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Hobby Shop consignments

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 2, 2012 11:51 AM

Geared Steam

 jeffrey-wimberly:

Seems to me the shop is trying to rip him off.

 

Really? Do you, or would you, work for free?  

It's a business, and a take it or leave it proposition, no one is forcing the person to go this route so how would it be a "rip off". Hobby shops are are there to make a profit, not provide a charity service. If 25% is too high, negotiate a lower % and if they won't budge, go elsewhere. Its called a free market, although it seems this country has forgotten how that works.

Those of us in business understand this, not sure why some people think they are entitled. 

Playing the devils advocate I will ask what work?

Sorry,but,placing a use item on a consignment shelf hardly seems like extra hard work nor is ringing up the sale if the model sells after all you just doing your normal job..

BTW..I stood on the other side of the counter and know I wasn't getting paid to stand around looking pretty uh,let's make that dumbfounded..My job was help customers,ring up sales and to stock shelves if need arise..

Larry

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Monday, July 2, 2012 12:11 PM

I have worked for fine train stores, and the better stores only charge 20% consignment fee, maximum, and only when the item sells--and they allow the seller to set the price, but will recommend a lower price if they think it is too high.  If the item doesn't sell, the seller never pays a nickel.

In my opinion, having worked in the train industry, any charge over 20% is gouging, period, plain and simple.

However, that is my opinion only.

If a local shop won't do 20% or less consignment fee, I'd sell the items on Ebay.  One might get significantly more money, at a much faster rate, than having the stuff sit in a store for months or years.

This consignment fee issue is exactly what has put a number of small time, less reputable brass dealers out of business.  The knowledgeable customers simply bought a digital camera and started selling their excess stuff on Ebay.  This eliminated some dealers of questionnable repute and put much more money in the brass owners' pocket, and in my opinion was good for the hobby overall.

I don't appreciate the sometimes 13% or 14% fees taken by Ebay and Paypal, but I've sold many hundreds of train items on Ebay myself rather than consign them with dealers.  In many cases, even when I've offered to consign brass models with a reputable brass dealer, I had the item sold on Ebay and had collected my money prior to the dealer even responding to my email inquiry about consignment with him.  (If I need or want the cash the dealer doesn't even do me the courtesy of a response, I'm going to sell it the best way possible--and Ebay is the best way possible to get money fast).

Respectfully submitted--

John

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, July 2, 2012 12:18 PM

UP 4-12-2

I don't appreciate the sometimes 13% or 14% fees taken by Ebay and Paypal, but I've sold many hundreds of train items on Ebay myself rather than consign them with dealers. 

The thing about eBay is that your item is seen by hundreds of interested viewers across the country.

That is a lot of exposure, and it increases the likelihood of actually selling your item, not to mention the very real possibility of multiple bids.  In my experience, the final sales price, net of eBay and PayPal fees, more than justifies the eBay and PayPal fees charged to sell the item.

Rich

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Posted by Never2manyTrains on Monday, July 2, 2012 12:18 PM

I can't fault the hobby shop for their rates. They need to make a profit in order to stay in business, and they are doing the marketing to try and get your items sold. Your other options are eBay, as you mentioned, whose fees could be less than 25%, and probably gets more traffic/customers for used HO scale trains than the local hobby shop. If the folks who have eBay accounts are regular buyers and sellers with good feedback, that would help in getting the trains sold quickly. You could also try craigslist, where you put up a little ad (for free) and deal with the buyers directly, no fees to worry about. Good luck on your decision.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 2, 2012 2:51 PM

 can't fault the hobby shop for their rates. They need to make a profit in order to stay in business, and they are doing the marketing to try and get your items sold.

-----------------------------------

There is no marketing to do..The model sits on the consignment/use shelf awaiting a buyer.

10% of the price should suffice since the owner has no investment in the model what so ever..

Anything above 10% is ridiculous.

Larry

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Posted by maxman on Monday, July 2, 2012 8:16 PM

BRAKIE

 can't fault the hobby shop for their rates. They need to make a profit in order to stay in business, and they are doing the marketing to try and get your items sold.

