Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

So, do you get anything from estate sales?

1914 views
28 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,473 posts
So, do you get anything from estate sales?
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, September 15, 2019 6:45 PM

The lady of the house went out with a friend today.  They were, of course, looking for household items and jewelry, but it got me thinking.

I've bought a couple of estate sale items on eBay.  The first was an observation car that finished off my set of old metal streamliners, and the second a set of new-in-the-box Walthers Type 21tank cars. 

I felt a special attachment to these.  I wanted to make the former owner proud of where his items ended up, so I made sure they were in proper adjustment and the observation car got Kadees and was painted to match my passenger consist.

How about you?  Have you acquired estate sale items?  Are they somehow just a bit more special than some off-the-shelf item?

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 5,303 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, September 15, 2019 8:20 PM

I love going to estate auctions. I do not think I have bought any model railroading items at these sales. I am looking for tools, anitques, and china sets.

.

I only buy at about one out of every ten estate sales I got to, but I have fun bidding.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 5,633 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, September 15, 2019 8:35 PM

I bought a CMR turntable from the son of a MR on Ebay.  I wondered how he would pack it to protect it.  He put it in a box stuffed with plastic grocery bags.  Parts came unglued and after I complained, he made a satisfactory adjustent in price and commented that his dad had problems getting engines to run on the bridge.

At the time CMR used pickup from ball bearing wheels, transmitted thru brass tubing axles, to which a feeder to the track was soldered.  The was no continuity between the axles and the ball bearings on one side, so one rail was dead.

I did figure out how to install a wiper and get it working again.   In that sense, it is special.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 9,617 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:16 PM

I recall going to an antique auction with my wife and some in-laws...not sure if it was for an estate or merely a house-cleaning, and was there when the auctioneer was about to offer a cardboard box-full of some brass locomotives. 
Being a novice at such a gathering, I held back to see where the prices were going, and since I felt that the offers were unrealistically low, jumped in, and without too much effort, ended up as the winning bidder.  I was shocked and embarrassed when the auctioneer asked me to pick out the one that I wanted - all along, I had thought that I was bidding on the box-load, not just one loco...my bid would have been a steal for the box-full, but was outrageous for a single locomotive.  I politely declined...but of course, I still get reminded of my faux pas by those who were there.

I would guess that a fair amount of my railroad collection has come from estate sales, as the hobbyshops which existed in this area (they're all gone now) all had "used" items for sale.  That's not to say that they were definitely from an estate, but at least two of those shops actively courted estate lots.

I've been in the larger one several times when an estate lot had just come in, and the owner was cataloging the items.  On at least one occasion, he commented that the lot exceeded $100,000.00 in cost to him, and I'm certain that he had no intent to move the myriad of items at that price.  I'm sure that such practice more than payed the bills for running that store.

A couple of years ago, a friend was visiting and we decided to drop in at a nearby hobbyshop, about 5 minutes drive from here.  There was all the usual used stuff around, but some more interesting items in the owner's office.

Among them was a Toby brass model of a CNR Northern, and my friend, an avid fan of the CNR, was immediately interested. 
The tender had some minor damage, but the underside of the loco had a plate attached, identifying the person who did the custom paint job.  I won't name him, but he's well known in southern Ontario, and has been featured in MR more than once.
Tentatively, my friend asked the price (I had already told him that the tender could be repaired), and he was stunned to hear that it could be his for $150.00.  He already had one or two of these older, but very well-built locomotives, but the price was too good to pass up. (He had payed close to four figures for the ones he had.)
Also part of the lot included a couple of older Westerfield freight car kits, unbuilt.  I was interested in one, a Dominion-Fowler boxcar, and asked the price.

"Gotta take 'em both!" was the owner's reply.  Well, I really didn't want the second car, an older-style N&W hopper, so I mentioned that it might be of interest to someone else, and that I really wanted only the boxcar.  "Well", he said, "the boxcar is ten bucks..." "Sounds good!" I said, but he continued, "...but you can have 'em both for $9.00!"
Still not really wanting the hopper, my friend, his credit card in hand, interjected, "He'll take them both!" (He was worried that the owner had erred on the price for the locomotive, and wanted to get going before he changed his mind, I think.)

