Frequently Asked Questions
Using the Catalog
What is the purpose of the Catalog?
The Lionel Garage Catalog is a structured, searchable resource for Lionel Racing diecast cars and accessories. It aims to make collecting easier by being a reliable, comprehensive catalog for collectors to discover information and photos about both new and old items.
The Catalog also serves as the foundation for My Garage, the site’s innovative collection management feature. The Catalog and My Garage feature living linkages, so that all the information, photos, and resources of the Catalog are seamlessly imported into My Garage whenever you add an item to your collection. Our official product data and photos make the Catalog a particularly robust and detailde resource the collecting community.
The task of creating and maintaining the Catalog would is certainly immense, even with the official product information and history available here at Lionel Racing, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure the Catalog remains accurate, especially as we launch new items. As a free resource for collectors, we hope it becomes the ultimate encyclopedia for the hobby.
What is a Lionel Garage Item ID and how can I use it?
One of the key challenges for collectors in many hobbies is in the identification and communication of which specific item they have. For instance, a collector might refer to a car as a “2006 #24 DuPont RCCA Car,” but the actual car being referred to is more accurately the “2006 Jeff Gordon DuPont RCCA Elite Color Chrome”
Here at Lionel Racing, we have done our best to maintain a consistent and reliable naming and identification structure for the products we’ve released, but we still wanted to provide the ultimate identifier for items in our Catalog. We call this the “Lionel Garage Item ID”, and every single distinct item in our Catalog includes this unique identifier.
In order to eliminate any confusion about the exact car being referenced, the Lionel Garage Item ID will lead you to a specific page in the Catalog that will display every single product detail of the item in question, helping you identify the exact item once and for all. The ID will always start with "LG," followed by a number. For example, the “2006 Jeff Gordon DuPont RCCA Elite Color Chrome” mentioned above is “LG-0429241”. No matter what it is inconsistently called by collectors around the globe, that item will always be “LG-0429241.”
Using the shorter Lionel Garage ID can greatly simplify communication between collectors. Both parties can identify precisely which item they’re referencing, and buyers can rest easy knowing exactly which item they’re purchasing.
Our goal with the the Lionel Garage Item ID is to provide the absolute most accurate and efficient way to identify items.
I can’t locate the item(s) I am looking for in the Catalog. What are some tips and trick to finding them?
There are two main ways to find items in the Catalog:
- Browsing the Catalog’s categories manually
- Using the Search bar.
Browsing the Catalog’s categories manually: If you have several items of the same driver, you may find that browsing through the categories of the Catalog is the most efficient way to locate multiple items in short order. Start by choosing one of the featured categories on the Catalog home page, then you can narrow it down further by selecting the Driver, Year, Series, and more.
As you click on different series, you will notice that the items displayed on the page are filtered to the specific category you’re viewing. One great thing is that you will naturally learn as you explore, and once you find the series you are looking for, all the items you are looking for are right there. We built our category structure to provide a smooth and intuitive experience.
At any time, if you see a car from the desired category, you can “jump ahead’” by clicking on its specific category path (below its name) to see only the items in that deeper category. Another thing to note, is that once you are in the correct "deepest" part of the taxonomy, you can do searches within just this most constrained subset by selecting the checkbox next to the search bar.
Using the Search barWhen looking for specific items or items you don’t know much about, search is a great option. To search effectively, type the most specific part of your car’s name into the search box. For example, if you are looking for a Jeff Gordon car, searching for only “Jeff Gordon” will return more than 900 results. Alternatively, if you search for “Jeff Gordon 2006 Dupont” the search will return only 56 items – a much smaller subset in which you can find the correct item.
Our Catalog features many different kinds of product details, including SKUs, DIN Numbers, years, scales, and more. This array of information means you can use each of these in your queries to help locate items via search more effectively.
I think an item in the Catalog has inaccurate or missing information. How can I help?
We’ve done our best to ensure that each and every item in the Catalog includes all of the information in our official historic records. If you think you’ve discovered a mistake, inconsistency, incorrect photo, or any other error in the Catalog, please contact us with the correction.
