When should an old toy train be called original?  One ongoing issue I have experienced is sellers calling an item original when it has been repainted or has had other modifications made.

To me, the word original and virgin could be interchangeable.  It is…or is not, you are our you are not.  There is no half way about it.  I don’t mind if someone is specific and states that an item has all the original parts…but has been repainted.  They are being straightforward and honest, but to state that a repainted piece is original is misleading…

I have noticed this more from European sellers on eBay where they list items as original in the header and then bury the words “neu lackiert”  somewhere in the description, while other times they just stick with “original” and make no mention of repainting. These are not individuals selling an odd piece that they happened to find, these are larger established sellers that have been online for years.

My question(s) are:

  • Is my thought as to what the word “original” means incorrect?
  • If an item has original parts but is repainted, is it still original?
  • If an item has had missing parts replaced with original parts is it original?
  • Why is the phenomenon more common in Europe than North America?

The reason that this is an issue to me is I would not knowingly buy a repainted piece because I know it may be harder to sell later and I will almost assuredly get less money for it.  If I buy an item as repainted I would expect to pay less than an original so when I sell it, it carries through.  If I buy an item as original (and pay for it as such) and it is not original, I take that as being screwed…

Another thing that makes me smile is when an item is described as having an “older restoration”.  I assume that because it was done a while ago that this makes the item more desirable?
Why does no-one ever list an item as being “freshly repainted”…as in painted just this morning?
I think some people list something as being an older restoration so they don’t get an earful…they repainted themselves two weeks ago but want to put the blame on one of the previous owners…”it is an older restoration”

I have also never seen an restoration that was not listed as being “professional”.  Professional is often associated with a top-notch job, a job done by someone that knows what they were doing. Often the word professional is simply used as an adjective to make the item in question seem more appealing.

I am poking a bit of fun at the “older restorations” and “professional paint jobs” just because I was in the mood to write.  The main reason for this post again was to get other’s ideas as to where the line is drawn as far as listing an item as being “original”.