How much is it really worth?

Inkaneer Sep 16, 2019

  1. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    And then, only if the buyer has persistent problems with ERR (excessive rolling resistance).
  2. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm with DCESharkman. I don't and won't care what happens to them.

    My wife has a general idea of what to liquidate the entire lot for. Same with my vinyl collection. Same with a few other things. I'm writing a will at this very moment, and will give the estate guy enough info as to liquidation. They're used, they're plastic, it really doesn't matter in the end. Enjoy life now.
    John Moore and mtntrainman like this.
  3. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

    I am probably one of the few guys who looks at an eBay listing and thinks about how much it will cost me to bring the item up to my personal specs. That is because those things add-up big when considering acquiring long trains. But, I agree that it doesn't seem like many others think that way. It is really ironic that you can sell metal wheels separately for more than you can get in addition to the price for the rest of the car when you have installed them. And it is even more ironic for MTL couplers, since those cost effort as well as money. I guess there aren't a lot of economists looking to buy N scale stuff on eBay.
  4. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    I don't think it's ironic at all. We have no statistics, but I'll suggest that well over 50% of N scalers probably couldn't care less if their rolling stock had metal wheels or not. I would personally prefer to just have whatever the original manufacturer installed (or, in the case of Micro-trains, factory replacements for any of the older pizza cutters).
  5. Lawrence

    Lawrence TrainBoard Member

    I'd happily accept any donations that would fit with my fledgling transition era B&O layout and would happily pay shipping and make a donation to a charitable institution of choice. Things is, when I'm dead the same problem would arise, layout building isn't my daughters' thing (n) and it would all end up at auction :(
  6. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    For what it's worth... and I did check this out a while ago... unless you have receipts proving the price you paid for something, the IRS considers that ZERO is the cost of anything you sold. If you sell it for $10, your income is $10 minus the "cost of goods." No documentation of what that "cost of goods" was? So sad, too bad...

    On the other hand, when you insure something like, say, N Scale trains, be sure it's for the "replacement cost" not the original cost. Again, no documentation, little chance of collecting anything for your trains, insured or not.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    I donate some of my time to a model RR club operated by a local police dept. as part of their DARE program. At some point in the past they were written up by a newspaper and the article was transmitted across the country by the wire services. End result was that they began receiving boxes of trains of every scale. A lot of it was broke, inoperable or just plain junk but there were some gems in there as well. It has been several years (about a decade) since the article was published but every week or so a new package arrives. What is useable is made into trainsets and gets donated to kids while books and magazines are kept in the club library. Every once in a while a layout is donated and that usually causes a ruckus of sorts as usually there is a requirement that we dismantle it and move it ourselves. Most of the larger layouts were never designed to be disassembled and a lot ends up in a dumpster. The smaller ones are brought to the club, checked out, refurbished and either offered for sale or given away.
    Lawrence, umtrr-author and Hardcoaler like this.
  8. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Now I'm going to say things here that aren't like me at all.
    Normally, I'd say price them at what you paid for them and see where that takes you.
    Depending on whether or not they are passenger cars or freight cars and what detailing, decaling (lettering) and other custom work you might have put into them.

    We aren't in a world that recognizes, just yet, a collectible or collector's status for N Scale. I better run and duck for cover. It's coming but we aren't quite there yet. I know, I know there is a book out...but Really?

    Brass should hold it's value as would be true of a lot of plastic stuff that recently hit the market.
    You ought to see, if you haven't already, what's going on over at e-pay. Stuff you and I bought back in the 60's and 70's is going for twice the price or better. What confuses me, it's selling. Selling? Even junked cars are going for a price.

    Even the stuff J. Maurer, mentions is going for prices that are unreal. Concor, Rivarossi and Life Like passenger cars are over priced but selling like hot cakes. I'm talking about the runs before they started putting MTL wheels, trucks and knuckle couplers on them. They still sport the old Rapido Couplers and original wheel sets.

    This is what concerns me as newbies today and youngsters today look in and watch e-pay and other sellers. Just what are they thinking? There's two things going on here. One George already mentioned and I believe he has a point. Two, the newbies and youngsters of today have no idea what the former value is or was and will get hooked and reeled in ending up with a piece of junk. Just like most of us did when they first came out. I don't know how many times I heard myself say, "Self, let's not do that again." "I must turn off that sucker light on my forehead." Did I say or quit being taken advantage of?

