Train show vendors

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.
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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".
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snipped-for-privacy@but.us.chickens says...

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.
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Ken Rice -=:=- kennrice (AT) erols (DOT) com
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On Mar 25, 5:01�pm, snipped-for-privacy@email.ads (Ken Rice) wrote:

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.T Barnum loves you !
I'm not sure anyone else would be willing to even admit to something like that.
Good luck at the show.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

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.
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Ken Rice -=:=- kennrice (AT) erols (DOT) com
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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."
--

Wolf

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The common occurrence here at shows is that they are tax free events. Which saves purchasers 14% over the cost in a store.
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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.
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snipped-for-privacy@email.ads (Ken Rice) wrote in

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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:
MAJOR SNIPS

Interesting news. You have citations to statute or case law so holding in jurisduictions "almost everywhere"?
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On Tue, 27 Mar 2007 08:26:00 -0700, jJim McLaughlin

Nope. I can't think in which issue of Reader's Digest it was mentioned. It was an article about browsing in antique shops and such.
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Spender wrote:

You profer legal advice from an unremembered article in he Readers Digest?!?
ROTFL.
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On Thu, 29 Mar 2007 11:21:48 -0700, jJim McLaughlin

Sure, I recall it being well documented. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. The vendor is assuming the risk by placing merchandise out for public inspection.
Another point in the article - concerning people who have fallen for the "You break it, you've bought it" scam - is that the vendor's loss is not the retail price, but the wholesale cost.
If it ever happens and you're in doubt, call a cop. The cop will tell you both that it is a civil matter, not a criminal matter, and leave.
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On 27 Mar 2007 02:47:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:

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.
--
Steve

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Steve Caple wrote:
"Well, then, how about white cotton gloves like conservators and such use?"
That would make you appear as or more nuttier.
"I sure wouldn't want some geek putting his greasy fingerprints all over an expensively painted model."
If you can't handle that, try using ebay then.
This is a dirty hobby.
We MRs root in the dirt and have been known carry back buckets of dirt so as to have just the right color soil to accurately model a specific location. We proudly drag home rusty hunks of metal that litter the ROW of the local railroad whenever we find them. We collect bushel baskets of plant snippets to turn into trees for our layout. We toss around ground foam and other scenery materials with abandon. We mix up plaster and slop it on to our layouts. We splatter our models with paint to make them look old. We build our layouts in dusty dirt basements.
Anyone who worried about a few fingerprints is in the wrong hobby.
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On 28 Mar 2007 07:13:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com wrote:

Ahhh, OK, I see that I've transgressed the Taco Bell Taco Grease Preservation Society's guidelines.
Now that I think about it I can see that if it's a LifeLike dieseasel painted bright shiny could only be plastic red, it wouldn't really matter.
--
Steve

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