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Thread: Great Midwest Train Show, Waste of time

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    Default Great Midwest Train Show, Waste of time

    I had the dis-pleasure of going to the Great Midwest TrainShow in Wheaton IL. yesterday, What a waste of Time and money ( Gas & Entry fee ) unless your into
    old Lionel stuff and HO. What I found for N-Scale in the entire show could fit onto a couple of 6 ft dinning room tables and the prices were FAR from reasonable, one guy was selling a used Kato Daylight GS-4 (No Dcc or Sound ) and Daylight Car set for $ 500. Another had a Kato Broadway limited car set for $300. Sure there were some freight cars available for about $5.00 but they were very used with rapido couplers, poor trucks and detail parts missing. I asked one guy who had the best selection of N-scale on a 6 foot table if he had any other N-scale equipment he just replied " Naw - nobody wants this crap" I will never go back there again what a waste for a N-scaler

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    When he said, "Naw - nobody wants this crap" a good reply would have been, "You are correct sir, your stuff is crap"

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    Unfortunately the economy has really taken a toll on the shows. Less shows, less vendors, and the folks who are left aren't offering any deals.

    I hope the shows make it, because I'd like to have them again when times are better, but I'm afraid they might die out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMD View Post
    I asked one guy who had the best selection of N-scale on a 6 foot table if he had any other N-scale equipment he just replied " Naw - nobody wants this crap" I will never go back there again what a waste for a N-scaler

    You should have said, "Well, if this table is indeed crap, I'll take all this crap off your hands for $50!"

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Interesting discussion and perspectives. I went to this show and haven't been to one for at least 20 years. This one had more vendors, more visitors and more n-scale than the one from 20 years ago. I picked up a couple of Intermountain cars, a wood reefer and a 40' SD box for a good price. Granted there is a preponderance of HO and Lionel but I think that's to be expected. The amount of n-scale rolling stock and locos was about what I expected but I was disappointed at the lack of structure kits and detail items. Still it was a beautiful day and a not unpleasant way to spend the morning before the football game.

    --Sherman

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    Unfortunately the economy has really taken a toll on the shows. Less shows, less vendors, and the folks who are left aren't offering any deals.

    I hope the shows make it, because I'd like to have them again when times are better, but I'm afraid they might die out.
    I've been wondering since I got back into the hobby just how many of the specialty stores and manufacturers who specialize mainly in trains or train paraphernalia are going to make it. Clearly model railroading is not a necessity and when people are hurting in their pocket books this is the first thing that will get sliced back. For a huge market like gaming it's probably not an issue but model RR is much more of a niche market, and N scale is a niche within that niche. I certainly HOPE the companies that make the stuff we like can stay in business but I worry that our selections will become even more limited soon if the economy doesn't turn around in a major way.

    The local hobby shop can probably make it, if they offer lots of different stock because they can double as a specialty toy store and all kids need toys. But someone who focuses on not just trains, but N scale... is in for a potentially rough ride if those of us who buy the stuff have to tighten our belts.

    C

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    I have been to a many shows here on the west coast where n-scale has been well represented, but I rarely found any bargins. It seems all the vendors had top dollar prices on their items and were not into making deals... However, there were always some nice tool vendors with good prices, so I usually picked up tools.
    Sean McC

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    who has friends." -- Clarence

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    Our shows here in Charlotte have been pretty sparse the last couple of years. I am always there for a length of time because I participate in an Ntrak setup with a club. As a vendor I have ID hanging on me as required by the show folks. Most other vendors will offer me 10-15% off their marked prices without me saying anything. The selling vendors know that we club folks will all drop about $100 each if given the chance and are pretty nice to us. We have some decent vendors in Nscale but you do not see any of the new neat stuff. No BLMA, or Fox Valley. Very sparse on next tier stuff. Lots of Atlas and such. Way too much older rapido equipped stuff. SOme of this stock has probably traveled further than the real thing at this point.LOL I dont see it getting worse at this point but it will be a while before it gets any better.
    Ryan B.

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    See if any N scale clubs in your region organize their own swap meets. Usually you'll see a larger N scale representation and better quality of items for sale.

    In Southern California, The Golden Empire Historic and Modeling Society (N scale club) in Bakersfield puts on an annual swap meet in the 1st quarter of each year. I usually see at least 45-55% N scale vendors there.
    Also the Belmont Shore RR club in San Pedro (N scale as well) puts on a swap meet each Spring and Fall (the next one is coming up on Oct 16). Not surprisingly, 65% of their vendors are N scale.

