I say it's just as important to know grading if you want to go by price guide. Those high prices ate often about quality rather than simply one that still exists. A "mint" C-9/C-10 may not even run....nobody knows; never got ran 😉

The SOLD ebay search is a pretty good reference though. Toss aside obvious lowballs and highballs and that's that.

TCA's site has a guide for grading pre-war and one for Post-war; no pricing. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I agree that the eBay "sold" search is the only price guide worth squat. Prior to eBay (around 1997), the so-called "price guides" were made up by 3 sources: dealers (who love to jack-up prices), publishers (who love to sell price guides with upgraded higher prices every 2 years), and "rich boy" vintage toy auctions. The other plus is that eBay shows you how many of item X has been sold over the past 3 months. That gives a decent idea of how common or rare a item is.

I also agree that in many cases the highest and lowest price not be figured into finding a "average" price. The highest is often a "bidding war", and the lowest can be a "Buy it now" that was set way too low. Also, make sure the condition of the item is factored in.

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