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Author Topic: Barely any bargains  (Read 10715 times)

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Offline d-a-n

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Barely any bargains
« on: December 12, 2015, 05:02:37 PM »
I eagerly watch the advent calendar type promotions running on various websites to see if there's anything worth buying, I also regularly check the other box mover sites for similar. It seems to be in the last year that there has been barely anything in the way of bargains compared to when I first came into the hobby 3 or 4 years ago. Are retailers feeling the pinch of the increased costs of models too?

Offline trkilliman

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2015, 06:07:42 PM »
Yes, I have been thinking the same.
It could be that not so many models are being produced, less sent to retailers, so potentially less to shift at a knock-down price?

I have a strong hunch that overall people are holding onto models they have, and not upgrading quite as much as they may have previously. This may be due to less disposable income for playing trains, an awareness of how price have risen for replacements, or likely a combination of the two. In my opinion Ebay does not have the level of auction items it did a couple of years back. These days it is dominated by buy it now items largely from dealers. Again I think the lack of auction items points towards people hanging onto their stock.

So I agree there does not seem to be the level of bargains around there once was.

Offline ODRAILS

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2015, 07:00:30 PM »
I don't know what you two above actually want but I'm new to N gauge, attracted by the new higher level of detail and "DCC readiness" in N steam locos. I've found the latest superb DCC ready Farish 4F (ex-sets with Johnson or Fowler tenders) selling for under 60 in eBay in the last month and have now got a quartet - all superb runners.
Ian

Offline NeMo

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2015, 07:02:41 PM »
There may be fewer Christmas specials, but it seems like MDR has been having a sale more or less since Christmas, and there are plenty of bargains out there at places like Hattons, Cheltenham and others if you spend a bit of time rooting about.

But a bigger point I'd make is this. While prices have been going up on individual models, the train sets and packs seem to be becoming steadily better bargains. For example...

Cumbrian Mountain Express Train Pack - 130 including a 'Duchess', three blue riband Mk1s, and a Scenecraft signal box.

Cornish Riviera DCC - 150 including a DCC-fitted 'Warship', two blue riband Mk1s, a pack of track including a set of points, and a DCC controller.

These are insane value! Of course there's only a limited range of them, and some are rather niche audience packs or sets (the Landship train and the Longmoor Military Railway train both spring to mind) but there's pretty much something for everyone there.

If you're hunting around for Christmas bargains then, definitely worth considering.

Cheers, NeMo
NGS Journal Editor

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2015, 07:31:56 PM »
While prices have been going up on individual models, the train sets and packs seem to be becoming steadily better bargains.
Well ... that depends ...  :thumbsdown:

Certainly, there are some bargains out there; but FleaBay seems to be not one of the areas to look at unless you are after something that didn't sell well, or find an item someone doesn't really know the value of & puts a daft (to us) BIN price on that just can't be ignored.

Maybe I'm getting grumpy these days (do NOT answer that one !!!  :no: :D), or just too selective, but I'm not seeing the prices on some of the sets in the area I think the big shifters should have them; possibly based on GraFar setting the price higher than I think they should have in the first place ?

The main items I see discounted seem to be (as mentioned) poor sellers & therefore there's lots of them, or stuff I think of as "tat" (for reasons good or bad).  I live in hope for stuff I like coming available at a level I'm happy to pay, but they do seem few & far between ...  :confused1:

After saying all that ... I did get a nice bargain in OO the other week, that John @ YouChoos has sold me more than I expected to put into :smiley-laughing:  Fingers crossed SWMBO heads out for a day trip with a friend when I'm on holiday to fit it all !!!  Else she'll get a DIY kit for Christmas  ::)

Offline sparky

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2015, 08:29:43 PM »
Be careful what you wish for...we all like a bargain but unless bachmann etc..get a decent return on their investment we will have no models at all....maybe its an indication that the manufacturers are getting the batch sizes right more often than not?

