Pre-orders, pro or con.


lnnrr <lnnrr@...>
 

Folks, it appears that the concept of pre-ordering models months
before they are manufactured is becoming standard in some areas of
our hobby. I understand that this is a safety feature for the
manufacturers, that they can estimate the market and place the
production run at a 100% sale. Little risk of over-production.
It also says they have given up control of the manufacturing process
and so must control the market.
I, for one, am giving notice that I will no longer buy into the
pre-order cycle. When I buy a product sight unseen, I see myself
making a bet that the product will meet my hoped for quality
standards. By the time I know, it is too late. Pitch it or
ebay it, either way I lose.
If the maker has no faith in the marketability of the product and
fears it will lay unsold on the shelf, then I have no faith in
his product either. I will not make that bet again.
Yes, I will miss out on some products that I might otherwise find
desirable. But I see that as offset by having wasted no money
on disappointments.
I alone will change no makers marketing. But as more of us lose
faith in this pre-order system, those who have control of their
production will stock their shelves and prosper when we buy those
products. A critical review will mean something because we will be
aware of what we are buying.
A review that appears after a model is ordered and delivered is worthless. No longer timely. I hold hope that we as consumers
can help the makers who stock shelves have faith in their
products and in us as consumers. As for the others, perhaps
empty shelves are a portend of their future wealth.
Are there others who share feeling I have expressed here?
If so, please do not risk jail by mentioning or hinting at any
one manufacturer. The cookies there, I hear, are left over from
a wrecked boxcar still laying on a river bank somewhere.
Damp and worse.....
Chuck Peck


Jan Podganski Jr <needles_sub@...>
 

I agree with you. Recent events have disappointed me and I will no longer pre order. If I miss out, so be it. My life well go on. Jan


asychis@...
 

This isn't a new concept. Remember the brass market of the 1970s and 80s.
Most of the manufacturers have product out there that you are familiar
with. If you don't like their product to begin with, then by all means,
don't order. On the other hand, manufacturers can't just bet on the market any
longer. They have to sell product or it sits on the shelf.

A question. If you were a manufacturer, and a good one, what would you do
the ensure you didn't bring a massive number of models to the market that
people won't buy?

Jerry Michels


Allen Cain <allencain@...>
 

I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order process.



Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,
distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a small
percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.



I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I
preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not produce
enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I
ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even
that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I had
paid for them.



I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed and
commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.



I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is
always Ebay where about anything can be found from
shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like what
a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will
contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can order an
item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced and
will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell
worldwide.



Allen Cain


Joel Holmes <lehighvalley@...>
 

Hi All,

Let me add my 2 cents worth, although because of inflation, it should be,
my 25 cents worth. I agree with Allen's comments.

I will not pre order and pay for any one of the following reasons:

I could loose my prepayment, or have a difficult time getting it back.

I have not seen the model and do not know how well it will be produced.

The cost is way too high.

Most of the models produced are for the past 20 to 40 years. I model in
the early 1900's and thus very few models of that era have been produced.

I know there are advantages to pre-orders, but there are may problems as
well. I hope the manufactures get this message and do something about it.

Joel

I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order
process.



Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,
distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a
small
percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.



I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I
preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not
produce
enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I
ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even
that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I
had
paid for them.



I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed
and
commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.



I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is
always Ebay where about anything can be found from
shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like
what
a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will
contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can
order
an
item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced
and
will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell
worldwide.



Allen Cain








Bill Schneider
 

At the risk of inflaming this issue, perhaps I can throw in some viewpoints from a manufacturer's perspective.

First, as background, I have been involved in the hobby business since 1982 in retail, wholesale and manufacturing. When I started out as a hobby shop clerk my primary job was to inventory kits that had sold and make sure that they were re-ordered. Imagine that.... I also worked for one of the largest distributors in the country, a company that prided itself in carrying large amounts of inventory to supply their dealers when they needed to reorder product. They were very successful at this for many years. They are no longer in business.

Today's rolling stock market is significantly different at all levels. A new product has a very short shelf life - sometimes two weeks or so at best. Part of the issue is just the pure volume of new products coming out which has made us all accustomed to new models every month. New products create a huge (we hope) buzz, that immediately turns into "so what are you going to make next?" often before the first product ships! Most dealers and distributors that I talk to are happy if they quickly sell through all of the cars that they get in on a run so that they can take that money and pay for the next new thing.

As a result, most shops no longer try to re-order cars that sell out. Most distributors (likely in response to this) also as a rule do not attempt to re-order cars when they sell out. Manufacturers produce what they think (or know) that they can sell, but can not afford to invest large amounts of money in product that will sit on shelves collecting dust in the vain hope that somebody might someday need.... one. All of this is feeding the produce-to-order situation.

Something to bear in mind. Most products are still sold through distribution (the dealer ordering from a wholesaler instead of direct from the manufacturer). These distributors are in direct and regular contact with their dealers and make every effort to fill every order that they receive. Nowhere do we (or any other manufacturer that I know of) state that a dealer or distributor can not order extra cars to carry in inventory to fill future re-orders - we will be happy to make as many as needed! The fact is that this often just does not happen, but the blame always seems to fall back on the manufacturers for not making enough thus leading to the demise of the hobby shop that can't get product, even if they never tried to order it.

I can’t speak for other manufacturers, but I can tell that you Rapido produces fully 100% of product that we have reserved by the order deadline (which is when we give the quantities to the factory). In addition, we produce a certain percentage over that number to cover warranty claims or to replace cars damaged in shipment. After a period the few cars that remain are offered to distributors and dealers. It can often be very difficult to sell them!

Finally, let me just mention the issue of deposits. With the exception of "The Canadian" passenger train (a special case and out of scope for this list) Rapido has NEVER asked for deposits on any pre-orders. Again, while I can not speak for other manufacturers, I can not think of any instance during my 15 years at the distributorship that a manufacturer that we represented required a deposit from a retailer on a pre-order. Perhaps some manufacturers are now doing this on direct sales, and I would welcome correction on this if this is the case. If you have paid a deposit on any Rapido products other than "The Canadian" then rest assured that we have not seen a penny of it!