In your message, please include the following information: Item Name, its URL in the Catalog, the nature of the error, and your suggested fix for the error.
What are the item naming standards on Lionel Garage?
We strive to follow a simple rule when naming items in the Catalog: we try to name the car by the name on the box. That means that some items may share a full or partial name with other items (e.g. there are a lot of “Jeff Gordon Dupont” cars). You will also see some very long names (e.g. “2006 Jeff Gordon DuPont/Foose Custom Design GM HOTO Brushed Metal”) because that is the name/description given on the package. Because all items have their own unique Lionel Garage Item ID, the names do not have to be needlessly overloaded with extraneous information.
Managing My Garage
How do I add items to my collection?
To add items to your own personal My Garage, you’ll first need to register for an account. Once you’re registered and logged in, you can head to the Catalog to get started. Find a car that you own, and then just hit the “Have it” button above the item. This will add the item to your own personal My Garage, where you can track, manage, and view your personal collection. If you have two of that item, you should click the “Have it” button twice.
When you mark “Have it” on an item, basically a “copy” of that car is recorded in your My Garage section of Lionel Garage. You will notice that, for example, if you clicked “Have it” for the “2006 Jeff Gordon DuPont RCCA Elite Color Chrome” model with Item ID “LG-0429241,” you would see that exact car listed under your My Garage tab with the Item ID of LG-0429241-XXXX.
Please note that this process is different from registering an item’s DIN Number on the site. Anyone can add any item to their My Garage, whether or not it’s actually an item they own. The only way to truly prove that an item is in your collection is to register it via DIN Number (and receive an official certificate of ownership).
What is DIN Registration and how do I do it?
DIN stands for Diecast identification number. Every ARC Platinum and ELITE die-cast is produced with its own unique DIN. The DIN, visible through the car’s back window, allows collectors the opportunity to register their die-cast on Lionel Garage, and then download a certificate of authenticity to prove that they are the official owner of a specific car.
Registering a DIN on Lionel Garage is a very easy process. Begin by navigating to the item you own in the Catalog. Once you’ve found your exact item, click into it, and then look for the “Register Your DIN” box above the primary photo. Enter your DIN exactly as it appears on your car, then hit the “submit” button. Your DIN is now registered and will display on your item in My Garage.
If you are a Diamond Member, after registering your DIN, you can also download a certificate of authenticity using the “Print” button on the item’s detail page in the Catalog or from My Garage. Diamond Members can download unlimited certificates, proving they are the rightful owner of every DIN registered vehicle in their collection.
How can I remove items from my collection?
To remove items from your collection, click on the My Garage tab and then navigate to the car you want to remove. Above the item details, you will see a red button that says “Remove from Collection.” Simply click that button and the item will no longer be in your garage.
I see that I can record different information for my items. What do the fields mean?
The items in your garage automatically inherit all of the great information that you see in the Catalog, but you can also add specific personal information about your personal items. Simply navigate to an item in your garage, and then click on each of the following fields to record this information for your items:
Packaging: This is a simple checkbox to indicate whether or not your item is still in its original packaging.
Grade: This field should include an estimate of the item’s overall grade, using whichever grading standard you prefer.
Condition: Whereas “Grade” is a short-hand term for an item’s condition, the Condition field enables a collector to write a freeform description of his or her item’s condition. There are a number of abbreviations collectors may use in the Condition field, but the important thing is to accurately and honestly describe your car. In the event you ever sell or trade that item, you will save yourself and your potential buyer a great deal of grief by accurately and honestly describing the condition of your item.
Item Visibility: If you don’t want a particular item showing up publicly on your Showcase, you can mark it as private in this field.
Trading: If you would like other collectors to reach out to you about trading this item, you can mark it “For Trade” in this field.
Date Acquired: Pick the day you acquired the item.
Acquisition Cost: Record how much you paid for the item.
Purchase Location: If you’d like to remember where you purchased an item (e.g., “At a convention”, “On Lionel Garage”, or “From a friend”), this field allows you to enter that information.
