Author Topic: Searching for trains on eBay  (Read 840 times)

Terry

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I use a computer with a big monitor to search ebay for new trains for the collection.

I am curious about what devices you use. I get questions about my listings that must be coming from phone users.  Today on the phone I was told I needed to check my listings on my phone to see what my gallery images look like.

Here's my listing for a Santa Fe F3 in ebay's phone app.

  [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]  

My listing is the $150 one in the middle. The app forces shoppers to scroll down past 4 sponsored ads for lionel related crap and click to read past the first paragraph break in the description. 

I also checked with the google chrome browser, and it appears about the same.

People actually drop hundreds of dollars on trains using their phones?

My other question is how do you search? I have bookmarked searches set up for what I collect that I check for new listings a few times during the day with the hope I'll find great deals on buy it now items. I get something just often enough to keep doing it.

Those searches also bring up all the O gauge listings on eBay I want to look at. I also look at all the "lionel" listings in the standard gauge category ending in the next 11 days once a week. I can't search for the cars or 5,6, and 7 steam locos because there are too many results. Right now there are 2615 results for the search "Lionel 16"

I don't think anyone sits like we did 20 years ago and looks at everything in the categories.  How do you do it?

starfire700

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I just searched Lionel 16 and got 1056 results, most not what I am looking for
I searched Lionel 16 ballast car and got 2 results, plus similar results
I searched Lionel 16 dump car and got 13 results, most not what I am looking for
I use a desk top computer almost exclusively, for searching, but admittedly I am not searching for much these days. I click on Advanced then find items. Worst option would be Best Match, as that is what Ebay wants you to see. Best Match is ebays method of hiding listings and promoting the ones they want to. It doesn't seem like a good business model to me to hide some of your vendor's merchandise!!!!
I never search on phone as it only displays incomplete info. I think our age group uses desktops and laptops mostly, but we do find more are using their phone. We get a lot of dumb questions such as what gauge is your O gauge tender......seriously. Maybe new users that are just stupid, or because of incomplete info on the phone app. I could go on, but won't.
Debby found a website that features trains of all makes.
https://www.collectorsweekly.com/model-trains/overview/auctions click on this, save as a favorite. You can select the train brand you are looking for. Not sure how they choose items to feature.

Terry

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One of my freinds told me yesterday that eBay shows different results for the same searches. I know my searches find interesting things, and I have enough that missing a few items won't bother me too much.

I'm doing the switch over to managed payments this week. eBay is offering me $150 to switch over by Friday midnight. Turbolister won't work then, so I need a new program, and that requires a new computer.

Last week I bought a train and when I paid, the payment failed. Ebay said to try again. After 4 trys I gave up. Turns out I'd paid four times. Actually 5 because paypal reversed the first 4 payments and I paid again on Monday.

When they dumped the category structure 3 years ago my listings suffered. I think this change will be just as bad.

I just want to see if I can change something else to cut down on problems.

I'm going to take it slow for the next few weeks. Spend time learning the new system.

I bought some great stuff on eBay last week, and even if there were train meets every weekend I could never do  the sales I do on eBay. I just don't like change.



starfire700

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Ebay does make a lot of changes, sometimes just for the sake of change, always for the benefit of ebay. In the early 2000's we were platinum power sellers. Since the new Casini system, may have it spelled wrong, but it changed searches and brought "Best Match" which is always the ebay default, our sales have declined. We are working harder and have more listings, but have steadily declined through gold, then silver, then bronze, now I don't think we are even that. Still better than selling at a show, but not as good as it used to be.

Terry

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I used to write a weekly article about eBay and doubt anything can compete with them. I know people are selling trains on Facebook. I don't mind the dog pictures, but I can't handle the politics and personalities.

There's a discussion board for old VWs. It's segmented based on types of VW and has classifieds for all kinds of parts and even whole cars.

It would be nice to grow this board like that, but the VW people average about 40 years old.  Based on the last LA show I attended, train people average about 75.

The LA club I belong to should be running a notice in this month's newsletter. I drive 875 miles round trip to go to their shows and hang out with them. They'll be a great addition here.

starfire700

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I believe that age and computer literacy are the reasons that those that I have tried to get interested in this board have not responded.
It is disappointing when items / comments are posted and there are no replies. It seems that only an influx of members can change that. 

early0electric

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I have used my desktop computer and my phone to both search and purchase items off eBay. Some items I find on my phone I put in my watch list to get a better look at on my desktop. Yeah, searches are screwy on eBay so you have to search for the same items different ways. They don't seem to have anyone with a collector mentality making decisions on how to search or what to include in searches. As far as posting to comments on this board, not everyone has the same interests or the same type of experiences as others so there is nothing to comment on. Not everyone is building layouts, mass selling on eBay, collects Standard Gauge and so on. I believe we all have our own niche and comment when we can.