I will now don my bullet-proof vest and get ready to leave for the Valley Forge RPM. Those of you attending can take pot-shots at me from Friday on! :>)

Bill Schneider
Product Development
Rapido Trains Inc.

http://www.rapidotrains.com


From: Allen Cain
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:32 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.




I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order process.

Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,
distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a small
percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.

I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I
preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not produce
enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I
ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even
that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I had
paid for them.

I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed and
commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.

I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is
always Ebay where about anything can be found from
shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like what
a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will
contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can order an
item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced and
will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell
worldwide.

Allen Cain


Marty McGuirk
 

I haven't been employed in the model railroad industry for a few years now, but I've read on various forums over the years that people have "pre-paid" for items they've ordered. I do know that Intermountain, while I was there, did not charge dealers to order items - all a dealer had to do was order a quantity - no money changed hands until the product shipped to the dealer . . . and in some cases the money didn't change hands for a quite a while after the product shipped, but that's another issue entirely.



In short, if you're paying for items (with the exception, perhaps, of brass or truly special limited run items like the Canadian Bill mentioned) find another source.



Marty

----- Original Message -----


From: "Bill Schneider" <bschneider424@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:27:55 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

 




At the risk of inflaming this issue, perhaps I can throw in some viewpoints
from a manufacturer's perspective.

First, as background, I have been involved in the hobby business since 1982
in retail, wholesale and manufacturing. When I started out as a hobby shop
clerk my primary job was to inventory kits that had sold and make sure that
they were re-ordered. Imagine that.... I also worked for one of the largest
distributors in the country, a company that prided itself in carrying large
amounts of inventory to supply their dealers when they needed to reorder
product. They were very successful at this for many years. They are no
longer in business.

Today's rolling stock market is significantly different at all levels. A new
product has a very short shelf life - sometimes two weeks or so at best.
Part of the issue is just the pure volume of new products coming out which
has made us all accustomed to new models every month. New products create a
huge (we hope) buzz, that immediately turns into "so what are you going to
make next?" often before the first product ships! Most dealers and
distributors that I talk to are happy if they quickly sell through all of
the cars that they get in on a run so that they can take that money and pay
for the next new thing.

As a result, most shops no longer try to re-order cars that sell out. Most
distributors (likely in response to this) also as a rule do not attempt to
re-order cars when they sell out. Manufacturers produce what they think (or
know) that they can sell, but can not afford to invest large amounts of
money in product that will sit on shelves collecting dust in the vain hope
that somebody might someday need.... one. All of this is feeding the
produce-to-order situation.

Something to bear in mind. Most products are still sold through distribution
(the dealer ordering from a wholesaler instead of direct from the
manufacturer). These distributors are in direct and regular contact with
their dealers and make every effort to fill every order that they receive.
Nowhere do we (or any other manufacturer that I know of) state that a dealer
or distributor can not order extra cars to carry in inventory to fill future
re-orders - we will be happy to make as many as needed! The fact is that
this often just does not happen, but the blame always seems to fall back on
the manufacturers for not making enough thus leading to the demise of the
hobby shop that can't get product, even if they never tried to order it.

I can’t speak for other manufacturers, but I can tell that you Rapido
produces fully 100% of product that we have reserved by the order deadline
(which is when we give the quantities to the factory). In addition, we
produce a certain percentage over that number to cover warranty claims or to
replace cars damaged in shipment. After a period the few cars that remain
are offered to distributors and dealers. It can often be very difficult to
sell them!

Finally, let me just mention the issue of deposits. With the exception of
"The Canadian" passenger train (a special case and out of scope for this
list) Rapido has NEVER asked for deposits on any pre-orders. Again, while I
can not speak for other manufacturers, I can not think of any instance
during my 15 years at the distributorship that a manufacturer that we
represented required a deposit from a retailer on a pre-order. Perhaps some
manufacturers are now doing this on direct sales, and I would welcome
correction on this if this is the case. If you have paid a deposit on any
Rapido products other than "The Canadian" then rest assured that we have not
seen a penny of it!

I will now don my bullet-proof vest and get ready to leave for the Valley
Forge RPM. Those of you attending can take pot-shots at me from Friday on!
:>)

Bill Schneider
Product Development
Rapido Trains Inc.

http://www.rapidotrains.com

From: Allen Cain
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:32 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order process.

Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,
distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a small
percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.

I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I
preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not produce
enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I
ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even
that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I had
paid for them.

I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed and
commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.

I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is
always Ebay where about anything can be found from
shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like what
a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will
contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can order an
item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced and
will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell
worldwide.

Allen Cain

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Marty McGuirk
 

Reword that last sentence to read: If you're PRE-paying . . ."



Marty

----- Original Message -----


From: "Marty McGuirk" <mjmcguirk@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:40:52 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

 






I haven't been employed in the model railroad industry for a few years now, but I've read on various forums over the years that people have "pre-paid" for items they've ordered. I do know that Intermountain, while I was there, did not charge dealers to order items - all a dealer had to do was order a quantity - no money changed hands until the product shipped to the dealer . . . and in some cases the money didn't change hands for a quite a while after the product shipped, but that's another issue entirely.

In short, if you're PRE-paying for items (with the exception, perhaps, of brass or truly special limited run items like the Canadian Bill mentioned) find another source.

Marty

----- Original Message -----

From: "Bill Schneider" < bschneider424@... >
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:27:55 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

 

At the risk of inflaming this issue, perhaps I can throw in some viewpoints
from a manufacturer's perspective.

First, as background, I have been involved in the hobby business since 1982
in retail, wholesale and manufacturing. When I started out as a hobby shop
clerk my primary job was to inventory kits that had sold and make sure that
they were re-ordered. Imagine that.... I also worked for one of the largest
distributors in the country, a company that prided itself in carrying large
amounts of inventory to supply their dealers when they needed to reorder
product. They were very successful at this for many years. They are no
longer in business.

