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Author Topic: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society  (Read 20625 times)

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Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2016, 08:33:24 pm »
Pre-order information has not been published yet, partly because a member at the AGM raised the question of the continuing need to take deposits and this needs to be considered by the Committee, partly because we are trying to firm up the information on possible vehicle packs to go with them and partly because we try to time announcements on the website to link in with those in the NGS Journal.

Gill
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Hi Gill

I shook my head with disbelief at the suggestion at the AGM that there should not be deposits taken for these commissions. In my mind a deposit is a tangible statement of intent and a commitment to purchase. Far too easy for someone to say they will buy x number of a given model when announced and then without having committed any money up front not do so when released. I would plead with any Committee members reading this not to go along with such a suggestion. I would also ask why it is so unreasonable for members interested in an RTR project to be expected to make an up front commitment?

Kind Regards

Roy

Very well put!

There must always be a deposit to protect all the other members from the financial risk.

Offline Kris

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2016, 09:04:45 pm »
Pre-order information has not been published yet, partly because a member at the AGM raised the question of the continuing need to take deposits and this needs to be considered by the Committee, partly because we are trying to firm up the information on possible vehicle packs to go with them and partly because we try to time announcements on the website to link in with those in the NGS Journal.

Gill
Shop Manager

Hi Gill

I shook my head with disbelief at the suggestion at the AGM that there should not be deposits taken for these commissions. In my mind a deposit is a tangible statement of intent and a commitment to purchase. Far too easy for someone to say they will buy x number of a given model when announced and then without having committed any money up front not do so when released. I would plead with any Committee members reading this not to go along with such a suggestion. I would also ask why it is so unreasonable for members interested in an RTR project to be expected to make an up front commitment?

Kind Regards

Roy

I agree with the sentiment that a deposit is a must.

Offline PLD

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2016, 09:07:07 pm »
In my mind a deposit is a tangible statement of intent and a commitment to purchase. Far too easy for someone to say they will buy x number of a given model when announced and then without having committed any money up front not do so when released. I would plead with any Committee members reading this not to go along with such a suggestion. I would also ask why it is so unreasonable for members interested in an RTR project to be expected to make an up front commitment?
From a new manufacturer with no track record you could appreciate and justify a reluctance to commit money up front. - I would want to wait until I could see the finished product before committing to purchase as, like most, I wouldn't want the risk of being stuck with a lemon...
Whatever anyone's opinion of the N-gauge Society as a whole, the one area that can not be criticised is the quality & value of the exclusive products (both RTR and kit) and combined with a manufacturer of the repute of Bachmann, there can be no justification for not putting down a deposit other than penny-pinching (30 won't exactly earn you a fortune in interest over 2 years!!)

Offline javlinfaw7

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2016, 09:31:49 pm »
If the project went ahead without deposits it would be like ordering for the society shop but on a scale no retailer would consider. If you do not wish to place a deposit you still can order from the balance that are left ,though I could see this selling out quicker than previous rtr models

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2016, 09:33:01 pm »
I totally agree the full cost price to the NGS should be sought as a deposit from would be purchasers. Anything less is not good commercial practice.

Offline Byegad

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #65 on: July 27, 2016, 02:24:24 pm »
Absolutely agree a deposit on a commissioned item is a must. To not do so could open the N Gauge Society itself to either a huge loss of face, a large loss in Cash or both. One failed launch could kill any chance of future commissions.

Offline red_death

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #66 on: July 27, 2016, 03:05:19 pm »
Sorry folks, but there isn't half some misconceptions being bandied around here.

Noel's point at the AGM was that without very robust systems (I know from the NGS and Revolution standpoints!) that deposits are an administrative nightmare. Of course the benefits are that it brings in a bit of cash (it certainly does not cover the full cost of items) though it is questionable whether the NGS needs that for cashflow (and whether it outweighs the admin burden). It also allows a judgement to be made as to whether to order more than a minimum order of any livery/variant.

