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 What to do with it all

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
RobMorrison Posted - 11/27/2018 : 9:28:32 PM

Hi Folks,

As I grow older it becomes obvious that I will leave behind all of the "stuff" I have accumulated over the years. My wife and I wish to leave as much helpful information to our executor and family as to what we would like done with said stuff. Since I have a fair collection of On30 trains and related stuff, I would like to give it all to some place where it would be appreciated, used and enjoyed by fellow train enthusiasts or a museum, or ??? Anyone out there have suggestions?
Without prearranged instructions, most stuff will get sold at an estate sale, sent to some charity or the landfill. So I am hoping some of you On30 enthusiasts have some ideas, and maybe even have set up the requisite arrangements.


7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
BigLars Posted - 11/29/2018 : 6:19:43 PM
Not going to offer you advice.
I have had a request for my current RR to go to a National Museum because of the WW1 content when it becomes available.
The better news for you might be, I live in Wesley Chapel NC. So if you need to hang with a ON30 guy let me know. I currently have WW1 France, Arizona Mining, WV Logging and Yukon based models to look at.
brucet Posted - 11/29/2018 : 5:28:59 PM
I'm currently the executor of a reasonably large estate. The estate consisted of a large number of 'collectables' and hobby items. Beneficiaries thought they were in for a big payout. The reality was not what they expected. The items sold for pennies in the dollar or were given away.
My point is that many folks see our 'stuff' as being of some value. In reality it's not except to other train nutters.
My advice is to donate as much as possible to the nearest train club and at least give it a future home.
I'm sure our daughter will bin 99% of my stuff. So be it. You can't complain too loudly when you're no longer here!
RobMorrison Posted - 11/28/2018 : 8:56:47 PM
Thanks for all your helpful replies. What was not clear in my message was that I am nowhere near the point of disposing of my stuff. Merely starting to get a plan ready for the future.

The closest known On30 modeler is 90 miles away, modeling Tweetsie, so not much help there. The local club is HO scale and all but one member is in HO as well. The only O scaler is currently selling in preparation for a move to a retirement home.

I will write the Maine Two Footer museums to see if there is any interest. All my trains are On30, so maybe not. A few of my scratch built structures might find a home there. But they are not truly accurate vs. prototypes.

The quest continues.

Craig H Posted - 11/28/2018 : 2:35:50 PM
Rob, PM sent
David Clark Posted - 11/28/2018 : 12:39:23 PM
Rob, I agree with Mark. If you are not currently using it, start selling it off or giving it away. You decide where you want it to go. I know that around here (Vancouver) younger people don't have the room to store furniture or other belongings from their parents as they pass on. There is loads of stuff on estate selling sites. Leaving too much for your descendants to pass on may be overwhelming, especially if they aren't familiar with it. I know whenever I sell off a portion of my gaming figurines for hundreds or sometimes, thousands, of dollars my wife is astounded that it was worth anything. From selling my own stuff online, I can tell you it is a daunting task - don't burden someone else with it if you want it to go somewhere it will be appreciated.
My two cents.
Mark B Posted - 11/27/2018 : 11:18:21 PM
Having recently gone through this process let me share my experience with you and any other interested readers. About 20 or so years ago my best friend and modeling buddy and I made a handshake agreement. The agreement was that the survivor between the two of us would dispose of the decedents modeling stuff. It could be sold off or just carted away so our survivors would not have to deal with it. My friend was a custom builder and modeled a lot of On3 and On30 as well having a fair amount of HO pieces leftover from his days of building custom layouts and buildings.

He was diagnosed with cancer and started selling off large chunks of stuff to generate some cash and also to lessen the burden of what remained after his passing. When he passed away a lot was gone but I did remove about 7 or 8 Suburban loads of stuff. I took it home sorted and photographed the items that I deemed saleable, listed them on E-Bay, and generated about $1500. I gave the money to his wife who wasn't expecting very much at all and was pleasantly surprised. It took weeks to go through all of this and get it sold. He had a 20 year collection of MR,RMC, and the Gazette. Those I passed around to other modelers with the proviso that they pass them on to others. So far so good on that. Some issues are on their 5th round of reading.

Another On30 friend said he was done with layouts and offered me everything he had at about one half of the current street prices. I took it all. He was happy and so was I. Do you have other O scalers or On30 modelers in you area?

So- what do you do? Maybe start thinning the herd by offering items on the forum, then Flea-Bay. There's always a chance to rent a table at a swap meet. Be prepared to take a lot less than you paid for stuff but at least it will be gone and being used by the new owners and not in the landfill.

Do you have a friend or local train club that can liquidate whatever remains after your demise?

Hopefully my experience will help you decide what direction you want to go.

Mark B.

jbvb Posted - 11/27/2018 : 10:20:25 PM
In my part of New England, driving distances are short and there are a fair number of train shows and clubs. Often the best items from an estate get given to friends, valuable items go to dealers and the rest gets donated to a club or an NMRA Division to be sold at a show. I built my handlaid layout in a modular way, so most of it can be gotten out of the attic if people want pieces. I have no idea if it will actually work out that way.

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