"Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

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George Stein
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"Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby George Stein » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:13 pm

Writing from the USA and sensitive to what I believe are the UK's unusually strict libel/slander laws. I have purchased quite often from one of your big mail-order model railway sellers (think of what you wear on your head) and have always been quite satisfied with quality and service. (The VAT exclusion pays for the postage.) I note that they now include offerings of "previously owned" scattered among the standard listings. So, is a description, e.g., "like new" but "scruffy box" usually accurate or is it a case of "buyer beware" and they are not responsible if I buy, as we say, a "pig in a poke." I know you are constrained by law and good manners from making hurtful statements, but to the best of your ability, please comment on my basic question. Can I count on the descriptions attached to "previously owned" as a guide to 'safe" purchases -- keeping in mind the overall quality reputation of the shop.

Thank you.

George
North Carolina

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GeraldH
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby GeraldH » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:43 pm

I've bought three used locos recently from them and quite a few new items over many years. All three used locos were fairly described, in fact two of them somewhat better than described. I'd still check the photos carefully though, as they do occasionally miss bits of cosmetic damage. When things have occasionally gone wrong in the past, they've always sorted it out promptly.
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Bufferstop
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:50 pm

From the comments that I've seen any misdescription of condition is often in the purchasers favour. Dead/Non Runner when there's a lead off or they have failed to realise it has a DCC chip in it. I think occasionally they get taken for a ride by sellers putting the old model in the box of a new one, and from what has been reported they are swift to refund. GWR_fan seems to be a regular purchaser from their site, and despite a problem caused by incorrect mailing he still rates them as a good seller. Send him a PM for his opinion.
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GWR_fan
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:56 pm

George,
I have purchased literally hundreds of "pre-owned" stock from the store and in general if they state "like new" then they are correct. Read my "Pre-owned Windfall" thread in this forum section. In all my purchases I could count on one hand the number of items that I have not been 100% happy with and some of those were described as "non-runners" so partly my fault for not being totally satisfied. My two most notable purchases that dissatisfied me were a cheap Lima non-runner that actually had no motor and a mint Hornby TTS P2 loco described as sound not working whereas in fact the loco had an internal short (most likely factory wiring fault) that blew the decoder. Until I investigate further the loco is now analogue only and does run well.

One though needs to be very careful when selecting items as some pre-owned prices are more than a comparable item is listed for in new condition on their site. I peruse the pre-owned listings every day for gems and yes, there are golden items and there are also fool's gold items so tread with care before purchase. The images are very good so I download the image and then magnify it to view for any problems. In the last few years I have purchased very, very few new stock items, relying on the less expensive pre-owned list to satisfy my needs.

The only issue that I have with the site is if I spot a true bargain then no doubt others view the same bargain so an immediate purchase is required meaning that if I wish to view for other bargains then I have to pay multiple shipping costs as delaying a purchase usually results in the item being not available. Also an item may be listed as available whereas the item may have been sold just a minute or two earlier and the system has not corrected the true stock status. Several times I have purchased only to find after payment is made that the item has already been sold. Sales are processed in chronological order so missing out by mere seconds loses one the purchase.

I have had less luck with new stock items from other major retailers due either faulty factory assembly or supposedly intransit damage. The store you are asking about is always willing to assist if a problem arises, unlike some other stores who wipe their hands of the problem.

A tip when purchasing is to not just rely on the default previous seven days of listings. When I have time to spare I will trace back over the previous few months to see what items have not been churned over to a more recent listing. I have found some nice items hiding in the past. Another tip is to type in the search field a particular manufacturer brandname. The returned results will show you all the items both new and pre-owned that are available, although of late the default is to negate any pre-owned items so you need to tick the pre-owned box to get these.

One further tip is if you see a loco described as a non-runner, look for an image showing additional items like say a brakerod pack. If you see a DCC blanking plate in the image then possibly the loco is decoder fitted and the item has been tested on analogue only. I have purchased two non-runners in mint condition for under GBP50.00 each and both had expensive ESU sound decoders and worked perfectly on digital, plus several models that had non-sound decoders installed and also worked perfectly. A very recent purchase was a mint Hornby Q1 described as a non-runner for less than GBP30.00. When received just a couple of weeks ago I placed the loco on the rails and it ran perfectly.

I tend though to steer clear of locomotives described as "inconsistent runners". This euphemism seems to cover more issues than say a simple wire disconnected or a previous owner has incorrectly reassembled a loco causing a polarity issue. Oddly, I prefer to purchase a non-runner as I know that I have a blank canvas to start with.