-----------------------------------

There is no marketing to do..The model sits on the consignment/use shelf awaiting a buyer.

10% of the price should suffice since the owner has no investment in the model what so ever..

Anything above 10% is ridiculous.

My initial reaction was to agree with you.  However, it occurs to me that there is more involved.  After all, the shop owner is sort of renting display space that he theoretically could be using to display what he is in business to sell.  I would assume that such shelf space would be for the better consigned items (brass pieces and high dollar plastic locos?) that someone would not really want rattling around in the box full of plastic dollar cars.

So someone comes in and wants to look at the brass loco in the locked display case.  The shop owner's employee has to stop what he's doing and open said case, answer any questions, and probably set the loco up for a test run.

Then there's the issue of record keeping...what was sold, when, what the selling price was, keeping receipts separate from the store receipts, writing a check to the original owner of the equipment, and then contacting that person to pay him.  I would assume that the effort to do any of this would get more involved if there happened to be more than one batch of consigned stuff in the shop at the same time.

I don't know what the proper percentage would be to pay myself to do all that extra work, and I don't want to conjecture.  But I'm pretty sure that 10% wouldn't make me happy.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 2, 2012 9:18 PM

maxman

 BRAKIE:

 can't fault the hobby shop for their rates. They need to make a profit in order to stay in business, and they are doing the marketing to try and get your items sold.

-----------------------------------

There is no marketing to do..The model sits on the consignment/use shelf awaiting a buyer.

10% of the price should suffice since the owner has no investment in the model what so ever..

Anything above 10% is ridiculous.

 

My initial reaction was to agree with you.  However, it occurs to me that there is more involved.  After all, the shop owner is sort of renting display space that he theoretically could be using to display what he is in business to sell.  I would assume that such shelf space would be for the better consigned items (brass pieces and high dollar plastic locos?) that someone would not really want rattling around in the box full of plastic dollar cars.

So someone comes in and wants to look at the brass loco in the locked display case.  The shop owner's employee has to stop what he's doing and open said case, answer any questions, and probably set the loco up for a test run.

Then there's the issue of record keeping...what was sold, when, what the selling price was, keeping receipts separate from the store receipts, writing a check to the original owner of the equipment, and then contacting that person to pay him.  I would assume that the effort to do any of this would get more involved if there happened to be more than one batch of consigned stuff in the shop at the same time.

I don't know what the proper percentage would be to pay myself to do all that extra work, and I don't want to conjecture.  But I'm pretty sure that 10% wouldn't make me happy.

I'm confused here..Are you wanting extra pay for doing your routine job?

Sorry,10% is a  sufficient amount for the few minutes it takes to do a simple job.

Here's the thing. 7 engines sell for(say) 350.00-your cut is 35.00 not bad for a few minutes work.

Let's say one locomotive sells for $60.00-you made a easy $10.00 for the few minutes it takes you to write a check for the owner-again not bad for a few seconds it takes to write a $50.00 check...

Either way I pay the clerk to work not stand about and talk and if that requires him to show a customer a brass locomotive on consignment so be it-he's earning his pay by working.

As the old man says on Pawn Stars-if you two(usually Big Hoss and Chumlee) would actually do some work around here we might make some money today.

A good lesson there.

Larry

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, July 2, 2012 9:27 PM

maxman

 BRAKIE:

 can't fault the hobby shop for their rates. They need to make a profit in order to stay in business, and they are doing the marketing to try and get your items sold.

-----------------------------------

There is no marketing to do..The model sits on the consignment/use shelf awaiting a buyer.

10% of the price should suffice since the owner has no investment in the model what so ever..

Anything above 10% is ridiculous.

 

My initial reaction was to agree with you.  However, it occurs to me that there is more involved.  After all, the shop owner is sort of renting display space that he theoretically could be using to display what he is in business to sell.  I would assume that such shelf space would be for the better consigned items (brass pieces and high dollar plastic locos?) that someone would not really want rattling around in the box full of plastic dollar cars.

