Interesting Letters

We have been here in business now for some 18 years, and although most of the letters I have received have been pretty normal and boring, there have been some really interesting ones. I wanted to share some of these with you if for no other reason for entertainment and the fact that I can't think of anything else better to write about. (Been to busy working selling trains and golfing!)

So here goes. This first one is possibly one of the weirdest I have ever received!

Possibly you are familiar with my ads that have appeared in Classic Toy Trains for years stating that I want to buy trains.....

‘Dear Serious Buyer,

Do you realize there are people starving in this world? Do you realize there are poor people in the United States of America with no medical insurance, who suffer and die from afflictions similar to those experienced in so-called ‘third world countries?'

And a {bleeping} imbecile like you takes an ad in a magazine proudly proclaiming he ‘wants to spend $100,000.00 on toy trains this year!

Why don't you stick a locomotive up your {bleep} and wait until it whistles before you remove it, you {bleeping} moron!'

[This was faxed to us back on 6-4-94. I have always wished that the person who wrote this would have left a name or number or something, because I have a couple of things to say to him. For one thing, I would never stick a Locomotive up anything unless it was a tunnel. Why that could cause tarnish or harm the engine! I'll tell you what, some people have no respect for trains!!! :)]


Here is one from a customer from several years back. I really like the vast majority of people that I deal with. This guy to say the least was difficult to talk with on the phone. I used to cringe every time he would call and order something. But he had some good qualities also I suppose. Here is a post card that he sent to me back in 1995.

‘Hey Chuck - I have not received your last few publications -???-

Maybe I should order only $100 or $200 per month instead of my $500-$1200 orders that I have given you in the past. -???-‘

[Needless to say I think we sent him our latest catalog at the time. I don't remember hearing from him again though. Possibly he went to train heaven (or possibly the other place)!!!]


Here's an email I received a couple of years ago when I announced that we would be doing some auctions on ebay.

‘A friend of mine gets on the Internet at work. He tells me that you are considering selling some things on some of the Internet auction pages.

I guess that a lot of people who can afford to collect and operate toy trains can afford a pc and access to the Internet. I can't.

My friend prints out your list from your Internet page. I have ordered a few things and have bought from your shop a few times. If you go to the auction pages, I would not make any purchases.

My philosophy is if you put it on an auction page, you should take what is offered. If the seller wants to put a reserve on it, that is nonsense. If you want a certain price then advertise at it and stop the nonsense.'

[I couldn't agree more with this individual. Stop the nonsense. Stop!!! Please don't write again. I can't take it!! Please someone stop these letters.....]


OK, now this one is dated 9-12-95. Must have been a good year for weird letters. This one is very strange indeed. And there is a story behind it, and to be honest I don't remember. Oh, OK I do remember, but I am embarrassed to admit that. This had to do with a guy who wanted to buy my trains at his prices. And this was before ebay! This one is really screwy, so if you want to go completely stark raving mad read away.....

‘You want $47.00 each for the 660's American Flyer Aluminum Combine Cars.

Being your ‘very good' quality description isn't describing specifically what & where the items are damaged, or worn, or changed from new to aged by time & exposure - I'll offer you $40 dollars for both and you pay the shipping here. If trucks are missing or broken or lamp socket is missing or corroded - take $12. off for each truck & $5 off for wheels, couplers, diffusers, lamps, or pockets. And payment accordingly will be cash C. O. D. upon visual inspection satisfaction by me, here. The aluminum American Flyer train passenger cars oxidize and age. Your prices can be misleading, and your grade denominator is quite subjective and thus very vague. As you don't also refund shipping charges. - This is the only way I'd consider purchasing from you.

If you wish to reply - the above address or you can telephone ...... EST 2-3 PM on Mondays at 10am - 5pm Tuesday thru Saturday'

[OK, why do I get the feeling that had I sent the trains this guy was interested in, he would have sent me a bill instead of sending me money??? Get it, he would have found a paint chip here ($20 bucks), a little scratch there ($25 bucks), and before you know it I owe him $5 bucks.

I have no clue why, but I replied with a very tactful letter explaining why I couldn't go along with his terms. (I'm stupid that way sometimes.) At any rate, this was his reply:]

‘Mr. Siegel,

You read into purmises in your own self. [I still haven't figured out what that means, and I stay up almost every night wondering!] I'm only interested at a reasonable price, and the condition of the product. You're assuming your equitable with other dealers. [Maybe this guy was a Nazi!] I hear you buy very low and sell high. [Sounds like a good idea. Of course I don't think I'd buy anything, and I don't think I would sell anything if that was the case. Bummer!!] My market experience refers from many qualified persons beyond dealers like yourself. [Is he insulting me?] You have some prices eg. 660 AF combine cars - your prices wanted to much money, and your letter above suggests you are offended at my offer. THE OFFER STANDS - no big deal for me - You can only do business with me on my terms. [Gestapo?] And on any item regardless of price - I pay full price after I'm satisfied with the quotes it's sold on.'

[Boy how would you like to have customers like that? I'd be afraid to offer anything for sale!!! I can't imagine he buys many trains on ‘his terms'. But never mind, the cars sold within a week or two, so who really cares anyway!!! Just hard to believe this wasn't a joke of some kind, but I don't think it was.]

Got a beef? Want to get it off your chest. Write me a letter. Send me a line, and tell me what is on your mind!!!!! I may answer, I may not. But it is certain that letters like this will someday end up on our web site, because they are funny, amusing, and take up space when I can't think of anything else to say!! Thank you guys for writing!!


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