Now that you have a budget and you know how you want things to look its time to actually find the train pieces you need. There are lots of places to find trains at a discount. A nice starting place is a train show or expo. Lots of towns, especially larger ones, will have these gatherings at least once a year.
Here you can find a large variety of trains, track, and other railroad paraphernalia. Lots of times you can find great deals on items here as many dealers are selling direct without a middle man. Often they run discounts and specials on their goods here because of the traffic that they receive just by being set up at the train show.
You might have done your research and decided on a different scale than the one of your dreams because you found it too expensive during your research. While youre at the train show you could actually find the pieces you originally wanted for a lower price and can have the railroad of your dreams. These shows are worth a look if there is one in your area.
Even if you can’t make it to a train show you can still find good deals on model trains. Head over to your nearest hobby store. Quiet often, especially around holidays, stores hold sales. You can find items at a nice discount during these sales. You might also find some cars or engines in your scale that are being discontinued. This would give you a unique car or engine in your collection that might end up being your crown jewel. Many times these discontinued pieces are sold at deep discounts to make way for the new style generation, their loss is your gain.
If you’ve looked at the stores and have decided they are too expensive you might need to just turn to the internet. By doing a quick search on the net you can find dozens of retailers that offer their stock at a discount compared to that in which you find in stores. Why? Mostly it has to do with the lower overhead.
A lot of these online companies will sell directly to customers by mail order only. This is a great way to get engines, cars and track at a good price. Just be sure you know what scale size you want before you purchase from online vendors. The biggest downfall of shopping online is you can’t actually hold the pieces in your hand prior to purchase.
If you are new to the model railroading hobby you might verify the sizes in store first before buying online. If you are experienced enough you might want to check out second hand and antique stores. Often, when a hobbyist passes away the family doesn’t know what to do with his/her massive creation. Unless one of them is into trains often they disassemble it and sell the pieces off. Many end up in second hand or antique stores and this can be a good thing.
Some of the pieces that you find in these types of stores will need a little work to make the beautiful and running again but you can get them at an extremely deep discount. Occasionally you will find pieces at second hand stores that are in wonderful condition and you’ll still pay a fraction of the price as you would purchasing them new. Finding these pieces this way might not be recommended for first time buyers because the sellers often wouldn’t know what scale the train is. For those looking to add to their collection it’s a great way to save money on train cars and engines.