On-Line Train Stores

It seems that I am always searching for hard-to-find, HO scale train
cars and engines. Items that slipped by me completely [or items that I
failed to purchase at the time they were available], and now they are
no longer being made.
To this point, I would greatly appreciate any links to on-line
websites that you could offer to help me in my ongoing pursuit of such
items. I find that some of the smaller, lesser known train stores will
sometimes have a hidden gem on a shelf in their store.
Many Thanks!
Matt
Reply to
mc_brennan
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On 11/14/2009 10:31 AM mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake thus:
Well, one pretty obvious place: that little online auction site that some people sell stuff on, what's it called? Oh, yeah, eBay.
Reply to
David Nebenzahl
Use Google search. Never tell what you can find. I do that a lot and find stuff hidden away, though much of the time I do see the items on ebay in those search results. Sometimes the search results gives you a ebay link but when you click on the link, nothing. The link is old and the item gone. Sometimes you can click on Completed listings and find what the prices are for on the item of interest. River City Railroad still has kits that I buy.
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r
Reply to
Rich
I have to second this motion...
THE reason I set up an Ebay account was because I went on and did a search for Southern Railway woodchip hoppers that were out of production. I found one in brand new condition,and set up an account...placed some bids on it and eventually won it. Since then I've also found a number of other out of production locos and freight cars in Southern and other roads. I've won the bids on many of them, and actually got some great prices in many instances.
Some people on Ebay do "buy it now" auctions, where you don't have to go through the bidding process...if you are willing to pay their buy it now price it's instantly yours. Often the prices are well in line, sometimes people ask ridiculously high prices...but some people are willing to pay for rare items. I've paid more than original sticker price for a couple of locomotives I really had to have, but overall I've gotten some pretty good deals.
I also used Ebay when I later decided to get back into music production...got some pretty good deals on a number of music items as well.
You'd be surprised what else you can find on Ebay. I've found rare toys, perfumes for the wife, and other things too.
I used to be skeptical about trying Ebay until I did, but now I love it.
Reply to
bladeslinger
not sure which online vendors you are using, but the three I've had the best luck with are:
MB Klein
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Toy Train Heaven
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Discount Trains Online
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DO NOT order from INTERNET TRAINS. They are not customer friendly. I placed an order for several freight cars from them. They never sent me an order confirmation or shipping confirmation like other online vendors usually do.
I gave them a week and a half, and still no package. I emailed them, and waited another week, no response, no package, no nothing. I tried emailing again a couple times...no response.
I check my card account, and it'd been billed for part of the charges of the order. I thought perhaps something was on backorder and maybe they were holding the order until the balance arrived, so I emailed a couple times about the status of the order, and again no response.
When it'd gotten to the point that I'd been waiting for the order for more than a month and a half, I checked my card account again and the balance had been charged on it about a week prior. I emailed them a couple more times and gave them several days to respond.
Finally after I sent one last email threatening to reverse the charges if I didn't get the order by the following Friday....they finally sent me a response ON THAT FRIDAY saying that the order was being shipped.
No sorry about the delay, no explanation for anything.
About 3-4 days later I got the full order, and it was what I ordered, and all was good, except for the experience. Needless to say I will not order from Internet Trains again.
Now to say something positive about someone else...I placed an order with Toy Train Heaven, in fact it was the first of several orders I've had with them. After a couple weeks and I hadn't gotten the order, I checked my card account, and it had NOT been charged yet. I emailed them and they quickly responded and apologized because the order had gotten misplaced. They waived the shipping charges and sent the items to me in about 3 days. Now that's how business should be handled.
Reply to
bladeslinger
Hay Matt
Can't give ya a web site for these folks ....
Talk to Leroy or Sharon at PF&S north of Pasco, WA. They have a *bunch* of model railroad stuff.
PF&S Railway Supply, Inc. 560 Ione Road Pasco, WA 99301 509.266.4384
prantletrains at hotmail com for questions.
Check out pix of a small portion of the store -
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todh
Reply to
ctclibby
Thanks everyone !!!
I have have balked and side stepped eBay for no good reason - I guess it is time that I give it a fair chance. Your support for eBay is not the first I have received [for other types of items as well]. I have always favored the smaller train stores if only because it felt nice to support their business. However, as you have pointed out, finding those hard-to-locate items is often a long, exhausting, and fruitless effort when you e-mail blitz a number of train shop links via the Walthers "find it" link.
Reply to
mc_brennan
On 11/14/2009 6:12 PM mc snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake thus:
Don't get me wrong; there's a lot to hate about eBay. For one thing, whether by design or not, they've contributed to the decline and demise of many "bricks and mortar" businesses, like local hobby shops.
My preference has always been to shop at a good hobby store *when possibble*. Unfortunately, for most folks, this just isn't an option.
So you're pretty much at the mercy of a) on-line merchants or b) eBay.
I will say that when I was buying and selling on eBay (mostly photographic equipment), I had mostly good experiences. I even dealt with a lot of foreign sellers (in Russia and Ukraine) and almost never got burned (same with buyers when I was selling stuff).
Reply to
David Nebenzahl
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Reply to
Larry Blanchard
Many ebay model railroad dealers are also "bricks and mortar" businesses, like local hobby shops. The ebay work has made their "bricks and mortar" businesses more sustainable because they thus have a wider catchment.
Reply to
a_a_a
These are great. I have them bookmarked. Thank You!
Reply to
mc_brennan
Another excellent source. Thanks Larry.
Reply to
mc_brennan
Do they have more than 4 items hidden away somewhere on the site?
Reply to
LDosser
If you have nay interest at all in craftsman kits - such as Campbell, Downtown Deco, Bar Mills, Blair and others - or detail parts, I have not found a better site online than Valley Model Trains:
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On advantage they have over MANY other sites is that they chow how many of an item is currently in stock, so assuming the information is reasonably updated you won't be surprised by "backordered" events. They also seem to discount by at least 10% on nearly all items in the store. I'll admit that I have not yet ordered anything from them, being out of work since Feb., but plan to once I'm back on my feet. If I still have a home with a layout space to build in that is.
Reply to
Rick Jones
Nope - it's called the Walthers catalog (with prices discounted). Just email them the stock numbers and names of the items.
Reply to
Larry Blanchard
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They are not the fastest, but they give the best prices and personal contact. I do believe they are really the best in N-scale.
If I want something right away and am willing to pay a bit more for postage and handling ( I live in the Netherlands ) I go to MB Klein
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Greetz Jan
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Reply to
Jan ( Bouli ) Van Gerwen
I agree totally with your assessment of Internet Trains. I am having a similar experience right now.
I placed my order on October 24. My credit card was charged the following week. The order has still not
shipped. No explanation, no reply to inquiries. I even tried calling them. I got a girl that "sounded" VERY young.
At any rate, she disconnected me three times and never did tell me what was holding up the shipment.
My wife ran a business for many years. She believes that even though they advertise a stock of thousands of items
with shipment in 3 to 6 days, they don't order most of their merchandise until the customer places the order and they make
the credit card charge. That way they not only don't have to finance a large stock, they operate on the customers money.
As you said, "Needless to say I will not order from Internet Trains again."
On the positive side, M.B. Klein(Model Train Stuff) has been excellent. Only one small glitch. On one order, someone dropped
the ball an forgot to email me the "notice of shipment". I got the box and then received the email the next day along with an
apology.
Reply to
Ronnie

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