In the past 2 weeks I have purchased 3 substantial train collections and 1 dealer's inventory. The huge collection that I bought near West Virginia is the most interesting, and the one that I want to talk about and show you pictures of. But before we get to that stage in this article let me make an announcement.
Full page ads work!! I thought that I would try a couple of full page ads a couple of months ago in two different periodicals. I had no idea what would happen, and the cost was pretty substantial over what we were paying for the half page ads that we had been running for years.
We have never been as busy as we are right now, mainly because of those ads. I am finding that we are grossly under staffed right now, and having trouble keeping up with the orders. (Although we still manage to get packages out faster than most I believe.)
The main problem that has arisen because of this is that we have been so busy processing orders that I am having difficulty processing new items into our inventory. I now have literally thousands of items that have to be processed, and very little time to do it. I cringe at saying that I won't be buying new collections until I can at least put a big dent in the trains that are waiting to be processed.
That is of course unless you approach me the way that I was approached last week by the people who almost live in West Virginia. First they emailed me asking if I would like to see the list, which of course I asked them to send. Then they sent the list. Now I receive literally hundreds of lists of trains for sale in a years period of time. I hate to say this but I don't respond to many more than half of them. Not out of ignorance, nor lack of money, but mainly due to lack of time. I hate it when my list bin is full and I don't get back to them, but unfortunately I don't, mainly because there is always something else to do and the lists would take a lot of time to tally.
But when I receive an organized list that has pricing information (such as a current guidebook), and it is very interesting and desirable, chances are I will respond with an offer within a short period of time as I did last week with this (almost) West Virginia Collection.
The largest collection I ever purchased was in Kentucky. My Son Charlie and I made our way down there and bought this warehouse full of trains around two or three years ago. One thing that I remember about that collection specifically was the hilly, twisting roads that we had to travel. I took a shortcut which was a big mistake, because those twisting roads were unbelievable.
The collection that I bought yesterday was also in an area where there the terrain was very hilly and twisting. It is also among the top four largest collections I have ever purchased. What a beautiful collection this is. And did I have fun getting there!
When I arrived at the town, I got lost and asked a man how to get to the street where the collection was. He told me to go up this street and take a right at the stop sign until I got to the peak of the hill, then once going down the hill I'd find the street.
Well, that's what I did. And after driving for around 2 or 3 minutes up this hilly, twisting road, it suddenly turned into gravel as I climbed further and further up the snow covered hill that was turning into a mountain. It was a beautiful view up there, but I never reached the peak! Instead the road ended at a mining company near the top of this mountain.
The guys laughed at me, knowing someone had pulled one over on me, so I went back down the hill as they had instructed, and at the stop sign I took a right. Now I was going up another hill, only there were houses on the right side, which was better. After stopping and asking someone else, I realized I had gone to far, and turned around in my 15 foot Ryder truck, thinking to myself after all these trips I was becoming quite the trucker. They had told me that their house was at a big turn in the road, and a house fit that description, so without thinking, I pulled into a long driveway that curved severely to the left. It also had around a 10% uphill grade. Once I got to the house I looked back and cringed at the evil looking twisting driveway.
I found the guy that lives there, who turned out not to be the person I was supposed to be doing business with.
"No, you didn't drive that up here did you?" He asked when he saw my truck sitting there. I just cringed all the more.
Although I could tell he was a little irritated, he was nice enough to help me back out. He told me to stay as far left as possible, because if I got off the narrow concrete driveway, ‘anything could happen'.
So I inched that truck back slowly, but a little afraid of staying to far left as I didn't really want to hit those trees.
Then suddenly I felt the back wheel start to slide to the right, and I tried to put on the brakes. I gasped as I continued to slide ever so slowly even with the brakes on.
Finally it stopped and I put on the emergency brake and got out of the truck to find that both of the right wheels were off the driveway only around a foot from the seriously steep hill that would have sucked that truck down with no mercy!!
I asked the guy if he thought I should call AAA to be safe. He said, "No, my wife has to go bowling in a couple of minutes. We'll get you down one way or the other Son."
I didn't like the way he said that, but I gingerly got back in that truck anyway. I tried to pull forward with no success. That is until finally I figured out if I straighten the wheels, I was able to go ahead. I was so relieved when I found the truck back on the concrete once again. Such a ‘trucker'.
Finally after making sure this time that I stayed well left, I was able to inch my way down that hilly, twisting driveway to safety.
Then I proceeded to find out that the house I was looking for was right at that stop sign that I had passed two times!
This collection is a mixture of older MPC and Post War Lionel trains. Everything is boxed, and as far as the MPC goes everything is supposed to be new, although some of the items were bought at shows, so there may be a couple items that aren't. Of course they will be identified. I haven't had a chance to go through much of the collection yet, but from what I saw of the Post War items they were in very nice condition as well. You guys and gals are going to LOVE this collection!!! (Don't spend to much on Valentine's day.)
I am going to put top priority to getting this collection and the other three processed so we can sell them of course. You can follow my progress by clicking on the ‘new stuff' link above in our main menu. Also some of the items will appear in our choochooauction.com pages, so please check that out as well.
Whether you are buying or selling, I would like to thank you very much for keeping us busier than a mud swoop'n pig in a horse corral! And especially to the people I had the pleasure of doing business with down there near West Virginia. I even learned how to talk a little bit of slang!
Now here are some pictures of that collection which should appear on our database or auction site soon. (Click on them to make them bigger.)
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