Mail Order

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by sweet_sean, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. sweet_sean

    sweet_sean New Member

    I've got a question about purchasing anyhting form track to locos to stock to scenery for an HO layout. I live in south-central Illinois and there is no hobby shop within about 60 miles and I have no intntion of going there every time I need something. Are there any good mail order stores that have a lot of items and fairly low prices?
  2. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member


    One word:

    EBAY!!! :D :D :D

    Some have had bad experiences with it, but all five of my purchases have been good. For example, I got a Dash 8, which retails at $130, for $72 including shipping. You just have to watch it. Know what you're looking for/buying.

    My hobby shop is two minutes down the road, so that isn't an issue, but I too hate going there every time I need something (and getting the parents to drive me! ;) ). I've mostly bought track there, and some scenery items. Trains are best bought from Ebay, in my opinion.

    So, yes. Anything you're looking for-and I mean ANYTHING-check out Ebay. It works for me. By the time you figure shipping, it's cheaper than the gas cost to get to your LHS. (Local Hobby Shop, which isn't so local for you... :p )

    Good luck Sean. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
  3. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    on-line buying

    I have used Hobbyland quite a few times and am well satisfied. I find them very helpful.

  4. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Sean, there's also the gran'daddy of them all - Walthers. Their prices are not the cheapest but what they do have is a really well-organized website with a great search feature and pictures of almost everything. I don't know about you, but when I have to buy something without actually being able to see and touch it, I need at least a picture of what it looks like.
    Sometimes I'll find an item on Walthers and then search for it cheaper at some of the discount online shops. Other times it's less hassle (especially with customs as I'm in Canada) to order direct from Walthers.
    Hope this helps.

  5. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Walthers/Terminal Hobby Shop is a good place to start. I've bought from TrainWorld in Brooklyn NY since it was basically a one-man operation back in the early seventies. Standard Hobby Supply is good too. Also several good ones online, etc.

    If I'm looking for a particular item I'll sometimes do a search on yahoo or google or whatever and see what comes up, often get a link to at least a couple of online places that are selling what I'm looking for, then I can compare prices.
  6. sweet_sean

    sweet_sean New Member

    i agree that walthers has many products but they sell all their products at msrp which is the down side.
  7. Hey, Sean...

    The web is a good place to search for MRR stuff. There's a number of 'on-line only' hobby shops that sell at a discount. Personally, being a Northeast kind of a modeler, I do business with 20th Century Hobbies in NJ for my Erie/Lackawanna/Susquehanna stuff, but Joe has more than just those road names. Here's the link:
    I've also done a fair amount of buying and selling on eBay. When LHS's were telling me I would NEVER see a Kato undec HO NW2 switcher, I found TWO on eBay...smooth deals, no problems. I sold off all of my leftover HOn3 parts to other modelers on eBay and, again, no problems. Now, my wife has been ripped off a couple of times but for small amounts like 12.00 recently and has been shipped pottery broken in transit. The sellers made good, except for the clown that took her for the 12 bucks. Just make sure that you're dealing with someone with a lot of positive feedback and, if they have negative feedback, read it. It may not have been their fault. Try it out on small stuff until you get an idea of what you're doing. If you need help doing searches, give a shout here. There's a few of us that do a lot of eBay. Also, seriously consider opening a PayPal account so that payments can be taken right out of your checking's an instant, traceable payment record. None of this 'I never got the check' stuff. Good luck!

    Russ :wave:
  8. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I have two LHS's within a 20 minuate drive.But I have ordered through Walthers on-line and haven't had a problem with them. I'm leary about trying other places, though I did order from some place in New York for some couplers I needed, and they seemed ok.
  9. emt49

    emt49 Member

  10. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I've order from here as well. Maybe cause it just before christmas on my orders, but both of them didn't even ship for 7 days, and took another 7 to ship here. Besides that, no other problems though.
  11. Injector

    Injector New Member

    For bargins look to . If they have it you could probally sell it on ebay and make a few dollars. :) :) Walthers is good for stuff you can't get at discount suppliers who only stock, as a rule, fast moving items and not much detail items like I need. I also recomend ordering direct from Grandt Line. They stock nealy all their detail items and have a low shipping charge. Loy's Toys are alos good for the items they stock and give a modest discount.
  12. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi Sean
    I've collected a number of rerlated web sites that include a number of OLHS's. The URL is: Hobby Links Hope it helps, just remember to read the disclaimer. :D
  13. rcline

    rcline Member

    Well folks, this is what I do, (not that it means anything), I start by going thru my Walthers cat and almost each item in there lists the manufactures name. Then I start doing a search for that outfit and try to order from them if the price is right. I also do a lot of comparing from a lot of on-line shops for that item as to the price of that item.
    Then I just say, what the heck, flip a coin and buy, buy, buy!!!!!!
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

  15. genophillipe

    genophillipe New Member

    Greatr internet hobby store

    I also live about 65 miles from a good hobby shop, so I've experimented with the online shops. The one's I've had very good success with are and Both are competitively priced(though we are talking retail), with decent shipping times and prices. Hope this helps!
  16. Brunob1

    Brunob1 New Member

    1st Place Hobbies is my choice. You can search by Walther's numbers and they discount almost everything.
  17. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    :thumb: favorite mail order places are Trainworld, ToyTrainHeaven,
    M.B. Klein and HobbiesUSA. I've been doing bussiness with the first three for
    many, many years. Trainworld is most often the cheapest with the most products and they ship extremely fast. I've recieved items in as little as three days for about $8.00 USPS. Toy Train Heaven and M.B. Klein compete with each other for second best prices, cheaper but slower shipping. HobbiesUSA
    quite often has the cheapest price on some items but thay have the slowest
    shipping for the highest price. And they are only accessable by e-mail. Also
    Standard Hobby Supply falls in the middle there somewhere. All but HobbiesUSA have ads in either Model Railroader or Railroad Model Craftsman
    and they're all very well established and trustworthy.

    Texas Chief

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