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Under the radar MRRing purchases

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Under the radar MRRing purchases
Posted by tstage on Saturday, July 07, 2018 10:50 AM

Last night I was on eBay keeping tabs on an undecorated (1st run) early 90s Walthers SW1 on my watch list.  There was only about 2 hours left on the auction and I was curious to see how high the bidding would go to determine whether I would bite on it or not - since even the older Walthers SW1s can still fetch full MSRP ($80) 25+ years later.  Well, lo and behold - a newly posted Buy It Now identical undecorated SW1 popped up on eBay for less than the current bid on the watched item and I pounced it on it for $30, plus S&H.

The other Walthers undecorated SW1 eventually fetched $44, which is still a very good bargain for that particular switcher because it's heavy and a very smooth runner.  (I already have one and converted it to DCC back in 2011.)  It reminded me of another find back in 2010 when I snagged three (3) hard-to-find Waterlevel Models NYC 19000-series caboose kits.  The seller had just posted them on eBay and I snapped them up for $25 each.

I'm NOT looking so much for stories about bargains you've found.  What I am looking for are stories about purchases you made where an item you were looking for popped up unexpectedly and you pulled the trigger before someone else could.  And you can include "lost fish" stories where you wish you had acted but didn't.

Tom

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, July 07, 2018 11:21 AM

Got a very rare Whinchester coaling tower, plenty of sand towers out there but it took awhile for this one, just surfing one day on e-bay.

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, July 07, 2018 11:29 AM

Also just bought a box with a whole ton of stuff in it including a Bachmann 70 ton DCC onboard for less than $50 out the door, fiqued that alone was a fair price but really wanted some of the other stuff.

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Posted by rrebell on Saturday, July 07, 2018 11:32 AM

Also noted on e-bay that prices have gone way down for some items in general.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 12:33 PM

My story is about the 12 pack of Tortoise switch machines.

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An ebay seller listed six of them one week, all with a $10.00 opening bid. I need about 40 switch machines for my layout, I tried to get four of them in one fell swoop.

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Well, all of them got bid up to close to $200.00, and I did not win any of them.

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But... at the exact same time, the same item was on sale at ModelTrainStuff for about $160.00!

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I guess nobody bothered to look at other outlets.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Saturday, July 07, 2018 1:08 PM

    The other day I was searching for the old blue box Athearn 5 unit container cars but there weren’t any listed. They usually go for around $50-60 in NOS unassembled condition. I checked the completed items and there were a handful that had been listed as buy now with the list price being only $19.95 and $29.95 from another seller. I missed out.
    On the other hand I snagged a very hard to find maintenance of way crane that was newly listed. I had been looking for it for several years.
    I don’t like auctions, I like buy now but you have to check the newly listed every day or you miss out.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Sunday, July 08, 2018 2:37 PM

I would have to say, it was the CMX car I got for a whopping $40.00.

Yes, I grabbed it before anyone else could!

Either that or the Athearn RTR AC4400 I found at a show for $35 NIB. 

Ricky W.

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Posted by Southgate on Sunday, July 08, 2018 9:46 PM

Same thing happened to me. I was watching an item that usually fetches $65 and up in dogfights, Buy it Now anywhere from there , up, and I mean WAY up.  So I hit refresh on the search, and it was one JUST posted for less than half that, Buy it now. I didn't expect it to be there not even wishfully. I couldn't pound keys fast enough!!!!  But, I nailed it.  Made my day! I still smile when I think about it. Dan

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Posted by DavidH66 on Sunday, July 08, 2018 11:48 PM

I mentioned this one in the past, but I got a Walthers Ford Assembly plant kit for $12 and a Atlas HO Scale Tank Car for $6 at Used Book Store.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, July 09, 2018 4:05 AM

rrebell

Also noted on e-bay that prices have gone way down for some items in general. 

I think that is a seasonal phenomenon. 

Model railroading items seem to sell for higher prices during the winter modeling season, November through February.  

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, July 09, 2018 5:16 AM

For me it was a Bev-Bel/Athearn Berwind Mills 50' ACF boxcar..

The one I was looking at was $25.00 with free shipping.

A new listing for this car popped up two days later for $12.00 with free shipping. I bought it.

Larry

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 09, 2018 8:09 AM

richhotrain
Model railroading items seem to sell for higher prices during the winter modeling season, November through February.

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That phenomenon works out great for those of us in South Florida.

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Our Model Railroading time is the Summer when it is too hot and humid to spend any time outside. Golf, fishing, live steam, etc are all Winter time activities down here when humidity is low and temperatures are in the 70s.

