Estate Collection Advice?

sonofzell Jan 28, 2019

  1. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Just tried accessing your site.
    Over a somewhat pokey DSL connection, after about half-an-hour only about half of the photos had loaded.
     
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  2. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    Ahhhhhhhhh....... I think I see what's happening here...

    After racking my brain about the speed, I just noticed that the link I provided in my original post was a deep-link to one of my very first "demo" pages using older code for the grid (sorry about that!).

    I'll update the original post; if you just visit the root page at www.albertzwilliams.com you should be able to easily browse to any of the categories, which have leaner code and load MUCH faster. To answer the suggestions above, all the images are jpg format, but everything is optimized and should be under 100k each. It's certainly not breaking any speed records, but I think it's usable (unlike the performance reported above).

    If anyone has a look at the newer versions, I'm happy to accept any feedback you have!

    Thanks again!

    K
     
  3. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    Actually, it does not appear that I can edit my original post any longer. :(
     
  4. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    The edit feature for a post goes away about 24 hours later, from what I know
     
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Ah, MUCH better! (y)
     
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  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Due to a couple of past incidents, where folks went back and destructively edited posts and ruined topics, we were forced to install a time limit for editing. :(
     
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  7. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    Hello again! Just curious if anyone has any insight on this track cleaning car I came across... I haven't found any clue regarding make, model or year, and haven't found anything even remotely similar on the web. It appears to be on the "older" side - perhaps '70's or earlier, as it is a pretty solid metal frame.

    I'd say it was just another of Pop-Pop's hand-made concoctions, but in all honesty, it seems to be quite superior when compared to his other customized pieces.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nicely done. It appears to be hand crafted, using some Lionel and other parts.
     
  9. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    Very cool! If I had to wager, I'd say this is something he must have purchased... I haven't found anything in his own customized collection that's anywhere close to this quality.
     
  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's pretty neat. It looks like something made by North East Trains [ http://netrains.com/northeasttrainstrackcleaningcarandsupplies.aspx ] or an adaptation of their model. These seem to sell for $60 to $80 Ea.
     
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  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  12. country joe

    country joe TrainBoard Member

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    The car is made and sold by Stockyard Express, a hobby store in Oberlin, Ohio. A version of the track cleaning car is about halfway down this page:

    http://stockyardexpressllc.com/news-2/

    The car originally sold for $80 TO $90. I would guess the car would sell in the $60 to $90 range, but that's only a guess.
     
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  13. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    I hope I'm not becoming a pest here!...

    As I inch closer to the point of actually selling these trains, I threw together an "about" page of sorts with info for prospective buyers...

    If anyone has a second and is willing to give it a quick read, I'd welcome any feedback or suggestions. Thanks!!

    http://www.albertzwilliams.com/about/


    For what it's worth, I believe I've got about 80% of the actual trains inventoried. There are about 5 boxes remaining, including a wooden footlocker full of engines that feels like it weighs 300 lbs lol! Of course, there's still the cars, buildings and components to sift through beyond that, but I'm considering "testing the waters" with selling some of the items simultaneously with the hopes of getting a feel for pricing, shipping, etc.

    I have to admit, it makes me little sad that Pop-Pop didn't get to see his collection indexed like this... seeing how detailed his shoebox-and-index cards inventory was, I know he would have completely geeked out if he were able to break down all the stats and categories like this!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  14. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    You've covered your Terms well I think -- you have a gift for clear writing. I like the way that you denote your limited knowledge of model trains. This will produce a better dialogue between you and Bidders. In selling several dozen pieces of our family Lionel on eBay, I've found most Lionel fans to be fine people. I had only one frustrating item posting where I made a choice to block a potential bidder because his messages were demeaning and written in an angry tone.

    I suspect that many Bidders will want multiple photos of the items they're interested in, even the undersides matter to some buyers checking for wheel wear. It's also common to find that older Lionel locomotives with a horn have suffered D Cell battery leakage, which can ruin locomotive interiors and even shells, so be prepared to supply photos of the battery holder.

    How do you plan to publicize the website so that it enjoys wide viewership?

    On a minor note, there's a misspelling with in the Payments & Shipping paragraph that reads "Payments for all purchases and auctions are processed vial PayPal …."
     
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  15. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! I feel like I've definitely stepped up the quality and relevance of my photos as I've progressed, although this also comes with the painful realization that I will likely need to re-visit the earlier items I cataloged. :eek: I am hoping that, at least when it comes to individual buyers, I can open a dialog to see what they request and adjust my presentation accordingly moving forward. I can't shake the nagging feeling that sites like eBay/LetGo are ultimately going to be my best resource to sell items quickly, but I also realize I'm far from being able to create presentable listings on those sites. I will likely test the waters on those sites with "low hanging fruit": items that are relatively common and for which I am confident about my pricing and description.