When the first RTR items were commissioned by the NGS it was a bit of a shot in the dark with a large financial commitment and deposits served a purpose.  Now that we have much more experience of picking RTR models and understanding of the financial implications I don't think the need for deposits is as clear cut.

To be frank:

- we haven't sold out of any of the RTR projects IIRC (though we have of particular liveries)
- we wouldn't ask for or get approval for a project that was likely to be a disaster. I know there can be unexpected circumstances but it would have to be absolutely unsellable (and even then we could still afford it).

Suggestions that commissions without deposits not being good commercial practice are not helpful or realistic (you might also want to tell Kernow/Hattons/Rails et al).

As Gill has said, the Committee will discuss this at the next meeting.

Cheers, Mike

(NGS Product Development Officer)



Offline Thorpe Parva

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #67 on: July 27, 2016, 04:15:28 pm »
I think that the facility to pay a deposit is of benefit to both the NGS and the Members.

As Red-Death says it gives the NGS some idea of the demand for the different livery/variants. I would not be surprised if the minimum order for some variants of this model will need to be increased.

For a Member such as myself the fact that I have paid a deposit guarantees that I will receive the model(s) I require from the initial production run. Without this guarantee it could just be a free-for-all when the models become available & I could miss out if not quick enough.

I agree that Hattons et al do not request a deposit but you can still pre-order. What's the difference between accepting a deposit & taking a pre-order in terms of the admin required? Might as well take the deposit.

David

Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #68 on: July 27, 2016, 04:19:21 pm »
In God we trust all others pay a deposit  8)

Offline red_death

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #69 on: July 27, 2016, 04:21:08 pm »
I agree that Hattons et al do not request a deposit but you can still pre-order. What's the difference between accepting a deposit & taking a pre-order in terms of the admin required?

Pre-order is still only one order and one payment. A deposit and balance is two orders and two payments which need some (preferably automatic) method to link them together.

As I said, been there and done that and without a decent and robust system for deposits then they are more work.

There is no reason why a pre-order shouldn't attract the same sort of guarantee as a deposit...

Cheers, Mike



Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #70 on: July 27, 2016, 04:25:21 pm »
I do think the Revolution new payment model paying the full cost on order including postage.  It is the simplest and most reliable method.

Offline red_death

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #71 on: July 27, 2016, 04:42:14 pm »
I do think the Revolution new payment model paying the full cost on order including postage.  It is the simplest and most reliable method.

We've actually tried three different methods as we learn what works for Revolution!

Pendolino method (a nightmare!) - pay in full or pay deposit and balance (deposit and balance not linked automatically - reconciling a pain in the proverbial).
Wagons - typically we've just asked for payment in full on order.
Class 320/321 - our new method of deposits and balances (which creates the balance invoice automatically and ensures they are automatically linked and reconciled) or choice to pay in full if preferred.

Having said all of which Revolution is not in the same position as the NGS - Revolution needs the money to fund development and production, the NGS doesn't. Perhaps in the future if Revolution ever makes any surplus then we will be able to move to a pre-order system.

Cheers, Mike



Offline Roy L S

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #72 on: July 27, 2016, 06:39:09 pm »
Sorry folks, but there isn't half some misconceptions being bandied around here.

Noel's point at the AGM was that without very robust systems (I know from the NGS and Revolution standpoints!) that deposits are an administrative nightmare. Of course the benefits are that it brings in a bit of cash (it certainly does not cover the full cost of items) though it is questionable whether the NGS needs that for cashflow (and whether it outweighs the admin burden). It also allows a judgement to be made as to whether to order more than a minimum order of any livery/variant.

When the first RTR items were commissioned by the NGS it was a bit of a shot in the dark with a large financial commitment and deposits served a purpose.  Now that we have much more experience of picking RTR models and understanding of the financial implications I don't think the need for deposits is as clear cut.

