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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you know I am always on top of eBays trends, pricing, selling, values etc... This is the first time in my life I can say that on eBay its a buyers market. In times of financial strain many people take things they do not need or use and sell those items for a quick cash injection. Many things unfortunately that they do not want to sell must be forfeited for the sake of the better good.

Its great to have that avenue to sell things for some much needed cash via eBay but the down side is the market gets flooded due to mass amounts of people doing the same thing to get extra money coming in. The consumers cash flow gets smaller which in turn makes the demand for luxury items drop.

I have witnessed this up close and personal with recent purchases I have made on eBay. I had placed bids on 3 SD70 Kato Executive Scheme BNSF engines brand new on 3 individual listings. The auction ending date came and I was online as the seconds ticked down. I was prepared to have a short battle during those last 15 seconds as each one ended. However, there was no battle at all.. I was rather shocked when the first one closed $3 shy of $100 with no one making a move to own it. The second one ticked down and I was once again ready but only 2 small bids that moved the number from $97 to $122... The last one came and it was the most rare one of the 3 but had already climbed to $138. I was ready for a Mexican stand off typical during the last 15 seconds but nothing came... A short month or 2 months ago each one of those rare engines would have all closed right at $200 - $220 each totaling at minimum $600 for the trio yet I had all 3 for $360

I have had many other deals that ended up being very good deals in the end. 6 new Atlas single head 1 target signals and 3 Atlas bidirectional 2 target signals for $120? Retail on those from any hobby shop USA would have been over $230 all day long.

If you can hold off from selling your train items I would really suggest that. This market is not returning top dollar on our beloved trains and accessories. On the other side of that coin if you are needing items for your collection or layout then now is the time to obtain them.

Also, the last 6 weeks has been a great time to invest in the stock market but that window is slowly closing. Even when the market closes down it is still up from where it was last month. I have made many moves in my portfolio during this "pandemic". I have been very aggressive in that area because after Trump came in in 2016 the market has made leaps and bounds. New records set, companies trading for the first time, going public etc etc... If people can afford to make moves with their portfolios prices have not been down like this in years so to not take advantage of it while you can is not wise. The market will come back and in my opinion we will all see that upward climb in the next 6 months. It will certainly rise like it did in 2016 if Trump wins a second term which I believe he will. That is even better news for our portfolios.

To be in my 40's the stock market has been very good to me the last 25 years and continues to do so. Granted I have ownership of a wealth management firm with a name every one knows but I wont mention it here because the FTC regulates everything so tightly that people would be amazed. My wife being a Financial Advisor now for over 20 years has certainly helped in that area as well.

In closing buy low on eBay but sell low on eBay... Buy low on Wall Street and sell high on Wall Street very soon!
 

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You couldn't tell that from the prices for Bemo equipment. Some sellers have BIN $30 higher for used equipment that you can buy new for $65. Go figure.
 

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Prices have definetly been jaw-dropping lately. Earlier this week I was cruising eBay, and to my suprise, saw a working, intact large scale steamer starting at 20$ cad. Have also looked at multiple HO BLI steamers for quite a bargain...sitting for days and no one touches them!
 

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This is the worse time of year to sell trains anyway, regardless of the economy. Fall to Christmas is traditionally the best.
I don’t doubt that economic conditions will depress prices even then, though. Anyone who looks at their train collection as a potential source of substantial income is in for disappointment.
 

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Well, I always assume my trains are worth zero as far as re-sale goes. Keeps things simple and pure - they are toys, bought for pleasure, and the money is gone once I own them..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Prices have definetly been jaw-dropping lately. Earlier this week I was cruising eBay, and to my suprise, saw a working, intact large scale steamer starting at 20$ cad. Have also looked at multiple HO BLI steamers for quite a bargain...sitting for days and no one touches them!
Yes and I forgot to mention that on those BNSF units or BN that 54 people were watching and in the 40’s range watching the other 2 yet no moves on them hardly at all.
Prices have definetly been jaw-dropping lately. Earlier this week I was cruising eBay, and to my suprise, saw a working, intact large scale steamer starting at 20$ cad. Have also looked at multiple HO BLI steamers for quite a bargain...sitting for days and no one touches them!
Yes and I forgot to mention regarding the BN units 54 people were watching 1 of those listings and in the 40’s were watching on the other 2. Yet no one made a move at all. That never happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Truthfully, if you are dreaming of a profit, or even a minimal loss, it's never a good time to sell trains. They're not like Real-Estate with rare exceptions, they don't appreciate in value.
Perhaps you are correct John. However, they hold pretty strong on resale in my opinion. Even when flipped 4, 5, 6 times. This truly is not a hobby for a poor man. Whether new or used it seems that nothing is cheap especially if someone like me who is anti-Bachmann and just has to have that Broadway Limited AC6000 with DCC/Sound/Smoke and all the other bells and whistles or that Overland Brass Norfolk Southern used on its 4th owner for $500. By the time one pays tax, shipping and the price of the item you end up $40 or so less than retail on a engine that was produced new 10 years ago.

