Why are prices seeming to rise exponentially lately?

txronharris Jun 16, 2020

  1. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

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    I’ve been around a while. Remember when you couldn’t get anything like DCC or ditch lights in N Scale. And locos brand new (non DCC) we’re available for 79-99 bucks.

    Now we’re talking about 200.00 DCC locos as common. Yes the detail is better, and yes DCC is an added value, but I never thought I’d have a serious conversation where rolling stock is 30.00 a piece. Now got a flyer for a new rolling stock that’s 97 bucks a car for HO. I’m not putting the manufacturer here because it’s not a gripe about them. I just want to know where the limit is.

    I can’t imagine being new person to the hobby deciding to start up. Must be overwhelming to see what financial commitment it takes to get started. And I wonder how many of us still hanging on will be able to do so before we’re priced out of the game.

    Just a rambling old guy. Take it for what it’s worth.


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  2. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Part of it is due to more prototypically accurate models, with more added details, being made in smaller quantities.
    It may also be due to the offshore subcontract manufacturers trying to test the limits of just how much we're willing to pay for our "toys".
     
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  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    From a site on the internet...

    In other words, $90 in 1990 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $176.55 in 2020

    That might have something to do with it :(

    Sumner
     
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  4. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, didn’t think of it that way. Good discussion point. And I will admit things like details and running have gotten better over the years. Heck, by the time we re-chassied our old Atlas locos with NScale of Nevada weighted ones, added plows, shades, rings, grab irons, ditch lights, and all the other details that are now almost standard, we actually probably spent what a modern loco costs or even more.

    I guess I’m just old and remember getting an Intermountain hopper
    for 20 bucks new at my local shop and was happy to pay it. Hard to justify 30 bucks a car now. Can’t afford that unit train-even a 30 car one is 900, and that doesn’t include the 600 bucks for 3 locos to pull it.

    I’m gonna quit griping and hope my wife doesn’t walk into the local model railroad shop and see my “hold bin”, lol.

    Carry on.


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  5. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I can totally get the sticker-shock reaction.

    I had to replace a turnout (Atlas) with an equivalent one from the same manufacturer. I paid the original one six years ago or so for about $12.

    When I went to pick up the new one, I nearly had a stroke. 30 smackers! What the bleep? :eek:

    The LHS must have some smelling salts on hand with that kind of inflation.:confused:
     
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  6. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Two trillion printed by the Federal Reserve and given by the government, some to us, most to crony corporations.

    Dollars are just like anything else. The more you make, the less they're worth. Prices aren't really going up, the value of the dollar is dropping. It's called the law of supply and demand. Dollars are a dime a dozen.

    Warning: It'll get worse.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  7. Dave1905

    Dave1905 TrainBoard Member

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    Sooner or later all the tariff stuff will creep in, you can't put a 10-25% tax on stuff without it showing up in the price someplace.
     
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  8. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I'm no expert but, when the fed started handing out stimulus checks, they told the Federal Reserve to fire up the dollar printing machines, which started diluting the dollars value against stuff like gold and silver. Sooner or later that will catch up with us, and the dollar's buying power will go down relative to other currencies like Euro's, Pound's and Yuan, unless they are printing currency too.
     
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  9. pwaka88

    pwaka88 New Member

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    Getting back into modelling and there definitely is a sticker shock. I have been listing what I will potential need and even rolling stock seems steep. I wish more rolling stock kits were available to try and save money. Especially when you need multiple of the same item.
     
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  10. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    In any case, the dollar's buying power is going down, and will keep going down. Nothing other currencies do will stop that.

    Their value is shrinking like wool in a hot dryer
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
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  11. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    As I said before, I remember buying "blue box" brand boxcars for $3.00 plus tax. Current prices are part of the reason I keep "snarking" about my efforts in the 1/384, Omega scale. Sometimes I get cardstock for $0.25 a sheet. :D Of course I also "snark" when I have to redo something I built wrong. But having "fun" is what it's all about. :rolleyes: As for dollars, the sky is the limit....:eek:
     
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  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yeah, I am going to strip and repaint some of my lame cars in much more appealing schemes, and then do weathering effects and patch jobs to add interest, then take them to ebay this winter and see if their value increases from what I paid.
     
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  13. CedarCreek

    CedarCreek TrainBoard Member

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    Don't mean to sound contrary, their are deals out there to be had.
    The aftermarket venders have been very good to me over the years.
    Also, the thing is, we are pretty much all in the same boat, (broke and in shock) the prices will go down, they have too, if people don't buy as much.
     
