Pricing ourselves out of a hobby

SPsteam May 25, 2016

  1. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would love to see any example of the "static numbers on the price tag" you stated...thnxs :whistle:
     
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I think what I'm trying to say is the used brass goes for the same price it did new, in terms of the numbers, despite inflation--and now you can easily find used brass for sale, whereas I remember a time when you could not.

    Of course, the N scale guys might not empathize with me much in that department...
     
  3. BlazeMan

    BlazeMan TrainBoard Member

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    I'd say they've gone down in absolute dollars. Friend recently passed away with large brass collection. People disposing of his estate feel they'll be lucky to get $.50 on the $1 for his things. No painting done, no motors reworked, no DCC...just shiny, well detailed models that run poorly. Blackstone and BLI have taken care of that market. Big dollars for the items compared to Atlas, Kato, Intermountain and such, but they haven't held their value.
     
  4. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh brass...thats a different animal then most modelers partake in ;)
    I misunderstood and thought you where talking plastic models. Its all good...thnxs (y)
     
  5. SPsteam

    SPsteam TrainBoard Member

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    BlazeMan, if they are disposing of the collection, perhaps a single buyer would do such as Dan's Train Depot or The Train Shop (Santa Clara CA). They specialize in brass. Did he have any N scale? It might be worth it to list the locos on here to see if there is interest.

    As stated, most modelers these days don't go for the brass models. I have nine in my stable and they are the best engines out of the lot. They take some care and feeding, but beat plastic any day of the week and most don't need traction tires to do the job.

    It seems that once an engine is available in plastic, the brass equivalent's value takes a drastic drop. Before IM released their cab forward, you couldn't pick one up for less than 850-1000 on ebay, now they start for 1/2 of that or less. Look on the auction site now and it is loaded with brass FEF's after Kato's release. On the contrary, a Kato GS-4 on the secondary market is now approaching the cost of a brass GS-4.
     
  6. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, most of my rolling stock came out of blue boxes, with some assembly required. I'm not sure why that changed, unless the average demographic of the hobby is climbing up into cataract territory. Certainly the variety has increased, even as the demand is dropping, and that kind of specialization comes at a price. While it's nice to see the junk being relegated to the dustbin of history, we don't make the hobby more popular by putting all the emphasis on whether the X,Y&Z bought boxcars with twelve ribs, or only eleven.

    If we were pricing ourselves out of the hobby, it wouldn't be happening. We're getting value, and we know it, or we wouldn't be buying. The free market is treating us well. But are we getting so specialized and picky that we're pricing our hobby out from under kids' Christmas trees?
     
    ken G Price likes this.
  7. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

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    Here comes the interesting part, how much more can a company produce the same model over again? How much longer will people still be interested in steam vs what is on the tracks today? That than will require new molds, new parts etc to produce the stuff we see present today will that just further push the price up due to the factory line making a big change?

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  8. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

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    Which baffles me! :confused: What has suddenly changed in the last few months? And why wasn't there this land rush for GS-4's when I had two to sell a couple of years ago? :cautious:
     
  9. SPsteam

    SPsteam TrainBoard Member

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    I think part of this is the introduction of the FEF. As a tangible engine still in service (???) buyers can identify with this locomotive. Perhaps they didn't buy a GS-4 in the first round and decided they needed to add one of these to their stable as well and therefore the secondary market is where they are found....and being paid a lot for. The Daylight car sets can still be found at or below the original purchase price. The engine, not as easily found.

    How many of the original Kato GS-4s are running the rails without their skirts or as GS-3s because of the Nscale kitbashing articles a few years ago?
     
  10. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Ask MicroTrains...the PS-1 mold is from the 70's. Same for some of Atlas's molds. A good (as in detailed, well made) mold will last apparently decades.
     
    J911 likes this.
  11. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

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    Than I guess the cost would be from rise in plastics etc?

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    All of the employee costs; taxes and regulation; upgrades to any other equipment and facilities; costs of supplies and materials; etc, etc............ :(
     
  13. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's a conspiracy I tell ya !!!! :p
     
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  14. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    According to Athearn, the cost of packaging, maintaining an inventory of spare parts, and customer service was the reason that the Blue Box kits went away. When they sell an RTR car, it came off the assembly line with all it's parts (hopefully). Once it is on the store shelves, Athearn is done with it, on to the next project. With the Blue Box kits, they were paying people the same amount to fill the little manila envelopes with parts as they are to assemble the RTR cars. Then those little envelopes of parts, didn't always have the right number of parts in them so they had to have a customer service person here in the states to take care of the missing parts which meant keeping an inventory of every part for every Blue Box car. It also meant shipping/mailing costs to get those missing parts to the customer. When it came right down to it, to keep the Blue box kits profitable the price was going to end up the same as the RTR cars and they decided nobody would buy the kits any more if they could get the same car assembled already for the same price.

    Haven't been by here in a while. nice to see nothing has changed. Grumpy guys complaining that the hobby is dying and costs too much.

    The hobby is just fine. Our N-Trak club is gaining members every meeting after loosing half our members to aging out, we have grown bigger and stronger than before. Of our new members, over half of them are under the age of 16. We now have 6 "kids" in the club and they are all very active. They may not be able to afford much but they save up and it makes it that much more special when they do get that new locomotive, just like I did when I was a kid.

    I equate the price of a loco to the price of a nice meal for my family. With a wife and 2 kids, a nice meal is somewhere in the $50-75 range any more. Just a little under the price of a decent DC loco. That same, meal 15 years ago was in the $35-45 range, just under the price of a good DC loco. Nothing has changed much relative to the price of other things I want, everything costs more today.
     
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  15. Rodsup9000

    Rodsup9000 TrainBoard Member

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    I would really like to know if they (MT) are still using the same mold. Maybe Joe will come over and let us know. I kind of doubt that they are, as molds do wear out. Just ask ME about their code 55 n scale tie molds. I do know that Atlas has done new molds. Something you have to remember is that once a mold is made, it will not fit just any injection molding machine. It's well known fact that Atlas changed manufactures in China not too long ago, and usually the molds stay at the manufacture that made them (in China anyway).
     
  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    Yea ever notice how the guys from TRW come over to stir the pot now and then...and they end up getting a thread locked....lol :mad::censored::p:p:p
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
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  17. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    Made me smile. Actually haven't been hanging around any forums too much. Been busy working on stuff for our club modules.......

    [​IMG]

    ....and working on an over the top HO layout for a friend.......

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thats some mighty fine modeling Tony (y):whistle:
     
  19. southernry_n

    southernry_n New Member

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    For all the folks complaining about prices and suggesting the problem is manufacturers or some other conspiracy .... Here is YOUR solution!
    Become a manufacturer. Just think you can do a better job and pass on the saving to everyone else.
    You think you can do a better job then you should be able to prove it very quickly.
    Ready? Set? GO!
     
  20. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just because I think Fords are inferior and overpriced cars and trucks doesnt mean I am going to stop complaining about them nor am I going to start my own car company...:rolleyes::whistle:
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016

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