reducing value of original model train engine

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by alnpd, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. alnpd

    alnpd New Member

    I'm new as a collector and am wondering what devalues a model train engine more, having it restored professionally or having it repaired extremely well?
    Can anyone help before I do the wrong thing?
  2. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hello Al and welcome aboard.

    I'm just wondering what is it that you are contemplating a resotoration or repair on? It can make a lot of difference depending on what the item is. Somethings you want to restore and others are best left alone as far a value is concerned.
  3. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    All's I know is if I purchased it it will drop in value drastically just like the stocks, cars, computers, everthing I own. :cry: FRED
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Al, IMHO: The best value to be obtained by ownership of a model is pleasure which is derived by it's very ownership and use, not the resale value. If you are a collector, and you have fun collecting and displaying them, then go for it! If you are a modeler, then use it in whatever way makes you happy. In most cases, we are not collectors, and the value is lost if it sits unused with a tear in it's eye. Us non-collector types may render the model useless for resale, but had a heck of a lot of fun along the way. I think the stock market is better suited for investments :D

    That being said, I would think it's greatest resale value would be reached if it were returned as close as possible to factory fresh condition. That is if it's "collectable" and is now or ever will be a "desirable" model. If not, it may be worth more if it is in the most realistic looking and best performing condition (i.e. uprated modern parts). In either case, the restored value may or may not reach the initial investment plus parts, and almost certainly not plus labor.

    Usually, the "deal" is made on the buy, not on the sale. It's a lot easier to find something that's for sale for less than it's worth, quite difficult to find a buyer willing to pay even what it's worth. If I were to get into collecting these things, I would get a book or three that tells me what to look for initially, and look for these items in good condition, but under priced.

    Perhaps there is a collector umong us that can offer less general sound advice. Myself, I just try to enjoy the journey. You can tell by my avitar that I don't buy the most expensive locos!

    :wave: :wave: :wave: Welcome to the-gauge, Al!!!:wave: :wave: :wave:
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    I've got to agree with Jon on the subject. I've got some pretty valuable (read expensive) toys including trains but I bought them at a right price but I "play" with them and don't really give a hoot about their value ever going up.

    But on the other hand a truly collectible piece can at times be more valuable in its "as found" condition (excluding cleaning and minor mechanical adjustments)

    Lets take for example a Lionel 300E...The scale Hudson. On the collector's market this loco in "excellent/good +" condition with a box should be valued at around $3,000. The loco is complete, runs, has no missing parts and its finish only has just a few nicks from occasional use.

    But lets say you found a 300E at a flea market for $50 and it was pretty much a basket case. You spend $1000 and countless hours restoring it to absolute "mint" condition without a flaw. While its beautiful its still a "restoration" and worth a bit less than an "original" one.

    That 1906 $77,000 toy steamboat that was the subject of another thread would loose at least 50% of its value if you so much as touched up the paint on it.

    The old "flame licker" motor that I posted a couple of months ago is now worth more because its in running condition even though I had to make a part from a John Deer grain drill feed hose.

    Guess it just all depends on what it is and what need to be done.

    Maybe some one who is in TCA can enlighten us more.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    From what I've read, it may also depend on the rarity of the model. If you have a Lionel loco that is factory painted in pink, it is worth more in unretouched than in painted, and worth a lot more than the same engine shell that came in black and has been painted pink. (The latter might be considered a fraud!) If you have it stripped and repainted, there is no proof, other than your word, that it started out as the rarity.
    If you have a fairly common loco, it would probably be better to repair and restore it so that it looks good on your layout (or shelf).

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