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Author Topic: Frustration with Online Hobby Shops  (Read 4208 times)
BestSnowman


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« on: April 09, 2009, 06:22:03 PM »

I'm a little frustrated with online hobby shops, I've been trying to get a couple of these: http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/products.php?act=viewProd&productId=1256 for my layout. I first tried the online store Bachmann links to but after a week of waiting I recieved an email that they had been discontinued and my order cancelled but it is still to this day (over two weeks later) still listed as available (http://www.shopatron.com/product/product_id=BAC18644/211.0).

After I was informed it was not in stock there I did some searching online and found a hobby store that had them in stock! A week and a half later I come home from work with a box waiting for me. It has two Union Pacific cars in it (I ordered four Duluth, Misabe & Iron Range cars) with a note explaining the Duluth cars had been discontinued.

Why list an item is in stock if its not? Has anyone else had this frustration? Do any of you have suggestions for hobby stores I can order from online for stuff that I can't get locally?


In the mean time I have to figure out why half my order was cancelled but was still charged full price.
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-Matthew Newman
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richG
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 06:58:03 PM »

Your best bet is to ask the Group first. I like to support Bachmann but I never buy from Bachmann. There are a lot of on line shops with better prices. Ask first, especially when it comes to ebay.

Others have posted on line shops in the General or HO groups.

Rich
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az2rail


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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 09:22:43 PM »

First of all, I appaud you for buying DM&IR equipment. It is my favorite.

I have found that many on-line stores fail to keep their web site accurate, so I like to call first to make sure the item is accually in stock. That said, they never should have sent the wrong item. I would send them back and get a refund.

Be careful ordering online. Sometimes a store will send what they have and stock, and back order the rest. That means double the cost of shipping.

Bruce
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 09:42:40 PM »

DM&IR is one of my favorites too, mostly because I grew up in Minnesota and the northern part of the state has great scenery. Its also a great snowmobiling and four wheeling area.

I was looking at their site and think the Union Pacific cars might have been a mixup on my part. Bachmann previously made yellow DM&IR ore cars and currently lists a Mineral Red ore car and I originally wanted two of each (the Bachmann store on Shopatron listed both). I looked back at the inventory of the store that sent me the UPs and it appears they don't even list the Mineral Red one, I must have mistaken the UP as the mineral red one so that might have been my mistake.
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OkieRick

Trackside in Rural OK


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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 09:48:10 PM »


Call first then order.

http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/160-18644

$15.00 + shipping



Rick
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BestSnowman


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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 09:56:41 PM »

Good point Rick, Walthers should have been my first stop.
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grumpy

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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 12:52:02 AM »

To echo Rick . Call first and order by ph .
That way  you know if what you want is in stock. Walthers is more expensive than most of the online shops such as Trainworld or Caboose. Still order by ph most have 800 no.
Don
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 12:58:28 AM »

There are hundreds of online "outsourcers", they are not hobby shops. Even those that claim to be hobby shops have no warehouse or inventory. Fact is, there are very few actual stocking dealers. When in doubt, call Walthers or Horizon Hobbies and they will provide a list of stocking dealers.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 03:52:54 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 02:11:56 AM »

BestSnowman,

 I was born in Grand Rapids & raised a "Ranger" in Itasca County, land of a 1000 lakes, many of which I've fished.  My dad worked 35 years for Cleveland Cliffs in the test lab at their Holman Mine.
 
 I recently bought Bachmann DM&IR iron ore cars from MB Klein at modeltrainstuff.com.

 I've bought Bachmann GN heavyweight passenger cars, a Bachmann 4-8-4 & a Spectrum DM&IR 2-10-2 on eBay from thefavoritespot.com, which says it is an authorized Bachmann dealer.  They often put NIB items for auction & also sell them for BuyItNow prices.  I've found both dealers to be reliable, with good prices.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 02:04:40 AM by WGL » Logged
BestSnowman


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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 08:32:47 AM »

I would like to thank everybody for their advice, as a quick update I was refunded for the items that were not sent to me this morning, I'm not sure why they waited till after it was delivered to notify part of the order was discontinued  and refunded.
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BradKT

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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 05:04:21 PM »

I am not endorsing anyone here, but I have had very good experiences with several of the merchants listed on Amazon.com (My Atomic, Hobby Warehouse, Horizon Hobby).  Their listings are accurate, their prices are fairly reasonable, and when MyAtomic had a question, they called me and asked.  I haven't had any problems like the kind that you have mentioned with any of these shops and have ordered from them several times.  With the Amazon.com listed merchants, they tell you how many of an item they have in stock in the listing itself and Amazon won't let you order more than the quantity listed from that merchant.  For example, if I wanted to order 10 wheelsets from My Atomic and they only listed 3 available, I could only order 3.  They will suggest that you try another one of their merchants and will often list several merchants that carry the same item.  Prices and shipping charges for all merchants that carry the item will also be listed.  The Amazon merchants ship fairly quickly.

