Need Some ONCE IN A LIFETIME Advice: Selling a Layout

rick773 Oct 5, 2012

  1. rick773

    rick773 TrainBoard Member

    I've posted this on another forum and have some leanings but could always use some fresh advice:

    Gentlemen, I need some advice:
    1) How does one go about selling a 4'x8' layout?
    2) Is it feasible; is there a market?
    3) What venue do you sell it on (eBay, Craig's List, Classifieds...)?
    4) When to sell (before Christmas)?
    5) Realistic price?

    Background: Here's my situation: Had to move due to wife's medical condition so I lost my old home (and basement) and had to cut up my old 18'x19' layout (see: or Nov/Dec 2011 N Scale Magazine)

    After 30 years of armchair railroading (and raising 4 great kids) I got back into the hobby by building a 4x8 layout (see: Sept/Oct 2012 N Scale Magazine). It survived my move to a 55 and older community. Instead of a 22x32 basement I now have a 17x12 loft which doubles as the computer room (built in wall desk). The 4x8 made it to the loft as I began my next project, 3 years ago, the 1950s Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines in Westville & Woodbury ( ). I have 3 sort of completed modules in the loft and 2 more in the garage ready to move to the loft. BUT I have no room for them until the 4x8 is removed.

    I have an attachment to the 4x8 and would like to find it a good home. It can run 2 trains unattended or do some serious switching. Having been out of work for 20+ months I would like to get something for it. The dilemma is how do you sell something that size (and move it)?

    I am thinking eBay. I plan to remove the autos and many of the buildings (leaving the station, mine, freight warehouse (with diesel horn), small tower, and Pennsy position signal and possibly throwing in some DPM kits.

    Do I offer that on eBay starting at $299 of do I throw in a transformer and small train and ask $399? Or ...

    Your serious advice would be appreciated.
  2. nscalerone

    nscalerone TrainBoard Member

    I am facing somewhat the same issue, and have gone through this in the past as well............
    If it were me, I would advertise locally - newspaper, "Craigslist", local model RR clubs, hobby shops, etc.
    Remember, if you sell it on "Evil-Bay", you might have to ship it, and with a small layout that would be more than it's worth, and a "pain in the back-side".
    Maybe "part it out", and sell it that way............that's what I'm starting to do with a large room sized "N" scale "Unitrack" layout. I figure I don't stand much chance of selling it as a "whole", so strip the track, sell it, sell cars & locos & building kits and............gone.
  3. glakedylan

    glakedylan TrainBoard Member

    Greetings Rick
    Might I ask where you live? And, what you want for it as is, w/o train set or power supply?
    I am in Philly suburbs and, given the prototype of your modeling, I suppose there is a possibility that you live somewhere in PA?
    Please send info via email:
    Much appreciated!
  4. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    I have seen very few layouts that sell on eBay. The lower the price, the higher the likelihood that they will sell, but even so, it's a tough gig. The multi-thousand dollar price tag layouts probably get a lot of views, but not sales.

    Local sales would probably be the best option... limited transportation risk (for the buyer).

    I think that even before the 'net, selling layouts was not easy-- model railroaders generally want to build their own. The couple of layouts that I've seen change hands were quickly dismantled for parts.
  5. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

    I would advertise in the forums here to begin with, craigslist is an option and tell where you are and advertise, "local pickup only"' as that will save you some trouble. No one can afford shipping a layout. Use pictures to advertise, and unlike some idiots, don't count the hours you spent building the thing, some people try to pay themselves $50 an hour building a junky layout and never sell it, just be reasonable and don't expect to make a killing on it.
  6. JoeW

    JoeW TrainBoard Supporter

  7. rick773

    rick773 TrainBoard Member

    The layout now resides in Alabama. Without even seeing the N Scale magazine article on the layout, someone drove 18 hours each way to retrieve it. I believe I got a fair price. What was even more rewarding was the "Oh wow" when he saw it and the email from his home saying "this layout is amazing." Kinda makes it all worthwhile.
  8. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

    Congrates! You got very lucky. Count your blessings.
  9. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    Yes you were very lucky. Congrats

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