Terry

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We had our first Russian member yesterday. His first post was something about sex with androids so you he's no longer a member, but we are seeing some traffic.

I posted about my searches and the next day, the browser updated and no longer supports that function.

early0electric

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Sometimes when searching on eBay you have to use unconventional or time consuming search titles. Occasionally they do lead to an item of interest. Also make sure you search "all categories" instead of the ones eBay provides.

Terry

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I'm not seeing anything interesting on eBay lately. I haven't added anything to my watch lists or set up a snipe for about 3 weeks. 

Some of what's happening with eBay is cool stuff comes from the train shows. People who know the trains, buy them and then list them on eBay. Also sometimes collectors upgrade and sell the duplicates on ebay. Without the shows, those sellers don't have anything to sell.

I run ads in local papers and then buy trains. Most of what I get is just common stuff, but sometimes I get good trains. People aren't comfortable with me coming to look at their trains because of the flu fears, so I've pulled my ads. I've bought two sets of trains since March. In a normal time, I'd be averaging 5-10 purchases a week. Other eBay sellers are having the same problem or worse.

That might be why there is so much garbage on eBay right now. I've been cleaning out my garage for the past few months. I spend the day Friday just bringing boxes in and listing some things on ebay and throwing the rest out.

I did see something in a LiveAuction earlier this week, and Bertoia looks to have a nice selection coming up in November. 

early0electric

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Nope, not much out there. Have to rely on the auction houses. Early stuff doesn't show up as much so there's a scramble when it does.

Terry

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I looked at every listing ending in the next ten days in the standard gauge catagory earlier today.

I bookmarked a 116 dump car that might have the number rubber stamped in a different place, and I saw a late 35 pullman with metal air tanks, latch couplers in pockets, and soldiered on steps. The other late cars I have with metal air tanks have brass steps in four slots.

Neither car is exciting. Neither car is worth buying when you factor in the shipping costs. 

I'll keep looking. 


Terry

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It turned out the 116 dump car I mentioned had the lettering backwards. The Weight is normally on the right.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/143710490300

That variation is listed in the old Greenberg book as being reported by Jim. I didn't have it, so I bid, but came in second.

The hunt goes on.

early0electric

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I've noticed that early Lionel Standard Gauge shows up more that early Lionel O Gauge on eBay AND at the auction houses. When was the last time you saw an original 700, 701, 703, or 706? How about an original clipped corner 800 or 801 or a Wabash or brown or a maroon roof O gauge boxcar? I know a number of us are looking and competing against each other for these but where are they? Do we already own the majority of them? I don't mean to draw attention to them but where are they?
Mike

Terry

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I think standard gauge trains are seem more common because the ones from 1913ish to 1917/18 weren't different. No big changes means a 35 pullman from 1913 and 1916 look the same. They might have produced a thousand a year, but over four years that's 4000 pieces.

The trains you mentioned were produced in small runs as they figured out what to make. So for the 800 boxcar maybe they made 500 in 1915, but there are what 5 or 6 variations. So even if you figure a clean distribution that means there are only a 100 of each variation.

Another factor may be the age. In the mid 1990s, most of the tinplate trains I bought from the original owners were made in the 1950s.  If that means trains pass from the original owners into the hands of collectors at about 40 years old, the majority of the trains from the teens were sold in the 1950s.

Ebay is dead right now. I did my weekly look at every Standard gauge listings ending in the next ten days search last night and only opened a few listings, and added NONE of them to my watch list.

I'm not listing anything good on eBay.  For the month of Sept. my sales in dollars on ebay dropped 40% when looking at weekly figures. The volume is the same, I'm just selling cheaper items because I'm not willing to sell any more  $180-200 locos for $60-80 each.  I'll sell a $6-8 car for $4, but I'm holding the locos.

Here's an easier explanation. . . I do auctions. I list N gauge cars for $3 each and usually get $6-12 each for them. I do 30-50 cars a week. This week I sold almost all of them for only one bid. One bidder bought most of them. With the better HO freight cars new in the box I list at $8 each and get $12-20 each. This week I sold one for $48, and then the rest in the $8-9 range. Two bidders split them. I list the athearn and roundhouse kit cars at $3 or 4 each. They sell for $6-8 with surprises. This week none went for more than $4, and many got no bids at all.

Here we are in the 3rd year of the 2-week shut down to flatten the curve and I think people are tired.   

By the way, I only have the one orange roof wabash 800 with clipped corners. I'd like to get some more. Now that I know there are at least 2 of the 801 cabooses with the NYNHHRR script, I've added that to my list of most desired O gauge.