Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

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Paul Townsend
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Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:56 pm

At a recent show where Paul Dunn was attending, I and another S4 Member had an informal chat with Paul about whether he would welcome positive input towards helping with any of his trading problems.
I have had a reasonable relationship with him before so he was receptive to our approach and indicated wherein problems lie.

At the moment I am aware of a small handful of bods who share my view that a positive approach is more likely to succeed than slagging off a struggling trader as occurs rather a lot in another place.

If any of you agree with me please pm me so we can discuss possible ways of helping AND protecting ourselves from ruin.

If a few of you are forthcoming I will spread a wider net in other places.

Some sort of private email group can be set up for communication if enough bods step forward.

John Fitton

Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby John Fitton » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:30 pm

I agree entirely that helping a struggling concern is better than pushing him (her?) further down the slope with criticism. Not sure I can be of any help however as I am on the left hand side of the Atlantic, but I wish him well.

John Fitton.

mickeym
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby mickeym » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:04 pm

I have long understood that all is not well at Coopercraft, and that saddens me, cos I used their stuff to up my game as a teen ( a while ago ;) )
I know they are not the same company as back then, but what actually is wrong with them now?

Alan Turner
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Alan Turner » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:36 am

mickeym wrote:I have long understood that all is not well at Coopercraft, and that saddens me, cos I used their stuff to up my game as a teen ( a while ago ;) )
I know they are not the same company as back then, but what actually is wrong with them now?


As I said in the other post the full sorry saga is to be found here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... ts/page-24

regards

Alan

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:47 am

Alan Turner wrote:
mickeym wrote:I have long understood that all is not well at Coopercraft, and that saddens me, cos I used their stuff to up my game as a teen ( a while ago ;) )
I know they are not the same company as back then, but what actually is wrong with them now?


As I said in the other post the full sorry saga is to be found here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... ts/page-24

regards

Alan

I disagree that that link gives the full saga as it is driven by moaning and understandably dissatisfied customers.
The owner does not look at RMWeb, or if he does look, he does not respond, so the "saga" is very one-sided.

Those of us who remember Studiolith have the tee-shirts. There are clear parallels and look what happened to that business.

Part of the problem is Coopercraft owner's poor communication skills. I doubt if we can help much with that but positive help in other areas where he is struggling may be feasible...that is why I have started this thread. If pressure is relieved he may find time/energy to communicate better.

I am so far aware of 6 other bods who are supportive of my initiative, 4 from here and 2 from the other place garnished from my prior comments over there.
Keep the pms coming!

After a week or so I will cast a wider net.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:54 am

mickeym wrote:I have long understood that all is not well at Coopercraft, and that saddens me, cos I used their stuff to up my game as a teen ( a while ago ;) )
I know they are not the same company as back then, but what actually is wrong with them now?


I will pm you as it would be counter productive to answer your question here.

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Re6/6
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Re6/6 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:19 pm

It's good to see some positive thoughts for a change.

Although I only know Paul from regular exhibition visits, he's a decent chap. He told me that he had some problems with his moulding machines which need costly repairs or replacement.

The last thing that we would want for our hobby is to loose another cottage industry.
John

dal-t
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby dal-t » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:13 pm

Paul Townsend wrote:The owner does not look at RMWeb, or if he does look, he does not respond, so the "saga" is very one-sided.


Confused by that, since the thread was actually started by the trader, full of promises. His disinterest only seems to have started when it was pointed out that he was, quite literally, failing to deliver. Since it appears he meets all the criteria normally associated with a 'rogue', including (again literally) criminal disregard for consumer protection law, anyone seriously considering 'helping' him needs to think very, very carefully about their own position.
David L-T

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Martin Wynne » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:35 pm

Since it appears he meets all the criteria normally associated with a 'rogue'

Given that his web site contains a large red warning not to send him any money, "rogue" seems a bit strong:

http://www.cooper-craft.co.uk
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

dal-t
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby dal-t » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:39 pm

Not when he is still taking money for ranges not covered by his 'disclaimer' but not delivering, and not giving refunds to those he has already hooked, it isn't.
David L-T

Brinkly
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Brinkly » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:50 pm

dal-t wrote:Not when he is still taking money for ranges not covered by his 'disclaimer' but not delivering, and not giving refunds to those he has already hooked, it isn't.