Anyway, as we left, my thought was to build the hopper for my friend, as a token of appreciation for him buying the two cars.  That later changed when I had a lot of difficulty assembling the cars - not that they were complicated, but they were very old, and the resin castings, especially those for the hopper, were impossibly brittle...even shaving-off flash or attempting to drill holes for grabirons would cause a part to break.  The assembly sequence specifically mentioned that the modeller should not drill holes for grabirons, noted only after I had run into such difficulties.
I did manage to finish both cars, but the hopper is more suited to my era than it is to my friends more modern layout, so I opted to keep it....it's still very fragile.

In return for his generosity, I repaired the loco's tender, then suggested a full repaint for both tender and loco.  While the plate showing the custom painter might have been considered a plus, the model had obviously been well used and the custom weathering (which at one time I admired so much) was definitely from another era, and I did re-do the paint and weathering, in addition to some minor mechanical adjustments.

The same shop ower later twigged us onto another estate sale, not through his store, but more-or-less for preferred customers only....almost one of those knock twice, and say the password kind of surreptitious rendevous.  We got a partial list of what was on offer, and a 'phone number.
I learned that the deceased was someone I had know casually, and his daughter and her husband were the ones doing the selling. 
We called, and arranged to visit.  Most of what was available were brass steam locomotives, my friend's favourite, and, luckily for him almost all CNR.
There was a large pile, in boxes, available to browse, and an equally large pile which had already been spoken for by an earlier shopper.

My friend bought, I think, either five or six locomotives, mostly large ones, while I bought one, a TenWheeler very similar to this one, which I already had...

I intend to re-work it to represent a very specific CNR 10 Wheeler which looks quite different...so much so, that the tender will be scratchbuilt.

Because I was going to be the one to paint all of my friend's recent purchases, he offered to buy another loco of my choice, and I opted for one like the one shown below...

For my friends loco, shown above, I rebuilt it a couple of years ago, replacing the original motor with a can motor, added a new NWSL gearbox, and all-new drivers from Greenway (the original ones were literally falling apart due to zincpest).

All of the locomotives available were at realistic prices - not cheap, but not expensive either, as the family had taken what mementoes they wanted, and were eager to get rid of the rest, hopefully to good homes.  I would guesstimate that there were perhaps 150-200 brass locomotives.
Among them were three of these....

...all factory-painted and all the same number...beautifully-detailed and superb runners.  My friend payed close to $2,000.00 for the one shown, while the three on offer were going for $850.00 each.

I've already started modifying the Mogul, but it too will need a scratchbuilt tender, as I'm modelling another very specific CNR loco with which I became acquainted roughly 65 years ago. 
I have a photo of it in a book, and it was in newspapers of the day, none of which I have permission to use here.

Instead, this photo, which I took of a mural not too far from where the incident occurred so long ago, will have to suffice...

While this view was originally done as a photograph of the incident, at least one other photo, from a different perspective, shows a crowd of onlookers, among them what appears to be my mother, my younger brother in arms, and me.

My version of that Mogul will be what it looked like after it was rebuilt, as I have photos from which I can work.

I'm sure, too, that much of the stuff I see (and occasionally buy) at train shows is material from various estates.  I often see the same sellers, usually older men, likely friends of the deceased, at show after show, almost always with the same stuff, over-priced, perhaps by the original owner or perhaps by the widow, or maybe by the friend.  Sad to see.
 
I hope that if my friend is the one selling mine, or me selling his, that the prices will be similar...not too cheap, but not too expensive either...the hope is that they'll go somewhere where they're appreciated, but, in truth, we have little control over even that.

Wayne

 

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • 229 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, September 15, 2019 10:24 PM

Yep, if being Motive Power or Rolling Stock, it will becomes a special piece of equipment in someway. Buildings/Industry will take on the name of the previous owner if known, as in (Scott) Scott's Feeds, (Martin) Martin Scrap Yard, (Jack) Jackson Coal Yard, (Ruppert) Ruppert Furniture Manufacturing Co.    

