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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. There are several that purchase and consign collections. Here are some ideas about liquidating a collection.

Give away toy trains

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.

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.

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.

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. At any rate, they are usually plugged in to the area toy train scene and might be able to refer you to a buyer.


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.



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

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.

Selling through eBay


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

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.

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

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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