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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to take the plunge and go to eBay to look for locomotives. So far I am 0-5 in winning. Sales tax and shipping charges are killing sales for me. I figure tax and shipping into the price to acquire any item. So because of that I refuse to over pay. An extreme example I have been watching was a 372 UP "Made By American Flyer" version. Since I already have 2 "Made by Gilbert" 372's, one in very nice condition, the other good, I've always wanted a "Made by American Flyer" version. The one I was watching sold for $540.90!! An engine worth no more than $200 goes for double plus? That doesn't include sales tax and shipping. Not only that, there were 21 bids. Yes it was very nice and it is a rarer version than the "Made By Gilbert" but come on. $540.90??? They aren't that rare in nice condition. I should have bought one years ago when I bought my "Gilbert" one. Now I'll have to watch other ones to see if this was a fluke of being people being mentally challenged from being couped up in their houses or was that Stimulus checks being spent??

Kenny
 

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Keep watching. 21 bids will result in too high. I think you have to figure in shipping and any tax.
You will bid on more items than you win. You have seen some of the deals I have got. I only bid
in last 10 seconds. Many times the item has already gone too high by then. Seems in the last week
items are way too high. Sellers are fishing. They are waiting for that one bite. Good luck.
 

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I bought 2 cars yesterday on ebay. One was a really nice 940 Wabash hopper. $5.50 plus 8 something shipping. And I bought a brand new in box flat car with 2 Southern trailers. $20 plus 8 something shipping. I hate shipping charges but it beats driving 6 states away to pick up item. Some shipping charges are way too high. I use the "watch list" a lot. Missouri does
not charge tax on ebay stuff.
 

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Over paying is the norm on ebay. Like you I figure in shipping, Oregon doesn't tax ebay...yet, as the total cost. I've been watching a lot of old, used, brass flex track sell for more without shipping than brand new track from a dealer with shipping. I just shake my head go on to the next watch. Sometimes I bid but I bid only once and that's the maximum I will pay, period. There are some great deals to be had on ebay but it requires a great exercise in patience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Chaostrain, Illinois never misses a chance to tax any and everything so there is sales tax eBay charges. I pay careful attention to shipping since it can be padded. When the shipping cost shows up and it is USPS and I know from experience what shipping should cost. I avoid anybody who says shipping material is part of the shipping cost. Ain't my problem what it cost you. That is the cost of doing business and the seller should absorb it. Anyway, how much does packing and free used boxes cost? Not much since I used to buy at auctions to sell on eBay to help support my Flyer buying. Just a way for the seller to pick up extra money.

Mopac, You got some good deals there especially that Southern TOFC. That watch list is a good thing right along with the sold listings to see what the selling cost trend is. I did get another IC reefer that had been converted to knuckles for $15 all in. The actual car cost was $9.50. The change from links to knuckles doesn't bother me. I now have 7 different numbered IC reefers. I'll keep looking.
I too only bid in the last few seconds. Some of the deals you and flyernut have gotten is why I decided to try again. Besides, there are no shows now so eBay and a couple of other sites I have looked at are all there is so I think savvy sellers have figured this out and price accordingly with But It Now pricing and starting bid prices.

Kenny
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Since I have an "AF" 372 I am pleased to see one sell for that price. Prices for original 372's have been depressed by the Lionel release of the FlyerChief GP7 in UP livery. I posted a picture of one earlier this week in another thread.
I have no idea of the condition of the AF 372 that sold. An Ex (7) is valued at $200 in the most recent guide. For most of my collecting hobby I have purchased LN or better, with OB when possible. Based on my experience in this subset of collecting an AF 372 in true LN condition would be expected to sell for $300 to $400, with multiple bidders $500 is possible. An OB for this engine would be worth $100. $540.90 for a 372 in Ex or Ex- is hard to justify.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Since I have an "AF" 372 I am pleased to see one sell for that price. Prices for original 372's have been depressed by the Lionel release of the FlyerChief GP7 in UP livery. I posted a picture of one earlier this week in another thread.
I have no idea of the condition of the AF 372 that sold. An Ex (7) is valued at $200 in the most recent guide. For most of my collecting hobby I have purchased LN or better, with OB when possible. Based on my experience in this subset of collecting an AF 372 in true LN condition would be expected to sell for $300 to $400, with multiple bidders $500 is possible. An OB for this engine would be worth $100. $540.90 for a 372 in Ex or Ex- is hard to justify.
Yes like I said, I was amazed at that $540.90 selling price. I will not buy any that are not at least LN since that is what mine is I bought 15 years ago. I would pay $250-300 for a 372 "Built by American Flyer" since they are rarer but no way $540!!! That one looked to be LN since it was described as being in storage for several years and showed no wheel tread wear, but no box which I am not too particular about. Boxes have never been a deal breaker for me. It is nice to get one but not a requirement. I have seen the selling price for the 372 "Built by Gilbert" engines are now routinely posted at a $220 or more starting price and rarely more than a 7-8 grading. The "Built By American Flyer" postings are all over the place. As can be expected, they are at posted at a higher starting point. Prices will very. I did comment on your GP Lion Chief UP GP7. Very nice.

