Appraisals/Evaluations

Engine House Hobbies performs several types of appraisals and evaluations.

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Evaluations: Evaluations are performed in response to such questions as to whether or not the store wishes to purchase a trains set or if a train set in question has any value. These evaluations are not appraisals. They are a general “look see” visual inspection and tend to be informal. Operating items such as engines, car trucks and couplers, lighting, operating accessories and the like are not checked for performance under power. Normally there is no charge for such evaluations and no statement made as to what the actual potential worth may be. However, they may be used as the basis for the store to offer a purchase price.

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Appraisals: Appraisals are more formal and involve checking operating items for operability.
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Informal Appraisals: The informal appraisal is performed only if there is a store interest in the possible purchase of the items for resale. Here items are checked to determine how much work and effort would be involved in bringing the items up to resale quality. There is no charge for this level of appraisal. However, the appraisal information may or may not be shared with the customer.
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Written Appraisals: There are two types of written appraisals and each one comes with a fee. The fee is determined by the size of the collection and is based on the time involved in performing the appraisal.

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The first type of written appraisal is an “as is appraisal.” Here each item is checked as to the quality of the item as is and its operating aspects, as applicable, are checked. A potential resale value is provided and notes are provided as to any observed issues with the item (for example, coupler broken, wheel missing, severely scratched, etc,) and its quality (for example: poor, fair, good, excellent, mint). The appraisal is written and can be used where documented values are needed (eg, Estate determinations, donations and the like).

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It needs to be noted the potential resale value is not necessarily the value that can be obtained. The potential resale value is what is considered a fair price for the items and/or the “book” value if book values are available. In a depressed market actual sale values vary greatly and can be much lower than expected or hoped. In a scarcity market the item may bring a higher value than appraised.

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The second type of written appraisal is for determining if there is an interest in repair and ensuring all items are operational for resale in an attempt to obtain top dollar. Here the current value is provided along with the estimated cost of repairs and what the new value would be of the repaired items. Here a determination can be made if the items are worth repairing. The cost of this type of appraisal can be estimated to be about 1.5 times a normal written appraisal as described above.