eBay auctions- have you ever noticed?

EMD F7A Jan 19, 2011

  1. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

    Have you ever noticed how some ebay sellers, on their Locomotive auctions, list "metal wheels"? It's a small and unimportant thing, but I'm thinking- what, are they made of tuna fish? Of course they're metal! Tell me about whether it has flywheels, or decoder ready, or something?

    Anyone else have any pet peeves like that?
  2. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

    I think this could be because some people selling on ebay don't have much knowledge of what they are selling, it may be the estate of a deceased relative or something like that. If you had never seen an N scale locomotive you might think metal wheels were a good selling point.
  3. river_eagle

    river_eagle TrainBoard Member

    It's because the Manf. list them as a feature in the in the specs.
    from a Proto N box;
    N Scale (1/160)
    5-pole skewed armature
    8- wheel drive
    all wheel electrical pickup
    dual machined brass flywheels
    blackened metal wheelsets
    laser quality printing & detail
  4. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

    Meh, I suppose... but I guess I am shooting for the low-logic listings where the ad states something like "Loco has ATSF, metal wheels, with box.".... It's like selling a car and saying "Car for sale: Includes glass, seats and blue paint $2000".... can't explain why it bugs me, it just does!
  5. bnsf971

    bnsf971 TrainBoard Member

    Some locomotives do have plastic wheels, most of them were dummies, but a few were battery powered.
    Maybe more important as what scale the stuff is. I bought an Atlas SD35 on Fleabay that didn't have the scale listed in the description. The seller told me it was HO scale. Imagine my surprise when I got a large box from him, opened it, and found an Atlas O scale locomotive inside.
  6. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    Metal wheels.... I never thought about that. The one that gets me is used 15 to 20 year old units, being sold by a 3rd party, listed as "tested, ran well, light usage".

    Once the wheels show it's been used, the folks over at NCIS couldn't determine how much it was used. Can I at least get a Trainfax report, if you're going to say that.
  7. Dave

    Dave Permanently dispatched

    There are a couple of sellers on ebay that for the most part, sell older trains and frankly, there isn't much to say about a 20 to 30 year old locomotive. They use descriptions like "ready to run", "huge detail", all wheel drive", etc. They put ridiculously high Buy It Now prices on them because if auctioned in a true auction format, they would bring next to nothing. As previously mentioned, sellers that use "metal wheels" in the description probably know nothing about trains. As a seller, I test run on a small oval any DC (not DCC because I don't have a DCC system) locos that I sell and I look for anything that is obviously missing or broken. I believe that 5 or 6 good pictures from all sides are the best desciptions that there are. The fact remains that eBay is "buyer beware", not only for unscrupulous sellers, but sellers that are not knowledgeable as well. Another fact is that there are buyers out there that are nothing but a pain in the a**, those who demand a factory new loco and want to pay nothing for it.
  8. brakie

    brakie TrainBoard Member

    A lot of things on e-Bay bugs me especially words like "rare","vintage" and my favorite "old new stock".
  9. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Hey! don't be dissing my Abby!
    I knew we had something else in common, did you see the episode, ooops, wrong thread. :)

    I just eschew ebay all they way. I'm hoping for Google to come out with something. Still, I recognize that it is a viable place if you know what you are doing. I guess I just don't trust my judgment.
  10. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Yea...Abby would use her 'Mass-Spec' and be able to tell ya how many total revolution the motor has turned...and in relation to gearing and wheel size...how many miles it went...and how many hours/minutes/seconds too! How long it ran forwards and how long in reverse !! She could even tell ya what code rail it ran on.
    Good Job Abby !! :thumbs_up::tb-cool:

    *But wait Gibbs...there's more!!

    "I know the brand of power suppy that ran it ! I know the sex and age of the operator!! I can even tell you if it was run in a temperature controlled room or not !!"

    "I can tell you all that Gibbs ! The one thing I cant tell you...is how much its really worth to someone on EBay !"

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2011
  11. Rasputen

    Rasputen TrainBoard Member

    I'm going to publish an eBay dictionary.

    Some of the entries:

    Mint - a light green color

    I don't have anything to test this on - I know it's broken

    I'm selling this for a friend - I bought this at a garage sale and it's broken

    This was sold to us as complete when my husband bought it - I know it's missing parts, and some that are there are broken .

    Each dictionary will come with a vaseline coated camera lens so that you can take blurry photographs every time.
  12. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

    HA! You guys are great! I looooove Abby and that whole team..... used to watch it daily. Of course, there are good deals to be had, and they're never on Ebay. That's because anybody who might ever even think about buying the doohickie you want can see that auction too..... the best deals are usually garage sale and train swap meet. I paid $30 (yes thirty dollars!) for a mint-in-box, flawless Atlas Trainmaster at last weekend's show. Those shoot for $70-$90 on the 'bay. I giggled like a little kid when I filled my backpack up with trains for about $85..... Ebay's only where I go to find the oddball stuff or other-hobby collectibles.

