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Do You Use Ebay For Trains

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Do You Use Ebay For Trains
Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:43 AM

Ok, it might be a tired subject.  I don't want to into "the price of the hobby" or complaints about EBAY policies. I hope its avoidable.

I've notice that post pandemic prices on the site have skyrocketed, compared to the relatively mild price increases the online model railroad dealers have passed on.  Prices on dealer websites are up about 15% from prepandemic, but you're also getting more/better features, IMO.  I only buy from the dealer owned website places anymore.

I don't use Ebay much anymore, but I visited the site yesterday and was shocked at the prices.

Particularly locomotives.  Diesels with sound into the low $300s.  Used locos with old QSI technology asking in the low $200s.  Those should go for about $125.

Specifically, is anybody buying trains off of Ebay anymore, at these prices?  With so many other, better options.

What's going on.

- Douglas

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:50 AM

My ebay purchases have dramatically dropped. It seems that shipping is killing it. Something about buying a $10 item with $22.95 shipping goes against my common sense.

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:13 AM

Yes, I both buy and sell on there.

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:20 AM

I haven't for some time.  I used to pick up an occasional out-of-production item or something to match very old stuff I already had.  I have pretty much everything I plan to get, so I don't need to just "go shopping" anymore.  With train shows slowly coming back, I am happy with that.

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

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Posted by NVSRR on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:26 AM

Depends. Old out of production stuff like ambroid Kits or parts.  Then I will go there.  Or just disasters that, with a little help, can live again.  Or brass. Brass is going cheap there in some cases.  Mostly no.  Anything I can buy elsewhere I will often cheaper.   But if you know what you are looking at, deals can still be found. Buried in the mortgage payment prices type listings   I got two newer BLI rsd15 for under 80 each with sound.  Brandnew never run or out of box. These turned out to be the current version BLI sells.  But those scores not being common.  It is hit or miss really. But good for a laugh or heads scratcher for sure.  A beat up tyco. Engine from the 80's.? Rare? $200?  Huh?  

I like finding the old stuff that is being sold as parts or such cheap cause it had seen better days, but is restorable to a beautiful looks new piece  that has its rewards.   

shane

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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:56 AM

Used to frequently, but now?  Not so much!

 

TF

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:57 AM

 

n012944

Yes, I both buy and sell on there.

 

Do you think prices on ebay have gone up more than other retailers?

- Douglas

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:58 AM

I still purchase off eBay when the price is "reasonable".  However, that has become a smaller & smaller commodity the past 3 years.

I think "vintage" is the most overused & abused word on eBay; justifying sellers to ask ridiculous prices and starting bids for new and used stuff.  Granted, it's the seller's prerogative to ask whatever they want for an item.  It's also my prerogative how much I'm willing to pay for the same given item.

Tom

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Posted by Attuvian1 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:10 PM

tstage

I think "vintage" is the most overused & abused word on eBay; justifying sellers to ask ridiculous prices and starting bids for new and used stuff. 

Tom,

I agree that "vintage" means little these days.  Proof?  I'm quite vintage and no one would buy me at any price.  Why, I probably couldn't even be given away.  Even on eBay.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Whistling

Attuvian John

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:18 PM

I only use eBay for the occassional bargain, and those are getting harder to find.

The prices Fine Scale Miniatures kits actually sell for is coming down, but that does not stop dozens of seller listing the same kits over-and-over again for twice what they will ever sell for.

Since I have everything I need for the final layout, I really do not buy very much train stuff at all anymore.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by crossthedog on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:31 PM

For the items I am needing -- currently structure kits or building materials -- I do searches every day on eBay, to learn what stuff sells for. I do this also with stuff I don't really need -- locos, rolling stock. This way, when I go to my LHS or to a swap meet, I am forearmed with foreknowledge, so my forearm can reach out and scoop up good deals when I see them. But swap meets and even trips to the Local are data and visual overload, so it really behooves me to know the value of things before I go to those venues. And also, constant study of the eBay market helps when, occasionally, a great deal emerges and remains a great deal. I tossed in a not-high bid of $26 on a IHC Slovenia-made Mehano steamer and picked it up cheap because, I guess, no one else was paying attention. Those are regularly listed for $80 to $120 now. I picked up several other IHC Mehanos at swap meets each for $40. I might not have known to jump on them if I were not daily trawling eBay's waters.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by JDawg on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:34 PM

I use eBay at least once a month. Usualy to pick up a decent deal on some rolling stock. Recently I got a 3 pack of Accurail box cars for 17 and change. To me that's a great deal. But I also see crazy prices on the absolute worst stuff. Brass prices are all over the map. 1200 for this loco, 100 for this one, if gives me a headache trying to sort out what's what. 

