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Author Topic: New product waits and shortages  (Read 7399 times)

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Offline macwales

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New product waits and shortages
« on: January 25, 2013, 05:08:59 PM »
Hi

Is everyone else as frustrated as me? In N Gauge these days manufacturers seem to tempt us with a year or two advance notification of their new products, and retailers invite pre-orders. On some web sites there are more ads for not in stock items items than there are for those that are actually available. It is then an age while we have to wait for new models to actually appear and then ....

When the new items are shipped to retailers and unless very quick you cannot get your hands on one. If you do and it's faulty and non repairable you cannot get a replacement. Many specific models sell out after a few days and I now hear tales of pr-orders not being fulfilled due higher than expected demand and short production runs leading to stock shortages.  Add to this consistent tales of deliberately very small production runs and large demand and you will see what frustrates me.

Recent examples seem to be Farish Austerity models, Dapol Flying Scotsman, Mallard and GWR Paniers.

Gone are the days when you would drool with expectation at an available model, save up and then go and buy it from whoever was selling at the best deal!!

What a mess the market seems to be in. Please discuss!!

Cheers

Mac >:(

Offline Hailstone

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 05:36:38 PM »
I remember when all that was available to beginners were the Graham Farish 94xx & Holden J69's both with the absolutely awful plastc chassis, or the equally crude Lima micro trains.

There has never been a better time to be an N Gauge modeller with a list of available items that would astonish anyone from even the mid 80's.
True the runs are limited, but If you really really must have it, pre-order as a lot of us now do. As for quality, I admit I have been lucky over the last 7 years and only had to return 1 loco out of all those I have bought, but reading through the various threads in this forum, the quality issue would not appear to be a major one 

Offline woodbury22uk

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 05:41:11 PM »
I'd say the best policy is to relax and not be frustrated by something none of us control. Today's market is as you describe it. Despite development work being undertaken in the UK much of the CAD work is outsourced to the Far East, and the manufacturing capacity there has its own long lead times. If you have very deep pockets you might be able to change it but the situation you describe seems to apply to all small-sized specialised markets not just model trains. My policy is to pre-order early from a reliable supplier, so far that has worked for me. Even when there have been shortages they have not stopped my order being fulfilled.
Mike

Over-user of brackets and quotation marks.

Wondering how many pedants can dance of the head of a pin.


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Offline PLD

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 06:59:48 PM »
I can see it can be frustrating at times, but it a heck of a lot better than the situation 10 years ago... You would get one new loco per year from the one and only manufacturer, whereas now there's half a dozen each per year from 2 major manufacturers plus a few more from smaller manufacturers...

Yes there was a regular supply of every type but it would be produced with only one identity per livery which was churned out year after year. Now you still get a quota of most types every two or so years and with different identities...

Some new models do tend to be anounced years in advance [not all are anounced in advance - there was plenty of complaints about Dapol keeping the Paniers secret until they were almost ready so they can't win...] I'd say be patient and take it as time to save up; and if you do miss out, you can't say you didn't have notice in time to place your order! It also gives notice to the other manufacturers of what is planned so as to avoid or at least reduce duplication and we benefit by getting something different from the second manufacturer instead...

Paul

Offline B757-236GT

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 09:32:48 PM »
Indeed apart from the 56s most of dapols recent MI releases have turned up somewhere discounted so it is possible to get some a little past release date, im not so clued up on the steam era but i think the 9Fs and Q1s seem to be quite hard to get hold of but not impossible. Farish i think do bigger runs and also do repeat runs of wagons so they should be reasonably easy to get hold of.

In terms of affording it all, some shops offer a pre order scheme where you can pay a sum every month which is very useful if it is indeed 2 years from annoucement to delivery but it does sometimes does smart as we all want a new toy to play with and not have to wait.

Richard
You want the truth, you cant handle the truth. Welcome to the Fox news channel. (Andy Parsons)

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 09:57:44 PM »
Is it possible that Farish and Dapol are using pre orders to judge which era/livery to bring in first? :hmmm:

Offline 4x2

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 10:19:14 PM »
I have to say i think it's very frustrating...

Call me crazy, but i swear the idea behind selling models was to make money ?

This idea of limited runs - say 200 units, and 'when they're gone they're gone....' what's all that about ?  ???

The Dapol Pannier sold out in a week, they could have sold three times as many !  :dunce:

Farish 9F was advertised for two years.... nothing !  :veryangry:

No particular point here, just letting off some steam... But even the most hardened N gauge enthusiast must be fed up with the random way things are announced/released.
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline edwin_m

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 10:31:32 PM »
In some cases they are trading on scarcity value - if everybody knows there are only a limited number of a product available those who want it are more likely to buy quickly (and close to full price) because they think they may miss out otherwise. 

I've also heard it said that there are collectors who will buy one of every variant produced, so would buy five if two hundred each were produced in five liveries rather than just one if it was a run of 1000 all the same.  However I don't recall ever "meeting" anyone like this on forums so I'm not sure if they really exist!
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 10:33:54 PM by edwin_m »

Offline Dock Shunter

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 11:08:55 PM »


I've also heard it said that there are collectors who will buy one of every variant produced, so would buy five if two hundred each were produced in five liveries rather than just one if it was a run of 1000 all the same.  However I don't recall ever "meeting" anyone like this on forums so I'm not sure if they really exist!

