold at train shows and on Ebay, but there are plenty of treasures, too. You can "get what you pay for," but you can also find great bargains, both on Ebay and at train shows.

If you said that you bought something from Trainz on Ebay, then (a) it is probably in good condition, (b) you paid a fair price—not super-low, but not above the market price—and, (c) Trainz will stand behind their product. But there are also sketchy sellers on Ebay, too, and while I'm not aware of any, some of them may have a bad repution. The same can be said for train shows. There's a booth at the Amherst show that I know will have a large selection, fair prices, and is willing to negotiate in good faith. But there are also bad eggs, too.

The advantage of buying on Ebay as opposed to at a train show is that Ebay does offer the purchaser some protection.

Last edited by Matt_GNo27

I agree on Marty's assessment of eBay because you have to remember how eBay was. When it started it probably went through its own ups and downs, and Marty and others were right there from the start. It has become a bit better, but I'm sure that there are sellers in various trades(meaning outside of trains) that are no very reputable. There still is of course the chance of getting run up the river by someone on eBay, but you would have to have not dealt with them and their reviews are probably terrible. That's what I would say is the only real problem to anyone who uses eBay, not really looking into a new seller.

@MartyE

Marty, would you say that eBay has probably changed from how Marty had known it, but it could still hold true what he said?

I agree on Marty's assessment of eBay because you have to remember how eBay was. When it started it probably went through its own ups and downs, and Marty and others were right there from the start. It has become a bit better, but I'm sure that there are sellers in various trades(meaning outside of trains) that are no very reputable. There still is of course the chance of getting run up the river by someone on eBay, but you would have to have not dealt with them and their reviews are probably terrible. That's what I would say is the only real problem to anyone who uses eBay, not really looking into a new seller.

@MartyE

Marty, would you say that eBay has probably changed from how Marty had known it, but it could still hold true what he said?

@Marty Fitzhenry made the original post quoted above in 2015. Ebay had long been an established by that time and was a reliable and reputable source.

If Marty F. didn't want to personally work on items that had been purchased on Ebay, that was his choice that reflected his personal biases, and that's fine. But again, the source of a second-hand locomotive has no bearing on diagnosing and solving a problem with a locomotive or other rolling stock, unless you are talking about a specific vendor who has a known reputation that could be directly relevant to the specific problem.

@MartyE reposted Marty F.'s post for current and especially new members. What Ebay was like in 1995 has no relevance to current OGR forum members trying to solve a problem that they have today.

That's great stuff. Especially about closing out your problem if you solved it. It sounds weird but if I use Google instead of the forum search engine the answers are right there and ALWAYS from this forum. One of my first buys was a Trainz RailKing UP GP9 with PS2 for $175 and it still runs and smokes like a dream. I think about Marty whenever I run it.

Yeah, I'm an eBay buyer more than I should be and have gotten some duds but am happy for the most part and have no plans to stop buying there. As a tip, I once read that you should be wary of any seller that does not have a > 99% rating. Then there's communication. I saw a PS3 0-6-0 for $250 that looked pretty good and had a video of it sitting still smoking. I asked if it ran well and got a string of weird answers. No thanks.

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