I have dealt with some of the other houses that "outsource" (Blue Ridge, Hobbylinc and Internet Hobbies) and had good experiences with them, too.  One time, Blue Ridge sent me the wrong turnout and I called them (it turned out that their pictures were reversed with the part numbers...I was sent a turnout that went left instead of right) and they gave a refund after I sent it back and sent me the right item.  These places take a little longer but both Hobbylinc and Internet Hobbies give you a projected shipping date and projected date of receipt when you order over the internet that I have found to be accurate (I usually get it sooner).  I have ordered from these merchants many times.

When Athearn didn't have an item I had ordered, they called me and told me.  I told them to send the rest and cancel that part of the order that they didn't have.  They will also give you the option of delaying filling your entire order if the part that they don't have is expected soon. 

I have also dealt with a number of E-bay merchants and only had 2 problems...one was a misdescribed item.  The second was an item that didn't work..I e-mailed the merchant and described the problem.  He told me to send it back, I sent it back (it was an Atlas engine) he fixed it and it works fine.  I got it back within 2 weeks.  Just check the customer satisfaction ratings re: the merchants and you should be OK.

No one of these sources ever substituted an item for one that I had ordered, billed me for something that was backordered (I don't deal with backorders) or tried to give me the runaround.  None of them were out of an item that they had listed on the internet as available.

Those are my experiences and that's who I deal with.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 05:37:33 PM by BradKT » Logged
BestSnowman


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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 10:05:02 PM »

You know I hadn't thought of trying Amazon.com, I've never had a problem with Amazon.com or any seller listed on Amazon.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 08:51:41 AM »

Trainworld and Standard Hobby Supply get about 90% of my mail order/online shopping. 
Gene
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BradKT

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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 11:07:14 PM »

I just wanted to tell the readers about a place that I found surfing the net during my model shipbuilding years...and still patronize a lot...far more than any other online hobby-related merchant.  I mentioned them in my previous post...HOBBYLINC.COM.  The selection that these guys have is unreal...with one exception.  They don't sell Athearn items anymore.  Otherwise, when it comes to hobbies, you name it...they sell it.

I had said in my previous post that HOBBYLINC.COM outsourced, but I'm not so sure of that.  Usually, they ship 2-3 days after you place your order.

You can't beat HOBBYLINC.COM (or their prices) for things like RR accessories, train cars, buildings, figures, vehicles, paints (all types and related stuff like airbrushes and regular modeling paint brushes, thin masking tapes, etc.), scenery, track, track accessories, parts like couplers...in all scales, but especially HO.  They carry acrylic paints that match the RR colors and glues of all types (and the removers).  They are the place to go for modeling paints and paint-related items.  Blue Ridge Hobbies is the only place that I know of that is cheaper (for train-related items), but I think that Hobbylinc has the best and most varied selection.  HOBBYLINC.COM also has an enormous selection of modeling tools of all kinds and by many manufacturers.

Like I said, you can't get Athearn stuff from them anymore, but you can find products by any other train manufacturer.  Their prices usually run 15%-25% lower than the manufacturer's suggested retail price.  If they don't have an item in stock, the website says so in the listing and you can tell them to E:mail you when they get it...and they will.

HOBBYLINC.COM is a great place to know about...for more than just model railroading.  INTERNET HOBBIES is good, too...they also carry a lot of Athearn items.  I have made several orders from them as well.  When you place an order with both Hobbylinc and Internet Hobbies, they will give you anticipated shipping and arrival dates.  I live on the other side of the country from both of them and always get my stuff about 4-5 days before they say it will get to me.  Usually about 2 weeks...sometimes less.  I have never tried to return anything, but they do have return policies on thier site and I have never had any problem with either one of them when it came to ordering anything.

I really like HOBBYLINC.COM a lot.  Visit their site (and the INTERNETHOBBIES.COM site) and decide for yourselves.  I think that you'll like these two.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 07:37:24 PM by BradKT » Logged
Yampa Bob

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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2009, 07:00:35 PM »

If the site says "usually ships in 2-3 days", that indicates they are outsourcers. So far I have seen good reports on HobbyLinc, but some others have a terrible track record.

I did some surfing today, it was interesting to note that over a dozen sites listed the Spectrum 2-8-0 non sound as "backordered".  Strange, since the line has been discontinued by Bachmann. Prices also ranged from $59 to $160.

One buyer paid $189 for the same loco on Ebay. I'd like to meet the guy, I have some ocean front property for sale cheap.  Cool
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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
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