The demand shows in the watchers and actual bidders. “Slightly used” SD40-2 DCC Sound decoder installed and it’s bringing in 20 bidders like it’s the last 1 on earth. A decent size collection will bring a very good return value in cash. There honestly isn’t many hobbies I can think of that used equipment brings 80% - 90% return.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is the worse time of year to sell trains anyway, regardless of the economy. Fall to Christmas is traditionally the best.
I don’t doubt that economic conditions will depress prices even then, though. Anyone who looks at their train collection as a potential source of substantial income is in for disappointment.
I think the disconnect here is basing their personal opinion solely on how much money they have put into their own collection then assuming every ones collection is basically the same. If the collector has all Bachmann, Tyco, Lifelike, A.H.M. and others along those lines with the majority being DC if not all then the resale total will not be substantial at all. However, the next guys collection is all DCC Scaletrains.com, Broadway Limited, Athearn Genesis, Kato, Overland Brass and others that same caliber the end result is very much different.

A friend of mines brother passed away about 6 - 8 months ago. His brother was in his 40's but had some heart conditions. He was a passionate train hobbyist and had complied a decent collection in his life. He had some brass pieces, several Broadway Limited pieces, several Athearn Genesis, he liked ScaleTrains so he had some of those and the list went on along those quality lines. My friend which again was his brother contacted me shortly after his brother passed. He said I have no idea what to do with my brothers train collection. He said his brother had no burial insurance or life insurance or anything really in place for when he died.

I told him to send me over some pictures of the collection and then I could tell him more. He sent me those pictures and the pictures contained what I mentioned above as in brands. He had a pretty nice collection, nothing crazy or needing storage units to hold it all but a nice collection. It wasn't near as big as mine but nice. I called my friend the next day and told him that the best avenue would be to begin to list them on eBay one at a time. I felt that was the best avenue to sell the collection off. They honestly needed the money to help cover the expenses they were out to bury his brother and settle up his loose ends that they had paid out of pocket being there was no insurance of any kind.

A long story short here. My friend worked a full time job, had a family etc but he went hard at it in the time he had to list this collection. That collection of "toy trains" in the end when all was said and done brought the family $52,000. He wanted to give me a few brass pieces but I made him let me buy them just like every one else had done.

So this heart broken family who lost their loved one too soon and was left to pick up the pieces on their own dime never in a million years thought that collection would bring even $5000... He couldn't thank me enough and I hadn't done anything special. I told him where to get the best dollar for dollar and coached him along the way of what many of the pieces even where. He had no idea what was what so I was glad to help them out however I could.

So for anyone to say their collection has no value or is money gone never to return is something I can not even wrap my brain around. I been that guy collecting for 30 years of my life. I see what I am paying from this transaction to the next so I know that what I have has a high value. My friend only needed $9000 to cover his brothers loose ends. They took care of his loose ends alright and had $43,000 for their troubles. The collection brought even more than the $52,000 because the $52K was after eBays fees and Paypals fees...

It all boils down to what the collection is and how serious the collector is but I will not look down at $52,000 and honestly I do not think you would either. I have the cheaper stuff that I began my collection with when I was not able to throw real money at the hobby. Several years back that all changed so its far from all cheapies....
 

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I think the disconnect here is basing their personal opinion solely on how much money they have put into their own collection then assuming every ones collection is basically the same. If the collector has all Bachmann, Tyco, Lifelike, A.H.M. and others along those lines with the majority being DC if not all then the resale total will not be substantial at all. However, the next guys collection is all DCC Scaletrains.com, Broadway Limited, Athearn Genesis, Kato, Overland Brass and others that same caliber the end result is very much different.

A friend of mines brother passed away about 6 - 8 months ago. His brother was in his 40's but had some heart conditions. He was a passionate train hobbyist and had complied a decent collection in his life. He had some brass pieces, several Broadway Limited pieces, several Athearn Genesis, he liked ScaleTrains so he had some of those and the list went on along those quality lines. My friend which again was his brother contacted me shortly after his brother passed. He said I have no idea what to do with my brothers train collection. He said his brother had no burial insurance or life insurance or anything really in place for when he died.

I told him to send me over some pictures of the collection and then I could tell him more. He sent me those pictures and the pictures contained what I mentioned above as in brands. He had a pretty nice collection, nothing crazy or needing storage units to hold it all but a nice collection. It wasn't near as big as mine but nice. I called my friend the next day and told him that the best avenue would be to begin to list them on eBay one at a time. I felt that was the best avenue to sell the collection off. They honestly needed the money to help cover the expenses they were out to bury his brother and settle up his loose ends that they had paid out of pocket being there was no insurance of any kind.

A long story short here. My friend worked a full time job, had a family etc but he went hard at it in the time he had to list this collection. That collection of "toy trains" in the end when all was said and done brought the family $52,000. He wanted to give me a few brass pieces but I made him let me buy them just like every one else had done.

So this heart broken family who lost their loved one too soon and was left to pick up the pieces on their own dime never in a million years thought that collection would bring even $5000... He couldn't thank me enough and I hadn't done anything special. I told him where to get the best dollar for dollar and coached him along the way of what many of the pieces even where. He had no idea what was what so I was glad to help them out however I could.

