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Navigating the Secondary Market  

Member Admin
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

O Scale Central’s current project is creating a website including information to help both new and experienced modelers find their way around the scale. That includes ways to find and buy equipment and accessories. The website will host the OS2R Product Guide, as well as articles on how to get started in O Scale and build skills. Another important resource that will be on that website is a guide to the O Scale secondary market.

O Scale 2 Rail has been around a very long time, and there are large amounts of pre-owned equipment available on the secondary market. Some equipment is still new in the box, some has been upgraded, some has been gently used and some are “basket cases,” just waiting to be rebuilt.

Learning how to navigate the secondary market can be important in building a roster of cars and locomotives in the era, and of the railroad, you choose to model. Indeed, finding and buying pre-owned equipment, some rare and intriguing, can itself be a fun part of the hobby.

Most OS2R modelers have been involved in the secondary market in some way, whether we sell or buy something on eBay, groups or at a train show. As part of the info we will provide to new modelers, the OS2R Product Guide will be accompanied by a guide to describe and navigate the secondary market.

How did you start navigating the secondary market? Tell us your experiences in the secondary market.

We need your input to make that secondary market guide as useful and complete as possible.

The OSC Team

Site Admin Admin
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 17

For me, navigating the secondary market started with my local club. I talked with one of the members he took me to my first 2-Rail specific train show.

From there, I was introduced to several vendors, some online, some not. For the online vendors, I saw how they described their businesses and what they had to sell. I searched the internet using that terminology and kept finding places to add to the list of sites I check. 

For the offline vendors, I was taught to collect their business cards and write on the back what items they had that interested me. This way, I could contact them to see if there were any other products they may have.

Searching online, I have found that eBay and the various groups are good for finding OS2R pieces. I have yet to look at auction houses (Stouts gets thrown around), so if anyone has experience with them, or other auction houses, let me know. I'm curious how to buy from them.


Active Member O Scale Kings Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 9

eBay is certainly one of the places worth checking out daily for 2-rail equipment, but for the new O Scale 2-railer it can seem a bit overwhelming: You initiate an O Scale search and then spend (sometimes literally) hours scrolling through the mass of 3-rail stuff, hoping you don't pass over a 2-rail goodie. The answer is to refine your search in a way that I first learned from Rod Miller: instead of searching for something, you don't search for a lot of things. The eBay search engine lets you eliminate things from your search by using the negative sign. If you don't want to search for a lot of things within O Scale, put the negative sign ahead of everything you don't want to see in parentheses separated by commas. i.e. my current search modifier reads as follows:

-(lionel,marx,railking,american flyer,HO,N,k-line,plasticville,MTH,williams)

I know there are Lionel and MTH cars that are desirable, but I'd rather search for those on a case-by-case basis rather than plowing through all of the Lionel Mickey Mouse stuff every day.

Eminent Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 25

@rilynes - I have been a long time e-Bay shopper and have never heard of using a negative sign in an e-Bay search!  A fantastic tip and proof that you can never stop learning!  Great tip!  Thanks.


Estimable Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 185

I'm on eBay looking for O Scale 2 rail models . I have different filters activated. I do not limit too much. 

It is like fishing- you need patience! Be sure to check the model for the O-Scale dimension. If you do not find infos ask the seller. 2-Rail can be veryfied via fotos. 

If you really want a model, but you are Not sure about some items, contact the seller via mail.

My experience: they are really fair by giving you the full information. Damaged models can be a chance 

Juerg - Orange Empire O-Scale