Why not give it away?

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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Hi,

When I first started this hobby I went nuts and bought a lot of things I didn't need and ended up having stuff, I'll never use. Sure I could sell the stuff on eBay, but I don't. I kept saying I would, but I would build on the layout instead.

Anyway, a few months ago, I started a personal policy of whenever, someone expressed a need for something that I had and I wasn't using, I would send it to them at my cost. I'm not rich by any means and if I really took the time to think this through, I shouldn't be in this hobby. But it has been amazing. What goes around comes around. I gave away a Proto 2K FA2/FB2 and within days I was given a 4-4-0 American Kit.

But that is not why I did it. We help each other with advice but for some reason draw the line at sharing what we have. Sometimes it is obvious that a person is struggling, either financially or because something they need is hard to find. I figure I have it and it is collecting dust...

I realize that I'm not really going to change many attitudes. Sharing is something that is just not done that much any more. But there might be some of you out there that might think about it. This is a tight little community here. If we build it the way we would like it, everyone benefits. If we trust each other, we can do things like trade things we need for stuff that others need.

But some people need to be the first to put it out there and say "I'm willing."
 
That was very nice of you, I'm sure I wouldn't do that with my FA2s. It was also nice of Mr. Anonymous, and I congratulate both of you on your humanity. Keep up the good stuff.
Matthew
 

dgwinup

Member
Chip,

I think that's a great idea. I just don't know how to make it work.

I'm behind on posting my inventory of rolling stock and I need to upgrade my spreadsheet to include columns for info I hadn't originally planned to keep track of. I know I will have numerous items that no longer fit in my chosen era of early 1950's. I have already sold some on e-Bay, but I'm not sure I want to go that way. I have given a few items away (one as a gift to a young lady whose whole family is involved in N scale). I got more satisfaction from that than if I had sold it!

Maybe others on the forum can suggest a way we could have an exchange. It MUST be simple and shouldn't require a lot of work. I can't imagine how a system can be fair to avoid people feeling 'cheated' on an exchange. Maybe it should just be a posting of what someone wants. Anyone having what that person wants can just send it to them. No money, no 'fair value' exchange, just a gift. No arbitration, mediation, etc. Simple gift with no expectation of return.

Okay, guys. Let's see what we can come up with. I'll play devils' advocate (that means I get to criticize everyone's ideas! LOL).

Ready! Set! GO!

Darrell, devilishly quiet...for now
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
If it is a gift, then it should be a gift. Don't be attached to the outcome. If you think of getting fair for fair it won't work. What you get is the feeling of giving.

As for trades, we have a forum for that. It is just that no one seems to use it. Other hobbies I've been in have very active sales and trade forums. Model Railroaders seem very resistant. I think there is a fear of being cheated. The key is to thoroughly describe the flaws of what you are offering so that the person know what they are getting. The fail safe is that since we all know each other, word will spread fast if there is a cheat among us. I've bought items sight unseen this way for more than $1000 and never been cheated. You just have to establish a code of honor.

Personally, I rather buy from someone here, who knows trains, than to take my chances on eBay and I buy lots of stuff on eBay.
 
D

dthurman

Guest
Chip

You may want to see if ModelBob would make a section for Trades in the The Interchange Track area. You never know, it may catch on.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
It could get weird if we have a forum of posting what we want. I was thinking more along the lines of just when in the course of conversation something comes up. Like:

That's really a nice picture of that F2. I really want an F2. I am going to start putting money on layaway next month if I have some extra cash.

Or,

I'm planning a layout and I have it worked out just the way I want it. But I'm going to have to wait a little while longer because my Dad says I have to put half of what I own away for college.

Or

I've been coming the web and eBay for months trying to find a Muir Models Logging Camp. There just don't seem to be any out there.

See what I mean. If you could help any of these guys with your dust collectors, you could step to the plate. These guys aren't asking for help, but what the heck.
 
D

dthurman

Guest
SpaceMouse said:
It could get weird if we have a forum of posting what we want. I was thinking more along the lines of just when in the course of conversation something comes up. Like:

That's really a nice picture of that F2. I really want an F2. I am going to start putting money on layaway next month if I have some extra cash.

Or,

I'm planning a layout and I have it worked out just the way I want it. But I'm going to have to wait a little while longer because my Dad says I have to put half of what I own away for college.

Or

I've been coming the web and eBay for months trying to find a Muir Models Logging Camp. There just don't seem to be any out there.

See what I mean. If you could help any of these guys with your dust collectors, you could step to the plate. These guys aren't asking for help, but what the heck.
I see your thought process on that, and your right, if I am understanding, that you aren't so much wanting a swap shop or barter board, but more discreetly done. I can see that if it was a trade section, the lurkers may join only to scam something and then we would have problems, if it's just members that after a while you have gotten to know, be it coffee-talk or general posting, you have an idea of their character.