Oh they exist alright they don't frequent forums such as this because they have no interest in actually running the locos they buy.....add into the mix those people who are buying not to run or collect but to sell at inflated prices on the likes of ebay when a run of a model has sold out and this goes some way to explaining why genuine people who want to buy models to run them are missing out..... :veryangry:


 

Offline H

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 08:40:20 AM »

Call me crazy, but i swear the idea behind selling models was to make money ?

This idea of limited runs - say 200 units, and 'when they're gone they're gone....' what's all that about ?


I think we've learnt, from Hornby in OO as well as the N gauge manufacturers, that the issue these days is getting production slots in the factories. They seem to be the thing that is scarce.

There's little point in tying up production with second and third batches of product that won't quickly sell out, because the initial demand was mostly satisfied by the first batch, and destined only to end up sitting in the warehouse because dealers won't take the risk and order them. Plus, of course, there seems to be a natural propensity for purchasers to be attracted to, and spend thier money on, the new shiney stuff just off the boat for the first time.

But, while wating for that ellusive RTR model, you could spend the time enjoyably building a kit and doing some real modelling. That'll help calm the nerves and anticipation. :D

H.


Offline Karhedron

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 09:14:27 AM »
I think the current situation has its advantages. Batch production means we get far more new models than in the old days. back in the Poole era, Graham Farish would introduce one or two new models per year with the rest of the catalogue being reruns of existing models (often without even bothering to change the running number).

Announcing models in advance allows modellers to give feedback on the R&D process (Dapol in particular take feedback on RMWeb). It also gives us time to save up for things. Not all models have a long wait. The Dapol panniers took about 6 months between announcement and hitting the shelves IIRC.

Even if models are not available in the shops, I have never had trouble tracking down what I want. In the case of the Dapol Panniers, there are 2 more versions coming out in the next few months so they have not been discontinued. The first batch has sold well which means there is a good chance of future batches.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 07:40:57 PM by Karhedron »
Well, that's just not good enough. Some fount of all knowledge you are!  :no:  ;)

Offline PLD

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 10:21:07 AM »
This idea of limited runs - say 200 units, and 'when they're gone they're gone....' what's all that about ?  ???
The Dapol Pannier sold out in a week, they could have sold three times as many !  :dunce:

In the old Poole Days there was a thousand of class XYZ made in ABC Rail livery, but they all had the same running number. If you only wanted one and with that number - you were sorted, if you wanted more than one or a different number - tough: you'd got to renumber it...

Now, you'll get 400 on release in ABC Rail livery split between two different running numbers, and provided they sell reasonably well, another 400 very soon after with another two running numbers, and so on until demand tails off...
While admittedly you do need to be organised and get your order in quickly if you want a specific loco, but generally a far better arrangement for anyone wanting multiples of the same loco with different identites, and also means that supply reacts to demand so manaufacturers and dealers have much less capital tied up in stock sat unsold on shelves so can put the money into the types that do sell and developing new products...

Offline macwales

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 01:10:07 PM »
Hi

Thanks for all the discussion points so far.

Here a few additions

Manufacturers need to get better at predicting demand - surely this is crucial to securing maximum profits and too short production runs on models that anyone can see will be popular works against this.

The different names and running numbers issues for those that want particular locos and numbers could be sorted by production of renaming kits included with purchases.

The issue of promised delivery dates and long waits for new items would be less if we as enthusiasts were not at times so focused on minute detail that no one but us can see. Criticised colours and exact scale measurements sometimes seem to cause long delays and must lead to price increases.

If we look in published works at loco reviews I find that often locos are criticised for very minor scale defects and colour variations when many buyers are not that bothered. Some colour criticisms seem to suggest that the critic knows exactly what colour the prototype was even when most of us surely see colours differently and all colours fade or get dirty after being applied in real life.

What do you all think? Are we as enthusiasts making life too difficult for manufactures by being just too picky in our views on appearances when the models really are OK. Are manufacturers reacting too much  to this?

Does all this increase prices and cause delays?

Cheers

Mac

Offline davecttr

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2013, 01:55:48 PM »
It must be very frustrating for new modellers when they find that stuff they want was a limited production run and no longer available.

Dapol ferrywagon/cargowaggon - can't get them. i suppose I am lucky as i have 12 but I would like another 4. were they not good sellers?

Suffering from Pendolino frustration i have the majority of a Pretendolino but have been waiting ages for the buffet. I would also like an original MK3 Virgin set but, guess what, no Mk3 DVT's!

What manufacturers should consider is that their calculated demand may well recur in future years.

At least farish still seem to have large production runs and it migh be a good idea to invest in a couple of dozen Mk3 coaches for future application of vinyls.

Offline class37025

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Re: New product waits and shortages
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2013, 02:26:47 PM »
quote from macwales

The different names and running numbers issues for those that want particular locos and numbers could be sorted by production of renaming kits included with purchases.



IIRC, didn't Dapol do a couple of locos without numbers, but with numbers included to add.

seems a good way to go, as you don't need to strip off the old ones, which might deter some, and you could then just add the numbers required.

perhaps even as an additional offering, rather than instead of the numbered ones.

even things like triple grey with no sector markings, ready for the modeller to add sector and numbers to suit.
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