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Author Topic: How and Where to buy Bachmann locos in the Southeast?  (Read 2753 times)
bobgrosh

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« on: November 22, 2007, 05:14:26 AM »

I travel a great deal in  Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. I've located a dozen large scale dealers in that area, but almost none carry any Bachmann LS trains.

Dealing with them is a nightmare.

First, I should say, I DO NOT DO MAIL-ORDER. The first year in the hobby, I did, and lost 3 Locos, and 4 $250.00 passenger cars to the shipping process. Wife said the "D" word if I ever mail-ordered anything over $50.00 again.

I don't have many Bachmann locos. Mainly because they are so hard to find. I got Big Haulers in sets. I found a 2 truck shay at a train show in Birmingham. A very old Lynn was found in a small shop, they had it on display for years before I found it. I found a trolley at the Bachmann booth in the SE train show 2 years ago. Several others were bought used.

Now we come to the three truck shay.

I am unable to handle any big heavy loco well enough to convert it to DCC, specially ones with small delicate parts. I was never able to perform the lubrication procedure on my old 2 truck shay without breaking lots of little things, so when Bachmann announce the three truck Shay, WITH DCC INSTALLED, I just had to have one. The only place that had one was a mail order dealer 600 miles from my house. I took a day off from work and drove to SC. to see what he had. I ended up buying 12,000.00 dollars worth of locos that day, including one Bachmann, an undecorated 3 truck shay with DCC sound. Unfortunately, the van was full, I was running late, and my Shay was buried in the middle of a pallet of newly arrived Shays and would take a long time to get out.

I paid for the Shay and agreed to return a month later to pick it up.

Then I had trouble getting the dealer to answer the phone. I took another day off to visit the dealer again, only to find the dealer closed.

More calls, left messages, no return calls.

Another 600 mile trip, the dealer's warehouse was empty, abandoned and no forwarding address.

In the following months I tracked them down, found they were relocated into a new place of business and had my Shay. They said they would ship it. I reluctantly agreed.

It never showed up.
Twice more, I reached them, they made an excuse, said they would ship it, and twice more it was a no-show. That was August and September. the loco had been purchased for over a year.

I  finally got through to them on the phone in November. They said they discovered that all their Shays turned out to be ones without the sound decoder. They called and tried to get me one direct from Bachmann, but the ones with sound are no longer available. They are shipping me the undecorated one without sound or DCC. So far it has not arrived.

 Sadly, dealers here in the deep south are on a shoe-sting budget. Many have had one or two Bachmann cars, but I've managed to clean them out. They do not re-order. They will special order if you pre- pay. And, that has draw backs too.  This is certainly no reflection on Bachmann, as the same thing has happened when trying to get other brands of LS. A dealer in Montgomery folded right after I prepaid for four Aristo heavyweight passenger cars.

I suddenly realized that a major reason for most of my cars and locos being one brand, is that that brand is carried by large retail stores who can afford the high priced line and stock them.

Now, finally, My question:

I'm sure there are plenty of shops I have not visited in my limited 3-1/4 state area. Where can I find large reputable shops that carry Bachmann locos in stock. Ones that I can see and perhaps have test run on  the shops track? The easiest to get to would be in Alabama followed by  the panhandle of Florida, Georgia, then Mississippi or South Carolina.

By the way I prepaid for a K27, MAIL-ORDER, but don't tell my wife. Hope it doesn't take as long to get here as the three truck Shay.


B0B
« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 05:20:27 AM by bobgrosh » Logged
petertoot

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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2007, 06:12:31 AM »

hi bob,here in australia,if a dealer did that to us,it would be the same,but fortunatly we have a lot of good dealers sure,there not perfect,but what can you do when all large scale trains are imported from china or usa.i will say one thing,so far with me buying of ebay,mostly from usa,most go out of there way to help,keep you happy,i agree,the k-27 is my next loco,but the price in auzzie is at least double,plus post to what you pay in the states,so ithink i will take a chance on a dealer in usa who is big,and have insurance!!!!!!!!!any suggestions??happy trains,peter in auzzie..
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calenelson
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2007, 11:54:18 AM »

I have yet to locate any store in my home state of SC that has any amount of stock on hand. period...unless you want a LGB Starter Set or some Lionel....anyways, I'd save up, February will be here sooner that you think and try for some bargains at the SELSTS.....minus the Trail-Li bender, that is what I plan to do!

Cale

Happy Thanksgiving!
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japasha

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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2007, 07:17:21 PM »

Bob,

I understand your apprehension about ordering.

