ABOUT THE WEBSITE AND ME
I thought long and hard about the site and decided that the best way forward would be to design and run a site that I would be happy to shop from. It would have to offer quality items at a fair price and be a site that I would be confident in shopping from.
The result of this thought process is that this site offers;
1. A wide range of model railway items in most gauges.
2. Locos that have all been tested by myself before being offered for sale.
3. Clear photographs and item descriptions.
4. A pay pal shopping cart.
5. 7 day money back guarantee.
6. Flat rate of £2.50 postage and packing no matter how many items are purchased in one trip.
7. A newsletter to keep up to date with changing stock.
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NEW STOCK AND FORTHCOMING ITEMS
After many years away from railway modeling, towards the end of 2012, I decided to put a small layout together to while away the long winter evenings.
THE DEMISE OF THE LOCAL MODEL TRAIN SHOP
After searching for local model train shops I was surprised at how many railway shops had shut down since I was last modeling. There used to be 2 or 3 quite local to me in Cambridge which always had a well stocked second hand section to browse through. I soon realised that to drive out to the closest one would take a whole afternoon and a good few litres of fuel.
The next sensible option therefore was the internet and a search of the well known auction sites. There is no doubt that there are plenty of bargains to be had on ebay and the like but I soon realised it was a slow and sometimes very frustrating process.
THE FRUSTRATION OF AUCTION SITES
Firstly you have to search through pages of incorrectly listed items trying to find the item you're looking for. Then you have to wait for the auction to end, which could be up to 10 days later, only to find it finishes at 3 am and you lose out to an insomniac who out bid you by 10 pence! You then have to start the whole process again.
Should you be lucky enough to win a model train in an auction its no guarantee of happiness. Assuming you haven't paid through the nose for postage, the next disaster is that you find the sellers idea of good condition is debatable to say the least. However as it's subjective there's no real comeback and when you go back and look at the original, out of focus, picture on the listing you realise that yes, as the seller is now pointing out, you can in fact just make out the missing buffer and broken coupling!!
THE PENNY DROPS
The only way that I found to make sure that everything was as described was to buy large lots which included the train I was looking for and then collect in person. Then if it's not as described you can just walk away. The other option is to buy from good old fashioned auctions. The downside of all this is that I then ended up with a lot of items of rolling stock and model trains that I didn't need. Someone then happened to say in passing that I had enough to open a shop and the penny dropped. I realised that there were probably a lot of other people struggling to find decent second hand model railway items for sale. It was then that I decided to pursue the idea of an online nearly new shop.
A MODEL TRAIN SHOP IS BORN
Once I'd made the decision to start the shop I realised that even though I had a reasonable amount of stock it was no where near enough for a shop. The next step was to start going to auctions and just ask everyone I knew if they had any trains they didn't want or knew anyone else that might. Over the next few months I managed to make some good contacts and buy some very good items. Some of the collections I've bought include many items that have never been out of the box. It was then just a case of deciding what I wanted to offer customers on my website. Please feel free to message me with any questions or comments here.