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I search on line for the road name I want, then cut paste the stock number and email my local brick and mortar guy: Ray at Trains on Tracks in Amherst, NH. There's no sales tax here so that's never an issue. Service is friendly and efficient. Since his orders come in a shipment direct to his store, there's no shipping if I run and pick it up. He has been the intermediary more than once on shipping stuff back to Lionel for warrantee work,  so I have never had to do it.

Ray got me a SD70MAC (MTH) last week for 14 bucks more than Muffins, but again, no shipping.....worth the one hour drive to his store. If you are fortunate enough to have anyone local, give them a try. I always strive to support locals!

I never give all my business to any one dealer.  On average I spend about $1500 per catalog. Sometimes more (2019- $3,500) , sometimes less (2023 V2-$500). I shop for the lowest overall cost and payment methods. Dealers that take PayPal are usually my primary stores as PayPal offers six months same as cash.  

@RixTrack posted:

Dealers that take PayPal are usually my primary stores as PayPal offers six months same as cash.  

For those that aren't familiar, when payment providers like PayPal offer a Buy Now/Pay Later option, the retailer (train shop in this case) gets all their money up front and isn't impacted by that option.

With how it seems so many products are delivered right at the same time, a payment plan that has no additional charge is a no brainer for large purchases.

@David_NJ posted:

For those that aren't familiar, when payment providers like PayPal offer a Buy Now/Pay Later option, the retailer (train shop in this case) gets all their money up front and isn't impacted by that option.

With how it seems so many products are delivered right at the same time, a payment plan that has no additional charge is a no brainer for large purchases.

I think you’re better off getting 2% cash back on your card than using this.

I base all my purchases on tax. Some dealers don’t charge tax to certain states and that’s why I use them.

I have been ordering Lionel engines from CharlesRo for many years, more years than I can remember. They always have the best prices for them, both for early-buy and stock in the store. I have had very few issues with engines I purchased from them over the years, and when I did, they immediately replaced them. As Dave 69 GTEL pointed out, some members of the staff can be a little rough around the edges, but they are still good people. Grzyboski's Trains is also a first class Lionel dealer. Their prices are a little higher than Charles Ro, but their customer service is second to none.

Pat  

@David_NJ posted:

I pre-ordered from both Charles Ro & Grzybowski's as they had the lowest prices. I found Grzy's prices even lower then Charles Ro for the items I was interested in. You need to contact Joe Grzy via phone or email for the pre-order price.

I believe shipping varies from Grzyboskis ,while Ro uses a flat rate based on price.

Buy from whomever you choose. There are lots of great dealers. Just a tip that sometimes shipping charges can effect the overall price, if it matters to you.

Really informative advice here.  And appreciate mention of 24 Feb as drop-dead date.  I ran out today and found catalog in first shop visited, along with an excellent Kalmbach book on cabooses not seen before.  A REALLY varied caboose book.

Actually I think Charles Ro upped their deadline to 2/29/24 now. But I will order a couple of days before that.

This will be my preorder at Charles Ro:

L2427650 L2427650 - HALLOWEEN WOOD PASSENGER 2 PACK A Price: $374.95 Qty: 1
L2427660 L2427660 - HALLOWEEN WOOD PASSENGER 2 PACK B Price: $374.95 Qty: 1
L2427670 L2427670 - HALLOWEEN WOOD PASSENGER 2 PACK C Price: $374.95 Qty: 1
L2426500 L2426500 - DR. ACULA'S BLOOD TONIC MILK CAR #1476 Price: $86.95 Qty: 1
L2426780 L2426780 - EERIE VISION N6B CABOOSE #103124 Price: $224.95 Qty: 1
L2429150 L2429150 - LENNY LAGER INDUSTRIAL WATER TOWER Price: $69.95 Qty: 1
L2428240 L2428240 - LENNY LAGER TANK CAR Price: $64.95 Qty: 1
L2435030 L2435030 - *HALLOWEEN TROLLEY Price: $125.99 Qty: 1
L2426340 L2426340 - MDT HOTBOX REEFER #6110 Price: $215.99 Qty: 1
L2422080 L2422080 - *AEC GLOW IN THE DARK SET Price: $839.99 Qty: 1
L2422089 L2422089 - *AEC SUPERBASS GP9B #1946B BTO Price: $419.99 Qty: 1

The Halloween stuff is for the Halloween Triplex I ordered. I had the Lenny Lager at the last LCCA convention and it was good beer. We toured the brewery where it was made and I bought a case of it.

