Newbie with a question....

B

Blarinerin

Registered
30 Jun 2019
3
0
54
California
Hi!
A little info. for everyone...I recently (as in the last 2 mo.) have started going through my Father's G Scale Collection to sell. He passed away in 2017, my Mother decided it was time and I was the chosen child to oversee this task. I know nothing. This collection is huge. Two car garage huge. So, I'm a little overwhelmed. My Father LOVED his trains, so I feel it is up to me to be sure everything goes to good homes! LOL! Anyways, my question is, "Is this the type of forum where I'm welcome to ask what may seem like ridiculous questions? Or is this more of an advanced only type forum?" I don't want to irritate anyone.

Thanks in advance!
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,809
199
North Essex
Ask away! Whatever you need to know, there will always be someone on here with a sensible answer (plus many daft ones too....).
We're a pretty tolerant and helpful bunch on here, and I don't think anyone would describe us as "advanced".... :rofl:

If you want serious advice on valuation, places to sell etc, then lots of pictures of the collection would be very helpful as well as lists. While this is a UK-based forum, we have a significant number of US members too, plus others from Canadia-land, down in the Antipodes and many other places.

Condolences on your loss, but I hope we can help with you current task - welcome to GSC.

Jon.
 
B

Blarinerin

Registered
30 Jun 2019
3
0
54
California
Ask away! Whatever you need to know, there will always be someone on here with a sensible answer (plus many daft ones too....).
We're a pretty tolerant and helpful bunch on here, and I don't think anyone would describe us as "advanced".... :rofl:

If you want serious advice on valuation, places to sell etc, then lots of pictures of the collection would be very helpful as well as lists. While this is a UK-based forum, we have a significant number of US members too, plus others from Canadia-land, down in the Antipodes and many other places.

Condolences on your loss, but I hope we can help with you current task - welcome to GSC.

Jon.

Jon!
Thank you so much!! Honestly, my parents wanted me to do this while my Father wasn't so sick. But I could see his heart break every time we discussed it. So, I said "To hell with it!! How hard could it be?! I can do this without his help!"
Jon, for the first time in my life, I was wrong. (I may be off a bit on that statement!) So, now you're stuck with me! LOL!

Seriously, thank you so much! I look forward to my G Scale Train Education!

Erin
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,809
199
North Essex
Thanks, Erin. I'm sure that everyone here will try to help as best we can.
We're all firm believers in the old adage that "the only stupid question is the one that you don't ask".

I completely understand that it would have been very difficult to have done this while your Father was still around..... I think the first thing you'll need is a thorough inventory of what you've actually got - at least the big items, the locos and rolling stock (stuff like tracks and accessories, while still important, can be sold off in bundles or in bulk - it's the "big ticket" items that you will need a good list of).

Can I ask a few questions as I think of them, to get the ball rolling?

Did your father actually have a built line or layout, or was he just a collector? If he had a permament line, was/is it indoor or outdoor? Is it still assembled and laid, or has it been taken up and the track stored?

Are any/some/most of the major items boxed in their original manufacturers' packaging? This is probably most important with the locos, but applies to other items too. Boxed items will not only fetch a better price, they are also much easier to pack and ship.....

What make(s) are the models? Are they all track-powered electric, or is there any live-steam or other stuff in there? Are they models of US railways, or German/European, did your father have a "theme" to his collecting or just buy whatever he liked the look of?

Perhaps most importantly, you need to decide how much time and effort you can afford to devote to the project, and what are your most important objectives - for example, realising the best financial value on your Mother's behalf, seeing your father's much-loved items go to new owners who will cherish and care for them as much as he did, and more mundane issues like simply clearing the space....?

The route of maximum financial return, but also requiring the most effort on your part, would probably be selling items individually via eBay or similar; the route of minimum effort but also (probably) the most limited return would be to get a trader or dealer to simply come in, make you an offer on the whole collection and haul it away. I suspect that the "sweet spot" lies between the two - selling the most valuable items individually, then perhaps inviting offers for the remainder in bulk.

Hopefully that gives you a few things to think about and perhaps somewhere to start.... Like I said in my first post, some pictures would be a great help for us all to offer more advice, even just a photo of a huge pile of boxes in the garage(s) would be worth posting....

All the best,
Jon.
 
