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Author Topic: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop  (Read 22928 times)

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Offline portland-docks

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2014, 11:34:55 am »
Yeh which is fine while the shop is open or even closed during the norma winter period, but the fact you closed early meaning it was a longer period we could not order, so the agreement should be under special circumstances where he shop has to close for unseen circumstances we can still get the products we desire from the source.

I think the agreements need reviewing
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Offline DCCDave

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2014, 12:18:38 pm »
Under the agreement, Model Masters, agreed not to sell the plates or decals.  We are just asking that the NGS members support this agreement.

I've not renewed my membership.

The shop situation is a farce, allow the shop to be closed ever is farcical.

I'll rejoin when I can order the full list of items from the shop on-line. Everyone at the NGS may be volunteers and may be putting lots of unpaid hours in but that's no excuse for running the organisation in such a way. Like it or not, the Internet happened years ago, the society has had oodles of time to get it's act together.

OH and I will be ordering direct from Model Masters!

A very disgruntled ex-member...

Offline portland-docks

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2014, 12:28:46 pm »
I renewed my membership and im wondering why to be honest, the people iv spoke to say the way things go on at the society is a farce and this shows it. Your preventing your own members from gaining the benefits of the membership. Its rediculous.

Things need to change there as i think you're losing more members than attracting now.
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Offline Papyrus

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2014, 12:29:46 pm »
Instead of just complaining, perhaps you should volunteer to help out...??

Chris
Sometimes I sits and thinks. Sometimes I just sits.

Offline DCCDave

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2014, 12:48:33 pm »
Instead of just complaining, perhaps you should volunteer to help out...??

Chris


Standard answer, and one frankly I'm bored with.

From talking with other members who have experience of committee membership I see a picture of inertia and indecision. I'd find that fruitless and frankly not worth my time. I have a lot of regard for those who give up their time, but that's still no excuse for the abysmal state of affairs with the shop.

Dave

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2014, 12:51:56 pm »
I would have thought now was the time if any to fix such things. There is now a period of chaos in which the rules are fluid and changing. Once it settles back down it'll drop into a new and different rut for 20 years until it goes wrong again....


As far as agreements go. The N Gauge Society web site says there is a "members shop". That's also an agreement  :P
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Offline portland-docks

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #51 on: November 26, 2014, 12:52:49 pm »
Then to come up with this stupid bit on how we cant get stuff when the shop closes for unseen circumstances is rediculous, as i say the agreements need reviewing as its preventing members getting the benefits of the membership
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Online PLD

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2014, 01:19:36 pm »
The Society Shop is only closed temporarily and it is hope to be reopened partially in January 2015.

It has come to our notice that Model Master are claiming you should buy plates from them.  The agreement between N Gauge Society and ModelMaster is still in place.

You should not buy plates or transfers from Model master

David Baverstock
NGS Chairman
TEL: 0117 9763329
And that attitude that the Society is the play thing of the few and not run for the benefit of the members as a whole, (in this case in the form that the Society's income stream is more important than helping the members obtain the goods they want at a time when the Society is unable to fulfill their requirements) is the main reason why I am not a member...

You should be supporting the commendable action of Model Masters for temporarily reopening direct sales FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOUR MEMBERS whilst the Society shop is unable fulfill their needs.

You are not as you may think 'protecting' the society, instead you are P****** off your members...

Offline portland-docks

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2014, 01:21:55 pm »
Couldnt agree more!
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Offline red_death

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2014, 01:30:25 pm »
The shop situation is a farce, allow the shop to be closed ever is farcical.

Dave

The choices are relatively simple:
- the NGS could run it more like a commercial entity (and not close, though even commercial shops close at some points) and pay higher prices as we would have to employ someone
- accept that it is not perfect and work within the limitations of volunteers

Given the situation that the Shop was in what alternatives exist but to:
- fulfil existing orders,
- temporarily close the shop to allow a stock take and implementation of a new system?

Getting the stock packed up, finding suitable storage and making the move has been a substantial logistical task in itself.

The existing system was not capable of being used for online sales without lots of manual intervention and even then would have meant a serious risk of stock being sold that we did not have (how would you control stock between offline and online sales?).  So damned if we do something about it and damned if we don't - I accept that is the lot of a Committee, but I would at least hope the criticisms were fair and realistic.

Cheers, Mike

(NGS Committee member)



Offline DCCDave

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #55 on: November 26, 2014, 02:25:18 pm »
Mike,

the NGS could run it more like a commercial entity (and not close, though even commercial shops close at some points) and pay higher prices as we would have to employ someone

If one thinks of the shop as more akin to an internet shop and not a bricks and mortar shop then no, they don't have to close at some point. Price is immaterial if I can't buy the products. Have the committee considered if higher prices would be something the membership would be willing to pay for a more available service?

Given the situation

Change in committee membership is a given - the committee should have seen this problem coming a mile off. While a functioning shop relies on one person (or family) then there will always be gaps in the service. Ensuring more than one person has access to the stock in order to dispatch it will clearly relieve that dependency, it's good practice never to have one of any role in an organisation (Big Red Bus syndrome).

The existing system was not capable of being used for online sales without lots of manual intervention and even then would have meant a serious risk of stock being sold that we did not have (how would you control stock between offline and online sales?). 

That's easily solved if offline orders are processed through the online system. And the society has had years to get the online shop problem solved.

So damned if we do something about it and damned if we don't - I accept that is the lot of a Committee, but I would at least hope the criticisms were fair and realistic.

