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Someone will probably tell me I already asked this, but I am an old fart with CRS, so it is just easier to ask for opines again.  When it comes to pricing of the add on passenger car or car sets for Lionel and MTH stuff,  what makes them so darn expensive?  Single cars that are not the 'set' versions where they use the same body and change color and road name, on epay, sell in the $200 range, and a boxed set of 2, $400 and up.  Is it the fact that the hobby is very limited to potential customers, and the cost of design, production, marketing, profit is divided up on the number of units made and the potential buyers out there?  Could it be that O gaugers no longer want the plastic window inserts  with the silhouette people, and want complete interiors?  Guess all that requires more hand work and thus more labor cost compared to putting a plastic boxcar on a frame.   I notice that Menard's has not come out with any passenger equipment yet.  It would be interesting if when they do, what their unit cost will be.

Last edited by CALNNC
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You didn't explicitly say this but are you assuming that the add-on sets aren't selling anywhere near what they should be (as a result of them being too expensive)?

As far as pricing strategy we can postulate all we want but I'm reasonably sure that none of us know precisely why any of our desired items are priced the way they are, except the manufacturers' marketing folks, and they never comment here.

We do, as a lot, generally think that they're priced too high though, always.  Such the nature of the Lionel brand, from day one.

Mike

I don't pay any attention to Lionel but since MTH announced their closing/reformulation/retirement/or whatever in July of 2020 the prices of passenger cars has risen a great deal.  Four or five car premier sets could be had for around $275 to $325 and two car sets were in  the $100 range.  Now mostly I just pass at current price levels.  It also helps that I already have a bunch of MTH premier passenger sets pulled by ABA F3's or E8's.

The more interesting thing is that one can still buy all the early MTH premier product NIB.  Occasionally I wonder just how much of the product actually ever saw track.

From bill:  "Occasionally I wonder just how much of the product actually ever saw track."    I buy used, almost exclusively,  When it comes to the passenger cars, Lionel or MTH, it is rare to see wheel wear indicative of any actual track time, unlike say a Lionel gondola from the '50's that has made some miles.  When I was on  a jag finding the Lionel beer and tobacco box cars, most must have been display, as many looked like the wheels never rolled on a rail.

Last edited by CALNNC

For perspective check out the recent Sam's Trains posting on YouTube about a recent Bachmann passenger car release.  He makes a convincing argument that given what is available there in HO, 90 pounds for a road unique passenger car is excessive.  Yet here $250 for generic O gauge passenger cars is becoming the norm.  Some of these O gauge cars are the same models produced 20 years ago, just with different paint slapped on them. 

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)
www.ogaugerr.com

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