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How to sell toy trains

By Hal Miller | October 7, 2021

Private sales, local dealers, and auctions are all options to sell your Lionel, Marx, or American Flyer trains

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A listing for toy trains on Craigslist.
A listing for toy trains on Craigslist.
Online classifieds like those on are one option for selling or giving away toy trains.
An ad for a train meet.
Train meets are great places to sell and interact with other hobbyists.

Where can I sell my trains?

How to sell toy trains might be one of the most-asked questions we get at Classic Toy Trains. I first refer people who want to know how to sell Lionel, MTH, Marx, and American Flyer trains to the advertisers in Classic Toy Trains and even Model Railroader. There are several that purchase and consign collections. Here are some ideas about liquidating a collection.

Two small display ads from CTT.
These might be smaller ads in CTT, but they can be a big help when trying to sell a train collection.

Give away toy trains

If you know of a family member, friend, or organization/club that would like your trains and give them a good home, it’s the easiest way to pass on toy trains, perhaps from a loved one who has passed on.

Selling toy trains through hobby stores

Some hobby shops, like Berkshire Trains deal in consignments and purchases of collections and might be willing buyers for what you have. In the United Kingdom, Hattons and its train-buying website could be a solid option. At any rate, dealers are usually plugged in to the area toy train scene and might be able to refer you to a buyer.

Hattons Model Money logo
If you live in the U.K., Hattons Model Railways purchases collections and individual model railroad items.

Sell toy trains locally

If you’re up for it, there are still many local model railroad swap meets where you can find willing buyers. Or, use digital venues like Craigslist, Kijiji (in Canada), and Facebook Marketplace to list items for sale. This typically works better for smaller collections.


An auctioneer ad.
Antique and estate auctioneers are another option for selling a collection.

Selling toy trains through antique and estate auctioneers

These businesses, such as and Bodnars Auction exist in most cities and rural areas, so there’s a good chance there’s at least one near you no matter where you live. The good news is many are familiar with collectible toy trains and their value.

Ad for Trainz.
Train-specific auction companies often deal in all scales.

Train-specific auction companies

Companies like Trainz like to deal with valuable and large collections; several advertise in CTT. They generally deal in all train scales, too, so if that’s a challenge this might be a place to look.

Ad for a train collector-dealer
Collector-dealers are another way to sell your collectible trains.

Selling  through collector dealers

Collector dealers buy and sell used trains and are interested in valuable or large collections. Examples are Charles P. Siegel and Texas Trains & Diecast. Often they are seeking certain pieces for collectors.


Ad for a train collector-dealer
Several collector-dealers advertise in CTT.

Selling through eBay

eBay, the massive international online auction and sale posting site broadens your reach to buyers worldwide if you desire. Might fetch the best price but you also have to account for packaging materials and shipping/handling.

The time might be now

There’s an old joke among collectors: “Lord, please don’t let my significant other sell my things for what he or she thinks I paid for them.” Only you know the real value of the items.

Remember, at a minimum, it never hurts to take stock of what you have, document it, and give away or sell items you no longer have interest in. Those close to you will thank you later!



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