Am new to buying used trains and need help and advice on a possible purchase. Would like to know a reasonable, fair price to expect to pay for a MTH Railking Strasburg #89 3-Rail 4-4-0 Steam Engine (2005, volume 1 catalogue #20-3172-1 with an original suggested retail price of $699.95) with 3 hours run time and fully functional. Also for a MTH 5-car 70" Madison Passenger Set: Strasburg RR (2005, vol.1 cat. #20-4072 with a SRP of $399.95). The 5 car set would be a separate purchase from the steam engine. I know by reading past forum posts that 50% of original cost is generally accepted as price to be expected; but are there reasons or instances (i.e. roadname, type of item, etc.) when an item's fair price/value would command prices exceeding that 50% threshold? Anyone think that is the situation for these two items? Thank you everyone for your enlightening feedback.

ogaugeguy

LCCA


 




Original Post

Check product availability on the MTH Product Locator.  That will give you an idea of scarcity.  You'd have to find a price point between $475 and $950 that you're comfortable with.  If possible, since not new, ask to see & run the item before buying.  Remember, an out of warranty repair is always a possibility for an MTH train, and that has to be a big factor in your pricing.

Remember, no matter how you slice it, it's still baloney.

Something else to consider is weather it is a dealer or a individual that is selling the item. Usually, you get a better deal from an individual, however a dealer may have gone over the item to insure that it is in good condition. You must weigh the facts. If it is rare and hard to come by, it may command a higher price due to supply and demand.

Frank

The MTH product locator indicates that no dealers have the locomotive in stock.  That doesn't mean that a dealer somewhere in this vast country doesn't have one, but it's sure going to be a bit of a hunt.

 

If you have actually seen that locomotive that you have your eyes on--the one with three hours of run time--you should be in a relatively good position to deal a bit with the seller. If the locomotive is really in like-new condition in all respects, and with just three hours of run time, I expect the seller would, rightly, be looking for something considerable in excess of the $350 that a 50%-of-MSRP would bring.

 

If I really wanted it; if the condition was like-new or better; and if I could not find it at a truly good price elsewhere, I probably would expect to pay around $550 or so.

 

There's a particular MTH GP diesel that I wanted and have been searching for for a long time.  It carried an MSRP of $300, as I recall, and I was willing to pay $450 or more for a new-in-box version.  Never had so much as a nibble in well over a year.  Which goes to show that some of these things can be quite elusive. 

You can use a search of your stock number and a choice of words until you find one or more in stock somewhere in the USA.

 

Sometimes internet hobby shops have not updated and you will need to contact them one by one via email or phone until there is one in stock.

 

If you do find one somewhere, have money ready for it.

 

Good luck!

 

Found

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MTH-Ra...;hash=item1e6b67b57e

 

I have ridden behind this engine (When it had a Cab 1223 attached) at times as a kid until it was retired and sent to Museum. It was one of my favorite engines because it ran very well for the time. Although for some reason it always stopped with the few passenger cars gently running in the slack in those days.

A living Steam Engine hauling a train with commerce, reaching across time and space; is a wonderful journey undertaken by Man.

 

A product of our fine College System that has been made redundant by imports of Foreign Workers willing to push a Keyboard for a living.

I would never pay more than 50%, but if you really want it figure out how much a circuit board repair would be, MTH experts could chime in on the price to repair PS2, $200 I would imagine, and go from there, the cars really have nothing to go wrong with them so no worries there, but still should be discounted.

Originally Posted by 400e:

I would never pay more than 50%, but if you really want it figure out how much a circuit board repair would be, MTH experts could chime in on the price to repair PS2, $200 I would imagine, and go from there, the cars really have nothing to go wrong with them so no worries there, but still should be discounted.

I'd say closer to $300 - new boards are at least $150, plus labor.

Remember, no matter how you slice it, it's still baloney.

Originally Posted by ogaugeguy:

Am new to buying used trains and need help and advice on a possible purchase. ... but are there reasons or instances (i.e. roadname, type of item, etc.) when an item's fair price/value would command prices exceeding that 50% threshold?

you need to take a step backward to see the forest for you've answered your own question.  put two or more people who are searching for a particular piece in the same room and you will typically only then discover the true value of an item.  the 50% figure is a modal average based on the glut of products on the market today.  every week i see C9-C10 MTH locomotives, likely bought by speculators, sell for a fraction of their original MSRP which is typically ~30% off to begin with.  if you merely want a locomotive in a general class, you can easily find 50% off bargains daily.  if you are searching for a particular piece, however, there is always the slim chance there is another modeler who's timing is fortunate enough to see the same offer.  i don't look around for much modern O these days, but when i do see a piece from any era that i've been searching for, it would certainly have the tendency up my interest and probably my proposed budget.

 

good luck with your search...gary

You're getting plenty of sound opinion on the topic, I think.  You're also fortunate to have the same engine up on E-bay currently that will provide an idea about the desirability of this item in the secondary market.  That auction has 9 bidders interested and the final price realized in that auction could be a fair barometer for your own buying consideration.

 

In my MTH Product Reference Guides, I note the limited availability of this particular set and have noted for a long time that the availability of the items as being "below average".  The full set of 9 cars can be a hard task to find in separate searches.

 

As for any hard rules about 50% of MSRP, that cannot be applied across the broad line of products MTH has made.  As Allan rightfully points out, his nemesis item (the RK Army GP-9) is indeed a tough item to locate and the few I've seen for sale have often gotten near MSRP or above.  These are the exceptions, but across the thousands of engines produced by MTH, several hold special interest to collectors/operators/searchers to pay very high/interesting prices.

 

Ultimately, it comes down to finding what you want and what you think is the fair price for your particular situation.

 

Sometimes "another one will come along" is the right tack to take, but sometimes it's not, but for the most optimistic or patient amongst us.

 

Good luck in the decision, as this is a nice engine and set.

Steve Glynn

Post
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330-757-3020

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