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I have purchased a few things from their auctions.  They are good people, but don't necessarily be fooled by the low bid prices you see.  On top of the winning bid number, you must pay an additional auction premium fee, possibly sales tax if in PA and also shipping if you don't pick it up in person. They choose the shipping and just tack that on to the cost.

The really nice thing about their auctions is there is no sniping (like eBay).  If someone ups the bid at the last minute, the auction extends (letting other bidders up their bid too). 

Just decide on your max price you want to pay (add in the premium fee), and you sometimes can get a good deal.

However, the only thing I don't like, is that a lot of the pictures are not very high resolution or don't show all sides/angles of an item.  Descriptions on condition are also not very detailed (they don't grade them).  So, you kind of have to guess depending on item.

I always say give something a try once and see for yourself.

I've bought a few things from Cabin Fever over the past year (mostly MTH warehouse auctions). Something to remember is auctions aren't by definition cheap. Sometimes you'll get lucky bidding on something that not many people are interested in, or nobody is dead-set on getting that particular item you've set your sights on.

When the auction closes, individual lots close five or six lots at a time (except for those that get bids within the last minute, then those re-set to two minutes until the clock runs out with no additional bids), and since CF auctions typically have around 600 lots, it usually takes a few hours for the entire process to conclude.

Owing to the way lots are closed out, if the lot you are bidding on is far down the line, you may encounter "competition" in the form of bidders who lost out on earlier items and may set their sights on (the thing you're currently high bidder on) as they look through the remaining open items looking for that "well I might as well get something today" items, driving up the price in the waning minutes of that particular auction. You can see evidence of this by looking at the winning bids on previous auctions (if you're logged in, you can see how many bids each item got). Doesn't happen all the time -- if its something with second or third-tier appeal they may not have the determination to keep feeding in escalating bids, but it's not unheard of for an item you had top bid on all day to rise out of your budget in the last ten minutes or so.

CF's buyer's premium is 15% added to whatever the total of your winning bids comes to. Shipping, packaging materials and packing material is itemized and billed separately, and historically that bill arrives 5-6 days after you've paid for your winning bids (the last time I did on 8/31 the timeline from end-of-auction to box-on-doorstep was only four days, but I don't know if their process as a whole got a speed boost or I just got lucky).

If you've ever been dismayed by shipping charges on Ebay or any other online/brick-and-mortar dealer order, CF's won't offer you any comfort, and since nobody knows in advance how much stuff they're going to be packing for you, you won't know what the 'pack and ship' bill will be until after you're committed by winning an item or items. As with anything else in the shipping biz, size and weight determine a lot. A couple of postwar boxcars is certainly going to cost less than a pair of MTH autoracks (quite a few of them are in an upcoming auction in early October) will cost less than an articulated steamer.

---PCJ

I've had several winning bids and I was satisfied.  As other's have said, the buyer's premium and shipping can add a lot onto the cost, so bid accordingly.

Shipping costs these days are very high, and for good reasons that I will not go into here.  Places that offer free shipping (like Amazon) seemed to have made people spoiled and they expect to only pay minimal shipping costs.  Years ago it would cost me about $6 to ship your average train car.  Now it's around $14.

Has anyone had any experience using Cabin Fever's services to sell their items? 

When I look at some of the auctions I think to myself, Boy that person had a lot of schtuff!

As an example of shipping and handling charges, a recent win (the 8/31 "haul" I linked to in my previous message, comprised of nine RailKing-sized freight cars) went like this:

--Box: 4.40 -- This was a Uline 15x15x15 box, trimmed down to 15x15x9 as per the UPS sticker (and my own measurement)

--Material & packing: 26.77 -- This is most likely a combination of packing material and a set charge per item packed, but I of course don't know the specifics, but the fact that none of the cars had boxes and therefore had to be individually bubble-wrapped and secured probably factors into this, as the next example hints to.

