N Prices rising ?

Hans Nesbitt Aug 22, 2021

  1. Hans Nesbitt

    Hans Nesbitt TrainBoard Member

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    Seems like the price of everything is going up. I don't buy much in trains now days but I like to
    look on line, and it appears as though N Scale prices are going up considerably.
    Are you noticing this as well ?
     
    tehachapifan likes this.
  2. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, very much so. I have stopped accumulating rolling stock as well as engines but I have notice something quite peculiar. On a percentage basis the prices of rolling stock have gone up a lot more than that of locomotives. I have not heard of reason for this that makes any sense. The most often cited reason is inflation. But inflation would affect locomotives also. The vast majority of the locomotive price increases can be traced to factory DCC and sound installations.
     
    tehachapifan likes this.
  3. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Now it seems N cost as much as HO. Same as rents.
     
    tehachapifan likes this.
  4. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    It may have something to do with economies of scale. It amazes me how many different unique rolling stock items are being produced. Many body styles in many paint schemes and many road numbers. As our market continues to shrink (demographics), smaller quantities will result in the fixed cost elements being spread over much fewer units. Locomotives on the other hand, are (actually - not announced) produced in much fewer unique releases.

    disclaimer: this is pure speculation/opinion on my part and I really know nothing about any of this (and I can prove it!).
     
    Shortround likes this.
  5. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, yes, they're definitely rising! Loco and rolling stock prices, for the most part, are starting to far exceed what I'm willing to pay any longer. I have to either really, REALLY want something and/or find a really, REALLY good deal somewhere before I'll purchase something. I did recently splurge on all 12 numbers of the TWX DRGW Quad hoppers (I found a pretty good deal) but I think my rolling stock and loco purchases moving forward are going to be few and far between. That said, I do have a ST RC BNSF C44-9W on order.;)
     
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  6. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I'm a passenger fan, so freight cars are really just background scenery. That said, I'm guessing that the last twenty to thirty freight cars I've purchased have been from disillusioned MT collectors who finally realized that the stuff they own is starting to own them (Fight Club quote). I've paid no more than $8 - $12 per car for MIB, factory air, never-seen-the-light-of-day releases that would cost at least twice as much now if I bought them at MSRP. I've paid no more than $15 for the really expensive stuff like TOFC and auto rack releases. That's a healthy form of deflation for me! I'm guessing that trend will only continue as we all age and our more senior members (or those with failing health) have to downsize. I've been on that road myself, so I'm don't believe I'm being insensitive, just seeing reality.

    This isn't ebay I'm talking about. Mostly the Nscaleyardsale list. Sure, 90%+ of the posters there are still delusional and asking for prices that likely come out of one of those price guides. I just ignore those. It's the two or three times a year that somebody posts a large listing at liquidation prices.
     
  7. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    Usually, threads like these will often result in folks chiming-in and explaining the rise in prices with the factory closure(s) in China, (with relocation and retooling costs) being a big factor in it all. These folks will also typically post some sort of an inflation formula as well, showing we're really not too far off from where we should be with inflation. I totally understand this and it makes total sense. Still, it's really hard for me to go from paying, I don't know, 7-15 bucks for a piece of rolling stock maybe, what, 15 years ago to sometimes over 30 or 40 bucks now. I just can't do it. I don't want to buy a single car for that kind of price let alone a bunch of them. I fell bad saying that, because I understand the reasons, but it's true. They simply went beyond my price point. The DRGW hoppers, while I did find a pretty good deal, were still quite the expense for all 12 numbers.
     
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  8. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's the skyrocketing price of recycled plastic pellets....:rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  9. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    Whoops, wrong thread!
     
  10. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I think you are correct. You did prove it!!! But every dark cloud has a silver lining. All those cars I bought for $2.00-$10.00 are worth a lot more today.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
    rpeck and NorsemanJack like this.
  11. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Umm... You might want to read my later post. :)
     
  12. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    It could also have something to do with the Companies that are now handling the sales. Of my two new electric bikes the first was insultingly denied delivery and the second claimed there warranty did apply when sold thru The Company. So if I wanted the little control module replace I would have to return the bike to The Company before I maybe would receive a new one.
    That's why I have stayed away from The Companies.
     
  13. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    When gas went up we had to raise the prices, when gas went down prices did not come down. Now theirs a driver shortage!
    Where did all the drivers go? There was a lot of drivers when coved was going on.
    Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    One possibility - the cost of molding and assembly of the plastic shells and parts is a larger percentage of the overall cost of rolling stock than it is locomotives, so if that goes up it will have a larger effect on the rolling stock.
     
  15. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Check the price of beef at the stores. And there is a supposed shortage of bacon and that price is up also.
     
  16. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's my mindset too tehachapifan. Thankfully, I'm perfectly content running my old N Scale items from long ago. What worries me at this time is that I'm building a new layout and could cede my retirement savings to Kato if Unitrack prices soar.
     
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  17. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Sadly this is the way of the world. Things never get less expensive, everyone always expects a return on their investment. Right or wrong, it's just the sad truth. Like everyone else I can remember purchased $1.98 Athearn Blue Box freight cars and $9.00 to $15.00 Athearn Blue Box locomotive, with dummies being even less expensive. Yes many times I could not afford the powered version and opted for a dummy.

    Some of the reasons for rising prices is everyone wants "Ready to Run" with DCC and Sound factory installed. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it does add to the cost. I remember when Athearn first came out with their prototypical width hood SD40-2 and GP38-2 models. They were around $32.00 each, which at the time was about $10 more than the latest offerings from Atlas. They were still a Blue Box Model but now featured a narrow motor which allowed for a scale width hood. If you wanted a super detailed model, you still needed to purchase those parts separately from Cannon & Company, Details Associates and Details West.

    Where is my long winded story leading, the industry basically follows customer wants. Believe me, companies like Scale Trains and Rapido Trains would not be in business very long if people were not purchasing their products. What has the raising cost of the hobby done on my end? I've begun to limit my impulse buying. Now when I see a $32.00 price tag for a freight car, my first though is, do I really need this car for my layout? I don't want to see the industry suffer, but I also need to be frugal with my limited modeling funds.
     
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  18. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    How are prices of similar items in other parts of the world? And did you really need to get into this hobby?
     
  19. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    I posted this somewhere, maybe the old Atlas forum, concerning the health of the hobby.
    Scenario 1: has 500,000 model train hobbyists each spending an average of $100 a year for a total "Hobby Value" of $50,000,000.
    Scenario 2: has 100,000 model train hobbyists each spending an average of $1,000 a year for a total "Hobby Value" of $100,000,000.
    Scenario 3: has 50,000 model train hobbyists each spending an average of $5,000 a year for a total "Hobby Value" of $250,000,000.

    Which shows the healthiest state of the hobby?
    A lot of participants spending very little on the hobby?
    Or a lot fewer participants spending a lot on the hobby?
     
  20. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    More on topic; I'm done with my layout and am currently working up the nerve to start tearing it down.
    The structures, vehicles, details and some of the scenery I can and will salvage but the track is going down with the ship.
    I would like to build another much simpler layout using all new track but two things make that unlikely.
    1: Cost, track has gotten very expensive nearly double what I paid back "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth".
    2: Availability, I'm not going to name names but some of this stuff is hard to get at the best of times and we're not in the best of times.
    I do not what to start a new layout only to discover that the XYZ track items I need are not available and no due date is pending.
     

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