My Value: Here you can enter your estimated value for an item. If you fill in the My Value field, Lionel Garage will use it when reporting your collection’s overall value (coming soon).
Note Field 1 and 2: The two custom fields are for collectors to record other types of information about their items.
How can I upload photos of my own items?
In order to provide a consistent and professional resource, we have populated the Lionel Garage Catalog with thousands of high quality official images of our products. If you’d like to use your own personal photos for items in your garage, that is a feature which is available to Diamond Members. They will not be displayed on the Catalog, but they will display for you in My Garage.
Once you’re a Diamond Member, adding your own photos is easy. Go to My Garage and navigate to one of your cars. There you can click on the Upload Photos button. Pick JPG or PNG files to upload for that item, and please be mindful of any restrictions presented when uploading files.
How does having my collection managed on Lionel Garage benefit me?
Of course the biggest benefits are being able to keep track of what you have and what you want. Instead of having to try to remember it all, collectors can access their full collection and wanted list from any web browser, or from their iPhone and Android-based mobile phones. There’s no more guesswork! Beyond that, because My garage is integrated with the Catalog and Marketplace, it becomes a dynamic and living collection. As the information for your items is improved in the Catalog, the data in your Collection is enhanced. As you make purchases on the Marketplace, items are automatically added to your garage.
One interesting benefit of managing your collection alongside thousands of other collectors is that you gain insights about your own items, based on the aggregate activity of the community. For example, Lionel Garage shows a collector how many other users have marked his or her items as wanted. We also give collectors a feel for how commonly their items are owned by the collecting community. Additionally, as items you want to purchase are posted for sale or reduced in price, Lionel Garage can automatically notify you.
I get alerts on some of my Wanted Items. How does that work?
By default, when a user marks an item as “Want it”, thereby adding it to their Wanted List, Lionel Garage turns on ”Marketplace Alerts.” Whenever a matching item is listed for sale or reduced in price, the user will get a brief notification with a link to view that listing. You can manage these alerts in your Account Settings.
What makes buying on Trainz Auctions safe and secure?
Buyers and sellers can feel safe using Trainz Auctions because it leverages the most popular and proven payments platform in the world, PayPal. All money flows directly between buyers and sellers, and both parties are bound by the PayPal Dispute Resolution Center. All user-sensitive, confidential information is transmitted using encrypted communications, and it is stored in a secure format on Trainz Auctions systems. Both buyers and sellers are able to communicate through the messaging system without revealing personally identifiable information. Importantly, there is a feedback mechanism for both buyers and sellers. Both parties are incented for good behavior knowing that the other party can hurt their “reputation” on Trainz Auctions with a negative feedback rating.
When a buyer or seller disputes a feedback rating they have received, we will review the transaction details and messages between both parties. At our discretion feedback may be amended from negative to neutral, although the original comments will be left intact. In these cases, both parties will be notified of the change, as we always seek full transparency with the feedback system.
How do I pay for items I buy in the Trainz Auctions Marketplace?
Both buyers and sellers must have active PayPal accounts. On PayPal, payment can be made with credit card, bank draft or e-Check. We may add other payment methods later.
Buyers should attempt to make payments within 3 days of an auction closing. In cases when buyers are waiting for multiple auctions to close in order to take advantage of combined shipping rates, please pay as quickly as possible after the last item ends. Trainz Auctions considers 10 days the maximum amount of time a buyer may wait to pay, but sellers may outline more specific or timely deadlines in listing details, so please refer to each listing individually.
How can I contact a seller?
Users can contact the individual seller of any item in the Trainz Auctions Marketplace. Click on the “Contact the Seller” button for a listing and write a note. This communication shows up in the seller’s Inbox, where they can reply to you securely, using only Trainz Auctions usernames.
How do I leave feedback for a seller?
