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It just occurred to me that now may be a good time to sell some trains. (I have never sold any trains even though I have been in the hobby for almost 70 years..

Lionel's recent big price increases, especially for the MTH trains and tooling Lionel recently acquired from MTH, might just increase the demand for the trains we already have, and increase the prices we might get for them on the market.

Do you agree?

Do you think now is a good time to sell trains? If so, why?

If you plan to sell, how are you going to do it? On e-bay, on the Forum, at train shows at an auction, or some other way, or all of the above?

If so, what are you going to sell, and how will you determine the sales price?

After some Forum members have had a chance to post replies, I will start giving my  answers to the above questions.

Arnold

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Arnold, I have sold numerous trains over the years, both engines and cars.  I have sold HO and N scale trains mostly on e-mail groups in the days before good forums like this were in use or that I knew about.  I have sold a number of engines and cars right here on this forum.  They have been items, that didn't fit my changing interests and ones that I sold to buy something better.  I like places like this where you know a lot of the folks, and are treated honestly since no one wants to risk being black balled.

As far as a good time to sell, I'm not good at judging that.  It is true new engines and cars are pulling hefty prices in some instances, so the used market which seems to have inflated may gain a few dollars.

I have been thinking of selling my MTH Premier PS2 Western Maryland Shay for quite a while.  I bought it used, so I know what it can go for used, and that helps determine the price.  I have very little that I bought brand new, so this method is what I usually use to determine price.  I also have several Atlas O 2-bay hoppers in Western Maryland oxide red, that I am gong to sell as soon as my back gets a little better so I can dig the boxes out of the closet.  The detail on them is superb, but being diecast, they are very heavy.  It isn't a problem normally, but with 4% grades, I need my double header and pusher to push a train of them and a few plastic cars.  Now that I increased the number of MTH and Lionel cars that are almost as detailed, I am willing to part with the heavy cars; in fact that was the plan all along when I had the opportunity to purchase several more of the plastic cars.

I'll be intersted in seeing what some others have to say as well.

I've sold a few items over the years. I probably have more that I could get rid of too.

I've used both ebay and the forum. Ebay now requires you to give too much personal financial info to be a seller IMHO. My wife was selling a lot of household items until they changed the rules. Too bad because the house was getting cleaned out.

Any future sales will be listed here. As to timing? I don't think it will make a huge difference in $$$$.

Bob

Seems like a great market to sell in now, judging from the prices I’ve seen while looking for a few items. However, like you Arnold, I’ve never sold anything and have done a pretty good job of restricting purchases to the few road names that I allow myself.  I do have a number of rolling stock/engines that were given to me or purchased before imposing such restrictions and I may try selling them in the future as my collection keeps growing, but for now they remain on my display shelves as wonderful pieces of art.  Better yet, now that we’re empty nesters, I have three more rooms that can be filled with either more train shelves or my new retirement layout (to be started next year), so why even bother!

Not sure how many of you are on Facebook, but they have various marketplaces that can sell on. There is also a Lionel collectors group that people sell on too. There is probably a group for everything.

You can sell and meet in a public place or through the mail.

Train shows and flea markets might be a good outlet too depending on how much you have to sell.

EBay is no fun anymore but you can still reach the largest audience.

Of course, shipping costs are another topic.

I have bought and sold a lot of trains over the last 20 years as I moved from post-war Lionel > modern traditional (mostly MTH Railking) > semi-scale > scale 3R.  As I rightsized my collection about 3 years ago, I sold all the extra stuff before Covid.

When I first started selling stuff, I sold a lot on e-bay and a decent amount here on the For Sale sub forum.

For the average Joe, I think shipping has gotten prohibitively expensive.  When I had my last selling binge, 3 years ago, I ended up selling a bunch of stuff on Craigslist and a couple of the local phone Apps.  I actually preferred selling this way as I no longer had to pack stuff for shipping and pay shipping costs.  The other benefit was that buyers could see the products.  These days I think I would still sell locally, if possible, probably adding Facebook Marketplace to the mix.

On the other hand, as a buyer, I'm looking forward to this October's York.  It's fun to walk around and try to fill a few small holes in my collection.

Jim

@Sean007 posted:

Not sure how many of you are on Facebook, but they have various marketplaces that can sell on. There is also a Lionel collectors group that people sell on too. There is probably a group for everything.



Of course, shipping costs are another topic.

Sean, I have bought and sold on the FaceBook MTH Buy, Sell, Trade group with good success.  I know a number of people on there and know pretty much who to deal with.  One of the admins lives not far from me, and they do a good job of handling guys who cause trouble for honest buyers and sellers.  In fact, I just purchased a great looking Premier caboose for a young modeler with great credentials.  Also, there is a nice group of Admins from a number of O gauge FB groups who have their own group to pass along word on bad apples, then each group decides how to approach trouble makers.  I am on that since I am an Admin on Harry Henning's O Gauge Tips and Tricks Group, which BTW doesn't allow selling.

