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Author Topic: Hattons  (Read 48755 times)

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Offline longbow

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #105 on: August 28, 2016, 12:10:46 PM »
It's going to be tough for other retailers to compete with that sort of investment.

Offline Pierluc

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #106 on: August 28, 2016, 01:18:21 PM »
So in short;

Are Hattons delivering a good service? - yes
Is the service you get from Hattons as good or better than the majority of other suppliers? - yes
Is the current service from Hattons as good as it's ever been? - Majority opinion (including mine) no...

And there is the issue. Hattons set the bar very high over the last few years and while other big names have caught up they are still among the leaders, but currently they are not quite matching expectations set based on previous form...

You're absolutely right. :(
See you soon !
Pierluc

Offline zopadooper

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #107 on: August 28, 2016, 03:09:57 PM »
Its the Tesco story all over again....the big get bigger and the rest go out of business!

Offline Chris Morris

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #108 on: August 28, 2016, 03:12:33 PM »
Its the Tesco story all over again....the big get bigger and the rest go out of business!
Until they get complacent !

Offline Buffin

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #109 on: August 28, 2016, 04:29:06 PM »
Its the Tesco story all over again....the big get bigger and the rest go out of business!

Then bring on the Aldi of model rail retailing!

Offline Agrippa

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #110 on: August 28, 2016, 05:32:23 PM »
This from the Hattons website:

http://www.hattons.co.uk/NewsDetail.aspx?id=113

May cast some light on the issue.

I guess I'll just have to order something next week to check...


And that's just the section dealing with rail joiners.......

Nothing is certain but death and taxes -Benjamin Franklin

Offline NeMo

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #111 on: August 28, 2016, 05:35:34 PM »
Its the Tesco story all over again....the big get bigger and the rest go out of business!

Certainly a worry, but the Tesco story is interesting. At the low end, Aldi and Lidl have done extremely well catering for the price sensitive, while Waitrose and to some extent M&S have also prospered at the higher end.

How this translates into model railways I don't know, but just because Hattons are the biggest doesn't mean they're going to eliminate everyone else. I suspect though that if you're a small retailer who can't compete on price, then you are going to have to provide something else -- secondhand, exclusives, in-store, repairs, weathering, etc.

Cheers, NeMo
NGS Journal Editor

Offline zopadooper

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #112 on: August 28, 2016, 05:54:49 PM »
I am not sure that I agree.

My family ran a very successful florist business with 4 basic product lines, bunched flowers, delivered bouquets, plants, greetings cards and they each contributed 25%.  Along comes Tescos and wipes out the bunched flower business and that was 25% of our business gone.  What do you replace it with?  We closed down!!

That is precisely what is happening with small model shops up and down the country.  they lose out to the Hattons of the world by not being able to compete on the "bread and butter" products and that is enough to put them under.

Offline Cape Town Trev

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #113 on: August 30, 2016, 05:35:18 AM »
personally I've found Hatton's service to have really declined recently.

several cases recently of them finding that stuff ordered is not there when they go to pick it, on one occasion this happened two days AFTER the order status had changed to 'picked awaiting packing'.

my last order, placed on a Friday, was still showing as 'payment taken awaiting picking' by late on the following Tuesday, and when it was still showing as that on the Wednesday afternoon I went on their chat and enquired if there was a problem.

I was told they'd got a backlog, but hoped to get it cleared in a week or so.

I cancelled the order, with a full refund.

seems the days of order Monday, packed Tuesday, and received Wednesday are long gone.


on one occasion I ordered at about 02:30 on a Wednesday, and received the order Thursday. That was before they moved to their new warehouse, and it seems that since then the time between order being placed, and items despatched, has got longer and longer.

just my view.

Well I placed an order Thursday evening. Credit card company phone Friday morning to confirm that I did place the order.
Today the Hattons status is added to picking list.

Using DHL as I want delivery before I fly to the UK  :(

Offline Cape Town Trev

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #114 on: August 30, 2016, 04:24:18 PM »
As an update, did the live chat and Lo and behold now packed with tracking number. Just waiting to be handed to DHL.

Offline BobB

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #115 on: September 02, 2016, 11:27:58 AM »
Hi Cape Town Trev

If DHL in Cape Town is the same as we have in Jo'burg then you need to be careful - they like to add an administration fee to the import tax. Don't accept it, you have paid Hatton's for full delivery to your door without any extra DHL charge !

Offline Graham Walters

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #116 on: September 02, 2016, 12:11:56 PM »
It's a bit of a myth that Hattons are cheaper, or should I say "the cheapest", for a basic low relief Metcalf kit they will charge 4.00 postage, and that increases as the order grows, no matter how much you spend, you will pay postage.

One way we at testvalleymodels.com try to compete is by offering free postage on orders over 25, and we send all our parcels by Royal Mail 2nd Class signed for.

We also have a 30day money back guarantee, we believe that we offer a better service than Hattons.

You pay your money and makes your choice, as Hattons get bigger the service will be less personal as you become just another customer.
Test Valley Models
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Offline v200

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #117 on: September 02, 2016, 12:58:44 PM »
It's a bit of a myth that Hattons are cheaper, or should I say "the cheapest", for a basic low relief Metcalf kit they will charge 4.00 postage, and that increases as the order grows, no matter how much you spend, you will pay postage.