I do agree with that and I think rouge is the right word. Paul (Cooper Craft) should have refunded money straight away if he wasn't able to deliver the products and not let it get to the pitch that it got too. After all, if it was an ebay seller doing it, that is exactly what they would be branded as and loose their ability to sell on the site.

Paul (Copper Craft) has struck me as a nice enough chap, but presently seems out of his depth. As John said I certainly don't want to loose another cottage industry. I really do praise you for your efforts Paul, but hope you don't get your fingers burnt.

Good luck, please keep us posted. :thumb

Kind regards,

Nick.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:36 pm

]
Brinkly wrote:
dal-t wrote:Not when he is still taking money for ranges not covered by his 'disclaimer' but not delivering, and not giving refunds to those he has already hooked, it isn't.


I do agree with that and I think rouge is the right word. Paul (Cooper Craft) should have refunded money straight away if he wasn't able to deliver the products and not let it get to the pitch that it got too. After all, if it was an ebay seller doing it, that is exactly what they would be branded as and loose their ability to sell on the site.

Paul (Copper Craft) has struck me as a nice enough chap, but presently seems out of his depth.

Nick.



There are loveable rogues and wicked rogues and many shades between.
I put PD in the former group.
He is well-meaning but struggling to stay afloat, hence the desire in a few of us to help.

Brinkly wrote: but hope you don't get your fingers burnt.
Nick.


I am willing to be slightly singed but any tangible help will be surrounded by caveats as far as I am concerned.

Brinkly wrote:Good luck, please keep us posted.
Nick.


Will do.
2 more supporters from here in last 24hrs

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:38 pm

Martin Wynne wrote:
Since it appears he meets all the criteria normally associated with a 'rogue'

Given that his web site contains a large red warning not to send him any money, "rogue" seems a bit strong:

http://www.cooper-craft.co.uk


I think that red flag is a recent addition to the website.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:40 pm

Re6/6 wrote:It's good to see some positive thoughts for a change.

Although I only know Paul from regular exhibition visits, he's a decent chap. He told me that he had some problems with his moulding machines which need costly repairs or replacement.



This is an area we have discussed and where we may be able to help.

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:47 pm

dal-t wrote:Not when he is still taking money for ranges not covered by his 'disclaimer' but not delivering, and not giving refunds to those he has already hooked, it isn't.


I agree this is bad practice but assess it as incompetence and due to overload rather than deliberate sharp practice.

I have been burnt by a few sharp wicked rogues on Ebay and see that sadly some of them know how to play the system and avoid Ebay sanctions.

Some of these are even in MR trade capers.

It may be that any tangible help to Coopercraft from my co-supporters would need be preceded by examining this in depth and addressing it somehow.

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jim s-w
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby jim s-w » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:00 pm

Paul Townsend wrote:
Martin Wynne wrote:
Since it appears he meets all the criteria normally associated with a 'rogue'

Given that his web site contains a large red warning not to send him any money, "rogue" seems a bit strong:

http://www.cooper-craft.co.uk


I think that red flag is a recent addition to the website.


It's been there (perhaps not in red) since I started looking at earlier railway stuff last year

Cheers

Jim

dal-t
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby dal-t » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:31 pm

To be fair, Jim is right, the notice has been there for a while, and was certainly present when I pointed someone towards the website some months ago. They thought the Coopercraft range was long defunct - I said it wasn't - wouldn't like to put money now on which of us was right (just hope the chap I 'corrected' didn't front up any funds ...).
David L-T

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:10 am

dal-t wrote:To be fair, Jim is right, the notice has been there for a while, and was certainly present when I pointed someone towards the website some months ago. They thought the Coopercraft range was long defunct - I said it wasn't - wouldn't like to put money now on which of us was right (just hope the chap I 'corrected' didn't front up any funds ...).


