The market for operator-grade post war Lionel has plunged. Has the same thing happened to same-grade Flyer? I don't have a good historical frame of reference to know "what was" versus to what it is now.
Original Post
I have noticed this too. The exceptions seem to be the UP, MoPac, SP, NP Passenger sets and some Mikados and Pacifics but in unrun condition. Common Gilbert Flyer seems to fall into this category as well unless mint with an original box. As a result, I've scaled back my purchases of new Flyonel and only look at semi-rare Gilbert items that aren't beat to death. For example, why buy a Flyonel Christmas boxcar at $50+ when in a year or so you'll be able to get it for $29.95 never opened?
Absolutely. I have items for sale on the Buy/Sell board and have them priced below guide values and I've not even had an offer. I have some collector grade scarce items in top condition listed at below market, and again, no takers and no offers, not even a complaint. Most common items that used to bring about $20 to $35 if clean are now sitting. Take a 922 Box car for example. In clean used condition this car was always worth a minimum of $35 on up to $45, evidently not any more. The 947 Reefer car was always sought after because of its handsome looks. Typically you could easily sell one for $55 to $65 if it was clean. I have one for sale for $45 and no takers. In reality, now is the time to buy because prices are low. Even larger sought after items can be purchased at very reasonable prices with little patience.

I have notice this also at some train shows. Not everyone but some sellers have scaled back their prices. I recently picked up a Die Cast Lehigh Hopper car for only $50.00. Graphics were good and the hopper doors were there but it had been dropped at some time in the past and two steps were off and the there was a small crack in the end. Nothing that I could not repair and now I have a beautiful less common car running in my all link coupler coal train.
Isn't that what "supply and demand" is all about?

If you're onto this hobby for the $, then sure,it may not be a good thing, though I see non Flyer stuff (SHS, American Models, etc.)commanding pretty high prices on eBay.

I'm sure things will change at some point; in the meantime,I'll take advantage of these "lower" prices, pick up a few items, and just enjoy them.

After all, they're supposed to be toys,right?

Mark in Oregon
Mark, you're exactly right. It's only painful when you're switching from one gauge to another like I'm doing. Frown The day of buying trains for investment and resale is way behind us.

I've also noticed the higher prices of non-AF items since I'm replacing my O trains with "S" trains. AM, SHS, SSA and PRS kits are all bringing really strong $$$ currently. "S" brass is down just like brass in the other gauges.

I hope the current high prices for non-AF items is due to more converts coming into "S" instead of panic buying because of the interruption of new product by Sanda Kan. That will pass.

About the only time I do any serious selling is at the Chicago S Fest, where I sell off what I consider to be excess. I usually price things to move, and they usually do.

At the last Chicago Fest, what was interesting was I had my (low mileage) AF C&O passenger set for sale with an extra coach, and someone bought a set from another vendor without an extra coach for a higher price. Go Figure...

Maybe he didn't like the fact that I had taken mine out of the box and run it. Plus, I had a photo of the set posed on my layout and I guess I stole its soul... Big Grin

Doesn't matter, I decided the set is really attractive and decided to keep it.

About the only time I do any serious selling is at the Chicago S Fest

Whoa! "Back up the trolley" as old Tim Tayler used to say. What Chicago "S" Fest? I'm not familiar with the Chicago "S" Fest only the Chicago March Meet which is strictly O scale. There's an "S" Fest that meets in Chicago yearly too! Please tell us more Rusty.


S Fest occurs in the fall, anywhere in the October-November range. The S Fest is sponsored by locals clubs and rotates between Chicago(CASG,) Milwaukee(Badgerland,) Beloit/Rockford(State line) and St. Louis(AFSGSLA.)

For 2011 it was in St. Louis, 2012 will be in Milwaukee, 2013 in Chicago and 2014 in St. Louis again and so on.

All these clubs are more or less Flyer oriented and the Fest reflects that fact. However, scale can be found along with having manufactures and dealers under one roof. You never know what you'll find.

Someone once mentioned that S Fest more like a family reunion and I would have to agree.

Thanks Rusty, I didn't know if maybe there was a different "S" train show in Chicago. I was aware of the St.Louis "S" Fest this past year and attended my only "S" train show in Waukesha about 10 years ago. I'm assuming the Waukesha show must have been put on by the Badgerland club.

But, I didn't realize the "S" Fest rotated between only four cities with Chicago being one of them. I just thought it bounced around the country like the NASG Nationals. This is good news for me as it keeps the show in the mid-west and makes it easier to attend since I'll be coming from OKC now.

Thanks for enlightening me!

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