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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday, I took another significant load of O Gauge trains and related items to Ambrose-Bauer for their online auction. This is the second time I have done this, and now I am left with a minimum amount of locomotives and trailing cars that I truly like, and like to run. It is how it should have been from the beginning. But, I got caught up in buying things I liked the look of and thought I might rotate the rolling stock and prime mover more often. But, I got lazy, and the unpacking and repacking got overwhelming, so I just bit the bullet and cut the cake, so-to-speak.

I also dropped off all my brand new Kato N Gauge trains and related items. It had been my plan to set up a nice N Gauge layout and run it when the O Gauge got too noisy. But, that dream never came to pass, so now my load have been significantly lightened.

Of course, in perusing the upcoming online auction, I found a nice-looking Lionel Pennsylvania T-1 that will run on O-31. I may put in a bid for this Lionmaster from 2000.
 

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Congrats, Bob. It always feels good to get rid of things we no longer need. I've only been in the hobby for three years and I already have a pile of stuff I need to unload.
 

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Well, it used to be, drop off one, buy four. And, here is the real deal. I ALWAYS lose money on everything I sell. But, I sell large volumes, and it seems to make up the difference somehow. I used to work for the government, and learned economics whilst there. Buy high, sell low, but do it in large quantities,'cause it always looks better.
 

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Lol, sounds exactly like my freinds get rich quick schemes. Always looses money but always keeps trying!
 

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I have a bunch of stuff that I rarely run anymore. I sometimes think about selling them, but they are still worth more to me than I would get for them, even if I hardly ever run them.

I have sold a few things that I THOUGHT I wanted when I bought them, only to realize I made a mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bob, "mistakes" is my middle name. For a long time, I got caught up in whatever people were talking about here and over at OGR. Lots of people would get hyped up on some new offering from Lionel or MTH and I would HAVE to have it. I got rid of all those Have-to-haves.
 

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Took a couple trunkloads of trains and buildings to the local hobby shop. Got about 1/3 of what I paid for them and he will resell them maybe 1/2 price, or more. But it did feel good lighten the load and fatten my wallet even a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I first began to sell in earnest, I would fret over how much I had lost. Then, I took on the attitude that I had wanted these items, enjoyed the hunt for them, and enjoyed having them for awhile. Then, I changed my outlook and just enjoyed the fact that I had less clutter and some money in my pocket or checking account that I didn't have the day before. It's all about attitude and perspective.
 

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Only once in a while have I made money on selling toy trains, most times I loose. Generally, I've averaged 70% of what I paid in cost recovery.

My joke is that I only "rent" trains. So the difference in purchase and sell prices is the rent I paid to have them for a while. If I calculate it on a monthly basis, the rent is actually pretty low!
 

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I agree in that having a plethora of stock and not really rotating them for use. I as well have decided to, and have started seperating out items to be sold off. I really have no need for 150+ rolling stock. 43 locomotives? Maybe. Wait, no. Some gotta go as well. I'm sure a few that have been with me a long time will end up on a display shelf. You know, just look at and recall their timeline.
 

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As of the writing of this posting. I do not plan to personally unload any of my "STUFF". I will let my heirs decide how to unload my Toy Train inheritance when the time comes. I entered the O Gauge collecting scene only about 5 years ago. So I am just getting started so to speak in this hobby. I do realize that circumstances may arise that will dictate whether I will be able to have a collection or not. I will just cross that bridge when I arrive at the bridge's entrance.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Only once in a while have I made money on selling toy trains, most times I loose. Generally, I've averaged 70% of what I paid in cost recovery.

My joke is that I only "rent" trains. So the difference in purchase and sell prices is the rent I paid to have them for a while. If I calculate it on a monthly basis, the rent is actually pretty low!
A joke, perhaps, or a very astute analogy. The latter is very apropos to my way of thinking. And, think of this, you have been a Steward of those trains whilst they were in your care. Ahhh, now I feel even better. I have been a Steward all the time. Could it work that way with a Wife?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
eBay sure has become a nightmare to sell stuff. After getting back into it recently, it took awhile to get familiar with their new format. I am lucky to have a local online auctioneer that is great to work with.
 

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With 80+ engines and over 400 cars, I've got my share of trains. :) However, interests change some over the years. I "try" stuff that I don't have experience with, but looks interesting. If I'm not satisfied, it gets sold, and I chalk it up to a learning experience - again, "renting" the trains. I've actually "owned" the same item (not the exact same one, but same model/type) more than once. For modern/new items, I find train stores are not thrilled to take items back for refund, especially when you've "used" it (how else are you supposed to know if you like it?) So, I've had to sell those kind of items also when they ended up being not to my liking. Such is the hobby...
 

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eBay sure has become a nightmare to sell stuff. After getting back into it recently, it took awhile to get familiar with their new format. I am lucky to have a local online auctioneer that is great to work with.
You mentioned selling through Ambrose-Bauer. If you are willing to share, how was your experience? What is your typical return compared to what you paid?

I now exclusively sell on e-bay. My last couple of experiences selling through TCA were not good, so I won't list items for sale there any more. The 70% number I mentioned on return compared to cost is after all fees are paid, and that's an average over a year of selling. Some items I net 100%, other items 40%, but it averages out to about 70%.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think the "return" is probably averages 50%of what I paid. That said, much of what I have or have had, is less than desirable for most collectors. All conventional, not much high end stuff. I have seen things, especially early post war Lionel go for BIG bucks, all the time on their auctions. They take 20%, but eBay and PayPal take almost 15%, and you have to ALL the work. All I had to do was take my stuff to AB and they do EVERYTHING. It's certainly worth the extra 5% to have someone else do the work. On my last venture, I collected $4500 and had virtually no work involved. Perhaps, I could have netted a few more dollars had there been any interest in what I owned, but that was a long shot. I am very pleased with my decision.
 
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I’ve always said that if you’re buying toys as an investment, don’t be disappointed that you are going to be surprised when you try to sell them for profit......maybe some will go up in value (usually after 40 or 50 years, like some toys did from the 1950’s and 1960’s), but mostly they will be worth next to nothing.....at least, not enough to retire on.....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was going to re-tire, but then I found out they just needed some new air.
 
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