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To be open, I am not a collector or operater of these. I was recently selling some of these toys my father in law had after he passed away to benefit his remaining family. He had hundreds of toy trains on display at his bar but lost all the packaging in hurricane Sandy in the cellar. I put in every description that I do not have the boxes the toys came in but nearly every one I post for sale someone asks and doesn't bother reading. My question is why do you need the boxes when the items are already used and devalued once you open and operate them?
Thank you.
Seb
 

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Almost everything I buy now (trains or otherwise) I keep the box. There's no better place to store it than the original box (well, not entirely true, but I don't have specially built boxes for all my stuff).

When I buy something on ebay I will pay more if it's in the original box. I will buy it without the box, but I won't pay as much. Maybe I'm being silly, but oh well.
 

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Many years ago everyone tossed the boxes. From the 20's 30's 40's 50's etc.
Since their were few boxes that survived they became scarce and valuable.
Now everyone saves the boxes in hopes of them becoming valuable.
But most won't. :smokin:

A lot just like to have the box they came in as they might not run all the trains all the time and return them to the box for storage.
 

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A lot just like to have the box they came in as they might not run all the trains all the time and return them to the box for storage.
That's the main reason I keep mine. But, I inherited my trains as a boy from my older brother, so I didn't know they came in 'special boxes'. Years later when I got back into trains I wish I had those original boxes.

ADDED: Oh, and one other thing. Not sure what kind of trains your FIL had, but there are toys, and there are models. Toys are the ones you let your 5 year old play with. Models are the ones they can't touch until they're 20. :)
 

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I keep the boxes because there is no better way to store and protect the item when not in use, or when moving/transporting them anywhere......I figure if the car survived its trip from the factory to me in its box, it must be a pretty good box, so I keep em.....

Never really had an issue with the box not protecting the car, although a few times some minor handrail/step or such came loose, but would have been much worse without the box.....and easily repaired.....
 

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I would want it in its original box because, if it's a decent quality piece, it will have a lot of tiny details, and I wouldn't want someone's ham-handed packaging getting half of them broken before I got it.
 

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I second what Old Hobo and CTValley said.

The rolling stock and locomotives I buy come in hard-shell plastic boxes with interior that is form fitted to what they are to hold. I would never throw these away and would think twice about buying anything used without the original box.

Some locomotives even come screwed down to a hard piece of fake plastic rail to eliminate any movement in the box.
 

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IMHO boxes became of interest when some collectors, especially TCA members, started noting the differences in boxes just as they had been doing with the models. If you play with your trains the boxes take up space. Many of the boxes fromearlier times were rather flimsy and were not really useful for storage. But because
many boxes from the pre and post war periods had been lost and destroyed the above mentioned TCA persons decided that things were worth more with the box.
Now don't forget that there is also the "outfit" box and the shipping carton to be considered.
The little information above came from a life TCA member of @ 50
years now deceased, Gordon Hinkle.
 

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I asked myself the smae thing fifteen years ago when I got bac into O-Gauge model trains. I decided the answer was, "this guy sure doesn't want them." I threw them out and 140 locos and maybe 300 rolling stock later, don't regret it; where would I keep all those boxes.

Yeah, its great to have the riginal box when and if you sell it. Ain't going to be my problem.
 

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I try to keep boxes for expensive stuff that I might sell later, the plain facts are, you get more for them with the boxes. Rolling stock and cheap passenger sets I toss the boxes. I'm actually ending up tossing more and more boxes as time goes on. :)
 

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The rolling stock and locomotives I buy come in hard-shell plastic boxes with interior that is form fitted to what they are to hold. I would never throw these away and would think twice about buying anything used without the original box.

Some locomotives even come screwed down to a hard piece of fake plastic rail to eliminate any movement in the box.
Yup, the modern boxes with the inserts that hold the car or locomotive securely protect the equipment if you ever need to move or sell it. Not being able to pack it securely could end up with fine details being completely destroyed.
 

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I do know that at the train store I help out at, the used items without box go for about 25-35% of used stuff with original box....

I dabbled in old matchbox/dinky toy cars awhile back, and cars with original boxes could go for 2 to 3 times the price that cars without the original box would go for....
 

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I buy cheap, used stuff and I still prefer to buy boxed.
Helps resale value (perhaps proportionally more than high end stuff) and even though I'm only 3 years into this Hobby I've already sold off quite a bit of my collection.

Maybe some will be here that long but I don't plan on keeping everything I buy until i die.
 

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Boxes are a big deal.

I always always always when buying train items from eBay or Etsy that the box is with the item. I never toss a box and never did even when I got into the hobby as a teenager.

I purchase a lot from ebay and have for a few decades now. It’s a very rare occasion for me to purchase items with no box. I do know that it hurts the resale value because most serious collectors must have the box. It’s almost as if the item seems incomplete when missing the box.

A popular YouTube train guy has decided to sell his entire collection due to health problems. He has superb items listed and is bringing a pretty penny for them. However, he does not have any original boxes. He outlines in his listings that he never knew how important those boxes were if he had kept them.

I have around $300 on one of his listings now and it bothers me that the boxes will not be with the items. However, being well known on YouTube helps him a great deal. Otherwise, his items would be selling for much less. People are lined up to snag his items with 30 - 60 people watching the items.
 

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My perspective from working at a Train Store, if you have the original boxes the items come in, they are easier to pack up (when we are getting collections for store stock). We also tend to pay a bit more if they have the box, they also display nicely on the shelves and they tend to sell for a higher price because the item is less likely to be damaged and more taken care of by the previous owner. A lot of our customers also prefer the boxes as well. Me, I can go either way. If it doesn't have the box and is not damaged, I don't mind, I'll use collector boxes or even trading card boxes to store them in until I have a place where I can leave them out for display and be able to rotate on my layout. When I get to that point, I'll have a spot under my layout to neatly store them until needed again. It's mostly personal preference. A lot of items I get for repaints and/or repair, don't really care if they have boxes.
 
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