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.
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.
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
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
not sure which online vendors you are using, but the three I've had
the best luck with are:
Toy Train Heaven
Discount Trains Online
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.
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
prantletrains at hotmail com for questions.
Check out pix of a small portion of the store -
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.
On 11/14/2009 6:12 PM mc firstname.lastname@example.org 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).
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
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:
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.
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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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