Don't gamble your train collection away!
Posted by Charles Siegel 3/30/2018 - Blog 4

OK so I received this letter the other day which was addressed to myself and two other people whom I had never heard of. This letter started out pretty badly.

‘Dear Ladies & Gentlemen,

I cannot believe that you have scammed me. I sold my trains to you and was told by (a person who I am not going to identify) that they will be processed when they reviewed them and will pay me as soon as possible.’

The letter went into detail about this poor guy’s trials and tribulations dealing with another company.

I had actually bid on the collection a year ago or so but the paper trail stopped at the quote we sent him. Since we always make full payment immediately after inspection. I looked the two other addressee’s up on the internet to confirm that they worked for my competitor which they do or did. I am a little surprised by this situation but possibly it is a mistake and they’ll clear it up. I hope so!

At any rate unless he gets in touch with my competitor and they work things out he is out quite a bit of money.

I did notice that the quote I gave him was less than what his letter stated he was to receive from the other company. But since they only payed him around half of what he was supposed to receive and it was a year later, obviously he would have been much better off selling to us.

You just can’t buy a reputation. You have to earn it and that in my opinion is our company’s biggest asset. That is why I was really shocked when I saw this letter addressed to Train City, Inc. I was very relieved when I realized what had happened.

Over the years I have heard of many different rip offs and scams in the train business. Once I received an inventory list of a fabulous American Flyer collection near Las Vegas. As I recall they were asking what I thought was a great price for the entire collection.

I wanted to buy it but I could not make contact with the lady. I called, I emailed, I wrote a letter with no luck. I was willing to travel out there pay her and haul the trains back because it was a pretty big collection and we needed inventory at the time. So that sort of dropped.

Around a year or two later I learned that it was actually a scam. Some dummy sent them the money expecting them to ship it to him. Not smart on either account as you will always get caught and the buyer was out a lot of money!

I’ve heard really bad stories from people who decided not to sell to me and instead placed their collection on auction. Let me tell you, when you give your collection to an auction house you are more or less giving up your rights on the collection. Now most auction houses I find are good honest people. But there are bad apples out there. I am aware of a train dealer who had many complaints against him. To be honest I was told about this company a while ago and I assumed they were out of business. But I just found them on-line. I didn’t expect that.

If you are looking to sell your train collection obviously it depends on what your situation is. But something that people don’t think about is the risk in selling. Just make sure the person you are selling to has a very good reputation like us. Sometimes the higher quote has less value, especially if you never get paid or only receive partial payment!

Don’t get me started talking about consignment deals. Don’t ever do consignment no matter what you do. But if you want more information about selling your train collection just click on ‘sell’ in the heading of this page. You will find a wealth of information there.