JJF


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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:36 PM

I still buy items from time to time. On average, prices have gone up, both for the items and postage. I think two factors have been at play: 1) there are less private and more professional buyers/sellers; and 2) I suspect the percentage of returns is high, which becomes a cost for sellers. I can't count the number of engines I bought that required some kind of fix, from minor stuff like a broken bell, to broken gears. I could fix 99% of these things on my own, but many buyers probably would have just returned the item. If the folks at my local club are representative of the community, most folks cannot, or won't try to fix a broken loco.

Simon

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 1:16 PM

Doughless

Used locos with old QSI technology asking in the low $200s.  Those should go for about $125.

Why do you say that? What is your basis for saying that used locos with old QSI technology should go for about $125? If those used locos with old QSI technology are selling in the low $200s, that is the market.

Rich

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 1:31 PM

I have a list of things I keep my eyes open for and if one of those shows up online at a steal I grab it. I have never had that "got to have it now" problem so I have done very well over the years. I look on eBay and buy from legit retailers only and I have not had a bad experience.

I also keep my eyes open for items on the websites of online retailers I get Email ads from. If I see they have an item that keeps showing up every couple of months as if it is on the clearance table, I'll make them an offer. Having stock sitting on the shelf is not making them any money and they are often glad to get rid of something that has a layer of dust on it. You make an offer when buying a car, so why not to a model train retailer? 

Finally, never ever buy anything from a FB ad. If it is a legit retailer advertising on FB, go to the retailer's website and check the item out. FB has too many phony ads pretending to be a legit company.

I have only sold 1 item on eBay. I had a 40-year-old CB radio and I was about to take it to the recycle centre. I had a quick look online to see if it was collectible and sold it on eBay to someone in the U.S. for $375.00 US. Several people were bidding on it.

As far as prices on eBay or anywhere else for trains or anything else. I can either afford it or not. If not I go without or get to work and earn the money to buy it. It is that simple.

 

Brent

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

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 2:05 PM

Doughless

 

 

 
n012944

Yes, I both buy and sell on there.

 

 

 

Do you think prices on ebay have gone up more than other retailers?

 

 

It is hard to say.  I don't buy models that have just hit the market, as eBay is for sure more expensive that Lombard or MB Klein.  As an example, an A-B set of Rapido E units are going for $590 on eBay, you can get them for $509 at Lombard. For older models, ones that are not always easy to find at a hobby site, I don't think there has been that big of a jump in price.

 

The stuff that I sell seems to be about the same price that I have been getting.  That being said, I really only sell stuff that I replace with a better model.  I just finished selling my older Bowser PRR GLA hoppers, as the Rapido models were superior.  I also sell my stuff at auction, with the starting price being what I want for the model.  It is rare that they don't sell, and usually at a higher price that I started the auction at.

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 2:32 PM

Funny this topic should come up as I've come to realize in the last day or two that several of the road names I want to represent will be hard to find for rolling stock; particularly Chicago & Alton, Texas & Pacific, Susie Q, Bessemer, even old REA 40' box cars and Miller Beer Reefers: I'm pretty much stuck with eBay from what I can see...

Andy

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Posted by Water Level Route on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 3:36 PM

I wonder if the price increases have been driven by recent policy changes that have pushed smaller sellers away. For example, I have some rolling stock that no longer fits what I want to do, and a  fair amount of stuff I don't want from when I also had N scale. I was going to sell it all reasonably priced on eBay until I had to link a bank account to do it. Not setting up a separate account to sell a handful of things either. So, they'll sit in the box for now. 

Mike

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Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 3:56 PM

NEVER AGAIN, they ripped me off and still owe me money. "CAVEAT EMPTOR - Let the buyer beware" Although a small amount of money, I have seen a number of items that I would have purchased, which wouldhave made Ebay a lot of money.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 4:05 PM

I recently bought some boxcar kits from e-bay, and had them sent directly to me in Canada, from the U.S.
When a friend, who doesn't have internet, learned of that purchase, he asked if I could order the same for him, which I did.

However, buying the same items from what appeared to be the same seller, didn't work out so well, and I had to redirect the purchase to a friend in the U.S., as the seller did not ship to Canada.
It struck me as unusal, as in many (or maybe most) such purchases, the shipping costs are the responsibility of the purchaser. 

While the shipping costs were a bit steep, they were about the same as I had expected them to be, and I was satisfied with the first purchase, but may not get the second one until next year, when I can visit my American brother.

Wayne

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 4:24 PM

richhotrain

 

 
Doughless

Used locos with old QSI technology asking in the low $200s.  Those should go for about $125.

 

 

Why do you say that? What is your basis for saying that used locos with old QSI technology should go for about $125? If those used locos with old QSI technology are selling in the low $200s, that is the market.

