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Author Topic: And Another One Bites the Dust  (Read 4746 times)
Paul M.

T&P Railway in the 1950s


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« on: February 08, 2008, 06:25:48 PM »

Another hobby shop in my area, Hobbytown USA is closing. There used to be 3 here, but now there will be only one hobby shop. The Hobbytown USA will close in March. They weren't my favorite hobby shop, but once I got the discount the prices weren't that bad. I guess that means that I'll stock up on Model Railroading supplies, though. Undecided

BTW, the LHS I like best is still open. It's locally owned by 1 woman, and have really cheap bargain prices on almost evrything.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 06:27:19 PM by Paul M. » Logged

Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 07:23:04 PM »

Everything up here in the mountains is high priced, often higher than retail. All the merchants scream about the internet.  I know they can't compete, and they claim we have a moral obligation to buy locally.

Anyway, the closest HS is 200 miles away, so without the net I wouldn't have a hobby.   They say "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and many stores are doing just that.  It's too bad I can't buy diesel fuel on the net, we're paying almost $4/gallon here, it was $1.75 just a year ago.

Check out the following:

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/listings/cat-u.html

They have supplied all my hobby needs for 25 years.  If you join their "Super Saver Club" you get even more savings with monthly quantity discounts. 

Yampa Bob

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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
SteamGene

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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2008, 08:04:15 PM »

Speaking of that, anybody know of a source for Blair Line products that is NOT MSRP?
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Paul M.

T&P Railway in the 1950s


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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2008, 09:02:16 PM »

I went there again today
and bought:
-1 1/2 ounce bottle of Model Master paint
-1 3-foot long aluminum tube (for use on my REA Transfer Building- see HO board)
-1 Atlas Trainman 52-foot ATW gondola
-1 20' roll of Pactra Modeling Making tape
-and 1 Proto 2000 Mather stock car kit (Not Timesaver)
+tax
for $16.67

On Receipt:
You saved: $18.30

You know you got a bargain when you pay less than what you saved. Wink

I'm still sad the most convenient LHS that I go to is closing, though.
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rogertra


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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2008, 09:35:45 PM »

Hobbytown USA  is hardly a "hobby store", they're more a chain of overpriced toy retail outlets found in malls.
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r.cprmier

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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2008, 10:20:41 PM »

My two major sources for supplies are the internet, and the hobby shows.  The one shop I go to is starting to do a lot of mail order.  That tells me something. 
Also; as a engine "remodellere", I use a lot of Cal-Scale parts.  My main source is Bowser.   For other parts, I go to Greenway, Tichy, etc. 

It is truely a sad note that  "The times, they are-a-changin".  It was a joy to jost go to the hobby shop and browse, finding something you didn't expect-sort of lilke going to the park for a stroll, and finding that strawberry blonde...

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2008, 01:28:35 PM »

Gene
I have a couple of dealer friends in Kansas that give me fair discounts on items Tower doesn't carry.  For example, $49 for a Roundhouse car set listed at $69 at Horizon.   I'll check around for you.  Is there a particular item you want?

These dealers also now have mail order and are competing quite well. 

When I had a business in Kansas City, there was a huge hobby shop one block away. Guess where I spent my lunch hour?  "Let's see, how can I add this as a business expense"......

Bob
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 01:37:32 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
SteamGene

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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2008, 01:58:51 PM »

Bob,
Check my stats and send me an e-mail and I'll give you the parts I need and the MSRP.  And thanks for your e-mail, EBTBob.
BTW, several years ago I bought a cast model of a log house - the kind with the porch between the living area and the cooking area.  It now sits up on a ridge overlooking Keezeltown on the CB&W club layout.  I like wide open spaces, too.   
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Dr EMD

Founded 1922 as Electro-Motive Engineering Company


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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 12:23:39 PM »

Here in northern Virgina, we lost Granddads in Springfield VA. The moved to West Virginia and on-line. The Rip Track disappeared one day from Woodbridge VA. That was no lost as I did not like their pricing policy. At the RIP track you can pick up an Athearn Box and see the retail price was raised three times to reflect new wholesale prices. Their name reflects what they do, and I don't mean Repair in Place.

We still have Trains, Etc,  in Lorton VA but they are more into the toy side than scale modeling.

There's a few in Maryland just within reach of the beltway (I-495). I usually make a stop there on my way to/from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
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Electro-Motive Historical Research
(Never employed by EMD at any time)

Yampa Bob

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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2008, 02:22:32 PM »

What really irritates me is when I go into a store and ask for something specific.  If the guy doesn't have it I get:   "You don't want that, you want this".

Anymore if a dealer says that I just say "goodbye".  I know what I want, and I want it now.   

If he says " I don't have it but can have it for you next week".  My reply is usually "If I wanted it next week, I would have come in next week".

Another  gripe is when I see the thing hanging on the wall behind the counter, but the guy says "My computer says we are out of that item".

If he says "We don't sell many of those",  I reply "How can you sell them if you don't have them". 

Biggest complaint:  Ask for a pair of  34-34 jeans.  "We're out of them, they are the most popular size".  But they have 500 of them in size 54.   We have to even order our clothing on the internet. 

Now this is way off topic, but when we built our house the guy selling us the cabinets said there was a problem.  To have the appliances where we wanted, there would be a 12" empty space in the cabinets.  I asked him if they made a 12" unit , and he said yes they did  "Well, stick it in there."    I was considering another destination for the cabinets.