One way we at testvalleymodels.com try to compete is by offering free postage on orders over 25, and we send all our parcels by Royal Mail 2nd Class signed for.

We also have a 30day money back guarantee, we believe that we offer a better service than Hattons.

You pay your money and makes your choice, as Hattons get bigger the service will be less personal as you become just another customer.

Other shops also available

Offline NeMo

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #118 on: September 02, 2016, 02:36:06 PM »
In the interests of balance, I'm going to throw down a few reasons I use Hattons for something like 50% of my model railway purchases.

Obviously their prices are competitive. You're right, @Graham Walters, they're not always the cheapest. But most of the time they're pretty close, and their prices are consistently good across the whole range of products, not just locos or scenics.

Even more important to me is that their range of items is vast. So I can buy some scratchbuilding materials, some secondhand wagons, a new loco, and a few bags of ballast all in the one place. And as mentioned above, all of these will be at prices towards the lower end of the range.

I also appreciate the fact their website and search box work extremely well. Easy to navigate so you can browse and then drill down to a particular item, while having a simple search engine that returns sensible, useful results. Rails, for example, has a website that isn't as well laid out and much more fiddly to search. For example, go to Rails now and click on 'Sales Items'. Then click on the 'N Gauge' filter button at top left. So far so good. You should see the 'Ivatt Class 2MT LMS Black 2-6-0 Locomotive 6404' close to the top of your results. Maybe you want to see what other steam locos are on special offer. So you click on the 'Steam Locos/Engines' filter button. Suddenly everything vanishes! Yet just a moment ago you saw the 2MT on offer, and if you scroll down without the 'Steam Locos/Engines' filter activated, there's actually a whole bunch of steam locos on special offer. It's this kind of inconsistency with the Rails website that makes me like the Hattons one so much better. There a Bargains link on the left, and once there you can further drill down by manufacturer first and then the type of item.

I'd argue, Graham, that their online service is very good. Their 'chat now' facility works well, and gives me real-time help without the hassle (or expense) of a telephone call.

Finally, I've got to say their secondhand store is excellent. For sure some items are overpriced, and some aren't quite as described to say the least*, but for the most part it's a very consistent experience, and the sheer volume of stuff they sell means you're bound to find things that appeal. Of course I've had better bargains at model shows or buy buying privately across the N Gauge Forum. But pretty much every weekday morning I'll skim through the Hattons secondhand stuff while having my 11 AM cup of tea, and rarely a week goes by I don't see something I'll throw onto my wishlist at the very least.

With all of this said, I do spend money at other online stores, as well as a few stores I'm able to visit when time allows, particularly Kent Garden Railways, a store I absolutely love. But Hattons has, overall, the best experience so far as range, cost and online service are concerned. I know they're struggling a little getting their deliveries up to the same standard they used to be, but I'll cut them some slack on that given they're going through some reorganisation at the moment.

Cheers, NeMo

*Yes, I'm thinking of that German steam loco 'as new' but covered in a three-inch layer of weathering!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 02:41:39 PM by NeMo »
NGS Journal Editor

Offline 47033

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Re: Hattons
« Reply #119 on: September 02, 2016, 04:06:55 PM »
Hattons from my perspective.

Most of my purchases over the past 3 years have been from Hattons, I do use other retailers but for the most part I stick with Hattons. I absolutely agree with Nemo about their website, it's one of the best out there and I also like that their stock counts have been very accurate. This is very important to me because I live in the US and I've had other stores show the product as in stock when it actually isn't. After buying the product I get an email a day or 2 later letting me know it's out of stock and refunding my money. Now the problem is my credit card has a 3% foreign transaction fee that I don't get back. No doubt I could if I spent hours on the phone trying to sort it out but I don't want to do that.

I also like Hattons shipping calculator, it gives me various options for shipping to the US, also if I want it signed for and insured or not. The prices are very reasonable and I know exactly how much I'm paying. I love that shipping calculator.  Hattons can also send Peco flexible track via DHL at very reasonable rates, I just had 2 boxes of track (60 pieces) 10 points and some scenecraft buildings sent here for 16 pounds and they were here in 3 days, now that's service.

Next is their vast amount of stock.  I like to purchase trains, not wagons or coaches.  For instance if I want a 10 coach train I can buy a 10 coach train, in one order. I have a list (although I have most of what I will need now) of trains I want and so I buy the whole train at one time. Most other retailers don't carry those amounts of coaches or wagons in stock at any one time. Hattons had some wagons on sale a while back and I wanted to buy a train of them but didn't have the cash right then. So it said more than 10 available and if you put say 30 in the cart and update it'll give you the price for 30. If they have less than 30 it will give you the price of 1 and a message insufficient stock.  So by playing around you can find out exactly how many of anything they have in stock. This worked for me as I wanted to wait until payday before I made the purchase.

They aren't always the cheapest but on the whole they are up there with the cheapest.  With the thousands I have spent so far I've had 2 problems with locomotives, a Farish class 31 and a Deltic. They took care of the problem although they shipped the same Deltic back to me and I had to return it again but they then sent me a new one. They paid all shipping costs.

So far I'm a very happy Hattons customer,

Jamie

 

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