Bill Barnwell

Bill Barnwell

Registered
30 Sep 2017
641
113
75
Ormond Beach, Fl
Just ask away, but I'll tell you up front, my wife is taken!!!lol
 
B

Blarinerin

Registered
30 Jun 2019
3
0
54
California
Thanks, Erin. I'm sure that everyone here will try to help as best we can.
We're all firm believers in the old adage that "the only stupid question is the one that you don't ask".

I completely understand that it would have been very difficult to have done this while your Father was still around..... I think the first thing you'll need is a thorough inventory of what you've actually got - at least the big items, the locos and rolling stock (stuff like tracks and accessories, while still important, can be sold off in bundles or in bulk - it's the "big ticket" items that you will need a good list of).

Can I ask a few questions as I think of them, to get the ball rolling?

Did your father actually have a built line or layout, or was he just a collector? If he had a permament line, was/is it indoor or outdoor? Is it still assembled and laid, or has it been taken up and the track stored?

Are any/some/most of the major items boxed in their original manufacturers' packaging? This is probably most important with the locos, but applies to other items too. Boxed items will not only fetch a better price, they are also much easier to pack and ship.....

What make(s) are the models? Are they all track-powered electric, or is there any live-steam or other stuff in there? Are they models of US railways, or German/European, did your father have a "theme" to his collecting or just buy whatever he liked the look of?

Perhaps most importantly, you need to decide how much time and effort you can afford to devote to the project, and what are your most important objectives - for example, realising the best financial value on your Mother's behalf, seeing your father's much-loved items go to new owners who will cherish and care for them as much as he did, and more mundane issues like simply clearing the space....?

The route of maximum financial return, but also requiring the most effort on your part, would probably be selling items individually via eBay or similar; the route of minimum effort but also (probably) the most limited return would be to get a trader or dealer to simply come in, make you an offer on the whole collection and haul it away. I suspect that the "sweet spot" lies between the two - selling the most valuable items individually, then perhaps inviting offers for the remainder in bulk.

Hopefully that gives you a few things to think about and perhaps somewhere to start.... Like I said in my first post, some pictures would be a great help for us all to offer more advice, even just a photo of a huge pile of boxes in the garage(s) would be worth posting....

All the best,
Jon.
Jon,
Ok, bear with me....as far as a built line or layout, yes he did. I think. He was very connected to the logging industry in Northern California. That's where he and my Mother are from. Back then, if you lived in Northern California you either worked for the RR, cut the trees down, worked at the mill or on the water for the mill. My relatives all earned their livings in the industry. 4 of my cousins still do. So, that being said, he had a large space around his Koi pond that was his logging town. He has tunnels, buildings, bridges, water towers, fake trees, lights and so on. He loved Shays!! He had 4. However, I've kept one, as well as 2 of my sister's and a new one we sold. He had a brand new LGB Mallet engine, along with a LGB Unitah(?) (I know that's not right, but close maybe.) that I just sold, and we still have 1 new and one used Bachman Spectrum Baldwin something or other engines, another New LGB 2010D Engine, as well as the LGB2020 Set. There's a Bachman Engine that's old fashioned-ish that's green and has writing on it. Southern something? There's also a really neat Rail bus? This one has not one marking I can find as to who made it. I've looked tirelessly trying to find out what it is with no luck. This engine has 8 windows where as I'm only finding engines with 4. I'm sure you know. There's another Bachmann engine that's kinda ugly so we're giving it to some of the grand kids. LOL! That leaves 4 unopened Bachmann flat cars with logs, 3 unopened Bachman Tankers (Mobile and 2 Conoco), 5 LGB tipping Ore Cars, unused, but.....he painted the coal gold. I know, why???? I still laugh about the hard time I gave him when he did it. There's 2 Bachmann flat cars and one with real low sides. Baldo? It's yellow. There's 4 or 5 cabooses, LGB, Bachmann and an Aristocraft. There's also a little LGB wine barrel car. He had the Napa Valley set. That was the first thing we sold when I saw how much it upset him. So none after that. Then there's the Pola buildings. Lots of them. A sawmill, coal yard, observation tower, water tanks, houses, stores, train depots, big double doored train garages type things, bridges, and so on.

