I awoke to what seems like 3′ of snow. I only say that because from my bedroom window the snow is drifting up the wall in my backyard. So I’m not sure if we did get 3′, or 5″.
Yesterday I took a drive to Salem, home of the witches. I meet Hal Reynolds there. You remember Hal. This guy.
Rod Stewart’s friend. The purpose of the trip was to begin to try and value an incredible collection of HO scale craftsman kits and rolling stock car kits. I needed Hal there because the kits are up on a second floor with no elevator access. And it can’t hurt my career to be seen around town with Hal.
I’ve bought some big collections before. But not like this. The attorney for the estate could only show me one half of the collection. That’s all he had room for. There wasn’t a manufacturer missing from this collection. I would have to say from my initial observation that this collection has every FSM yellow box. Every South River red box. There were SierraWest kits. Sheepscot kits. SS Ltd kits. Master Creations, Builders-in-Scale, Micro-Scale, Thomas Yorke, Bar Mills, etc…
I also noticed the collection had perhaps hundreds of Athearn, Roundhouse, Intermountain, Varney, and even some good ole Ambroid rolling stock kits too.
The collection is so large that an exact list of its contents doesn’t exist. That makes it difficult to put a value on it. The owner’s family and the attorney have done some research, via eBay, on the pricing. That’s the bad news. Here’s why…
An eBay seller may think that a South River Modelworks Rugg Manufacturing is worth $540. So that’s what they try and sell it for. They may find a buyer at that price. But it may take a while. So when doing research, the attorney finds this auction, offering Rugg at $540.
The problem is, here is a recent sale of a Rugg Kit at $280. I consider this it’s current true value.
So my basis for an offer on Rugg would be less than $250. The attorney and family may think it’s worth $540. That’s a huge $290 difference. Multiply that times a hundred different craftsman kits.
So I could offer a very reasonable $35,000 for a collection that the attorney and family, unrealistically, thinks is worth more than twice that. It ain’t easy folks.