The World of the BAY - E-bay that is!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Renovo PPR, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    How many times have you placed a quick bid only to find out it was a Hallmark ornament?

    How many times have you seen the word RARE describe a very common and cheap freight car?

    How many times have you seen the world MINT described a well run locomotive with more chips than paint on it?

    How many times have you seen the price of bids surpass the amount of gold stored in Fort Knox for something that you could buy at you LHS?

    The list could go on to include I know nothing about trains, I’m selling for a friend, this was in grandmothers attic, my father was a large collector, I don’t know if it works but it is old and worth a lot of money.

    I think the funny ones are when the buyer tries to act like they know something and describes a Berkshire as a Mikado or a common freight car as a baggage car.

    Some of the better ones go like this, Rare Lionel 0-27 track well rusted. However easy to clean with steel wool, this track will make a good investment.

    I have come to the conclusion the following words are over used, rare, vintage, mint I think you get my point.

    And what is the story with this, I’m clearly looking for Lionel O gauge trains but I have to move around things like Hallmark, Lionel Richie, Lionel Barrymore, Shaun Livingston Lionel Chambers and yes even once the Lion King. What the heck is a Lionel Purrsmore cat?

    What exactly does the words Like New mean? Is this something that was produced like new but is missing something? I mean it is either new or used in very great shape.

    The one I like the best. LIONEL TRIAN – I’m not a train person but this plastic engine marked American Flyer is rare and bought for my dad in 1965 and will run on all Lionel track. It is in Like New Condition with some cracks near the cab. Since I do not have a transformer I do not know if it works.

    Someday I will tackle the subject of shipping and handling but for now lets just say we need to petition E-bay to get things correct for us wanting to shop for Lionel Trains.

    Yes the world of E-bay and model trains can appear to be a strange one. However it is still one of the best everyday markets for that little special item you want.

    [FONT=&quot]@ yes this is just a fun poke at e-bay and if we actually ran a retail store like this we would be out of business at the end of the week.[/FONT]
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Here endeth the rant...

    ;) :D sign1

    For all those reasons and more, I find that my local train shop ( is the best source of things I need for my layout. And I agree with you on shipping...! :rolleyes:


  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: I still luvs it, though...I can't think of a better place to get the most for what you have to sell...some things I've sold leave me just plain stunned. However, I don't do alot of buying anymore for those very reasons you've listed:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Thankfully, this early 70s Marklin 3022 I just got was properly described...ooooo, yeah:D Bought on the recommendation of a fellow Marklinite for train show endurance running, Hyram and Billy Joe Ray Bob are still tryin' to figger out just what kinda lokey it is.

  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    From what I hear, these problems are not unique to buying/selling train stuff. Buy an "antique original McCoy" pot and find it has a "Yugoslavia" or "Taiwan" paper label on it. :rolleyes: "Mint condition" might mean you can hardly see the breaks and cracks,:D and "restored" means that someone used putty and paint to try to hide the broken or missing pieces of something.:cry:Go watch some of these "court" shows on TV and see how often people get sued for misrepresenting stuff. The scam artist and the totally uniformed make if very difficult for me to even think about shopping on eBay. I think there are some people that are truly addicted to eBay, "eBay junkies", and that's fine for them, but not for me. I like what I have in RR gear and don't want to sell any of it. When I'm looking for something and want a bargain, I'll see what my LHS or a dealer like Walther's has on sale, or I'll go to a train show where I can see what I'm buying.

    Don't get me wrong, there must be some great buys on eBay, I just have little interest in taking the risks of being taken.
  5. stripes

    stripes Member

    Me thinks the item descriptions are refered to as "Poetic License"

    The ones I love are when someone is trying to sell an empty box ??? Whats up with that??? I saw a old FSM box listed for $40.00

    Maybe its me

  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    From what I've learned about collectibles, if you have the box to something, it will increase its value appreciably, sometimes even doubling it. Frequently, the box doesn't even have to be in good condition.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  7. ESE999

    ESE999 Member

    I don't have this experience on Ebay with trains, but with my other hobby organ-playing, it's crazy. Over at the organ forum we even have a thread for this stuff called "EBay mischief". You are probably used to people who see the word "Lionel" and autimatically think "Priceless Antique." The same is true of organs, only the most holy name is "Hammond". Everyone who's had experience in either Lionel trains or Hammond organs knows that not everything they made was all the great. There is always a high end and a low end. For example in trains the high end would be the hudson and the low end one of those scouts. In organs it would be the Hammond B3 at the highend versus one of those small solid state "beat box organs" (the ones that your parents, grandma or maybe even you have or had, with all the colorful buttons, flashing lights and cheesy sounds).
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I've pretty much given up on Ebay for regular MRR stuff... unless I'm looking for something discontinued or rare, I can usually find the same stuff, usually cheaper, at the local MRR shows... we seem to have about 1 a month around here between Sept. and April.

    If I need to sell stuff, my LHS takes stuff on consignment... and it moves pretty quickly too. OK, so they take a 10% commission, but that's OK, because I don't have to worry about shipping, or ebay listing gouges, er, prices.... :)
  9. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    ....and the other one - "Huge Estate Sale" - I'm selling this for an old widder lady.....

    From the number of items listed, the Estate was left by somebody who had far too much money in the first place!
  10. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    This is why it's a good idea to research whatever you're bidding on first.
    My current favorites are the few Lionel 8300's I've seen lately. These are an inexpensive but well running loco that came with the Cannonball set in the early 70's. I've seen auctions with missing parts still have starting bids at $50 and you can pick up the whole set for $20 to $30 most times.

