1. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    Here's a link for a MicroTrains factory tour. It's about 15 minutes long and shows how much hand work is involved in manufacturing these jewels. It would also explain why they price the items the way they do.



    Joe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2018
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  2. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know what is going on with the link. The software keeps editing the URL. Would one of the administrators Please take a look?

    Joe
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Definitely editing somehow. No idea why. Is this via YouTube? Or?
     
  4. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I fixed it (I hope)

    trick was don't use the "Media" tag for YouTube -- just paste the YouTube "share" link directly, the board software does the rest
     
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  5. Paul Graf

    Paul Graf TrainBoard Member

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    What? Nothing is made in South Africa. Please get your information straight before you post something.
     
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  6. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Glad to see clarification Paul....

    Now can we get a Baldwin road switcher and another run of VO1000's in SP Tiger Stripes?
     
  7. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    I enjoyed the Micro-Trains video. It gives a deeper appreciation for the processes used to create the rolling stock and artifacts that populate my layout. It would be interesting to glimpse how popular Fallen Flags are chosen. I have a nice collection of L&N, SOU, M&StL, CNW, and WM, along with other era-representative road names but always on the look for more.
     
  8. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for fixing the link to MicroTrains factory tour RBrodzinsky

    Joe
     
  9. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

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    ?????...Trainboard, the CNN of forums..Fake news.
    where do people get this stuff?...and then repeat it as if it were fact?
    My Father used to tell me something he had heard...
    "If I could buy you for what you actually know, and sell you for what you think you know, I'd be a millionaire..."
    Never more true than in model railroad forums...(and social media).
    As a business owner for the bulk of my life, these 'prices' posts always amuse me...and I continue to be amazed at how many are just completely uninformed (or ignorant...don't be offended; the word simply means 'unknowledgable') as to how business and commerce work...I truly wonder at the age of those who posts these 'price rants', or their knowledge of pricing for actual necessities and everyday items.
    Average prices for groceries (in the US) have risen dramatically over the last 20-30 years...
    What do you pay for bacon today, as opposed to 10 years ago? do you know?...ground beef? milk (for those that drink or use it)?...tomatoes? lettuce? lemons? oranges? avacados? Who, here, buys steak from their grocer? what is the price, per pound, of a rib-eye?, or even a London Broil? Let me clue you in: 4 nice rib eye steaks equals, or exceeds, the cost of a brand new Kato locomotive purchased from one of the major etailers...yet I don't hear anything (rants) about these prices in comparison to prices for a hobby item. and should I bring up vehicle prices? compared to prices in previous decades?
    Understand that no one has an innate constitutional right to own model trains...a rational, responsible person balances their budget among items and purchases that they, and their families, 'must' have, and the items that they 'wish' they could have...
    Businesses don't exist, merely to provide an item, or service, for someone's gratification...they exist to earn money for their owners BY providing an item, or service, to enough of the population, to support a sufficient profit. If the item, or service, isn't purchased by enough folks to support a profit, then the business fails. it's as simple as that...yet, if I had a nickel for everytime I (and manufacturers Representatives) have heard "you should make this-insert loco, car, roadname, etc here...-it would sell out in days...", simply because it's an item that that particular person wants, I'd have a fortune in nickels!
    I can guarantee you that the manufacturers reps know EXACTLY what sells (locos, rolling stock, roadnames) and what will earn a profit, as opposed to those that won't...it's the difference in an item selling out and earning profit, and an item(s) sitting on warehouse shelves for months-years...earning nothing. Business lesson: an item that is unsold, sitting in inventory, earns a business absolutely nothing...
    Ultimately, if the price of a 'luxury' item, or hobby item, is beyond your ability to budget for responsibly, then you should not be purchasing said item.
    I am not attempting to be 'harsh', and certainly not attempting to denigrate any person, or persons, here...but I will challenge heresay and misinformation with actual fact, whenever, and wherever I can.
    ~Bruce
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks, Rick! (y)
     
  11. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Well you are not being harsh. Brutal is a more apt word. But let's look at facts shall we? Let's compare the price increases between rolling stock and locomotives. Locomotive prices have gone up mainly due to DCC and DCC+ sound. But they have gone up. How much? Not nearly as much as rolling stock. Today, an Atlas RS1, without DCC, costs $120.00 MSRP. The RS 1's I bought back in 1980 or so retailed for $75.00, an increase of 67%. Now an Atlas 90 ton hopper current (2016) MSRP is $19.95 while back in 1980 they were $2.25, an increase of 886%. Big difference between 67% and 886% don't you think? Look at the added detail on a locomotive with glass inserts, handrails (painted too), horn, bell, full pilots, etc. A lot more assembly required on a locomotive than a piece of rolling stock. So please explain the discrepancy in price increase percentage.