Today's rolling stock market is significantly different at all levels. A new
product has a very short shelf life - sometimes two weeks or so at best.
Part of the issue is just the pure volume of new products coming out which
has made us all accustomed to new models every month. New products create a
huge (we hope) buzz, that immediately turns into "so what are you going to
make next?" often before the first product ships! Most dealers and
distributors that I talk to are happy if they quickly sell through all of
the cars that they get in on a run so that they can take that money and pay
for the next new thing.

As a result, most shops no longer try to re-order cars that sell out. Most
distributors (likely in response to this) also as a rule do not attempt to
re-order cars when they sell out. Manufacturers produce what they think (or
know) that they can sell, but can not afford to invest large amounts of
money in product that will sit on shelves collecting dust in the vain hope
that somebody might someday need.... one. All of this is feeding the
produce-to-order situation.

Something to bear in mind. Most products are still sold through distribution
(the dealer ordering from a wholesaler instead of direct from the
manufacturer). These distributors are in direct and regular contact with
their dealers and make every effort to fill every order that they receive.
Nowhere do we (or any other manufacturer that I know of) state that a dealer
or distributor can not order extra cars to carry in inventory to fill future
re-orders - we will be happy to make as many as needed! The fact is that
this often just does not happen, but the blame always seems to fall back on
the manufacturers for not making enough thus leading to the demise of the
hobby shop that can't get product, even if they never tried to order it.

I can’t speak for other manufacturers, but I can tell that you Rapido
produces fully 100% of product that we have reserved by the order deadline
(which is when we give the quantities to the factory). In addition, we
produce a certain percentage over that number to cover warranty claims or to
replace cars damaged in shipment. After a period the few cars that remain
are offered to distributors and dealers. It can often be very difficult to
sell them!

Finally, let me just mention the issue of deposits. With the exception of
"The Canadian" passenger train (a special case and out of scope for this
list) Rapido has NEVER asked for deposits on any pre-orders. Again, while I
can not speak for other manufacturers, I can not think of any instance
during my 15 years at the distributorship that a manufacturer that we
represented required a deposit from a retailer on a pre-order. Perhaps some
manufacturers are now doing this on direct sales, and I would welcome
correction on this if this is the case. If you have paid a deposit on any
Rapido products other than "The Canadian" then rest assured that we have not
seen a penny of it!

I will now don my bullet-proof vest and get ready to leave for the Valley
Forge RPM. Those of you attending can take pot-shots at me from Friday on!
:>)

Bill Schneider
Product Development
Rapido Trains Inc.

http://www.rapidotrains.com

From: Allen Cain
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:32 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order process.

Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,
distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a small
percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.

I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I
preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not produce
enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I
ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even
that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I had
paid for them.

I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed and
commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.

I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is
always Ebay where about anything can be found from
shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like what
a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will
contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can order an
item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced and
will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell
worldwide.

Allen Cain








[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


SUVCWORR@...
 

As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two manufacturers and through distributors for everything else. None of them with the exception of brass have ever required a deposit. That being said, I do selectively require deposits on orders. I have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable deposit. I am sure this is the reason other retailers require deposits. They have been burned too many times with refused large orders. Retailers cannot afford to tie-up cash in inventory that is not going to move quickly. As Bill said, there is a narrow window to move an item before it becomes stale and languishes on the shelf. Every dollar in stale inventory is a dollar not available to purchase the next release.

Cash flow is the name of the game.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Schneider <bschneider424@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 10:28 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


At the risk of inflaming this issue, perhaps I can throw in some viewpoints

from a manufacturer's perspective.



First, as background, I have been involved in the hobby business since 1982

in retail, wholesale and manufacturing. When I started out as a hobby shop

clerk my primary job was to inventory kits that had sold and make sure that

they were re-ordered. Imagine that.... I also worked for one of the largest

distributors in the country, a company that prided itself in carrying large

amounts of inventory to supply their dealers when they needed to reorder

product. They were very successful at this for many years. They are no

longer in business.



Today's rolling stock market is significantly different at all levels. A new

product has a very short shelf life - sometimes two weeks or so at best.

Part of the issue is just the pure volume of new products coming out which

has made us all accustomed to new models every month. New products create a

huge (we hope) buzz, that immediately turns into "so what are you going to

make next?" often before the first product ships! Most dealers and

distributors that I talk to are happy if they quickly sell through all of

the cars that they get in on a run so that they can take that money and pay

for the next new thing.



As a result, most shops no longer try to re-order cars that sell out. Most

distributors (likely in response to this) also as a rule do not attempt to

re-order cars when they sell out. Manufacturers produce what they think (or

know) that they can sell, but can not afford to invest large amounts of

money in product that will sit on shelves collecting dust in the vain hope

that somebody might someday need.... one. All of this is feeding the

produce-to-order situation.



Something to bear in mind. Most products are still sold through distribution

(the dealer ordering from a wholesaler instead of direct from the

manufacturer). These distributors are in direct and regular contact with

their dealers and make every effort to fill every order that they receive.

Nowhere do we (or any other manufacturer that I know of) state that a dealer

or distributor can not order extra cars to carry in inventory to fill future

re-orders - we will be happy to make as many as needed! The fact is that

this often just does not happen, but the blame always seems to fall back on

the manufacturers for not making enough thus leading to the demise of the

hobby shop that can't get product, even if they never tried to order it.



I can’t speak for other manufacturers, but I can tell that you Rapido

produces fully 100% of product that we have reserved by the order deadline

(which is when we give the quantities to the factory). In addition, we

produce a certain percentage over that number to cover warranty claims or to

replace cars damaged in shipment. After a period the few cars that remain

are offered to distributors and dealers. It can often be very difficult to

sell them!