Once the new website is up and running I will be severely curtailing my purchases as the new site will automatically include a goods and services tax that our government requires on all imports less than $1000.00. I am making hay while the sun shines and the old site is still operational.
Last edited by GWR_fan on Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Hymirl
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby Hymirl » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:01 pm

George Stein wrote:Writing from the USA and sensitive to what I believe are the UK's unusually strict libel/slander laws.


That really isn't a thing. I always thought the USA is far more litigation happy! :wink:

Hattons are pretty good I think. I picked up a second hand loco off them a while back, it was fine. I don't shop there a lot as I try not to overspend on the model trains budget!!

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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby flying scotsman123 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:02 pm

George Stein wrote:Writing from the USA and sensitive to what I believe are the UK's unusually strict libel/slander laws. I have purchased quite often from one of your big mail-order model railway sellers (think of what you wear on your head) and have always been quite satisfied with quality and service. (The VAT exclusion pays for the postage.) I note that they now include offerings of "previously owned" scattered among the standard listings. So, is a description, e.g., "like new" but "scruffy box" usually accurate or is it a case of "buyer beware" and they are not responsible if I buy, as we say, a "pig in a poke." I know you are constrained by law and good manners from making hurtful statements, but to the best of your ability, please comment on my basic question. Can I count on the descriptions attached to "previously owned" as a guide to 'safe" purchases -- keeping in mind the overall quality reputation of the shop.

Thank you.

George
North Carolina


I think you overestimate our libel laws - we do still have freedom of speech here as well you know!
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Mountain
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby Mountain » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:14 pm

flying scotsman123 wrote:
George Stein wrote:Writing from the USA and sensitive to what I believe are the UK's unusually strict libel/slander laws. I have purchased quite often from one of your big mail-order model railway sellers (think of what you wear on your head) and have always been quite satisfied with quality and service. (The VAT exclusion pays for the postage.) I note that they now include offerings of "previously owned" scattered among the standard listings. So, is a description, e.g., "like new" but "scruffy box" usually accurate or is it a case of "buyer beware" and they are not responsible if I buy, as we say, a "pig in a poke." I know you are constrained by law and good manners from making hurtful statements, but to the best of your ability, please comment on my basic question. Can I count on the descriptions attached to "previously owned" as a guide to 'safe" purchases -- keeping in mind the overall quality reputation of the shop.

Thank you.

George
North Carolina


I think you overestimate our libel laws - we do still have freedom of speech here as well you know!

(Just about!)

George Stein
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby George Stein » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:35 am

Thank you all for very helpful and quick replies. Very happy with a couple Hornby very low priced (see their sale of the century) Adderley Halls to be sound-fitted with USA "soundtrax "Econami" UK steam chips. Looking at the older Bachmann Kinlet or Sketty Halls. Any comments on these older Bachmann Halls?

BTW, I am happy to be corrected about UK libel laws. Watching the current Tory in-house fighting over Brexit, it's clear anybody can say just about anything about anybody.

Again, thanks for comments.

George
North Carolina

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Mountain
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby Mountain » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:57 am

Yes. There are a few restrictions that many of us are not happy with, but overall it is not too bad. Getting them all to behave and respect each other is another issue entirely! :D

GWR_fan
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:41 am

George,
I am more than happy with my Bachmann Halls, both split chassis and DCC ready models. Personally, given the money the store wants for pre-owned DCC ready Halls, perhaps look to either a new Bachmann Hall or perhaps a Hornby Grange. I would keep clear of a split chassis Manor as I have several and none of them are what I would call good runners, even though purchased as new stock (not from that store).

Bigmet
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby Bigmet » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:10 am

The Bachmann split chassis models are overpriced in my opinion, considering that they are a lottery in terms of mechanical condition. Less than £10 would be more like it, and the same applies to Mainline, Lima, Airfix and Trix. Variously compromised, basic and fragile, each in their own delightful way. The idea that they are suddenly worth more because new RTR has increased in price needs to be challenged, and the best way to do that is to leave this junk pile to grow to an unmanageable size for the retailer.

As others above, the 'new and better' s/h items from Bachmann, Heljan and Hornby are well worthwhile when sold with caveats resulting in low prices. Every single one I have purchased has been honestly described, and typically arrived in better condition than expected.

I really like the price reductions for damaged or missing boxes so please leave those for me :D : it's the model that is of interest, who cares about packaging condition?

