Grading is certainly the most important consideration for you. We try to grade consistently and conservatively. If you are happy with our grading, we know you will order again. And that is the whole idea, and probably the reason we have been very successful!!

New (Mint): Absolutely new and never used. Most new items have the original box which will be indicated by OB. Most MPC engines are test run at the factory. I do take that into consideration when grading those items. If Post War items have original instructions it is indicated with the grade. All Modern trains in new condition have original paper.

Like New: Item looks new except you can tell it has been run by looking at the wheels or rollers. Like new items usually have the original box. I don't guarantee original paper with like new items.

Excellent: Item is very clean with a minimal amount of scratches. No problems, unless noted.

Very Good: Average run item. It definitely looks used, although not abused in any way. I try to identify any problems such as chips, broken parts, etc. Some items that might actually grade excellent with a problem might be downgraded to very good with an explanation of the problem.

Good; I always describe good as 'not so good'. This item will be well used, have lots of scratches, possibly chips, etc. But good enough to use on a layout.

Fair to Poor; A polite way of saying, terrible. But not quite bad enough to throw away.

Dirt; Dirt doesn't change the grade of the item in my opinion, since it can be cleaned off. I have a terrible allergy to dust, so you may find some items with dust. I try to identify them, and usually drop the price a little, so you can get paid for your efforts!

U-Fix; Many times I buy large collections that have items that need repaired. Many times I will repair them myself, but sometimes I just don't have the time. A fast fix is to reduce the price and place a UF at the end of the part number. This means you buy it as is. I can't guarantee what is wrong, as I haven't tried to fix it. All I can say is that all parts are there as far as I can determine. These are usually great deals, especially if you like to tinker, because the price is well reduced.

Rust: There is rust, and then there is rust! Generally I will try to mention rust when it exists on an item. If the rust is very minor, can be cleaned, or is on a part that can easily be replaced, I may not mention it, depending on how much space I have to describe the item. I do not feel that having very light rust on an item downgrades, for instance an excellent overall condition item down to good or fair. In many cases a little WD-40 will take care of this type of rust anyway. If the rust is major, very visible, or in a key spot I will always mention it, and usually downgrade the item.

Revised: 2/28/98
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