Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


This works great for the unpainted unlettered resin market. How does the retailer do this with decorated RTR which the vast majority of customers now expect? The most that can be done is leave off the car number and provide decals for the numbers. Even that will not set well with the majority of customers. Yes, the small percentage of modelers who populate this list and similar lists for other time frames, passenger cars, locomotives would not object to painting, lettering etc. But 99% of the buying modelers would be screaming that they want RTR. Manufacturers and retailers must placate the masses to survive.

The real answer is to bring everything back to the States; run smaller runs; and rerun frequently. No real inventory for the manufacture or distributor to store on shelves. Retailers can purchase small numbers of speculative stock knowing they will be able to reorder within a reasonable time frame. Sound familiar? That is how Irv Atheraton and did it successfully for decades.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Harman <gsgondola@...>
Sent: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 3:33 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

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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