    Also, I want to note that it is not my intent to pick on Atlas in any way. My first foray into Nscale was with a Bachmann trainset the F9 engines of which quickly suffered the dreaded split gear problem and were replaced by a pair of Atlas RS11's and over the years I have accumulated quite a collection of Atlas cars and locomotives. I still have the jewel boxes with the price tags still on them. That is where I got the price of $75.00 for the RS1 (It was actually $74.95). I could not locate any MDC jewel boxes with original price tags on them so I didn't know their original retail price and thus didn't use them in my example. Other manufacturers like Kato, Intermountain, Bluford Shops, etc. have not been around since the eighties and so were ineligible. So in the example given locomotives increased in price 1.6 times using MSRP. Rolling stock, on the other hand increased in price 8.6 times. Why the difference? Why does rolling stock prices increase 5.5 times more than locomotives? Now if you look at my post in this thread on Feb 15th, you will find that I documented that the price increases cannot be solely attributed to inflation, labor cost, raw materials or shipping. None of these comes close to the price increases we have seen in rolling stock. See my post from Feb 15th (on page 2 of thread) along with the sources of my 'facts'
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2018
  12. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Why the difference? Why does rolling stock prices increase 5.5 times more than locomotives?

    The answer is very simple. The sophistication of both the freight car models and of the buyers has increased more. With locos, we still suffer with molded plastic handrails and some molded on details. Maybe the question should be why haven't loco prices gone up more?
     
  13. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Do you really think that is relevant? A locomotive is much more sophisticated than an old school 'classic' box car with its molded on door (not moveable) truck mounted couplers and slippery ridges of plastic for grab irons. But that old school 'classic' box car is selling today at an MSRP of about $20.00. That is still an increase of over 866%. The ones with the separately applied ladders etc, have a NSRP of about $33.00 (MSRP source - BLW website). Anyone who has taken apart a locomotive can testify to the sophistication and complexity of the locomotive construction and that does not include the addition of DCC and sound.
     
  14. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    So this does have me wondering. Could it be a marketing idea...?
     
  15. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    I'd rather "suffer" with this $85 model:

    [​IMG]

    than pay $230 for this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    It could or it could be something else at play here. I keep bringing up the issue of fixed costs because I haven't seen anything posted thus far that speaks to that specific issue let alone presents evidence to negate it. In a way that is not surprising as the only people who would have that information are the manufacturers. You can't access that information from some government agency via the Freedom Of Information Act as it is not a matter of public record. It is, to borrow the words of Paul Graf of Atlas, "proprietary information" which is a polite way of saying that it is none of your business. But all of the old given reasons for the rise in prices are patently false and we are fooling ourselves if we believe them.
     
  17. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    I can see raising the cost of new stuff. But when dealers mark up the old store stock to new prices! Something is wrong!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  18. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

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    I believe that one shouldn't complain about the weather.....it'll just get worse!!

    I wonder if that transfers over to hobby supplies?

    Jim
     
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  19. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Apples and apple sauce, my friend. Those katos are nice for their simplicity and price, but try comparing the price of a Kobo Shops DCC-only F7 from Kato, and that $230 Broadway Limited Imports DCC & SOUND loco, and I bet you'll see a little less value on the Kato end (save your time; it's $260 from Kobo for an A and B unit, soundless DCC and WITHOUT all that BLI detail).

    If all you can justify is $80, enjoy your Katos, but the industry is changing and we are watching it evolve real fast on the detail & technology front.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2018
  20. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Of note, forgot retailer policy. Suffice it to say, in consideration Kato's MSRP of $260 for the soundless DCC A&B, you could pay $50 less than that on the street for that new BLI A&B with sound (B is a dummy though). Much more fair comparison there, IMO.
     

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