Wizard Models

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andrewnummelin
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:43 am

Re: Wizard Models

Postby andrewnummelin » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:14 am

Le Corbusier wrote:That was my thought about outreach ... I wondered if there might be an opportunity through preservation. might it be possible to get the equivalent of a scalefour club room at or connected to a preserved railway (or similar) where there is an emphasis on craftsmanship and fine modelling? That might be a productive link and area for cross fertilisation. It is likely an area where finescale would be more attractive as well? Just a thought ... as an example -imagine if at the South Devon there was a room with a working finescale model of the original line :D ... it might even pay for itself!


Is there scope for this near Derby?
https://hmrs.org.uk/msc

(I declare an interest as a member of the HMRS, but unfortunately I live too far away to make a practical contribution.)
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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Dave K
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Re: Wizard Models

Postby Dave K » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:17 am

David B wrote:The links given above seem to be the only way of accessing the Notes as there does not appear to be any link through Members' Area of the main Society website. If the earlier thread started by Paul Willis on the Forum from June has been missed by people, this would explain their ignorance.

I must agree with David and thought there would have been a link in the Members Area of the web site to the Notes Area.

Dave

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Wizard Models

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:26 am

Paul Townsend wrote:
Which reminds me. I must go over and see how many members have contributed new material to the Scalefour Notes, that others can share and benefit from...


Gosh, its years since I looked at that......lots of useful knowhow is there!


Must have had a senior moment, as it has only existed since June!
Still useful.

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derekrussan
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Re: Wizard Models

Postby derekrussan » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:07 am

Could the traders morph into a demo? Ie only bring 1 of everything. Don't actively sell, but show their wares & stimulate online orders (or possibly have a system to take orders at the time, but it would need to be slick so they didnt get lost, or end up with people sat in ordering queues for half the day).


Sorry for a very late response.

Taking samples was tried by C&L a few years ago and was a disaster. Anyway there are a lot of unseen costs in taking a sales stand to a show. First the stand fees, except for the larger shows (Warley BRM etc) they are not always that large a part of the costs. We have given up some shows where a free stand would not have helped. Then there is subsistance, one or two hotel rooms and meals etc. Cheap rooms are sometimes available but it adds up. Then transport. We have to rent a van for 3 days, luckily we have a good deal with our supplier that stops it from being 4. We did own a van for many years and te reality was it became a hidden cost, probably not much different from renting. Then there is the unseen costs, staff to be paid, typically 3 to 5 man days of stock preparation aswell. Also losses and damages at shows need to taken into account. Increased insurance costs etc.

So the nett result is that margins at shows are somewhere between appauling and negative. People wonder why I refuse when asked for a show discount (especially at the more expensive shows)

The other problem here is the cost model - online ordering can include a 'where did you hear about us' box, which would allow people to link the exhibition which generated their specific interest for that order - but would the traders then donate a cut to that show? Also for punters - are we happy paying for show entrance, and then P&P for subsequent online orders?


We get this feedback and it is incredibly random and unreliable. For some shows the follow on orders are the only reason for attending, so adding another cost will not work.

I must confess I frequently get customers refusing to pay £3 postage but are quite happy to drive into town, pay for parking etc and take longer. No pleasing some people. They do not take into account that I have to buy jiffy bags and other packing materials, spend time making sure it is carefully packed, and I have to either pay Royal Mail £900 a year to collect the post, or drive daily to drop off the post at the PO.
Derek Russan, Eileens Emporium.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:21 am

I think that this is an interesting and valuable debate ... if for no other reason than it spreads knowledge information and understanding.

From a finescale perspective and P4 for me personally, the presence of knowledgable traders at society shows is very desirable. You get to view/handle/discuss the goods and have a chance to get a feel for what is available and what is new/or in the pipeline. There is also a wealth of practical advice which is difficult to quantify - to that extent a service is being provided.

One would hope from a traders perspective that a presence will generate future orders as well as show purchases and will raise the business profile - as such an element of such attendance is for marketing purposes?

Given that we are a hobby and potentially slightly removed from the big bad world, dialogue and openness is something to be desired, and perhaps to some extent the presence of specialist suppliers/traders at our shows should be regarded (partially at least) as similar to the presence of feature layouts and workshops - an important and integral part?