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
  • 7,923 posts
Posted by IRONROOSTER on Sunday, September 15, 2019 11:51 PM

I bought 2 Roundhouse 4-4-2 kits from a guy that was selling trains at show for his late friend's widow. 

The actual estate sales I have been to have not had any trains I considered worth buying. 

I see a few trains at antique stores occaisionally that may have been from someone's estate, a few of these I have bought.

None of these are special because I don't know the guy who owned them.  So they are like any other old NIB trains I have bought.

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 6,970 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, September 16, 2019 1:33 AM

Yes.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,977 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, September 16, 2019 4:51 AM

Over the years I have bought several cars,locomotives,structures etc from estate sales including some at auction.

The best auction bid was $33 and some change for a carboard  flat box of Athearn BB locomotives containing 3 SW7s, 4 GP7 and 2 SD9s all lightly detailed and lettered for Ohio Midland. I also got the six OM  Roundhouse two window cabooses  for a bid of $15.00 (the only bid) I stated high because I wanted those cabooses. Those cabooses had marker lights and glass in the windows. 

I never did repaint those engines and cabooses as I planned on doing.

 

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,066 posts
Posted by dknelson on Monday, September 16, 2019 11:04 AM

Deleted a duplicate posting.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 10,066 posts
Posted by dknelson on Monday, September 16, 2019 11:04 AM

I have been to two remarkable estate sales that featured model train stuff.  The first was at the home of the late Art Curren, the master kitbasher who wrote articles for RMC and MR and wrote a great book on kitbashing for Kalmbach.  My friends bought some of his structures at the sale.  I bought a bag of leftover parts from his various projects (including bits of one of his favorite kits for raw materials, LifeLike's Mt Vernon Mfg.).   I have plans for the parts.

The other estate sale was a couple of years ago.  The man's name was Larry Penn and his daughters were selling off the entire contents of his house.  I was mostly interested in the HO trains.  This guy was a real craftsman who improved difficult craftsman kits and did a great job.  I bought some freight cars - a little early for my era -- but mostly what I wanted was his huge stash of detail parts, castings, hardware, and tools.  I also bought some books.  He had a huge collection of old magazines but they smelled so strongly of "damp basement" that I passed.  Too bad as there were some rarities and all were neatly organized.  In fact everything he owned was neatly organized.

His layout was all hand laid (brass) track but was no longer operable and had never been scenicked.  

I could tell from the packages that he and I patronized the same hobby shops and I wish I had met him.  But I suspect he might not have wanted to meet me in my business suits and ties.  I learned from his daughters that he was a far left wing political operative, labor activist and organizer.  Truck driving was his occupation.  Some pretty inflammatory political pamphlets were in his basement.  He was also a singer and surprisingly famous folk songwriter, and many of his songs were about trains.  One was about John Allen's Gorre & Daphetid!  (contrasting it with the exploitation of workers on "real" railroads).  I ended up buying one of his recordings from the daughters.  I also tried to help them out with pricing because they really did not know trains at all.  Some they had wildly over priced, some they had wildly underpriced.  

Here is perhaps his prettiest and most lonely railroad song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl9SRVrjPXg

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 4,785 posts
Posted by rrebell on Monday, September 16, 2019 11:18 AM

For estate sales, I went to the Lambert one. Someone came in and bought the lot but one room elsewhere was not included and we got some goodies. At train shows my buddy got a whole car load of MR and other train mags for free, just had to go pick them up. This was back when I could still read mags easily (you know aging and eyes thing) and ended up with them. Good reading for years. Bought at a few other estate sales and hit one or two bargins but I know others who used to do it all the time with good results. E-bay has really changed all that.

