Choochoo Lives

Hopefully our computer problems are coming to an end. In a month period we had to replace our main computer, replace our risograph machine, replace a refrigerator, and the biggest problem replace our auction software for choochooauctions.com.

The first three were bad enough, but when the auction site went down, our business plummeted in half.

Everyone did get through this period, but just barely. What made it worse was when we purchased the new software, got it working only to find that there was a really bad bug in it. We started up and closed down two times, which was hard on everyone, especially our customers.

Speaking of customers, I would like to throw out a special thanks to all of you that put up with the problems we had. I received only one complaint about the situation. I've never received that much encouragement for anything in my life, and we really do appreciate it.

While I am thanking people, I would like to extend a big thank you to Greg Stout who allowed us to use his auction site for two weeks while we were struggling to get the site back up. Boy did that save us.

All in all I estimate that we lost some $20,000.00 in revenue from the time our site originally went down on January 7th. The site is back up and I am pretty sure that problem has been fixed. We've had over 100 real and test auctions end with no problems, so that is very encouraging.

If you were hesitating to use the site before with all the problems, please start using it. There are some good deals since there aren't as many people using it right now. That will change drastically in the next couple of months though!

I was in Florida purchasing a collection last month. It was sweet, and in the middle of our dilemma. I took my clubs, and played 3 days while working the one. I'm happy to say that I shot my first round under 80 in Florida on that trip. (I shoot them all the time here, but for some reason it has been hard to pop that bubble in Florida.)

Since that time I have purchased two more collections. One is finished just today, I will start on the other one tomorrow (February 22nd). That is the one that has mainly Lionel post war trains.

The first collection that I just finished had two very interesting items. As a matter of fact they were the only reason I drove to Detroit to pick up the collection. There are two Lionel dealer displays. D-1601 CocoaPuffs Prize, and D-162. The later has the accessories and train minus the Rutland car, and the first is basically only the train board.

And I asked myself, what am I going to do with these extremely rare, but bulky hard to ship items? And then in the mail this morning my York registration package arrived! Unless someone contacts me about an individual purchase, I think I'll just place these in the Stout auction at York this year. It's about time I go back. Haven't been there for years now!

I will be purchasing another collection soon I'm pretty sure. This one will be coming from somewhere in Minnesota.

Thought I was going to have to go back to Detroit, where I purchased one of the collections recently. Guy called me about a post war American Flyer collection where every thing is new in the box. I received the list and to be honest thought his retail prices were pretty accurate. So I call him back with my offer which is 75% of his retail prices. I guess you have to pay more than that now. I think he wanted me to pay him full retail! Tried to explain that there has to be some incentive for the buyer, but he wouldn't hear of it. Oh well, we'll just go onto the next collection and let him go into the business himself!

So all-in-all things are starting to look up. I have a new computer, new duplicating machine, going to buy a new refrigerator, and choochoo's back! Couldn't get much better than that.

Once again thanks everyone for your encouragement and loyalty. We sincerely appreciate it! Now go have some fun on chooochooauctions.com and win some trains!


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Revised 2/22/03
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