Collectibles ????

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Vic, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Just what constitues "a collector's item" in our hobby? IMHO something is collectible because; A. Its desirable by the person who wants it. B. Its scarce C. Its unusual D. It has some appreciative value in monetary terms and E. It has some reminiscent value to the person who wants to own or collect it. Any or all makes something collectible.

    Now to the case in point....Last month I went to a large trainshow. I spied several unbuilt Rail Line Hon3 boxcars on one guy's table. Figured that maybe he would want to "wheel and deal" on them because he had a little sign on his table that said "getting out of the hobby" I asked what he wanted for them...would you believe $45.00 each because they were in his words "A collector's item" BULLHOCKEY....The kits sell for less than $12.00!..NO SALE!!!

    A friend of mine asked me to look for a used Atlas Hi-Hood HO GP38 for him. Said he would pay up to $50...ok that's reasonable. Ok I found one ....a little worse for wear but would make a decent loco with a re-paint and some details. Asked the price...the response..."They haven't made that loco in years...its a collector's piece...I can't take less than $125 for it..." HORSEFIDDLE!!!...The things sold for $19.95 from the mail order places...You can't make me believe that the value of a used one in only fair condition has gone up over 500 %..NO SALE AGAIN!!

    The same friend had also asked me to pick him up some used Athearn 40ft boxcars if I saw some and they were reasonable....OK that shouldn't be a problem....there's millions of them floating around. Found some....priced $10-$15 each!!! Most had broken stirrup steps! I asked, "Why so much?" (I played dumb hehe!) The answer..."They are very collectible and go up in value every year." OH JEEZ and CRACKERS!!!....The cars sold for $1.98 - $3.98 when they were new!!! The prices were still on the boxes!!! LORD!!!....I DIDN'T JUST FALL OFF THE TURNIP TRUCK!!! NO SALE HERE EITHER!!!

    The whole purpose of this post is to let the "newbies" to this hobby who might start attending and buying at trainshows know that you should take anything you might be told about something being "collectible" with a grain of salt. If there is something that you're really looking for and want, do some research on it first and determine what its really worth before you just buy on impluse.

    BTW... I did get my friend some Athearn 40ft boxcars....20 of them for $50....and they didn't have broken stirrup steps!!!! and some had Kadees on them!!!
  2. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Buyer, beware! Sellers, a sucker's born every minute!

    It's obvious to me that there are scoundrels in all "markets". Unfortunately, in my opinion, too many people that have too much time on their hands with too many $ signs running around in their head. Too many "Roadside Collectibles" shows they watch.

    By the way, I have a paper clip that once held together some "very, very important rare papers"! Care to make an offer- it's a very rare paper clip!

    Item- A paper clip (used to hold rare important papers, namely- old paid bill stubs that I have since shredded and if I'd known their value I'd offer them too.)

    Rarity- Very Rare

    Value- Eye of the beholder.

    Appraised Value- I'll let you know when I talk to you and see how much cash I think you have and how many other suckers are here today.

    Going once, twice...

    Anyone buying this???

    Oh yeah, that bridge I mentioned I had for sale, it's still available, but make an offer quick 'cause a gentleman from Texas expressed moving it from Brooklyn to Dallas. After he went thru the rest of the show he's gonna stop back for sure. I can make a deal on that with you now.

  3. Ben H

    Ben H Member

    Some of these people who I like you see as scoundrels are really the hooked.

    When to a show and sale of various items - big building lots of tables - and here is guy selling some rolling stock. Athearn boxcars just like Vic was after and this seller wants $10.00 each.

    I ask why and he gives me this "going up in price because they are such good quality" BS. So I stop and point out that thousands of these cars are made each year and that they are made to look like the old prototype boxcars and that really old toy cars would be made of wood, metal or cardboard. Further that these cars can be bought on Ebay often at $2.00 each.

    He looks kind of shocked, says he never be on Ebay and that he bought them from an old man who was going out of the hobby.

    Its amazing "there is one born every minute" and being younger is no assurance that you smarter. Some people are just naturally in the shallow end of the gene pool.
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I say this,there is no used Athearn car worth over $4.00 IF it has KD couplers and in mint condition. No Athearn loco is worth over $12.50 used. This would not include the Genesis line or the very hard to find special Edition sets..Becareful here though some of these sets are very common at train shows..Look around before you buy and check e-bay.

    The KD line of cars is highly colectable both in HO and Nscale.Becareful here also and do not over pay..

