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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm attracted by the prices shown on ebay for some german loco and carriage stock but have never used ebay before. Could anyone give me the benefit of their experience as to the quality of goods purchased?
 

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I use ebay fairly regularly, although I've had a couple of duff items ebays selling regulations help you get refunds without problems, indeed I sent a poor running loco back about 10 days ago and received the money back yesterday. As with everything make sure you look at all the photos and read all the info the seller has supplied. if you aren't sure ask a question or ask for more pictures. Look at the sellers Feedback score and read some of their feedback too it all helps a bit. As with every purchase Caveat Empor too!
 

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Other than misrepresented items, the quality will be that provided by the original manufacturer. Typically good, but read the description and inspect any photographs carefully; and if the brand is unfamiliar then do some research for customer opinion.

The value is what you have to assess, and use as the basis for your maximum bid. Don't get carried away, as at any auction. Check the shipping charge,.and also any tax liability on goods purchased outside the UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gentlemen, just the information I was hoping to receive and I was glad to hear about the refund for a poorly running loco and also about the quality of the original manufacturer. Overall it sounds like a sensible way to go as I have noticed some appreciable savings to be made over buying new.

I only joined the forum this afternoon and have had my two main queries answered already!! I'm returning to modelling after a long break and finding myself very out of date so this forum is good news. Hopefully in time I'll be able to contribute something useful myself

Many thanks
 

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Have fun! There's plenty of fine product to look at. If you go to the HO section, there are several regular contributors with good knowledge of German HO.
 

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..... Check the shipping charge......

I can't stress this one too much. Most eBay vendors have shipping charges are reasonable but some are outrageously high. There are a couple of vendors who have an excellent and very comprehensive range of spares for 00, who I won't touch because of this.
 

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Hi mate,
I also model and collect German railway models and stock, my particular interest being Epoch 3a and early Epoch 3b ( so from about 1950 to 1962/3). I should add that I have been buying from online sources for 25y without any major problems.

Ebay is a total nightmare if you do not know about the prototypes of the models and the manufacturers, both the models they produce and when they produced them.

In this regard you need to be aware of Modellbauwiki, who list the running numbers, manufacturers and dates of manufacture of all the models ever made and the marvelous pages of Frits Osterthun who provides pictures of most models ever made of most German locos and their year of manufacture..in every epoch they were produced for.

For example, you like the price on a Roco 2-8-2 tank locomotive (Br93), look at the picture, how many domes does it have ? Only 2, then it is a model of Br 93.0-4, only manufactured by Roco up until the early 80's. So it is 40y old now. Does it have 4 domes ? Yes then it is a model of the 93.5-12 which Roco manufactured from 80's (with 43000 serial numbers) and from late 00's (with 62000 serial numbers). The 43000 series will have DCC sockets and need to be hard-wired, the 62000 series do have sockets, etc etc etc. Doesn't matter if it described as 'as new, unused', if 'as new' means over 40y old, the outcome will not be good......

When Maerklin took over Trix (early - mid 00s), the quality went through the floor, Maerklin got rid of all their old motors in expensive yet poorly finished Trix models. Again, Trix numbering and packaging changed over the years and you need to know some of this. Some recent Trix models have been beautiful, others, nah! It is a 50/50 bet.

Brawa recent (last 15y) models have 5 digit serial numbers, 15-20yo+ models have 4 digit numbers. Some older models had problems with Zinc pest from memory.

Fleischmann you also need to know the history a bit. Older models (40y+) were not to H0 scale, but closer to 1/76. Through the 90's and early 00's they were the benchmark for r-t-r German H0 models and are still something to live up to today.

Liliput made in Vienna, or Liliput-Bachmann - how do you know the difference, what are the serial numbers, and when did it all stop in Vienna? It is all important.

I have only made 1 Ebay purchase, and it is quite likely I will never make another. At the end of the 00's as Matrix emerged from dark times they did make a couple of beautiful, real scale and nice models. When I saw one on Ebay a couple of years back I made an offer based on the description of the seller - near new, almost unused. When it arrived the wheels were well worn and he offered me some money back. I took it, it was still a lovely model and it did run nicely, but these little things stack up. Never again...unless all details are provided.
But as I say, it is also your responsibility to know what you are buying.......I knew exactly what model I was buying...the description was not completely right.

I hope some of this is of help. It is not easy out there......

