Re: Exactrail

Andy Harman

At 05:50 PM 4/3/2012 +0000, you wrote:

Still, there's no question that these operators siphon business away from real
hobby shops, and that hurts real modelers in the long run because we need
lots of detail parts and supplies and tools and paints etc that the basement guys
normally don't carry. And the basement guys don't attract NEW modelers to the
hobby the way that the stores used to.
The shows have replaced the neighborhood hobby shop as the primary attraction to expose newcomers to the hobby. Of course the big shows tend to only go to big cities - WGH, and GATS before that. Just as big, successful B&M hobby shops tend to survive only in big cities.

Many show dealers do carry a substantial inventory of detail parts, but it isn't always obvious from the get go.

I'm observing an interesting phenomenon right now in the secondary market. Prices on new stuff are higher than they have ever been, and this seems to be driving up prices on the secondary market even for old, outdated stuff. 10 bucks for a bluebox kit seems outrageous, but the alternative is, what, a $22 RTR car from somebody else. Even estate stuff doesn't seem to be the bargain it once was, which I also find odd because there has never been more estate stuff on the market than there is now. Go back 20, or even only 10 years and estates were full of brush-painted cardstock and basswood cars sloppily assembled... but now it seems like the first wave of hoarders have begun to die off and there are massive estates full of P2K, Walthers, Atlas, much newer stuff... there's a glut, but prices don't reflect it. It's sort of like interest rates being at all time lows, but nobody is giving out loans.

The model railroad market is and remains highly competitive. It's a small pie with a lot of people fighting for their piece. It has also turned from McDonalds millions of burgers flipped to Wendys made-to-order and now it's looking more like a sushi bar. But there will always be competition. Half a block from the sushi bar where it will cost you $25 to even get a snack-level fillup, is a supermarket selling half a square foot of sushi for $12.

I am going to play the field as I have always done... never say never, and keep my options open. I'd have to do some serious research to even estimate how many different entities I've purchased model RR stuff from just in the past 12 months. Probably well over 50. I have more choices than ever really. If all I had were my two semi-LHSs to work with, I'd be in a world of hurt.


The smartest shops seem to have realized that by operating mail order on the
side, they can expand to a much larger customer base. That is the only way to
survive nowadays, I think.

Tim O'Connor

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Ehni" <behni@...>

Personal experience: I had a brick and mortar in Nashville, TN. $40,000 in
inventory, and offered a 20% discount to the local modular club members.
They would come in, see what I had, and then go order from the club
president who was a basement bomber with no overhead and gave them 30% off.

We took pictures of what Walthers said was his shipping address (a
residental location), showed that he did not advertising as they require,
had no manned store location with signage, ad nauseum. Bottom line was they
refused to stop selling to him, even though he in no way met their own

Since only a handful of the 150 or so registered club members ever bought
anything, we eventually gave up.

THAT'S how basement bombers harm brick and mortars.

Open your own brick and mortar and see for yourself.


Brian P. Ehni


Yahoo! Groups Links

Join to automatically receive all group messages.