 

Rich

 

Prior to the pandemic, things operated normally.  Trains depreciate in value, and the older tech QSIs would struggle to get $125 as the market moved to $220 Tsunami 2 and Loksound....now Loksound V5 locos. 

Now, used QSIs are being asked for $200 when the new Atlas and Athearn products are about $250 to $275.  Even the wonderful Bowser RS3 can be had for about $250.  

I understand the concept of markets.  Why has the market shifted on old tech QSIs to where they have appreciated over 50% when the retailers are selling new items that only have increased 15% from their prepandemic levels?

There seems to be no difference in used locos with Tsunami1 vs new locos with Tsunami2 

The different buckets no longer are making sense.  Why has "inflation" hit the used ebay market more than the new producers?

To lesser extent, I see it in rolling stock too, where used items on ebay go for more than the new items on the retail websites.  Not a lot of difference in roadnames or scarcity as far as I can tell.

- Douglas

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 4:53 PM

I am always amused when this topic comes up, and it does so about every 3 to 4 months. People assign derogatory nicknames to eBay like fleabay, evilbay, etc. People complain that they get ripped off, purchase junk, pay too much in shipping fees, outrageous prices, astronomical fees, you name it. But, the truth of the matter is that eBay works, and it provides a nationwide audience of potential buyers and sellers.

I rarely buy used model railroading equipment on eBay, but it is often my go-to source for new items. Shipping is a cost of doing business and, yes, shipping costs have increased over the past few years but that is due to the shippers not eBay sellers.

eBay now requires sellers to set up a deposit account at a bank to receive sale proceeds. That initially bothered me, but I opened a no-fee checking account at a local bank where I otherwise do no business, and it works just fine.

Where I really appreciate eBay is as a seller of used model railroading equipment that I no longer want or need. Every January, I sell off used locomotives, rolling stock, track, electronics, etc. I never sell junk. I never sell anything that is damaged or broken except in the rare case where I inform the prospective buyers of the nature of the damage.

I have a 100% positive feedback record as a seller. My practice is to sell a used item for 70% of my original purchase price if it is in excellent condition or 50% of my original purchase price if it is in very good condition. I always sell everything that I list. I pay a seller's fee of 10% of the sale price. That doesn't bother me in the least. 

So, for all the whiners who dislike eBay, that's a shame. For me, eBay is my friend.

Rich

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 5:16 PM

richhotrain
My practice is to sell a used item for 70% of my original purchase price if it is in excellent condition or 50% of my original purchase price if it is in very good condition. I always sell everything that I list. I pay a seller's fee of 10% of the sale price. That doesn't bother me in the least. 

richhotrain
   

Dude, from what I've seen lately, you should be asking about 150% of your original cost.  Even your 20 year old items should be 150% of the cost of a similar item bought 3 years ago.  I share your norms.  But they are over, from what I see. 

Now you know why they changed the tax law to capture transaction above $600.  The IRS knows that everything has appreciated and you "should" have a Gain on any item sold...LOL.

- Douglas

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 5:24 PM

Hey, Douglas, I have always detested being referred to as "dude".

As far as the tax law treatment that you find so amusing, a seller like myself wil not be taxed on losses. LOL

Rich

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Posted by TheK4Kid on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 5:55 PM

I have never sold on Ebay, but have purchased many items. I have well over a 300 positive feedback. Never been ripped off. Only once did I buy a HO scale  PRR GG1 loco that was dead on arrival. Seller gave me a total refund with no questions asked.

I paid over $200 for it. I offered to return it,seller said keep it, he didn't want it back.

About six weeks later when I had some spare time, I removed the loco shell and found a broken solder joint going to the motor. I resoldered it and it worked perfect, including the BLI QSI sound.

Another time I was watching a large scale RC airplane kit that was priced over $300. The seller sent me a message and told me he had two of these kits and hadn't sold them after having them on Ebay for almost 4 months.

He offered both of them to me at $400 and he would pay the shipping just to unload them. I kept one and took one to a swap meet where a guy offered me $250 for the one  kit! My end cost was $150. The kit manufacturer sells that same kit online for $379 nowadays plus about $20 shipping.

It happens to be a very popular kit and is a great flier!

So there are great deals out there if you look for them.

But also I see some sellers asking exorbitant prices, so they can set on their products as far as I am concerned.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 6:17 PM

richhotrain

Hey, Douglas, I have always detested being referred to as "dude".

As far as the tax law treatment that you find so amusing, a seller like myself wil not be taxed on losses. LOL

Rich

 

Rich.  Apologies.  My comment was not intended to make light of your choices.  It was a slightly humorous attempt to show how the norms I share with you have apparently changed.