    I might get accused of drifting the subject here so let me get back to the OP's original question.

    Inkaneer, is in the same place I am and I've already wondered out loud what direction should I go and what should my next push be?? To restore a layout and run trains. Or as Inkaneer says it so well:
    As for me! I'm afraid if I do that it will most likely end up in the trash or at a train club that doesn't give a cow's backside and sells it off on e-pay.

    What to do? What is fair? What is right? What will the market bear?

    I don't have the answer.

    For me I want to run trains until I can no longer handle it. Then it might be to late to dispose of my trains the way that best suits me. So what's the answer? Only... I can decide for me.

    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  9. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    The idea of arranging for the disposal of your stuff after you die is NOT to make sure it's done correctly. It is done so your loved ones are not saddled with the burden after you're gone.

  10. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

    If there are some nicely customized pieces that faithfully represent prototype equipment, you might try offering those for sale or donation on the historical society's website for that prototype. That would be the best way to ensure that they are acquired by "somebody who really appreciates" them. But, don't be too surprised if your best efforts are not found to be perfect by folks who are in such societies.
    BarstowRick likes this.
  11. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Well put Doug, and that's my goal. I've been the beneficiary of generous friends who've given me their trains over the years and I hope to do the same for others when I can no longer enjoy them. I've spoken to my wife about this and she knows who to contact. There will be no money involved, but rather simple happiness in knowing that my trains will have a new and appreciative home.
    Doug Gosha, noob express and BNSF FAN like this.
  12. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    That is a good plan Hardcoaler. Been following this tread and realize I have a lot of updating to do to get all my stuff set up for when I can no longer enjoy it someday as well.
    Hardcoaler and Doug Gosha like this.
  13. noob express

    noob express TrainBoard Member

    hey, I am a young new modeler, I would welcome any collection and it would get used to pieces by myself and 4 kids! haha!
  14. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    If that is true, I have 3 sets of Concor heavyweight passenger cars in SP Daylight (2) and SP Lark (1) schemes, I thought they are throwaways.....
  15. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

    For myself, I purchased model trains for my entertainment during my life time. Not with the idea that they would of any interest to my heirs.

    Having said that, what happens to them after I am no longer here to enjoy them is up to my heirs. Presently I feel it would be nice if someone could get the same pleasure out of them as I have, but that was and is not mandatory. I will be consulting with family, first, and maybe friends and organizations that I think maybe interested in receiving them. If no one is interested Trash them!!!

    Of coarse that's just the way I think....It will always be my railroad, which is more than the sum of it's parts!

    BarstowRick likes this.
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    David and of course everyone else tuned in here.

    Whatever you do don't throw them away and that would go for Trainman-ho. Put your train equipment up for sale either here on TB or on e-pay and you'll be surprised at what you can get for them.:sick:

    The Lark set, (heavyweights) I'd be interested in.:cool:

    Keep in mind the Concor heavyweights (?) I think you mean Rivarossi or Arnold. They do carry some value. I recently purchased a set of Southern Pacific (N scale) Arnold (pre-Rivarossi), 9 car set of heavyweights in Pullman green livery, paying approximately $10.00 a car. Compared to $30.00 or better each... ConCor with MTL trucks, wheelsets and knuckle couplers, is getting for their new releases of Rivarossi heavy weight passenger cars. Which is better then $30.00 a car. And you'll find the older Arnold, Atlas, ConCor, Rivarossi, PMI and Model Power passenger cars / stuff, going for better then $30.00 each. Now that ain't right but they are selling like Halloween Candy in September. LOL with a smirk. :oops::rolleyes:o_O

    I've been working on an SP mail train and I almost have everything I need. What I can't find is SP F3's outfitted with a steam generator dedicated to passenger service. Either in the Black Widow or Bloody Nose livery.:(

    Despite all the difficulties some seem to have with selling of their stuff. I've never had a problem. Two Christmas's ago I wanted to thin out the herd of older Atlas, ConCor and Kato passenger car shorties. The minute I posted them on e-pay they were noted, watched and scarfed-up. Within a day or two I was paid and packing them up for shipment. I disclosed everything that was wrong with them and provided pictures of both sides, underneath and on top and both ends. I couldn't keep up with the orders.

