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Hubby sold entire Lionel Train collection for $200!

WinniWoman

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My father used to always say he was so sorry he got rid of our Lionel Train set as he said he would have gotten a lot of money for it many years later.

My husband had his original set from when he was a kid (he's 61 now) and plus a set we got for our son and lots of accessories. He used to have a big layout set up when our son was little, but eventually took it down and stored it all in the attic. All the trains were used, of course.

He always said he thought the trains were worth a lot of money and he refused to get rid of them. He would sometimes search on sites like EBAY to see if he could find the exact trains and what they were selling for.

Now that we are slowly getting rid of stuff in our home, he suddenly last week went up into the attic and took down all the train boxes. He said a guy who owns an automotive shop had a sign up that he buys Lionel Trains and since there was no way we could fit all these boxes into our SUV (yes- THAT many boxes) he would come to our house to see what we have. Last night my husband let them go for $200! I was shocked! First -that that is all they were worth (even though I suspected they wouldn't be worth BIG money) and secondly that my husband let them go for that little money. I think he might have posted an ad on Craigs List a long while ago- just a general ad asking for anyone interested to contact him if they want to know the specifics of what he had. I don't think he got responses.

I am good with the fact that he got rid of them because he is a little bit of a hoarder and I keep telling him we will be dead and we can't leave this cleaning out stuff until it's too late. LOL! ( I always tell him- regarding stuff we need to get rid of- we can't take it to the nursing home! Ha!) Our son isn't really interested in them that much and is in no position to take or store things like this.(We still have storage bins of his movies and Music CD's here that he can't keep with him where he lives due to not having the room).

Anyway-I guess he got ripped off a bit? I know that things are only worth what people are willing to pay for them....:shrug:
 
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vacationhopeful

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It is DONE ... stop 2nd guessing "what could have" or saying "ripped off" .... move on. They were your husband's or your son's ... YOU were NOT invested emotional or financial (did NOT buy them).

Think of them like an old (former) home ... memories, but not worth the storage space and not being used. They have now moved into your virtual memory.
 

dioxide45

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They are kind of like a timeshare, they are really only "worth" what someone is willing to pay for them at any given time. Could he have sold them for more? Perhaps, but for how much effort and work. It could have taken months to sell them, photos, posting, reupping an add. This way, he has a quick $200 in his pocket and they are gone.
 

SMHarman

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Very little Lionel is worth much because it is mass produced.

Normally only worth lots more if train is in pristine condition and has the boxes and packaging also in pristine condition.

Sent from my LT26i using Tapatalk
 

WinniWoman

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It is DONE ... stop 2nd guessing "what could have" or saying "ripped off" .... move on. They were your husband's or your son's ... YOU were NOT invested emotional or financial (did NOT buy them).

Think of them like an old (former) home ... memories, but not worth the storage space and not being used. They have now moved into your virtual memory.

Yes- you are right, Linda! I always second guess! It's my MO! LOL!

I am glad to be rid of more stuff from the attic. I was just wondering. My brain never shuts off! They certainly were his trains and his choice in what to do with them. :)
 

WinniWoman

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Very little Lionel is worth much because it is mass produced.

Normally only worth lots more if train is in pristine condition and has the boxes and packaging also in pristine condition.

Sent from my LT26i using Tapatalk


That's what I figured. Pretty much like anything else. Thanks.
 

WinniWoman

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They are kind of like a timeshare, they are really only "worth" what someone is willing to pay for them at any given time. Could he have sold them for more? Perhaps, but for how much effort and work. It could have taken months to sell them, photos, posting, reupping an add. This way, he has a quick $200 in his pocket and they are gone.

Yeah- you're right. That's how he looked at it. Most times we just donate stuff or give away for free or small amounts of money and even that takes a lot of work! Kind of like garage sales! The amount of time and effort- doesn't seem worth it most times. Stopped doing those years ago.
 

Glynda

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Trains

Been there! My husband probably had a collection of about $15,000 in Lionel and MTH trains and accessories that he may have gotten $4,500 for recently.

Several reasons. People of a certain generation tended to collect trains. They are/have been "downsizing." Not as many younger people want these items. My husband collected O gauge trains and these larger trains take up more room. Room many people today don't have. Those who do want to buy toy trains tend to want the smaller gauge , the very old rarer models, or the new that have become incredibly detailed with computer chip technology that make them much more interesting to operate and life like...squealing brakes, actual horns, technology that mirrors actual engines, from steam to diesel.

When he called an auction house in PA, an area known for toy train shows, sales and auctions, he was told that in the past they would hold up one average box car for auction and receive $50 for it. Now they hold up five at one time and are lucky if they get $25.

I'm convinced that the fun of collecting is in the acquisition. The hunt. Owning is another story!

I'm just glad to be rid of them as well. One thing that I did do is donate my collection of Department 56 Christmas houses to a non-profit nursing home and we were able to write the donation off of our taxes. A working train to run underneath a Christmas tree might have been accepted too.
 
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pedro47

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Very little Lionel is worth much because it is mass produced.

Normally only worth lots more if train is in pristine condition and has the boxes and packaging also in pristine condition.

Sent from my LT26i using Tapatalk

True statement. Vintage Lionel trains are very collectable. Just the engine alone with the original box in pristine condition can sell for over $200.00 dollars. I have a pristine Lionel black train engine from 1955 that has been appraise at over $200 dollars. I also have the complete Lionel passenger train set in the original boxes that is worth more than what my father paid for it in the late 1950's.
 