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Bufferstop
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:03 am

George Stein wrote:TBTW, I am happy to be corrected about UK libel laws. Watching the current Tory in-house fighting over Brexit, it's clear anybody can say just about anything about anybody.


Just don't say anything you can't prove. Or qualify what you say by quoting its source. MPs often lay it on thick, as they can easily force facts into the public domain by "broadcasting it from the benches" under the rules of parliamentary privilege.

Take care folks we are on the fringe of the dreaded P word!
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby mahoganydog » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:12 pm

Bufferstop wrote:
Take care folks we are on the fringe of the dreaded P word!


Prat, useless. Definition; any member of parliament.
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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby Byegad » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:38 pm

GWR_fan wrote:George,
I have purchased literally hundreds of "pre-owned" stock from the store and in general if they state "like new" then they are correct. Read my "Pre-owned Windfall" thread in this forum section. In all my purchases I could count on one hand the number of items that I have not been 100% happy with and some of those were described as "non-runners" so partly my fault for not being totally satisfied. My two most notable purchases that dissatisfied me were a cheap Lima non-runner that actually had no motor and a mint Hornby TTS P2 loco described as sound not working whereas in fact the loco had an internal short (most likely factory wiring fault) that blew the decoder. Until I investigate further the loco is now analogue only and does run well.

One though needs to be very careful when selecting items as some pre-owned prices are more than a comparable item is listed for in new condition on their site. I peruse the pre-owned listings every day for gems and yes, there are golden items and there are also fool's gold items so tread with care before purchase. The images are very good so I download the image and then magnify it to view for any problems. In the last few years I have purchased very, very few new stock items, relying on the less expensive pre-owned list to satisfy my needs.

The only issue that I have with the site is if I spot a true bargain then no doubt others view the same bargain so an immediate purchase is required meaning that if I wish to view for other bargains then I have to pay multiple shipping costs as delaying a purchase usually results in the item being not available. Also an item may be listed as available whereas the item may have been sold just a minute or two earlier and the system has not corrected the true stock status. Several times I have purchased only to find after payment is made that the item has already been sold. Sales are processed in chronological order so missing out by mere seconds loses one the purchase.

I have had less luck with new stock items from other major retailers due either faulty factory assembly or supposedly intransit damage. The store you are asking about is always willing to assist if a problem arises, unlike some other stores who wipe their hands of the problem.

A tip when purchasing is to not just rely on the default previous seven days of listings. When I have time to spare I will trace back over the previous few months to see what items have not been churned over to a more recent listing. I have found some nice items hiding in the past. Another tip is to type in the search field a particular manufacturer brandname. The returned results will show you all the items both new and pre-owned that are available, although of late the default is to negate any pre-owned items so you need to tick the pre-owned box to get these.

One further tip is if you see a loco described as a non-runner, look for an image showing additional items like say a brakerod pack. If you see a DCC blanking plate in the image then possibly the loco is decoder fitted and the item has been tested on analogue only. I have purchased two non-runners in mint condition for under GBP50.00 each and both had expensive ESU sound decoders and worked perfectly on digital, plus several models that had non-sound decoders installed and also worked perfectly. A very recent purchase was a mint Hornby Q1 described as a non-runner for less than GBP30.00. When received just a couple of weeks ago I placed the loco on the rails and it ran perfectly.

I tend though to steer clear of locomotives described as "inconsistent runners". This euphemism seems to cover more issues than say a simple wire disconnected or a previous owner has incorrectly reassembled a loco causing a polarity issue. Oddly, I prefer to purchase a non-runner as I know that I have a blank canvas to start with.

Once the new website is up and running I will be severely curtailing my purchases as the new site will automatically include a goods and services tax that our government requires on all imports less than $1000.00. I am making hay while the sun shines and the old site is still operational.



I too have bought several times from both of the big on-line shops. I find Hattons the better of the two, but both are pretty good and both will accept returns for a while after purchase if they're not 'as described'.

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Re: "Previously Owned" via certain big on-line shop

Postby D605Eagle » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:27 am

George Stein wrote:Thank you all for very helpful and quick replies. Very happy with a couple Hornby very low priced (see their sale of the century) Adderley Halls to be sound-fitted with USA "soundtrax "Econami" UK steam chips. Looking at the older Bachmann Kinlet or Sketty Halls. Any comments on these older Bachmann Halls?

BTW, I am happy to be corrected about UK libel laws. Watching the current Tory in-house fighting over Brexit, it's clear anybody can say just about anything about anybody.

Again, thanks for comments.

George
North Carolina

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