    Watch for the older Altas engines,I have notice these units could be had for $35-45.00,now the price is sky high..Do not be fooled into thinking these are the newer units.WARNING!! I have seen prices on these units higher then a newer release Atlas engine.Shop around for the better price of these older Atlas engines.

    Guys,I buy sell and trade alot locally,I know what the going price is for new and used engines...I will not exceed that price regardless.

    Now Brass locomotives is a whole different ball game. I know very little about brass engines as I do not deal in them except at the shop where I work part time.
  5. n-scaler-dude

    n-scaler-dude Member

    There are a couple of other things that make items "collectible", at least in my opinion.

    A - An item that was never meant to be collectible in the first place, is more likely to be collectible. Items that say "limited edition" or "collectors item" on them, right from the manufacturer, are aimed at collectors, but will eventually loose value because the majority of them will have stayad in collectors hands, in mint condition.

    Can anyone say Franklin Mint?

    B - Items that were meant to be used in some fashion, and were in fact used but taken care of.

    Having said that, not too long ago I purchased a bunch of built-up Athearn cars, with their original boxes, at a local swap meet. Not knowing a thing about them, I thought the $3 a piece was a steal. My intention was to sell them on ebay, since I had no interest in HO. Wound up selling them all, and got anywhere from $6 to $30 per car for them. Don't know if they were "collectors" or model railroaders, but I didn't care.:)
  6. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Once at a local Antique mall here I spotted some roundhouse car boxes. So I strolled over to look at them. HM... 10 dollars a box. The owner asked me if I wanted them, I said na' I'll go the the hobby shop and get one with a model in it for 8.50.

  7. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    It's not often I reply to this kind of thread but the words "Collectable", "Affordable", "luxurious", "Limited Edition" etc really does hit a nerve in me!

    It's a sellers expression to impress the impressionable!!!

    MT is a company I wouldn't even consider as a source of rolling stock. They feel (rightly so) that there are gooney-birds out there with $$$ burning a hole in their pockets. Prophit is one thing, exploitation is something else! :eek: :eek:

    Maybe I'm just a tight wad Scotsman but I believe in value for money. Pay no attention to the padlock on my sporran :p :) :D

  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Aye Errol! We Robber Barrons do expect value in exchange for opening our wallets!!!:D :D
  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    WOW - Excellent Info guys!!! :D :D

    A Public Service Announcement to all "Newbies" I've been going to Train Meets for 15+ years now, 5 - 6 shows per year, and I've proven this comment time & time again.

    The prices near the entry door, most of the time, are 10% - 20% higher than prices near the opposit end of the room.

    Why???? Because every person selling something has that "One Item" that you just can't live without. ---- Until you see "the table" at the back of the room, where there's 4 of the item for $2.00 cheaper.

    Be verrrrrrrY careful - I've gotten so many things "Cheaper than on e-bay" buy looking through the entire show before buying anything. Yes there is the occasional exception. But most times this rule works well. -- Good Luck!!
  10. RI541

    RI541 Member

    When I go to large trains show's like the one in Springfield Mass, They give you a map. So what I do when I find something I like but think is a little high priced I'll circle the table on the map and move on and try to find it else where.

    Most of the time I'll find the same item at a much better cost. If I don't find the same thing I'll go back to that table if I realy NEED it. Some times its there and sometimes not. If its still there then great if not did I realy loose out? Probly not if I thought it was too expensive to begin with.

    As for buying price's, you can pick up older Mantuas,Varney's,and the such for 5 to 10 dollars each. the higher end for cars in original boxes. But I'm happy with just a box.

    I did pay $10.00 for a Crown RI "aluminum" sided box car with out the box.both Crown and Varney came out with them,but the crown has the correct road numbers and the Varney doesn't.I've got both of them. I saw the Crown car go for $18.00 on Ebay. So I'd say it is some what collectable.

    I also have the Athern Special Edition RI set in mint condition, I picked up at a train show. The same set went for $25.00 on Ebay, and that set had broken couplers and the such.

    The most interesting HO box car (to get back on track here) is a Brookside Creamery car. Now I can find them at the big shows build and beaten for $50.00 and up. Now if I want this car in mint condition unbuilt in the original box it'll cost me $100.00 plus. Why?? it's all in the location. If I went out west I'd get the same car for alot less since its not a local road out there.

    Well thats my $.02 worth.

    OK I'll make it a nickles worth, I do have to agree with Brakie on the Athern cars, Thier a dime a dozen, How ever for N-scale cars I'll pay up to $5.00 for a car with the KD's on it. First because the KD's are about $3.00 to $4.00 apiece so not only do I get a set of KD's i get a car I can use or throw for a buck.

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