Interesting Completed Auction on eBay
Last week an auction completed on eBay that featured a model with a somewhat unfortunate past.
The model was sold by a major brass dealer on eBay (124 HO brass models currently listed on eBay).
It sold for over $800 without the original box.
I suspect it originally sold on eBay for under $100 as a damaged model; parts or fixer up. The story
previously was that OMI models of the Krauss-Maffei ML-4000 class f/p Southern Pacific were poor sellers
and had been taken from their boxes and thrown in a trash bin. An un-named third party bought the trash
bin and then sold the models in their damaged condition on eBay. My connection is that I bought five of them
back then to use as power chassis for the old AHM Krauss-Maffei locos. Much of the damage was cosmetic or minor,
scratches in the paint, loose handrails, etc... I was bidding on them for the power truck's value, only around
When I saw the eBay ad the model looked familiar, it had minor touch-up paint repair, did not have the original box;
it looked like a member of the same distressed model basket sale of years before. I saw the listing soon after it started
at a $9.99 opening bid. I'm not sure, but it seems that years ago the opening price was much higher for the damaged
model sale. The auction ended while I was out of state. Home again I am somewhat amazed at the selling price for a
rather poorly restored model (the gray paint is a poor match and was done with a brush). In the past eBay bidders could
communicate with each other in the event that an item had a questionable origin or was misrepresented in the ad;
but eBay put a stop to that. You can contact the seller but the seller is under no obligation to put clarifying information
in the ad description. If such information was provided to the seller, it was not posted by the seller.
Obviously I don't think the model was worth $800, and I don't think the bidders would have driven the price that high if
they had known it's history of being intentionally damaged by the importer and thus converted to scrap. This is a unique case
for me; I don't know of other SP models with a similar history. I do know of other SP models that have major flaws that need
to be understood before bidding up the price.
Do we need a Caveat Emptor listing for models that have value altering defects so that such information can be shared?
Or do we smugly keep the knowledge to ourselves?
link to eBay listing below
Kenneth R. Clark
P.O. Box 212454
Chula Vista, CA 91921
eBay link (two lines)
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I have seen the same thing. I will never figure out what goes through the mind of some bidders. I have seen junk and parts locos go for huge money but yet I have bid and won some nice brass locos for dirt cheap. My first was an OMI PRR B6s factory painted with a can motor for $100. My other surprise was the factory painted Sunset PRR 2-10-0 for $125 with a can motor and tender punched for a speaker. I frequently see the same locos going for $250+. It also seems the unpainted versions sell for a higher price. I was watching a B8 0-6-0T that was banged up and bent front pilot and broken main rod. It finally sold for $267. It had missing parts and looked as if it was dropped on the concrete floor. I guess there are people who want to model a wrecked train or something.