I have noticed that some auctions for model railway locomotives are devoid of certain details that I believe are very important, particularly for the collector. After all, you only want to purchase one of your chosen locomotive (don't you)?!
Always check the following:
- whether is comes with the original box and the condition of the box
- whether the detail pack is included (if there was one originally)
- all buffers are intact and are sprung (if they are meant to be)
- couplings present and intact (including hooks)
- any marks or blemishes on the paintwork (just because none are mentioned do not assume there are none)
- all decals intact
- running condition - does it run smoothly at all speeds including dead slow (but do take account of the age of the loco as many older motors are not capable of running at a very slow speed and perhaps do not work properly with feedback controllers)
- is it DCC ready or fitted with a DCC decoder
- study all photos carefully
Finally, ask as many questions as you need to! Ensure you are satisfied with the condition before you bid. If it is not mega-rare, another will be along soon if you miss this one.