Skip to main content

Wow.  I am really getting tired of seeing locomotives for sale on Ebay and other sites, that say the engine is in VG condition, runs great, but could use a good lubrication.

What in the heck is that suppose to mean?  Really, am I suppose to buy something that is grinding or peening itself to death?

Am I suppose to assume it hasn't already damaged itself?

Am I suppose to buy a "project"?

If you are in the business of selling used locos, and it needs a good lubrication, then lubricate it before you sell it.   If you don't know how, then go to Youtube, or ask somebody, and learn how.

How bout I run an Ad like this:   "2007 Toyota Camry for sale.  Runs great, but could use a good lubrication.  The oil is black as sin, and the front ball joints make a groaning noise every time you turn the wheel.   But Hey!  Don't miss out on this one!"

Mannyrock

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I see that phrase used a lot on the bay, "runs great but needs lubricated". I usually assume the worst.

I just bought two locomotives. One "like new" which actually was. And another the guy "bought for his grandkids and they weren't interested so light run time" and it needed about 30 qtips with alcohol to clean the filth from the wheels. Dirtiest locomotive wheels I've seen, but "lighty run".  It seems hit or miss.

Last edited by PRRick

There must be a translation reference for that auction site's seller descriptions. For myself, not being a US resident, I only use them for window-shopping these days. The overblown shipping costs alone drive me away, never mind a MTH (Rare!!!) caboose at an ask over $200, or questionable "TLC projects". I've honestly see better prices and shipping with retailers and private sellers on this here forum. Rant over, as you were.

OK guys, I get what you are saying...BUT would you rather the seller be honest about the condition...or try to take the locomotive apart without any idea of how it should work....oil it up with gallons of  WD-40 and then lard on some automotive grease that's been sitting open in the garage since 2004, then try to put it together again.  I'm no expert, but I'd RATHER do it myself.  Remember, you guys know what you're doing.  Most of the public (while maybe experts in their own field) have little idea of how toy trains are taken care of.  And remember, most people are honest...but if they do misrepresent what they're selling you do have recourse.  There are two sides to this question.

                                                                                                                                                     Logan

I usually seek these items out when the price is right since my skillset for fixing them is always growing (Thanks OGR! haha)

Missing parts usually scare me off though. Parts hunting isn't one of my favorite things to do because I do it quite a bit at work and it gets old having to learn part number schemes and whatnot. But I don't mind repairs in the basement, hanging with the dog, and a beer or six. That's not too bad at all.

Seems like some over-thinking, among the good points. I have been buying items, among them locomotives, on eBay since 1999, and have had almost entirely decent luck. Only one - one - overt engine misrepresentation, and even that was something I took care of.

Part of that is just blind luck, and my expectations are not for perfection, but I do avoid anyone who seems less than competent, uses overly bad grammar, and is incapable of taking good photos, intentionally or not. Rating must be 98% or better. It can still be a nerve-wracking experience - "all that money for a stupid toy and it comes in messed up!" - I've said a few times.

I would question the "needs lubrication" loco, also - but I might go for it if everything else in the listing looks really good and legit. If you are new at this "used loco" experience - I am not - then caution is always the way to go.

And -

In a response above: "runs great but needs lubricated". When did this get to be proper? I hear this ("needs restored" on old car and old house shows) regularly now. "Needs to be lubricated" or "Needs lubricating" are both proper English."Needs lubricated" is not. What does that mean?

@D500 posted:


In a response above: "runs great but needs lubricated". When did this get to be proper? I hear this ("needs restored" on old car and old house shows) regularly now. "Needs to be lubricated" or "Needs lubricating" are both proper English."Needs lubricated" is not. What does that mean?

This has been bugging me ever since I've lived in Pennsylvania 15 years ago.  I *think* this is some sort of grammatic colloquialism that originated in the PA hills, and has been gradually spreading over the past couple decades.  I've NEVER heard this in the earlier part of my adult life (90's 2000's) but hear it all the time now, mostly from East Coast / Appalachian folks, but I was surprised a couple weeks ago when one of our younger employees from Colorado said something like "that part needs fixed"

I guess Hamlet's question has been answered:  " *To be* or NOT *to be* "

Lots of folks are choosing " NOT *to be* ".  OR at least they're leaving it out of their lexicon.



And as for the OP's topic...I've bought several engines on eBay, knowing it was generally a crapshoot, and have been successful in getting them all to work properly with minimum effort.  Possibly luck, but (at least on PW stuff) there's just not that much that can actually be BROKEN.  The electronic modern stuff might have blown guts, but I bought a whole gob of PS1 boards a while back and in the single instance where a board wasn't going to work in an engine I bought, I just swapped it out for one of my spares.  "Needs lubrication" as a catch-all for "maintenance generally neglected" really doesn't scare me like it might have a year ago.

Last edited by Jeff_the_Coaster_Guy

This has been bugging me ever since I've lived in Pennsylvania 15 years ago.  I *think* this is some sort of grammatic colloquialism that originated in the PA hills, and has been gradually spreading over the past couple decades.  I've NEVER heard this in the earlier part of my adult life (90's 2000's) but hear it all the time now, mostly from East Coast / Appalachian folks, but I was surprised a couple weeks ago when one of our younger employees from Colorado said something like "that part needs fixed"



Not to get off-topic - and we shouldn't, much, I agree - that is interesting. I must admit for all of my 72 years on the Alabama Gulf Coast, I never, ever heard it, so we're innocent!

