The added value of "Project" or "Does Not Run" models.

Ken Clark


I have been buying and selling on eBay for 15 years and before that for almost 20 years at train shows and mail order MR ads. Recently I have noticed a trend
that just seems odd. Brass locomotive models that do not run (as stated in the ad) are selling for more than identical models that are stated to be excellent runners.
For years a substantial part of my hobby business income has been taking "project" models and restoring them to excellent models and fine runners. Obviously,
if the project model costs more to buy than it will sell for after I restore it, I will not be in business much longer.
I've seen this before with eBay where poor out of focus photos enhance the value of the item; compared to the selling price of an identical item with excellent photos in the ad.
Many years ago I fell victim, to this phenomenon; I bought a HOn3 4-6-0 in an eBay auction with poor pictures. How poor were the pictures? When I got the model I found that
it was actually a 2-6-0; and the air tanks under the running board were actually wheel weights glued to the top of the running board as boiler weights.
With decent photos I never would have bid on the model.
Oh, and it didn't run either.

So why the added value of "project', non-running models? I lay the responsibility to the success of the repower and regear forum.

Obviously we have we done sucha good job with repowering advice that modelers are willing to pay extra for achallenge... :)

Kenneth R. Clark