@jd-train posted:


For the average Joe, I think shipping has gotten prohibitively expensive.  When I had my last selling binge, 3 years ago, I ended up selling a bunch of stuff on Craigslist and a couple of the local phone Apps.  I actually preferred selling this way as I no longer had to pack stuff for shipping and pay shipping costs.  The other benefit was that buyers could see the products.  These days I think I would still sell locally, if possible, probably adding Facebook Marketplace to the mix.

Jim

Sean and Jim, yes shipping can be an issue these days.  When selling an engine, I have started running pricing scenarios with USPS, UPS, and FedEx this last year.  Craigslist hasn't been as beneficial here, away from a metropolitan area as it could be if you are in a larger metropolitan area.  Still, there are buyers out there, and I have tried it.  I may be trying it more in the future.

Like a lot of folks, I'm done selling on ebay.  I'd rather take less money than deal with it.  Craigslist has been a waste of time.  In my area, it seems like Craigslist is for bottom feeders who are looking for free ____.  I'm not on Facebook or I'd try Marketplace.  I was going to set up an idle FB account but if you try that, they throttle your account and you don't get access to Marketplace.  So OGR it is!

I sold some stuff here on OGR last fall.  I was happy with the results.  For me it's about getting rid of stuff.  I don't expect profit.  Just like most things in life, if you make money on the sale, it's because you bought it cheap!  I mostly determine sale price by checking the sold listings on eBay and then knock off a few bucks.  Sometimes I just know what things go for.

The mail was a disaster last year so I didn't use them.  The UPS Stores near me are a rip-off (UPS Stores are franchises).  FedEx has been my go-to shipper.  Since their stores are all owned by FedEx, their online shipping calculator is accurate to the penny.  In my OGR listings, I ask folks to send me their zip code.  I can quote the shipping to the buyer and be accurate.

It does seem like a strong market right now.  This fall (train season) I'm going to sell off a bunch of modern Standard Gauge.  That's going to be a bear to ship (840 Power Station! ).

I’ve sold on the Bay, here on OGR and at train shows. I’ve learned to be pessimistic about what I get for my stuff. I mark down my used stuff to move it: I KNOW I’m going to take a beating when I sell stuff.  Still, it seems that people think that I’m selling crap, even when I try to be as honest as I know how.

I have learned to hate the packing and shipping. The (censored) at the Bay’s web site make me list shipping costs at far less than it actually costs to pack and ship cars and locomotives cross-country.  I end up losing more money there, too.  I resent the xxxx out of that.

shipping is also a trial, even when I don’t use the Bay. I am convinced that whoever designs shipping size algorithms design them with malice aforthought.

some people might suggest that I ought to try train show flea markets.  Those same naifs should try selling their stuff where I live. I live in Texas, I am backdating my rolling stock from the late 50’s and the 1960’s to the 1930’s and early 1940’s and, since I have an interest in New England stuff, most of what I have gathers dust.

I did do surprisingly well at the 2021 National O scale convention. I bought a table at the last minute (which set me back far less than p&h for the stuff I sell through ads) and was surprised and pleased at how much stuff I sold, even though most of it was three-rail and not two.

it is tempting, so very tempting, when I get ready to get rid of stuff, to scribe and sandpaper the car and locomotive sides to destroy the collectibility value before giving the trains to charity or putting it in the trash.

The last sale I made on EBay was shortly before Christmas last year and don’t have any plans to sell there any more as shipping has become outrageous and the fees really eat into things.  Fortunately, the only items I have left to part with I can probably do better on Craig’s List, the local club meet or here on the forum.  (BTW: I understand that if your EBay sales exceed $600.00 for the year, it’s now reported as income for tax purposes)

No.  I used to set up in local shows and Wheaton primarily to get "first grabs" for what l was looking for, and sold a little doing that.  Then l discovered  the Bay and sold a lot and bought a lot, and LOVED it.  You could walk a million shows looking for something , never find it, and there it was on the Bay!  But then BIG BROTHER came in, ownership changed, PayPal was imposed, (which l THEN thought was invasive..worse now?) and l stopped selling on the Bay.  Shipped a lot , almost  all old, used, l picked up,  by UPS out of local warehouse doing that.  That shipping has soured?  Only thing l sold on here was in response to a "wanted" posting, and l, unaware then of scammers offering stuff they didn't have, was offended by the third degree, so will, if sell again, revert to local shows, if they recover from the plague.  Or auction house. Amazing how somebody always ruins a good thing.

This is one of the hardest issues I have to deal with right now.  I know I am not going to live for ever and that for my estates sale I must start to reduce the mountains of trains and train related stuff I currently have.  I just am having trouble pulling the trigger.  Each train has specific and special memories.  Maybe at one of the shows this fall.........

Rolland

I sell very little O gauge stuff, but I have sold lots of HO, as well as loads of diecast cars and other toys. I usually use Craigslist and Facebook. I have also set up at train and toy shows. The problem with shows is that once I do the work to set it all up, I really, REALLY want to sell. I often take far less than I should, just to make things go away. On the upside, that often leads to bulk sales, and I do love seeing empty totes on the ride home.

