Toy Trains From The Attic

Stories About Buying Toy Trains

I just bought a few boxes of standard gauge nothing great but a few like new boxed Flyer freight cars I'll probably keep. I bought the stuff from a retired gentleman who had the trains as a kid. I love buying trains from people like him because he is not trying to get rich off the trains, he is just interested in selling them to someone who will enjoy them.

Retired people who have money sell items they no longer want as entertainment. The money is secondary. I pay always pay a fair price because I want the wow factor. This is a great story of using the wow factor to buy toy trains.

While I was looking at the trains the old man went into another room and came back with this neat old arcade truck. I paid him 100 dollars for the truck before I made him an offer for the trains. This truck is might be worth twice that, I don't really know.

This is a great example of a technique I use to make the people anxious to sell me items. The guy showed me the truck and I made an offer. I was still looking at the trains- they were spread out all over the floor of his garage- and trying to decide what I wanted to pay.

By offering the man a hundred dollars- he probably would have taken 20 for the truck but I want to make a statement by paying the hundred - I accomplish two things. One - I show him beyond a doubt I am serious. And two - I get a chance to reach into my pocket and flash the wad of cash at him.

After seeing the wad of cash and with a bit of prodding on my part the man and his wife started bring other neat old items out of the house to offer me.

For example, in the boxes of trains I found an erector set motor from the mid 1920s. The guy said, "You like old motors? - I have one even older," and went into another room and brought back a KNAPP stationary motor from about 1910. I added the motor to the pile of trains and buried the price paid in the offer for the trains.

After I made the deal with him for the standard gauge trains, I was talking to his wife as I wrapped the trains and the man asked if I wanted some old AC powered HO trains. We went into another room and he dragged out a box of Marklin HO. I looked through the trains and said "You don't have an engine." He said it must be in the box with the roundhouse and went and got out another box.

I bought all the Marklin trains also. While I was looking at the Markiln trains I commented on a plastic model kit and it turns out the man has cases of plastic model kits from the 1950s in his attic. I had already spent all my cash and needed to meet someone else so I will go back and get the models later this week.

The whole point here is the five twenty dollars bills peeled off a stack of bills started the flow. I had told the man on the phone I would buy any old toys he had except board games and dolls. If he had games or dolls I would refer him to other collectors.

The couple was more than willing to sell me anything I found interesting, but were cautious about me. This is normal, I have many retired couples who dribble out a few items at a time. Remember these sellers are not interested in money. They are interested in having some fun selling their old items to collectors.

It becomes a game with them. How many times can they make me reach into my pocket and hand them cash. This couple got all the cash I had with me, and I need to go back with some more.

As I was leaving, I told them to make sure and tell their friends about the crazy guy who paid the $100 for an old toy truck.. I bought a set of trains five houses down the street from them a few months back. I bet I am back on the same street buying trains with a few months.

You can read more about my buying strategies and how I make my telephone ring with anxious sellers with the links below.

arcade truck
battery is D cell for size comparison

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