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  14. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah you really have to look around a lot in this hobby, and even others, to try and get a good deal. I mean my local hobby shop has some really old stuff, and since I could care less what rolling stock it is, as long as it's a good price, I got like 6 or 7 micro trains coupler rolling stock for $60.00 on time. Now if you want detail and specific items, your gonna pay for it usually! But in the end if you get what you want and you know the price, that's your choice in the hobby. I'm very cheap, so I look around for a long time to try and get a deal. The young people in the hobby don't remember the OLD days :) Like a coke, pop, soda, back in the day was .10 cents, now they are like a buck or more. It sucks, but that's the way it is :)
     
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  15. rch

    rch TrainBoard Member

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    As new models come out - and this can even apply to a new paint scheme coming out - people will sell off their "old" models to get the new ones. Many times the old models aren't even that old, and used is often barely used. I've picked up a few new-to-me items on ebay and HOswap in the past few months for cheap.

    And I've also done this from the other side. I had some old Walthers 86' boxcars before the Gold Line version with separate door bars and I must have had them almost twenty years. I found a pair of the Gold Line cars to replace my original cars so I weathered mine and sold them. One car I sold nearly covered the cost of the pair of Gold Line cars. Other old models I've sold I didn't make that much money on them, but I had them twenty or twenty-five years, so I got plenty of enjoyment out of them. And I might have spent ten bucks on those cars when I bought them.
     
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  16. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

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    New tooling costs money. Many suppliers are insisting on new tooling because people are apparently willing to pay $50+ for a plastic car that looks almost as good as a $250 brass equivalent. Note that brass has been dropping commensurately. But, the cheaper, less detailed items are still available, and so are kits.

    In modern times, people are more willing to pay for RTR, and that means assembly charges and improved packaging. It all costs. The Chinese factories have historically had trouble keeping skilled employees. Many rural people have gravitated to the Chinese thriving cities where the money is (odd how that seems to be the same everywhere). They learn they have some power to demand retention rates of pay, or they'll move on to a factory making imaging chips or assembling $1200 camera bodies, or smart phones. The employers have to pony up more cash, which gets passed on to the importers, and they in turn pass it on to you. Final analysis is, if you want the items, you'll pay all costs, every one of them, plus commissions and markups. Enjoy.
     
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  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    The days of cheap foreign labor has past by. In the late 1990's to early 2000's the cost to manufacture, assemble and decorate(paint) was very cheap and the quality was good for the most part. The importers were making decent returns by sending production to the Far East. As mentioned in the prior post, the competition for skilled workers began to drive costs up and those costs, which are past along to the end user, have been rising for the past 15 years. The level of detail has also improved... and there are added costs for that too. I remember getting the Atlas wood reefers and 11,000 gallon tank cars for about $12 or $13 bucks each (discounted)... often buying the multiple road numbers back then. The same rolling stock will now cost double. I am now very choosy... only picking a couple of cars and only one road number. It was once thought that Microtrains were the 'top of the line', but now several other importers have eclipsed most of that advantage. The Microtrains cars are sometimes cheaper than other makers similar cars. Funny thing is that I still remember buying rolling stock by mail order for less than $2.00 each... but the differences are very noticable... would not want to go back to that era now.

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  18. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    BTW... I could foresee that prices were going to get much higher and bought a lot of what I own 10 to 15 years ago. I still buy stuff regularly though... and it hurts to see how much more it costs. I agree that it is difficult for someone getting into the hobby NOW. I guess wages are higher for younger workers... but retirees are virtually priced out unless they earned a lot of money... saved/invested it... have good pension and high Social Security. Most are not in that universe though.

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  19. txronharris

    txronharris TrainBoard Member

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    And just like you I appreciate a good deal at a show. But I also know I need to support my local hobby shop. There are plenty of us here that don’t have a shop to go to any more and I’d really be sad if mine went away.

    I stopped by there today and bought one new Intermountain car and three used ones they had. I know they made hardly nothing on the used ones and only a few bucks on the one new, and maybe my 70 bucks won’t keep the lights on, but I try to do my part like all of you do to support the local shops. Thing is, as someone that’s been in the hobby for a while, I pretty much have everything I need and then some.

    Appreciate all the comments though. Glad to see others share in some of the thoughts


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  20. CedarCreek

    CedarCreek TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, but don't get me wrong I will buy at a local hobby shop, if I had one.
    Most of my trains are trade-ins from hobby shops in Calgary and Victoria.
    It's just recently (last 5 years or so) that I have been buying mostly off of eBay as there's no hobby shop close by with decent N scale inventory.

    I have noticed a trend on eBay where older non dcc ready locos are going for prices I would typically see for newer stuff. Even the crappy old life-like stuff.
    I've also noticed that not a lot of product is moving so there's a glut on the market.
    Which is why I believe the prices would have to start dropping. (I hope)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
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