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Selling your Trains - How it Works

Our collectible train buying service starts when you reach out to us via email, phone or via our Get a Quote web form. Once we have made contact, based on your unique situation and requirements, we help you decide how to sell your trains.

When we are interested in buying your collection, we like to engage with you in one of two ways:

Sell your Trains via a Cash Offer

Cash Offer diagram

Getting a Cash Offer for your Model Trains typically involves us valuing your collection based on an inventory list and offering you a fixed bid to purchase your collection. Unlike selling your trains via our Model Trains Auction Service, you receive your cash up front. There are a variety of reasons that you might prefer to get a Cash Offer.

The process for a Cash Offer typically looks something like this:

  • 1We Quote It:
    • Qualify the Purchase: The first thing we do is to determine if your collection is a good candidate for us to purchase.

    • Inventory the Collection: To get the process kicked off, you will typically provide Trainz with an inventory list of your trains. We provide an Inventory List Excel template in Excel or PDF format that shows the information we need to accurately value the collection (primarily Quantity, Manufacturer and Model Number), but we also accept (but do not encourage) hand-written lists. Typically, you will email us the filled in Excel spreadsheet (the best option), or scan and email your list to Trainz. If you these options don't work, you can also fax your list. In situations such as an Estate Sale or when it is not feasible for you to provide a list, in some cases Trainz can arrange to inventory the collection on your behalf. If it's a small collection, we will sometimes ask you to drop it off or mail it into us to be inventoried, with an agreement to ship it back to you at your expense if we cannot come to an agreement.

    • Value the Collection: Once we have made an inventory of the collection, we will send the trains through our proprietary Trainz valuation process, to determine the Market Value of the trains.

    • Make the Offer: Based on the Market Value, Trainz will tender an offer for the collection.

    • Prepare the Contract: If you accept the offer, Trainz will write a contract for the purchase, which lists the offer amount and describes the terms of the purchase, including the payment schedule, whether the deal is to be shipped, dropped off or picked up, and any other special conditions. We will typically send a draft Purchase Agreement ahead of time, so you have time to review it. Sometimes the contract will be signed ahead of time, and sometimes it will be signed at pick-up.

  • 2We Get It:
    • Ship or Pick-Up the Collection: If the collection is to be shipped, we will send FedEx labels to you so that you can ship the items to Trainz headquarters. If Trainz has agreed to pick up the collection, we will place you on our pick-up schedule when our pick-up team will be in your area.

  • 3You Get Paid!
    • Execute the Contract: At the time of pick-up, Trainz will have you sign the contract and provide fully executed copies of the contract to you.

    • Make Payment: A the time if pick-up, we make full payment or a partial payment, depending on the payment terms we agree to. In the case of small deals that were mailed in, we typically send out the check once we have inventoried the collection.

When you use our Model Trains Auction Service, we agree to auction your collection either on our auction platform, TrainzAuctions.com or on eBay, or a combination of the two, depending on what will earn you the most for your trains. Unlike getting a Cash Offer to purchase your trains, when you sell your trains under an Auction Agreement we agree to pay you a fixed percentage of every sale. There are a variety of reasons that you might prefer to sell your trains via an Auction Agreement.

When we sell your trains using our Model Trains Auction Service, the process typically looks something like this:

  • 1We Get It:
    • Qualify the Auction: The first thing we do is to determine if your collection is a good candidate for us to sell using our Model Trains Auction Service. Some sellers choose to pursue a Cash Offer (by submitting an inventory list) before they decide to use our Auction Service.

    • Prepare Auction Contract: If we agree to sell your collection via our Model Trains Auction Service, Trainz will prepare a contract, which lists the terms of the Auction, including the payment schedule, whether the collection is to be shipped, dropped off or picked up, and any special conditions.

    • Ship or Pick-Up the Collection: If the collection is to be shipped, we will send FedEx labels you so that you can ship the items to Trainz headquarters. If Trainz has agreed to pick up the collection, we will place you on our pick-up schedule when our pick-up team will be in your area.

    • Execute the Contract: Prior to shipping or at pick-up, Trainz will have you sign the contract, and provide fully executed copies of the contract to you.

  • 2We Prep It:
    • Prepare the Collection for Sale: Shortly after the collection reaches Trainz headquarters, our Production Team will unbox the collection, inventory each piece, lot items appropriately, take photographs, copywrite the auction descriptions and send the items to Final Approval for review by our resident train experts.

    • Email the Auction Inventory Report: When your collection has been inventoried, we will email you a list of all the items in the collection, so that you can verify everything is accounted for.

  • 3We Auction It:
    • List the items: Once inventoried, photographed, written up and approved, the items will be automatically listed to the appropriate Auction marketplace by our proprietary software.

    • Auction the items: Your items are auctioned on TrainzAuctions.com or on eBay!

  • 4You Get Paid!
    • Send the Auction Report: Weekly or Monthly (depending on your Auction Agreement), we compile a report of all the items that were sold in the trailing reporting period.

    • Make Payment: We request a check from our Accounting Department, which is mailed per on the Payment Terms described in your Auction Agreement. Please note that a Pick-fee (or Shipping Fee, if applicable) may be assessed based on the collection size and location, and this fee will be deducted from the first payment(s) due.