Ta for putting me right on this one
It is important that my "support group" start from a position of having correct facts at our finger-tips.

PS "We" are now 9

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LesGros
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby LesGros » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:13 am

Paul,
It is good to read that there is a small group willing to help CC be turned around. As an outsider to the debate, I have now read through the saga in t'other place; it is a sad tale.

I am not in a position to offer help, but as a potential customer, must advise that it is essential to resolve the ambiguities, and misleading promises which evidently exist on the website. Doubtless, you will be aware that this must be addressed as a matter of urgency if confidence is ever to be restored.

Being lovably incompetent is not an acceptable excuse for behaving like a rogue, so you will need to be careful to obtain Paul CC's commitment to be helped.

It does not look like it will be an easy task, and I wish you all the best in your endeavour.

Les G
LesG

The man who never made a mistake
never made anything useful

martin goodall
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby martin goodall » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:02 pm

I think talk of 'rogue traders' is a little wide of the mark in this case.

I applaud Paul Townsend's initiative in this case, and wish him (and any associates whom he can recruit) well in their endeavours.

Continued availability of the 4mm scale Blacksmith range is perhaps even more important than the Coopercraft range, although I would naturally like to see a future for both.

What lawyers call 'due diligence' is clearly required in this case, and I think that outright purchase of these two ranges (but not of the actual business, with all its liabilities) might have to be an option for consideration, if the current owner were willing to sell.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:20 pm

martin goodall wrote:... Continued availability of the 4mm scale Blacksmith range is perhaps even more important than the Coopercraft range, although I would naturally like to see a future for both. ...


The Coopercraft site shows some of the Blacksmith kits available as etches only. This might mean that they are actually in production and available to buy, the castings previously being the sticking point. I can't confirm this, but you could ask if you have an urgent need.

dal-t
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby dal-t » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:46 pm

Ah, interesting issue about the 'other' ranges. Personally, the only Coopercraft elements I'd consider worth saving are the road vehicles; but the Slaters 4mm stuff is a far greater loss, if it has really gone forever (said with some feeling, as having stocked up on sufficient PO wagons to last my snail-pace production process for a good while, and just a couple of coach kits, I had fully intended to return to the 'trough' as soon as funds permitted to supplement the coaches, and add the full gamut of MR wagons; seeing their 7mm cousins sitting in my stock box simply makes me feel the absence of their smaller brethren more keenly).
David L-T

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:09 am

Guy Rixon wrote:
martin goodall wrote:... Continued availability of the 4mm scale Blacksmith range is perhaps even more important than the Coopercraft range, although I would naturally like to see a future for both. ...


The Coopercraft site shows some of the Blacksmith kits available as etches only. This might mean that they are actually in production and available to buy, the castings previously being the sticking point. I can't confirm this, but you could ask if you have an urgent need.


At two recent shows the CC stall had quite a few Blacksmith etch only items for sale at opening time and few left at close.
I am aware that an important GWR guru is helping PD with drawings to upgrade etches where mistakes are known and to add to the range.
This seems to be an area of trading for Coopercraft that is not beset with problems so should help with his cash flow.

However don't send money in advance if web ordering as always.....

A lot of the castings required are available elsewhere in the meantime, it is just hard work finding and ordering the bits you need.

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Horsetan
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Horsetan » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:13 pm

dal-t wrote:Ah, interesting issue about the 'other' ranges. Personally, the only Coopercraft elements I'd consider worth saving are the road vehicles; ....


By contrast, I can't get enough of the BR Mk.1 coach kits.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Encouragement and support for Coopercraft

Postby Guy Rixon » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:43 am

The wagon kits are potentially crucial to keeping CC going; they could end up supporting the production of the more-precious etches.

If the moulding machine be mended, the kits should be cheap to produce and they will sell to all kinds of modellers. We on this forum, and in the Society, won't buy enough to make a difference, but CC can sell to the whole hobby. The point about the plastic kits is that they can be built easily by just about anybody to coarse-scale standards, or one can put in a lot of work to get a fine-scale result. Commercially versatile, in a way that etched coaches are not.


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