Where Should I Buy My Model Train Items?
Now that your adventure into model railroading has begun, you might be wondering where you should buy the model railroading items for your ever-expanding train layout. Of course, you want to save money as this hobby is not the cheapest hobby to be involved in. There are three main options for you to make your purchases to acquire things for your model railroad.
The local hobby shop is a great place to go to buy your model train items. It is a great place because you can physically see the different products up close. You can hold them and interact with them. If it is a locomotive that you are interested in purchasing, then you can get the clerk to run it on a test track that is set up in the shop.
The clerks are also going to be able to answer any questions you have about the hobby and make suggestions or recommendations for you. You can also walk out of the shop with the products you purchased and use them on your layout as soon as you get home. The other advantage of shopping at your local hobby shop is that you are keeping your sales tax dollars invested locally and supporting a small business that may be struggling to stay in business.
The internet is probably the best place to go to buy products for your train layout. You are going to be able to find a lot of good deals price wise on the items you are looking to buy. There is a lot of competition, so if you do some research, you will eventually come across a site that sells the item cheaper than the other websites.
A lot of websites will offer free shipping on items and around the holidays, there will be all sorts of sales to get you to buy items. The negatives about shopping online for your train items are that you are not physically able to see the products you are purchasing. You are just going to see a picture of the product you are purchasing. The other disadvantage is that you have to wait for the product to arrive at your house a few days after you purchased it to use on your layout.
All the major manufacturers of model railroading items have their own websites and they will allow you to purchase items directly from them. However, I have found that the prices on the manufacturers’ websites are higher priced and these items can be found through other distributors at a discounted price.
The distributors I like to shop online at are Walther’s, Train World Online, Factory Direct Trains, and Toy Train Heaven. There are plenty of other websites to shop at as well, you just need to do your research and find them.
The other place to find items to buy for your model railroad is at a train show. Train shows are basically a trade show for model train enthusiasts. Trains shows take place once or twice a year and usually come to a major city located nearby. The show will last two or three days and usually take place over a weekend.
The cool part about a train show is that they will have a variety of model railroads set up on display with running trains. The convention halls are full of tables with vendors selling model train items. These vendors will be selling new items as well as used items too. Sometimes, even the major model railroading manufacturers have representatives at the train show with a display of new products that they are offering.
These are the main places where the beginning model railroaders can purchase their model train items. Personally, I like to visit my local hobby shop to purchase track and scenery related items. When I do this, it is because I am in the process of building my home layout when I discover I need a certain piece of track I need right away to complete the project I am working on.
I will also buy a few freight cars and a magazine while I am there too. When I am looking to purchase a locomotive, I will still go to the hobby shop to see it in person. If I like it, however, I will purchase the locomotive through an internet distributor because I can find it for a much better price.
I am also not in a huge rush to get the locomotive running on the layout so I can wait a few days for it to be shipped to my house. Soon, you will find your favorite place to buy model train items for your layout.
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