Offline d-a-n

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 10:06:34 PM »
Think you could be onto something there Sparky - the decent in demand stuff doesn't tend to stick around long enough while the tat/oddball livery bits kick around for years in the bargain bin. The MDR sale items never really inspire and the sets, while good value for money, rarely offer more than one thing I actually want - they are bit like the meal for 2 you get at a take away: cheaper than the sum of their parts, a few main dishes that probably aren't the one you actually want along with some side dishes that, while nice to have, probably wouldn't be bought otherwise! Even though it didn't fit with my other stuff, I bought the Duchess set as I'd wanted the loco for a while and the carriages would come in useful, but I don't think I would've bought any of those specific type of carriages on their own had they not come in the set.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 10:08:33 PM by d-a-n »

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2015, 10:48:30 PM »
Trains advertised on this forum are good value - especially if you pay via PayPal as a "friend" - and no Ebay charges!!
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Offline NeMo

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2015, 09:08:55 AM »
Certainly, there are some bargains out there; but FleaBay seems to be not one of the areas to look at unless you are after something that didn't sell well, or find an item someone doesn't really know the value of & puts a daft (to us) BIN price on that just can't be ignored.
I simply fail to understand this sort of criticism of eBay. You make your maximum bid the highest price you think the item is worth to you. If you win, you win because you got a bargain. If the item sells for more than that, you lose the item, but you also know the item was sold for more than you think it's worth. Big deal. Either way you get a sensible, rational result.

If you consistently lose auctions, that's probably because your maximum price for something is less than "the market" supposes, i.e., other people have consistently higher maximum prices, so they win. You might not like that, but that's just the way it goes.

Maybe I'm getting grumpy these days (do NOT answer that one !!!  :no: :D), or just too selective, but I'm not seeing the prices on some of the sets in the area I think the big shifters should have them; possibly based on GraFar setting the price higher than I think they should have in the first place ?
I think you are being a bit selective, and I stand by my point that even if individual locos and carriages are getting expensive, buying them in train packs is very good value.

Let's take the Cumbrian Mountain Express train pack. Hattons price is a few pence under 132. Bought individually, a BR green 'Duchess' would be 127.46, the Mk1 coaches are 24.61 a piece, and the Blue Anchor signal box is 25.46. Grand total, 226.75. So while you're not getting exactly the same items, you're still getting a saving of about 100 by buying the train pack. That's insanely good value.

Now look at the Cornish Riviera pack, at 157.21. Individually, DCC controller 76.46, 15.26 for the DCC chip, 100.26 for the 'Warship', 24.61 for each of the Mk1s, and let's say 30 for the track. 271.20 for the lot. Again, you're saving well over 100 there.

I'm not sure how much more of a discount you want! Even allowing a few quid above or below Hattons depending on your retailer of choice, these are still a steal. For sure there's not a massive range of train packs, but if simply want to treat yourself, something like the Landship pack for about 80 would make a lovely Rule #1 purchase because it's just so quirky.

The main items I see discounted seem to be (as mentioned) poor sellers & therefore there's lots of them, or stuff I think of as "tat" (for reasons good or bad).  I live in hope for stuff I like coming available at a level I'm happy to pay, but they do seem few & far between ...  :confused1:

The Hattons bargain section changes regularly and always seems to have something that'd find a place on my railway. Worth checking regularly. Other retailers have similar selections, of course. But my point is that if you're limited to spending, say, 8 a wagon, right now you could get some nice Presflo wagons, PCA tanks or 12ton box vans without any trouble.

Cheers, NeMo
NGS Journal Editor

Offline Jonas

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2015, 10:04:52 AM »
I think the recent price rises have meant people are more selective of what they buy now, so are less likely to be flogging it on ebay etc. Also small runs mean both manufacturers and model shops aren't flooded with models they can't shift and have to discount; a few years back I would say the pace of releases was too high for many of us.

When the Farish 25/1 came out I couldn't afford it, so I had to be happy improving what I have already! Now the unweathered blue one is nowhere to be seen but I suspect that's what Farish would hope for! I also think it's much more likely we'll see a new tooled 25/3 now - if Hattons (or whoever) were banging out new spec locos for 50 quid still why would Farish invest in the tooling?

The N gauge market is very small, and at the end of the day it's up to the modeller to make a choice on wha the they want and how much they'd pay for it. There are bargains on the second hand market if you are patient, but I find it odd people expect shops and manufacturers to offer items that aren't surplus at bargain prices.

