Used HO loco prices

RGW1 Aug 5, 2020

  1. RGW1

    RGW1 TrainBoard Member

    Is it just me or have the prices on the bay gone up for used engines lately? I have been looking for a old Mantua engine and even junk stuff seem to be a lot higher than some months ago. Maybe just higher asking price?
  2. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

    I don't think so. I can't speak to the rise in prices because I don't shop that way...I can't say it is spurious or real, if it is indeed happening. I believe that, when things get dicey for a lot of people, they begin to look for comfort, surety, affirmation, fun, hedonism, nostalgia...something that evokes memories, fondness, warmth. Contrary to what would seem to be intuitively logical, when things go 'bad', people begin to spend on hobbies or pastimes, even if it's just treated lumber to make raised beds to grow stuff they might not find on the shelves in a few months.

    Even motorcycles, snow machines, snow blowers,...things people have been putting off because they're hard to justify...they'll fly off the floors during economic crises. Or during pandemics, as we are learning, something not seen since the early 50's when polio reared its ugly head.

    So, I'm afraid it's just Ye Olde Economics 101. When supply gets short, because either people are buying or sellers have taken stuff off the bidding sites for some reason (to get the prices up?), most people will pony up more cash to get that tension in them reduced.
  3. greenwizard88

    greenwizard88 TrainBoard Member

    I just bought a brass steam engine in amazing condition for $225. From my point of view prices are going down.
  4. RGW1

    RGW1 TrainBoard Member

    I have not looked at brass. Mantua prices seem to have gone up . In the past I could find a parts lot at a good price,
    ( good price for buyer not seller.) however, now I see many listings that are starting high even though the engine is damaged or incomplete.
    People maybe just cleaning out the storage during this time, I did the same myself,also they are a limited supply of older locos.
  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    I don't know if it is just people overvaluing their items (think low quality train show items), or they are really worth that much. I don't know who to blame, low supply or uneducated sellers. Bowser steam kits are relatively collectible, so I have always seen high prices for those, but lower end/basic models like Mehano/IHC seem to be pretty expensive now too. Even in the diesel world, powered Blue Box locomotives seem to be way overpriced. Once you factor in detail parts, paint, and a sound decoder, you might as well buy Genesis or Master Line models. Buying old DC locomotives isn't really that economic anymore.

    Is the old inventory really drying up? One day, we will reach a point when they have all been purchased. Every bashed, cut up, or superdetailed model makes stock versions rarer. That scares me. We will either be left with detailed models that people will try to sell for top dollar, or unprofessional kitbashes that make for an unrecoverable model. It seems like every time I see an inexpensive model, they have been cut up or messed with as an amateur 'project locomotive'
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    There could be some effect due to current employment economics. Folks needing cash, selling off items...
    dti406 likes this.
  7. jimfitch

    jimfitch TrainBoard Member

    My impression is some brass is valued more than others. I still see some priced rather high. It depends on the item. I don't think economics is a major factor here.
  8. Chops

    Chops TrainBoard Member

    I tend to agree, while there are a few eBay bargains circulating, I had exactly the same reaction while
    browsing the Tyco offerings, which, truth be told, are generally considered junk. Seems like there’s a lot
    of optimistic pricing out there. I recently sold off a few surplus pieces, but about half of what I wanted,
    some not at all.
  9. jimfitch

    jimfitch TrainBoard Member

    I can't speak to Mantua; but I peruse Ebay often on other brands like Walthers passenger cars, Trainworx N models and others. There often items that are overpriced or over valued, especially if the seller considers them rare or special in some way. Walthers California painted Superliners are silly high priced on Ebay for example.

    I have noticed some types of models they I search through have largely dried up this year. Since Athearn came out with their latter run of SDP40F's, I've been piecing together 1970's San Francisco Zephyr Amtrak trains and the phase 1 pointless arrow were pretty common on Ebay until last spring. I had found pretty much everything I needed but if I were looking now it would be slim pickens.
  10. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    I would second your opinion on the California cars, and a lot of other Walthers stuff honestly. The old Horizon kits (soon to be displaced by Rapido), their DC Metro cars, BART, Amfleet, you name it, it's overpriced. Most of that is older, more obscure stuff, but still. Those could be interesting models if re-done today. I think that it's partly Walthers's own fault. They need to do more runs of stuff that isn't their Name Train series.

    The other crazy one is the Athearn John Deere series. Some of those train sets and tractor flatcars go for way too much money.
  11. jimfitch

    jimfitch TrainBoard Member

    Yes, there are probably many more examples of models that are in demand and OOP and hard to find. Athearn's 40' and 45' Fruehauf RTR trailers (former A-line) originally sold MSRP $18 and eventually up to $26 for a 2-pack. Athearn went to selling the 40 footers in singles about 4 years ago for about the same price as the 2-packs, essentially doubling the price. The 45' Fruehaufs stopped being produced (they represented stretched 40' trailers and were very common in the early 45' trailer era 1982 - late 80's.) Now we see the 2-packs regularly on Ebay for about 2x the original MSRP, although if you hunt a lot, you can find them sometimes at MSRP which is a good deal anymore.

    Walthers is a strange bird and for sure there are models they could offer and sell out of in more runs. The Viewliner cars would sell out and are high in demand. The phase 3 73' Budd Baggage cars seem to always get bid up to silly prices - they could rerun those, and surely other models and sell out.

    I put in a request to Walthers for some models I believe based on observation and what I want to run:

    - Amtrak Hi-level Step-down sleeper/dorm in Amtrak phase 3 paint (former El Capitan) which ran on the Amtrak Superliner equipped California Zephyr for about 15 years - yet never been offered factory produced.

    - Amtrak Budd 73' deskirted baggage in phase 1 pointless arrow (never done before on the unskirted verseion).

    - Amtrak Budd 73' deskirted baggage in phase 3 paint 0 (done before but high in demand so hard to find at decent prices).
  12. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    The pricing was better and you could see what your getting but the swap meets didn't happen this year, for some reason. I have found the pricing on line has gone up on most any item and you have to wait for the virus to go away before they will deliver or can supply. (n)
  13. Ralph Grassi

    Ralph Grassi TrainBoard Member

    I have seen good deals on eBay, but then have it killed by over priced shipping.
  14. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    I am on the look out for a cheap old mantua/tyco/pocher/ahm and I cannot find an old steamer to cut up and kit bash with for less than about 25 + shipping which is always about 10 bucks lately.

    Yeah, the junk costs a lot these days IMHO.
  15. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

    When you say "old steamer," is there anything in particular that you are thinking about? I recently received a box of old HO stuff gifted to me and some of it is likely not salvageable. If I have something that you are interested in (once I see just how bad the damage is) there may be some shells, or drive wheels, etc. on which we might come to terms.

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