Finally, let me just mention the issue of deposits. With the exception of

"The Canadian" passenger train (a special case and out of scope for this

list) Rapido has NEVER asked for deposits on any pre-orders. Again, while I

can not speak for other manufacturers, I can not think of any instance

during my 15 years at the distributorship that a manufacturer that we

represented required a deposit from a retailer on a pre-order. Perhaps some

manufacturers are now doing this on direct sales, and I would welcome

correction on this if this is the case. If you have paid a deposit on any

Rapido products other than "The Canadian" then rest assured that we have not

seen a penny of it!



I will now don my bullet-proof vest and get ready to leave for the Valley

Forge RPM. Those of you attending can take pot-shots at me from Friday on!

:>)



Bill Schneider

Product Development

Rapido Trains Inc.



http://www.rapidotrains.com





From: Allen Cain

Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:32 AM

To: STMFC@...

Subject: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.









I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order process.



Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,

distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a small

percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.



I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I

preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not produce

enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I

ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even

that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I had

paid for them.



I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed and

commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.



I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is

always Ebay where about anything can be found from

shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like what

a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will

contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can order an

item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced and

will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell

worldwide.



Allen Cain























------------------------------------



Yahoo! Groups Links



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/



Individual Email | Traditional



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)



STMFC-digest@...

STMFC-fullfeatured@...



STMFC-unsubscribe@...



http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Rich Orr wrote:
As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two manufacturers . . . I do selectively require deposits on orders. I have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre- ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable deposit.
But notice the problem here. The locomotive comes in, it's panned by somebody somewhere (rightly or wrongly), and the prospective buyer, who of course had no way to know what would be delivered, declines to accept. I don't think this is unreasonable behavior. If those who are "selective" (not saying "picky") find themselves having to pre-pay for reservations, some will simply drop out, as some posters have observed. That's a loss of customer, because they don't decline EVERY engine.
That said, I have no sympathy for the reservation holder who, on arrival says, "sorry, I changed my mind." That's unreasonable, even though I realize the dealer has no way to distinguish it from the buyer who finds the product unacceptable.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Armand Premo
 

I prefer to examine an item before I purchase it.I hate to buy a pig in a poke.Patience pays off,it will shortly appear on Ebay anyway.Armand Premo----- Original Message -----
From: SUVCWORR@...
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 1:05 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.




As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two manufacturers and through distributors for everything else. None of them with the exception of brass have ever required a deposit. That being said, I do selectively require deposits on orders. I have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable deposit. I am sure this is the reason other retailers require deposits. They have been burned too many times with refused large orders. Retailers cannot afford to tie-up cash in inventory that is not going to move quickly. As Bill said, there is a narrow window to move an item before it becomes stale and languishes on the shelf. Every dollar in stale inventory is a dollar not available to purchase the next release.

Cash flow is the name of the game.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Schneider <bschneider424@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 10:28 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

At the risk of inflaming this issue, perhaps I can throw in some viewpoints

from a manufacturer's perspective.

First, as background, I have been involved in the hobby business since 1982

in retail, wholesale and manufacturing. When I started out as a hobby shop

clerk my primary job was to inventory kits that had sold and make sure that

they were re-ordered. Imagine that.... I also worked for one of the largest

distributors in the country, a company that prided itself in carrying large

amounts of inventory to supply their dealers when they needed to reorder

product. They were very successful at this for many years. They are no

longer in business.

Today's rolling stock market is significantly different at all levels. A new

product has a very short shelf life - sometimes two weeks or so at best.

Part of the issue is just the pure volume of new products coming out which

has made us all accustomed to new models every month. New products create a

huge (we hope) buzz, that immediately turns into "so what are you going to

make next?" often before the first product ships! Most dealers and

distributors that I talk to are happy if they quickly sell through all of

the cars that they get in on a run so that they can take that money and pay

for the next new thing.

As a result, most shops no longer try to re-order cars that sell out. Most

distributors (likely in response to this) also as a rule do not attempt to

re-order cars when they sell out. Manufacturers produce what they think (or

know) that they can sell, but can not afford to invest large amounts of

money in product that will sit on shelves collecting dust in the vain hope

that somebody might someday need.... one. All of this is feeding the

produce-to-order situation.

Something to bear in mind. Most products are still sold through distribution

(the dealer ordering from a wholesaler instead of direct from the

manufacturer). These distributors are in direct and regular contact with

their dealers and make every effort to fill every order that they receive.

Nowhere do we (or any other manufacturer that I know of) state that a dealer

or distributor can not order extra cars to carry in inventory to fill future

re-orders - we will be happy to make as many as needed! The fact is that

this often just does not happen, but the blame always seems to fall back on

the manufacturers for not making enough thus leading to the demise of the

hobby shop that can't get product, even if they never tried to order it.

I can’t speak for other manufacturers, but I can tell that you Rapido

produces fully 100% of product that we have reserved by the order deadline

(which is when we give the quantities to the factory). In addition, we

produce a certain percentage over that number to cover warranty claims or to

replace cars damaged in shipment. After a period the few cars that remain

are offered to distributors and dealers. It can often be very difficult to

sell them!

Finally, let me just mention the issue of deposits. With the exception of

"The Canadian" passenger train (a special case and out of scope for this

list) Rapido has NEVER asked for deposits on any pre-orders. Again, while I

can not speak for other manufacturers, I can not think of any instance

during my 15 years at the distributorship that a manufacturer that we

represented required a deposit from a retailer on a pre-order. Perhaps some

manufacturers are now doing this on direct sales, and I would welcome

correction on this if this is the case. If you have paid a deposit on any

Rapido products other than "The Canadian" then rest assured that we have not

seen a penny of it!

I will now don my bullet-proof vest and get ready to leave for the Valley

Forge RPM. Those of you attending can take pot-shots at me from Friday on!

:>)

Bill Schneider

Product Development

Rapido Trains Inc.

http://www.rapidotrains.com

From: Allen Cain

Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:32 AM

To: STMFC@...

Subject: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order process.

Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,

distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a small

percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.

I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I

preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not produce

enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I

ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even

that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I had

paid for them.

