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Uniquely individual, handmade, fine scale models for around the same price as a mass produced, pre-built, all look alike, toy. We will sell nothing until it looks so good we want to keep it. ...... Yes, we do lots of CUSTOM BUILT models by request. Contact us for a free quote.

02 Nov '17

Bachmann On30 2-6-0 Sound Ready Mogul METAL versus NYLON Gears: Split Gear Issue

There’s been a lot of false information about the split gear issue in Bachmann On30 Moguls. Because they were sourced from several factories around the globe, yet all Moguls seemingly look alike, many people may rightly think the problem is in all Moguls with plastic gears. But, the split gear issue occurred mainly in Chinese built units with plastic gears, and in less than 1/10TH of 1% of all Chinese built units. Not much comfort to the few who received one with split gears. So, the METAL GEARS, should fix everything, right? Not so fast, hobbyists.

We’ve already had several brand new METAL GEARED, sound ready Mogul units with cracked or broken gears. So many have been returned that Bachmann has advised dealers NOT to use METAL GEARS in their sales literature but to say SOUND READY instead, because metal gears are no longer a marketing asset. The solution is not metal over nylon or plastic, the issues are poor quality controls, insufficient testing, and downward market price pressure.

While anything can break, all our Mogul models are made using a GERMAN built 2-6-0 donor model with NYLON gears. We’ve had only 1 in the over 1000 Moguls with plastic gears fail – during testing – never shipped. We have not had any issues with the German built models. All our models go through a very strenuous testing and cleaning process. Only the survivors are ever sold.

04 May '17

EBay’s Latest Marketing Scam – Prices So LOW on Products You’ll NEVER Receive

We’ve all seen it. Unbelievably LOW, low prices on brand new highly detailed MTH, Walthers, and Athearn HO scale locos with DCC & Sound on eBay. Forget it. Don’t be fooled. Take it from a fellow fool. We TRIED to buy several of these locomotives from Non-U.S. sellers. We got fake China EMS tracking numbers, notices from eBay that the seller had been removed but not to worry, the sale should still go through just fine. What we didn’t get? You guessed it, NO locomotives. Just a refund on all but one, so far. Thanks to some creative arm twisting between our PayPal & eBay accounts.

But, you say, a $300 HO Scale locomotive with ProtoSound 3.0, or FULL rich Tsunami sound for less than $50 bucks delivered free from central China or South Korea in only 2 months sounds great, right? Not if you don’t get it. Not if someone else gets to use your money for free for 2 months. That’s assuming you get ALL your money back. Remember when you were a kid and you mailed in $3 cash to some P.O. Box listed on the back of a comic book hoping to get a full working miniature replica of the Lost in Space robot? Remember how that turned out? Yeah, you didn’t get that either. Once a scam, always a scam.

So, what is the scam: LOW, low, lowest ever offered prices on MTH, Walthers, and Athearn HO scale locomotives, brand new, with DCC and digital sound on eBay? It’s slick, for one, just like Dan the barely used car man. Hell, I’ve been doing this for +30 years, and I decided to roll the dice. But, just like in the casino, I lost. And, I’m not the only one. Think about it. You sell a product you don’t have, for a fraction of the price, say $50 for a $300 locomotive, to 5 people. That’s $250 in your pocket for very little effort. Then you repeat it with 10 fake friends and you’ve hit the big time, $2500. Pocket the cash and take off never to be seen again, or use the money for some other illegal activity, and refund it all back after folks complain two or three weeks or even months down the road. Sounds like a pretty good money laundering scheme.

Now, eBay will tell you it’s just a coincidence and that most sellers on eBay are honest. Ok. When you’re done laughing, I’ll continue. Ready. No, not yet? A little more? Ok. That kind of coincidence, requires an awful lot of prior planning. At one point, we counted over 10 sellers on eBay selling these unbelievable HO locomotive deals. That’s no coincidence. That’s a marketing plan! Now, I would never suggest that eBay was bumping up their profit margin to mitigate an imbalance in cash flow by encouraging this behavior. No, I’d never say that while I’m still waiting for my last refund, now 30 days overdue. If I sound bitter, it’s only because I am.

I’m sure this marketing plan isn’t limited to model trains. It’s more likely infected eBay worldwide. If you see an irresistible price on anything from an obviously foreign seller, ask yourself. Do you have the money to spare gambling on some flim-flam artist? Do you want to spend what little free time you have on hold with eBay customer service? Do you want to become a bitter blog author waiting for their last 30 day overdue refund with one finger hovering over the cancel account button on eBay? Let the buyer beware. It’s a den of thieves on eBay. Nothing new under the sun. Be careful out there.

- From all of us at FineTrains.

09 Jan '17

BIG NEWS - FineTrains DUMPS eBay - You Save - eBay Loses!

Beginning in February, FineTrains will NO LONGER be SELLING new items regularly on eBay. EBay has made it increasingly impossible for small businesses to offer products at a fair price with their recent 40% increase in fees, mandatory sales quotas catering to high volume cheaply made product sellers - ignoring low volume, high quality sellers, mandatory free shipping, free return shipping and 6 month no questions asked return policy. Add in 10% for PayPal fees and one half of every dollar you spend on eBay goes to eBay & PayPal. Do you know any other business that gets a 50% cut of the pie? Okay, except for the Mafia?

Now to be fair, eBay claims you can opt out of offering any returns, free shipping, free returns and not adhere to eBay's mandatory sale quotas. And for that privilege, you will pay 40% more in listing fees and good luck having customers find any of your listings. If you don't conform to eBay's high volume, poor quality, cheap product stream, your listings will be sorted to the bottom of the barrel with all the other poor suckers like us, who think they can win playing eBay's ever changing high volume only game. EBay has made it clear, they intend to take over the stream of poor quality, cheap imitation products dumped worldwide. They are positioned to be the worldwide Wal-Mart or 99 Cent store, where you can get 1000 metal coated plastic nuts & bolts shipped free from Rancho Cucamonga, California, then dumped at your local post office for delivery. Of course, maybe 20 out of the 1000 will actually work or be shaped like a nut or bolt should, but hey what a deal!

FineTrains will continue to list an occasional item on eBay, mainly as advertising so we are not forgotten. But, the days of our customers paying 50% more for our high quality low volume handmade work, just to make eBay and PayPal rich, are over. Please visit us here, at our website, Pinterest, or Facebook weekly to see our new stuff at a great price. You know you can always count on FineTrains to stand behind every product we sell. We've been doing that for years and we don't need eBay to show us how. Your money is always safe and secure on our Shopify powered website.

Shopify is the best in the business and the exclusive internet provider for FineTrains LLC. Shopify has been down once in the last two years when half the east coast internet was briefly taken down by hackers. EBay is down 6 times a week, on average, depending on your location. Our eBay account has also been repeatedly hacked. Never happens on Shopify. We spend 6 hours a week on average on the phone with eBay customer support. I called Shopify once in 2 years. They answered on the second ring and it was fixed withing 15 minutes. Simply the best in the business.

Please tell your friends. If you're looking for the Finest Trains - O, On30, On3 scale scenery & structures - for your layout, go to FineTrains, Google FineTrains, visit FineTrains on FaceBook, or on Pinterest. Forget eBay. Don't you have enough 75% off junk laying around that seemed to work for a little while, then died?