So someone comes in and wants to look at the brass loco in the locked display case.  The shop owner's employee has to stop what he's doing and open said case, answer any questions, and probably set the loco up for a test run.

Then there's the issue of record keeping...what was sold, when, what the selling price was, keeping receipts separate from the store receipts, writing a check to the original owner of the equipment, and then contacting that person to pay him.  I would assume that the effort to do any of this would get more involved if there happened to be more than one batch of consigned stuff in the shop at the same time.

I don't know what the proper percentage would be to pay myself to do all that extra work, and I don't want to conjecture.  But I'm pretty sure that 10% wouldn't make me happy.

EXACTLY - and a shop owner makes (or should be making) way more than 10% gross margin when he sells his regular merchandise. Even at 20% or 25% he is making less than selling his own inventory. Sure, he does not have money tied up in the consignment items - but that is the only difference - other wise his cost of doing business is the same.

And before anyone says anything about banks, interest rates, turnover or return on investment, anyone in the hobby business who owes money on much of their inventory needs to be in another business.

And, as I have explained many times before, anyone only making 25% gross margin will not be in this businerss long running a brick and mortar store. That is the problem and why hobby shops are closing up - this is not a business that can be run on low margins or borrowed money - your inventory IS your savings account.

So in many ways, even at 25% it is a favor, not some big money maker for the shop owner.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by maxman on Monday, July 2, 2012 11:11 PM

BRAKIE

Let's say one locomotive sells for $60.00-you made a easy $10.00 for the few minutes it takes you to write a check for the owner-again not bad for a few seconds it takes to write a $50.00 check...

I thought you only wanted 10% Laugh  Must be the new math.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 4:23 AM

So in many ways, even at 25% it is a favor, not some big money maker for the shop owner.

Sheldon

-------------------------

Sorry but,at 25% I would walk out the door never to return since that's way to much to do nothing.

Larry

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 5:49 AM

BRAKIE

So in many ways, even at 25% it is a favor, not some big money maker for the shop owner.

Sheldon

-------------------------

Sorry but,at 25% I would walk out the door never to return since that's way to much to do nothing.

I won't attempt to debate whether 25% is too much for the service, but taking goods on consignment is a little more than doing "nothing". 

The seller of the goods has the benefit of using store space, potential customers to view the items, and whatever marketing and advertising is associated with the whole process.  So, the LHS is providing a real service, effective or not.

Rich

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Posted by Odie on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 8:11 AM

.

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 8:26 AM

Hi!

The consignment costs quoted are pretty reasonable and IMHO fair.   My question would be the setting of the sales price and how that is determined.

However, as a long time Ebay seller/buyer, I would recommend putting the "big dollar" ($50 up) items for sale on Ebay.   In that regard, I offer these comments:

-  the best time to sell train stuff on Ebay is Nov - Feb.

-  my typical return on gross sales dollars has been from 77 to 83 percent.  This includes ebay fees (sliding scale), paypal fees, over/under postage, and demurrage.

-  selling on Ebay (properly) is work - especially when doing multiple sales (I run from 50-100 per season).

-  Ebay will give you a huge audience, credit card sales thru PayPal, and an organized process for selling stuff.  And of course, you will usually get the "market value".

My advice to the OP is to get the big dollar items (w/boxes, etc) headed to Ebay, and the remaining items sold to clubs or garage sale or whatever works.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

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Posted by duckdogger on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 11:08 AM

As noted, eBay is work.  HOI is very effective and I have used on both sides of a transaction.

My LHS does not merely place the item on a shelf and take money.  Kits are shrink wrapped so they can be displayed with the box open allowing buyers to see the contents.  RTR items are also similarly wrapped to allow viewing and touchy/feely while keeping people from stealing couplers, trucks, etc.

