The Model Railroad Club, Inc., is often contacted by members of the public for advice on what to do with a departed loved one’s model train equipment. What follows on this page is a very general guide based on our experience for your consideration. Everyone’s situation is different, but we hope this will provide you a good starting point.
If maximizing the monetary value of your collection is what’s most important to you, then making use of the online auction website eBay is your best bet. Like any technology platform there will be a learning curve. You will need to take pictures, write descriptions of your items, accept payments (usually via PayPal), and pack and ship the items to the buyer. However, you will establish a fair value for your items in this way and be compensated appropriately.
If the above would be too much work, and you aren’t concerned with maximizing the dollar value of the collection, you can contact estate buyers of model train equipment. These can be found via Internet search, model railroading magazines, or by visiting your local model railroading hobby store. Members of our club frequently shop at The Model Railroad Shop in Piscataway, The Big Little Railroad Shop in Somerville, The Hobby Shop in Aberdeen, and The Train Room in Point Pleasant Beach. Please keep in mind that these estate buyers will likely offer you much less for your collection then you could have gotten on eBay, but they will be doing all the work of selling off your collection.
In some cases, The Model Railroad Club, Inc., may be able to accept donations of HO or N scale equipment that is in good working order. Items donated to us will first be considered for use on our layout displays. Those items that are deemed unusable on our layout will then be considered for sale in our Gift Shop. Those items that are deemed unusable in our gift shop will be made available for purchase by our members, or discarded.