Kenny
 

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I buy n sell Flyer and have done so for past 20 years.I left ebay and have gone to Facebook Market Place bout a year ago;As a seller with all fees totalled in you pay bout 17 per cent commission.Adding sales tax and shipping to the left coast I am surprised at what people will pay.Have I missed out on better prices selling on ebay....you bet.It is not always about price I am more of a hobbyist at heart than seller so getting or giving a good deal to a fellow hobbyist still counts in my book.Two quick examples.At a recent train show in Dec. a boy with his Mom came by my table three times looking a $225 Lionel set.They decided to buy.I asked if it was a Christmas present...she said yes.I sold it to her for $175.Right now on ebay there is a boxed GP7 370 set auto unloader selling for $499 with $60 shipping.I sold it to that guy for $225 locally.All I can say is best of luck.I would try Market Place with specific American Flyer selling groups.No bidding....no sales tax.You may be pleasantly surpised....
 

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I miss the train shows where I could recognize the sellers and vice versa. Plus nothing like actually examining the item. I am down to one train show/year. Now that I have more free time I was going to fly to Chicago for the DuPage show twice/year and go to one S Fest but that is on hold now. S Fest West has faded away.
I do not have a Facebook account and likely never will. It feels good to know there are still people like Flyguy55 supporting our hobby.
 

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I think I need to stay off ebay for a bit. Just spent some more. AF track locks or clips. I like them
and they work well. Bought 45 for 10 something and 4 something shipping. They are in good
condition. Good deal. I have lots of them. I need to get them all together and see how many I
have. I am guessing about 200. I hate when track comes apart.

I don't do Facebook.
 

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200 track locks? you must have a vision for a large layout in the near future. At 10" of track per lock that is 2,000" of track or about 170' of track. I cannot wait to see what you build!
 

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I have very little experience with the track locks. Like how many I need. Layout plans are
6 X 12 with a 6 X6 addition. L shaped. 4 loops making the whole trip.
 

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Sounds like you have more than enough. If any track will be up on the Gilbert piers then two locks are best at each track joint, otherwise only one per joint is needed.
I do not use them for two reasons, most importantly they are incompatible with the rubber roadbed. I also fasten down my track to a layout base.
Regarding having four loops in 60", they will barely fit unless one is elevated. The minimum safe center to center distance is 3.5". So that is 40", 47", 54" and 61". The 3.5" can be reduced down to 3.25" but be sure to carefully check the clearances.
 

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I have not tried a fit yet. If I have to I will go to 3 loops. I do not want any rubbin, it ain't Nascar. I was not planning any elevated track. On the curves is where I will need to watch it. Locos swing out on curves. The straight track will be on 24 inch wide sections. And that should be fine. The turns are where I will have to watch it. Never enough room.
 

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🌈 When you search do you go to the left window and check 'free shipping' and the 'price range' boxes ? This will remove everything else your not interested in...
 

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I do not. Maybe I should. Free shipping is like Ragu Sauce. Its in there. I do not mind shipping if I can get
the item cheap enough. I combine everything and come up with total price.
 

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I am not an ebay buyer most of the time but on rare occasions I use it. When I do searches for uncommon S gauge items eliminating sellers who charge shipping would likely eliminate the one seller who has the item. I always search top down starting with highest price plus shipping first.
 

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I agree Tom. I don't eliminate anything. I just put in American Flyer and look at everything.
First look at "ending soonest" for maybe the next 4 hours. Always adding things to "watch List".
Then look at "recently listed". Anyway it works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've been all over the place in that left eBay column. From just putting in "American Flyer" and eliminating nothing, searching top down, ending soon, recently listed, free shipping only, Buy it Now only, and auctions only. I also check the sold history to look at the average price. That can be misleading though. To me each method has it's good and bad. I don't have a favorite method although if I am looking for an item that I want to be LN or better I will use the top down, highest price plus shipping method if I am looking for a particular car. Steam engines not so much that way. I will look at anything since those can usually be restored in appearance and operation.
I just know that it has been hit and miss, mostly miss, as I am now 1-8 in the cars and 0-6 with the engines since I won't pay a crazy price after the shipping and sales tax are added. I am in no hurry. If I get the item fine. If not then just like a bus in the city, there will be another one coming along. I sure do miss the train shows. I wouldn't be on eBay if there were. Bottom line, I don't NEED anything but WANT everything I don't have! lol

Kenny
 
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