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Locomotives: Pre-Order or Else! May 23, 2007

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Locomotives, Tony's Tips | 0 comments

The Last Decade

Model railroaders take great pride in their motive power. The last decade has produced a multitude of quality reasonably priced high performance locomotives that operate smoothly on DC, DCC, and also have great sounds. Indeed the Brass market has felt the heat due to the quantity and quality of the wide range of offerings that have been available. Most of us now have many locomotives that meet our needs for era, type and road names. One might observe that the locomotive market in HO is beginning to peak … and it is. However, this does not mean that you will not be able to get that special locomotive you wanted. You will, but the rules have changed. If you want it, you best pre-order when announced!

Here’s Why

Prior to the last several years the locomotive manufacturers were producing substantial lots, 5,000 to 40,000 units depending on the popularity of the model and road names. They produced these volumes in anticipation of future sales, confident that they would sell out their runs. Starting about 4 years ago, as the market began to saturate, the manufacturers’ stocks started accumulating and were not flying off the shelves as in the past. This of course tied up capital and affected their bottom lines.

The Fix Was Simple

Request model railroaders to pre-order and only manufacture enough inventory to fill the pre-orders. The majority of the manufacturers have now adopted this policy and most model railroaders understand that when a locomotive is announced … and you want it … pre-order it.

But the Rules are Changing Again

Now some of the manufacturers are announcing new runs but not publishing a release date or pre-investing in the tooling. Instead they are looking at the pre-order numbers for the green light to go forward, and holding development until the volume typically around 2000 units can support it. So now, if you are interested in a new run, and enough folks do not pre-order, the locomotive may not be produced! One manufacturer, the¬†Broadway Ltd / PCM Group, has added a progress meter to their website so that potential buyers know where they stand! This will help convince prospective buyers to … Throttle-Up!

The Buyers Perspective

As a buyer you may be concerned about buying a pig in a poke, and that’s understandable. This is where the selection of your dealer is very important. Most reputable dealers understand and will accept returns, usually at no penalty.

If your dealer does not accept returns then contact us … we do!

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