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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I bid on part of an old steamer---an AF 322 Hudson, probably 60 to 70 years old. What I was bidding on was the frame, motor, and wheels: tender, cowcatcher, and boiler shell were missing. They said it ran great (I wondered how they could tell?) and I saw in it a chance to restore it by gradually acquiring parts. I placed a bid and was the high bidder. Then, I looked at their on-line store and was dismayed. It seems that ebay id dhstow (Stow It Collections) of Wilton, CA, acquires working antique engines and breaks them down for parts, effectively destroying one of a limited number of the remaining units.

When I emailed them and expressed my dismay at what they were doing, I received this answer:

Dear lcecil52,

Hi, I understand. We have a multiscale layout that encircles a 40,000 square foot warehouse that is a personel museum of all kinds of items, from Model Ts, to vinatge tractors and lots of vintage toys. All our collection is in excellent or better condition. We use to take broken locos apart and fix them up to sell them, but we found that the demand is greater for the parts. Many hobby enthusiasts need good parts to fix their toys. Should we ignore this demand? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect yours. But maybe you should learn a little about the people you insult, before doing so.
Have a nice day!
Tammy


- dhstow



Do as you see fit, but I'm unwilling to do business with someone with this perspective.

Reckers
 

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It's done with Athearn and Rivarossi locomotives all the time...in the end, the sum of the parts is worth well more than the hole. While I agree with you, I can't blame them for taking advantage of a lucrative market either.
 

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect yours. But maybe you should learn a little about the people you insult, before doing so.
Although I can see their point in doing this, to an extent, but to state this to a customer isn't exactly what I would consider "good business practices"! An explanation would have been sufficient, with the insult of their own. personnally I wouldn't part out a working antique, since most antiques will sell for more than parts of the whole, but i guess they see different. However if you sell antiques as "antiques" you do increase the price substantually!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have no problem with the idea of taking a broken unit and using it's parts to repair another. However, I have (obviously) a serious problem with destroying a working antique who's individual parts are all described as either "excellent" or "in good condition" so as to create parts to sell. I realize I'm overreaching with this comparison, but it's like selling the Spirit of St. Louis for scrap. Some things deserve to be preserved for future generations. I agree they will gradually deteriorate over time, but why intentionally destroy them when they're in good working order? I find it repugnant. Just because people do it doesn't make it acceptable.
 

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I always keep in mind that I am bidding against parts people. I would think that the high price of parts would discourage demand, and go just after the whole. Go Figure. I did this with the 2026. Runners were going for 30, parts were half or a quarter that price.
I keep my used part purchases at a minimum. Normally I know who I am dealing with.
I see on ebay part lots, i think these are discards from die hard collectors improving their pieces by upgrading parts.
 

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to fix their toys? anyway I see how this guy has a point.. but Taken a good locomotive nd destroying it to make parts = not good.
 

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but Taken a good locomotive nd destroying it to make parts = not good.
I am just playing Devil's advocate here, but what if destroying one good, working locomotive resulted in parts that would allow fixes to be made to five non-working (or parts missing, etc) locomotives?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I understand, and I did give that some thought. There are two problems with that approach, to me.
The first is that, for a collector, having one assembled out of parts from multiple units is not the same thing as having an original. Passing one off as an original would be less than honest. I understand the hair-splitting arguments that go with that: What if it's just one replacement screw? At what point do repair parts, new wire, and so on make it cease to be an original unit? I'm not a collector---I'm a runner. I do think it's appropriate to speak to that issue, though.
The second is this: realistically, what parts go bad on an old steamer? The things are built like tanks. Usually it's one of a very few things: an armature, a reversing unit, or a damaged shell. Two damaged steamers will generally add up to one good one and some spare parts: there's no need to destroy a good one. There's already plenty of cowcatchers and boiler-fronts available from the ones lil Johnny attempted to dismantle. The same applies to armatures and reversing units. I realize this is an emotional issue with me, but I hate to see something that's survived for 60 years destroyed so somebody can make an extra $15 off of gutting it. It's sort of like going into a museum at night and stealing Anasazi pots for resale.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
B&M, I just hit on an analogy that might make my position clearer. *L* The Statue of Liberty is made of copper on an iron frame. At current market value, the copper would be worth 1.4 billion dollars. So, I'm putting a serious question to you: Why don't we break it up, sell the parts for whatever anyone needs copper for, and replace it with a plastic one? The idea is actually more logical than breaking up a steamer, as the tons of copper can go into repairing or building a million things. The answer is that the statue means something to people. It's been there all their lives, and it speaks to the continuity of our own, personal history and beliefs. William Faulkner said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." What keeps the past alive is remembering it, and our little toys connect us with the past. That is what I object to: destroying the next generation's connection to it's history to make a few extra bucks.
 

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Like I said earlier, "Destroying an antque to make a few extra bucks is not logical". In fact, if they sold the whole train on an antique site they would fetch more than all the parts combined would fetch in the first place, especially if it were all original. To me it would be like parting a perfectly running antique model T and selling for parts to make a bunch of mismatched ones worth nothing more than a appeal factor.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Exactly. Unfortunately, some people will do anything for that extra buck.
 

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When I emailed them and expressed my dismay at what they were doing, I received this answer:

"...But maybe you should learn a little about the people you insult, before doing so."
Hey Reck, :)

You don't have to quote what you said to them here... but it's worth considering a rhetorical question: Did you insult them?

Like you, I hate seeing the needless destruction of irreplaceable things. For example, we still use the 60+ year old refrigerator my parents bought when I was born. Over the years it's been repainted three times and the door gasket has been replaced countless times and it still runs like it was new. I'll likely go my whole life without ever needing to buy a refrigerator.

