Online Dealers

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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I love David's site although I've not yet been able to shop there...

I use rrtrains.com just because Mark has allways had what I wanted (well almost).
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I don't have any real online orders. Well in a way I do, I just send an email to hobby shops I know of (not mail order ones), it seems to work good for me, if the item isn't in stock and they have to get it from Walther's well then I have a little wait. These are small business that have to work to make a go of it so if my purchases help keep them around, then I'm doing a good thing. There used to be some hobby shops around here but they're all gone now.:(

Cheers Willis
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I don't have any real online orders. Well in a way I do, I just send an email to hobby shops I know of (not mail order ones), it seems to work good for me, if the item isn't in stock and they have to get it from Walther's well then I have a little wait. These are small business that have to work to make a go of it so if my purchases help keep them around, then I'm doing a good thing. There used to be some hobby shops around here but they're all gone now.:(

Cheers Willis
Oh, I still use two of my LHS's with a passion, for small items, like Rolling Stock, scenery, and paint.

Locomotives, hard to find items, & decals I really only buy online.
 

modelbob

Administrator
If you folks would do me (and your favorite stores) a favor, I'd really appreciate it...

Check our Suppliers Directory at http://www.modelrailroaddata.com/suppliers/ and be sure they're listed there. If they aren't you can add them on this page:
http://www.modelrailroaddata.com/cgi-bin/suppliers/add.cgi

Listings are free, it only takes a moment to add them, and doing so helps us create a resource for your fellow modelers while also promoting your favorite hobby shop. (Or your own shop, you're welcome to add your own site.)

You're encouraged to keep this thread going too, but if you can also make sure they're in the directory that would be helpful.
 

CIOR

Central Indiana & Ohio RR
I use 1stplacehobbies for most of my stuff. Although I use a few others too.
 

conrail92

Member
www.wholesaletrains.com is where i buy from now i have a dash 9 coming in the mail now witch was 20 dollars cheaper then the retail, I bought my 50+ flex track from em, I bought 21 switches and buyin 15 more from them. And im going to buy there packs of 3 walther centerbeam flat cars for only like 25 dollars, there stock is amazing and so are the prices.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I got my newest Dash 9 from Mark (rrtrains.com) for $68. Guess its more of a personal preference. I'll have to check out wholesaletrains.com when I go to pic up some new Union Pacific engines.

I also have to mention:
http://www.preownedtrains.com

I cleared him of like $150 worth of trains, (at $5 average a peice). Havn't seen much that I can use since, but once and a while I see something come & go that I "should have got".
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
http://www.1stplacehobbies.com/default.asp is now my favorite, online or phone. They have very good prices, quick response time, and a friendly staff. They also have a huge selection in stock.

http://tonystrains.com/ is my DCC favorite for the same reason.

Sorry fellows, but me saving money is more important than worrying about my LHS owner surviving. I am not going to pay inflated prices on already over-priced merchandise. Please understand that I am not blessed with the fantastic shops that some of you have, but I doubt that I would buy much from them if I had one. There is something that goes against the grain by paying 15-20% more for an item than necessary.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Sorry fellows, but me saving money is more important than worrying about my LHS owner surviving. I am not going to pay inflated prices on already over-priced merchandise. Please understand that I am not blessed with the fantastic shops that some of you have, but I doubt that I would buy much from them if I had one. There is something that goes against the grain by paying 15-20% more for an item than necessary.
Exactly my thought. Why pay $135 for a Genesis SD70M at the LHS when I can can spend $100 on two and have them here in a week?
 

modelbob

Administrator
Exactly my thought. Why pay $135 for a Genesis SD70M at the LHS when I can can spend $100 on two and have them here in a week?
Depends on whether or not your local hobby shop is what the computer industry likes to call a "value added reseller". i.e. Does he add anything to the transaction to make it worth the extra time and effort you spend shopping at his store?

