Train show vendors

Jungle Jim spake thus:

I'm curious: how do you suppose one could be "taken" by a train vendor? Seriously. Seems to me pretty much a case of "what you see is what you get".

Reply to
David Nebenzahl
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Heading to the Freat Train Expo edition in Cincinnati next weekend and was wondering avout vendors/businesses that attend these shows.

What experiences have others had with these vendors ? Anyone really been taken ?

Thanks for any and all repllies.

Reply to
Jungle Jim

There are many ways a train show dealer can "take" a customer. He can misrepresent the quality of the goods he is selling. Some buyers would know the difference, many others wouldn't.

Many years ago, I bought an n-scale train kit from a dealer. This particluar kit came with a power unit, which the dealer had removed and was selling separately. I was fortunate in that I also bought the power unit. The combined price was what the complete kit normally sold for. Had a customer been unaware of the proper kit contents, they would have had a kit without a power unit.

I have not seen that particular dealer at the train show since shortly thereafter.

Reply to
Ken Rice

cks

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=A0 =A0 Maps of Ultima 7 Parts 1 & 2, Prophecy of the Shadow, Savage Empi= re,

So you paid the regular price for something that you could have bought at a brick and motar hobby shop ( and the assurance of the product ) and you wonder if anyone ELSE made the same mistake ?

P=2ET Barnum loves you !

I'm not sure anyone else would be willing to even admit to something like that.

Good luck at the show.

Reply to
the OTHER Mike

I think train meets are better than something like eBay, which is really just an online rummage sale without the benefit of being able to examine the goods.

Not that my eBay experience has been particularly bad. In fact it's been pretty good. But for God's sake, watch out for an eBayer named carsal30 - he seems to me to be a raging sociopath - check his reactions to negative feedback for an illustration.

eBay wasn't your question, but the same type of advice applies. Like the feedback system on eBay, at a meet you should talk with other attendees and ask for experiences/opinions about vendors. If there is a Carsal30 lurking behind a table at a train meet, other attendees might be able to tip you off.

I've only been to one meet so far. I took along a pair of neoprene gloves (the medical type.) If I liked the look of a car or loco I'd ask if I could examine it, with gloved hands, out of the box. If a vendor said no, I walked away. The stuff was, in all likelihood, manufactured, handled, and packaged by some Chinese worker making 20 cents an hour for God's sake. If they won't allow *you* to examine it with gloved hands, they're either paranoid or have something to hide.

Most had no problem with it since they could see I had great respect for protecting the item in question.

If it's a loco, or an electrical item, ask to see it test run. If they say no, walk away. Any new loco will have been test run at the factory anyway, so it isn't like a test run is going to destroy the value of the item. Same with any other electrical item. I saw many vendors with a nice, clean piece of test track. They were automatically more trustworthy in my opinion.

Otherwise, does the vendor accept returns? Does he live in an area you can get to in order to make a return (or get a hold of him for a small claims court case)? Is the vendor a licensed dealer? Otherwise the factory warranty on a new item may no longer exist. That is, apparently, the way it is with Lionel at least.

Oh, if you happen to be clumsy, keep in mind that the concept of "You break it, you've bought it" is illegal almost everywhere. Merchants are expected to have insurance against accidental breakage.

Reply to
Spender

Train shows are fun to go to. I do one every so often. I look for unusual items such as long out of production kits or rolling stock, or scratch building supplies, or decals. Or B units to match my A units, or rolling stock painted for my favorite road. Prototype information and photos, old Model Railroaders. Stuff I can't find in stores. I have a dependable LHS who stocks a lot of stuff. He is there in case I want to return stuff. In view of this, I don't buy things at train shows that I can get from my LHS, unless the price is really really good. If I ain't saving serious money, why not trade with a shop that is always there, open on Saturday, won't hassle me about returning defective merchandise. The train show vendors are nice guys and all, but it's here today gone tomorrow. It helps if you have some knowledge of the price of whatever it is you are interested in. One way to gain that knowledge is to go to train shows. Enjoy the looking and chatting. Some vendors are some one else's LHS, bringing their regular store stock to the show. Some are hobbyists who acquire used stuff and bring it to the shows. Some are one man specialty manufacturers moving their own product. Most of them do shows because they enjoy it. Good Luck.

David Starr

Reply to
David Starr

FWIW I find a great difference among train shows in terms of usefulness, although, I've been lucky enough to have encountered no serious cases of attempted deception among vendors. The huge affairs like GATS and your own example are unlikely to be too useful to anyone with a medium to large collection of track, rolling stock, locomotives, etc. The relatively high charges for tables deters the casual seller from buying space. Most sellers are "professionals" which is to say that they are often LHSs offering a portion of their inventory. They tend to bring their more popular items to maximize potential sales. A new-comer to the hobby, or one changing scales, eras, control systems, etc. should find a good selection at prices no worse than those found at the LHS. In fact, the presence of so many tables selling the same goods allows for "creative haggling". Tell Smith that Jones is charging a buck less for your rtr item and he may come down two bucks. This ploy works best towards closing time when Smith may find the thought of repacking his wares particularly unattractive.

I prefer to attend the smaller swap meets. The lower table fees attracts the person with a smaller inventory. He is more likely to be a fellow hobbyist selling older, out-of-stock items (junk?) that I, at least, am looking for. He is also more likely to be offering small parts, old magazines and other exotica that most LHS's no longer even stock.