Am I getting that right? I do like you idea, you know I have been scrouring the web for a Cambria Sub Station from Con-cor or Model Power in N scale, but it is no longer made, problem is, I don't know what I could trade or swap back, though I would be willing to pay, after I get the government to quite #$@@ Carol and I around.

Good idea Chip, and a great gesture of good will, something our planet seems lacking at times.
 

Old 97

Hogger
SpaceMouse said:
But some people need to be the first to put it out there and say "I'm willing."
I'm with you on this one Chip.
I like to share what I have.
As an example, when I'm at work there are quite a few folks who share a variety of interests with me.
Some are railfans,others enjoy cigars and some collect coins.
When I can, I like to bring in something to share with the group.
Nothing fancy. Just simple things like a couple of cigars or the new issue of Model Railroader,a wheat penny or silver nickle from the forties.
As a result of this, my friendships at work flourish.
I have items shared in return and great conversation to enjoy.
My day goes faster and the stress level stays down.
I never expect anything in return and I'm never disappointed.
It's just a great way to be.
So please feel free to count me in on this. :)
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
I'm not discouraging trades by any means. I have some nice stuff on the forum right now. A BLI M1 and a Magnuson Hotel, but no one seem interested. The Magnuson Hotel in particular is a classic piece and I am offering a Bargain for the M1A, but not even a nibble. In fact, in all the train boards, I've not seen any selling or trading actually work. Like I said, though, in other hobbies, you would tend to shop the forums before you considered new if you could find it.

My guess is that there is just a lack of trust here that isn't there elsewhere. It surprises me because people here are so nice.
 

Steve B

Firefighter
Chip, nice one, it's great to give away somthing if it can be used by somebody who would not normally get this sort of thing, if it gives them a hobby even better
 

leghome

Maytag "Danged Agitator"
It does feel good to give. I have a friend who has little money and had started to build a layout. I had a lot of extra flex track and sectional track plus several not needed buildings and rolling stock peices. We were in a chat room one night and he was talking about what he wanted to do to his layout. I got his address and sent him all of my spare stuff. When he opened the box his wife bout went nuts cause he spent to much money for RR items they did not need. She sent me a very noice thank you note when she realized what had happened. That really was a great feeling to get the note from her.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
leghome said:
It does feel good to give. I have a friend who has little money and had started to build a layout. I had a lot of extra flex track and sectional track plus several not needed buildings and rolling stock peices. We were in a chat room one night and he was talking about what he wanted to do to his layout. I got his address and sent him all of my spare stuff. When he opened the box his wife bout went nuts cause he spent to much money for RR items they did not need. She sent me a very noice thank you note when she realized what had happened. That really was a great feeling to get the note from her.
Yes, that's exactly what I am talking about.
 

SDP45

I like TYCO!
Having bought an item from a fellow here, I think it could really work. I do hope something comes of this idea.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
I'm all for helping other modelers and think you have a great idea. If you target the younger members, they'll benefit the most from items they recieve.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
grande man said:
I'm all for helping other modelers and think you have a great idea. If you target the younger members, they'll benefit the most from items they recieve.

That is true most of the time, however, if I'm not using something, my personal policy is not to discriminate. Your milage may vary.
 

Rotorranch

MRR Refugee
Mouse...I really think that you are one of the most generous people I've met on the web in a long, long time! Your offer for the free set in the for sale forum is a great idea to get a younger, or less priveledged ( $$$ ) modeler involved in the hobby!

As I stated to you in my email, I would feel guilty taking your set!

And I still think Spacemouse should be The Ambassador of Model Railroading! :)

 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
SpaceMouse said:
That is true most of the time, however, if I'm not using something, my personal policy is not to discriminate. Your milage may vary.

No discrimination is involved. You can give a personal belonging to whoever you wish. The EEOC isn't calling the shots here. ;)
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
EEOC :eek: :eek: :eek:

That brings up another point.

I guess I'm going to have to require a release form for all give aways before you get them. :( :confused: :( I don't have free train liablity insurance.
 

Curtis

New Member
When I was a kid and just starting out in the hobby I was in the local hobby shop with my dad trying to spend the allowance that I had saved. An older gentleman had noticed by my conversation with my dad that I was starting out and didn’t have much in the way of a layout or rolling stock. As my dad and I were leaving the store he caught up with us and started a conversation about my “plans” and then offered us a small layout that he had in the back of his car. It wasn’t much but at the time it meant the world to me and boy did that make my year. It also got me more involved in the hobby.

Now that I’m older and more established in the hobby that act of kindness has not been forgotten. Whenever I head down to the local hobby shop I always take my box of older or no longer used rolling stock, locomotives and general stuff and if there’s a younger hobbyist I’ll engage in a conversation about their “plans”. If I have anything that helps them out or helps encourage them it’s gladly passed on to them. Hopefully it will keep them going in the hobby and sometime in the future they will help out a new young model railroader.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
That's a cool story, Curtis. I'm all for doing things to brighten a kid's day. Unfortunately, in today's world, kindness from a stranger may be the only light they see on a given day. :(
 




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