Train City Frequently Asked Questions
Customer's Selling Questions:

Do you buy HO trains?
How much do you pay for trains?
What is the procedure for selling my train collection to you?
Where are you located?
Do you buy smaller train collections?
Will you travel to buy my train collection?
Do you give appraisals on train collections?
Do you accept collections on consignment?
Can I send pictures instead of an inventory list?

Customer's Buying Questions:

Do you have a store I can visit?
How much are the buyer's fees on your auction site?
There aren't many pictures of the trains for sale. Why?
How can I tell what condition the trains are in besides the pictures?
Do you offer a guarantee or have a return privilege?
If I buy trains from you when can I expect my order to arrive?
Am I able to call and talk to someone?
Are you a member of the TCA?


Do you buy HO trains? We normally don't buy HO trains unless they are brass engines, or we are buying a collection of tinplate trains and you want to sell everything to one buyer. The reason we don't buy HO normally is in most cases they aren't considered collector trains and usually don't have much collector value. Of course there are exceptions! N, Z, and other small gauge are related to HO and we normally don't purchase them alone as well. But we never say never so there can always be exceptions depending on the circumstances!

How much do you pay for trains? We normally pay based on our sales history. Unfortunately over the years the price of collectable trains has decreased in value. There was a time in the mid 1990's and before where the prices of trains increased in value. Basically what happened like the housing market and other financial markets do, the values of trains went up so fast that prices became artificial. Rather than the bubble bursting as it did for real estate in 2008 it has decreased over time slowly.

We used to use price guides, etc for pricing but the price guides stopped being reliable many years ago and to this day the prices in price guides are inaccurate. So we had a special program written that allows us to compare inventory lists to our last sales price. And then we pay between 50 and 60% of the current retail price based on our sales history. We are consistent and try to be as fair as possible.

What is the procedure for selling my train collection to you? First we need to know what you are selling. We would need an inventory list of what you have unless you are nearby or visiting Cape Canaveral, FL and bring them to our warehouse.

If you are unable to bring them to us then simply make an inventory list with mfg number, title, condition info, whether there is a box or not. Once we receive your list we will work on it and get back to you with a quote. If you accept our offer we will either pick your collection up or pay to have it shipped to us. This is depending on the size of the collection or if we have other collections to pick up in your area or en-route back to our warehouse.

We make payment as soon as we have inspected the collection. We pay in full. We do not do consignment. There is a more specific procedure here.

Where are you located? Cape Canaveral, Florida

Do you buy smaller train collections? Yes we purchase all sizes of collections. But the collection must be large enough to cover shipping charges which we normally pay for.

Will you travel to buy my train collection? We travel virtually across the country purchasing train collections. We also receive almost daily collections that are shipped to us. If your collection is large enough to merit travel or if we have other collections in your area or en-route, we can travel at no cost to you. But it has to make sense financially. We can't travel to California for a collection that we think might net us $1,000.00. It is just common sense. We love traveling across this beautiful country though!

Do you give appraisals on train collections? No sorry we don't. However you are welcome to use our Free Price Guide.

Do you accept collections on consignment? No I am sorry we don't. We like clean deals. Consignment can be very messy. First of all if someone wants your trains on consignment, most likely they don't have the money to pay you so what if the collection is stolen or damaged while in their possession? I've heard so many horror stories about consignment it's incredible. I've even heard of dealers who had been doing this a long time 'fail' on a consignment. I feel much better to pay you for your collection up front. I would think it would make you feel much better having the money in your pocket and not gambling with you collection!

Can I send pictures instead of an inventory list? You can send pictures and they would give us an idea of what you have. However we need an accurate inventory list in order to quote you a price on your collection. If you do send pictures please don't make them so big or so many in one email that we can't open them in our system. We welcome pictures but prefer an accurately graded inventory list. One thing we'd prefer you not do is send pictures of the number on each box. In the time it takes to do that, you might as well make a list!

Do you have a store I can visit? No we don't have a store. Actually we did when we were in Erie, PA before we moved to Florida. But the vast majority of our business has moved to internet enough that we decided to eliminate a physical store. We are located in a warehouse here in Cape Canaveral.

How much are the buyer's fees on your auction site? We have no buyer's fees on choochooauctions.com. Although other train sites do have them. I just don't think it is fair to the buyer so we don't do it.

There aren't many pictures of the trains for sale. Why? We have been selling trains for a very long time on the Internet. Actually longer than the vast majority of people on the Internet. We have always used TCA grading standards and actually a little on the conservative side. Most of our customers know that and trust our grading. Also our selling system is not set up for multiple pictures. In the case of our store on traincity.com there are no pictures. We would like to change that but it will take some doing to change at this point.

How can I tell what condition the trains are in besides the pictures? We go by TCA (Train Collector's Association) grading standards. You can find our specific grading specifications in our Policies section.

Do you offer a guarantee or have a return privilege? Yes we do. You can find specific information in our Policies section.

If I buy trains from you when can I expect my order to arrive? Generally orders are shipped the same day we receive payment. This can be delayed by a day or two depending on if we are overwhelmed with orders or short staffed. We strive to get your order to you as fast as possible.

Am I able to call and talk to someone? Yes you can. Our phone number is 321-799-4005. We are normally in the office Monday through Friday 8AM to 4PM. Many times someone is in the office on Sunday morning.

Are you a member of the TCA? Yes. Both Charles and John Siegel are members in good standing of the Train Collectors Association plus most other train organizations.