--Shipping (UPS): 22.48 -- According to the shipping label, this was for a 15x15x9 box weighing 10 pounds, travelling from Pottstown, PA to New York City

Total: 53.65

-----------------------------

Second example from this set of Weaver cars, all with original boxes:

Box: 3.45 -- a Uline 16x10x10 box

Material and packing: 5.00

Shipping: 10.59 (USPS) for the full-size 16x10x10 box weighing 7 pounds for the same distance

Total: 19.04

An armchair observation suggests that the amount of effort to pack is the big variable here, so unboxed items will probably cost you more in the end. The Weaver car boxes almost exactly fit the Uline box with little additional material needed to prevent movement within.

--------------------------

This last example doesn't involve Cabin Fever, but a regular dealer. He doesn't appear to be a Forum sponsor so I won't (can't?) mention them by name, but they're located in Greensburg, PA so those who know their Pittsburgh-area dealers can figure it out. This shipment was comprised of seven RailKing tank cars.

--was packed in a 16x16x12 Uline box with bubble wrap (with 1" bubbles like the CF shipments) surrounding the seven boxes as a unit

--with a shipping weight of 11 pounds going via UPS

I don't know the shipping charge since my order exceeded the $200 threshold for free shipping at this dealer. Those of you with UPS calculators can come up with an estimate from Greensburg, PA to NYC.

---PCJ

Last edited by RailRide

I've had several winning bids and I was satisfied.  As other's have said, the buyer's premium and shipping can add a lot onto the cost, so bid accordingly.

Shipping costs these days are very high, and for good reasons that I will not go into here.  Places that offer free shipping (like Amazon) seemed to have made people spoiled and they expect to only pay minimal shipping costs.  Years ago it would cost me about $6 to ship your average train car.  Now it's around $14.

Has anyone had any experience using Cabin Fever's services to sell their items?

When I look at some of the auctions I think to myself, Boy that person had a lot of schtuff!

I would argue shipping is so expensive because everyone has to subsidize Amazon. The shippers have no margin with Amazon stuff so they have to charge everyone else more.

Cabin Fever is good. It always seems like shipping is around $30 whether you buy a locomotive or a few Star Wars figures. They really overpacked my Star Wars figures like they were collectibles for the Pope, but they were cheap and I just bought them for my kids to play with. Maybe next time I’ll tell them that and save a few bucks.

My approach with cabin fever is now to go big. If I’m buying something I’m buying a lot.

I guess we all have different ideas of what they are willing to pay for anything, and that's all well and good. I have an annual train budget and it includes shipping costs on items I can't buy from my local hobby shop or at train shows. I worked in the shipping dept. of a major manufacturer while in college in 1962, and since then have worked for multinational corporations in the import/export business and have shipped items ranging from 4 ounce packets to 40 foot containers. My responsibilities necessitated that I be up to date on shipping costs. I tried to purchase a small item from that would have weighed under 3 LBS. packed. Excluding the buyer's premium (their fair and reasonable profit), their charges for the box, packing materials, and postage were double the retail price of those three items. As a business person I'm sure they're most likely not paying retail for any of those. When I asked for an explanation from Cabin Fever regarding these charges, they cancelled my purchase and, took over two months to credit my AMEX account. Just saying.

I have been happy with them.  The mth warehouse auctions have ben the only way to source some items I was looking for.  I have found them to be responsive to questions with minimal lag.  If you ask a questions with enough time before an auction they will add extra pictures. 

The anti-sniping feature is really nice.  If a bid happens with less then two minutes to go a two minute adder is applied wo you have a moment to think about it. 

I am in PA so everytime I bid there I am doing the math on adding 21%.  (6% state sales tax and 15% seller's fee for the auction house)  Shipping can take a couple weeks and you will get a separate invoice for the shipping from an outfit called Shipping Saint.  If you are local you can schedule a pickup but last I looked they did not have weekend pick up time slots which makes life difficult.

