We Buy Train Collections. We will...
It's That Simple. This is how it works.
If you are ready to sell your trains then you probably want to convert your collection into money in your pocket in the easiest, fastest way. And whoever buys your collection wants to turn around and sell those trains. That's business. Texas Trains has been doing just that for 30 years. We've traveled all over the U.S. to buy collections. Including Alaska!
• Get Started. The first thing you need to do is make a list (click here) of what you have to sell. It needs to have enough detail to identify each item or group of items and it helps if it has some organization. But don't worry...you're not being graded. A list helps us make our evaluation but it also helps you. If you have a selling price in mind please include it. This is your collection and you can ask for whatever you feel it is worth. But keep in mind we base our offers on current market value less a margin for our profit. If we're not in the same ballpark we will let you know so that we don't waste your time.
Be sure to include everything you want to sell. WE BUY ENTIRE COLLECTIONS.
• Condition Counts! Try to be realistic about condition. With the exception of "Factory Sealed", condition can be pretty subjective. Just give us a general, overall idea to start with. Original boxes in good condition are always a plus. Look at what you have as if YOU were the buyer.
• Send Us Your List. You can mail your list, or send it via e-mail (PDF, Word or Excel file is fine), (information is on our Contact page). Please include details of how we can get in touch with you.
• We will look over your list and get back with you as quickly as possible with an offer or additional questions. Our experience in buying and selling gives us a very reliable sense of current fair market value on which we will base our offer.
• Once a price is agreed upon we will send you a contract and usually a retainer as we make arrangements to do our thing. As we like to say we SHOW UP - LOAD UP - PAY UP. The money is in your pocket! The collection is in our truck! All you have to do is vacuum.
Of course we feel that selling your collection to us is the BEST way to do the deal for everyone concerned, but it isn't the only way. Let's take a look at some of your options.
One thing to keep in mind is that no matter how large or small your collection, some pieces are simply more desirable than others. They enhance the overall value of the collection. The following alternatives share a common "risk"...having your collection "cherry-picked".
Option 1: Do It Yourself. It's not rocket science, you can do it. There are any number of DIY online auction and person-to-person trade sites. You get to set the price that you think something should sell for. Less 15% - 25% in fees. It just takes time. A whole lot of time. And patience. You will gain much experience in market pricing. Plus you will learn all about packing and shipping and damage and returns and discovering the fact that Shipping is NOT a profit center. And you will find that, sure enough, the good stuff sells first. It's the rest of the collection that is harder to sell. Your collection will be cherry-picked through natural market selection. You're in the Train Business!
Option 2: The Local Hobby Shop. There certainly aren't as many Hobby Shops and Train Stores as there once were. But one might be convenient to you and might be interested to some degree. But it is very unlikely they would be willing to invest more than pennies on the dollar. If the proprietor knows trains he might even offer to buy some of the "good stuff". That's cherry-picking. Tempting...but Resist.
Option 3: Sell To A Collector. Collectors are typically individuals who know what they are doing and are looking for specific items for their collection. Very rarely are they interested in buying everything you have. A collector may even agree to a higher price for some particular item. This is the quickest way to lose the value of your remaining collection.
Option 4: Garage Sales and Flea Markets. A good way to pick up a few quick bucks from someone buying shirts for 50 cents. If you have a small, heavily used and abused assortment of trains then this might be a good option.
Option 5: Auction Houses. The "Upper Tier" Auction Houses (and those who think they are) are typically interested only in "Upper Tier" collections. The "Name" Collections. Very high Buyer and Seller Premiums and high commissions. Most people really don't have those kinds of Collections and those who do Know It. If one of the big houses accepts your collection you can expect to wait months at least before the sale and often they will lump together unrelated items into "lots" to move them quickly. Again what sells best is sold first. "Upper Tier" cherry-picking. But the leftovers are still yours.
Option 6: Online Auction Sites. These days there are several train specialty auction and sales websites which seem very successful. You are typically required to pack up your collection and ship it all to them and they will take it from there. They do the listing and pricing, take their fees for sold items and send you what's left over. Some items sell very well of course. Many others not so much. And your listings are competing with other listings they have for the same or very similar items. It is a competitive market place.
It often takes many, many months (if at all) to sell your collection. And by the time you are tired of waiting for some (hoped for) big dollars to start flowing and you want your collection back, what's left? Not the good stuff. That's been cherry-picked.
Texas Trains is just us. We aren't a huge warehouse operation with a staff of dozens. We're that little old train house from Texas that buys and sells collections all over the U.S. and we want to buy your collection. We want to make it as simple, quick and easy as possible. When the deal is done...it's money in your pocket.