@Mark Boyce posted:

NECRails, Rolland, Chris, and everyone else, How do we get ourselves in this predicament in the first place?? 

Don’t know about anybody else, but for me, collecting really was therapeutic. Helped me through some tough times. Now, I just look to sell things I don’t use or display. The trick is to sell more than I replace, because I am not done shopping yet.

Ok, what is the lowest price that is worth your time and trouble to sell?  Do you sell $10 items?  $15?  $15 plus shipping is pretty steep for common items in my experience.  Maybe my time is worth more since I am still working.  I figure that if I paid 35 for an item, and it is now worth only 15, I got my use and forget it, you c an waste more on an overpriced dinner out. I am not a big garage sale person either, just take it to goodwill to start.  Just my opinion I guess.

I buy and buy.  Have passed a few things down the line to younger family members and recently (last week) sold one tender to a TCAA member on this forum.  I dread using eBay for reasons expressed here and hope for a huge train show somewhere near Phoenix this fall.  I am stuck with big items I think, but anything that can fit into a Flat Rate USPS box I can deal with.  I have a few scale engines and original tin Lionel buildings, bridges too, and a few items from Roger Morris...none of which will fit into a USPS box.  Gosh knows what will happen when my ride stops.  To wb47's point, Garage Sales are out...Goodwill also, and I do know of a Train Club down at the Rail-road Park in Scottsdale...maybe I should climb onboard.

Over the last 6 years I've sold 7 locomotives and 2 freight car sets. In the past, I didn't want to take the time to sell individual cars. However, my last sale was through Mr. Muffins auctions. It's easy; pack them up and ship them. No need to stage the items for pictures. So, when I'm done selling locomotives and car sets, I may pack up 2 or 4 cars at a time and send them to Mr. Muffin.

@Mister_Lee posted:

I’ve sold on the Bay, here on OGR and at train shows. I’ve learned to be pessimistic about what I get for my stuff. I mark down my used stuff to move it: I KNOW I’m going to take a beating when I sell stuff.  Still, it seems that people think that I’m selling crap, even when I try to be as honest as I know how.

I have learned to hate the packing and shipping. The (censored) at the Bay’s web site make me list shipping costs at far less than it actually costs to pack and ship cars and locomotives cross-country.  I end up losing more money there, too.  I resent the xxxx out of that.

shipping is also a trial, even when I don’t use the Bay. I am convinced that whoever designs shipping size algorithms design them with malice aforthought.

some people might suggest that I ought to try train show flea markets.  Those same naifs should try selling their stuff where I live. I live in Texas, I am backdating my rolling stock from the late 50’s and the 1960’s to the 1930’s and early 1940’s and, since I have an interest in New England stuff, most of what I have gathers dust.

I did do surprisingly well at the 2021 National O scale convention. I bought a table at the last minute (which set me back far less than p&h for the stuff I sell through ads) and was surprised and pleased at how much stuff I sold, even though most of it was three-rail and not two.

it is tempting, so very tempting, when I get ready to get rid of stuff, to scribe and sandpaper the car and locomotive sides to destroy the collectibility value before giving the trains to charity or putting it in the trash.

Mister Lee, I recently sold some Atlas cars on eBay for a friend who doesn’t have an eBay account. What my friend I did with the shipping was we boxed up the item and got a quote online going from NJ to CA. Then in the auction we specified that as the shipping cost. This way the eBay calculator didn’t screw us. However, on one auction a person on the East coast bought something so being the honest nice person that I am I gave the guy a refund in the difference between what he paid and the actual shipping. I called eBay to learn how to give a partial refund and they showed me but I also learned that if you do give a partial refund you don’t get back the eBay fees which are 15% so we lost (I think) it was $1.78. Lesson learned next time I give the partial refund I will give it minus 15%. Anyway, point of the story is yes the eBay shipping calculator stinks and don’t use it but specify a worst case shipping amount so you don’t get screwed.

@RLaHaie posted:

This is one of the hardest issues I have to deal with right now.  I know I am not going to live for ever and that for my estates sale I must start to reduce the mountains of trains and train related stuff I currently have.  I just am having trouble pulling the trigger.  Each train has specific and special memories.  Maybe at one of the shows this fall.........

Rolland

Rolland, I am very sentimental and I suspect you are too, which can be a very good thing for a lot of reasons I won't go into here, but which can make it very difficult to sell any of  one's trains.

As I've mentioned before, I have never sold a single train related item.

Rockyroad,

We sell on our website and on eBay. We turned off our auction site last year and no longer offer a platform for individuals to sell their own items. We do buy collections all over the country.

Scott

Scott, I bought one thing from your company that I am thrilled with, and I will be eternally grateful for it.

The item was a set of Kramer Products (long out of business) O Scale metal baseball figures. I remember sending an email to you/your company making a inquiry if you had these figures, and 6 months later getting a reply email that you tracked them down and had them, and for a very reasonable price. I bought them on-line immediately and got them in the mail in 2 days.

I highly recommend Scott and TrainZ, especially for hard to obtain items. Your follow up is amazing, and I assume, based on my very positive experience, that everything you/your company does is first rate. Arnold

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