I thoroughly enjoy going to these local swap meets whether I make a purchase or not. There are five such meets within a hundred miles which I have attended, year-in year-out, since the '80s. We may not know each other's names, but it's a chance to chat with other "regulars". I hope your experience will prove to be equaly pleasant. Thank you.

Jerry

Reply to
trainjer

The kit in question was a GreenMax model kit of a Japanese commuter train. I have never seen one of these in a brick and morter store in the US, only at train shows. Mostly from the dealer I mentioned. And this happened several years before Internet sales became available.

It was offered as an example of how a dealer could "take" a customer.

Reply to
Ken Rice

Ken Rice wrote: [...]

There is no law, rule, regulation or tradition that says the a dealer has to sell below suggested retail price at a show. Whatever the OP thought, paying full retail price is not IMO an example of a customer being "taken."

Reply to
Wolf

The common occurrence here at shows is that they are tax free events. Which saves purchasers 14% over the cost in a store.

Reply to
Brian Smith

In the US, most states do collect taxes from show vendors. Not having a slaes tax license can result in your inventory being confiscated by the state. At the shows in Maryland where I have been an occassional dealer, the state issues a one time sales tax license to dealers who don't have a standard sales tax license.

Reply to
Ken Rice

I also walk by dealers selling low priced junk. Althought when I have offered junk for sale, I'm amazed at how fast it sells.

Reply to
Ken Rice

snipped-for-privacy@email.ads (Ken Rice) wrote in news:%C%Nh.109405$fo5.20029@trnddc07:

I thought most show transactions would be considered personal transactions, not subject to taxes. (Like garage sales.) Do they make you collect sales tax on garage sales in Maryland?

I'm curious how other states differ. It seems rather annoying to have to figure out the value of the item so with tax it would add up to a show- friendly dollars and quarters amount.

Puckdropper

Reply to
Puckdropper

When I was co- chair of the Greenwich, CT train meet, the State of Connecticut required us to send them a vendor list two weeks before the show date. If a vendor was not registered with them, they would send a tax license application to that vendor. I complied with them and they never came or identified themselves if they did come. We also never had an incident with sales tax problems. We lost a few of the hobbyist type vendors, but the show grew and grew each year. CT had a one time fee of $20.00 for the tax license. Many vendors would include the tax in the price of the item.

Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum

Here most of the vendors are actual stores that set up at the shows. Also, here anything and everything that the government thinks should be taxed, is.

Reply to
Brian Smith

You're sure THEY are the ones who are paranoid or have something to hide if they they won't let you use latex gloves to examine an item?

I'd be leary with someone who dons gloves to examine new items. You come across as real barking mad nutcase doing that and most people probably wouldn't want to do business with out for fear that selling to you would come back to bite them in the ass.

Here's a tip. Get a bottle of hand sanitizer.

Spender wrote:

I think train meets are better than something like eBay, which is really just an online rummage sale without the benefit of being able to examine the goods.

Not that my eBay experience has been particularly bad. In fact it's been pretty good. But for God's sake, watch out for an eBayer named carsal30 - he seems to me to be a raging sociopath - check his reactions to negative feedback for an illustration.

eBay wasn't your question, but the same type of advice applies. Like the feedback system on eBay, at a meet you should talk with other attendees and ask for experiences/opinions about vendors. If there is a Carsal30 lurking behind a table at a train meet, other attendees might be able to tip you off.

I've only been to one meet so far. I took along a pair of neoprene gloves (the medical type.) If I liked the look of a car or loco I'd ask if I could examine it, with gloved hands, out of the box. If a vendor said no, I walked away. The stuff was, in all likelihood, manufactured, handled, and packaged by some Chinese worker making 20 cents an hour for God's sake. If they won't allow *you* to examine it with gloved hands, they're either paranoid or have something to hide.

Most had no problem with it since they could see I had great respect for protecting the item in question.

If it's a loco, or an electrical item, ask to see it test run. If they say no, walk away. Any new loco will have been test run at the factory anyway, so it isn't like a test run is going to destroy the value of the item. Same with any other electrical item. I saw many vendors with a nice, clean piece of test track. They were automatically more trustworthy in my opinion.

Otherwise, does the vendor accept returns? Does he live in an area you can get to in order to make a return (or get a hold of him for a small claims court case)? Is the vendor a licensed dealer? Otherwise the factory warranty on a new item may no longer exist. That is, apparently, the way it is with Lionel at least.

Oh, if you happen to be clumsy, keep in mind that the concept of "You break it, you've bought it" is illegal almost everywhere. Merchants are expected to have insurance against accidental breakage.

Reply to
newyorkcentralfan

MAJOR SNIPS

Interesting news. You have citations to statute or case law so holding in jurisduictions "almost everywhere"?

Reply to
jJim McLaughlin

Well, then, how about white cotton gloves like conservators and such use? I sure wouldn't want some geek putting his greasy fingerprints all over an expensively painted model.

Reply to
Steve Caple

I'll guess this is who is being referred to: A fairly current TV show "Monk" stars Tony Shalub (sp?) who is a compulsive neat freak cop who can't leave things where they are. They MUST be arranged according to his fetish.

i.e. - While waiting for the doctor he mixes blood samples so they are all the same hieght in the tubes. (As if multiple blood samples would be left with, yet another, patient.)

Of course, he is brilliant and solves all the difficult crimes.

Paul

-- Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have to log onto a server in Romania and verify all of my EBay, PayPal, bank and Social Security information before they suspend my accounts.

Working the rockie road of the G&PX

Reply to
Paul Newhouse

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