    And Gibbs could kick all our dad's arses ;) (kidding, guys!)
  13. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member


    Actually, it's a legitimate description. If you've ever searched "N scale" in eBay, you'll find a lot of Newray plastic toy crap being sold as model trains:

  14. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    That made me chuckle.
    I actually fix Mass Specs, for a living. Kinda scary when you look at my electrical questions....
    But anyway, the best thing about Abby, is she gives people an oh yeah, I get it, way out of a conversation, that starts with "Marty, what do you do for a living."
  15. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

    Trainfax - now THAT's funny!
  16. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

    What irks me is a guy who tries to pull off he is knowledgeable in our scale, and claims his old Mehano clunker is "vintage", "rare" and collectible, then says he didn't test it, and when questioned, he doesn;t even care enough to own a test track and power pack, all of a $3 investment. If he is so knowledgeable as to what is collectible, why didn't he even bother to own a piece of track.........duhhhhh

    When I sold on ebay, my computer and work bench are right next to my layout, so everything I sold was inspected for preparing my description, and test run successfully before I sold it. Believe me, the long term anguish and pain for selling a junker when claiming it runs like new will cause disfortune. I never made a false statement as to performance, but have seen fellow model railroader really embellish their stock, only to get burnt by their unhappy buyers.

    To get a fair dollar, inspect and maintain closely, estimate the run time on the loco, clean it off with a dustrag, take lots of photos, and good luck, preparing the description, and be detailed as to finish and performance.

    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
  17. Pete Steinmetz

    Pete Steinmetz TrainBoard Member

    I actually did "Sell some stuff for a friend". He stored all of it on his dusty layout. No original boxes. I cleaned off the cars and locos with a brush. I tried to describe the performance of the locos. From "runs O.K". to "doesn't run very well". I still had buyers that expected a Swiss watch for nothing.
    All were tested. I cleaned wheels and did minor tune ups on some.
    I wouldn't do that again.

    All of my stuff that I sell is brand new or mint so I wasn't used to dealing with old used stuff.

    I never use the word "rare" in an auction.

    I feel bed for the uninformed that either bid to much for something or buy downright junk.
  18. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

    Ebay buyers.....sellers beware

    I ran out of money a little early from a settlement before retirement, last year, so I decided to sell off some of my trains to supplement my pension income, as I didn't want to borrow money and start off retirement deeply in debt.

    So I sold on ebay. BIG MISTAKE.

    I spent a little extra money on longer descriptions and extra photos when I sold to make sure the buyer knew what he was getting into. I was particularly descriptive of the items condition, as I either tested the loco on my layout, or pushed rolling stock on the track. If the items showed any wear and tear, I did my best to inspect and describe using my Optical Zoom headgear. One time I sold a large lot of Santa Fe locos and passenger cars, which were Kato diesels and older Atlas and Rivarossi passenger cars, and for their age, were in good condition because they were all stored in boxes.

    I got a winning bid from this jerk, which amounted to about 10 cents on the dollar, what a deal. The annually retentive jerk, who must have used a Spectrum Micron Laser Telescope obsessed with me and sent me over 100 photos via email allegedly depicting defects, which to me were over-exaggerated. I did not see them at all, and here is email after email every day, so I shut him up by "bribing" him up with another locomotive. He then was my only negative feedback because I "threatened" him with expulsion and banishment from my buyer's group, which I did. He just couldn't understand when you buy used trains that are 15-20 years old, there is some normal wear and tear, yet he continued to obsess.

    By then I decided to quit selling on eBay because there are way too many Type A-Type A's out there one can never please, or those who at the time used the pro-buyer anti-seller system to their advantage. I have no bitterness toward the buyer per se, but he remains banished forever, as the group voted to, which they have done on rare occasions. There are way too many annually retentive people out there, and selllers beware,

    I harbor my ill will toward eBay for persecuting sellers at the time, which they have since corrected, but the feeling pervades. I promised myself to never be that annually retentive with any seller, and have had only one problem which was real, admitted to and resolved between us.

    The purpose of this posting is to advise and pre-warn sellers about some buyers out there. If the person is too fussy, offer the refund and do it over, it is not worth the heartache.

    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
  19. ekeown

    ekeown New Member

    I mostly buy from forums like this one of the Yahoo lists. I also buy from certain eBay sellers but as most won't ship to South Africa, it's not that easy.

    I have also seen these "rare" AHM loco's up for sale. Personally I'll give them to someone I don't like as they are old and poor runners mostly.
  20. Milan

    Milan New Member

    I've never had a great deal of luck buying or selling on ebay. The best I ever did was sell a scratchbuilt 009 (HOn30) diesel to a buyer in Greece for about $160. I also bought a mint, boxed Athearn CF7 for something in the region of $25, and a pair of GP40-2s for a similar price. The market is currently fairly poor as it's saturated with buyers who want a bargain. The steep selling fees negate any savings made by doing business using the auction format, so it's really a completely self destructive micro-economy.

    As you point out, a lot of the sellers out there are totally clueless and their item description makes their lack of intelligence plainly obvious. I'm currently in the market for a motorbike, and a remarkable number of descriptions are misspelled and aren't even punctuated. These are people who use the road and need to read signs, know the law, be able to think quickly, etc. And they can't even make an ebay description? Considering it's a pretty high value sale you'd think they'd go to extra effort.

    There are a number of obvious signs of an uninformed seller that I have noticed. The biggest clue though, is that they usually spend more time talking about what's present, as opposed to what's missing, because they have no idea what would be significant about the model.

    Buyers want to know whether it's DCC, whether it's in the box, whether it's got knuckles or rapidos, what the roadname and number is, etc. The inexperienced seller is there telling you that it's got wheels and that it says "SOUTHERN PACIFIC" along the sides, and how heavy it is, and that it "looks complete".

    It's like, LOOK, here's this thingy... wanna buy it? It does... stuff... it's great really! 50 bucks and it's all yours!

Share This Page