Offline d-a-n

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2015, 12:07:58 PM »
I find it odd people expect shops and manufacturers to offer items that aren't surplus at bargain prices.

I don't think anyone expects that to happen - this thread is exploring the reasons why it's not happening so much nowadays compared to a few years ago...

Offline Byegad

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2015, 12:38:31 PM »
I'm with NeMo on eBay. You bid to your limit and wait to see if you get it. The idea of 'just-gotta-have-it' bidding does not compute in my Yorkshire mind.

I suspect the lack of used items coming up may have something to do with the much improved running and longevity of N gauge stock and locomotives. Back in 1974, when I started in N gauge, the running quality of everything was so variable! I had an Ivatt Mogul the would barely pull a single coach, and Grafar J72 that only picked up on 4 wheels so stalled on every point, unless you charged along and let momentum slide it over the dead spot! Permanently coupling and wiring it to a wagon with pick ups fitted  If eBay had existed I'd have sold half my stock by 1976, making up a train in those days was more about what would run together than what was correct.

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2015, 03:51:43 PM »
I simply fail to understand this sort of criticism of eBay.
It's quite simple, as shown in the "eBay Madness" thread a lot - there are various people who put absolutely stupid prices on items, and there are other people willing to get into a bidding frenzy on something still available new at lower prices.

Quote
Either way you get a sensible, rational result.
Not in the instances I refer to, unless you consider stupid starting prices or ridiculous finish prices a "sensible, rational result".  And if you re-read my post, I was not singling out eBay, merely using it as an example.

Quote
If you consistently lose auctions

And where did I say anything along these lines ? 

Quote
I think you are being a bit selective
Perhaps - I certainly don't go ga-ga over every set; in fact there is only one, maybe two, of the current ranges that has some appeal - albeit at a price I consider too expensive.  But that's my personal prerogative, yes ?

Quote
Let's take the Cumbrian Mountain Express train pack [...]  That's insanely good value.
Only if this is something you're interested in.

Quote
Now look at the Cornish Riviera pack, at 157.21 [...] Again, you're saving well over 100 there.
Personally - I'm saving 157.21 ...  This also lacks any appeal.

Quote
The Hattons bargain section changes regularly and always seems to have something that'd find a place on my railway. Worth checking regularly.
And as I have said a number of times before - I don't use these, and to be honest neither I nor SWMBO these days use RoS either.  I find I get better prices on what I am interested in from my local shop - why pay a warehouse a long way away when I can support local, and both see & test what I want to ensure I don't get a duff one ?

And you seem to have ignored the part where I said
Certainly, there are some bargains out there

Remember - the OP was on about the various model rail sites not offering bargains anymore, and did not mention eBay ... this was raised by someone else ...

Offline Jonas

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2015, 04:10:10 PM »
I find it odd people expect shops and manufacturers to offer items that aren't surplus at bargain prices.

I don't think anyone expects that to happen...

Sorry I misunderstood the point slightly. I've heard plenty of moaning on forums and FB groups the shops are just discounting the stock they have too much of...well of course they are!  ;D

I stand by the point the reduction on releases plays a part; less models released means less left over at the end of the year to flog cheaply, which is good for shops and manufacturers, if not us!

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Barely any bargains
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2015, 04:51:47 PM »
Well ... that brings us back to the point of the costs & the mfrs maximising their profits ...

If they make less & it's a wild seller - just think how much more they could have made  ::), not to mention retailers being less likely to discount.  With the flip side being a total flop (Hornby's London Olympics 2012 range, anyone ?  :P )

Speaking personally ... I had a need for a specific engine in DCC form, and couldn't find a new example anywhere ... while I could have converted a DC version, there was the issue of finding one new enough to risk  ::)  As it happened, I eventually discovered my local shop had some sets from a few years back containing this specific engine in DCC, and was able to make a deal for it; despite the set being several years old, them having at least 6 sets left, and the set not being in demand any more, there was no discount offered from their price to take the entire set off their hands (not that I was particularly interested in anything but the engine, but they could have asked - I might have been amenable !).  So they still have at least 5 sets to get shot of plus a controller, track, carriages etc from the one they broke up.

 

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