Where do you look for pre-owner rolling stock other than train shows or auction houses?
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Consignment shops, train stores when I can find one, TCA Interchange, and yard sales.
Google the manufacturer's name and product number. The search algorithm will locate whatever you're looking for wherever it is if any are available for sale. Just be careful with websites that have scraper bots copying listings from other websites and misrepresenting they have the items for sale. You usually can tell because the illegitmate websites have all sorts of unrelated merchandise "for sale".
What, me worry?
I'll second this. Bigger selection and better prices than anywhere else.
And if you don't find what your looking for at a particular price, it'll come along sooner or later. Plus you have buyer protection.
My hat is in the EBay ring also . I've had good luck with their buyer protection and good seller communication through the Bay.
Also a small local hobby shop has items coming in from train collections that are always good to go through . 🤓
I’ve bought most of my postwar collection through eBay. I live in southern Maryland so to travel to any of the larger train shows to shop for postwar throughout the year is a bit of a drive. Never had any issues with buying items through eBay. You just have to be an informed buyer and review pictures and details carefully. As others have stated if something does go wrong the buyer protection is excellent peace of mind.
Where ever I can find them. Got some great deals on Post War on eBay never any issues with any so far. In addition not exactly my LHS but got some really nice stuff from The Rail Yard in Roanoke VA, nice folks to deal with. Also picked up some stuff from follow forum members.
Where ever I can find them.
What Rick said! 👍
And honestly; for all the talk in this hobby of “great deals” on this or that, the reality is if I really want something, I’m not inclined to be anal about pricing so long as it’s still within my train budget.
Thank you all for your replies!
Train shows will be a major low cost place to buy and the purchase is between you and the seller. This gives you the opportunity to ask for a lower or his lowest price and barter. Just looking for any old car you also may get a real low price if you are at the show at closing time or the last day at closing time. This will work on local train shows. If you can attend some local train shows, put on by TCA etc., and get to know some sellers, you can often ask them if they have any trains for sale that the did not bring.
eBay is the opposite with one seller and hundreds of possible buyers. This means the buyer who has to have the train willing to pay more and you will have to out bid him. "Buy it Now" will offer a set price and may give you the chance to message him if he will accept a lower offer. This can happen but it is rare. On top of higher prices at eBay you have the cost of shipping and possibly being charged a higher sales tax rate you may have in your state to pay too. The selection is great on eBay though and Complete auctions can give the paid for price from a competitive action for reference
I have hundreds of trains and only have a few purchased on eBay. A few have come from garage sales and a given free by acquaintances looking for a good home for their unwanted trains.
While working overseas I looked in the newspaper for sale ad section and saw some ads for "trains wanted to buy". I called and asked a guy named Dave if he had some trains for sale. He did and bought trains, track, Marx switches, engines, cars, LW transformers, etc. from him on every trip home to my parents house in Pittsburgh. That is another way.
You might be surprised what Facebook Marketplace has locally. Then you can skip any shipping costs. I found someone 2 miles from my house selling a bunch of O gauge.
If you do buy where shipping is required, then get a few items to lessen the shipping hit.
Mainly Auctions, Yard Sales, Antique Stores, and Flea Markets
there's the For Sale forum here, Ebay, Trainz, and if you live in the Northeast there are plenty of train shows and most local hobby shops will carry some.
If you are a member of TCA then you an access their classifieds/
The forum we are on. Facebook marketplace and some groups that allow selling . Several antique malls around my area have booths with nothing but trains and usually very good prices considering there is no shipping and I can see the actual condition of the item