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I've been downsizing now for the past 3 years. Trains were easy to sell, but only in great condition in the original boxes. The work that goes into selling the rest really isn't worth it. I tried selling my "collectible" artwork recently with no takers. It's worthless. Even the coin collection brought less than I paid. Now if I could only get rid of those "worthless" baseball cards.....
 

pedro47

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I've been downsizing now for the past 3 years. Trains were easy to sell, but only in great condition in the original boxes. The work that goes into selling the rest really isn't worth it. I tried selling my "collectible" artwork recently with no takers. It's worthless. Even the coin collection brought less than I paid. Now if I could only get rid of those "worthless" baseball cards.....

I also collect U S Mint coins what a waste money. My Panda coins collection is holding it own.
 

WinniWoman

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As we are divesting ourselves of things I realize how much money we have wasted on stuff. Sure- we enjoyed many of them- even if it was just looking at them- but- it took us until now to really understand how ridiculous many of our purchases were.
 

vacationdoc

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The Gift of the Magi?

Consider it a priceless gift from your DH. He "sacrificed" his priceless train collection to please you about cleaning out the attic. To misquote Awaywego, Is this a great marriage, or what?
 

bastroum

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As we are divesting ourselves of things I realize how much money we have wasted on stuff. Sure- we enjoyed many of them- even if it was just looking at them- but- it took us until now to really understand how ridiculous many of our purchases were.

And that's why the stuff is almost worthless. Supply and demand. Our generation collected these things, trains, coins, baseball cards among other stuff like timeshares. Now there is no market. But as you say "we enjoyed looking at them"! In the case of timeshares we enjoyed using them.
 
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jancpa

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There is a story circulating around the internet about a $2 purchase of an old photograph from a Fresno, California antique dealer. It turns out it is a picture of Billy the Kid and may be worth $5 million!!!
 

Patri

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The dealer will have to sell the stuff for $400 to make the same profit you did. Plus the displaying, advertising, etc. At least they weren't Beanie Babies, which no one would want!
 

Elan

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And that's why the stuff is almost worthless. Supply and demand. Our generation collected these things, trains, coins, baseball cards among other stuff like timeshares. Now there is no market. But as you say "we enjoyed looking at them"! In the case of timeshares we enjoyed using them.

I think that there's still a market, but eBay and Craigslist have made the market much more liquid. In the past, if you were missing the one rare something to fill out a collection, finding it was difficult. Now one just goes to eBay and can find dozens. That's enough to drive the price significantly downward.
 

bastroum

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....and $1,000's of dollars worth of Lladro. It just never ends. When I cleaned out my parents home after they passed away 10 years ago I couldn't give their stuff away. I had to pay to have someone haul it away. I should have learned then. One person's treasure is another person's junk. Check out George Carlin's routine about "stuff" on YouTube.
 

vacationhopeful

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I have 16 place formal set in Lenox china. And a dining room and table which holds 24. And 4 china cabinets.

Thankfully, I have Betty Crocker stainless steel flatware.

And only 6 goblets with a matching decanter of crystal cut glass direct from Europe --- I carried it home in my suitcase. Those 7 items will be WHAT everyone will want ... just stunningly beautiful with a real "goblet" feel.

Even my wine-hating brother "loves" those goblets. European sized .. between the WHITE and RED glass size.
 
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Passepartout

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We have the accumulations of grandparents, parents, as well as our own 'Junque'. Multiple sets of China, Crystal, silver, tchotchkes, art, guns, quarter sawn oak furniture, tapestries, Persian & Chinese rugs, etc, etc. I have no progeny, and DWs kids have smaller houses and their own stuff, and don't want ours, and that includes timeshares!

Someone is going to have a 'Mell of a Hess' to clear out when we check out!

Jim
 
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x3 skier

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There is a story circulating around the internet about a $2 purchase of an old photograph from a Fresno, California antique dealer. It turns out it is a picture of Billy the Kid and may be worth $5 million!!!

And I have a brick from the original Brooklyn Bridge signed by George Roebling that I have been told is worth $10000. The Internet is full of such stories. I always check Snopes. ;)

Collecting things is for enjoyment, not appreciation. It appears to me since the Internet revolution, younger people would rather just google it rather than buy it. Unless one is a multi-millionaire or billionaire who wishes to show off with a Renoir or Matisse or Van Gogh, collectibles will likely never appreciate.

OTOH, I do have fine collection of Rosenthal China and Crystal I would be willing to let go at a reasonable price. We did (and I still do) enjoy using it. :cool:

Cheers
 
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falmouth3

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I have literally thousands of First Day Covers from my stamp collecting father. There are so many, it makes no sense for someone like me to go through them all to see if there are any treasures. A stamp collector told me that large collections like that typically go for about 20 cents each. My father spent more on postage, let along whatever it cost for the fancy envelopes than 20 cents each. I was heartbroken to hear that his dream of leaving something of value for his children amounted to so little. I do need to follow up on selling them, though because they are taking up a lot of space. But almost no one is collecting stamps anymore.

And I have a few Hummels that my mother inherited. They are worth very little, as well. :bawl:
 
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KarenLK

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I have that Betty Crocker stainless too and I still love it. I brought a set of stainless steel from Germany but i still prefer the Betty Crocker set. Twin Star!
 

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....and $1,000's of dollars worth of Lladro. It just never ends. When I cleaned out my parents home after they passed away 10 years ago I couldn't give their stuff away. I had to pay to have someone haul it away. I should have learned then. One person's treasure is another person's junk. Check out George Carlin's routine about "stuff" on YouTube.


George Carlin Talks About "Stuff" - from YouTube


Richard
 
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