Jump to content
 

Buying used locomotives off an estate or in general


Recommended Posts

That's such a wide question it's impossible to answer (or not worth people giving time to answer when they don't definitively know what you're asking). Aside from advise to see whether an item's been attacked by a spray-can weatherer, a lump hammer to fix running problems etc you'd have to be a lot more specific about what items you want advice upon.

 

I would suggest that, given the lack of knowledge, of what you're looking for it would be wise to stick to buying new or purchases in person from a shop or trader.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are dealing direct [and in person] you have the advantage of being

able to handle the stock/loco. So it is easy to do a visual check for damage,

bad paintwork, etc.

Also, if the original layout is still intact you could always ask to see it running,

if not, you could always take along some track [maybe on a plank ie test track]

and a controller so you can be sure before purchase.

I'm sure she would not be offended, but if she refuses, then walk away.

Good luck, Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, the seller is the daughter of the late owner of the loco, I am interested in. So she wouldn't know that much.

 

So, the lady has recently lost her father. You are interested in ONE loco and you want to haggle? I know what I would say in her position.

 

Ed

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

I think the precise detail of the model might give us a clue. Thousands of people get true bargains secondhand every day. I've had more problems with some expensive new models than much of the used stuff I've bought from ebay. If it was a cheap-and-nasty model in a smaller scale new, then it is unlikely to have turned into a silk purse now. If it was a bespoke O gauge gem then, it's probably not far off now. Certain models are known to have self-destructed due to poor manufacture.

Link to post
Share on other sites

most people selling will happily take extra photos for you to be able to view closeups of detail which will help with seeing if a model has been re-painted etc.

 

if someone is not familiar with an item then they'll put general photos of it as they don't know what detail is wanted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

he hasn't said anything about haggling, no.

 

I took it more as a newcomer to the hobby having seen a loco he wants second hand at a price he's willing to pay but wanting to know how to go about being sure it works properly and hasn't been someone's trial piece for weathering practice.

 

A bit like buying a used car and being sure it wasn't someone's first go at welding practice :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to Ebay

Buy ONLY from Shops not traders the number of stories I've seen is daft some make out they know NOTHING that way they can sell of duff gear

 

IT is buyer beware BUT if it says working and it's not Ebay will fight for the buyer (even when they broke it to get their money back)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy most of my locos second-hand personally. By obeying the obvious rules (if it looks too good to be true, etc), I generally do ok. You will get ripped off now and then, but I'd still say on balance I make a fair saving by doing so. All part of the game!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started writing a long sad story of my experience buying second hand kit built locos. To cut a long story short be extremely cautious when buying these, even professionally built ones. It is best to look at these in person and witness their running qualities first hand before buying - especially if parting with large amounts of cash. If you want to own a kit built loco be prepared to make repairs and you really should have experience making them. If you buy one sight unseen, be prepared to be disappointed and to rebuild it.

 

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're going along in person, take a fresh, 9-volt 'PP3' type battery with you, touch the terminals to a pair of wheels, & if everything's as it should be, it should run..( If the loco is tender-drive with a split pickup, you might take a small piece of track, & touch the battery to that instead..) Simple, crude, but at least you'll know it goes...

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

Unfortunately, the seller is the daughter of the late owner of the loco, I am interested in. So she wouldn't know that much.

 

It is possible, albeit unlikely, that she knows everything about the collection. You can come unstuck by assuming a woman knows nothing.

I've seen grown men, torn to pieces (OK I exaggerate) by assuming that the woman sitting at the reception desk is a receptionist, when in fact she was the boss, or worse the bosses wife. Referring to her as 'that dumb bimbo' is almost certain to get you kicked out.

 

 

You've had good advice about carefully looking at the models & how to test that it runs. It still may not work, but may only require basic maintainance. YOU have to make a call based on what YOU see in front of you. You can't expect to take it apart before buying.

 

Make a fair offer, based on evidence. Remember she may have high expectations of price, she may have been fooled by online price lists, suggesting that an old Tri-ang Hornby loco in poor condition is 'the same' as the new one online. You might have to be prepared for a claim that you're trying to 'rip her off'.

 

I once attended a seller, who assumed that they were sitting on a potential goldmine. It turned out that the layout (no stock) had been abandoned by the previous home owner, about 10 years prior. The track was a mixture of Super 4 & System 6, all badly corroded and just not worth the effort of reclaiming. Advice was given on how they might remove the buildings & perhaps bring them along to sell at a club's 2nd hand stall. Not surprisingly, we never heard from them again.

 

Kevin Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites

....I've purchased quite a lot of Bemo stock recently (last year) from an RMweb member I've never seen before (and we still haven't met) nor did we do business previously. But, he was (and still is) a respected and active member here at RMweb, which gave me enough confidence to do business with him. And pleased enough to repeat for some more later ;)

 

I'm pleased to hear it.

 

I still have half an attic worth of Swiss HO/HOm to liquidate. Been busy at work these last few months, so haven't had a chance to put more on eBay. Must make time, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Without knowing the specific item(s) concerned, I can only generalise and summarise my own procedure.

 

It's probably been said already, but you need to check condition (carefully) and, if possible, that the the item works. Assessed this. it has to be valued. How much is/was the item new? Is it a rare collector's item? (Be sure of this one - copies exist). What is the item worth? (To you and/or on the market - eBay for example). Etc.

 

It's better to be able to personally examine the item, rather than assess (and hope for the best) on eBay or similar, based on photos*. This should be taken into account (along with postage costs) when valuing. Missing parts should be checked for availability and cost. For example a missing bogie/pony/tender from a locomotive can be surprisingly expensive and difficult to source.

 

On this basis, go ahead (or not) and buy.

 

*Assembled kits are particularly difficult to assess from pictures.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

Without knowing the specific item(s) concerned, I can only generalise and summarise my own procedure.

 

It's probably been said already, but you need to check condition (carefully) and, if possible, that the the item works. Assessed this. it has to be valued. How much is/was the item new? Is it a rare collector's item? (Be sure of this one - copies exist). What is the item worth? (To you and/or on the market - eBay for example). Etc.

 

It's better to be able to personally examine the item, rather than assess (and hope for the best) on eBay or similar, based on photos*. This should be taken into account (along with postage costs) when valuing. Missing parts should be checked for availability and cost. For example a missing bogie/pony/tender from a locomotive can be surprisingly expensive and difficult to source.

 

On this basis, go ahead (or not) and buy.

 

*Assembled kits are particularly difficult to assess from pictures.

 

This was the listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/130828191962?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest Belgian

Curiously, I also saw that auction, together with three others of similar locos. I won one of the auctions and collected the model yesterday and it is in perfect condition. I asked what the provenance was and it (and the others on auction) was a Hornby factory return. The retailer has two e-bay 'names', and if items are new they are put up with 'buy-it-now' prices, if from Hornby factory returns, as auctions. They had a number of other factory returns at good prices in their display cases, together with one of the most extensive ranges I have seen of current and recent stocks of locomotives. A visit is highly recommended.

 

Personally, I am extremely happy with my acquisition.

 

JE

Link to post
Share on other sites

That listing you showed on ebay was a no brainer with that track record. ALL my locos and rolling stock etc come from ebay sellers. But only with similar track records and I have been 100% pleased.

 

I do not buy from people with anything other than high ratings.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...