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Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by CSXect, Apr 18, 2008.
A puny tip: Keep your promises to your customers and always keep them informed!
Madhatter good sound advice for any form of business:mrgreen:
Back when I was a kid there was AHM, Life-like,modelpower,Tyco and mantua were the major players in the HO world and atlas, round house and atheran were also popular as well.
Brass locomotives any and all scales are they slow movers or a good investment???
What about propriatery special runs of rolling stock exclusive to a hobby shop is this a good marketing move or a waste of capital??
Well, Model Power now owns Mantua.
Atlas trains are, in fact, Kato as well.
Many of the companies fall under the canopy of W. A. Walthers these days.
I would not go with brass. Most of the plastic models run better than brass, and the prices are outrageous for brass. I think you are better off to use the money that you would tie up in brass to stock more Athearn, Atlas, Kato, BLI, etc quality plastic locomotives, and cars in both kit and r-t-r. I was at Arnie's Train Shop, an advertiser at the bottom of the page here on the Gauge, and they make a point of moving the product in and out of the store as soon as possible. They have a "deal table" in the middle of the store. They will buy a bunch of locomotives when any body comes out with a new model. They do not allow them to sit around the shop. They discount from the "get go" to move them out. When they get down to having only 2 or 3 of that model left, they put them out on the "deal table" really cheap. He has made his profit on the rest of the locomotives and the last 2 or 3 he aims to break even on. With a train shop, you can afford to have detail parts sit on racks for a while because they represent a relatively small part of your inventory dollar. High dollar items like locomotives need to move out the door and bring the money back in to buy more inventory. I think the rule of thumb in business is that you want to "turn" your entire inventory at least 3-4 times per year.
Hello all very good ideas and tips as always thanks for the help.
Russ thanks for all the input. You have raised some good points to think about.
There is a shop I know of who sells thier MTH stuff for list price yet they still get repeat customers:shock: I have read equal amounts of complaints about MTH and Lionel trains and it may be luck of the draw but one lionel train I got has a flaw it is a american flyer bawldin desiel whos side frame vibrate loose after a few laps around the trackwall1 easy fix but should not have made it past QC, had sevaral minor problems with original K-Line products(they got better quality before take over by lionel) And completely satisfied with my one and only MTH train:thumb: again may not have enough of any one manufacurer to see a pattern.
The deal table sounds like a good idea also test runing and returning defctive product sounds like fun.
MY FATHER CO RAN A MODEL BUSINESS HERE IN THE UK QUITE AFEW YEARS AGO HE HAD A SIMPLE IDEA TRY TO CATER TO VARIED HOBBISTS INTERESTS BUT STILL STOCK AND SELL THE STANDARD STUFF.HE HAD A GOOD RAPORE WITH SEVERAL REPS FROM HOBBY BUSINESSES LIKE HUMBROL AND AMARANG.HE ONLY CLOSED DOWN THE BUSINESS WITH HIS PARNTER AS THE LOCATION IT WAS IN WAS BEING COSED DOWN AND RENTAL PRICES IN THE LOCAL AREA WERE TOO HIGH. HE USED TO GIVE LOCAL CLUBS DISCOUNT WITH PURCHASES OVER A SET AMOUNT AND ALSO ORGANISED SEVERAL EVENTS IN THE STORE WITH THE CLUBS WHICH DID BRING IN ALOT OF BUSINESS.HOPE THIS HELPS :thumb:
Thanks for the long distance suggestion from across the pond My favorite shop did the very samething then closed due to too high rent:nope: Last I heard the owner was selling his inventory at shows and thru another shop:mrgreen:
It all sounds like it is a doable venture but the risk at the moment is making me do the research for a more approrite time in the future.
Keep sending the ideas they are all very helpfull and I am sure that there are others out there wondering about the same thing as well.
Again thanks for the effort and good convercation everyone
Wow this thread has been viewed close to 800 times so far still reading up on some things form Groveport chamber of commerce and from other websites of hobby assocations.
I really do find all the ideas and insights very helpfull thanks again everyone:mrgreen:
My wife tried to get me to buy out a small local train shop when the owner died. I said no because I like the hobby to much. The owner started it when he retired and told me several times he used to love the hobby but grew to dislike if not hate it after he opened his shop.He also used a room in his house so he had no overhead. Another modeler did buy him out. Now three years later with a shop in his house he told me he needs to show a profit or his uncle, you know, Sam, will cause him some headaches. He said there is no profit to show. If you do make the plunge I suggest staying away from cheap sets as they are junk and will chase potential repeat customers away from the hobby. You may consider making you own kit with good solid inexpensive products such as Athearn blue box. If it is still available. Also if you don't know the hobby Learn it(I don't mean reading Model Railroader) so you can give answers besides I don't know. I wish you the best of luck.
Lester that is pretty much true for any kind of business/hobby. It is a different story on the other side of the counter. I agree about the "cheap" sets I had many tyco trains and they did not last long, have not been in Ho as I mostly run and collect Lionel,MTH, K-line, American Flyer and American Models and there is where most of my experience is. There is always something to learn.