There is also a bar code price tag created and applied that confirms product description, price, and links back to the owner to facilitate payment.  Again, to me, it's like found money.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 1:01 PM

Odie

If anyone here thinks selling items in a hobby shop for 10% markup will keep the bills paid, they are out to lunch. Shelf space is more valuable then that. Not to mention, that 10% profit item is going to erode sales from your 30%-40% regular new stock items.  I'll take the guy spending $75 on a new item with 35% markup over the guy spending $75 on a used item @ 10% markup all week long.  And everyone wonders why the brick and mortar LHS is a dying breed?

Odie

If anyone here thinks selling items in a hobby shop for 10% markup will keep the bills paid, they are out to lunch. Shelf space is more valuable then that. Not to mention, that 10% profit item is going to erode sales from your 30%-40% regular new stock items.  I'll take the guy spending $75 on a new item with 35% markup over the guy spending $75 on a used item @ 10% markup all week long.  And everyone wonders why the brick and mortar LHS is a dying breed?

We are talking about a shelf dictated for used and consignments not new stock there is a difference in the two.

Having worked the other side of the counter 10% is a nice slice since you have nothing invested in the used model other then placing the model on the consignment shelf.Consignments is far better then buying the used models outright since that calls for a investment.

Consignments isn't meant to be your bread and butter-its a service you provide for your customers and the 10% is more/less the handling fee.

Why hobby shops are failing has zero to do with consignments-those that think that is why the shops are failing are indeed out to lunch enjoying a happy meal.

 

 

Larry

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 5:25 PM

Ok, it's been a few years now since I personally consigned any brass models to a major dealer.  In recent years I've sold my own and my friends' brass models on Ebay.

However, the fact is that both The Caboose and Caboose Hobbies were consigning models for 20% and letting the consignor set the price.  They did it that way for many years, and I'm not aware of any recent changes in their respective store policies, though I have not consigned lately.

Obviously, they believed 20% during the pre-internet era (when customers like myself would call up on the phone with a bunch of questions and have them get out and test run brass models over the phone, etc.--which was somewhat labor intensive for their sales force) was an adequate commission to charge.

Also, consignment items represent inventory at nearly zero cost because the only thing the shop has invested is a little bit of space.  If it didn't sell, after a period of several months, the consignor could receive the item(s) back at no charge other than shipping...

Then again, 20% of a $1000 model is a cool $200...and a lot more than what mint P2K E units or whatever might bring.

Finally, what most fail to realize is that, excepting some new releases, the inventory of some of the fine train stores (at least in brass) is 75% or 80% or more consignment models.  The actual stock owned by the shop is rather small.  The consignments allow them to have a big inventory at little to no cost.

I agree with Brakie--consignment items are not the reason train and hobby shops are failing.

John

 

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 6:11 PM

UP 4-12-2

Ok, it's been a few years now since I personally consigned any brass models to a major dealer.  In recent years I've sold my own and my friends' brass models on Ebay.

However, the fact is that both The Caboose and Caboose Hobbies were consigning models for 20% and letting the consignor set the price.  They did it that way for many years, and I'm not aware of any recent changes in their respective store policies, though I have not consigned lately.

Obviously, they believed 20% during the pre-internet era (when customers like myself would call up on the phone with a bunch of questions and have them get out and test run brass models over the phone, etc.--which was somewhat labor intensive for their sales force) was an adequate commission to charge.

Also, consignment items represent inventory at nearly zero cost because the only thing the shop has invested is a little bit of space.  If it didn't sell, after a period of several months, the consignor could receive the item(s) back at no charge other than shipping...

Then again, 20% of a $1000 model is a cool $200...and a lot more than what mint P2K E units or whatever might bring.

Finally, what most fail to realize is that, excepting some new releases, the inventory of some of the fine train stores (at least in brass) is 75% or 80% or more consignment models.  The actual stock owned by the shop is rather small.  The consignments allow them to have a big inventory at little to no cost.

I agree with Brakie--consignment items are not the reason train and hobby shops are failing.

John 

John,

What exactly makes a model railroad shop a "fine train store"?

The presence of a lot brass models?

