Flea Markets/Yard Sales?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    In the '80s & '90s, I remember my Dad buying lots of MRR stuff at flea markets and yard sales, and coming home with boxes of stuff.

    I'm not a real fan of yard sales, but I've recently had a chance to go to a few flea markets & yard sales and haven't seen any MRR items. So I'm wondering if the MRR stuff that would have once been sold at yard sales/flea markets in the past is now mainly sold on eBay? Just curious to find out what others think and if you've recently found any yard sale deals, etc.

  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    My experience with MRR stuff at yard sales/flea markets is that it's usually "train set" quality (i.e. junk) and has not been taken care of (busted trucks/couplers/drop steps etc).

    Maybe once in a long while you'll find something really worth taking home (that's why we go yard-sailing in the first place, right?) but those are rare times indeed.
  3. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks -- I think you're right. And maybe, 15-20 years ago, it was slightly better quality? I think anyone who knows what they're selling must use eBay.
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not a big fan of garage sales, personally, but my wife used to go to a lot of them with her Father (both of them were real hagglers). :rolleyes: Occasionally, she'd bring home some train stuff, although she's totally disinterested in trains.
    One of her best hauls was a $5.00 box of assorted goodies, including two pairs of Central Valley passenger trucks, several Rivarrosi passenger cars, a Bowser T-1, a British kit for a steam loco, a bunch of scenic materials, some plastic freight cars, and a brass coaling tower. :eek: While most of it was re-sold, the passenger cars were "re-built" to run again:



    And at least one pair of the CV trucks were put to use under a kitbashed Athearn Pullman:

  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Wow -- that sounds like quite a haul! My wife is also a good haggler (I think it kind of goes along with being a good shopper! :mrgreen:) but she has yet to find a batch of MRR stuff like that. Sounds like a good find.

    I should be able to go to a flea market at Grand Bend this weekend (with family & friends), so I'll keep my eyes open!

  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    The biggest problem in year sales,flea markets and estate auctions one doesn't know what the seller has.I found it better to go and take a look especially at the estate auctions-sorry if that sounds ghoulish-but,I found better models at these auctions.

    As far as E-bay..A lot of folk still don't sell on e-bay because they may not have a computer or as I been told " I don't have the time to fool with e-bay" and "Why pay E-Bay a fee when I can sell dad's "toy" trains locally?"...
  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Good point, although I've found that people who don't have computers seem to be more and more in the minority. I've also found that a surprising (to me, at least) number of seniors are very "techy" and use things like eBay a lot.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Here in So Cal, a lot of the model railroad clubs have swap meets for members to get rid of unwanted models. I've also discovered that Arnies Train Store (an advertiser here on the Gauge) buys or else consigns estate sales that are sold on their "deal table." Last week I picked up a 2-10-2 from IHC with a Tzunami sound decoder for @ $80.00. It runs good, but has cosmetic damage from a fall off the store layout. Part of the cab broke and one of the steps on the pilot is missing. I sent in an order to IHC to see if I can get a new cab and ladder set.
  9. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    My mother used to go to "tag sales" alot. She picked me up a Mantua die-cast metal 0-6-0 tank loco for a quarter. This thing was so old, the wiring was covered with CLOTH insulation. After cleaning it up, lubing it, it ran great.
    I gave it to my nephew, and as 10 year olds go....
    Well...Lets just say it didn't last long.
  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    I recently came home to find a present from Ms. Doc. Seems she went by a local thrift store looking for toys for our lab pups and came home with the following, all new in original boxes:

    American Model Builders Farmers Grain Elevator Laser Cut Kit
    American Model Builders Cumbres Depot Laser Cut Kit
    Con-Cor Redi-Mix Cement Truck
    Con-Cor Logging Transport Truck

    Total price for all, $7.00
  11. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    I rarely go to yard sales, as I find swap meets held by local MR groups offer a much larger and more selective choice of goods.

    I've honestly never been to a flea market, although aparently you can get great stuff for low prices for any of your hobbies, not just model railroading.
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    That's So Cool!!! A whole new definition of "Thrift" :D :D :D

Share This Page