I too think that consumer toys like trains immedately lose value once I buy them, and would think recovering 75% of my original purchase price would be normal. 

But since the pandemic I've seen two things:

Used rolling stock and locos are going for above what a buyer paid for them new probably 15 to 20 years ago.

And the prices are not much different than brand new items that can be bought at online hobby shops, where the new product is a superior model.

I was hoping that those with greater insight into the market than me could help explain it.  I think it has something to do with ebay itself, but I'm not sure.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by DrW on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 6:37 PM

Yes, if the price is right, but much less than I used to. E.g., half a year ago I bought an Athearn Genesis Santa Fe F7 212 AB set with Tsunami sound for $260. Fortunately, I could avoid the overblown shipping charges ($33) by asking a friend to do local pick-up.

Up to about five years ago, I used eBay a lot for purchasing older brass. However, now I have most of the items I want and am just looking for a few missing pieces of high-end Santa Fe brass. Although these items are very, very rare on eBay, sometimes you can find them. E.g., a few months ago, a seller on eBay offered a TCY ("The Coach Yard") Santa Fe "partitioned coach" for $450. Historically, these cars are very interesting. The Santa Fe had ordered in 1947 three of them for the "Texas Chief". They were the only Santa Fe passenger cars with a vestibule on both ends, and they had a partition in the passenger section, to allow separation of black and white passengers.

Back to eBay. The original price of this car in 2002 had been $395. I put in a bid, but was not successful. In the end, it sold for close to $500. As it turned out, this was still a bargain. A few weeks ago, brasstrains.com had the same car on sale for $650, and it was gone within a few days.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 7:44 PM

Douglas, no worries. On a positive note, this thread has got me thinking that I should check recent eBay transactions. As I mentioned in my earlier post, every January, right after all of the holiday hoopla, I list used model railroading items for sale. One thing that I look at is recent Completed Items and Sold Items to see what similar items are selling for or not selling. Then, I price accordingly, hoping to stay within the 50% to 70% threshhold from my original purchase price. In the past, this has always worked for me. Nothing has gone unsold.

There have been a few instances in the past where an item that I have listed has not sold. So, I have to reprice it. This past January, I listed a like new Bowser VO-1000, DCC and sound, that I purchased and essentially never used a few years earlier for $279. I listed it for $190, Buy It Now or Best Offer, and didn't get a single bite. That is just one example, but at least back in January, prices were not out of sight on eBay. So, I need to go back and check to see what has transpired in the meantime.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 8:11 PM

The only model trains I have ever bought off Ebay are long out of production, mostly NOS stuff like older LifeLike production Proto2000 stuff. You know, no sound, no DCC, made 25 years ago......

Recently I did find more undecorated PROTO PA1's at very reasonable prices.

But I don't even look there that often anymore, for anything.

Yes prices are WAY up on Ebay. Not just on trains.

It is a rare occasion when I buy something "used", as in actually run on someone elses layout. But some NOS stuff really gets my attention.

MANY years ago I sold about three model trains on Ebay, because in 55 years that's about how many trains  have bought and then later decided I did not want.

So while I have experiance selling hundreds of custom made tractor parts on Ebay years ago, my experiance selling trains is limited - almost forgot, I did sell a bunch of pesky DCC decoders removed from locos years ago - they went fast at 2 for $30.

These days the tractor market has moved to facebook, and I'm not interested in the rules at Ebay.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 8:19 PM

Doughless

 

 
richhotrain

Hey, Douglas, I have always detested being referred to as "dude".

As far as the tax law treatment that you find so amusing, a seller like myself wil not be taxed on losses. LOL

Rich

 

 

 

Rich.  Apologies.  My comment was not intended to make light of your choices.  It was a slightly humorous attempt to show how the norms I share with you have apparently changed.

I too think that consumer toys like trains immedately lose value once I buy them, and would think recovering 75% of my original purchase price would be normal. 

But since the pandemic I've seen two things:

Used rolling stock and locos are going for above what a buyer paid for them new probably 15 to 20 years ago.

And the prices are not much different than brand new items that can be bought at online hobby shops, where the new product is a superior model.

I was hoping that those with greater insight into the market than me could help explain it.  I think it has something to do with ebay itself, but I'm not sure.

 

 

As we have discussed before, "superior model" is a matter of choices and desires.

I was happy to pay $79 for a 25 year old set of Proto PA/PB, both powered, NOS undecorated locos.

I will go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe some people are tired of the preorder, vaporware, wait for it to get built thing and are willing to pay new prices for something that will show in a week rather than 10 months?

I'm happy that I was able to afford what I wanted years ago, and I have interest in "trading up".

Sheldon

    

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