I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed and

commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.

I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is

always Ebay where about anything can be found from

shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like what

a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will

contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can order an

item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced and

will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell

worldwide.

Allen Cain

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/

Individual Email | Traditional

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)

STMFC-digest@...

STMFC-fullfeatured@...

STMFC-unsubscribe@...

http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Bruce Smith
 

Folks,

Wow... I thought this was all off topic as business practices... but since it isn't and I have a get out of jail card hidden somewhere around here...

(found it!) Brianna says that it is all well and good if you don't want to reserve, but then don't whine when a product is delayed or canceled due to lack of reservations.

As noted, companies aren't going back to a "stock the shelves" mentality. That is long gone. You just need to look at how models are manufactured to understand that. Understand too that the "excess" over reservations has gone down, as companies learned that it was counter productive to bring something in at $400 and then dump the remaining inventory at $220 six months later... since everyone realized that they should just wait and buy from the Bargin Bin. Its been my experience lately that a company would MUCH rather have to announce a 2nd run nearly simultaneously with the 1st run hitting the shores. Of course that is one way you can "wait and see" as well, but then we get back to Brianna's point.

Regards

Bruce


Bruce F. Smith

Auburn, AL

https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/


"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."

__

/ &#92;

__<+--+>________________&#92;__/___ ________________________________

|- ______/ O O &#92;_______ -| | __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ |

| / 4999 PENNSYLVANIA 4999 &#92; | ||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||__||

|/_____________________________&#92;|_|________________________________|

| O--O &#92;0 0 0 0/ O--O | 0-0-0 0-0-0

On Mar 21, 2012, at 12:18 PM, armprem2 wrote:

I prefer to examine an item before I purchase it.I hate to buy a pig in a poke.Patience pays off,it will shortly appear on Ebay anyway.Armand Premo----- Original Message -----
From: SUVCWORR@...<mailto:SUVCWORR@...>
To: STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC@...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 1:05 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.




As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two manufacturers and through distributors for everything else. None of them with the exception of brass have ever required a deposit. That being said, I do selectively require deposits on orders. I have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable deposit. I am sure this is the reason other retailers require deposits. They have been burned too many times with refused large orders. Retailers cannot afford to tie-up cash in inventory that is not going to move quickly. As Bill said, there is a narrow window to move an item before it becomes stale and languishes on the shelf. Every dollar in stale inventory is a dollar not available to purchase the next release.

Cash flow is the name of the game.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Schneider <bschneider424@...<mailto:bschneider424@...>>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC@...>>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 10:28 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

At the risk of inflaming this issue, perhaps I can throw in some viewpoints

from a manufacturer's perspective.

First, as background, I have been involved in the hobby business since 1982

in retail, wholesale and manufacturing. When I started out as a hobby shop

clerk my primary job was to inventory kits that had sold and make sure that

they were re-ordered. Imagine that.... I also worked for one of the largest

distributors in the country, a company that prided itself in carrying large

amounts of inventory to supply their dealers when they needed to reorder

product. They were very successful at this for many years. They are no

longer in business.

Today's rolling stock market is significantly different at all levels. A new

product has a very short shelf life - sometimes two weeks or so at best.

Part of the issue is just the pure volume of new products coming out which

has made us all accustomed to new models every month. New products create a

huge (we hope) buzz, that immediately turns into "so what are you going to

make next?" often before the first product ships! Most dealers and

distributors that I talk to are happy if they quickly sell through all of

the cars that they get in on a run so that they can take that money and pay

for the next new thing.

As a result, most shops no longer try to re-order cars that sell out. Most

distributors (likely in response to this) also as a rule do not attempt to

re-order cars when they sell out. Manufacturers produce what they think (or

know) that they can sell, but can not afford to invest large amounts of

money in product that will sit on shelves collecting dust in the vain hope

that somebody might someday need.... one. All of this is feeding the

produce-to-order situation.

Something to bear in mind. Most products are still sold through distribution

(the dealer ordering from a wholesaler instead of direct from the

manufacturer). These distributors are in direct and regular contact with

their dealers and make every effort to fill every order that they receive.

Nowhere do we (or any other manufacturer that I know of) state that a dealer

or distributor can not order extra cars to carry in inventory to fill future

re-orders - we will be happy to make as many as needed! The fact is that

this often just does not happen, but the blame always seems to fall back on

the manufacturers for not making enough thus leading to the demise of the

hobby shop that can't get product, even if they never tried to order it.

I cant speak for other manufacturers, but I can tell that you Rapido

produces fully 100% of product that we have reserved by the order deadline

(which is when we give the quantities to the factory). In addition, we

produce a certain percentage over that number to cover warranty claims or to

replace cars damaged in shipment. After a period the few cars that remain

are offered to distributors and dealers. It can often be very difficult to

sell them!

Finally, let me just mention the issue of deposits. With the exception of

"The Canadian" passenger train (a special case and out of scope for this

list) Rapido has NEVER asked for deposits on any pre-orders. Again, while I

can not speak for other manufacturers, I can not think of any instance

during my 15 years at the distributorship that a manufacturer that we

represented required a deposit from a retailer on a pre-order. Perhaps some

manufacturers are now doing this on direct sales, and I would welcome

correction on this if this is the case. If you have paid a deposit on any

Rapido products other than "The Canadian" then rest assured that we have not

seen a penny of it!

I will now don my bullet-proof vest and get ready to leave for the Valley

Forge RPM. Those of you attending can take pot-shots at me from Friday on!

:>)

Bill Schneider

Product Development

Rapido Trains Inc.

http://www.rapidotrains.com

From: Allen Cain

Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:32 AM

To: STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC@...>

Subject: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

I agree 100% with Chuck's well stated complaints with the pre order process.

Add to this the risk of losing you money completely if the manufacturer,

distributor or LHS goes out of business. Stand in line to get MAYBE a small

percentage of your money back if they go into bankruptcy.

