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Author Topic: Suggestions on Train Show purhases  (Read 3081 times)
Martha


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« on: January 31, 2017, 09:01:03 PM »

My Grandson who is 8 and I are attending our first Model Train and Railroad Hobby show in a few weeks. We are novices on this stuff and hope to learn from this experience. We are starting our own 4' x 8' layout so figured this would be a good thing right? Question is is there anything(s) to watch out for such as poorly made products or dealers who try to gyp me. Do they generally take Credit Cards or cash only? Also how much money should I bring? Are we talking a domestic type car or a high end type car? I know depends on what I am looking for right? Fellows, we are just starting out so imagine how the 2 of us will look, deer in the headlights, candy stores, Christmas Eve all come to mind. Some things I'm hoping to look for such as the rock wall Jonathan uses, some mini lights or bulbs, need fire trucks, police cars and first responders. Oh the list goes on. Grin

Any suggestions or watch out for is greatly appreciated.
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WoundedBear
A Derailed Drag Racer


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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 09:09:37 PM »

Resist the urge to spend a lot of money on anything and everything you may see. Decide what and when you want to model and stick to that.

Sid
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 09:20:22 PM »

If you have general ideas of what you might want, check out some prices online from train stores and EBay before you go. That way you have a rough idea of what stuff goes for.
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Feel like a fourfouro.
Martha


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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 09:45:12 PM »

Thanks Sid and Terry and Terry yes I would.
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Martha


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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 10:36:07 PM »

No maps that I can find however richiy great advice I will contact the local club. This one is a small one, good one to get started. Thanks!
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Piyer


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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2017, 10:58:26 PM »

Notepad!

Write down what you are looking for, online prices, etc. before you go. Make notes while you are at the show BEFORE you buy. If you have a smart phone, you can quickly check prices. If not, see if you can arrange to have someone at home by the computer so that you can phone them for a price check.

RESIST IMPULSE BUYING....... says the guy who should truly leave home without his credit cards when going to a hobby shop, a train show, or even into most any "junk" store on Main Street.

Set a budget before you go to the show.... let's say $100.... and stick to that regardless of how much you are actually carrying with you. Keep it separate, like in an envelope, and once it's spent, that's it. For $100 you could easily pickup a bunch of $5 freight cars, a nice 2nd hand DC locomotive, and maybe two or three structure kits.

While I love the detail of the high end stuff, I tend to go for quantity over quality - 10 $5 junkers in need of TLC vs 1 $50 "Cadillac". And, in doing so, I've found some hidden gems: beautifully weathered Athearn Blue Box era cars for $7-$10 each, and a used-but-like-new Atlas locomotive for $45 that, to my surprise when I got it home, had a DCC decoder already in it! 

Good luck and happy hunting!
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~AJ Kleipass~
Actively modeling in N, HO, and 2-rail O scales.
jonathan


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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2017, 07:45:09 AM »

Martha, as suggested above, I have to fight the temptation to buy every cool thing I see.

And like others, I keep a set amount of cash in my pocket.  Once it's spent, that's it.

I also make a list: a) the things I need; and b) the things I really want, but probably can't afford.  Every now and then I get to purchase something from the 'b' list.

The dangerous vendors are the ones who take credit cards; not all do.  Usually nothing wrong with their products, but I'm always tempted to head that way when all the cash is gone.

Since you're working on a 4' X 8' layout, there's only so much that surface area will hold.  That will help keep the budget down.

If you're looking for locomotives, better to stick with some rugged, basic diesels. An 8-year-old does not yet have the dexterity and light touch for playing with steam engines.

Just some thoughts.

Regards,

Jonathan
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Yardmaster
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 09:44:00 AM »

If you make a purchase at a train show and you are looking for new product that has not been previously used you should buy from a retailer who has a local store. This way if you have any problems you can contact the retailer.
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jonathan


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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 10:50:29 AM »

Absolutely!

When I'm shopping for a new Bachmann product, I go to Star Hobby at our local train shows.  They are an official dealer for Bachmann.  I get a good price, and I know the product is new and backed up by the warranty. And I have a slew of Bachmann steamers and diesels.

Same goes for new structures, craftsman kits and some scenery elements.  Now if your looking for brass or discontinued specialty items... all bets are off.  Smiley I try to buy power packs, figures, and vehicles out of discount bins from the second-hand vendors.  Helps if you're not picky about that sort of thing.

Regards,

Jonathan
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Len

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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 11:01:10 AM »

The local clubs around here all provide test tracks at their shows. Any sellers that don't allow a loco to be tested for operation before purchase aren't invited back.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Joe323

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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 12:19:58 PM »

There are. 2 types of train shows.

The TOY type (Greenberg for exanple) where you have a lot of dealers selling chaff admist The wheat.  (By chaff I mean Lionel Matchbox cars Hess trucks signs books etc) The trick at these shows is not to wear youself out looking for the stuff you want.  You may want to even peruse these shows a few times so you know which dealers have what you want and are always there.

The Train type show (National Train Show for example) where manufacturers reps are on hand to show you there products and answer questions.  I find this type of show a bit more useful as there are less likely to be non MR products for sale.

Personally I think the first type would interest an 8 year old more than the second type show I would take him to that type and go alone to the second type.

BTW I second Jonathans endorsement of Star Hobbies at either type  show I have found their prices on Bachmann Products to be the best.
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Martha


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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 08:51:11 PM »

Once again, thank you all for such excellent advice. I believe this is a small show which is good, hopefully I won't get into to much trouble purchasing. I do have a budget and I will take cash and no credit/debit cards. Course it is less than 2 miles away, will just need to find the strength to control that spending. Looking forward to it. M
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Martha


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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 10:59:40 PM »

Once again, thank you all for such excellent advice. I believe this is a small show which is good, hopefully I won't get into to much trouble purchasing. I do have a budget and I will take cash and no credit/debit cards. Course it is less than 2 miles away, will just need to find the strength to control that spending. Looking forward to it. M
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James in FL

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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 11:12:15 PM »

Take a 9v battery with you just in case no test tracks.

Good luck
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JNXT 7707

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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 11:21:36 AM »

All good advice. That said, it's a train show - have fun! It's your first show. You WILL overspend. You WILL get things that are impulse buys. It's OK!
I make up lists before train shows too, and have a budget (the cash in my pocket). 99% of the team I find nothing on my list, but I DO find other things that turn out quite well.

BTW, it is like walking into a wonderland - your grandson will be in hog heaven  Grin
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Jerry

Modeling the JNXT RR from its headquarters in Buzzardly, Texas.
Future home of the National C-Liner Museum.
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