I'm not sure I can get my nose up high enough to be allowed in such a place - especially since the only two brass locos I own now have plastic tenders and are painted for my free lanced ATLANTIC CENTRAL.

What difference does it make if a customer buys five sets of Proto2000 E8's at over $200 set or one $1000 piece of brass, its still $1000 or more? I'll bet way more Proto2000 E8's have been sold in this world than any one brass loco that sells for over $1000. If I owned a shop, I would be more interested in selling the five AB sets of Proto E8's - and the passneger cars they can pull, than one $1000 shelf queen. I'll bet the margin is better on the Proto2000 E8's.

I never will understand those who buy trains just to resell them later at a loss? That is a different hobby from the one I am in, a hobby that maybe makes me not welcome at the "fine train store", especially since  most of my models come from companies like Bachmann, Athearn, Intermountain, Proto2000, etc.

As for this consignment thing, problem with this discussion is everybody is not on the same page. To John here, consignment means brass - big bucks, and a small percentage of big sale is still measurable money.

But others on here are simply talking about "getting out of the hobby" or "the widow needs to sell his trains" kinds of consignments - you know, a soda carton of Blue Box freight cars and a Mantua Pacific and an Athearn F7, etc.

Personally, I don't buy hardly anything "used", so on my account that shop keeper would be wasting space that could have nice clean fresh new inventory, yet to be touched by North American hands, that I might actually buy.

Having worked in this business, I would much rather have ten "average" regular customers than one "fine train store" customer.

In my youth there was a local train shop around here who "looked down" on those who did not appreciate the "finer" models - I seldom spent any money there - keep in mind I have 130 locos, 800 freight cars, 200 passenger cars, over 100 turnouts and switch machines, 8 scale miles of flex track, hundreds of buildings - they could have had a much larger slice of that pie - but they were more interested in selling brass locos, and looking down their nose at me because I did not buy brass locos.

Sheldon

 

 

    

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Posted by twhite on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 8:36 PM

I haven't consigned a brass loco at my LHS in a number of years, but when I did, it was always at a 20% commission and I set the price.  I never had any trouble selling them--I think the most I ever waited was about 2 months--and everyone was happy: me, the dealer, and I presume the buyer (I've never seen any of my consignments back at the LHS, at least, LOL!). 

At both of my LHS (Railroad Hobbies in Roseville/Bruce's Train Shop in Sacramento), the consignment brass cases are positioned right as one walks through the door, so there's always something to catch your (at least MY) eye.  Right now, both stores have unpainted Westside SP 4-10-2's in their cases and the price difference is $100 from one model to the other, though both could be bought up for just a little over the price of a new MTH AC-6.   I'll probably bite on one of them in the next couple of days as they're older Westsides (run VERY well, BTW) and have a much smaller minimum radius (28") than some of the newer brass. 

But I've noticed that consignment brass at either of my LHS' don't stay in the cases very long, so I should think that the consignment end of the hobby is pretty alive and well, at least here in the Sacramento area.  

Heck, I usually just turned around and spent my consignment money on other brass locos that I really WANTED, anyway.  Big Smile

 

Tom

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 12:51 PM

Sheldon--

I've explained this before but you clearly missed it because you are too busy reading your own thoughts or perceptions into what I write:

"Fine train store" as used by me refers to the better train only stores--not the national chains and their ilk that pay lip service to selling trains but really don't know or care much about what they are selling (much less customer service), not the fly by night dealers without any legitimate "store" who frequent both the Allentown, PA, and Timonium, MD train shows bragging about not reporting the tax they collect, but instead verbally brag about the sales tax they collect as being extra "profit"!  (I can name specific names but won't here).  I've personally witnessed some dealers flat out lying to customers at a train show--about big ticket items--the "fine train stores" set  themselves apart by refusing to lie to the customers (because they simply want them to come back).

A fine train store may not even have any brass models at all--but generally exists by trying to provide exemplary customer service and reasonably competitive (but not always the best) pricing.  To them the relationship with the customer and community is much more important than today's sale, even if it is a big ticket item. 

