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Author Previous Topic: Along Fever Creek Topic Next Topic: On30 3d printed Freight Cars  

Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/06/2019 :  11:16:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been looking for some items online. Naturally I'm looking for the 'best' prices. I've become disheartened by the number of sellers who advertise yet have no stock. Others who have cheap price but high shipping costs. Others who have 'broken' sites. (One I tried to order from simply didn't allow me to proceed to checkout).

I have had great experience in the past from those I have used. But they don't have what I want. One seller who I've never used but has what I want has a site that knows I'm in Australia so the geo tagging converts the price into Australian dollars with rediculous exchange rates. (I have funds in the USA in US$. So I don't want to 'play' with exchange rates). For the heck of me the site wont let me pay in US$.

I'm jut having a rant and yearn for the local hobby store. Remember the time when we all had a local store? The sad thing is we all drove it out of business by buying online. Now we are paying the price.

FWIW I just purchased an item from the UK. The vendor has been so helpful and the item arrived at my front door 8 days later.


Country: Australia | Posts: 468

Section Hand

Posted - 06/06/2019 :  11:55:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I am with you. With the 'convenience' and lower prices of Internet shopping, many brick and mortar stores simply close their doors because they cannot compete. I used to have four LHS to shop at for my train fixes. One was run by a fellow modeler with a fantastic O layout in his triple garage, which I visited more than once. They are all gone now. The only place in town now sells only O and G gauge and you have to make an appointment with him to go down and open the store so you can shop. I would send back much of what I bought online for the opportunity to walk in to a store again.

Country: USA | Posts: 76 Go to Top of Page

Craig H

Posted - 06/07/2019 :  09:17:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Times have changed.

Country: | Posts: 1708 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 06/07/2019 :  09:20:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am on the fence with this. Fortunately within 75 miles I have 3 well stocked LHSs. They are 5 miles, 40miles and 75 miles away all in different directions. As well established shops they can compete with on-line prices but not with the inventories. Can anyone complete with the inventories of Walthers direct, ModelTrainsStuff or Spring Creek among many others in the USA? I have my basics completed, most of the rolling stock, track and structures. I am looking for details, styrene and these are the things my LHS doesn't always stock but can get.

I usually buy on-line when shipping is free or a low fixed price and is out of state to avoid the sales taxes. I only buy from on-line when they have stock reporting and I never allow for backorders.

I am not the typical LHS shopper. I never walk in without a list of needs. I dislike having to fight the crowds around the register of old guys reliving (I am 66) the hobby past or complaining about a new product none of them own. I am not a “must touch” all the detail parts, rolling stock in the shelves or board.

So,the LHS to me is no longer a need to have but I do understand those who don’t have one. I admire many non-North American hobbyist who have to add the crazy shipping costs. I never think of the exchange rate, so just another issue you folks have to deal with.

Best of luck to you

Country: USA | Posts: 3661 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/07/2019 :  6:05:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To give an idea of what us o/s buyers have to contend with without a LHS. I wanted to buy 3 Soundtraxx decoders. Not a huge parcel. But the cost to send them to Australia from one source was US$39.90. I've lived in the USA for about 8 years. I know the parcel rate in the USA are high. But $39.90 is a bit of a stretch!
I know capitalism is ok. But I also know that I'm in control of who I buy from. I just get annoyed when retailers complain about sales while at the same time make it hard for customer to buy from them.

By the way I found that those with the cheapest Soundtraxx prices never had stock. Why? Do they sell out at their prices or do they advertise something they don't have? Hmmmmmm.

Country: Australia | Posts: 468 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 06/07/2019 :  7:38:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They act as brokers for those with warehouse and shipping facility “drop shipping” some called it.

At one time I ordered a part for my old Ford Tractor from a dealer in the UP of Michigan. It came in 2 days with return label from a parts house about 25 miles away from me. No attempt, as some do, to even disguise it. Some places will print a label with Joe’s Trainzz, 444 Railroad St, West Broken Toe, Indiana or whomever your dealer is.

I’d put good money on it that a high percent of those advertising on eBay and direct online have nothing but a computer, modem, and internet connection. It recently happened to me when I ordered some Tru-color paint. 24 later the free shipping in 2 days turned into. Sorry “back ordered for 4-6 weeks”

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Country: USA | Posts: 11074 Go to Top of Page
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