Re: "Highliner" freight car kits

Bill Daniels <billinsf@...>

Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 18:04:04 -0500
From: Tim O'Connor <>
Subject: Re: Re: "Highliner" freight car kits

Selling freight car detail parts (or decals or hard
to assemble kits)
is a losing proposition for hobby shops that depend
on walk-in trade.

As opposed to the fly-in trade?
No, opposed to mail-in trade (some hobby
shops supplement their income either through mail
order or internet dealing. Lots of smaller shops don't
though, and depend on what business walks in the door.
Hence the term.

From what I've seen these items don't move,
sometimes not for years
and they tie up the stores money and take up space.
Every shop in my area has Cannon parts collecting
dust too. It's
just bad marketing.
I don't think it's bad's more and more
a trend that most people want read-to-run these days.
No matter how spectacularly these parts were marketed,
most customers wouldn't buy...and the shops are
reacting to the change in sales patterns. Can't blame
them...they have to if they want to stay in business.

If people don't know what the
heck a "type x
radiator thingamajig" is, they're not likely to buy
Most of them could care less...

If the
shops put out an unpainted Dave Hussey model with
all the parts
in plain view, then they might sell a few more
But most likely not enough to justify the investment.
And just where would a shop in Connetticut get a Dave
Hussey model? I really don't think Dave wants to get
into business building display models (and shops don't
want to spend the kind of money it would take to buy
one if he were silly enought to get into that

Want to try an experiment? Go out and pick up a
half-dozen or so Rail Power GP-60's. Maybe a set of
Santa Fe GP60M's (with a B unit), and maybe a pair of
Espee (or other delivered road). Go out and buy a ton
of Cannon parts, Smokey Valley handrail sets, and the
like. Do 'em up right, just like Dave would (he's run
several articles in the mags detailing step-by-step
how he does it) paint 'em up (I would suggest doing a
half of a paint job, so that the model can be seen
both painted and unpainted). Keep track of your time
in doing research, chasing parts (not everything will
be available), building time and the time to run them
all over to find out a likely customer. Keep track of
your expenditures, both in out-of-pocket costs as well
as lost time cost that could have been spent doing
other things (economists call this one "oppertunity
cost"). Offer them to the shops to help them in their
sales of Cannon and other parts. Check with them after
6 months to see if it had any impact on their sales.

And of course, when it's over and done with the
Lifelike P2k GP60 should be hitting the shelves,
already detailed and painted and ready-to-run...

Bill Daniels
Tucson, AZ

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