I shop both online and at my local hobby shop. Like many of you, I can't resist saving $150 or so on a BLI loco by shopping online. On the other hand, I buy just about everything else at my local hobby shop. For me, the ability to look at the product before buying is worth something extra. So is having a place to stop by and pick up some track or rail joiners, or a magazine. So I buy almost all of my cars, buildings and accessories from a couple of local shops.

Luckily, here in Seattle we have probably about 10 shops within 50 miles or so. Some have great prices, others not so good. Some have friendly staff, others seem like they'd just as soon you leave them alone. I choose where to shop accordingly. I tend to visit about 5 or 6 shops over the course of a year, but end up buying most of my stuff from 2 of them, based on a good selection, customer service and reasonable prices.

I actually had a fellow ask me to leave his hobby shop once, since I had the nerve to suggest another customer look at something other than what the salesman was trying to push. The fellow wanted a narrow gauge line to go with his O gauge trains. The salesman suggesting buying an N scale train and modifying it. (To represent what? A live steam park train?) I suggested he check out the On30 that I'd seen on a nearby shelf, since it was ready to run, and a better match to his scale. What I had suggested was not only a better option, but that set was also more expensive. Still, since it wasn't his idea, the salesman took offense and asked me to leave.

The same sales jerk.. err clerk, had also refused to let me look at a catalog a few minutes before, saying he knew I wasn't going to buy anything. I was considering buying an LGB set that they had on hand for a Christmas tree layout, but wanted to check on the price of an LGB Forney, since I really like that engine. Had he simply let me see the catalog, I could have confirmed what I thought I recalled, that the Forney I wanted was about $800 at the time and I would then have purchased the smaller $300 set he had on sale. I simply wanted to be sure I couldn't get the Forney for roughly the same price as that set before making the purchase.

After he asked me to leave, the other customer left too, based on the way he treated me, leaving a nice stack of O scale stuff he'd intended to buy on the counter. All told, his attitude cost him at least $600 in sales, if not more. I've also never set foot in the place again.

The sad thing is, when I told somebody that story, at least two people said "was the store 'xxxxxxxxx' Trains?". It wasn't the same place, but both of them went on to relate how that store pretty much catered only to collectors, and the "Christmas Tree Train Crowd" was made to feel less that welcome there. It caught up with them in the end, they're no longer around.
 
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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Reed's & Hobby Central here in San Diego are great, but again, I buy 95% of my locomotives online. The $135-$55 difference is enough to influence me to pay $25 shipping for two $55 engines. Or in the case of all THREE of the SD75M's I DO own, I paid a grand total, with shipping, somewhere in the range of $90. THREE, with shipping, NEW in shrink wraped boxes!

Back on the LHS case, I agree Bob, looking at freight cars & buildings in a store is MUCH easier, then traying to buy online, when 1/2 the time it doesn't have a picture.

The of other two stores, The Whistle Stop is nice, but small & crouded, and reminds me of some antique store, the way its set up & all. Mostly a store full of useless (to me) rolling stock, and lots of engines. The other place (heck if I can remember the name), only went in it once, wanted $45 for a RTR LBF car! Reed's wants $24.95 for the SAME car.

I guess in the end, no matter what, it all comes down to:
-Value vs. Availabilty (I.E. Price difference, vs. waiting on shipping, and paying shipping)
-Customer Service
-Visibilty (I.E. well organized store or, lots of pictures online)
-Personal Perference
-Location, or in the case of online, Store checkout, and ordering ease...
-Whats in stock!!!
 

stripes

Member
I think every LHS and Online shoud read threads like these. I try to at least read as many threads as possible in 8-10 forums a day. That way a store owner would get a feel for what people want as far as products and customer service. And what should be intolorable behavior by a sales person!
David
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I go to the LHS every so often, and spend money there. Not as much as I would if I didn't have online options, but still significant. I don't normally buy locos or high ticket items there, but if there's something unique that is generally not available online, I'll cough up the money.

Of course, as a brick and mortar, they carry Athearn stuff, which is what I look at mainly. Not a real huge line, but enough to be worthwhile.

Kennedy
 




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