So for anyone to say their collection has no value or is money gone never to return is something I can not even wrap my brain around. I been that guy collecting for 30 years of my life. I see what I am paying from this transaction to the next so I know that what I have has a high value. My friend only needed $9000 to cover his brothers loose ends. They took care of his loose ends alright and had $43,000 for their troubles. The collection brought even more than the $52,000 because the $52K was after eBays fees and Paypals fees...

It all boils down to what the collection is and how serious the collector is but I will not look down at $52,000 and honestly I do not think you would either. I have the cheaper stuff that I began my collection with when I was not able to throw real money at the hobby. Several years back that all changed so its far from all cheapies....
How many people do you think will have $50k worth of trains?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How many people do you think will have $50k worth of trains?
Well being that all the upscale Manufacturers/Distributers/Hobby Shops online and off line seem to constantly stay sold out and/or back ordered and eBay operating 24/7 new and used auctions or buy it now closing every couple of minutes any where from $200.00 - $700.00 with upper brass pieces selling for $1500.00 - $6000.00 each that tells me there are easily thousands and thousands in this world.

We on this board are a mere couple of hundred truly active members and that's a generous number. We are a couple hundred people in a world of 7.8 BILLION so saying thousands have those kinds of personal collections is a very conservative number....
 

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it would be interesting to know how many model railroaders there are in the 7.8 billion world population.....but I imagine that would be impossible to ascertain....

I don't imagine there are very many in third world counties, which make up a huge percentage of the world population....
 

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Norfolksouthernguy -- I think the point isn't that you can't sell used trains for money. You absolutely can. And for a good chunk of change, too. The point is that it's rare, if not unheard of, to sell it for more than it was originally worth, unless there is some customization involved. Model trains are rarely a good investment, if your intent is to hold or increase value.

Because of the way the industry has evolved -- smaller manufacturing runs and less retail inventory, there will probably always be a thriving used market. But a market that chips a few percentage points off of the value with each sale.
 
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And the point the OP made about ebay being a buyers market.....I don't see it....I looked at a lot of auctions, and the sellers are out of their minds to expect the prices they post.....plus exorbitant shipping.....they're not getting my money......
 

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Yeah, I saw this guy selling an old split chassis Bachmann Consolidation for 179$ without shipping (with shipping, it was well over 200$). The worse thing is...someone actually bought it!
 

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I need/want to sell an Athearn Super Power F7A, Southern Pacific paint scheme.
I bought it used at a yard sale for $10.00.
There are currently two on ebay
1. bidding today is $30.95
2. buy it now price $94.99

Now, as I recall, I paid around $30 for most of my similar diesels on ebay prior to Covid-19.
So prices for these particular engines have not changed, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Norfolksouthernguy -- I think the point isn't that you can't sell used trains for money. You absolutely can. And for a good chunk of change, too. The point is that it's rare, if not unheard of, to sell it for more than it was originally worth, unless there is some customization involved. Model trains are rarely a good investment, if your intent is to hold or increase value.

Because of the way the industry has evolved -- smaller manufacturing runs and less retail inventory, there will probably always be a thriving used market. But a market that chips a few percentage points off of the value with each sale.
No where did I mention "holding or increase value". I did say that I find it impressive that the higher end engines hold their value 80% - 90% even after in many cases multiple owners. I never mentioned even a profit of any kind even though there are many cases when reselling that they do surpass 100% of the original value. I still didn't even mention that until now.

I also would not disagree about smaller runs creating less retail inventory. However what many people do not know is a lot of those same retail spaces that are showing out of stock just seems to apply on their websites or instore shelves only. The stock seems to magically appear on eBay for sale at a higher price than their websites or stores price is. Why? because people buy them at that higher price because their go to hobby shops show out of stock. I have seen this over and over through the years. The perfect scam for more money? Bingo but it works and people keep buying.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That sure doesn't sound like a buyer's market to me....
How many train items have you purchased on eBay this month? or last month? I have purchased several things at much less than I would have 2 months ago. I just watched 2 very popular Kato more rare engines that would have sold very quick yet didn't get the first bid so they closed with no buyers. Same exact thing last night on several that came and went with no buyers. NO WAY that would have happened 2 months ago and the years before.

I gave multiple examples of my personal experiences in detail from different purchases and different sellers. This is a buyers market right now. Does that mean because some guys are in a bad spot for money attempting to sell things way over priced due to not having a pay check in 2 months not a buyers market??? Of course not... People are having a hard time, desperate times calls for desperate measures to feed their kids. They need every dime right now so yes some folks will be way over priced out of desperation. That hardly sets the pace for the overall state of reselling on eBay. Besides eBay has ALWAYS had those people that are way over priced even before this covid scare and will be there long after this covid scare but some are desperate. okay?

I got contacted from eBay to be part of their 25 year celebration. I been on eBay since it began 25 years ago and I am seeing this hobby in a different state than I ever have before. I simply passed that on in a post as a POSITIVE thing. I thought people may want to know that if they didn't have to sell their train items now to not. If they were on the fortunate side of this covid mess like me and could still buy then it was a good time to buy. That's it - nothing more and nothing less. I guess that was my mistake.
 
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