To be frank:

- we haven't sold out of any of the RTR projects IIRC (though we have of particular liveries)
- we wouldn't ask for or get approval for a project that was likely to be a disaster. I know there can be unexpected circumstances but it would have to be absolutely unsellable (and even then we could still afford it).

Suggestions that commissions without deposits not being good commercial practice are not helpful or realistic (you might also want to tell Kernow/Hattons/Rails et al).

As Gill has said, the Committee will discuss this at the next meeting.

Cheers, Mike

(NGS Product Development Officer)

Hi Mike

No misconception on my part, I was at the AGM sat just one row in front of you so heard what was said, I disagreed with it then and I disagree with it now, and from comments on here so do others.

You appear to be looking at it purely from the angle of it being an inconvenient administrative matter that you would rather be avoided and of course I do understand that reconciling the deposit and the subsequent balance of an order requires work and a robust process but as I see it there are many more reasons why a deposit payment is not only sensible but desirable.

1) With no up front deposit there is no tangible commitment to complete the purchase 18 months later when the product arrives. I could say I will order 10 carflats now, pay no deposit and then decide I don't want them on delivery. What is the NGS going to do? What leverage does it have? None.

2) Why should NGS funds be risked to entirely finance a project that with the best will in the world will only appeal to a percentage of members?

3) A deposit also means I am barring disasters guaranteed to get my model as that commitment will give a lot more comfort to the NGS that they can order a specific volume with confidence that they know how many they have already in effect sold.

To compare to Hattons' pre-order system is not realistic in my view. People pre-order with them to benefit from a discount and also because having provided card details they can then just sit back and wait for the e-mail saying it has been despatched, they need to do nothing more, it is convenient. Hattons can take the chance that some pre-orders will be cancelled because they spread the risk amongst a huge range of products and can afford to hold some stock.

Have you ever booked a team meal at work and not taken a deposit? As the time gets closer people will pull out for all sorts of spurious reasons because it is easy to they have lost nothing, funnily enough if they have paid a deposit they rarely do!

Regards

Roy



Offline NeMo

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #73 on: July 27, 2016, 07:22:52 pm »
You appear to be looking at it purely from the angle of it being an inconvenient administrative matter that you would rather be avoided and of course I do understand that reconciling the deposit and the subsequent balance of an order requires work and a robust process but as I see it there are many more reasons why a deposit payment is not only sensible but desirable.
Possibly, but as the guy doing the administrative work, I think we can cut him some slack!

2) Why should NGS funds be risked to entirely finance a project that with the best will in the world will only appeal to a percentage of members?
In all honesty this project isn't likely to fail so catastrophically that the NGS will lose money. My understanding is that all the previous NGS ready-to-run models have sold at least reasonably well, and it surely isn't a major problem if costs aren't covered for a couple of years.

Indeed, I'd argue one of the purpose of the NGS is to commission kits and RTR items that aren't going to be surefire hot sellers, which is why they produce things that the "big boys" prefer not to take a chance on.

I think the carflats sound a really good idea, and I'm likely to get at least one of the 1970s era ones.

Cheers, NeMo

Offline zopadooper

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Re: Carflat A from the N Gauge Society
« Reply #74 on: July 27, 2016, 07:31:52 pm »
I am sure it is time to put this debate to bed and I am equally sure that the NGS will decide to carry on with deposits as a means of pre-ordering RTR items.

The administration was only difficult because of the change in both officers and systems.  The plan with the Thompsons is to treat the original deposit as the balance invoice as well and if that works as expected it will be adopted for future releases.

As previously stated, we hope to get an order form together which includes the vehicles packs ( for which delivery may or may not coincide with the wagon) in time for the journal due to land in letterboxes on 1st October.  The journal due out this week went to press before the carflat plans had been confirmed - such are the joys of the old-fashioned methods.

Gill
Shop Manager

 

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