Looking for advice on best way to sell moderate size Lionel toy train collection
I am looking for some advice on the best way to sell off my toy train collection (the trade off is effort and gross “profit” – e.g. I’d sacrifice $$’s within reason to selling have to make many ebay or craigslist sales). I used the search engine forum some but couldn’t find what I was really looking for. I Am trying to ge-clutter and get a few bucks at the same time.
Quick summary – several hundred pieces of rolling stock, 20 or so engines (including the famous 1953 Lionel ABA 3 unit engine set from the early fifties, 4 boxed sets, operating accessories, buildings and other items to create a layout…won’t go through the whole list. Well the toy train collecting market was booming starting from the mid 60’s then slowed down in 2000’s and crashed in 2008. Now besides the economy a lot of this was due to some very old and long time collectors passing away (thus huge estate sales of thousands of pieces) and shops closing down and liquidating - so a flooded market for older items. Most of what I have is post war Lionel and Lionel MPC (1970 to 1996 when I stopped buying), but ~25% is post-war (1946-1969).
Enough background, I’m no longer a TCA member (kind of like the NRA for gun people) so I’ve lost those connections. Should I go the slow painful ebay, craigslist, garage/yard sale etc. method or hire some type of auctioneer type to deal off the whole collection (my local train shops in the DC area are not doing well, and except for some of “low hanging rare” pieces I have they are not intersected. Hopefully there are some TCA members or collectable dealers here to provide advice. 10 years ago My collection was worth probably 10K if sold off by pieces, and maybe 6K sold to the big shops in Pa. Now I’m thinking the numbers are closer to 6K and 3K or 4K wholesaled. The price guides that are updated each year just do not reflect reality. Perhaps I could just post on different general auction boards with an add where I email the list of items and condition estimate and ask for sealed bids.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (quote: Albert Einstein)