He also had all of the sets of the Bachmann Big Haulers. I have the Pennsylvania, he gave the others away to any kid who's eyes lit up when they saw his trains. There are people, parts, track ( some new), the power deals that make the trains move. So, so much. Most all of the rolling stock is in original boxes. Except the Green engine and the rail bus. The buildings are built, no original boxes. The new LGB track is in original boxes. I'm not sure about the cabooses. The trains are at my Parents, about 13 miles from me. I will get you some pictures asap. I've sold quite a bit on E Bay. I was using my son's account, but that was too difficult. So, I opened my own account that has a 5 listing limit per month. I wasn't very pleased with that, but I guess that's the rule until you prove you're responsible as a seller.

There's my life story. LOL! I'm a yapper!! Feel free to ask me anything. I may not have an answer yet, but I will, eventually, with some help.

Erin
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,661
200
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
If you are already selling through Ebay, as you seem to be, and are comfortable with the process and have the time then stick with it. In my experience, after selling about 1000 items over the years (mostly model car related, including buildings, but also garden rail) you will at least achieve the best price, or at least the best given those who have a desire to buy at the time you list an item. If you know, or there is and established market value, then the "Buy it Now/Make an Offer" format works well as an alternative to the auction. Compared to what you might get from a dealer (50% of retail value if they are being honest) the combined listing/final value/PayPal fees offer good value. Just make sure you describe accurately (condition, product code, any faults noted, etc') and provide concise, informative and clear images of what you are selling - it's amazing how many listers post multiple poorly focused images of what is basically the same shot and are disappointed at the values they realize.

Another way, if available to you, is a "commission" sale - You agree the market price with an established trader and they will sell at that price and subtract an agreed commision fee, say 15 - 20% + sales taxes, from the final sale value. You would normally give your agent some leeway to negotiate, say 5%, with a buyer on the final price. First you need to trust your chosen agent, an established hobby dealer perhaps, and ensure your goods are insured under their premises's policy. It's a method I have used successfully here in the UK when selling higher value items where there may not be the "market" on Ebay to ensure a good price.

Again best of luck and sorry to hear of your loss. Max
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,809
199
North Essex
You seem like you've already got a fairly good handle on a lot of it, Erin - I'd assumed from your first post that you were only just making a start on it all, but I'm glad to see that you've already been sorting out and dealing with some of the collection.

Rather than us just trying to offer more random general advice, please feel free to ask whatever specific things you need to know - from here on, others on the forums here will probably be able to help you more than I can, as I don't do American-profile stuff myself.
Anything that you can't easily identify, just post some pictures on here and someone will almost certainly know what it is!

The very best of luck!

Jon.
 
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P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,531
339
56
Royston
If you can post pictures, don't forget they're worth a thousand words! They may be some forumites living close to you, who may be able to help.
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
709
81
"we still have 1 new and one used Bachman Spectrum Baldwin something or other engines"
2-6-0 or 4-4-0? The latest Spectrum 2-6-0 is a much improved model over the earlier ones which had splitting plastic gear issues. Latest versions has metal gears so check product number and price it accordingly.
Newer models in video below.

"There's a Bachman Engine that's old fashioned-ish that's green and has writing on it. Southern something?"
Could this be the old fashioned-sh loco? 'Lyn' is a Baldwin that used to work in England. Recently rebuilt. The newer much improved model has metal gears etc. Check if the side rods are the earlier flat stamped or the newer cast with detail. Price it accordingly.

"There's also a really neat Rail bus? This one has not one marking I can find as to who made it. I've looked tirelessly trying to find out what it is with no luck. This engine has 8 windows where as I'm only finding engines with 4. I'm sure you know."

Hmm, 8 windows per side or both sides total. Check: Hartland Doozie and AristoCraft Doozie. Berlin Locomotive works - brass 'Casey Jones' railbus. AristoCraft ART-84003 also had a brass railbus. Perhaps a Delton or
Hartland. Hartland ended up with Deltons molds but put an improved motor block in it. Available in several colors/roadnames. The earlier Delton model only drove 1 axle. Price accordingly.



"There's another Bachmann engine that's kinda ugly so we're giving it to some of the grand kids. LOL!"

A two axle side rod Gas Mechanical perhaps? 'Ugly' would be an improvement over it's boxy plain look.