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 305 posts
Posted by drgwcs on Monday, September 16, 2019 6:09 PM

Estate sales can be a place to find good deals. It varies by the sale. An excellent resource to find them is https://www.estatesales.net/ most listed here will ba a tag type of sale- search by the keywords train and railroad. (There will be some false positives either with a Christmas train or a Lionel set- you just have to look) Some are higher priced that others and sometimes items can be both high and low in the same sale. I have found some great deals along side of items at nearly full MSRP. I live within an hour to an hour and a half drive of Raleigh, Winston Salem, Greensboro, Roanoke, and Lynchburg.  Typically I see an estate sale with a decent amount of trains every four to six months. (Other places have more-if you live in Chicagoland there is one at least a month) Recently I went to one where they had boxed cars for 5 loose for 3 and engines for 5-10. I bought a bag of loose steamers for 7 and bought a tender seperate. One was inoperable but I got 3 working locos and two that need a little bit of work and a tender. (all were DC) I figured I might get one working out of the bag when I bought it. Some sales are higher than others but generally I find something that is at least reasonable. Parts can often be the best bargain.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 8,244 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, September 16, 2019 6:46 PM

No, never been to one that had train stuff, only been to a few at all.

Can say about anything I bought at a train show, but nothing I ever bought at a train show was specificly advertised as being from an estate.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 5,633 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, September 16, 2019 6:56 PM

There was a very odd estate auction near me, a couple months ago, that we talked about in Jeffrey's Diner.  From the pics you could see there were boxes of brass locos as well as Atlas and Athearn, but no descriptions - just pictures, no local viewing and if you won the auction you had to show up on a specific day at a site to be announced, to pick up your winnings.

Maybe somebody got a deal or got ripped off, no idea.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 6,039 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Monday, September 16, 2019 7:41 PM

I always look online for train stuff at the local auction houses out here in the farm belt. Usually, they just post a photo of a box of stuff and you see if you can spot a nugget or two in the photo. A guy I know just recently bid on a box of so so stuff online and when he went to pick it up there was a brand new NCE DCC system in the bottom of the box with a second controller also new in the box all for $43.00.

I scored a brass Great Northen 4-6-2 for $35.00 once and should have grabbed a lot of the other stuff, however, I don't want to resell stuff and I hate collecting stuff I will never use. It is still in the box on the shelf.....Someday.Laugh

The local auction houses do not ship, so if you can't pick it up in person you are out of luck. There is a slight advantage for the locals at these auction houses. The local MRR hawks don't seem to miss a thing.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,977 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, September 16, 2019 8:39 PM

BATMAN
The local MRR hawks don't seem to miss a thing.

Brent,Neither does the train show dealers..Some of these guys will run the bid up in order to out bid nonsellers  and gain stock for their business. Now add the  e-Bay dealers in on the bidding and the little guy is left holding a empty auction bag at the larger estate auctions..

I will mention this. While not a auction you can find model train goodies at yard estate sale.  Of course you can find junk trains that seen better days or a very nice collection at reasonable prices.

I went to two of these sales last year and gain a very nice BLI DCC/Sound SW7 for $50.00 and several Atlas ACF Precision Design boxcars  for $2.00 each at one and the other was a complete washout since there was nothing but Tyco,older Bachmann and Model Power train set stuff. A waste of time-----well maybe not seeing I stopped at Skyline Chilli..Dinner

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 305 posts
Posted by drgwcs on Monday, September 16, 2019 10:17 PM

Earlier I did not list another site on estate sales https://www.estatesale.com/ Typicaly this lists more the auctions including some online ones. Typically I mess with the tag type estate sales more. I will note that there was one auction in the vicinity that had a tremendous amount of train stuff in it. I wasn't there but the dealers bid up mainly the brass. One of the guys in our club got a lot of stuff there reasonably and sold some of it at one of our club meetings (we were kidding him that he gought in trouble for buying too much and was trying to unload it Smile, Wink & Grin) I got a proto E5 A&B for 20-25 each. Instead of going to that auction I had actually went to another tag type estate sale and got a couple of beautifully assembled Campbell hits for $20 each most of the rest was high.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • 838 posts
Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 10:37 AM