Bob

« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 02:28:06 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
geoff

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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2008, 02:43:18 PM »

I just don't understand retail, and I mean that, I really don't? One company's suggested retail is meaningless while another's is closer to the mark? Somehow the hobby shops are tied to a certain distributer and must honer this "retail" price??? If I buy a Bachmann item I expext to pay at the most 1/2 of suggested retail, usually much less and believe me I have thousands of dollars in Bachmann stuff. On the other hand a Kato item will be closer to that companies suggested retail and Athearn tends to be some where in between. I have several hobby shops that are about 50 to 60 miles away and I will buy some things from them. I would even spend a little more just to keep them going but I am not going to pay $1200 to $1400 for a K-27 that I can buy at Caboose Hobbies for $700 to keep them in business! On the other hand I would be willing to bet that those hobby shops paid more for their K-27's than Caboose hobbies is selling them for? I often thought that if I had a hobby shop why would I have Bachmann Fn3 Heisler on display for $799 when I could buy some at Trainworld for $295, give my customers a break, sell it for about $450 and help my bottom line? But I guess the hobby shops have to buy from certain distributers and there in lies the problem. I don't know what the solution is but my funds are limited and I cand afford to pay 40% to 150% more to keep the locals in business. I will say this, I will continue to by detail parts, couplers and other small items at my hobby shop and any large items when their price is "close" to my best price. I am sorry but that's the way it is!
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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2008, 03:44:08 PM »

Since Horizon bought Athearn, or whatever, they are few discounts on Athearn products.  Horizon has a website, and they will sell direct.  However, their pricing is full retail to "protect" their dealers.     

I have a dealer friend in the midwest that recently said this in an email "I refuse to sell Horizon products  at full retail or higher as Horizon has instructed me to do."  I recently ordered 4 Roundhouse vintage cars from him at $14.95 each, Horizon's price is $18.95. 

When I visited his store last summer, I asked him if he had discounts on everything.  He said "No I have to feed my family too".  But on Horizon and some other brands he tries to help out on quantities.  The retail business is tough, I've been there myself.


Bob

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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2008, 04:17:46 PM »

I will say this, I will continue to by detail parts, couplers and other small items at my hobby shop and any large items when their price is "close" to my best price. I am sorry but that's the way it is!

You're fortunate to have access to places that still carry detail parts. Nobody I have access to seems to carry things like detail parts and decals anymore, and if I only need a bell for a new locomotive, or decals for one car, I'd feel foolish trying to order such a small purchase on line.

More than half the time, or so it seems, when I go into a hobby shop looking for a specific item, they don't have it.
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2008, 04:33:37 PM »

To all:

First, the wholesale price from the manufacturer is not the same percentage from every brand, That is why you see Bachmann discounted 45% and Athearn only discounted 15%-20%.

When you do see Bachmann discounted 45% it was bought directly from Bachmann, not through a distributor like Walthers.

Small shops cannot buy large enough quanities to buy direct so they cannot discount lines like Bachmann as much as places like Trainworld, etc.

Athearn is discounted everywhere I shop, but only about 15%-20% because their parent company is their only distrubutor - basicly one price for all, little shop or big you pay the same for Athearn - I think that is good. More fair than a big dealer being able to sell something for just pennies above what the small dealer has to pay - no offense Mr. B.

If direct online sources like Walthers and Horizon discounted their prices, small dealers would simply not buy from them and small shops would all be gone overnite.

Fact is, in most cases, the lowest prices you see on any product from reputible dealers, represents a reasonable profit above what they paid.

And, the myth that volume will always lower the price is just that, a myth. There is a lowest price, otherwise the manufacturers would loose money and go out of business.

One thing that does happen today is that after a product is not longer the "hot" thing, some big retailers will "dump" the rest at very low prices, just above their cost to get their money out of them rather than wait for people to want th rest (train world closeouts, ebay, train shows, etc.).

Some manufacturers who may be tight on cash have been known to do the same thing. My experiance in business tells me this is a bad idea. It creates an expectation in the customers mind that the "value" of the product is lower, making it harder to sell the next batch at a reasonable profit.

Me, I'm a pure capitalist, I shop for the lowest price and best service (if I need any kind of service), but if I really want something and I understand the current price to be fair, to both the buyer and seller, I will pay that price.

Small hobby shops are at a big disadvantage these days - I know, I've worked in that business.

Yampa Bob,

I agree withyou about poor atitudes of shop owners and that you have to have merchandise on hand to sell stuff. But except for large population centers, Model Trains does not have a large enough customer base to support well stocked local shops (unless they are also successfull mail order/internet outlets).

Business owners cannot pay rent for large retail spaces, stock millions (yes millions) of dollars worth of products, pay their help, etc, all on number of modelers in a small town or rural area, unless they are independantly wealth and are just running their store for fun.

The number of products has become so large in this hobby that it takes nearly a super market sized store to have a comprehensive selection.

So while the local shop is a fun and wonderful place, it has become largely out moded by the growth of the hobby.

Sheldon
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 04:36:06 PM by Atlantic Central » Logged
Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2008, 08:23:24 PM »

A new Super Walmart  and Walgreens opened here just before Christmas.  You can imagine the impact on the smaller stores.

Bob
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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
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