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How to come to terms with modern prices, or putting the "getting too expensive" myth to rest

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, November 19, 2023 7:39 AM

thomas81z

 

 
mobilman44

Hi,

Many of us are middle age or older (like me).  We tend to look at prices - no matter what the item or service - and compare it with what we paid years ago.

We may also tend to overlook the increase in the average wage, and the fact that most of what we buy today is improved - in one way or another.

 

 

 

 

 

Agreed

 

I collected 30 ho big boys & the rivarossi ones are with dcc& sound that i installed were still overall a pretty penny.

my MTH& BLI & ATHEARN & TRIX are way more expense then the 60s rivarossis but look @ what you get compared to the old dc big boys .Like any hobby it takes $$$$$ ,i bought them now because i wont be able to afford them in retirement

 

 

Then you are not doing your retirement right, I make more now than when I was working when you consider all the things I don't pay for like eating out every work day and comuting costs and work clothes plus not paying for FICA taxes which is 7.65% and with medicare, my health costs are way down, was paying around $1000 for my wifes and it is now $70 and she gets that throuh SS. Also don't forget you will not be paying into your retirement fund. Also in my world I pay less taxes as a lot of my money I put in muni's which are federal and state tax free. ON trains, there is always a bargin if you hunt, my proublen is there is nothing I need train wise the last major purchace being a couple of Walthers NW2's with DCC and sound, around $150 each and got those to replace a couple Kato units that I would have to convert. Those I pre-ordered by the way, first time I had ever done that.

  • Member since
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Posted by MJ4562 on Sunday, November 19, 2023 9:00 AM

mobilman44
Many of us are middle age or older (like me).  We tend to look at prices - no matter what the item or service - and compare it with what we paid years ago.

We may also tend to overlook the increase in the average wage, and the fact that most of what we buy today is improved - in one way or another. 

This nails it.  It's called 'anchoring' and it's an emotional response that can be hard to overcome. I used to make fun of my grandparents for it--"candy used to cost 5 cents" --but now in middle age I totally understand. 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, November 20, 2023 12:04 PM

I'm reaching senior citizen age but have done most of my purchasing in HO since the late 80's and probably most of it in the past ten years.  So ot seem I am used to the rapidly increasing prices even if I don't like it. 

If I reach back far enough, I recall I paid 25 cents to see 2001 a space odyssey at Travis Air Force Base cimima - I believe I was age 10.  I do remember my parents talking about movies and candy for a nickle but that would have been in the late 1930's.  But that's a discussion long worn out on this forum.

We live in todays economy and I am quite aware that in a few years my train budget will be affected in a big way after I stop working full-time and retire. 

I have filled a lot of holes in the past decade and still hope for a few more before I hit that point, and certainly can sell a lot of stuff I have now to generate a little money if I need something after I retire.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, November 20, 2023 4:16 PM

As usual, I am coming to this conversation late but here's my My 2 Cents.

If you make an apples to apples comparison, model railroading is no more expensive than it has been in decades past. Your dollars have become worth less so it takes more of them to buy the same items. Just last week I was talking about this with the proprietor of my LHS. I told him I had saved the 50th and 75th anniversary issues of the Walthers catalog and compared prices. Many items produced today are the same as what was offered decades ago, even if they are being sold under a different brand. If you adjust for inflation, the prices are very comparable. 

One thing that might seem more expensive are locos. If you compare a 1980s standard DC loco to current DCC locos with sound, of course it's going to be more expensive because you are getting more. Somebody has to pay for the R&D that goes into those locos. You can still buy non-sound DC locos and you'll find that they cost roughly the same today as they did in the 1980s if you adjust for inflation. 

Another item that can be more expensive is rolling stock, particularly passenger cars. Today's cars come with so much more detail than they used to. In the 1980s, you could buy a Rivarossi passenger car and it was basically an empty shell painted in the livery of the railroad of your choice. The cars were generic, and came with plastic wheels and truck mounted hornhook couplers. You had the option of upgrading them as much or as little as you liked. 

We also see higher end freight cars but you can still buy inexpensive shake the box kits with molded on detail. Accurail has replaced Athearn BB in that market and are no more expensive. I actually like Accurail better because I never liked the Athearn coupler system. 

Yes, if you go top of the line for everything, you are going to spend more on the hobby than in years past but if you buy similar level quality to what used to be available, it costs about the same. 

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Posted by Vintagesteamer on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 12:45 AM

My "To put it in perspective" is my fathers Lionel set from 1948.  Its nothing fancy, a lower end starter set.  But in that year it was $29.99.  Does not sound like much today.  But in 1948 that was a weeks wages for my Grandfather who worked for Fridigidare, then a division of General Motors.  So, trains have always been a luxury hobby if you wanted the newest and latest models.  But with the glut of collections coming on the market as the older ones pass on to the next life, we are blessed with a huge selection of second hand models to enjoy.  The hobby can be as expensive or not so expensive, that is up to the modeler.  Do you buy the newest RTR stuff, or kits?   Will an older version of xyz model work, or do you have to have the newest wizz bang model of the same engine that costs way more?   These are all decisions that neither myself or anybody else in this group can make for someone else.  I like what I like and that is how it should be.  As long as you are having fun with model trains, that is all that matters.   

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 6:48 AM

Vintagesteamer

My "To put it in perspective" is my fathers Lionel set from 1948.  Its nothing fancy, a lower end starter set.  But in that year it was $29.99.  Does not sound like much today.  But in 1948 that was a weeks wages for my Grandfather who worked for Fridigidare, then a division of General Motors.  So, trains have always been a luxury hobby if you wanted the newest and latest models.  But with the glut of collections coming on the market as the older ones pass on to the next life, we are blessed with a huge selection of second hand models to enjoy.  The hobby can be as expensive or not so expensive, that is up to the modeler.  Do you buy the newest RTR stuff, or kits?   Will an older version of xyz model work, or do you have to have the newest wizz bang model of the same engine that costs way more?   These are all decisions that neither myself or anybody else in this group can make for someone else.  I like what I like and that is how it should be.  As long as you are having fun with model trains, that is all that matters.   

 

Just what they said. People say things are expencive but people seem to want to shop where they want and make no effort to save money especialy on food. Near me is a 99cent plus store, they sell a bag of small bell peppers for $1.50, Safeway next door is $6 for same bag and brand. I see this all over and for train stuff too (just not next door for train stuff). People tend to have tunnel vision these days, me and the store clerks always laff at the long lines at one checkout with no lines at all at checkouts a little farther down the line. I accually have seen a line of 15 people in a checkout line that is the first you come to and no one in line at two a bit further down, I mean no one.

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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 10:21 AM

Things seem not to change.

Back in the 1970's I saw items I would really like to have and did not purchase them because I thought they were too expensive.

Now I see things I would really like to have and don't purchase them because I think they are too expensive.

And yet I somehow have acquired a basement full of train stuff that I'll never need/useWilted Flower

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