I have personally missed out on some Intermountain rolling stock that I

preordered through a reliable supplier when they apparently did not produce

enough to fill their pre-orders. And yes, I had paid for these when I

ordered them months in advance. Eventually I got my money back but even

that took a lot of time chasing down credit card charges to prove that I had

paid for them.

I too will order but not pre-pay for items that have not been reviewed and

commented on by knowledgeable folks who have actually seen them.

I may miss out on something but then this I just a hobby. And there is

always Ebay where about anything can be found from

shops/distributors/speculators do buy stock to sell. Humm, sounds like what

a Hobby Shop used to do. Realistically, this preorder business will

contribute to the demise of the local hobby shops who no longer can order an

item from distributor/manufacturer stock after they have been produced and

will move sales to on-line stores who can stock up by pre-ordering and sell

worldwide.

Allen Cain

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/

Individual Email | Traditional

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)

STMFC-digest@...<mailto:STMFC-digest@...>

STMFC-fullfeatured@...<mailto:STMFC-fullfeatured@...>

STMFC-unsubscribe@...<mailto:STMFC-unsubscribe@...>

http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Jim Betz
 

Chuck and all,

From where I sit this is a Catch-22 thing. The importer of
the loco doesn't want to 'risk' a lot of money. So he goes
to pre-order (essentially zero risk) ... but -lots- of guys
have a "wait and see" attitude (it's not just you). So the
importer (please note I am not calling them "manufacturers")
orders only what he has pre-orders for ... which is a smaller
number (?). Some shops/internet dealers "take a risk" (?)
and order more than -they- have orders for ... but the bottom
line is that the importer ends up with zero risk and can 'stay
in business'.
Ah but ... the Catch-22 ... it only takes one or two
"problem locos" and then the spiral down to zero orders
starts.
Many of these pre-ordered locos 'end up on eBay' sooner or
later. Some by dealers/shops that ordered more than they
had firm orders for themselves and some from buyers who
pre-ordered and are now selling them (some for 'profit',
some just don't want it for what ever reason).

My observation is that the importers ("mfgrs") who consistently
bring in (turn out) high quality (or just "high enough") get a
fairly large number of pre-orders. Consistently.

One of -my- pet peeves is the way truly successful models
don't get re-run to fill the true demand. For instance a
loco comes into your LHS and sells out in less than 2 months -
and then it doesn't get rerun is at least a half decade!

I feel my response to the pre-order thing is pretty much
"typical". I will only pre-order from specific sources for
specific types of models (such as an Atlas or Stewart loco) ...
AND if the model is one I want/need ... as in the right paint
scheme and without lots of re-work to make it right. I'm
more than willing to add details - but removing easily spotted
mods is where I draw the line (for instance I'm not likely to
purchase/pre-order an SP Geep that has the full light package
on the nose ... and then convert it to GN/SP&S/DM&IR).

Chuck - I've been with you on not pre-ordering from before it
became more common than not ... and I've missed out on some
models I would rather not have missed out on. But at least
I don't have a -lot- of stuff in my hobby shop in the closet
that is the result of my bad choice of pre-order.
- Jim
--- In STMFC@..., "lnnrr" <lnnrr@...> wrote:


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Mar 21, 2012, at 10:28 AM, Bruce F. Smith wrote:

Folks,

Wow... I thought this was all off topic as business practices...
but since it isn't and I have a get out of jail card hidden
somewhere around here...

(found it!) Brianna says that it is all well and good if you don't
want to reserve, but then don't whine when a product is delayed or
canceled due to lack of reservations.

As noted, companies aren't going back to a "stock the shelves"
mentality. That is long gone. You just need to look at how models
are manufactured to understand that. Understand too that the
"excess" over reservations has gone down, as companies learned that
it was counter productive to bring something in at $400 and then
dump the remaining inventory at $220 six months later... since
everyone realized that they should just wait and buy from the
Bargin Bin. Its been my experience lately that a company would
MUCH rather have to announce a 2nd run nearly simultaneously with
the 1st run hitting the shores. Of course that is one way you can
"wait and see" as well, but then we get back to Brianna's point.
Bruce, I've been staying out of this discussion, as it seems to me
largely pointless, but I will add one additional observation to
Brianna's sage advice. If you decide not to reserve but to "wait and
see," it often happens that the model turns out to be something you
really want, but they are entirely sold out to those who made advance
reservations and there may or may not be a second run. In that case,
those who say "no problem, it will turn up on e-bay" may be seriously
disappointed. If and when one does turn up on e-Bay, the price is
likely to be bid up outrageously and yours probably won't be the
winning bid.

One other thing. You should never have to pay in advance if you
cultivate a long term relationship with a well established retailer
who knows you and knows you will pay promptly when the item comes
in. The dealer with whom I have such a relationship is 2,000 miles
away, so he has my credit card information on file. When something I
have ordered in advance finally appears, he just bills my card and
advises me by e-mail of the amount charged and the date the item has
been shipped to me. Why do business with people you don't know and
trust, and who don't know and trust you?

Richard Hendrickson


SUVCWORR@...
 

The problem is, it is the dealer who gets stuck. The manufacturer has been paid. The distributor has been paid. Neither will take the product back. The customer who pre-ordered declines to take it. The person with the least available cash is stuck -- the dealer. This might not be so much of an issue with a freight car. But how many $500 locomotives can the dealer he left holding that he will likely need to sell at a loss (no one pays retail and most are not even satisfied with 25% off list any more) and stay in business? Thus the need for a pre-order deposit in selected cases -- when burned once. The non-refundable deposit allows the dealer to sell the amount of the deposit below cost and at least break even. Otherwise, he is out of business.

Rich

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 1:17 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


Rich Orr wrote:

As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two
manufacturers . . . I do selectively require deposits on orders. I
have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-
ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually
locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable
deposit.


