Another Big One

What a buying year this has been for Train City! We have just purchased yet another large collection, this time from the Tampa, Florida area.

The York curse seems to still be in effect as it seems every weekend of the York show since I stopped going several years ago I have purchased a large collection. Actually I don't consider that a curse. I consider it a blessing! Curse just sounds better for some reason.

This is the largest collection I have purchased from Florida, and if you know me, I have purchased many down there over the years. It's the third collection I've purchased in Florida this year.

This one required special treatment. Normally I fly down, ship the collection back, then fly back. This one had to be driven up and filled a fifteen foot truck top to bottom, back to front!

Around half of the collection is some nice Lionel post war, the other half is mainly modern. Actually it resembles the huge collection I purchased in March, only around one third as big.

We have a couple of other collections to work on ahead of it. And yes, we still have a little bit to process from the huge collection we purchased in March.

I'm happy to report that I've received confirmation on an American Flyer collection I am supposed to purchase in the near future. You never know until the money changes hands, but this one looks pretty good, so stay tuned American Flyer fans!

Hope everyone had a great time at York. At the same time on Friday and Saturday I was working hard driving the collection up from Florida, and I had a lot of time wishing I was at York instead! Especially when I found out that it was Bridge day at Beckley, WV. Can you believe that they close a major highway to have a bridge party? This added around an hour and a half to my trip, and no I wasn't thinking about York during that backtrack and detour. I was hoping it rained over that bridge!!!

Oh well, that's the way it goes. I did get back safely, and as I type the guys are unloading the truck.

So be prepared for some great new inventory on this site and!

You may or may not know that we have a problem with space here at Train City. We do have a lot of space, but we have sort of grown to the limits of our space. I was looking at moving to another location, but have since decided we can do things better here and stay, which is preferred.

Our philosophy in buying and selling trains has helped our space problem greatly. That is to buy collections and then sell them as fast as possible to make space for the next collection. It's like playing hot potato! The only items I am interested in keeping are those that go into my collection, and I will say I kept some super post war from the Buffalo estate we purchased.

So this brings me to re-emphasize our long standing auction policy which requires winners of auctions to pay for auctions within seven days of their e-mail notification. Unfortunately we have had some resistance to this policy.

It seems some people prefer to change our policy and drag payment on for weeks and weeks. Why we had one customer who insisted on picking his trains up at the store. At first we'd receive payment almost immediately after the auction ended, and then within a week or so he'd come and pick the trains up.

But then I suspect he got a little short on cash, and gave us every excuse in the book why he couldn't pick up and pay for the auctions. Finally the last time after trying to convince him that we would be forced to re-auction the trains and freeze his choochoo account, he came in the store and told the girls that I had OK'd him to pick up only two of the fifteen or so auctions, pay for them, and whisked away with a promise of being back in around a week to pick up the rest.

The only problem was he never asked me that, and I never OK'd it for him, and wouldn't have since this had been on-going now for some time.

I don't mean to give anyone the wrong impression here. We do value very much our customers. And will bend the rules to some degree. However when I returned and found what had happened, I immediately e-mailed him and told hem we just didn't want his business anymore. I've done that to maybe three people over the years, and I did it with much procrastination, because the idea is to keep customers!

He even called me back and told me this, and that, and explained why and who done it, and everything else. But it was too late. He had lied to my staff, and I really don't like that.

What was really happening was he was bidding on items knowing he didn't have the money to pay for them, and that is not a good thing to do with any auction. You think people would do that at live auctions?

I know we have lost a couple of other people because of our long standing seven day policy, and each time I've felt bad about it. But we absolutely adhere to it because if we got lax, we would simply run out of space, not to say anything about developing a cash flow problem. It's not fair to other bidders who actually have the money to pay as well!

This does involve only a very small percentage of bidders. The vast majority of participants are super! I hope if you ever receive a second notice on an auction you won that you take it seriously. With all honesty we don't want to loose customers over this policy, but to keep our business running smoothly, we really have to have payment and/or pickup within seven days.

If you would like to see our actual policies for sales, just click on the link that starts... ‘Important auction ending information...' which is located in all of our auctions on choochoo. Or go directly by clicking here.

And last but not least, this is our best year yet. Last year started out as the slowest year ever, but this year has turned around completely. I sure would like to thank you all for your trust and patronage. Although we sometimes are pretty busy and may sound hurried, please keep in mind that we sincerely do appreciate the fact that without you, we'd be playing solitaire someplace, and well, thanks, because I don't like solitaire! At least not while I'm supposed to be working! Now golf, that's a different story!

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Revised 10/18/04
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