Another approach is to find a trustworthy provider of 2nd hand models. There is good value in this sector at the moment. Again though, the sellers will not always know too much about the listings, this is your responsibility and the source of your bargains in turn.
Cheers,
6991
 

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I use ebay fairly regularly, although I've had a couple of duff items ebay's selling regulations help you get refunds without problems, indeed I sent a poor running loco back about 10 days ago and received the money back yesterday. As with everything make sure you look at all the photos and read all the info the seller has supplied. if you aren't sure ask a question or ask for more pictures. Look at the sellers Feedback score and read some of their feedback too it all helps a bit. As with every purchase Caveat Empor too!


I've been buying train stuff for a pastime in the last few days, I need to stop now and pay off my credit card!, some years ago I bought two mainline train sets one of them had a J72, the other a Standard 4MT, the latter still ran like a beauty after many years stored in the outhouse in a plastic container when I brought them all out to test a few weeks ago but on the J72 the wheels jam because the driven wheels splay out causing problems for the connecting rods which have bent rendering that wheelset useless. I will use that one as a static loco on a station car park on any layout - they had a static loco at Stratford station in London but I think it's been moved, I've bought three J72s by Bachmann and Mainline so I hope they don't have the same problem, the Mainline one is a later version with a late lion emblem, not "British Railways".

I've got 20-odd locos by Mainline, Bachmann, Triang, Hornby and Lima and four Triang green DMUs of which I took three to a model shop to repair along with a blue Mainline Warship, out of those only one of the DMUs still failed to run properly so I replaced it with a blue one which goes like a jet!, they all have light-up headcodes which work though I don't know what "A7" headcode signifies, safe bet it isn't correct for the West Anglia region which I intend to model.

I've made a good start on rolling stock too though many running numbers will have to be changed to E prefix as I'm modelling the eastern region, all my coaches including DMUs and centre cars are M prefix, goods wagons are not so important to change the numbers except for the last digit or two perhaps to make them all different.

I've got model trains in the blood, when I was a young kid my dad had a model railway on a board but his was all Triang Continental stuff and was given away when we moved in 1977, I set out to go British in 1979, for that Christmas I got a H&M Duette which I've still got and still works fine, I've used it with my H&M Loco Tester recently, I bought that in 1980 and it still works fine too, things were made to last then!, these days most electric stuff lasts a year if you're lucky.

My avatar is a Class 37/EE Type 3 on a layout at the Bristol Model Railway Exhibition in 2007.
 

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Sellers on ebay seem very optomistic, you can buy new stuff cheaper from Hattons than buying worn out cr*p on ebay, I did sell some items but those terms are hard on the seller and ebay drove me away, not because I was selling bad stuff just that it got bashed or damaged and then they wanted the money back so I gave that up, also as a buyer I was disgusted by the shill bidding going on, back then they said 'we have only had 11 examples of shill bidding' I experienced that many on model rail stuff, none so blind who will not see, so I gave up with them.
Anyway if you have done OK good for you.
 

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Sellers on ebay seem very optomistic, you can buy new stuff cheaper from Hattons than buying worn out cr*p on ebay, I did sell some items but those terms are hard on the seller and ebay drove me away, not because I was selling bad stuff just that it got bashed or damaged and then they wanted the money back so I gave that up, also as a buyer I was disgusted by the shill bidding going on, back then they said 'we have only had 11 examples of shill bidding' I experienced that many on model rail stuff, none so blind who will not see, so I gave up with them.
Anyway if you have done OK good for you.
Well I had bad experiences on eBay, I sold a laptop for £200, it was absolutely fine when I packed it up, the buyer claimed it was cracked and sent me photos and I had to pay them back, the photos could've been of the laptop they were replacing or they'd taken a hammer to the one I sent, I left them negative feedback. "I know the laptop was fine when it left me, I reckon YOU busted it".

In August 2019 I bought a Samsung S10+ but never got it then I didn't even get a refund so I lost £720 because the seller quit, I couldn't even leave him negative feedback. If I knew exactly where he lived I'd take him down with a meat cleaver, behead him.

But that's just two bad experiences in 17 years on eBay, you get bad people in all walks of life, I lived in Weston Super Nightmare for 17.5 years and the place was full of baddies, I had to fix things down if I wanted to keep them, if I hadn't moved away I would've been a mass murderer of all who crossed me, I had to go. Apart from that, when I moved to Weston I promised myself I would reverse the move.