I live in Tennessee and I have a big problem ordering from my local hobbyshop in Knoxville. I have been ordering from St. Aubin's in Ilinois. I haven't had  problem and they are a stocking retailer of Bachmann trains in Large Scale and On30. Call them and talk to them. I have ordered Large Scale brass and had no problems. They will ship the way you want with trackers and all. That's the best way, get UPS or FedEx tracking on what ever you have shipped.  I know the place you had the problem with and I wouldn't buy from them.

Note the prices at St. Aubin, among the best for Bachmann and other brands.
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bobgrosh

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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2007, 09:10:38 PM »

Bob,

.. I have been ordering from St. Aubin's in Ilinois. ...
...Call them and talk to them. ...
... get UPS or FedEx tracking on what ever you have shipped. ...

That's 1021 miles from here, A little father than I can manage in a weekend.

Tracking and insurance is one of the reasons I don't do mail order.

Trackiing only tells you they think they delivered it somewhere, or it is lost.
Even when you insure a $1,200.00 mogul, it can be limited if the item is a collectable. I was denied the claims for the lost locos because LGB's web site says their trains are collectable. It's no fun getting 100$ per incident when you order a couple locos. If they deliver it to someone, who signs the return reciept with a scribble, you won't even get the $100.00. Dealing with the adjusters is such a headach that when I order parts, and keep them under 50$, I just reorder and don't bother with the claims or waste my money on insurance.
Too bad about Knoxville, that is not too far out of the way for me, In fact, I'll be just outside of Chattanooga this coming Monday.
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hobo

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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2007, 10:36:08 PM »

Bob,

I know that this is like lock ing the barn door after the horse gets out, but I think you need to become a better educated consumer.  Espicially when making purchases via the internet or catalog.

The Federal Trade Commision regulates such sales.  My wife ran a successful internet sales company for more then 7 years and is very versed in the regulations.  Here is an overview that will help you.

It is the sellers responsibilty to insure delivery, not the consumers.  If seller can't prove you received the merchandise, then the have to replace it or refund your money.  The seller must file claims for lost shipments, not the consumer.  They have to make sure that the package is insured correctly because they stand to loose money not you.   

So I would check the following to put yourself at ease when ordering, even if the total value is less then $50.00:

Check the FTC web site for current regulations.

Check with your credit card company (Visa, MC, etc) because the have specific contracts with all stores that accept the cards with regards to how and when the product must be delivered.  Such as they can't charge more for using a credit card.  They can not charge you until the product is shipped.  And you can challenge any charge.

Check with the Post Office, UPS and FedEx to determine what their policies are.  They also have provisions that may help you recoop your money or product.

Good luch with your search and mail order purchases.

Russell
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Spule 4

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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 11:37:41 PM »

Bob,

I understand your apprehension about ordering.

I live in Tennessee and I have a big problem ordering from my local hobbyshop in Knoxville. I have been ordering from St. Aubin's in Ilinois. I haven't had  problem and they are a stocking retailer of Bachmann trains in Large Scale and On30. Call them and talk to them. I have ordered Large Scale brass and had no problems. They will ship the way you want with trackers and all. That's the best way, get UPS or FedEx tracking on what ever you have shipped.  I know the place you had the problem with and I wouldn't buy from them.

Note the prices at St. Aubin, among the best for Bachmann and other brands.

Who is the dealer in Knoxville?  The one that was really good that was on the Knoxville/Oak Ridge border is long gone, and Hobbytown's stock has really decreased when they moved from Cedar Bluff to (high-rent) Turkey Creek.  I spend more money at Gander Mtn or the bookstore than there now.

I have mail ordered/eBay almost 99% of my stuff.  Never a problem, and pay by credit card, so if there ever was, I am covered there too.
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Garrett
norman

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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 01:26:37 PM »

Hi Bob:

Have your wife perform the mail order process. That way you won't get into trouble. As one example of a bullet proof reputable dealer, use Ridge Road Station. There is no way that you will get ripped off. Simply won't happen. Ask to speak to Marilyn when you call. Very nice lady and never gets an order messed up.

web address:
http://www.ridgeroadstation.com/

If you wish, have the packages sent registered mail for better security through the mail or use United Parcel Service. United Parcel Service provides you with a package tracking number. I doubt that United Parcel Service will lose your package. UPS wouldn't remain in business long if they made a habit of losing packages. They exist as a response to the hopefully former poor service provided by the United States Postal Service.

Norman
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grumpy

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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2007, 10:13:49 PM »

Always  make your purchases with a credit card Master Card- Visa etc..The credit card card will insure your purchase . If your purchase does not arrive in a reasonable length of time they wil refund your purchase amount. If the retailer is too far to drive to phone your order in and only purchase stock items.Also get the name of the person you are dealing with.
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