Not at all. My criticisms are fair - if the society is not able to provide the service that I paid for, and was promised, then where should the criticism be levelled? At the members?

My frustration comes from the fact that a foreseeable problem has not been handled well. I'm not damning anyone, nor demanding the committee resign or any such rubbish. What I have done is declined to renew until there is a functional shop which at leasts gives a nod to the 21st century. If that inspires the committee to get on with it then all well and good. If not then I guess I'll not become a member again, as for me there would be little  point.

And Mike, and any other committee members reading this, let me make it clear. You are all volunteers and the members do appreciate that. But me, and several others I've discussed this with have decided that the society does not offer a good enough service to be worth the membership fee. Calling me (and others) unrealistic won't change that, what's needed is actions not excuses.

Dave


Offline red_death

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #56 on: November 26, 2014, 02:47:40 pm »
Dave

Sorry, but I think you are being unrealistic.

The current committee has to deal with the here and now as well as plan for the future. So yes, plans were underway to prepare for the departure of the Shop Manager as we like everyone else recognised that it was a single point of failure, but even with the best planning in the world I don't see the simple solution. It is all very well saying it should not have been in the control of one person (and I agree with the principle), but the reality is that is exactly the situation the NGS is in. We can sit and say that things should have been different and regardless of whether they should or shouldn't we still end up having to face the reality of the situation.

Of course putting offline sales through an online system solves the problem of stock availability, but again it is ignoring the current position.

The NGS Shop has not ever been akin to an internet shop and creating unrealistic (that word again) expectations does no one any favours. I'd rather we were honest with people. It is a service for the members run by the members not a commercial service.

There are many things I would change about the Shop with a blank slate (what it stocks, how it operates etc) - we have the best opportunity to change things now given that we do not have a blank slate and that is the process we are going through.

Of course everyone must make their own value judgements about whether NGS membership is worthwhile - I only speak for myself when I say that the temporary lack of the mail order Shop is frustrating but not the end of the world. Again for me it is certainly not something which dramatically skews my judgement of the value of NGS Membership - it is one part of a 16 sub (and not the main cost of membership).

Cheers, Mike



Offline NeMo

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #57 on: November 26, 2014, 02:59:02 pm »
There's clearly a lot of frustration on both sides. All I can say is that as an NGS member, I look forward to "normal services being resumed" but don't intend to cancel my membership or anything like that simply because the NGS Shop is out of commission.

I do wonder if a scaled-down shop might be developed (and ideally, put online) relatively quickly. Basically, stock a small core of items, perhaps just the NGS kits and the NGS ready-to-run/special commissions. That way members have access to the stuff that simply can't be obtained elsewhere (and, to some degree, justifies the expense of joining). All told that would be, what, fewer than a hundred items to deal with? The ordering process might even be "distributed" with a hundred members each taking charge of one kit or model. Someone central passes on the name and address of the person who wanted, say, a QM Brake Van, and that member takes it off to the post office that weekend for postage. I'd certainly be happy to take on that amount (!) of work, even with a job and newborn baby. So as a short term fix, that could work, couldn't it?

In the medium term useful but not essential items such as transfers might be added to the shop. Transfers that go with NGS kits would be obvious priorities here.

But there's a lot of stuff, such as old kits, might be added as and when. While it's nice to have access to (slightly) discounted P&D Marsh kits and the like, such bits can be ordered elsewhere without too much bother.

In the meantime, I wish everyone on the NGS committee well as they sort things out.

Cheers, NeMo

Offline ThePurplePrimer

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2014, 03:14:02 pm »
I would like to offer a little feedback if I may but firstly I would like to say that I very much appreciate the efforts of the people who run the various model railway associations whatever the scale might be.

With that said...

 I decided after to join the association as I was seriously considering N gauge but wanted to build my own rolling stock. As the associations kits are only available to members ( which is fair enough ) I joined as a new member online.

I did this at around 9.30 am on the very morning after the announcement was made on here at just before midnight on the previous evening ( which I did not see )

There was nothing on the association website to indicate the closure of the shop. I received no contact after making my joining application and payment to warn me of the situation either.

I don't think I would have joined at this stage had I know that my main reason for joining was now invalid - ie I could not buy any wagon kits.

I don't know if this information is now clear on the association website but it certainly wasn't when I joined or in the following days when I looked.

I will admit to being disappointed

I have also now ruled out N gauge as well sadly

I understand things happen but it would have been nice if this situation had been made clear so I could have made a fully informed choice

« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 03:43:19 pm by ThePurplePrimer »
... Rob

Offline NeMo

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Re: Important Notice regarding the NGS Shop
« Reply #59 on: November 26, 2014, 03:19:36 pm »
With that said I decided after to join the association as I was seriously considering N gauge but wanted to build my own rolling stock. Asks the associations kits are only available to members ( which is fair enough ) I joined as a new member online.
I have also now ruled out N gauge as well sadly
As I'm discovering, there are many, many more kits out there than just the NGS ones! Have you looked at Taylor Precision Models? BH Enterprises? Parkside Dundas? Etched Pixels? Mill Lane Sidings? P&D Marsh? Langley Models? N'Tastic? Electra Graphics?

I'm sure there are others too, but these cover all sorts of prototypes and some (the TPM and Parkside Dundas ones for example) are often nice and simple plastic kits with etched brass details ideal for beginners like me!

Cheers, NeMo

 

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