Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Andy Harman

At 07:18 PM 3/23/2012 +0000, you wrote:

A few years ago at Cocoa Beach I bought several L&NE covered hopper kits at the F&C booth. Sharon reached under the table, fetched three unlabeled boxes from the stack of hopper kits, popped a set of L&NE decals in each and stuck the appropriate labels on each box. I thought that was pretty clever - bring lots of decals and labels but don't customize the individual kits until the point of sale.
Wouldn't it be great if you could convince dealers to do that? It's pretty common in the resin kit biz... if I bought a Sunshine or RYM kit at a show, it didn't become a specific SKU until I bought it and the decals, or even possibly optional parts had been tossed in. Chris Zygmunt does this as well with his carbon black and H-30 kits... although I think the decals are the only option there.

Somebody had big plans to market a modular kit that way back in the 80s but I can't remember now who or what. But IIRC it was the product quality that killed it rather than the concept. Of course the customer can't be expected to actually know what combination he needs, so that means the dealer has to know.

I also think a lot of retailers just think they're going to flip burgers and hand them out the window for $2.52 a pop. Hobby retailing means getting to know the business, your customers, and especially the products which are as diverse as the people who buy them. As much experience as I have in the hobby, I'd have difficulty running a store unless it was exclusively HO scale, since I know very little about what is available in other scales, and zip about 3-rail. And shops really can't afford to be scale exclusive these days, outside of a Chicago type market.


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