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What I do for pricing is take ebay sold listings, find ones that are similar in condition, then do my adder value, then discount it 20%.  The reason for the discount is the fees, supplies, time and effort for creating the listing, questions etc.

Adder value can be positive or negative. This is my personal estimate.  For example, if I have a Post War item that has TMCC added, I will add, $50.  If PS1, I subtract $100.   If PS1

There can't be a book as it will be out of date as soon as data is started to be collected.  I will uses older guides to gauge rarity.  For example, if in 1995 a common item was printed as a value of $10, and the rare variation is at $30, I will keep that same ratio.

eBay completed auctions is used by most estate and smart garage sale folks and is used as the highest price to be expected.  It represents, in most cases, competitive bid prices (it includes Buy it Now sales too) and most local sales at train shows, estate sales etc. are not comparatively bid on and to sell, the price has to be lower than the eBay completed auction price.

eBay completed auction prices, available in moment on a smart phone, has obsoleted those old Lionel Price Guides we all used to determine prices for used trains.  There is no need for price guide books that would be out of date the day published.


Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

I use the auction site in the same manner as others have mentioned to get pricing info.  However, it's no where near perfect, particularly because there is an age out of completed listings.  So 1) you are looking at a snapshot of selling prices where a particular event can really affect pricing (the pandemic and closing of MTH are examples) and 2) for the rarer items, one may have not sold in the last XXX number of days or X years for that matter.

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