Feedback is critical in online marketplaces. It provides a way for buyers and sellers to grade each other, establishing a “trustablility reputation” for each of the partners in the transaction. To leave feedback for a seller, click on the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Click on My Account. Click on the Feedback section. There you will see a link for “Feedback”. The feedback model in Trainz Auctions is two-part. First, was your experience Positive, Neutral or Negative. If the seller communicated adequately with you, dealt with you honestly, and was reasonably responsive, we encourage you to consider that a “Positive” experience. Even if the item wasn't exactly what you'd hoped for or if there was a shipping error due to the post office, did the seller work in earnest to resolve any issues to your satisfaction? If so, then a “Positive” rating is likely appropriate. If the seller really did not try to gain your satisfaction and you will not likely do business with that seller again, then a “Neutral” or “Negative” rating may be in order. The second part of the rating is a comment field, and what your write there is very important to both future buyers and that seller. Please take the time to fill in feedback for every transaction!
How do I keep track of the feedback sellers have left about me as a buyer?
Sellers can also give feedback on buyers. There are buyers that are not good to do business with as well, and seller feedback helps to provide a check on the buyers. Buyers are responsible for paying and being reasonable about the transaction. To see your buyer feedback, click on the drop-down menu and choose My Account at the top of the screen. Under the Account Settings, you will see a link for “Feedback”. That will list all the feedback that you have received from others.
What happens after I buy an item on Trainz Auctions?
When you click the Pay with PayPal button, we will ask you to log into PayPal to authorize payment for your order. We will have set up your order(s) through PayPal for you, so this is a simple process. The seller will see the orders well-documented in PayPal too, enabling them to take advantage of PayPal features such as label printing, customs documentation, etc. Check the Purchases link at the top of the Trainz Auctions screen to check the current status of your purchases.
How does combined shipping work?
Some sellers offer combined shipping discounts when you purchase multiple items from them. Trainz Auctions will automatically calculate these discounts when you create an invoice and check out in the Marketplace. In order to take advantage of combined shipping on all the items you purchase from the same seller, you will need to wait until all the auctions have closed to create your invoice and checkout. Please do not wait to pay for more than 3 days just to take advantage of a combined shipping discount.
Combined shipping is calculated in one of two ways depending on the eligibility of items in your invoice.
Method 1: When all items are eligible for combined shipping
Items have a "default" shipping price and a "combined" price. The item with the most expensive "default" shipping price will establish the base for an order's shipping, and each subsequent item will add the "combined" shipping cost. Consider the following three items in an invoice.
- Item 1 - Default shipping: $10, Combined: $3
- Item 2 - Default shipping: $8, Combined: $2
- Item 3 - Default shipping: $8, Combined: $2
The total shipping cost for this order would be $14 ($10 + $2 + $2). No matter the order in which the items are purchased, the combined shipping will always calculate with the highest default shipping cost as the base.
Method 2: When only some items are eligible for combined shipping
If an item in your invoice is not eligible for combined shipping, it will have to be shipped in an individual box, which means it will not trigger a combined shipping discount for subsequent items on the invoice. If there are three or more items on an invoice and one is not eligible for combined shipping, the remaining items will use the standard combined shipping calculations described in Method 1. Consider the following invoice.
- Item 1 - Default shipping: $10, (No combined shipping)
- Item 2 - Default shipping: $8, Combined: $2
- Item 3 - Default shipping: $6, Combined: $2
The total shipping cost for this order would be $20 ($10 + $8 + $2). Note that Item 2's shipping is charged at $8 because it is the first item which can be combined and sets the base price. Item 3's shipping is then combinable and charged at $2.
What is the best browser to use for Trainz Auctions?
We regularly test with Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari. We find that Firefox and Chrome are the fastest and most reliable, but IE and Safari work well also. We know people use browsers other than these four to use Trainz Auctions, but we don't test or try to fix bugs on any browser other than the four we regularly test with.
How can I send a message to another collector?
Trainz Auctions has an internal messaging system to enable communication between users without divulging personal information. Right now, conversations can only be initiated to a user who is selling an item in the Marketplace. Once the conversation is initiated, the two users can exchange messages.
If you have any other questions, please contact us.