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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,

I have been asked to make an offer on a train set where most of the items; rolling stock, track, trestle set, switches, plasticville structures, etc have their original boxes. I generally have a pretty good idea of what things are worth w/o boxes, but would like to have some idea of how to price things when they have a decent original AF box. I have a recent Greenberg and will be looking at eBay and the all over prices paid there.
Thanks for any help here.
 

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Prices will of course go up with the original boxes, as you know. BUT... it also depends on the rarity of the item. For example, a Circus engine with the correct original wrapper is worth more than a 303 with original wrapper.. See what I mean??.. I have a 631 green gondola, a real beauty, in the very good original box, with the inspection paper, and I paid only $15 bucks for it.I would say a nice original box is worth about $10-14 bucks, depending on rarity.
 

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oldfeller: I have heard the following from more than one collector: The price of a very good original box is worth the original price of the item when new from AC Gilbert. This is a general rule of thumb. Of course there are exceptions. An eg.: The price of an original box/with wrap of a 336 is worth roughly $55. (Price of new 336 around 1955 or so)>Larry
 

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I find it very hard to have a single rule of thumb. The one about the box value equal to the items original purchase price will work for most cars and most engines. Of course value still varies with condition. Are all flaps present, any tape, is the original number stamp legible? Set boxes in top condition are worth more than the original set price for the higher priced and less common sets. The clear plastic car boxes with both correct ends are worth more than the original price of the car.
Regarding oldfeller's original question, when I see all the original boxes present and in good condition it indicates to me the owner was careful and took good care of the contents. Assuming these are common items I would add 20% to my offer for this purchase over one without any boxes. I do not buy for resale.
 

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To me an original box for a car adds little to the value. However, original engine boxes, accessories boxes, and set boxes can usually add quite a bit but I'm not sure you can put a blanket percentage on it.
 

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I agree with AmFlyer. I generally add about 20% to the value IF all box flaps are present and the over all box condition is good and the box contents match in quality when buying rolling stock.
I will say one thing when a seller says, "with box". I have seen way too many people put a premium price on an average piece of rolling stock just because the box is present and no matter the box condition (missing flaps, stains, creases, or tears). A lot of times an item might be described as "missing ladder step(s), small scratch or scrape" or things of that nature and still be called "excellent" but that almighty box is there so up goes the price. The box and it's contents must match the same grading level. I realize that not all things are perfect especially since the majority of the American Flyer stuff dates from the late 40's and 50's.
I will allow some leeway but let's not get crazy over a box.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys,

I appreciate the thoughts on how to deal with additional value due to the original box being with item.
Good point that the box can be indicative of the care given the life of the train and accessories.
That boxes come in various conditions and have varying rarities like the objects they hold.

I guess real collectors like to have the boxes, but since I don't consider myself a collector just a gatherer the box just hides the cool thing that came in it. I prefer to look at my AF stuff even if it isn't making noise, or running around the track making smoke.
 
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