The demise of the model shop means that the show is the only opportunity we get, and good as the internet is, trawling through web pages is not the same as far as getting an overview is concerned.
Tim Lee

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Martin Wynne
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Re: Wizard Models

Postby Martin Wynne » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:51 am

derekrussan wrote:Taking samples was tried by C&L a few years ago and was a disaster. Anyway there are a lot of unseen costs in taking a sales stand to a show. First the stand fees, except for the larger shows (Warley BRM etc) they are not always that large a part of the costs. We have given up some shows where a free stand would not have helped. Then there is subsistance, one or two hotel rooms and meals etc. Cheap rooms are sometimes available but it adds up. Then transport. We have to rent a van for 3 days, luckily we have a good deal with our supplier that stops it from being 4. We did own a van for many years and te reality was it became a hidden cost, probably not much different from renting. Then there is the unseen costs, staff to be paid, typically 3 to 5 man days of stock preparation aswell. Also losses and damages at shows need to taken into account. Increased insurance costs etc.

So the nett result is that margins at shows are somewhere between appauling and negative. People wonder why I refuse when asked for a show discount (especially at the more expensive shows)

The other problem here is the cost model - online ordering can include a 'where did you hear about us' box, which would allow people to link the exhibition which generated their specific interest for that order - but would the traders then donate a cut to that show? Also for punters - are we happy paying for show entrance, and then P&P for subsequent online orders?


We get this feedback and it is incredibly random and unreliable. For some shows the follow on orders are the only reason for attending, so adding another cost will not work.

I must confess I frequently get customers refusing to pay £3 postage but are quite happy to drive into town, pay for parking etc and take longer. No pleasing some people. They do not take into account that I have to buy jiffy bags and other packing materials, spend time making sure it is carefully packed, and I have to either pay Royal Mail £900 a year to collect the post, or drive daily to drop off the post at the PO.


It's your choice to be a model trader. It's not actually compulsory.

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

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Le Corbusier
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:55 am

Martin Wynne wrote:
It's your choice to be a model trader. It's not actually compulsory.

Martin.


True .... but without specialist traders the hobby would be a very different experience :? and there are potentially better ways of making a living :thumb
Tim Lee

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Tim V
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby Tim V » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:58 am

This has been a very interesting thread, that I've only just come across. Perhaps the title needs amending?
Tim V
Scalefour News Editor

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derekrussan
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:02 pm

Re: Wizard Models

Postby derekrussan » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:30 pm

It's your choice to be a model trader. It's not actually compulsory.


Very true, but I bet there would be masses of criticism if I made a major chang the status quo.

This was not intended as a grumble, more a clarification of the realities of life that most customers are entirely unaware of.

Life is even more complicated with changes in regulations for shipping "Dangerous Goods", where blades will need a signed for service very soon for example. More of this in the next newsletter.

I understand Andrews reasons for making his decision but I am not currently planning to follow suit, but I do have to keep the viability of shows under review.
Derek Russan, Eileens Emporium.

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John Bateson
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Re: Wizard Models

Postby John Bateson » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:28 pm

Trading for specialist groups like this Society is not for the fearful or fretful. The trading owners must have some clear idea and structure for their business with a very close eye on the bottom line, otherwise it becomes a lead weight aound the ankles.

Traders will come and go, one will want to retire to expand his own interest in actually making a model railway, others find the time expended and the trauma on the exchequer too much to withstand. A few will quite happily subsidise their trading out of income from elsewhere.
They are often replaced with alternatives and access to the web may help identify these parts which may be needed. After all, do we, as modellers, want life to be easy? Where is the challenge in that?

If traders are in short supply at shows, for the reasons stated earlier in this thread then we shall have to adapt. After all, we have made the most difficult adjustment in moving to P4, with all the inherent things that are different in this gauge.

John

PS I think I have just pontificated! Something for which I hate to be on the receiving end.
Slaving away still on GCR stuff ...
Avoiding the soaps ...
http://www.greatcentralmodels.co.uk

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Noel
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Re: Wizard Models

Postby Noel » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:07 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:One would hope from a traders perspective that a presence will generate future orders as well as show purchases and will raise the business profile - as such an element of such attendance is for marketing purposes?


Possibly, but S4 Society members are likely to be a relatively small part of the customer base for most traders. Traders are always going to re-evaluate the economics of attending shows from time to time, especially if costs are increasing, and will want to concentrate on those offering the best return, so far as they feel able to do so without significant erosion of their customer base. Except for a few very specialist traders, this is likely to be from the larger, more general shows.
Regards
Noel


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