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Old 5th February 2011, 04:59   #1
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I have been looking at some engines for sale on ebay, and I was wondering if there is any general consensus that the engines made by one brand of manufacturor is more accurate, or reliable, or should be avoided? Usually there is some outfit that makes expensive good stuff, and another that makes cheap and cheesy products, but I don't know my trains yet. Does anyone have any advice?
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Old 7th February 2011, 14:00   #2
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Hi, perhaps with a more specific question would be easier to give you an answer.
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Old 7th February 2011, 16:24   #3
Roy Buchanan
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Rocky, we need more information. What scale? What era? What prototype, if any? Diesel or steam? Geared or rod steam engines? Four axle or six axle diesels? DC or DCC? All of these considerations are needed to help answer your question.

Most manufacturers today make a very good product with excellent running capabilities and lots of detail. Engines made even 10 years ago are usually not up to todays standards unless given some tweaking.

I have excellent running locomotives from: Lifelike/Proto, Atlas, Stewart, Rivarossi and Athearn to name some. All are either DCC manufactured or converted to DCC.

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Old 7th February 2011, 17:39   #4
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My prototypes are Maine Central from the 1978 to 1983 time period, and I am working in HO scale. MEC ran GP38s, U18Bs, U25Bs, and GP7s. If I am buying stuff on ebay, the manufacture date for what I am looking at could be anything. I haven't gotten into DCC yet. I have a new MEC U18B now.
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Old 7th February 2011, 18:08   #5
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Welcome to AMR, Rocky. I've got an Atlas Trainman GP38-2, as well as a five freight cars from them, and I'm impressed with the quality for the cost. They don't have a Trainman MEC GP38-2 according to their web site, but you might get some good rolling stock from them. Best of luck!
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Old 11th February 2011, 16:49   #6
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Spam - Undisguised
Bob Hughes
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Old 4th February 2012, 15:28   #7
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When buying on eBay, make sure you get some indication of how old the engine is. While Bachmann & Life-Like have been making some pretty decent stuff for a long time, I have some examples of their "train set" products from the bad old days of the '80s that are definitely not of the same calibre as their products of only a few years later.

If I was to sell some of them off on eBay, I would specify that these are older models and more suitable for collectors than for use on a layout and I would expect them to sell for substantially less than current production, even though they are New In Box and all those other good things that make a listing attractive to buyers. But I have been around model railroading since they were new and understand what I have.

Many people selling trains on eBay do not have a clue about them. They have either inherited Dad's trains or bought an estate to re-sell and aren't going to be involved with trains long enough to learn what they have. They only know that it looks new and is in the original box and couldn't tell the difference between old & new if you sat them side by side. Many of them don't even know enough to set up a bit of track and a power supply and try them out before selling. They generally mention that they don't know about trains in the listing and are not trying to intentionally deceive.

A very few do know that they have older stuff that is not up to today's standards and are more interested in turning a profit than in making buyers happy. They list older models as if they were current production (& at prices more suitable for today's products) in the hope of finding buyers who don't know the difference.

Rules for eBaying:
- Read the listing carefully and ask questions if you need to. An honest seller doesn't mind answering questions and most will email you better pictures if you ask.
- Comparison shop. Look at other eBay listings and at other online sources to make sure the price is fair before you buy.
- Always check the feedback rating. If a seller has a lot of unhappy buyers, chances are good that you will not be satisfied either.
- NEVER leave feedback until the item has arrived and you are satisfied that it matches the description and is in the condition you expected.
- If you are not satisfied, contact the seller and tell them before you leave feedback, and don't hesitate to use dispute resolution if they aren't willing to make things right.
- If you are happy with the item and the seller, ALWAYS leave good feedback so that others will know that too.
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