They do come in different shapes and sizes, on Ebay, the local hobby shop and through contacts at the local club. I found some really nice stuff, but very few steals (I'm not a very good bargainer, especially when I meet the widow or the aging railroader in person). Found some really nice brass and high quality stuff that way. But there is a whole lot of Tyco and old life-like stuff that is available for free out there. If someone wanted to start on the cheap, it is entirely possible to get a DC model railroad going for less than $50 (the price of one good used DC loco), if one doesn't mind the low-end brass track, tyco cars and built-up LL buildings. And getting free lumber scraps to build a table is not that hard, at least not in Eastern Canada.

Simon 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • 860 posts
Posted by Southgate on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:20 PM

I have to think some items I've picked up on Ebay was probably estate sale stuff. Certain oddball "lot" groupings for example, where the seller has no idea what a lot of the items are, and is just moving it along. Some great finds can be hiding in some of those.

I did buy a couple locomotives from a LHS who was selling from an estate sale. Dan

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • 1,626 posts
Posted by angelob6660 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 7:09 PM

I got mine on eBay it's a Kato N Scale C44-9w #8110. 

Like most used locomotives that I buy that do it's missing the tank plastic insert, bubble wrap and the detail parts. (I contact person if the detail parts are inside or not. If not I don't buy.)

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

  • Member since
    June, 2008
  • 497 posts
Posted by tin can on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 9:06 AM

When I was in the hobby shop business, I got a call from a man who was selling his recently deceased father's train collection.  He wanted me to purchase the lot, but his price was astronomical; I did tell him I would come look.  The dad had a garage full of stuff, but had never built a layout.  This was in the late 90's, and some of his stuff was still new in the box from the 70s and 80s.  Son had a Walthers catalog, and was re-pricing everything to the current Walthers catalog.

I noticed he had six Atlas yellow boxed diesels; still priced at their original $25 cost.  Since they weren't in the Walthers catalog, that is what I got them for.  I was able to double my money on the auction site that is not to be mentioned.

The son was selling stuff at trainshows for a while.  He didn't have much success until he lowered his prices to reflect market prices.

Remember the tin can; the MKT's central Texas branch...
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 305 posts
Posted by drgwcs on Friday, September 20, 2019 7:01 AM

tin can

When I was in the hobby shop business, I got a call from a man who was selling his recently deceased father's train collection.  He wanted me to purchase the lot, but his price was astronomical; I did tell him I would come look.  The dad had a garage full of stuff, but had never built a layout.  This was in the late 90's, and some of his stuff was still new in the box from the 70s and 80s.  Son had a Walthers catalog, and was re-pricing everything to the current Walthers catalog.

I noticed he had six Atlas yellow boxed diesels; still priced at their original $25 cost.  Since they weren't in the Walthers catalog, that is what I got them for.  I was able to double my money on the auction site that is not to be mentioned.

The son was selling stuff at trainshows for a while.  He didn't have much success until he lowered his prices to reflect market prices.

 

I think that sums up a lot in regards to this. Some Estate sale companies price seemingly according to a Walthers Catalog. Seen a couple of these and wonder if anything sold (at least until 1/2 off Sunday) I have also seen this in regards to come Craigslist/ FB Marketplace ads- One guy had a storage building and was valuating at full retails including old Model Railroaders- sat on there a very long time.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 5,303 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, September 20, 2019 8:46 AM

tin can
He wanted me to purchase the lot, but his price was astronomical; I did tell him I would come look. 

.

That is pretty much everyone that inherits a bunch of trains. They tend to think they have gold.

.

I have suggested many times to tell your heirs what they are really worth to avoid heart-ache when ownership transfers.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    September, 2002
  • From: North Carolina
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by csxns on Friday, September 20, 2019 4:04 PM

At a estate sale i bought a Class 33 British loco.

Russell

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • 53 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, September 22, 2019 9:15 AM

One of my LHSes has frequently bought up estate sales and resold them. I've gotten good bargains there. Recently they have scaled way back on their MR products so I don't know if I'll be seeing any more of these. 

