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Author Topic: Value  (Read 2897 times)
Old Woman

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« on: July 05, 2012, 09:26:05 PM »

Hello, I have A chance to purchase A whole room flu of vintage mi nature Bachman trains, but am clueless as to thier value. Every thing is in mint condition still in the original boxes. Is there A market for these items as collectables , and what is their worth?
A Derailed Drag Racer

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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 09:42:50 PM »

The following is one of the best answers to that question I have seen yet.............

"Your best bet is to look through the Bachmann listings on ebay. However, I must warn you that older train set equipment was cheaply made so not much survived. That means your search will be a frustrating one. Unfortunately, that rarity doesn't translate into value. Very few older trains, the great mythology notwithstanding, have any value. Their level of detail was minimal by today's standards, their trucks were junk, their couplers were usually worse than awful, they didn't run especially well even when new, their motors and operational characteristics are very poor by today's standards, and it is a great deal of expense and work to bring them up to date. If you do that, you'll have as much invested in them as if you had purchased current equipment, but they still won't have the detail. An old power pack might be useful to run building lights or switches but that's about it. I don't know anyone who would run a modern electronically locomotive with the juice put out by a 25-30 year old power pack.

Yes, if you have a rare old Lionel or Ives Line train in outstanding (i.e., new) condition in its original box -- also in new condition -- it can be worth a considerable amount of money. But old HO stuff? Almost none of it is valuable, certainly nothing from a train set.

The best thing you can do with this is give it to a youngster who might enjoy it for a while because s/he won't know how much better modern model trains are. Who knows? Maybe it'll spark the child's interest in the hobby. If not, well, it's no great loss."


Jerrys HO
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 09:46:43 PM »

What Sid said...adding don't assume it is worth a lot because someone listed it at 400.00. Look to see what it and other's have sold for. My guess you will see a lot of this stuff being relisted over and over until it is finally priced to sell.


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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 12:02:49 AM »


If the trains are in sets in large, flat bixes I'd say let them go unless you can buy a ton of them for not much money. As others have said, set trains are cheaply made and lacking in details and operational characteristics compared to current models, including current train sets.

That somebody traded an old Lionel train set for a condo on the beach in Miami is a popular myth, but a myth nevertheless. Very, very few old trains have any significant value, even if new in the boxes as you describe. Yes, people put them on ebay asking princely sums but what's important is what they actually sell for. So ... don't look at the ebay listings to determine price; check the completed listings which you can access under the advanced search function on ebay. That will tell you what has actually been paid, and how many didn't sell at all.
                                                                                                                                                                     -- D

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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 08:40:12 PM »

The problem is to resell things if that is what you are trying to do. Not an easy process, as you would have to list each piece seperately or three pieces together to make any money, very time consuming!
Unless you want to buy the stuff for a layout or display, don't buy older stuff.
Not many price guides out there, more companies that make a product.

You would have to be around model trains for a while to know what to buy to resell and make a profit, assuming that is what you want to do.

There are some older Lionel items that bring some money but not that many! Most peolpe who have Lionel mainly have the common stuff.
I have put several itmes up for sale on Choo Choo auctions, but have not recieved the first bid. Some times I have stuff there for 15 to 18 days and still no offers or bids.
Maybe I am wrong, but I think this economy is headed for the "Second Great Depression." Too many week signs for a recovery after a recession, and the job market still cutting back, especially here in south Florida. Not always cutting jobs, now the companies are cutting hours so they don't have to pay un-employment to the employees here.

Lee F.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 08:43:38 PM by phillyreading » Logged
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 10:03:47 AM »

My cousin's husband, who works part time for an oil compnay, was called to a house to work on a burner. While there, the owner, an elderly woman, said that she had stuff she wanted to toss including an old train set. She basically told him that he could keep anything he found under the stairs. There was a box containing a Lionel GG-1, Madison passenger cars and very rusty track. The moisture in the basement wasn't kind to the trains - they were basically falling apart. What my cousin did find was a new in the original box M1 carbine from WW II which seemed to have never beeen fired.

Neither find got him that Condo in Florida but he made out nicely selling the carbine (the NYPD paperwork for owning and selling the carbine is a story in itself!)

We worked on the trains and they run but are sorry specimens.


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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 01:30:47 PM »

Yes I recently picked some post war Lionel for around $250 not so much because of its value which was about $500 but because a freind was getting rid of it and wanted it to go a "loving home" In another words I have it on display, elsewhere as my layout is HO.  I would not get into trains thinking that your ship (or in this case train) as come in.
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