Category Archives: Online auction tips!

Marklin 8889: BR 10 Steam Locomotive

Following the release of the 8888 for the MHI program a second BR 10 (8889) with the same operating number was delivered in the same year: 1994. But unlike the one time release of the 8888 the 8889 would remain in production for 14 years ending its run in 2008. During the long tenure of the 8889 in the mini-club line-up a significant upgrade occurred with all Z locos, in 1999 the 5 pole motor was introduced which has since become standard equipment in all ‘Z’ locos. For collectors of Z here is an example with two variations: one with original 3 pole motor and another with 5 pole motor. Color scheme for 8889 is black with white pinstripe lettered for DB with operating number 10 001.

Siding: for collectors buying BR 10’s today it will be rare to find one directly from a Marklin dealer in new condition, the secondary market is the more viable place to find these locos. Buying tip: be sure the loco includes cap that hides screw on top of shell, this is a very hard part to replace and downgrades the value and appearance.

To Ebay or Not to Ebay? That is the question!

This has happened to us all, we miss out on a Marklin release perhaps due to life’s many complications and distractions. Now the item is “sold out at the factory” and no longer available. For those who see gaps in their collections they would like to fill there is the secondary market, but first check out all the dealers that are on your radar, they may have that train you want behind the counter thus “dealer old stock” can still be found and had.

A few online auctions sites exist online including the site we all know that goes by the name ‘Ebay”. I was inspired to add a post because it occurred to me that much has been addressed by Ebay to curb unhappy buying experiences, but listings for Marklin ‘Z’ that don’t seem to me to be good deals linger. We as buyers need to apply common sense when reviewing items from afar having to base buying decisions on a written description and photos. Here are a couple of pointers based on my experience:

  1. If the seller tells you more about the box than the contents something might be wrong with the loco or train. One recent example was a trainset, the seller went into elaborate detail about the box (whole paragraph) and the only statement about the trainset was that it was ‘fine’ even after asking for specifics. And the single photo did not help either.
  2. ‘New’ is a catch all describing the best possible condition but sometimes it is mixed in with descriptions with phrases like “it appears to be in unused condition.” People who get caught up in the new condition box being checked and not read the text might be in for disappointment.
  3. Closely examine exploded views of photos as part of the description, I have looked at auctions that list an item as ‘new’, but the large viewing photos show 3 years of dust and maybe broken parts. Carefully examine those photos for what they really tell you.
  4. One blurry photo, single word description and ‘no return policy’ these are the auctions to stay away from.
  5. Sometimes a well informed buyer is looking at auctions listed by a misinformed seller. There are a lot of these on Ebay, through no fault of their own sellers maybe selling the collection of a relative or a lot they acquired from who knows where. Marklin knowledge takes years to acquire and bidding on auctions may require applying your experise.
  6. The best buys come from trusted sources that are dealers with Marklin knowledge who base their living on selling Marklin. The worst deals are sometimes sellers who have 10-30 Marklin items who move onto the next thing after selling those. And who you may never buy from again because who needs another tube sock or funny hat. Disclaimer: the latter might yield a really good deal for those with Marklin knowledge. Work out at the gym and hone your Marklin knowledge in your spare time!! Life without risk can be boring!
  7. Lots of photos are better than lots of text! A listing can include up to 12 so carefully look at them all for what they show versus what you want them to show.

Cautionary tale: just as I am writing this post in comes my Wife with a box containing the complete Marklin z Amtrak coach set: 8760- 8765. I bought this from a trusted dealer, and they described them as ‘new’, but what I received are boxes with magic marker writing and coaches with various defects: 1 with a broken truck and 2 missing 3 wheelsets and others with marked roofs! So this nonsense came happen to us all including myself who is trying to help and advised others about buying on Ebay:(

Special note: Ebay offers a “Money Back Guarantee” to protect buyers even for auctions without a return policy, you will have to expend time and energy but you will be protected up to certain limits.