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    I been to that show once, I agree 100%. If you do look hard enough, there are one or two GREAT deals, once in a wile. Still not worth it IMO. A guy im my club got a few rare cars for $5 each, he sold one of them he didnt like for $60 or so. he goes once in a wile and alwase finds deals like that. I however don't know what im looking at when I see a box of junk LOL.

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    With the show scheduled so often, there is no chance for the supply to build up. It's like going to the hobby shop every day. You don't find that much new or at a bargain price. I've been several times to Wheaton and the selection varies. But compare the amount of N scale at the show to that of Des Plaines Hobbies or Chicagoland Hobbies or any other train shop around Chicago. The proportions stay the same.

    The Atlanta area has a show every three to four months, the vendors have stuff to sell. But bargains are not to be found, because everybody wants their money back on what they are trying to sell.

    Remember N Scalers are a young minority. HOers have two generations on us and have the majority. O Scale although a smaller group than us is ancient and it has many generations of equipment out there. If you look closely at the other tables there is much more low end stuff on those other tables in those scales.

    The only place you are going to find a $5 Microtrains car is at a place that has no idea what it is. The internet has destroyed that. Anyone can check out what stuff is going for now. Everybody needs all the money they can get.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    Remember N Scalers are a young minority. HOers have two generations on us and have the majority. O Scale although a smaller group than us is ancient and it has many generations of equipment out there. If you look closely at the other tables there is much more low end stuff on those other tables in those scales.

    Also, the level of quality in N scale has really ramped up in the past 20 years. At least for folks like me, N scale locos and rolling stock made before the late 80s is useless for me, especially when much better versions of those models have come out in the past decade or so (i.e. Superliners). A lot of the stuff N scale stuff I see an train shows are older stuff, with pizza-cutters and Rapidos intact (and I'm talking locos too), and unless you're the collector type, it's probably not gonna appeal to you. Although when you run into a vendor that just happens to sell, say, the remaining stock of a recently-closed hobby shop, with a bunch of relatively new items for sale, that's where you reap the rewards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMD View Post
    I had the dis-pleasure of going to the Great Midwest TrainShow in Wheaton IL. yesterday, What a waste of Time and money ( Gas & Entry fee ) unless your into
    old Lionel stuff and HO. What I found for N-Scale in the entire show could fit onto a couple of 6 ft dinning room tables and the prices were FAR from reasonable, one guy was selling a used Kato Daylight GS-4 (No Dcc or Sound ) and Daylight Car set for $ 500. Another had a Kato Broadway limited car set for $300. Sure there were some freight cars available for about $5.00 but they were very used with rapido couplers, poor trucks and detail parts missing. I asked one guy who had the best selection of N-scale on a 6 foot table if he had any other N-scale equipment he just replied " Naw - nobody wants this crap" I will never go back there again what a waste for a N-scaler
    I too am sometimes disappointed with lack of n scale, but I still enjoy the shows and make a point to inspecting the other scales to see what they offer. Once in a while I find n scale stuff while fumbling thru the HO sections...some nice brass details, etc.

    It's also a good opportunity to rub elbows with dealers and pick up some insider info. A lot of HO vendors are very knowledgable about the N scale industry because they have suppliers that produce N scale products as well.

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    I live in the Minneapolis metro. There used to be one large show on twice a year. Once in Minneapolis and once in St. Paul. That show went out of business. There is one group that puts on a show twice a year, but they actually poorly publicize it. So I look for the swap meets from clubs now. You can find deals there but sometimes have to look two or three times to find the deals. WGH is finally coming to town this year. It will be the only large show, and will probably be mostly manufacturers. I don't give up, and often the $5-$10 entry fee plus the one or two finds adds up to being a deal for me.

    JohnMD don't give up hope on shows. Talk to the venders you find that have stuff. Make sure they let you know of other shows they do, then investigate the other vendors at the other shows. I am sure you will find what you are looking for and for the price that is right for you.

    I love N Scale which I started because of limited apartment space. If I get into a house, I think I will continue with N Scale but make it realy big!

    DAN

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaunadan94 View Post
    I live in the Minneapolis metro. There used to be one large show on twice a year. Once in Minneapolis and once in St. Paul. That show went out of business. There is one group that puts on a show twice a year, but they actually poorly publicize it. So I look for the swap meets from clubs now. You can find deals there but sometimes have to look two or three times to find the deals. WGH is finally coming to town this year. It will be the only large show, and will probably be mostly manufacturers. I don't give up, and often the $5-$10 entry fee plus the one or two finds adds up to being a deal for me.
    We had a WGH in the Los Angeles area (Long Beach) earlier this year. The manufacturers were there but there were a good amount of vendors, mostly hobby retailers. There were a few people selling used stuff. Thing is, no two WGH shows are the same, I would say 30-40% of the vendors follow the show and the rest are regional.

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