In Cali the bargains will be found at swap meets. The train shows will require a Ca State Board of Equalization License before they will rent table space, so all of the vendors will be pros. Most own hobby shops and use the shows to increase sales. Frequently, state inspectors will come to the shows to make sure that sales vendors have resale licenses so that the state will get their sales tax. Fortunately some of the vendors will have junk boxes with pieces that are for sale cheap. Unfortunately for me, or it may be fortunately for my check book, most vendors will be dealing in G scale or Lionel. I guess that is understandable since I suspect the mark up is better on those sizes.