My mother was the Devil as far as I was concerned, when she died I downed a whole litre of Champagne in one go at the wake and had to be helped back to the car, that was the last time I got completely wasted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gentlemen, many thanks for all the welcome and varied information. When I started this thread I was planning to take up where I left off 16 year ago with another DC layout. The response on another thread has convinced me that DCC is the way to go so I am starting a long learning curve about modern model railways. Overall your comments suggest that eBay is not a great way to start since I don't know the questions to ask. I don't even know how eBay functions never having used it before. I certainly don't have a fraction of the knowledge that BBJohn offers.

I'll think about it but I think I'm probably going to use established dealers, particularly as we visit my wife's family in Germany frequently (or did pre-Covid) If I do try eBay perhaps I'll start with a couple of coaches and see how I get on.

In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to respond, much appreciated
 

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I wouldn't dismiss eBay out of hand though. Since re-entering the hobby a few years ago following retirement and the arrival of grandchildren, I have sourced quite a lot of my locomotives and rolling stock there. My layout is an old-fashioned DC one though and not DCC. I don't know what the additional pitfalls, if any, are when DCC is added to the mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No, I'll keep it in mind because it does offer some bargains price-wise. I'm starting out completely from scratch here so am thinking my major purchases, locos and operating system, will be new. However, in view of the prices new of, for example, coaches where, optimistically, not too much could be wrong with them, eBay would offer a sensible compromise.

I have plenty of time, I haven't got around to buying timber for base-boards yet.
 

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I wouldn't dismiss eBay out of hand though. Since re-entering the hobby a few years ago following retirement and the arrival of grandchildren, I have sourced quite a lot of my locomotives and rolling stock there. My layout is an old-fashioned DC one though and not DCC. I don't know what the additional pitfalls, if any, are when DCC is added to the mix.
I couldn't give a toss for DCC or Zero 1, good old changing the points to isolate and isolating tracks are good enough for me, yes I've been able to use a computer for over 30 years but putting a DCC chip in a locomotive is too fiddly and too easy to get wrong.

I've just bought three Class 37s, three Class 47s and three J72s on eBay recently, last month I bought a repainted (blue) Triang Class 101 DMU and repainted a centre car to go with it, all I need to do is put the correct prefix numbers on them and change one digit of the diesel numbers like D6830 to D6840, 47 421 to a D number ending with 21.

I had four green Triang DMUs and centre cars but I had trouble getting one to work properly so I got rid and decided to have a blue one given the era I'm modelling, mid 1960s, also got rid of some rusty R609 curved tracks and a few straights in a charity shop. Someone's got a complete train set if they can get the track up to scratch again. I've also bought the components to build a Class 47 or 37 'from scratch', I intend to end up with four of each, I've got four Lima Class 31s, two green, one golden ochre and one electric blue, I'll probably replace the lion emblem on the blue one with a two-way arrow (running number D5578). I've got eleven steam locos at the moment, 7 J class, a B12, an N2, a Standard 4MT and "Evening Star" Class 9F which can be a visitor, it might've run through Peterborough at some time.

The Class 37s, 47s and 101s will be used on east Suffolk and Cambridge services for passenger and freight, Class 31s and maybe the odd DMU between Norwich and Norfolk coast and the Midlands. Deltics would've run through Peterborough too between London and Edinburgh. I could model Finsbury Park and Wood Green if I just want to shunt locos around but I want to include freight and passenger services from east Suffolk, Norfolk and the midlands.

All my coaches and DMUs have got M numbers so I'll need to change some to E's to suit the area.
 

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I have to admit to buying a replacement Black 5 on ebay this week, at £90, anyway the chassis will go under 45156 (this was a Rose Grove pet loco and it still looked very smart until the end of steam and is a Pete Waterman collection loco)and I will likely sell off the model c/w duff motor so some progress at least, perhaps may use the body elsewhere as well just depends what it looks like when it turns up purports to be unused although I think this unlikely.
 

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Just to add after ebay I used Hattons, sent them a box, they gave me a price and you get a better deal if you spend the money with them, so you actually get two offers, generally this has worked out well but I have had new locos from them that have been returned after the new owner has made a mess of them, Hattons do not seem to repair anything which must cost them money, if I lived in Warrington I'd go round and see what I could do to make better s/h locos and even fix new ones, even wheel cleaning, fitting decoders and the like, just that some buyers are technically lacking in any knowledge whatsoever.
Anyway there is another option.
 