"5 LGB tipping Ore Cars, unused, but.....he painted the coal gold. I know, why????"
There's gold up in them thar hills. I think your dad hit it rich with the large scale mine! :nod:
 
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Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
13,223
272
Pennsylvania, USA
What everyone has said I agree with. If you have the time and energy, Ebay will most likely be your most lucrative outlet.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,774
760
North West Norfolk
Jon,
Ok, bear with me....as far as a built line or layout, yes he did. I think. He was very connected to the logging industry in Northern California. That's where he and my Mother are from. Back then, if you lived in Northern California you either worked for the RR, cut the trees down, worked at the mill or on the water for the mill. My relatives all earned their livings in the industry. 4 of my cousins still do. So, that being said, he had a large space around his Koi pond that was his logging town. He has tunnels, buildings, bridges, water towers, fake trees, lights and so on. He loved Shays!! He had 4. However, I've kept one, as well as 2 of my sister's and a new one we sold. He had a brand new LGB Mallet engine, along with a LGB Unitah(?) (I know that's not right, but close maybe.) that I just sold, and we still have 1 new and one used Bachman Spectrum Baldwin something or other engines, another New LGB 2010D Engine, as well as the LGB2020 Set. There's a Bachman Engine that's old fashioned-ish that's green and has writing on it. Southern something? There's also a really neat Rail bus? This one has not one marking I can find as to who made it. I've looked tirelessly trying to find out what it is with no luck. This engine has 8 windows where as I'm only finding engines with 4. I'm sure you know. There's another Bachmann engine that's kinda ugly so we're giving it to some of the grand kids. LOL! That leaves 4 unopened Bachmann flat cars with logs, 3 unopened Bachman Tankers (Mobile and 2 Conoco), 5 LGB tipping Ore Cars, unused, but.....he painted the coal gold. I know, why???? I still laugh about the hard time I gave him when he did it. There's 2 Bachmann flat cars and one with real low sides. Baldo? It's yellow. There's 4 or 5 cabooses, LGB, Bachmann and an Aristocraft. There's also a little LGB wine barrel car. He had the Napa Valley set. That was the first thing we sold when I saw how much it upset him. So none after that. Then there's the Pola buildings. Lots of them. A sawmill, coal yard, observation tower, water tanks, houses, stores, train depots, big double doored train garages type things, bridges, and so on.

He also had all of the sets of the Bachmann Big Haulers. I have the Pennsylvania, he gave the others away to any kid who's eyes lit up when they saw his trains. There are people, parts, track ( some new), the power deals that make the trains move. So, so much. Most all of the rolling stock is in original boxes. Except the Green engine and the rail bus. The buildings are built, no original boxes. The new LGB track is in original boxes. I'm not sure about the cabooses. The trains are at my Parents, about 13 miles from me. I will get you some pictures asap. I've sold quite a bit on E Bay. I was using my son's account, but that was too difficult. So, I opened my own account that has a 5 listing limit per month. I wasn't very pleased with that, but I guess that's the rule until you prove you're responsible as a seller.

There's my life story. LOL! I'm a yapper!! Feel free to ask me anything. I may not have an answer yet, but I will, eventually, with some help.

Erin
I think you've already decided that you're going to put appropriate time and effort into this - for all sorts of reasons.

Ebay is likely to be your first port of call, so there are some simple guidelines - based on a little bit of experience.

  • Ignore Ebay's helpful selling tips
  • Study the label on the box and know exactly what it is that you have got.
  • 'Watch' similar ebay items so that you know what they actually sold for (and also what the expensive ones didn't sell for)
  • I tend to list an item with a starting price of the minimum that I would happily accept. No nasty surprises that way, and an occasional pleasant surprise.
If you have something that looks odd, that you can't find a similar item lsited etc etc, ask away here - there are plenty of people who can advise as to what's what.
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
709
81
Also use the 'Advanced Search' with the basic item description. Check the 'Completed Listings' so you can see old sales in case there are none currently advertised. :nerd:
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,809
199
North Essex
Also use the 'Advanced Search' with the basic item description. Check the 'Completed Listings' so you can see old sales in case there are none currently advertised. :nerd:
It's always best to check the "completed listings" anyway, as that shows you what things have ACTUALLY sold for, as opposed to the often inflated prices that some chancers think they can get....

Erin, I think the key to successfully selling a collection like this is to be realistic about the pricing; I don't mean you should give the stuff away, but price things attractively if you want them to move - it's often better to get a fair price that both buyer and seller are happy with, than to strive for absolute top-dollar rates and just watch stuff go round and round, being re-listed for months.....

Jon.
 
D

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
239
8
Eastern MA
The Gallloping Goose #8 was a Delton product, search for Delton Doozie This will have a pix of your engine.