There's few "fine train stores" left, and I'm sorry to say the numbers are declining--but yet they do exist.  Unfortunately, some of the remaining ones happen to also be the largest stores, perhaps because they are able to ride through the lean times.  However, I'm not elitist as seems to be implied, and after buying one brass engine recently that was a mess in multiple ways, I've once again sworn brass off "for good".

As far as consignments go, my P2K comment, written quickly as I'm apt to do for sake of time, was leaving room for the quite obvious point that the big brass dealers, much of whom's inventory they don't even personally own, obviously can afford to only charge 20% consignment fees on brass because it's a big ticket item and each sale nets them a very nice consignment fee with relative minimum hassle (as opposed to having to sell a number of smaller items to net the same fee).

Many dealers I personally know won't even touch plastic consignments--no matter how mint or how new--at any price, because, for the reasons cited by some above, they don't feel they can make money on them, or in some cases they still have lots of old Atlas, P2K, Spectrum and other manufacturers' items sitting around that they consider "dead inventory"--so the last thing they want is more of the same--even if it's a scarce road name.  Still of course they have to make money; however, in today's market, if they ask me for more than a 20% commission (which I consider to be reasonable) I would recommend a seller just go to Ebay to sell it--which myself and others have clearly stated above.

Even if a seller says "I don't know much about what I'm selling but here it is at a low starting bid with no reserve price" they will likely do just fine on Evilbay.

Otherwise, Sheldon and I never agree about very much of anything, and it would be best if we simply agree to disagree and let things go at that.

Respectfully submitted--

John

 P.S.  Now that I'm selling my EM-1 because I don't need it and the overhang is sick, my biggest ticket train items on the layout (or in the house) are Bachmann Alco 2-6-0's with sound.  I think they were $114 or so each (from MBK), and I only have 2 of them.  So any accusations of me being an elitist train snob are rather inaccurate.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 2:05 PM

John,

I seldom go to train ahows, and buy very little there when I do, I do however understand and agree with your assesment of some of the dealers at those things. I don't buy used stuff at train store either.

From your discription, I quess I mostly shop at "fine train stores", a distiction I see as completely unnecessary. But I do shop throught the mail, mostly with retailers who also have brick and mortar stores, and I do shop price. Aftrer 40 plus years I don't need a lot of help from a shop clerk.

As has been discussed at great length recently, the fact is many areas of the country simply do not have a strong enough modeler base to really support traditional hobby shops or model train shops.

And as I see it there are two big factors in that:

Price - The buy direct and sell retail at what is basicly traditional dealer cost is one factor - Those "fine train stores" you refer to NEED strong markups to support customer service and inventory DEPTH. So they need to be big and buy direct.

Inventory DEPTH - This is the other factor - the notion of "dead inventory" did not hardly exist in this hobby 25 years ago. The fact that dealers see such a large percentage of older items as "dead inventory" that must be moved out at or below cost is actually part of the problem. That thinking lowers the value of ALL the products on the shelf.

AND, the lack of depth of inventory at all levels, manufacturer, wholesale and retail, actually discourages new and established modelers from growing in the hobby. And it promotes collecting rather than modeling - not that collecting is a bad thing, but modelers who are actively enguaged in building layouts spend more in HOBBY SHOPS or FINE TRAIN STORES, than collectors do - I know, I ran a train department and still know a number of shop owners.

What good is all this fancy new product if it is so hard to get that one spends a lifetime waiting for the right items rather than building the layout?

Selection might have been limited back in the day, but at least you could depend on being able to buy those items any time you needed them.

And, repectfully I will submit that selling stuff on consignment, is generally the activity of a collector not a modeler - realizing that some of us are both.

I have never bought anything in this life with the idea that I would own it for a while and then get rid of it - except maybe things I expect to wear out like automobiles.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Thursday, July 5, 2012 8:29 AM

Sheldon--

Yes, I can see that using the term "fine train store" may have been totally unncecessary and led to folks getting the wrong idea.