    On the other hand, there are rare jems out there like the Marx 666 that can be picked up relatively cheap.

    That's what advanced search is for. To filter out the junk you don't want and selecting the appropriate categories to search.

    I love eBay really. I've found a lot of good stuff on there with only 2 or 3 bad deals. I'll stick with it. :)
  11. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    E!!! the answer is E. all of the above!sign1

    I love some of the descriptionsannounce1 . I don't buy much on the bay but did look last week at G scales stuff on the recommendation of a fellow Gauger:thumb: . Now after watching that sale and a few other I'm starting to wonder about the sanity of the world...LOLhamr

    One item i looked was a G starter set with shipping in the lower 48 set at $43.00:curse: . Someone wrote in an ask about itwall1 his reply was that he lives in TX and it cost more to ship from TXjawdrop .

  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I generally report those auctions for excessive shipping.
    There's no point in that. IF the seller bought the box and packing materials with insurance and proof of delivery, the max a train set should ship for is $25.
  13. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Oh come on! Everybody knows the price of packing peanuts and bubble-wrap has gone through the roof these days! :rolleyes:

    I just received a kit I bought off Ebay... paid $15 shipping, and got it in a paper-padded envelope with $4.65 postage on it. The only reason I'm not grousing louder is that even with the inflated shipping I still paid less than new.

    The shipping rates are a joke for the most part. It's just the buyer covering their @$$ in case their auction only fetches $0.99. And I won't buy from anyone who only ships UPS... they're almost a bigger scam than Ebay - especially if you have to ship cross-border. They'll hit you for $40 brokerage, whether the item requires a duty payment or not.

    USPS/Canada Post every time for me... cross-border, I pay a $5 inspection fee, GST and any duty only if it's owing. Which on MRR stuff it isn't.

    Sorry about the sideways rant. :)
  14. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    lol @ us Texans. I personally love Ebay. Sure, its not perfect and you do have problems here and there. But most of the time you get a very good deal. My LHS sells the N Scale Kato AC4400CW for 105 dollars, AKA retail. Even with five or six dollars S/H, I can get them for around 65 dollars. Only once, out of like 200 transactions, have I had a problem with someone who sold me a Bachmann DD40AX that was described as all wheel drive, the newer version with two motors, but it was really only one motor. I left him neutral feedback and he retaliated with negative feedback. what a jerk.
  15. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

    False hits can be brought down greatly by using the advanced search functions. False hits due to keyword spamming should be reported. Ebay provides a reporting mechanism, and my experience indicates they will pull the auction.

    If prices have been bid out of site, that's not your problem. It is a marketplace, and buyers are allowed to be stupid. tooth1
  16. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    That explains the name:D . Even though it's out of my scale, I think an actual vintage Blue Comet (the big light blue one) would be nice to add to my colection. even if it's standard gauge, it would look great on static display.
  17. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I don’t feel so bad for those that choose to over bid, it is their money. I have on occasion even paid more for something to acquire missing parts for my old Lionel war train from 1959. Yeah I paid $17.00 plus shipping for 4 white missiles then found them for a dollar a missile a few days after I placed my bid. So yeah I can fall into the sucker born every day category. But in the end that resulted in a better search and I was able to find all the other parts at a much cheaper price through repair or hobby stores.

    It led to finding an original helicopter and submarine for about a quarter of the price you could get on e-bay. The best thing was they came in the original Lionel packaging too. Later I even bought reproductions so the kids could play with the helicopter. There is now a big note on the layout, (Only use the helicopter with the clear windshield to launch.)

    I consider my self lucky in that I have never been taken on e-bay and for the most part I have been happy with the item I bought. However I would still like to see people be a little more informative of what they are selling. A good clear understanding that the words mint, new, rare, along with the rest still mean something and are not just a descriptive word to use for everything in their attic. I can’t filter these things and they make me doubt the honesty of the seller.

    [FONT=&quot]I still can’t believe I paid that much for those missiles last year.

    Ok and now for Texas!!!!!!!! Don't you know everything from Texas is big including those shipping charges. :) :) :) :);)
  18. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Yup. My first train set was a Lionel Cannonball from 1974 or so. :D
  19. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    I guess you could say that it was 'rescued' from scrap, eh? Better yet, it caused you to rescue its distant cousin from a dog! (and we all know what hapens in dogs + trains:D )
  20. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    The mis-marked items are the best, though! I just picked up a lot of Norfolk Southern items from someone who obviously didn't know much about railroading who got it from an estate sale. I snagged probably $150 in paperwork for $18 including shipping. It was in the right category but lacked a decent description; the only indication of the included items were three fuzzy photos and a note that said "I will include a few more items not pictured." I ended up keeping about half of it and giving the rest away to friends. Had it been parted out and each item listed separately there's no way I'd have picked any of it up. For the price though, I was willing to take a chance and the risk payed of wonderfully.

    On the other hand, there are items that are considered to be "must-have" by two or more bidders. Remember that one man's trash is another's treasure. I'm currently in the processing of amassing a collecting of slides of a particular shortline. Usually two or three are listen in a given month and I've so far been successful in acquiring them all without any completely outrageous bidding wars. Did I spend more than I'd have liked to? Absolutely. I'd like to get everything for minimum bid, but that's not always possible. I am happy with what I've spent so far and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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