How To Buy And Sell Model Trains



If there is an objection or complaint about the hobby of model railroading it is that it can be or become a fairly expensive pastime. One thing you can do to make the costs manageable is to not only carefully research and pre-plan the model railroad you plan to build, but to also built your model railroad over a period of time.

This is a reasonable recommendation because it spreads your costs over an extended period of time, and this approach aligns itself well with the fact that this is a hobby which can be enjoyed throughout a life time.

With that said, however, it is extremely important that the hobbyist familiarize themselves with the basics of buying and selling model trains. In so doing the hobbyist will insure that he or she will get the prices and deals, or at least the most reasonable prices or deals for their model trains.

Also, make sure that records are kept that describe the rolling stock which is purchased as well as the price paid at the time of purchase. Not only will your record keeping guarantee that you are always aware of what you have in your collection, but should you want to sell something in the future you’ll have all of the details of the purchase close at hand when needed.

If you’ve already dealt with the important decisions about your railroad such as the scale you intend on building your layout around, the type of railroad, selected the space where you’re going to build your model train layout, and how you are going to power your trains, the only issue which remains is where to purchase your model trains.

At best, this can be challenging and confusing if you are new to the hobby as there are so many choices that it can seem overwhelming at first. Moreover, how will you even know if you’re getting the best price for what you are purchasing?

The process begins will first deciding how much money you want to spend, and the understanding that the hobby will have ongoing expenses. There is no better place to start than right on your personal computer.

A quick search will show that all of the important manufacturers in the model railroading industry have websites online, and that your effort to price compare will be significantly simplified by doing your research by taking advantage of the internet.

An important benefit of purchasing online is that the sellers of model trains who you will find online can price their products much more competitively than your local model train store.

If you are really looking to save money and don’t mind buying model trains which are used, try joining your local model train club. Not only can you find model trains that members are willing to sell at more than fair prices, you may even be able to swap trains that you own for something that you want with another member.

Now, there is actually a little more you should be aware of if your interested in buying used or older model trains and the following information should prove to be useful:

1. Make sure you know exactly what you are looking for. It’s very helpful if you know who the manufacturer is and the part or serial number will help as well.

2. As mentioned, deals can be found on the internet, and you can also find some pretty good deals at auction houses as well.

3. If you check with your local model train hobby shop they do have sales occasionally which can produce some very good buys. These type of hobby shops can also assist you if you have old trains to sell.

Selling Your Trains:

Before you sell older or collectible model trains the process should begin by determining their value. There are three good methods which you can use and they are as follows:

1. Start by visiting local stores and if you can go to a model railroading show. In so doing you should be able to walk away with a pretty good idea of what the market will bear related to pricing.

2. Online auction stores such as eBay can give you a good idea of what your trains are worth. Just keep in mind that you are looking at images of the other guy’s trains, and it can be difficult to compare the quality of what you have to these samll pictures.

3. Collectors guides are another good resource which can be used to determine the value of your trains, and as was previously mentioned, having your trains professionally appraised is another alternative.