    :cry:Now some liked them, some did not. Some were after something for nothing. I won't tell you how I handled the disgruntled ones except to say, "If you didn't read the disclosures provided I can't help you."

    After shipping a few out and taking it in the rears I soon learned to charge for such and after awhile it became predictable. The shipping boxes USPS provides comes with insurance although a bit pricey.

    I was able to provide at least six pictures on e-pay. All thanks too...Today's digital camera's. They are the best things that have come along in a long time.:D:p To slow for action shots but those still shots turn-out nice.

    That's enough about passenger cars.
    Stay cool...:cool:
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    DCESharkman likes this.
  17. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    I do care where my train equipment goes and in who's hands they end up in. A number of years ago I made out a will indicating who I wanted the train equipment to go to. Including other beneficiary options in the event he or she had died. my not so surprise. He passed away and the other options (mine and his family) don't want anything to do with my stuff. Now what? :cry:

    My Son-in-law keeps telling me if he ends up with it he'll take it out in the street and sell it for whatever he can get out of it. Not quite what I had in mind. Not the option I was looking for. :mad:

    I then lined up a club I thought would enjoy having them and the then president said, he would sell it off at the sleazy flea shows. I think you know what I mean.:oops:

    Now what?:cautious:

    Here's what I've decided to do. In the event the Dr. says, you have so much time left. I will either give away or sell off, as much of it as I can, right here on TB., or e-pay. :)

    Relatives, since there's no relatives left that would like my stuff. Well !! I will diss it off, as I see fit. Hoping those who receive it will get as much joy out of it as I have.;)

    The problem here. Having been a Mortician for the better part of my young adult life, I'm keenly aware that we can be here in good health one tick of the clock, walk out that door...tick, tick, tick,... to never return. I know I'm on the short's and time will eventually run out. That's reality.:eek:

    So, I'm making up a Will and hoping the club I will indicate as beneficiary, (for whatever is left) will indeed enjoy and use my stuff. ;)

    In summary, some given away, some sold, and the layout (most likely) trashed. Sigh!:confused:

    I'm in no hurry you understand. :cool:
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  18. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    Are you actually including such details within the body of the will? Or, are you listing your desires in a personal property addendum that is referenced within the actual will? The former would be highly unusual. The later quite common.
  19. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    That actually sounds reasonable to me. Train clubs have expenses if they have any kind of permanent facility. I have a local one that I used to belong to that is a 501c3 organization (i.e. an IRS approved charity). About 80% great people and the rest ranging from tolerable to avoid at all costs. Very similar to our population as a whole. I don't believe they have much of a focus on N scale, but rail fans are rail fans and we all share many common interests. I would rather they sell my trains for market price at a swap meet and use the funds to pay for next month's electric bill than to have them wind up at Goodwill or in the land fill. I'm guessing that, depending upon the club, they might also agree to some type of consignment arrangement (e.g. they sell all the stuff at a swap meet and keep 50% of the proceeds for the club while returning the balance to the heirs). It would make sense to me.
  20. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

    Do you have a link to an actual IRS publication? The IRS is generally not so specific, and makes allowances for the many situations that might arise when establishing the basis for capital assets. Until an actual IRS review were to occur (which would be highly unlikely for the types of items we're discussing), there normally wouldn't be any kind of a clear ruling as to how acceptable a tax payer's records are. As an example: I sell a number of N scale items for $1000. I have a spreadsheet that tracks when I bought them and what I paid for them. Let's say I paid $750 for the items and initially report long term capital gains of $250. I also have data showing current pricing for similar items. Do you really think the IRS would disallow my basis calculation and make me pay capital gains taxes on $1000 simply because I don't have a pile of old, faded cash register receipts that show only how much was charged to my credit card at a hobby shop? There are likely other acceptable ways to recreate basis for these types of minor items. As an example, if I have MSRP for each item and demonstrate that they are typically sold at 30% discount, I could probably calculate a reasonable basis with that data. Contrary to popular myth, the IRS is quite reasonable and does not approach such things with blinders on.

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