The headline banner at Charles Ro says preorder deadline is 2/29/24 but I just found a topic here with a flyer from Charles Ro that says 2/15/24. So which one is it?



The headline banner at Charles Ro says preorder deadline is 2/29/24 but I just found a topic here with a flyer from Charles Ro that says 2/15/24. So which one is it?

See https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...9#183452410774420409

L2422080 L2422080 - *AEC GLOW IN THE DARK SET Price: $839.99 Qty: 1
L2422089 L2422089 - *AEC SUPERBASS GP9B #1946B BTO Price: $419.99 Qty: 1



This looks like a fun one that I ordered too.

@David_NJ posted:

See https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...9#183452410774420409

This looks like a fun one that I ordered too.

Yes I don't think you can go wrong with it. Did you also order the Super Bass unit? I thought I would really regret it if I didn't and eventually pay a premium for it on eBay, with no warrantee. I was interested in the set because I like the whimsical side of Lionel and I have quite a few of the AEC rolling stock as well as the 6-18583 Postwar Celebration AEC-57 Switcher and the 6-28527 AEC 2001 GP9. Both of them were TMCC and the GP9 glows in the dark. Although it is white and red and the new one appears to be a shade of mustardy yellow and red. I like it though. I think I like it better. I don't think it would work to lash them up because the speed steps are different for TMCC and Legacy. The TMCC GP9 also has a pullmore motor and it doesn't accelerate as sensitively as a Legacy pitman motor. I sure hope the set doesn't take too awfully long to get here and you enjoy it as much as I will!

Come to think of it that Super Bass is a BTO so I better order it by the 15th I guess.

Last edited by Dave 69 GTEL

This catalog presents a conundrum for me, so many items in the Christmas line, plus Milwaukee Road line, yet I am so much in debt from the past year (the year of horrendous sickness from Lyme disease) where I spent like crazy to the point my credit cards were smoking. Thus, it is coming down to a budgeting matter, how the heck can I pre-order and expect to pay what are high prices on top of debt that I need another 2 years to pay off. It'll come down to the wire...still time to figure things out...Feb. 29 is the deadline.

Last edited by Paul Kallus

Yes I don't think you can go wrong with it. Did you also order the Super Bass unit?

I decided to pre-order the set & also the SuperBass unit.
I don't have any other AEC engines/rolling stock but I'm now looking to acquire more.

On a livestream that Trainworld did with Lionel tonight, they said the AEC set was a popular pre-order for them.  Should be a lot of fun when it arrives.

@Paul Kallus posted:

This catalog presents a conundrum for me, so many items in the Christmas line, plus Milwaukee Road line, yet I am so much in debt from the past year (the year of horrendous sickness from Lyme disease) where I spent like crazy to the point my credit cards were smoking. Thus, it is coming down to a budgeting matter, how the heck can I pre-order and expect to pay what are high prices on top of debt that I need another 2 years to pay off. It'll come down to the wire...still time to figure things out...Feb. 29 is the deadline.

I know it's tough to say no to these beautiful trains but I would say that if you are still in debt to pay off the previous catalog order then it would best to skip this catalog entirely. This catalog is nowhere near as compelling as the 2023 Big Book was and there is going to be plenty of other catalogs. The 2025 should be a doozy and will be worth waiting for since it's the 125th year of Lionel.

@David_NJ posted:

Thanks again for everyone's input. I created a simple spreadsheet of the items I was considering and the prices from various online retailers that offered them as pre-order. The pricing here is just the pre-order price and doesn't factor in any shipping costs, taxes if applicable, your past purchase/post purchase experience, etc. There are additional retailers, but I only included those where I could get the prices from their website.

List price is what I got from Lionel's site. The Best price column was the cheapest price offered. The prices in red highlight which retailer had the lowest pre-order price. There is a difference that depending on your situation, warrants shopping around. I believe most of us will buy what we want or what our budget allows and with a difference of a couple hundred dollars for the list below, you might be able to get another item you might not have been able to justify.

Click the attachment shown after the post to open up a larger/clearer image of what I captured.

Not sure where you got $180 from, but I ordered the North Pole Central Speeder from Mario for $160,  and they ship for free

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