    Ahhh, I suppose that's the "million dollar question", eh? I've got a few ideas, but nothing that I'd dare call a "strategy" just yet. The simplest and most accessible idea I had is to begin with special-interest boards like this one. They're definitely not as plentiful as those I found for firearms enthusiasts, but there is certainly no shortage. Admittedly, I'd be dealing with a microscopic audience compared to auction sites, but I'm inclined to think that boards like this one would be much more conversational, and thus more understanding of my lack of expertise. Of course, the flip-side of that coin is that I'd also be dealing almost exclusively with experienced & knowledgeable collectors; I've no doubt that will likely yield lower sales prices, but if I gain some knowledge in the process and these trains end up in the hands of those who will truly appreciate them I'd have no right to gripe! I've also been browsing many of the classified / marketplace sections of model train communities just to get a feel for how an offering like this would be received. I can easily see how a new member who knows next-to-nothing about the hobby could piss off members and mods by flooding their site with thousands of "for sale" posts. I definitely don't want to be "that guy"!

    Another idea I've toyed with is trying to somehow coordinate with train shows & expos that typically pop up once or twice a year here in Philly. From my [very limited] research, operating a booth just wouldn't be cost-effective considering the time, expense and effort I'd need to invest in getting this stuff there (in a presentable condition). Not to mention that I would have to recruit one or more experienced hobbyists to tag along, as I'm obviously ill-equipped to negotiate pricing in that kind of environment! I still feel like there's an opportunity to incite some word-of-mouth at these events, and may try to network with some knowledgable locals if it seems worthwhile. I'd have no problem spending a few bucks to print up some business cards or flyers for the site and putting them in the hands of those who could distribute them to the appropriate people.

    The final pre-auction site option is a few local contacts that I received from a member of the TCA board, although in all honesty, my instinct warns me that they are more bulk estate and/or wholesale buyers. I've avoided reaching out to any of them thus far, likely due to my recent negative experiences with similar buyers in the gun world. In all fairness, I haven't actually spoken with any of them, so I guess I'm being prematurely judgemental. That being said, the chaos I've been dealing with in the last year is beyond anything I've ever endured... it's been quite a while since my cynicism has been challenged lol!

    Corrected and greatly appreciated - thank you! I actually found several other misspellings upon review. :unsure:
     
  16. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, here's another random question for you guys:

    I chuckled a bit when I noticed the spelling of "Canadien" on the side panel of this hopper... I've lived in Ontario and have never seen it spelled in that manner for any purpose other than the hockey team. I thought nothing of it until my searches for this car all returned images featuring the proper "Canadian" spelling.

    I'm just curious to know if I've stumbled upon a true rarity, and if so - would it deem this item more or less valuable than its properly spelled counterparts?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    The real Canadian National commonly used the French spelling on one side of the car and the English spelling on the other. A number of models in all scales feature this as well.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. sonofzell

    sonofzell TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks @Hardcoaler! I suppose "flipping it over" would have been a prudent investigation lol... my haste and fatigue in this process must be showing.


    Here's another curiosity I've come across. I doubt it's really significant, but since it's the first time I've noticed anything like it, I figured I'd share just in case anyone finds it interesting. In the interest of laziness, here's my comment I included on my site:

    "Admittedly, this car has left me a bit puzzled. The box and Pop-Pop’s handwritten label identify it as the “9802 Miller High Life Standard O Reefer”, however that obviously contradicts its appearance. It is noted as a “Kris Repaint”…. That seems self-explanatory until a closer look reveals the quality and detail of the car’s appearance. If you’ve browsed through any my grandfather’s custom work on this site, it’s obvious that this FAR exceeds his artistic ability. To my untrained eye, there is absolutely no indication that this was anything other than a factory-original finish."
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It seems curious to me that a well-known manufacturer would not only offer customizations to a competitor's product but also blatantly indicate the modification as illustrated in the second photo.

    Another [rhetorical] question that comes to mind is why my grandfather would request or purchase such a [presumably] expensive modification to this car in particular... he had no less than three other items with this identical "automated railway" design!
     
  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Regarding your UP boxcar, check out this site [ http://www.robertstrains.com/Kris.htm ]. I don't know anything more, other than it appears Kris made a bunch of cars it seems. They're on eBay, $10 to $25 depending.
     
  20. sgtgeorge2738

    sgtgeorge2738 New Member

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    Nice collection. I too would consider selling on eBay. It's hard work (ie Time Consuming), but well worth the outcome.
     
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