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Getting to ride national economic trends in our favor is a nice benefit.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Carolina Northern on Monday, July 09, 2018 8:11 AM

I'd been chasing the holy grail of 70's Southern modelers - the GP30 High Hood for a long time. Lost one that I had bid way more than I wanted to spend and settled for not finding one.

One day one popped up on Ebay for 130 and I jumped while it was still the last items listed. While I was waiting for it, I bought a set of new gears - hear all about Proto's cracking.

Got it and suprise - it's a smooth running great looking loco. Even my wife noticed how well it ran - a first. A quick decoder addition and it's probably my favorite loco and I have the gears, should it end up needing them. 

Not the way things normally happen for me.

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 09, 2018 8:29 AM

richhotrain

 

 
rrebell

Also noted on e-bay that prices have gone way down for some items in general. 

 

 

I think that is a seasonal phenomenon. 

 

Model railroading items seem to sell for higher prices during the winter modeling season, November through February.  

Rich

 

Normally I would agree but I have always been a bottom feeder and was delighted at the last housing crash (for me) as I had lots of hobby cash at that time (wish I had housing cash too) and expected prices to go way down, never happened. Now all of a sudden there are deals and not just on brass. Just saw one of the Hawthorn sets with everthing including the case , now I know it is not what most here would want and me neither but for around $135 out the door with everthing, wow. If I had gone into On30 like I was cotimplating at one time, I would have bought it for kitbash parts and gotten them for free as reselling unwanted parts.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, July 09, 2018 8:35 AM

I can´t comment at what is going on at your end of the Big Pond, but here in my country, the number of collections hitting the market seems to have increased recently, resulting in a noticeable drop in asking prices.

Patience pays off.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

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Posted by Silverliner266 on Monday, July 09, 2018 8:39 AM

Lost fish time, 

I model the Reading in N scale. A few years back Atlas made a Reading MP-15 but they are decently hard to come by. A couple months ago one popped up on Ebay unfortunately I was in a bit of a cash crunch at the same time. It ended up going in the high $40s. I've only seen one since and the starting bid was $80 with a buy it now north of $100, kind of wish I'd just stuck the first one on the old credit card...

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, July 09, 2018 9:13 AM

I don't know about under the radar, but what works for me is a combination of patience and checking almost daily for items of interest and decent deals. 

There are some OOP items like 40' Fruehauf trailers that are typically jacked up to 2 or 3 times the original MRSP - with some patience they do come up for MSRP or much less.  Same with the OOP Athearn 60' flat cars or bulkheads with loads - again they are normally listed for 2x MSRP or more, but I do see people winning examples for "fair" prices.

I don't really have a super duper "steals" on Ebay to crow about - mainly I look for rolling stock that is OOP that I need and try to find decent prices - if possible at or below street discount prices.  I've managed to find quite a few freight cars in the last month to fill in some home road freight cars I was looking for, including a lot of 5 P2K 4427 hopper kits all built up nicely ($13) each, and a bunch of IMRC and Exactrail covered hoppers for below disount or sale price.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 09, 2018 9:24 AM

Tinplate Toddler
I can´t comment at what is going on at your end of the Big Pond, but here in my country, the number of collections hitting the market seems to have increased recently, resulting in a noticeable drop in asking prices.

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There has been a ton of 3 rail Marklin hitting the market over here in the past 12 months, and prices are dropping a lot. I don't know anything about it, but the prices are so reasonable now that I am becoming curious...

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, July 09, 2018 11:57 AM

I was looking for Type 21 tank cars.  Just like that, 3 of them showed up for a total of about $40.  These were assembled Proto models new in the box.  They came from an estate sale.  I got very lucky.

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

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Posted by JWhite on Monday, July 09, 2018 12:37 PM

An eBay bargain had the nintended effect of making the hobby more expensive for me.  I bought an undecorated Bachmann Spectrum 4-8-2 Mountain with DCC and sound for the opening bid of $79.99.  The locomative had never been unpacked.

I had initially decided that I wasn't going to have sound because of the cost.  I put it on my test track and I was instantly hooked.

I don't know how I got it so cheap.  I guess no one else saw the listing.

Jeff White

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 09, 2018 1:48 PM

JWhite
I don't know how I got it so cheap. I guess no one else saw the listing.