But notice the problem here. The locomotive comes in, it's panned

by somebody somewhere (rightly or wrongly), and the prospective buyer,

who of course had no way to know what would be delivered, declines to

accept. I don't think this is unreasonable behavior. If those who are

"selective" (not saying "picky") find themselves having to pre-pay for

reservations, some will simply drop out, as some posters have

observed. That's a loss of customer, because they don't decline EVERY

engine.

That said, I have no sympathy for the reservation holder who, on

arrival says, "sorry, I changed my mind." That's unreasonable, even

though I realize the dealer has no way to distinguish it from the

buyer who finds the product unacceptable.



Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...

Publishers of books on railroad history







------------------------------------



Yahoo! Groups Links



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/



Individual Email | Traditional



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)



STMFC-digest@...

STMFC-fullfeatured@...



STMFC-unsubscribe@...



http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


Brian Ehni <behni@...>
 

Case in point. My former business partner continued to sell trains from his
house after I opted out. Based on what the Nashville local crowd said they
would buy from him, he ordered and received a case of the Atlas GP-40s both
with and without DCC.

Not a soul actually purchased one, leaving him stuck with a cash outlay of
hundreds of dollars for nothing.


Thanks!
--

Brian P. Ehni

From: <SUVCWORR@...>
Reply-To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 15:47:52 -0400 (EDT)
To: STMFC List <STMFC@...>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.






The problem is, it is the dealer who gets stuck. The manufacturer has been
paid. The distributor has been paid. Neither will take the product back.
The customer who pre-ordered declines to take it. The person with the least
available cash is stuck -- the dealer. This might not be so much of an
issue with a freight car. But how many $500 locomotives can the dealer he
left holding that he will likely need to sell at a loss (no one pays retail
and most are not even satisfied with 25% off list any more) and stay in
business? Thus the need for a pre-order deposit in selected cases -- when
burned once. The non-refundable deposit allows the dealer to sell the
amount of the deposit below cost and at least break even. Otherwise, he is
out of business.

Rich

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <thompson@...
<mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com> >
To: STMFC <STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> >
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 1:17 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Rich Orr wrote:

As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two
manufacturers . . . I do selectively require deposits on orders. I
have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-
ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually
locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable
deposit.
But notice the problem here. The locomotive comes in, it's panned

by somebody somewhere (rightly or wrongly), and the prospective buyer,

who of course had no way to know what would be delivered, declines to

accept. I don't think this is unreasonable behavior. If those who are

"selective" (not saying "picky") find themselves having to pre-pay for

reservations, some will simply drop out, as some posters have

observed. That's a loss of customer, because they don't decline EVERY

engine.

That said, I have no sympathy for the reservation holder who, on

arrival says, "sorry, I changed my mind." That's unreasonable, even

though I realize the dealer has no way to distinguish it from the

buyer who finds the product unacceptable.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
<mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com>

Publishers of books on railroad history

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/

Individual Email | Traditional

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)

STMFC-digest@... <mailto:STMFC-digest%40yahoogroups.com>

STMFC-fullfeatured@...
<mailto:STMFC-fullfeatured%40yahoogroups.com>

STMFC-unsubscribe@...
<mailto:STMFC-unsubscribe%40yahoogroups.com>

http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]









[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Al and Patricia Westerfield <westerfield@...>
 

Many years ago when I worked for a company and had actual money to spend I pre-paid for several very expensive locos from a dealer who will remain nameless. An Erie triplex and L-1 0-8-8-0 camelback. The dealer never ordered them. After waiting well after others received theirs I asked the dealer where mine were. He said they hadn’t come in yet. I called the importer who told me all had been shipped but he just happened to have a spare triplex that had come back from being repaired. I sent the importer the money and confronted the dealer. The dealer reached into the bottom of his rotating counter and pulled out a wad of bills. He peeled off over $1,000 for me. This is how he conducted business? I never went back. He soon went out of business. But I did get the L-1 from another source. – Al Westerfield

From: SUVCWORR@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:47 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


The problem is, it is the dealer who gets stuck. The manufacturer has been paid. The distributor has been paid. Neither will take the product back. The customer who pre-ordered declines to take it. The person with the least available cash is stuck -- the dealer. This might not be so much of an issue with a freight car. But how many $500 locomotives can the dealer he left holding that he will likely need to sell at a loss (no one pays retail and most are not even satisfied with 25% off list any more) and stay in business? Thus the need for a pre-order deposit in selected cases -- when burned once. The non-refundable deposit allows the dealer to sell the amount of the deposit below cost and at least break even. Otherwise, he is out of business.

Rich

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com>
To: STMFC <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 1:17 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Rich Orr wrote:

As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two
manufacturers . . . I do selectively require deposits on orders. I
have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-
ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually
locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable
deposit.
But notice the problem here. The locomotive comes in, it's panned

by somebody somewhere (rightly or wrongly), and the prospective buyer,

who of course had no way to know what would be delivered, declines to

accept. I don't think this is unreasonable behavior. If those who are

"selective" (not saying "picky") find themselves having to pre-pay for

reservations, some will simply drop out, as some posters have

observed. That's a loss of customer, because they don't decline EVERY

engine.

That said, I have no sympathy for the reservation holder who, on

arrival says, "sorry, I changed my mind." That's unreasonable, even

though I realize the dealer has no way to distinguish it from the

buyer who finds the product unacceptable.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com

Publishers of books on railroad history

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/

Individual Email | Traditional

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)

mailto:STMFC-digest%40yahoogroups.com

mailto:STMFC-fullfeatured%40yahoogroups.com

mailto:STMFC-unsubscribe%40yahoogroups.com

http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Tim O'Connor
 

Intermountain has a full return policy back to THEM -- so if I order a model from my dealer, and it turns out that I don't want it, and my dealer can't sell it, IM will take it back and refund the dealer. As a result IM has very happy customers who aren't afraid to order models for their customers.

