Buying Original Railway Items - Advice Wanted

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deltic

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To avoid pitfalls

buy from respected dealers - have they sold lots of similar items before - what is their feedback like - do they have their own website
Buy from specialist auctioneers
Make sure you get lots of photos of what you are planning to buy - ask if they are not shown - reputable dealer will be happy to obilge
Pay by a means that you can get your money back if it is a dud - never pay cash
If it looks to good to be true then it is probably a con
 

RBSN

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14 Jul 2014
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383
To avoid pitfalls

buy from respected dealers - have they sold lots of similar items before - what is their feedback like - do they have their own website
Buy from specialist auctioneers
Make sure you get lots of photos of what you are planning to buy - ask if they are not shown - reputable dealer will be happy to obilge
Pay by a means that you can get your money back if it is a dud - never pay cash
If it looks to good to be true then it is probably a con

Thanks Deltic,


My dream is to one day find a train plaque from Mallard, but I doubt that will ever happen
 

Bevan Price

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And before buying anything expensive (e.g. loco. nameplate), ask to see an official receipt (from BR, etc.) - you don't want to risk buying stolen goods.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Sometimes the preserved railways, Bluebell, Yeovil, etc etc have second hand stalls, selling all types of old railway odds and ends. I have bought some items from these in the past a couple of BR Pullovers for example. Definitely worth having a look if you happen to be near one.
 

Ianigsy

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12 May 2015
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Having worked in the industry, I would also check whether your home insurance has a specific limit for collections as this may need to be increased. I do remember having to add particular high value items of railwayana such as nameplates and original Bassett-Lowke locos on to policies.

And before buying anything expensive (e.g. loco. nameplate), ask to see an official receipt (from BR, etc.) - you don't want to risk buying stolen goods.

There's been some interesting correspondence in Steam Railway in recent years on this subject- at the end of steam, a lot of numberplates in particular were bought by enthusiasts from shed foremen for a few quid, but it was very much on a cash-in-hand basis and more often than not the shed foreman may simply have trousered the cash, particularly if the loco was due to be hauled off to the scrapyard any day and the shed was down for closure. It's an ethical and legal minefield and given the number of steam locos in service in the last decade of steam, it would have been impossible to have had an audit trail for every name and numberplate- BR just wanted them gone.

I'd say that nowadays the biggest risk with nameplates would be buying one that had been taken in a house burglary- I don't know if there's any kind of register of such items, but about 15 years ago I do remember seeing a publication which was a buyer's guide to the British Railways totem station signs and which recorded how often certain stations came up and what they sold for (and also which stations never received them), and I do think I read somewhere that this had become a website.
 
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