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I can tell you I did not see it, or your surely would not have had it so cheap! Good find. I am glad the seller honored the bid for you.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 09, 2018 3:31 PM

Best deals of the past have been box of evergreen styrene shape and sheets 15"x15"x8" aprox, filled for less than $50 or the Shay Miter a $225 item if you can find one for $25 plus a bunch of other stuff to sell which more than got back the money or the box of 12 MDC cars (a complete set) for $6.75 plus about the same for shipping, forgot abouy the huge box of scenery  foam from Scenic Express for around $35, all these were from e-bay but the last one was not in the model railroading area at all as the guy did sets for ads and such.

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Posted by Mjorstad on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 10:47 AM

My younger brother bought his first train the other week-a Bachmann ATSF 4-8-4 with DCC installed-for just $20.  This after swearing he was not going to let me talk him into buying a train.  I’m so jealous!

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Posted by Jimmy_Braum on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 3:30 PM

Placed a bid on a Walthers MKT auto rack....lost it

there was another one with a "buy it now"...I jumped on it for 25 bucks. 

(My Model Railroad, My Rules) 

These are the opinions of a 26 year old, from the east end of, and modeling, the same section of the Wheeling and Lake Erie railway.  As well as a freelanced road (Austinville and Dynamite City railroad).

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Posted by rs2mike on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 8:43 PM

a few years back i got a massive box with built athearn cars in it.  I would say there were at least 50 with metal wheels and kadee couplers.  I got it for 35.00 with free shipping.  Found it in the other section of ho stuff.  Listed as a lot and no one else bid on it.  Steal of the century for me.  Ended up selling most of it over the years recouping my $35 and then quite a bit more.  Still have 5-6 grain cars and a few box cars from that lot

 

 

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

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Posted by Southgate on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 3:44 PM

I forgot about this fairly recent one. 1st Gear stopped making HO equipment. So I missed the boat on their big International 'dozers at my LHS. eBay Buy it now priced are about double MSRP, bid wars fetch somewhere between 1.5x-2x msrp. 

Someone had just posted a couple of them Buy It Now, at about MSRP (now a bargain) and I didn't waste time deliberating!   One will be left original, the other modified for woodchip service. Dan

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Posted by E-L man tom on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:45 AM

Tom,

Don't know if the Wathers SW1 that I purchased about 1995 was from the same release, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted (bought it for about $70.00, IIRC), but when I called the store I bought it from enquiring about the possibility of trading it for something else, he told me it was a limited run, so I kept it. I'm glad I kept it because, like you, I found it to be a very smooth runner with great low-speed performance. I still have it today. Mine is in Chessie System paint (which is also in my modeling schemes and plans). I wasn't sure if the Chessie even had an SW1, but in looking at a pictorial of the Chessie System, sure enough, they repainted a B & O SW1 into the Chessie scheme. 

Tom Modeling the free-lanced Toledo Erie Central switching layout.
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Posted by stokesda on Friday, July 13, 2018 6:55 PM

My main "bad story" - at a train show years ago I saw a barely used Athearn Genesis boxcar I really liked. I wasn't sure I wanted to pay $20 for it, so I put it down. After walking around a while, I decided I wanted to buy it, but after I returned to the vendor, of course it was gone. I was kicking myself for months after that. Sigh  I eventually found and bought one of those models years later, but at a higher price.

A "good" story - just last year, at another train show, I saw another rare freight car I had been looking for. Not a super great price, but not too bad, either. After holding the box and thinking about it for a while, I remembered my previous experience and just forked over the money. No regret, and I never missed the cash! Big Smile

A "good" eBay story - I was recently looking for a Bowser MLW M636. I eventually settled on the non-sound version due to financial considerations. One day while surfing eBay I stumbled on a NIB one with sound for slightly more than a typical non-sound version, and a heck of a lot less than the typical sound version. A little part of me thought it was too good to be true, but I convinced myself to take a chance and snag it before somebody else did. It turned out to be exactly as advertised, and I'm glad I got the sound version after all! Cool

Dan Stokes

My other car is a tunnel motor

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Posted by Southgate on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 2:29 AM

Lost fish: Last week a Glacier Gravel I was watching but forgot to act on went unbidded on. Coulda had it for $38 plus s&h. It was the delux kit with crusher and extra conveyers. Have a real use for those extra conveyers... He relisted, I shot high. Still got beat. Oh well, such is the game. 

Then while I was parusing for another, a buy it now one just popped up, 30+ lower s&h. Only because outer plastic seal was removed, all contents still in box. Didn't stall and let THIS one get away!

And then I found the conveyers on Amazon pretty cheap, overall came out just a couple bucks more than the original deal, minus the crusher. The project is on.

This cheered me up, since I was kinda moping about a very involved labor intense experiment that took 3 days, and ended up in failure. For now.    Dan

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