Huge collection for Sale NY, USA

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troutlegend

Registered
22 Oct 2019
2
0
46
Buffalo NY
My uncle is entering a retirement home and I need to sell his collection. It's a massive G scale collection, taking over his entire house. I'm looking for any advice you could offer on finding a fair price but to move this collection quickly. A single buyer would be preferred, but if completely necessary I'll move it to a storage facility and try to sell it piece by piece. It's located in Buffalo, NY. My uncle is a US Veteran and we're just looking to get a low-end but fair price for his life's passion.

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated?

Very broad-stroke on the collection:
18 locomotives, most diesel, 4 steam
100 cars
15 switches
2x lgb rio grande 6 axel locomotive

transformers, radio controllers, receivers, and much more
over 50 original boxes
Steel track, probably 100s of feet.
He says: "how long is the basement track... at scale speed 50mph it takes 6minutes to go around."
And there's probably much more than I've listed.

He estimates it may be worth 50,000.

it won't let me post a link to a google album with pictures but if you contact me i can send you the link
 
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phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
384
172
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sorry to hear about you uncle. Unless you need the money why not consider taking the trains with him to the retirement home. The home probably has a common area where the trains could be permanently set up for both your uncle's and the other residents continued enjoyment.
 
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Fred Mills

Registered
27 Mar 2017
1,553
148
77
Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario Canada
Although the collection may be worth $50,000 to your uncle; from what you have indicated, you are unlikely going to get more than $15,000, or so for it. Even if it is "Like New" and in boxes, collections seldom return more than 3/4 of their original purchase price., even with lots of work, and reasonable prices. If used, it is another story.
I do wish you good fortune, but do consider making the collection a new hobby for yourself, and use a small bit of it, as suggested; as a small railway at the retirement home. Even if your uncle is moving to a retirement home, surely he can still enjoy running a train once in a while, without his needing to maintain the railway.
 
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troutlegend

Registered
22 Oct 2019
2
0
46
Buffalo NY
Thankyou kindly for your replies. We’re moving him into a tiny apt and managing his care ourselves. He will be taking a few pieces, but we need to sell the rest... even if it’s for 5k or whatever is reasonable.
 
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Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,556
345
56
Royston
Try finding a local group, if your Uncle wasn't already a member of one. I know we all like a bargain, but you'll find most folk to be reasonably kind
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,666
206
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Your best bet on a return with least involvement is probably to use a specialist auction house that deals in collectibles. You will get near the market value, at the time of auction, less the fees that the auction house charges to you and, as this will affect the buyers bid level, any buyers premium the auction house will charge. So around a 40% hit on the achieved prices, maybe more. The rise of the www and reliable economical shipping services and their effect on the prices achievable on sales in even seemingly remote regional auction houses is not to be underestimated.

A model train dealer, as Fred says, will only give you 50% of its current retail value, tops - they have to layout and finance the capital, take on the risk and then make a profit. Do some homework before going down this route though so you don't get gouged because you may have missed a few gems in the collection. Yes, a lot of model railroad stuff is bread and butter with known market values, like track, but some seemingly similar items may be sought after in some instances.

Some dealers might offer a "commision sale facility". You fix the prices with the dealer and give them some negotiating leeway with buyers. You pay them a commision on sale, say 15 - 20% + local taxes on that commission amount. You'll get a better return but it will take time and you have to trust the vendor to properly insure and safely store, nevermind promote, your items on their premises.

Ebay is not for the faint hearted or inexperienced but will get you nearer to the true market value of your father's collection. But it is a lot of work - I reckon about 8 hours per 20 items listed/sold and that's with a handy and cooperative post office nearby and a little bit of practice to get the whole logistics of listing, managing the sales/auctions and shipping sorted out. But the benefit is that when you factor Ebay's, PayPal's (and your labour) in you are looking at about 15-20% overhead on any achieved price as the cost of sale.

Max
 
Scot Lawrence

Scot Lawrence

Registered
30 May 2018
91
50
50
Rochester, NY USA
Trout,
I took a look at your photos, and put together a rough guide for you:

all prices are based on *used* equipment, not new.

Burlington Northern 2003 - Lionel GP9 diesel - Around $50
Conrail 5001 - Lionel GP9 diesel - Around $50
Rio Grande 100 - USA Trains NW2 diesel - Around $100
Steam locomotive number 056 - Bachmann Big Hauler 4-6-0 - Around $100
Rio Grande 5333 - Aristocraft SD45 diesel - Around $400
Southern Pacific 8119 - Aristocraft Dash 9-44CW Diesel - around $600
Burlington Northern 5406 - Aristocraft U25B diesel - Around $200
Aristocraft Rail Diesel Car - Around $250

Most freight cars - $20 to $50 each.
Aristocraft twin intermodal container car - not sure, but over $100.

Brass track - $4 to $5 a foot.
Turnouts/switches - need more info on brand and size.

the best way to find the current value of anything is to search on ebay.
search for the item, then (very important! ;) click on *sold* items.
that shows you items that have actually sold, and what people actually paid.
current ebay auctions, that haven't yet ended, will show sellers asking prices, which are meaningless.

There is a Buffalo garden railroad club, they might be able to help!


thanks,
Scot
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
6,250
319
66
Hutt Valley, NZ
I wouldn't have thought large bovine animals and small model railways would be a good mixture.:giggle::giggle:
I got a buffalo (bison) on my railway.....
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
316
48
USA
I wouldn't have thought large bovine animals and small model railways would be a good mixture.:giggle::giggle:
You smart alecs do know how to deraii a thread.
 
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Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,556
345
56
Royston
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
3,074
238
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
1. This forum gives the facility for members to offer garden railway related items for sale and also the facility for members to accept those offers and for them to communicate with each other. That is the absolute limit of this forums involvement. No liability can be accepted by this Forum, its owners, operators or moderators.
2. The thread title should relate to the item/items being sold ("Items for sale" is not acceptable).
3. The price must be stated. This is not an auction - please don't ask for 'offers'. (Keeps everything simple this way).
4. A picture of the actual article must be displayed. No catalogue or library pictures please. (If you have problems posting a picture contact a moderator). Ensure you have your pictures ready before starting a sales thread.
5. A good description of the item(s) for sale indicating any faults/problems if applicable and general condition.
6. Some indication of the method of delivery should be given. Ideally a price for postal service or 'collect'.
7. Not for trade use. Also, you are limited to 5 items per calendar month unless agreed otherwise with the Mods (like your selling a collection with good reason.)
8. The owners, operators and moderators may amend or delete posts, offers and acceptances at anytime without notice.

This thread should be in the classified section please