Tim O'Connor

----- Original Message -----
From: "Al and Patricia Westerfield" <westerfield@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:55:25 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Many years ago when I worked for a company and had actual money to spend I pre-paid for several very expensive locos from a dealer who will remain nameless. An Erie triplex and L-1 0-8-8-0 camelback. The dealer never ordered them. After waiting well after others received theirs I asked the dealer where mine were. He said they hadn’t come in yet. I called the importer who told me all had been shipped but he just happened to have a spare triplex that had come back from being repaired. I sent the importer the money and confronted the dealer. The dealer reached into the bottom of his rotating counter and pulled out a wad of bills. He peeled off over $1,000 for me. This is how he conducted business? I never went back. He soon went out of business. But I did get the L-1 from another source. – Al Westerfield

From: SUVCWORR@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:47 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


The problem is, it is the dealer who gets stuck. The manufacturer has been paid. The distributor has been paid. Neither will take the product back. The customer who pre-ordered declines to take it. The person with the least available cash is stuck -- the dealer. This might not be so much of an issue with a freight car. But how many $500 locomotives can the dealer he left holding that he will likely need to sell at a loss (no one pays retail and most are not even satisfied with 25% off list any more) and stay in business? Thus the need for a pre-order deposit in selected cases -- when burned once. The non-refundable deposit allows the dealer to sell the amount of the deposit below cost and at least break even. Otherwise, he is out of business.

Rich

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com>
To: STMFC <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 1:17 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Rich Orr wrote:

As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two
manufacturers . . . I do selectively require deposits on orders. I
have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-
ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually
locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable
deposit.
But notice the problem here. The locomotive comes in, it's panned

by somebody somewhere (rightly or wrongly), and the prospective buyer,

who of course had no way to know what would be delivered, declines to

accept. I don't think this is unreasonable behavior. If those who are

"selective" (not saying "picky") find themselves having to pre-pay for

reservations, some will simply drop out, as some posters have

observed. That's a loss of customer, because they don't decline EVERY

engine.

That said, I have no sympathy for the reservation holder who, on

arrival says, "sorry, I changed my mind." That's unreasonable, even

though I realize the dealer has no way to distinguish it from the

buyer who finds the product unacceptable.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com

Publishers of books on railroad history

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/

Individual Email | Traditional

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)

mailto:STMFC-digest%40yahoogroups.com

mailto:STMFC-fullfeatured%40yahoogroups.com

mailto:STMFC-unsubscribe%40yahoogroups.com

http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


SUVCWORR@...
 

Al, that is actually theft by deception and considering the amount a felony in most jurisdictions. You could have filed a criminal complaint against him and a civil complaint and regained your money. Dealers don't have that option unless they go to the extent of having every person who pre-orders execute an enforceable contract.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Al and Patricia Westerfield <westerfield@...>
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 5:55 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


Many years ago when I worked for a company and had actual money to spend I
pre-paid for several very expensive locos from a dealer who will remain
nameless. An Erie triplex and L-1 0-8-8-0 camelback. The dealer never ordered
them. After waiting well after others received theirs I asked the dealer where
mine were. He said they hadn’t come in yet. I called the importer who told me
all had been shipped but he just happened to have a spare triplex that had come
back from being repaired. I sent the importer the money and confronted the
dealer. The dealer reached into the bottom of his rotating counter and pulled
out a wad of bills. He peeled off over $1,000 for me. This is how he conducted
business? I never went back. He soon went out of business. But I did get the
L-1 from another source. – Al Westerfield

From: SUVCWORR@...
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:47 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.


The problem is, it is the dealer who gets stuck. The manufacturer has been paid.
The distributor has been paid. Neither will take the product back. The customer
who pre-ordered declines to take it. The person with the least available cash is
stuck -- the dealer. This might not be so much of an issue with a freight car.
But how many $500 locomotives can the dealer he left holding that he will likely
need to sell at a loss (no one pays retail and most are not even satisfied with
25% off list any more) and stay in business? Thus the need for a pre-order
deposit in selected cases -- when burned once. The non-refundable deposit allows
the dealer to sell the amount of the deposit below cost and at least break even.
Otherwise, he is out of business.

Rich

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony Thompson <mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com>
To: STMFC <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 1:17 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Pre-orders, pro or con.

Rich Orr wrote:

As a small vendor (not a LHS), I buy directly from two
manufacturers . . . I do selectively require deposits on orders. I
have been stuck with large numbers of items from individuals who pre-
ordered and then declined to accept the items. Usually
locomotives. Anything they order now requires a non-refundable
deposit.
But notice the problem here. The locomotive comes in, it's panned

by somebody somewhere (rightly or wrongly), and the prospective buyer,

who of course had no way to know what would be delivered, declines to

accept. I don't think this is unreasonable behavior. If those who are

"selective" (not saying "picky") find themselves having to pre-pay for

reservations, some will simply drop out, as some posters have

observed. That's a loss of customer, because they don't decline EVERY

engine.

That said, I have no sympathy for the reservation holder who, on

arrival says, "sorry, I changed my mind." That's unreasonable, even

though I realize the dealer has no way to distinguish it from the

buyer who finds the product unacceptable.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA

2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com

(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, mailto:thompson%40signaturepress.com

Publishers of books on railroad history

------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/

Individual Email | Traditional

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STMFC/join

(Yahoo! ID required)

mailto:STMFC-digest%40yahoogroups.com

mailto:STMFC-fullfeatured%40yahoogroups.com

mailto:STMFC-unsubscribe%40yahoogroups.com

http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Andy Harman
 

At 11:14 AM 3/21/2012 -0700, you wrote:

One other thing. You should never have to pay in advance if you
cultivate a long term relationship with a well established retailer
who knows you and knows you will pay promptly when the item comes
in.
The only manufacturer I know of who is asking for advance payment (i.e. "investing") had a product line that is largely stratospheric pastry and I wouldn't buy it anyway.

Because manufacturers don't keep inventory, distributors don't keep inventory, and dealers don't keep inventory, I have to keep it myself. Pretty much a fact of life. Although, the self-perpetuating belief that the hobby industry is a cork bobbing on the South China Sea and there's nothing anybody can do to change it, is just another aspect that one day shall pass, and be replaced with something else.

Andy