Be aware that whatever card you supplied will be charged shortly after the item you bid on closes.  Last time I bought from Stout you got an email invoice.  I you wanted to change cards before payment it wasn't a bid deal.   With Cabin fever you will get charged right away.  It's really not a problem, just something to keep in mind.

Overall I have been very happy with their service. 

I just won an item on Stout auctions.  The item was $275.  Buyer's premium was $52.25.  Shipping was $42.60.

Like I said, be aware of the premium and shipping when bidding!

Wow, that is a terrible amount to pay for a buyers premium. That is almost 20%. Stout didn't used to have a buyers premium. Is this something fairly new, or is it just charged on some auctions?

@mowingman posted:

Wow, that is a terrible amount to pay for a buyers premium. That is almost 20%. Stout didn't used to have a buyers premium. Is this something fairly new, or is it just charged on some auctions?

Pretty sure Stout's always had a premium



Misc info per stout's absentee bidder guidelines:

2. Internet bidder's premium is 19%, Buyer's premium is 16% if paying by check or cash.. paraphrasing here - the same is true for stout auctions website and phone bidders. In house attending bidder premium is 13%, 10% if paying cash,

3. Indiana or PA state sales tax apply 7% and 6 % respectively

4. no absentee bids under $50

misc info per Cabin Fever's website under auction info terms;

Buyer's premium = 15%

PA state tax of 6% added to all items unless tax exempt certificate provided

Billing will happen shortly after the auction closes, generally within 1 to 2 hours at most, all merchandise invoice totals are due immediately following the last lot closing and invoice being prepared.  " It is expected that funds will be available at this time."

All pick up appointments are Tues thru Friday between 9 and 3



I hope the above constructively adds to the conversation.

Last edited by jhz563

I just won an item on Stout auctions.  The item was $275.  Buyer's premium was $52.25.  Shipping was $42.60.

Like I said, be aware of the premium and shipping when bidding!

@mowingman posted:

Wow, that is a terrible amount to pay for a buyers premium. That is almost 20%. Stout didn't used to have a buyers premium. Is this something fairly new, or is it just charged on some auctions?

I've been bidding on Stout's for a long time, and they've always had a buyer's premium.  While I loathe the concept of a buyer's premium, as they're also charging a commission to the seller, it's clearly disclosed.  You're rolling the dice on shipping, but I've always found their charges to be fair.  As a result, I normally figure that my final cost will be about 1/3 more than the hammer price.  I always take the total cost into account when bidding and compare that to what I think I would pay for the item elsewhere.  I don't win very often, as I suspect that I'm bidding against people who aren't being mindful of the add-ons.

@jhz563 posted:

Pretty sure Stout's always had a premium

Misc info per stout's absentee bidder guidelines:

2. Internet bidder's premium is 19%, Buyer's premium is 16% if paying by check or cash.. paraphrasing here - the same is true for stout auctions website and phone bidders. In house attending bidder premium is 13%, 10% if paying cash,

3. Indiana or PA state sales tax apply 7% and 6 % respectively

4. no absentee bids under $50

misc info per Cabin Fever's website under auction info terms;

Buyer's premium = 15%

PA state tax of 6% added to all items unless tax exempt certificate provided

Billing will happen shortly after the auction closes, generally within 1 to 2 hours at most, all merchandise invoice totals are due immediately following the last lot closing and invoice being prepared.  " It is expected that funds will be available at this time."

All pick up appointments are Tues thru Friday between 9 and 3

I hope the above constructively adds to the conversation.

I think that's an excellent summary of the terms.

Ya gotta read the fine print and not get too wrapped up in the excitement of bidding.

I've also found Stout's items to be accurately described, and they have been responsive to questions.  Another thing to remember is that if you REALLY want a particular item, there's value in occasionally overpaying - you can get a good copy of the item from your easy chair without spending time and money attending numerous train shows.  (Personally, I enjoy going to train shows and prefer to examine an item in person, but there's a cost to doing that in both dollars and time.)

Last edited by Mallard4468

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