Custom painting

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by R.B. Turner, May 20, 2002.

  1. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    I am beginning to do custom painting with the intent to sell on eBay. I am asking for input as to what engines you would theoretically be interested in buying. I am assuming that the more obscure RR's that the manufacturers don't produce would be the most attractive. I have been buying undecorated Athearn, Atlas and Bachmann/Spectrum in HO gauge to start with as well as decals. I am also planning on equipping these units with Kadees and doing light detailing to them.
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Randy
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Hhhmmm.....interesting.....a valuable service, I've painted a few locos and rolling stock myself, and it really hasn't come out as great as I'd like. With practice, I suppose, it'll get better.

    The problem with doing it the way you're suggesting, Randy, is that you'll never make back the money for all your work. You might get a few extra dollars on eBay for rare custom painted locomotives, but I doubt it would ever compensate you for your time. At least I don't think so, and I'm quite quite studious about eBay model railroad items.

    You may want to re-think your strategy - use eBay to sell custom painted locomotives as more of a marketing strategy, and then sell your services to those who do want custom painting for their own locos. This seems to be a burgeoning business, judging by waiting times.

    Just my two cents. Welcome to The Gauge.
  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Randy,
    One angle you might persue would be to give a detailed list of custom painting services you could provide in the Buy & Sell forum on this site...(if that's OK with the administrators)
    Not sure about the demand for such a thing around these parts, but if you included a web site, or e-mail address, word might get around.

    p.s. Some photos of your work might be a plus, too.
    Good Luck!
  4. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

    When I look at things on Ebay, the first thing I do is subtract the shipping amount from the price of the item at my local hobby shop. The result is the price I am willing to pay for anything on ebay. Lets say an Athearn boxcar goes for $5 at the hobby shop, and the Ebay seller wants $3 shipping...I am only willing to pay $2 for the car. If it has been put together, it is worth even less to me; they have taken the fun out of it. The item has to be REALLY special for me to do otherwise.
    I tried selling custom stuff on ebay once. I made a couple bucks but not enough to get excited about. My local hobby shop once got rid of all his Athearn locos by selling them for about 1/3 of his normal price. I bought a half dozen or so with the intention of selling them on Ebay. I tried selling them (stock paint jobs) for $20, only to find that there were hobby shops on ebay, dumping the same models for $8. Cant compete with that.
    I repainted them, and sold half of them. I still have the rest. The ones I sold paid for the ones I have, but just barely.
    To sell a standard, stock Athearn loco is one thing; but the minute you do anything to change it, you accept responsibility. If the buyer doesnt like what you did, you eat it. I kitbashed some cabooses and tried selling them...I sold one. The guy promised to buy a bunch of locos from me, but I never heard from him after he bought the one caboose . Dont know if he was displeased, or what. Its a different story to sell things at a flea market or through your local shop...the customer can see what he is getting before he buys. But ebay is different...they cant see before they buy. With the time it takes to make the images, edit them, and make up the ad, plus worrying about whether or not the customer was going to like it, Ebay just wasnt worth the trouble. (Now my sister is a different story, she can buy coffee mugs at yard sales for a quarter and sell them for $50. Dont know how, but she does it.) YMMV, Bill
  5. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    This has been sobering. I don't want to try and make a living at this just money to fund the habit if you know what I mean. I have been told by several people that I should offer my services. I could do them relatively cheaply. I think I'll try and put some pictures on here. That will probably take weeks to figure out and I would much rather be runnin' TRAINS!!

    And, thanks for the welcome guys.

    Randy
  6. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Hey Randy, if you do ever wanna develop a website and don't wanna attempt it yourself, let me know - maybe we can work something out.
  7. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Ebay

    Hi Randy, As an experienced Ebay seller (no trains...just antiques and collectibles) I thought I would throw in my 2 cents worth. To be honest the Ebay market in my opinion is not what it used to be. Secondly the model railroad catagories are just plain "flooded" with stuff that everybody wants to buy cheap and sell high. Unless you have something that is very desirable or extremley rare you're gonna take a beating. Also, Ebay does not allow newcomers to sell like items at a fixed price unless you do so with a "reserve" auction which carries a pretty high listing fee on top of the insertion fee. That combined with your final value fees will eat up your profits.

    I like the idea of your own web site. Set one up and then put some cheap ads in the classified sections of MR and RMC and invite folks to view your site. I'd bet that they will come "knocking at your door":) :D
  8. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    Following posts are my work....

    Attached Files:

  9. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    more work

    Attached Files:

  10. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    more

    Attached Files:

  11. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Very Nice:D :D
  12. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    still more

    Attached Files:

  13. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    one more?

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  14. BDC

    BDC Member

    Randy,
    The engines look very nice. Have you thought about painting in other scales beside HO? N perhaps? I would be interested as most current custom painters have very long wait lists.
  15. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    I'll paint anything in any scale. What do you have in mind?
  16. R.B. Turner

    R.B. Turner New Member

    I'll paint anything in any scale. What do you have in mind?
  17. BDC

    BDC Member

    SF "Kodachrome" locos and DRGW F units to start. Maybe a few fantasy units as well. I don't want to turn this thread into a business deal, so feel free to contact me through email. Thanks

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