Large Scale Central

Weird auction activity

Over the weekend some strange stuff went down. Around last Thursday I got an email saying there was an auction of Z, N, HO, O and G scale stuff. So of course I jumped in, signed up and looked around. 521 lots, of which many were G scale. So I put a few tentative bids on (Accucraft electric K27, usually sells for over $1000, at $400. My bid was promptly trumped by someone with a higher max bid. As I don’t need a K27 really, at any price, I let it go.)

Anyway, I quickly realized that there was a lot of interest so I looked for stuff I might want, like a neat carry case with padding. I left it with a $30 bid which I was the leading contender.

Come Saturday, they switched to a “live” auction ,where anyone in the store and us online guys could do a final bid on each lot. It went about 1 minute per item, but with 521 lots. . .
The pair of LGB trolleys that I reckoned were worth $200 started at $40 and quickly climbed to $180. I did not bid. (The K27 sold for $1500, which I thought was reasonable.) My carry case went for $120, which is in the ballpark but pricey.

The lot of 3 Delta (? it clearly said Delton on the photo of the boxes, and $59 stickers were present,) coaches were neat, in original boxes, with lights and metal wheels. So I bid $75 before and expected to be outbid. No such luck - they are mine, and with the 15% buyers premium and 3.5% cc fee, they are $89 plus shipping.

But what I really wanted to bring to your attention was the clear elements of auction fever.

Last month we spotted some stuff in a Kansas auction and Jerry snagged a pair of LGB flat cars with log loads for $30. This auction had 3 pairs of LGB 4066 log cars with loads, which I put bids of $30-35 on. One pair finally sold in the live auction for $240! Another pair sold for $250. The first pair to come up in the live auction sold for $550.

There was a LGB 4066 for sale today on Facebook for $50, and another on eBay for $60 (higher fees.)
Why would anyone pay $550 for a pair of LGB cars that probably sold new for $80 and even Trainz sells for $60.

Then there was a ‘lot’ of spare parts - LGB coupler springs, track stops, 3 sets of figures (incomplete) and a power brick and 4 axles of wheels labelled Bachmann but showing NWSL on the packet. I needed a powerbrick (looked like USAT?) so I figured $50 and was prepared to go higher. It sold for $500. Go figure.

For your amazement, I suggest you review this ‘past’ auction.

Getting your PM, I too went and looked. I had never heard of them before, but I agree that generally speaking prices were up and down. I jumped on that Heisler you told me about and presale it got up there pretty quick. I ended up with it but there is the tendency for me to forget about the 15% bidder as I’m just not used to it and was taken by surprise by the 3.5% cc fee. But you live and learn. Hopefully I will not be disappointed by the Heisler when it gets here. After more careful studying of the pics and other pics, I probably should not have bid as much but it is what it is. With the wheel pickups missing, I assuming someone converted it to battery so no telling what I’ll find when it gets here. But I did realize, I will need to take more time pre looking if I ever do a live auction again. Any other engines I’ve bought that were not me buying new, they were effectively new with everything there.

I have found amazing deals at auctions. 9 dollars for a 100 dollar car, half price locomotives.
Part of it is that auction staff dont label stuff right and so nobody finds it.
But I observe the same thing, sometimes the prices are wild.
Apparently they have fake bidders too. They drive up prices, dont pay and then the auction house is stuck with stuff to store.

You just have to know when to walk away.
But I found hard to find items that way too.

Me too, which is why I keep my eyes open. We picked up a Bachmann 4-4-0, pristine/new in box, clearly never been used, and it was $86 as it had a cracked gear. A set with an Anniversary 4-6-0 loco and 3 cars with metal wheels cost us $61.

I have not seen a Heisler for sale for years, so you have to take a deep breath and go for it, I guess.
If the wheel pickups are gone, it may have all the r/c gear installed. Not unusual to find after-market electronics in a used loco.

Incidentally, did you notice the “hyster” thread with links to manuals, etc.?

Yes. I had already downloaded the drawings a good while back but didn’t have the owners manual.

True of most auctions where you can use your credit card, I realize this is standard procedure today in most buying procedures, so the price will go up as for the buyer it only another credit card payment. I like everyone (or most) else has probably overpaid for things we wanted, but in the last 10 years I have just looked for bargains as in most cases I don’t need it, or really want it. I do watch eBay from time to time, but todays G scale items are down on eBay and the buying bug still doesn’t bite.


It may be a blessing in disguise if your Heisler is missing the pickups. They are a miserable design, gravity pins that seem to be a problem in those engines. Good luck getting your new loco running again.