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • 53 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, September 22, 2019 9:30 AM

tin can

When I was in the hobby shop business, I got a call from a man who was selling his recently deceased father's train collection.  He wanted me to purchase the lot, but his price was astronomical; I did tell him I would come look.  The dad had a garage full of stuff, but had never built a layout.  This was in the late 90's, and some of his stuff was still new in the box from the 70s and 80s.  Son had a Walthers catalog, and was re-pricing everything to the current Walthers catalog.

I noticed he had six Atlas yellow boxed diesels; still priced at their original $25 cost.  Since they weren't in the Walthers catalog, that is what I got them for.  I was able to double my money on the auction site that is not to be mentioned.

The son was selling stuff at trainshows for a while.  He didn't have much success until he lowered his prices to reflect market prices.

 

 

I've noticed from watching Pawn Stars that typically they will offer 1/3 of what they expect an item to sell at retail. That means the seller gets 1/3 of the retail value, 1/3 pays for the shop's overhead, and 1/3 is for their profit. If they expect an item to sell quickly, they might offer 40%.

The retail value of a used item or even pre-owned NIB is going to be considerably lower than a like new item. The seller of such items, especially if he wants to sell an entire lot, shouldn't expect to get more than 10-20 cents on the dollar of full retail value.

I remember a friend of mine and I came across a guy trying to sell his father's stuff to our LHS so my friend offered to take a look at his collection. He made a real low ball offer for the entire lot and to my amazement, the seller took the offer and the two of us divided up the loot. We ended up selling enough of it to recoup our money and still have some quality leftover items. I still have an unpainted brass Sierra 2-6-6-2 and some shorty Tenshado brass passenger cars. I was disappointed when I priced the value of the 2-6-6-2 a few years ago. I have no idea what the Tenshado cars are worth. Probably more valuable to a collector than somebody wanting to run them. 

  • Member since
    June, 2018
  • From: Chicago, IL
  • 159 posts
Posted by Eilif on Friday, September 27, 2019 10:59 AM

Here in the city you don't find many Estate Sales and I haven't the time or interest to trek out to the burbs.  However, I have made quite a few finds over the years at Resale shops. 

Few and far betwen, but the deals are often fantastic.  A few examples $20 for a compete MTH O train set, $3 Bachman Amtrak cars, $25 complete and working Kato Metra set, 12 Walthers Modern BN hoppers with loads for $5 each, etc...

I've made some similar deals via Craigslist.

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: St. Paul
  • 571 posts
Posted by garya on Friday, September 27, 2019 12:23 PM

A friend of mine has bought up some trains and layouts from estates, not estate sales per se.  I get the impression the widows just want the stuff gone.  One recent estate had tools, parts, supplies, paint, unbuilt kits, and scenery items as well as built and weathered rolling stock, buildings, and a mostly sceniced layout. He had to dismantle the layout and remove it from the basement, but was able to do so with out damaging the scenery.  He then was able to resell it.

He had another one with lots of locomotives, rolling stock (both freight and passenger cars), and buildings, but no layout.  The gentleman had been accumulating items for years but never built a layout.  Hobby comes in all shapes and sizes, I realize, but I think that's a lesson to us all.  

Gary

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 305 posts
Posted by drgwcs on Friday, September 27, 2019 3:58 PM

Eilif

Here in the city you don't find many Estate Sales and I haven't the time or interest to trek out to the burbs.  However, I have made quite a few finds over the years at Resale shops. 

Few and far betwen, but the deals are often fantastic.  A few examples $20 for a compete MTH O train set, $3 Bachman Amtrak cars, $25 complete and working Kato Metra set, 12 Walthers Modern BN hoppers with loads for $5 each, etc...

I've made some similar deals via Craigslist.

 

When searching www.estatesales.net for trains I have seen several pop up in Chicago with fairly regular consistency- more in the burbs though- but several in the close in ones. Just kind of notice it since I used to live there. If I see one pop up here in VA it is generally about an hours drive away.

 

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!