If you look at it as one limited edition engine's parts living on in other limited edition engines, it's really not so bad. If there's a demand for parts, that means that there are incomplete engines which need those parts to be whole again.:)

Greg
 

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Yesterday, I bid on part of an old steamer---an AF 322 Hudson, probably 60 to 70 years old. What I was bidding on was the frame, motor, and wheels: tender, cowcatcher, and boiler shell were missing. They said it ran great (I wondered how they could tell?) and I saw in it a chance to restore it by gradually acquiring parts. I placed a bid and was the high bidder. Then, I looked at their on-line store and was dismayed. It seems that ebay id dhstow (Stow It Collections) of Wilton, CA, acquires working antique engines and breaks them down for parts, effectively destroying one of a limited number of the remaining units.

When I emailed them and expressed my dismay at what they were doing, I received this answer:

Dear lcecil52,

Hi, I understand. We have a multiscale layout that encircles a 40,000 square foot warehouse that is a personel museum of all kinds of items, from Model Ts, to vinatge tractors and lots of vintage toys. All our collection is in excellent or better condition. We use to take broken locos apart and fix them up to sell them, but we found that the demand is greater for the parts. Many hobby enthusiasts need good parts to fix their toys. Should we ignore this demand? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect yours. But maybe you should learn a little about the people you insult, before doing so.
Have a nice day!
Tammy


- dhstow



Do as you see fit, but I'm unwilling to do business with someone with this perspective.

Reckers


Your not going to cry are you?:D

Leave that statue of Liberty alone! It's in Jersey!:laugh:

I would like to see the e mail you sent them, you must have went overboard a little?:rolleyes:

Learn about the people you insult, ha ha ha. They just might have a warehouse full of stolen stuff and so it can't be identified they chop them up.

Did you ask if you could buy the rest of it? As they must have it.:rolleyes:

Now at least you know where to go for parts.:laugh:
You do need some for the stuff you just won.

If it's e-bay they might have blocked you from bidding.

Tammy sounds like a _itch first class, not good for business. how does she know you are not a Billionaire and now you won't buy that antique automobile from them if it was the last one on earth.

You should have asked them if they chop up that one of a kind tractor or car to sell the parts.

Put a link for them, Everyday I will ask them a question about something for sale and drive them nuts. :D

Put them in my e-bay reviews thread.

All said I guess I agree with you.
But if you needed the parts would you still object to what they do?
 

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His post to my wife:

his post to my wife:

"Dear dhstow,

Yesterday morning, I was the high bidder on a 322 chassis and motor you had for auction. I was determined to bid whatever I must to win it. However, when I looked at your other store offerings, I was dismayed: you had apparently taken an intact Hudson and broken it up into pieces to sell---a chop-shop operation. I stopped bidding when I realized this.
I'm not going to attempt to convince you not to do this: I believe arguments about history, love of the hobby, etc. would be made to deaf ears. I'm only going to say I find this practice offensive and will not bid on any of your future offerings.

Sincerely,
Leonard C*****"

My wife took "deaf ears" and our "practice offensive" as an insult. She responded with the quoted message above and then handed it over to me, and we exchanged a few more insults. Back and forth it went like a couple of kids. I apologize to Reckers for my insults. He had upset my wife and I was a bit upset with him. Especially since she took the time to look up the information on a question he had asked the previous day about the motor in question and everything seemed nice....he seemed like a genuingly nice guy.

I explained to him this morning, that I do sell complete units. I also explained that I have bought 8 322s like the motor he was bidding on, in the last few weeks, and all of them were locos and tenders that had damage/missing parts and did not run. I also explained the motor he was bidding on came from a loco & tender that did not run. Even after I fixed the tender plugs, the loco would not run. Then I took it apart and found out why. One little strand of wire was shorting out a connection on the eunit. Easy fix. Cut that one stray strand, and the motor ran like a champ. (How he asked in this forum? Easy...Plug in a known good tender and a good motor will run...without all of the other stuff on board) I then asked him why should I take the time to put it back together, when the demand for the parts is larger then the demand for a incomplete loco and tender?

He told me I should put it back together. Why? So I can spend more time on it and make even less money? Or even lose money? Hello? What am I missing here? My time is valuable. These things don't come apart and fix themselves and then go back together all by themselves. How dare I want to maximize my profit, or try to make sure I even make a profit. What a concept!

Sure, I could add a better shell, nice gear, an unbroken tender shell(all those were bad), and I have done that before, in order to have a complete unit. Just not this one.
I just don't get the big beef. I don't see it as ruining a vintage piece. It was already broken. I see it as fixing many others that obviously need it also.

That's my 2 cents worth. Thank you for letting me explain myself.

:eek:)

Cheers!
 

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Really?

"Put a link for them, Everyday I will ask them a question about something for sale and drive them nuts. "

Why would you do that? More child like behavior is not the answer.

:eek:)

Cheers
 

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Oh yes.

I clean them and lube them also.

Sorry, this is not a free service.....unless you happen to win it cheaper then my cost.

It does happen....

:)

Cheers
 

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Welcome to the forum.:thumbsup:

Yes, fixing them is a labor of love as there really is no money in it, especially when you can part it out for 2-3 times the money.

They say to make a small fortune in model trains you must first start with a large one. I'm glad to see someone can do it, blessings to you and yours.
 

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She responded with the quoted message above and then handed it over to me, and we exchanged a few more insults. Back and forth it went like a couple of kids. I apologize to Reckers for my insults.
Welcome! It is nice to have the other side of the story too... Your posting was an appropriate explination :)

Just to be safe though, I want to make sure that this thread stays clean and does not turn into a massive flame war... So before anything happens, I am reminding everyone to keep any personal "attacks" to PMs... Thanks ;)
 
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