New to trains here, can I get some help please?

Started by michiganbumpkin, December 01, 2009, 02:15:20 PM

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Hiyas all!!! Happy Holidays!!

I am new to the "train thing" and was wondering if you all could help me out a little bit. I have just become the owner of an assortment of Bachmann trains and accessories. I am not into trains all that much and do not know alot about them. Considering listing this lot on an auction site. There is an assortment of tracks, signs and posts as well as a freight station. Also 15 cars some of which are engines. PLEASE HELP!!! Thank you!!


If you could link us to a picture that would be great. And a better description would also help. In general new steam locomotives are at least $30 and used (but in good running condition) at least $15. New Diesels are at least $20 new and probably $5 in used but good running condition. Freight cars are about $8 each new or $3 each used. Passenger cars are about $12 each new or $6 each used. Track new is about $1 a piece for nickel silver, if brass or steel about $0.70 a piece. Nickel silver turnouts are about $9 new and brass and steel are around $6 new. New buildings would be approximately $10 each or $5 each used. Signs and telephone poles would be about $3 for all of them combined. Before selling anything be sure to test them first to make sure they work.

Jim Banner

Your train items are worth what someone is willing to pay for them.  Check on eBay to see what these items have been selling for (you have to be an eBay member to do this but signing up is free and easy if you are over 18.)

ABC is correct in recommending that you check things before you sell them.

People are hesitant to bid if you cannot assure them that the item works and if you do not show them a good photograph of the item.  If they won't bid, you won't sell the item!

The most important bid (and the hardest to get) is the first bid.  No first bid, no sale.  So what do you need to do to get a first bid?  Some suggestions:
- a good photo helps
- being able to guarantee that the item works
- honesty - if the item is damaged or has problems, say so and/or show the damage in a photo.  Otherwise, expect negative feedback.  Your feedback numbers are important.  100% is good, 99% is already getting iffy.  Much less, and buyers will not bid.
- keep the first bid low, low, low.  Watch a few or a lot of auctions and see which items get the best prices.  Most times it is the one with the lower initial bid price even though the items are otherwise similar.

If you want to limit your buyers to just one out of 40 people, sell only to the USA.  If you want to sell to a much larger buying public, be prepared to sell internationally, including quoting international shipping prices (check out your post office.)

If you want to maximize your income, sell the pieces one at a time.  If you are in a hurry and don't care about your return, sell things in large lots.  The exception is small items.  Nobody wants to buy telephone poles one at a time.  Locomotives, certainly.  Box cars, sure.  Telephone poles, no.  Selling track in bundles of a dozen or so seems to work, particularly if all the pieces in the bundle are identical, including condition. 

I am sure others can give you more and better suggestions for selling your equipment by auction.

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.


Mr.Banner is right about Ebay, I sell things there all the time, besides starting the price at the lowest price you will accept, also end your auctions at a time when people are still awake, I've made some late night listings and they always end up selling for less then I had hoped, His theory on the first bid is also Spot on, I have listed things for $10.00 to start and they don't sell, but then re listed the same item for $0.99 and had it sell for $25.00 there is a competition mentality with many bidders and they can't stand to lose even if it cost them more.