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This may not be the correct forum location. However, thought some on here might be interested in checking out the Stout auction currently underway. Look at the prices the Lionel displays are bringing. Unbelievable,but very interesting to watch. A lot of people have a lot more money than I do!

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I placed a bid on the camera-ready art for two pages from the 1962 catalog.  Not usually my thing, but it just so happened that the pages were for my first train set that I was given for Christmas of that year.  Stout's "estimate" was $20 to $200; I expected it to go for about $100 or $120.  It sold for $825, and that's before buyer's premium, tax, and shipping, so the final total will be around $1000.  I understand that it's one of a kind, but the sets pictured on the pages were the bottom of the line, and I'm astounded at the final price.

@mowingman posted:

This may not be the correct forum location. However, thought some on here might be interested in checking out the Stout auction currently underway. Look at the prices the Lionel displays are bringing. Unbelievable,but very interesting to watch. A lot of people have a lot more money than I do!

I never bother with Stout, I don't know what they put in the water over there to get people to go crazy like that!

Stout tends to get the ridiculous prices for high grade postwar and prewar. If modern era is your interest, good deals can be had. I’ve bought a couple of brass engines (a 3rd Rail and Weaver) for great prices, even after buyer’s premium and shipping. I’ve seen plenty of items go for very affordable prices and others go for stupid prices.

@Bob posted:

I know, I've sold with them.  Even after paying their fee, I was very happy with the results.

I sold some common LGB with them a few years ago.  My net was about the same as selling the items individually on ebay, without the hassle - well worth their cut of the price.

@CAPPilot posted:

Over the years Stout Auctions has had some items I really wanted.  I'd always develop the total price I would pay for it, subtract fees and shipping, and that was my high bid.  Out of the several dozen bids I have done, I think I have "won" maybe five items, all below my max bid.  It all depends on who you are bidding against that day.

Pretty much how I approach it.  I don't win very often either.  I generally leave my maximum bid and then forget about it.  Unfortunately, I suspect that many bidders don't consider the entire cost or they get caught up in auction fever.  Also, the shipping cost is a big unknown, so it's difficult to plan for.  Stout's shipping service packs stuff very well, but the cost has become ridiculous - not really their fault, but it is a major expense.  I've won a couple of small accessory lots where the premium, tax, and shipping cost as much or more than the hammer price.

FWIW

I "won" an auction there one time for the Lionel LCCA General and Texas set.  Here is what I paid:

Hammer price: $275

Buyer's premium: $52.25

Shipping boxes: $3.45

Material & Handling: $7.84

Shipping Cost: $31.51

So, for a $275 item, I paid a total of $369.85. 

My idea of a decent deal ended up not being one.

I'm amazed at how high the auctions go with such a fee at the end.

I have dabbled in Stout auctions over the years and and had only minor success until recently.  Mind you, in the past I was usually bidding on pre-war and post-war items but the last couple of times out I bid on a couple of modern era items and much to my surprise won both of them with what I felt were very moderate bids.  I did what I always have and placed my bids early then forgot about them until I received notices that I had won the auctions.  As one poster stated there are deals to be made on modern era items.

FWIW

I "won" an auction there one time for the Lionel LCCA General and Texas set.  Here is what I paid:

Hammer price: $275

Buyer's premium: $52.25

Shipping boxes: $3.45

Material & Handling: $7.84

Shipping Cost: $31.51

So, for a $275 item, I paid a total of $369.85.

My idea of a decent deal ended up not being one.

I'm amazed at how high the auctions go with such a fee at the end.

Stout is very up front about buyer’s premium cost. When you place an absentee bid, this is auto calculated and shown to you.

Shipping is the only unclear item which to me, their rates are not outragous unless the item is large or bulky. As previously stated, when bidding with any auction house, buyers premium and shipping cost must be considered when you place your bid.

Regarding comments about some of the crazy prices realized, keep in mind that these auctions are also live in person. People show up in person to bid and often there are dealers and resellers present. The buyers premium in person I think is 10% and if you have a resale license, there is no sales tax; and no shipping. Those buyers can afford to go higher than online bidders because they don’t have all the extra costs.

An example of a recent great buy I had was last October I won a bid for a Weaver brass Rio Grande 4-8-4.
Hammer price: $525
Buyer’s premium: $100
Shipping: $72

All said I was into it for just shy of $700 which was a deal considering the scarcity of this model. The previous chance I had to buy one was on Ebay: I chased it to $950 before dropping out because that was beyond what I was willing to pay.

While $72 feels steep for shipping, these days it really isn’t, especially for a heavy scale steam locomotive.

@Hudson J1e posted:

I just shipped a locomotive (no tender) to North Carolina and with $500 insurance it cost $58 from the UPS Store. I think $72 is not that bad considering it is a locomotive and a tender. Shipping isn’t cheap anymore.

I bought a 2 pack of Lionel 18” aluminum cars from a forum member a few weeks ago and the shipping estimate he got from Fed Ex was $85!!! Thankfully I was able to get a better deal through a friends’ business account with UPS, it was about half that.
Companies that ship a lot of packages get hefty discounts. The rest of us subsidize those low rates and the higher wages that workers at UPS and Fed Ex get these days.

@gunny posted:

to get back to the auction results how about five screw drivers for $ 2,100 DOLLARS hope they work good!

But they are AMBIDEXTROUS screwdrivers!

...Shipping is the only unclear item which to me, their rates are not outragous unless the item is large or bulky. ...

Something I learned on my last winning bid...  before I retired I used a PO box so that packages wouldn't sit on the porch, and Stout's still had it in their system.  When they sent me the shipping invoice, it was being directed to my PO box, and the cost was outrageous.  When I changed it to my street address, the cost was reduced by more than half.  The moral of the story is to not use a PO box for packages.

@Buco posted:

And what about that broken wheel puller that people were throwing good money at!!! Why would you want a tool that is broken, and can't be used for the purpose it was intended???

Seems there are a lot of "cashed-up" Lionel model train nuts out there.

Peter.....Buco Australia.

I wonder the same thing.  It was interesting that in today's auction (Ash Rajan's excess standard gauge), the last few lots went for low prices - I guess everyone was either tapped out or lost interest.

This issue comes up frequently on this forum and to me it comes down to your particular interest in the hobby. Some people collect high-quality prewar/postwar items v. those that would spend their dollars on modern equipment with all the bells and whistles. To each his own.

High quality or rare prewar/postwar items are difficult to find at train shows. When you come across them, the seller usually has an outrageous price. It is easier to locate the items online especially when there are many listed in one auction. My experience is that the items sold at auction houses, like Stout, go for a lesser amount, including fees and shipping. Just like any collectable, some items go for an incredible amount due to multiple bidders looking at an item they want badly or is rarely available for sale.

The tools are bought as collector's items, not to be used for repairs. I believe they were only available for dealers or service stations. Dealer displays as well. It is rare that they would survive and come into the hands of the public. 

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