Having grown up around several of my Appalachian relatives, and having lived for 12 years at the foot of the Appalachians, I can tell you what is going on.

These folks know that  many of the things they say are grammatically incorrect.  But, they use the incorrect wording for Emphasis, with a bit of humor thrown in.   

For instance, "Ain't no way. Never gonna happen."

Or, "Where the heck is she at?"

Or, " I am stumpified by this problem."

Or,   "Don't never do that!"

Larry the Cable Guy, whom I can't stand, speaks like a normal person when he is not performing.  But, just listen to his Hillbilly sayings when he is on stage or in movies.

Mannyrock

When I read the subject line, I knew exactly what this thread was about.

Every time I see "...runs great but could use a good lubrication", I ignore the ad.

The phrase makes no sense.

Also, when the USAF moved me to Central PA 25 years ago (I stayed here after I retired because Gettysburg is close to York; but don't tell my wife), that is when I first heard "...that part needs fixed...". This is the only place I have heard this type of grammar, and I hear it a lot.

The whole issue goes back to the sign of the times.  Modelers are passing and the younger generation has little or no interest in these trains.  Most have no clue, they are either just the family selling off the deceased modelers estate, or flippers that bought it at auction and are trying to flip them for a profit.   Atleast, with pre and postwar Lionel, unless its just totally destroyed, they can be fixed and brought back from the dead lines if need be.  With the lack of train shows right now, this is one of the few means to grow ones collection.  Sometimes you hit the jackpot, sometimes you get the shaft and have to overhaul the loco to return it to operation.   But to some of us, me included, fixing up stuff is part of the enjoyment of vintage toy trains.   Use your best judgement and hope for the best is all you can do.  Don't let auction wording be the sole influence in your decision process.  If they posted good pics, look, look and look some more at them.  If the price is right, roll the dice or step away from the table.  It really is that simple.   Good luck and stay safe.   AD

If you *really* want to know . . . .

The lubricating in "needs lubricating" is a gerund, a verb in the same form as the present participle being used as a noun.   An equivalent phrase would be "needs oil."  In other words, a transitive verb + a noun acting as direct object.

The "needs lubricated" usage could be a case of eliding the "to be" = eliminating other helping verbs (e.g. "I seen") though this case is an infinitive rather than a finite helping verb being eliminated.  But I have another theory.

Since a gerund looks just like a present participle, it is subject to substitution in some American English dialects that blur the distinction between the present and past participles, using the one for the other.  These idioms are informal--colloquial or even slang--but common in those dialects.  I don't have a study to support my supposition, but this parsing seems to me to be the more likely possibility.

Exactly, Pete, for the right price on a given item, most will roll the dice if they are happy with what they see in the pictures.  I was the service tech for a local Lionel shop for many years.  So there isnt much that "scares" me when it comes to repairs or refurbuishing a model.  I in fact enjoy that facet the most.  I would buy a Pre/Postwar Lionel with that type of wording over a much newer model that was made overseas and has spend enough time in a box to need "lubrication".  Guess that just comes from growing up with that era and quality of train(just not during the actual golden age of the 50s).  I am more gun shy of anything with lots of electronics, diecasting from the far east, sealed motors and sketchy parts availablity.  AD

@PH1975 posted:

I think the only other adage that I haven't seen mentioned above is "SOLD AS IS - NO RETURNS."  That one is sure to inspire confidence about the item that's listed.

For those familiar with Ebay and its procedures, this language means little, because Ebay allows items to be returned in many circumstances, regardless of what the seller may say in his ad.

Everyone here thinks mostly of possible issues for the buyer, and warns against seller problems. However, having sold many items on the Bay over the years, there are definitely two sides to that story. The buyer's side contains its share of weasels operating out there as well!

That said, transactions on Ebay have been just fine overall in my experience. Someone above referred to buying on Ebay as a "crap shoot." I have not found that at all. I haven't keep track, but I know well over 90% of what I've bought has been just fine, and sellers very cooperative. And it's easy to return things that aren't right (including reimbursement for return shipping cost). I don't have any hesitations about buying on the Bay, although, I suppose like everything else, experience helps. Frankly, I don't think my percentage buying on the Forum Buy/Sell has been nearly as good.

Last edited by breezinup

breezinup - I appreciate your comments about the Bay, which I think - in part at least - is attributable to their 'ratings' system.  That's why many Sellers (on the Bay) emphasize why, if the Buyer purchases anything that appears to be not as advertised or with a problem, to contact the Seller asap so that hopefully the issue can be resolved to both parties' satisfaction, thereby avoiding the all-important 'negative feedback' for the Seller.

Also, like you, I haven't had any real bad experiences on the Bay; but then again - I'm a very cautious prospective buyer and carefully review everything the Seller says (and shows).  As far as the Forum goes, I'm a relative newcomer to it so I haven't bought (or sold) anything on it; but my wife already chides me that I've got too many trains! (lol) 

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×