Spitballing the value of 15 year old engines

YoHo Jul 2, 2012

  1. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    I have a friend and fellow club member that is retiring to a boat in the bahamas and is thus ridding himself of much of his HO collection. In particular some diesels and project engines that he simply has no space or interest in anymore.

    Amongst this are a couple of Bachmann GP35 Diesels from the Bachmann Plus days, so mid 90s.
    They are lightly used. I for the life of me can't decide what a fair value would be for them.

    Bachmann still makes this engine, so I have the current price, but that doesn't relate to what he paid nor does it account for any running time on them.

    Does anybody have a formula for spitballing the price on these.

    If I were to buy them myself, my goal would obviously be as close to zero as possible without being rude to my friend, but I'm not sure what a fair and equitable price would be for him to present them to others at. A reasonable price to start from.

    Any thoughts?
  2. stewarttrains98

    stewarttrains98 TrainBoard Member

    I would say take the current retail price then make your offer half of that or little less. Or just talking all sorts of ideas with him about it.
  3. mogollon

    mogollon TrainBoard Member

    A friend who sells used trains at shows tells me that older Bachmann diesels go for 10 to 15 bucks each, steam just a bit more...under 20 bucks. He also told me that he hasn't sold but one such loco in a while. Maybe the market is down, maybe the "quality" is well known, or maybe nobody wants them at even 10 bucks! Good luck.

  4. RCB

    RCB TrainBoard Member

    You can still sell older blue box Athearns for $30 or so. Bachmann? Not too sure about that. All the Bachmann's my wife owns are the newer spectrum steams and a couple diesels which were much more than 20.
  5. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    The whole point of getting older engines and cars is that they are cheaper. I personally am very fond of 70-80's Lima trains. They run like toy trains. i love em. But I refuse to pay top dollar for them even though I am sort of an oddball collector of them.

    I'd say the same goes for Bachmann. I would offer a fair but low price. If he's your friend, ask him what he expects, then work from there. You might also look at ebay and see what they go for + shipping on ebay.
  6. Jeff Powell

    Jeff Powell TrainBoard Member

    About $20 max is all I pay for older engine like that and then need to be complete.
  7. cmstpmark

    cmstpmark TrainBoard Supporter

    The Bachmann Plus engines are of good quality. I have their U-boat (er Dash 7) and aside from the missing frame on the brakies window it is a solid train set unit. It has an 8 wheel drive and is quiter out of the box than my Athearn U-boats that have had their drivetrains disassembled and polished. They are also good pullers. And, when it first came out, MR gave it a "We did not know Bachmann could make it this good" review. I would consider $15 for such an engine a steal, and $30 an average show/onlinE sEller price. Non-Plus engines I would not pay more than $10 for...even their steam. Nah..would not pay $10...they're crepe!

    Cars...$2-$3 each and no more. They all need weight, trucks, wheels, TLC and time to make them still worse than any blue box Athearn and downright comical compared to newer RTR and kit cars. The only caveat to that is if it is a rare car or a car that strikes your fancy. Some of the product specific cars from the late 70's (Jello, Hersheys, Wesson Oil-sans Florence Henderson) and soem of the weirder 80's (gold plated GI Joe gondolas, anyone?) stuff can fetch $20 from the right buyer. My two pence!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2012
  8. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    Yeah, I want to make sure you all understand what a Bachmann plus is. This is an 8-wheel drive pickup loco with decent detail (I don't like the cab windows) appropriate paint and solid performance. We're not talking about pancake drive trainset units here.
    Mark, I tend to think you're right on what I should offer.

    Now then, as for old Bachmann steamers. Bowser used to make repower kits, but they are long gone.

    google showed exactly one thread on another board of someone trying to do a frame mod and repower and no finished results. So, fixing her up would be a challenge. But then, for the right (very very low) price...
  9. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

  10. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    Certainly swap meet vendors try to sell them for $30 or $45 or $60, I'm not sure that's a good price though. unless it's some of the most recent blue box stuff.

    It turns out his blue box stuff might have already found a home. He had 2 GP40-2s one powered one dummy and an SD40T-2 all in Rio Grande. I might have offered him $40 for the whole shebang.

    I LOVE scale width Athearn Blue Box engines. They're the best thing that ever has or will happen to HO. I have very very strict personal rules about how much I will pay for them.

    If a dealer tries to set a price higher than the sticker price on the box for a stock engine, that's an automatic no sale. I don't care how much THEY paid. It's not my fault if they paid a foolish price for it.

    sorry, over charging for Athearn is a big swap meet pet peeve of mine.
  11. Mike Sheridan

    Mike Sheridan TrainBoard Member

    Ask him to gift them to you - he can afford it :)
  12. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

    I have to put in a good word on those Bachmanns. My wife picked up one from the "used" shelf at the LHS a couple years ago for $10 (a GP-38). It's a great runner and very reliable. During a train show I was having all sorts of trouble keeping a couple of Athearn F-7s running. The Bachmann pretty much saved the day keeping the trains running. I recently bought a brand-new one (Chessie GP-38) and eyeballing the drive mechanisms they look identical (except the new one cost nearly $40).
    As for selling your friends locos, I think as indicated above that a good starting point would be in the half-price range ($15-$25).
  13. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, a Week later, and it looks like I ended up negotiating with him for some Atlas C425's in BCRail paint. These were purchased at Long's Drugstore in Socal in the 1990s. They appear to be China units. So I'm guessing not Kato.

    They look awesome. I paid $20 a piece for them and got a couple of BCR boxcars and the old Bachmann ATSF Northern for $50 total. So I'm pretty happy.

    AND, I may end up just getting the 2 Bachmann GP35s for free.
  14. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Roger that on the old blue-box Athearns, although I've also only paid 25 bucks for one (powered UP SD40-2, powered, all parts included). Depends on how motiveted the seller is.

    All of the Bachmanns I have are Spectrum models built after the turn of the century. I've paid no less that 25 apiece for the diesels. As for 1990s vintage Plus engines? I'd have to see them & test-run them before I laid down any cash. I'd definitely pay less for a Plus than I would an Athearn blue-box.

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