It has been an interesting couple of weeks since I updated this page to say the least. Last December a gentleman who I had done business with in buying some trains from several years ago contacted me and asked if I wanted to purchase the rest of his collection. Of course I was interested, but it was difficult to do anything in December, so I asked if he wouldn't get a list for me so I could give him an offer in January when it wasn't quite so hectic. He agreed, and I didn't hear from him until mid January.
Basically he told me that he couldn't get a list together, and asked if I would drive down, pick up his collection, evaluate it, and send him a check. I was sort of flabbergasted at the suggestion, as I had never thought of doing this before. So I thought, well, ok, I'll bring the van down and get the stuff, then have a check for you the next day.
He said, no, you'd better get a truck. And I thought, he's kidding right?
Still not convinced, two weeks ago on a Friday I rented a 10 foot truck and took the trip down to the Pittsburgh area, meeting him.
He had his trains in a storage area, and I wasn't completely prepared for what I saw when he opened the door. Like my friend Bob Zimmer always says (wowzer), was the first word that came to my mind as I looked at the many, many boxes piled up to the ceiling in the storage space.
It took us at least 10 trips using a big cart to get the trains out into the truck. It must have been an hour before the truck was completely full.
Well, he shook my hand, and I told him I'd keep him informed of my progress, moving my prediction back to maybe two weeks, which actually is today. He said, don't worry about it, take your time. Just send me a check when you are done.
OK, now it's been two weeks, I've been working like a dog, and if I can finish this article fast and start working again today, I think I'll be completely done by tomorrow.
This is the ultimate in trust, and I am doing my best to merit that trust! And I do appreciate his trust in me. Of course I have had nightmares of calling him up with the figure and him saying, are you nuts, that's way to low! Hopefully that will not be the case. Actually I think he is making out better this way than sending a list ahead!
So, that is why I haven't had much time to update this page. But I figure it has been to long now, and have to let you know what is going on today.
I'm not certain if you are aware of a great way to make payments on-line. It's called Paypal, and you can use your credit card completely securely, or if you sell things on-line also, you can build up an account with money in it and use that to make on-line payments. I've been using Paypal now for a little over a year, and it is so slick, I can't even believe it. Money that accumulates in my account earns interest, it is easy to transfer money from paypal directly to my checking account, and when my Son Charlie says, ‘Dad, help, I need money' down there at Penn State, well, let's just say maybe that's a bad thing because it is to easy to send him money! There is a link on the first page for paypal. If you click there, you can send me money directly and securely. Try it, I think you'll like it!
Last month's article Subjective Grading brought some responses, I'll tell you. Some were very interesting. One in particular came from a man who said that he believed the TCA needed to totally revise their grading system, which I agree with. Another came from a guy using our Message Boards stating that I need to re-evaluate my grading practice because I grossly over grade. He went on to say that he had purchased thousands of dollars of trains from me over the years despite his lack of confidence in my grading practices. Of course he left no name or address. OK????
Not sure why someone would spend thousands of dollars with someone who they disagreed with their grading, and when pressed by me to ask for his name, he refused. I don't give this instance much credibility.
I do realize that over the years although most of the people we have done business with have been happy with our service, there have been some people that for one reason or the other have been unhappy. There are three in particular that I can think of that were very unhappy with situations that I really had no control over. For instance there was the guy in California that was extremely mad and rude because he ordered an item on Thursday after UPS had picked up, and didn't receive the item for over a week. I tried to explain that UPS didn't pick up on Christmas Eve, and we couldn't get it out until Monday, but he would have nothing to do with that. I think he expected me to take the next plane out and hand deliver it to him.
Or the guy who turned into a psycho nut after he was unhappy with the quality of merchandise he received. He had to touch up some of the paint chips, and it took him hours and hours to fix the number 50 gang car to run correctly. Well, after he had put up all this work he expected me to pay him for his efforts!!! OK? This digressed greatly through e-mails. I even offered to accept the items back despite the fact that he had altered the one car. Eventually he tried to charge back the credit card charge for the entire order. That was a problem with the bank since he didn't want to return the merchandise. He said he was a lawyer, and he thought that they'd just give him his money back without having to return the trains! OK???
There was another guy who was a really good customer from Canada who had a problem with an item. This was a while ago and I can't remember the particular problem, but it was something that I couldn't do. Well he got mad and I never heard from him again. And of course, I felt very bad that this happened.
Now that last guy from Canada is my best candidate for who put the anonymous extremely negative messages on our message boards. Although he sure didn't complain about grading back then!
Actually I deleted some of the negative messages that were posted on our message boards mainly because if someone is going to rip me apart, I would rather know who is doing the ripping. My intension for the message boards was never to delete messages, but if someone has something bad to say to me about past problems, all I ask is that you identify yourself. Otherwise there is no credibility in those statements. Actually the purpose of the message boards is to exchange information on electric trains.
OK, enough of that negative stuff. I would like to thank those of you who have done the opposite over the years. Giving us compliments, being reasonable and patient when there are problems so we can fix them, and for continuing to do business with us. We value very much every one of our loyal customers. Our goal is to make you happy whether you are buying or selling. We've tried to come up with innovative, fun ways to buy and sell electric trains, to find train treasures and sell them to you at reasonable prices. That's what we are about. Profit of course is very important to us, because without it, we won't exist. But making a fair profit in a fair, honest way, and making friends along the way. Is there any other way to do business?.
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