What is it worth really?

Inkaneer Apr 9, 2012

  1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    I see Atlas is re-releasing their 90 ton hopper with a retail price of $12.95 for an undec to $16.95 for most roads and $18.95 for CNW. Atlas has been producing this car for at least 30 years. I recall buying my first one back in the early '80's when it retailed for about $2.49. I probably have over 100 of them and really don't need anymore. The thought has crossed my mind that if I were to sell them at a train show what would be a good price to put on them. My cars are clean [no weathering] and are MT truck/coupler equipped although I have kept the Atlas trucks/couplers as well as the jewel boxes they came in. All of my cars are PRR which in this area is big. I anticipate that when the new run of cars hit the street later this year that they will have a street price of about $10-$12. If I did sell mine I would remove the MT trucks/couplers and put on the Atlas trucks with either the Rapido coupler or the later Accumate couplers. The Mt trucks I would sell separately.

    I guess my question is really one of depreciation. Has those 90 ton hoppers depreciated while in my possession? It is, after all the very same car that Atlas is doing today. There is no change of styling or wear and tear on the cars which are the usual reasons for depreciating value. So do these cars have the same value as the ones in the new release bearing in mind that except for the car number they are all the same? Your thoughts please.
  2. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    I would personally pay arround $5 for an used Atlas car with Rapidos, $6-7 wih Accumates...
  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Whatever, you want to pay.

    I got into a discussion similar to this and hit some nerves so, I will refrain from any further comments other then what I already said.
  4. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    For a used Atlas car

    $3-$4 with Rapidos
    $5-$6 wih Accumates.
    $7-$8 with MT's​
  5. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    For the run of the mill old tooling Atlas/Roco/Lifelike/Bachmann etc cars... the going rate on eBay is between $4.00 to $6.00. The roadname, coloring/decorating, coupler types are variable likely to get the higher price. The models would have to be in their cases and without blemish (which sadly includes weathering). The more current models with better detailing are going for a few bucks more. The more colorful cars do seem to get more attention... such as the wood billboard reefers. Obviously... Micro-trains seem to be on a different level... but not that much different in the case of their ordinary boxcars... unless there is a perception of scarcity and enough bidders to drive-up the price. Lately... on eBay... there is very little available at bargain prices... unless $5.00 - $10.00 is what now would be considered a 'bargain'. Most rolling stock now lists an MSRP of $15.00 to $30.00 (that's not even Micro-Trains)... with passenger cars and other large specialty rolling stock asking even MORE.

    It would seem to me that a person entering the hobby now would compare to the MSRP; thus, they might consider $5.00 to $10.00 a good price. What we don't know is how many people are being 'shut-out' of the hobby as a result of the high prices. BTW... those of us that have old stocks of the Atlas/Roco/Lifelike/Bachmann stuff actually stand a chance of getting more than we paid for the items when they are put on auction... but... you can't replace them for they sell for. So before you sell-off 20 Atlas hoppers for $5.00 a piece... remember you may only be able to get between 4-6 new ones from other manufacturers.
  6. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

    Also consider, an older item's value goes up and down as reissues go in and out of production. When an item has been out of production for some time it's value steadily rises with time. But as soon as it is reissued again the value of older copies goes down during this period. So for someone looking to unload older stock, best to get it listed on Ebay before reissues arrive. For the average buyer the rational is, 'Why pay this price for a "used" one when I can get a new one for the same or a couple of bucks more? And probably even better shipping terms as well.'

    Naturally, there are those rare older items that command a premium price over their more recent reissue copies. Perhaps it is the collectability of the item, the quality of the older version above the newer version, or even the uniqueness of an error in the older copy. What applies in the Stock Market applies in most other trade - Sell High, Buy Low.
  7. brakie

    brakie TrainBoard Member

    Depends on the road name and if its still readily available.

    I wouldn't pay over $6.00 for a use Atlas car even with MT couplers..


    Because that's the going price for a use Atlas car with MTs.

    However and there is always a however in the use or collectors market.

    Let's say Atlas did a run of oh,let's say a precision designed 50' boxcar lettered for LNA&C in 2002 and have never ran that name again in the last 10 years and its a extremely rare and hard to find car.
    I would be willing to go as high as $25.00 in mint condition.
  8. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Just wondering, would metal wheels add to the price / value? I have a lot of the early Atlas cars with metal wheels.
  9. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    I'd say no, being most of the early Atlas metal wheels had HUGE flanges that make MT pizza cutters look small.

    As Larry said, about $5 per car. I've got somewhere between 150-200 of the Atlas cars, and on the used market I'd pay around $5-6 for them, depending where and when I got them

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