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Discussion Starter #1
A local club. I had been very much looking forward to this. I feel it was a bit of a letdown. That could just be me, or my mood.
Many things there for sale. That is why I went. I did not expect prices to be so high.
$45 for a boxcar with very rusty wheels? Maybe I don't know what I am looking at.
Very little track of any size. I expected that.
Very much S gauge, cars and engines. The hobby store down the street does not carry S anything.
I did not like O and S gauge mixed together on the same table.
I got there at advertised opening time and it was crowded already. Parking lot they (I think) rented already full. I parked in street. No problem. I am glad for them that they drew a good crowd.
I paid $7 entrance fee. No problem.
Bought four raffle tickets at buck apiece. No problem. Nothing on raffle table I wanted so I brought tickets home.
There was a Lionel Burlington Northern set looked complete to me, in what looked like original boxes. I did not see engine, one box had no window. Marked at $449.00 I did not know if that was a good price or not.
I wonder if it would be less crowded on Sunday.
Much for me to learn.
 

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A local club. I had been very much looking forward to this. I feel it was a bit of a letdown. That could just be me, or my mood.
Many things there for sale. That is why I went. I did not expect prices to be so high.
$45 for a boxcar with very rusty wheels? Maybe I don't know what I am looking at.
Very little track of any size. I expected that.
Very much S gauge, cars and engines. The hobby store down the street does not carry S anything.
I did not like O and S gauge mixed together on the same table.
I got there at advertised opening time and it was crowded already. Parking lot they (I think) rented already full. I parked in street. No problem. I am glad for them that they drew a good crowd.
I paid $7 entrance fee. No problem.
Bought four raffle tickets at buck apiece. No problem. Nothing on raffle table I wanted so I brought tickets home.
There was a Lionel Burlington Northern set looked complete to me, in what looked like original boxes. I did not see engine, one box had no window. Marked at $449.00 I did not know if that was a good price or not.
I wonder if it would be less crowded on Sunday.
Much for me to learn.
Andy;

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Train shows are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." Some shows are better than others, and generally the bigger commercial traveling shows, where they feature operating modular layouts, are a great place to learn about model trains, and meet some fellow modelers. Most of those large public gathering shows are on hiatus now due to covid 19 concerns.
A smaller club show can be good or bad depending on luck. They are somewhat similar to yard sales. Some have a treasure that you really want, but most have someone else's junk that they want to get rid of, by selling it to you.
This illustrates the value of experience. Old hands at model railroading, or toy train collecting, know what they want (and what they don't), know what it's worth (and what it's not) and often know which train shows/sales are worth attending. (and which are not) Until you have built up that kind of experience, you just have to trust to luck. I would also suggest checking with some knowledgeable members of our O-scale and S-scale forums here to pick their brains about these scales. I'm an N-scaler, so that's what I look for.
I've been to a few sales like the one you describe. I call them "MRL shows" Mostly Rusty Lionel. 馃槙

Good Luck & Have Fun!

Traction Fan 馃檪
 

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Sounds like you may have already learned the most important lesson about train shows.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING.

Before you go to another train show, pick up a Greenberg鈥檚 pocket price guide. Prices in the guide are not necessarily spot on (some say they are inflated), but at least it鈥檚 a good sanity check.

I don鈥檛 know if it will be less crowded on Sunday, but you may be able to get better deals. Vendors usually don鈥檛 want to pack up the stuff they brought to sell and you can often get things for a bit less money. Just don鈥檛 leave it too late, or they will be packing up before you get a chance to look at the stuff.
 

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Thanks Bob, Greenberg's guide 1901-2021 bought.
[/Q
Thanks Bob, Greenberg's guide 1901-2021 bought.
Don't rely on the prices listed for them.
Some go for more and some go for less, but the book is good to have otherwise.
A lot of people selling trains think they are made out of gold.
 

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You said nothing interested you on the raffle table?
But......Did you win on a ticket??
If so I would have took something.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Raffle had its own table. Only about twenty items. Each item had a number sticker, with a container beside it with thecketsame number. I think if one wanted it the raffle you put your raffle ticket in the container with the same number.
Hope I said that right/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry folks. If you wanted the box car with 2 on the sticker, you put your raffle ticket in the container marked 2.
Jeez Sorry about my post above.
 

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I went to my first last fall. Amazing! I restrained myself to a half dozen car kits, but coulda spent a thousand bucks if I didn't feel guilty about it. It was a big one though, at an exhibition center.
 

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There's train shows, and there's train shows. You gotta figure that the bigger the organizers, the more the show will attract big vendors and merchants rather than people trying to get rid of their old junk.

I'm spoiled: the Amherst Model Train Show is held every January in Springfield, Massachusetts, about an hour north of me. It's a HUGE show, and attracts most of the big manufacturers and a lot of quality vendors, plus a few dozen operating layouts (including one made entirely of LEGO bricks; always worth a look). I try to go every year: it's worth it.

One misconception that is widely held, though, is that everything at train shows is sold at a discount or bargain rate. It isn't. I have seen prices marked "Show Special" that are higher than MSRP. I have even seen one idiot who crossed out a really high price on MRC DCC units, indicating a "show special" price that was $50 to $100 over MSRP, depending on the item. What made it stupid was that MRC's own booth was just around the corner, maybe 20 feet away....

You can often haggle and get a pretty good deal on stuff, but don't expect everything being sold to be a great deal!
 
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