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Just to add after ebay I used Hattons, sent them a box, they gave me a price and you get a better deal if you spend the money with them...
Until quite recently I made much use of Hattons for s/h, good descriptions and 2 or more photographs, prices always reasonable, such that there were no surprises and as a result I never had to return anything. From18 months or so past I suspect 'regime change'; prices increased often to near equivalent new, descriptions limited, often no useful photograph, (singular). Still the occasional useful and well priced item, but not the quantity seen in the past.
 

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No, I'll keep it in mind because it does offer some bargains price-wise. I'm starting out completely from scratch here so am thinking my major purchases, locos and operating system, will be new. However, in view of the prices new of, for example, coaches where, optimistically, not too much could be wrong with them, eBay would offer a sensible compromise.

I have plenty of time, I haven't got around to buying timber for base-boards yet.

Las
I wouldn't dismiss eBay out of hand though. Since re-entering the hobby a few years ago following retirement and the arrival of grandchildren, I have sourced quite a lot of my locomotives and rolling stock there. My layout is an old-fashioned DC one though and not DCC. I don't know what the additional pitfalls, if any, are when DCC is added to the mix.
I don't bother with DCC, yes I use a computer but putting those chips in locos is too fiddly so I'd rather stick to the old DC and rely on points and isolating rails to stop a loco moving if I don't want it to move, unless one uses electrofrog points a loco in a loop or siding is isolated when the points are set for the main line. I've got a H&M Walkabout I can use if I want to move an isolated loco, i.e., for shunting, I bought that in 1980 and it still works, I got the H&M Duette for Christmas 1979 and I've used that for testing locos that have been stored in plastic containers in the outhouse for years, a few didn't work and the model shop sorted them out - well most of them, I replaced a Triang green DMU with a blue one when it still failed, the blue one shoots along, still got three green ones that work, I painted a centre car BR blue to go with the blue two car unit, it just needs new running numbers as do they all, E prefix.

The model shop are fixing Class 47 421 for me now with new brushes, another horrible fiddly job I'd rather pay someone to do than botch up the loco trying to do it myself, when I get it back it'll become D1530 as I've got a green D1520 which I've learnt became 47 421, the other two 47s have different numbers again, was there actually such a machine called "Mammoth" (D1670) in real life?, the other one is D1738, then there's three 37s with the number D6830, one green with the numbers and logos in the right place, two blue which will have the numbers changed as they need repositioning to under the cab windows (four of them) and the arrow logos beside the triple grilles. The fourth 37 is D6736 in green with the numbers and logos in the right place.

Other than that all my coaches need the numbers changing to E prefix as they're all M as are the DMUs, I don't know how goods wagons were numbered in the 60s and their numbers are mostly too small to see with the naked eye anyway.. There are sellers on eBay that do numbering transfers and also headcodes. The lit up headcodes on the DMUs is "A7", safe bet that doesn't signify anywhere in the Anglia region so I'll change these to "00" or spotlights (Domino).
 

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... I don't know how goods wagons were numbered in the 60s and their numbers are mostly too small to see with the naked eye anyway...
I have quite a number running with 'Big Four' identities (the small lettering introduced in the mid 1930s) on what is a BR layout, and it doesn't really notice. The initial letter should be E, M, S, W if the wagon came to BR from one of the Big Four, P if it was a private owner, B if constructed for BR; then a string of up to six digits. The chalk scrawls of the railwaymen handling the loading and marshalling for destination, and the occasional pasted on label are far more fun.
 

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Some wagons…

M.o.T. = Ministry of Transport. Later given B prefix numbers, as on the wagon to the left..

20166


Ex GWR van, with W prefix.

20167


Ex Private Owner, PO, wagons with P prefix.

20168



20169


Some early examples of B prefix standard wagons had the region of allocation indicated…London Midland on this Airfix kit built Goods Brake Van.

20170


Some BR built B prefix wagons…

16 ton mineral wagons. ( Bachmann)

20171


(Airfix Kit built…)

20175


Early Meat Van in Coaching Stock Carmine Red livery. (Airfix kit built…)

20172


Cattle wagon. (Airfix kit built…)

20173


Iron Ore Hoppers. (Bachmann.)

20174
 
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