OK I'm starting to get over the anger and numbness now. But I simply can't believe this happened. And now all I have to do is figure out how much money I'll loose on this deal!!
There was something about this deal that was a little wacky in the first place. First I had made travel arrangements and had to change them because at the last minute I found there were legal problems with the deal that I had no clue about.
So after making other arrangements and trying to do it not sounding to be to mad about the situation I finally made other arrangements to travel to pick up this large collection which was situated some 1100 miles away.
And actually it worked out well as otherwise I would have had to drive a truck alone from Las Vegas, then pick this collection up on the way back.
The people I was working were understanding about my having to change arrangements at the last minute and offered to pay for my travel to pick up the collection at a later time after the legal problems had been resolved.
Then at the end of May Charlie my Son and I took off into the wild blue to pick up this collection which had been inventoried very nicely by a second party. It was a very nice job, very neat, and complete as far as I could tell. The spread sheet included the mfg number, a description of the item, wheel configuration, what type of item it was, colors, the gauge, manufacturer, and the high and low book price.
This information is always very important and helpful in bidding on collections, and it hadn't taken me long to figure out what my high five digit bid would be on the collection when I had first received the list.
I was excited. I thought this was a big collection, and the price that I had offered was very fair on both sides. And obviously it was a fair offer as it was the highest cash offer received after the hearing, even though there was one higher consignment bid.
So as Charlie and I traveled my only concern was to make sure that the entire inventory was there. After all I had been reassured over and over again that everything was beautiful, most was new, and that there would be no problems. I remember being told how nice the other people who had looked at the collection had found it and how much they all wanted to buy it.
So when we got to the building where it was housed, I was very confident that there would be no problems unless I had doubts about missing items. I felt very comfortable working with the people who I had been corresponding with for two months about this collection. My biggest concern at the time was how far down the road we could get that afternoon so that we might have a chance to get home the next evening.
It was a very hot room on the second floor of the building which made me think to myself just before inspecting the collection that I really hoped this would go fast, as I didn't want to die of heat stroke.
Everything seemed to go pretty well. I spot checked inventory and saw no real problems at the time of inspection. The post war and pre war items were absolutely gorgeous, and I more or less just checked the boxes on the MPC because I had been assured everything was new, and the items I checked seem to pan out.
It took us a couple of hours to pack the 25 foot truck which was 3/4 full with the inventory before shaking hands, and getting on our way.
It was a great trip as everything seemed to click. And we made it back by the next evening.
It was a busy weekend in being my Son John's birthday party, and I didn't have much time to look over the collection which sat in the back room until I went over to do some work Sunday night.
I found a wacky engine that had been kit bashed, and painted silver, which I immediately decided to enter on choochooauctions.com. Then I found a modern steam engine that had some custom painting, and scratched my head.
The next item I pulled out of the first box was a boxcar which to my surprise had silver painted trucks and break wheel. I thought what a coincidence. This must be the box that they painted.
After a couple more similar painted items were found, I felt a little concerned, and went to the back room to quickly pull out another box of trains. And you guessed it, every truck had been painted silver.
At that point I remember gasping "Oh No!!!"
It took me until the next day that most of the expensive engines had been painted, and I even found a post war Union Pacific engine with silver trucks.
It has been two weeks now since I found that first painted car. Unfortunately the majority of this collection has been painted in one way or the other.
The majority of pieces have their trucks and break wheels painted in the case of the boxcars. Some of the reefers have their breaks and other details on the bottom painted, and yet others like some passenger cars have details added in other ways. I have indicated in the grade field ‘PTD DTL', which means painted detail. So any items you see in our inventory that are indicated in this way, you will know are affected.
Now I must say that the painting is mainly very professionally done. As I found out later the guy who this collection came from owned of all things a painting company!!! (Have mercy on me please!!)
And although usually I have a pretty good sense of humor, I am not laughing yet, although maybe in a couple of years this will be funny. (As a matter of fact as I type I am trembling from frustration and anger over this situation.)
But unfortunately nothing on that very specific and professionally compiled spread sheet said anything what-so-ever about painted items. And nothing was mentioned verbally.
I still shake my head at the fact that I didn't catch this at inspection. But most of the painted items were in shipping boxes, and all most of the painted details didn't show through the boxes as the trucks and break wheels are hidden. Plus several other people had seen the collection, and no one saw this?
What a mess. At any rate, I am offering any painted item from this collection mostly at around ½ Greeenburg's new price. I understand that there are methods that can be used to take the paint off, or the trucks can simply be painted black again. So you guys win on this one. I will be lucky to get my money back. But there are some non-painted items in this collection. So you purists, please be looking for those in our new-stuff file.
I am trying to work my way out of this, but it is not easy. Every time that I process items from this collection I get a little ill. My stomach churns, and that can't be good, as I had an ulcer last year, and I sure hope I can get through this without that flaring up again.
So if you aren't real particular and want a great deal on Lionel cars and engines, or if you know how to get the paint off of trucks to turn them back to black, you might want to purchase some of this inventory mainly at half price. (And be assured that almost everything that was painted was new and never used. They were correct in saying it wasn't used. Almost!)
There will be much more inventory coming from this collection as I estimate I have another two to three weeks of processing before we are finished.
And please after this one, if you have a collection for sale and it is painted, let me know before inspection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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