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Usually most people should be able to test their transformer/power regulator with something Lego.. it is rare that someone has a regulator but has no train to test it on.. Otherwise it is hit or miss, but rarely have I received a power reg that does not work (plus you can still find those MISB) I would say if you see an eBay auction then ask the seller to test the engine (unless it does already mention it was tested in the auction) and ask if the train/engine can go around the track without issues, or if it seems like the track is dirty.. again a good polish should clear up any issues with the train track, unless you see rust.. then it depends if it is just light surface rust, or heavy rust.. in which case you may need to brillo pad it which may damage the plastic.
Now I just need to figure out how to find more train tracks for a reasonable price...
Also I believe now would be a good time to look on eBay.
In theory, there are less people on eBay now than during Early Spring, Late Fall and winter months....
I know there are remarks about 9 volt track at ME Models but from what I have seen their track is the same cost IMO, and Id rather have official Lego track than buy a reproduction for the same price.
^ I agree with @madforlegos a good large lot with several switch sets will kind of drag down prices because people have enough of them I think.