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Discussion Starter #1
Just a few days ago here on the Forum
we see another distraught
survivor who has the responsibility to dispose of
a large model train collection...G scale in this
instance. It seems hardly a month goes by without
a post of this nature. In most cases these folks have no
idea of what to do or how much the collection
is worth.

A short while ago a guy who has done a lot of
work around my house asked me to check a large
collection of HO trains his wife had inherited from
her father. It was all packed away, and was extensive.
They had no idea of what to do with it. I gave them
the typical suggestions, Craigslist, etc. At this point
I don't know how successful they were.

Situations like these can be avoided. I think the typical
aging modeler pretty well knows when he or she
is no longer able to do what is needed to maintain
the layout...or even run the trains.

I faced that just a couple months ago myself. I
realized that I was having difficulties even running
trains. That got me to thinking. Here is a room full
of trains, 10 DCC locos and dozens of cars. The usual
complement of buildings and other scenery. No one
I knew would have any idea of how to disassemble it
and dispose of it. So I took the bull by the horns
and DID IT MYSELF. i advertised it...the whole layout,
including the modular bench work. Used Craigslist
in both Jacksonville and Orlando. Got several replies
and two came to view the layout. One agreed to
my price and with my guidance, he and his wife
took it apart, packed
it, and drove off with it. Yes, it took a month or two to get
results. And, of course, I got no where near
the $ value invested in the layout, but the job was done and my heirs will not be faced with a daunting task.

If you are getting to the age where you are
failing, and you have a substantial collection, do
consider whether your heirs could handle the
disposition of your trains. If not, and if you see yourself
as I did, you would be doing your family and
friends a favor and DO IT YOURSELF.

As one who had trains from age 11 on, I sure do
know of the 'hold' they can have on you. But, you
will find that the satisfaction of having spared loved
ones of a serious problem can be comforting.

Don
 

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Some train stores (what's left of them) will take the collection. But no knowledge of whether or not they pay you for it.....
 

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it depends on whether or not you really need the money ... in my case my heirs do not have any model train interest, or involvement .
I don't need the money, or wish to have my day to day routine interrupted with this, so I just leave it where it sits , currently I still use the layout about once a week in the summer, more so in the winter
 

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Everything is fluid in time. People who enthusiastically accept being bequeathed a train collection during will & estate planning might be less enthusiastic when the time comes.

I’ll make one attempt to give it to someone, but otherwise it’s grungiest where all junk goes.
 

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My situation is simple. It all goes to my son who maintains similar interests. Planes, trains, and automobiles.

From there I don't know or care. His son, my grandson shows no interest.
 

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I volunteer with my local hobby shop to go and find collections, and offer to purchase and remove from people who no longer want or need the trains, and families of departed modellers who don't know what they're worth or how to get rid of them....of course they don't get the retail value, but the trains are not new.....some of them have never been removed from the boxes, but they are still pre-owned, so the value is not retail....

The hobby shop owner seems to have found another source of huge income in re-selling the collections....and the people who sell to him are happy to have the trains gone, all with our efforts and none of theirs....and we travel all over the province, and to neighbouring ones....

And often, we end up taking more than trains...they want to sell die-cast, books, memorabilia, etc....

And the best thing about it for this volunteer is I can first crack at the treasures we find.....I get paid in trains!
 

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When to quit??

I enjoy trains; I enjoy running trains, but most of all I enjoy buying and selling trains. I really do not have the capital nor the time to buy used layouts, but if I did I cannot think of anything more fun than helping somebody dispose of a train collection. I would have the chance to go through everything, get it ready for sale, and then sell it.
 

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Mine comes with a house attached.

If they want it out after I'm gone they'll have to cut it out.
 

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All my stuff will by my daughters problem after I settle down for my eternal dirt nap. I really don't care if she just burns it all in place or puts each item on ebay. I'm sure my grandsons will enjoy picking out what they want from it all.
 

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I think you answered your own question Don.

"I realized that I was having difficulties even running trains."

The time to quit running trains is when you can no longer run trains.
 

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we don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!
So, did you know of that quote independently, or did you discover it in my signature block?
 

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Obviously, after I'm gone, I will be past caring what happens to my stuff. That said, I don't want to leave behind an enormous mess for someone else to clean up.

We recently relocated my father in law to an assisted living facility... in truth, probably 4-5 years AFTER it became obvious he no longer able to live on his own. Now he's pressuring us to sell his house. The problem is, there is literally TONS of junk in it. For a lot of it, we will just have a 15 cubic yard dumpster dropped off and just chuck it, because it's broken and worthless. Some of it we will take (not a lot of stuff we need or want, though). Then we'll have an auction company take anything they think they can sell and unload it for us. But it's a huge job and isn't going to be done quickly, no matter how badly he wants to sell the place.

Bottom line: if you're not using something anymore, whether because you've lost interest or no longer have the ability, get rid of it yourself so it's not a burden to someone else.
 

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I have a rather large collection of NASCAR cars and other stuff. Since my interest has nearly disappeared, I should get rid of all that. I need to work on a way...
 

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I do see Don's point.
If you're getting past the point where you are participating in the hobby and have no family who want the trains, then it makes sense to be pre-emptive and dispose of it yourself.

However, many of us will be able to participate in some form in this hobby until our demise so perhaps the larger lesson is just to have a plan.

I'm a fairly young man, but my wife neither understands or has any interest in my hobbies. Additionally they are extensive enough that disposing of them would be a real burden to her. I should probably at least write up a few options for disposal of my collections with a modest estimate of their worth.
 

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Just be mindful to put the "worth" in perspective with what someone will be willing to pay.....selling one at a time often takes months, and still not get what you think it is "worth".... as selling all at once to a hobby shop or such will go in one day, and you'r done.....there is a cost to that.....

We go to collections sometimes where the owner will say that it's worth $ xxxxx retail, but retail was brand new from the original source, and very seldom will they get that amount from us, because we do the work in coming and packing and taking it all away, then the hobby shop needs to make a profit on it, so....
 

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We recently relocated my father in law to an assisted living facility... in truth, probably 4-5 years AFTER it became obvious he no longer able to live on his own. Now he's pressuring us to sell his house. The problem is, there is literally TONS of junk in it. For a lot of it, we will just have a 15 cubic yard dumpster dropped off and just chuck it, because it's broken and worthless. Some of it we will take (not a lot of stuff we need or want, though). Then we'll have an auction company take anything they think they can sell and unload it for us. But it's a huge job and isn't going to be done quickly, no matter how badly he wants to sell the place.

Bottom line: if you're not using something anymore, whether because you've lost interest or no longer have the ability, get rid of it yourself so it's not a burden to someone else.
This^.

My father had the foresight to start purging the junk a couple of years before he moved himself and my ailing step-mother into an assisted living facility.

He also had a will, a living will, power of attorney and medical power of attorney drawn up. In addition he added myself and my step-brother to the signature cards on all bank accounts. These actions made taking over his affairs SO MUCH easier after his debilitating stroke in 2016, but it was still a long, tough row to hoe. If you've never been in that situation you've no idea...
 

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Just be mindful to put the "worth" in perspective with what someone will be willing to pay.....selling one at a time often takes months, and still not get what you think it is "worth".... as selling all at once to a hobby shop or such will go in one day, and you'r done.....there is a cost to that.....
Very good point. I'm thinking a bare minimum bulk price such that if anyone were to offer less, they'd be scamming her, but plenty low enough that it will all go in one lot. I know she has zero desire to become a seller of individual hobby items. Maybe 25% of the typical used price?
 
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