I don't ever buy anything with the intent of selling it, especially at a loss.  However, I'm sure you know as well as I do that we sometimes buy products that are a disappointment, and my abilities to repair or kitbash those products into better products are not as good as others.  Plus simply sometimes I buy something and then later decide I simply don't want or need it.  As I'm not on a huge budget, anything I don't need for whatever reason will be gone and replaced with something I need more.

For example, my long time friend, a former brass collector, raved about the Bachmann Spectrum EM-1.  Since I've always had a soft spot for articulateds, I had to get one.  Plus they ran very near my father's hometown of Butler, PA (he and the relatives did work for the steel mills there, and the relatives also worked for Pullman Standard).  Anyway, I had every intention of buying and keeping the EM-1.  It is indeed an outstanding engine in every way, and runs well.

However, at the same time I had purchased an old brass 2-6-0 mogul, which my son loved, only I could not make it run well--or really at all--it wouldn't stay running if it ran at all (yes I cleaned the owners paint job off the tender truck bolsters).  The previous owner had done some things wrong in painting it, and his paint job while looking quite good was actually done terribly and was chipping/pealing (no etching of metal and no primer are both cardinal sins).  I ended up selling the model at a loss in total disgust to another friend.

So, to make my son happy, I bought a Bachmann Alco 2-6-0--which he also loved, and now we've had so much fun running small engines with short trains that I didn't even need the EM-1 with its rather large overhang.  Plus, the small engines and short trains make my mainline appear to be much longer than it is, as now it takes nearly 3 minutes for a train to get all the way around.

Since I'm on a budget, and wanted one of the Roundhouse 2-6-0's with the two tone grey boiler, and my son and I both wanted a Lehigh Valley F-7 (both on blowout sale from MB Klein), the EM-1 is or will be gone, and those other engines are due to arrive this week.

I know that's not how you do things, but I'm not you.

I couldn't afford to keep the EM-1 and get those other items--the money is not there--I need to have some car repairs done and it's the wife's birthday, and the EM-1 didn't fit my new Northeastern U.S. theme anyway, while the other engines do.

Due to many trades over the years, I'm well familiar with all ends of the consignment process.  The best way is Ebay.  I never intended to do hundreds of sales on Ebay, but change my mind regarding the trains I like.  Sometimes I break even in cash money at the end of the day, partly due to occasionally getting the "employee emeritus discount" at my former employer, and partly because I'm really good at buying stuff at blowout sales.  If I later change my mind and need to sell it, I sometimes break even and often nearly so--losing only 10% or 20%, though that won't be the case I fear on my EM-1.

John

P.S. Prior to the brass mogul, I broke even on Ebay selling two groups of 3 brass steamers each.  Three Overland UP 2-8-8-0's and three Hallmark ATSF Super Crown 2-10-4's, but that was years ago when I had disposable cash, before current house and kids.  The time to buy is when Overland has a sale...then you also won't lose if you later sell.

  • Member since
    October 2001
  • From: OH
  • 17,574 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:00 AM

I couldn't afford to keep the EM-1 and get those other items--the money is not there--I need to have some car repairs done and it's the wife's birthday, and the EM-1 didn't fit my new Northeastern U.S. theme anyway, while the other engines do.

-----------------------------------------------

I dumped unwanted older or "whim" locomotives as well to buy newer ones..There certainly nothing wrong there.

Since retiring I stop buying "whim" locomotives.Laugh

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • 699 posts
Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Thursday, July 5, 2012 12:14 PM

Thanks Brakie--

I'm 44, and looking at 25 more years of work if so blessed with the health to finish it, and hoping then perhaps I might be able to retire.

I too am trying to avoid "whim" locomotives that cost more than $100 at this point.  For me to spend $380 for the EM-1 with sound was not very wise.

An Athearn/Roundhouse mogul at $67 and an Intermountain F unit at $76 are better choices for a "whim" purchase...but they will also fit my "northeastern" or "New England" theme better.

John

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