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Hi,

I am in the 30's age group and new to this hobby and now into N scale model train. I ordered couple N scale Marklin trains from different online site in the US here (Some are big and some are local store with web present) and I live in Florida. I understand they are not Amazon and don't ship out stuff and get it in 1 or 2 days. But the way it structure is that their item show instock online, I placed the order, 2 days went by status said processing. I called and the dealer said they order my items from the warehouse, this takes another 1-2 weeks to ship to them (IF ALL ARE IN STOCK). Then when they received the items, they will reship it to me (takes another week or so).

I know they don't stock it in their store and resell it but what's the point of ordering thru them to save $10 or so if in fact I can order it directly from their distributor (i.e. Walters) which I found out by research but the same items cost maybe 10% more with a fix shipping cost.

I understand those dealer get discount but then they have to ship to them and reship to me,.. I did an experiment and order the same item directly thru Walters and the item ship the next day with a tracking number. While the other hobby online store has to order it the same way, ship to them and reship to me with no date in sight (They will get it in 5-6 days etc..).

So what's the point of having the dealer network? So everyone in this hobby only goes to 1 or 2 online retailer? What's everyone thoughts?

Many local area hobby shop are long gone and out of business... So it is hard for new people to get into the hobbies especially new things or new items takes months or years to get (Back ordered, PreOrder on new item) etc...
 

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I don't think this is isolated to trains, but this is why most people figure out who has the best service with good (maybe not the best) prices and then use a few of those sellers exclusively. You'll figure out the ones you like eventually.

Modeltrainstuff, patstrains, trainworld are a few many modelers use. I also use amazon sometimes if they have it in stock and for a good price, and even ebay if the seller has a good feedback score and has good prices... ebay sellers are hit with a hefty selling fee, so just be sure the price is good. Ebay is good for discontinued items, but again, base it on price and don't get caught up in bidding wars.
 

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I don't think this is isolated to trains, but this is why most people figure out who has the best service with good (maybe not the best) prices and then use a few of those sellers exclusively. You'll figure out the ones you like eventually.

Modeltrainstuff, patstrains, trainworld are a few many modelers use. I also use amazon sometimes if they have it in stock and for a good price, and even ebay if the seller has a good feedback score and has good prices... ebay sellers are hit with a hefty selling fee, so just be sure the price is good. Ebay is good for discontinued items, but again, base it on price and don't get caught up in bidding wars.
Thanks for the suggestion,.. For the train stuff, if they are sold out once release by the manufacturer, it will be impossible to find... :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Are you modelling European or North American railroads?
 

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I started shopping at Modellbahnshopp-Lippe. They ship out of Köln.

An in-stock order was at my Midwest doorstep in four days from day of order to delivery. $30 for shipping three HO TRIX coaches and some accessories.

The coaches were $25 less, each, than anyone selling them in the States.

Another option close to you is Micro, Macro, Mundo. They are a large import dealer right in your home state.

I am expecting an order from them next week.
 

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Welcome aboard!

Hi,

I am in the 30's age group and new to this hobby and now into N scale model train. I ordered couple N scale Marklin trains from different online site in the US here (Some are big and some are local store with web present) and I live in Florida. I understand they are not Amazon and don't ship out stuff and get it in 1 or 2 days. But the way it structure is that their item show instock online, I placed the order, 2 days went by status said processing. I called and the dealer said they order my items from the warehouse, this takes another 1-2 weeks to ship to them (IF ALL ARE IN STOCK). Then when they received the items, they will reship it to me (takes another week or so).

I know they don't stock it in their store and resell it but what's the point of ordering thru them to save $10 or so if in fact I can order it directly from their distributor (i.e. Walters) which I found out by research but the same items cost maybe 10% more with a fix shipping cost.

I understand those dealer get discount but then they have to ship to them and reship to me,.. I did an experiment and order the same item directly thru Walters and the item ship the next day with a tracking number. While the other hobby online store has to order it the same way, ship to them and reship to me with no date in sight (They will get it in 5-6 days etc..).

So what's the point of having the dealer network? So everyone in this hobby only goes to 1 or 2 online retailer? What's everyone thoughts?

Many local area hobby shop are long gone and out of business... So it is hard for new people to get into the hobbies especially new things or new items takes months or years to get (Back ordered, PreOrder on new item) etc...
wmo168;

Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry, if not surprised, to hear about your online ordering difficulties. It looks like MichaelE has covered that very well. He is our resident expert on European model trains.

Perhaps I can help you with other matters. I am a 40+Yr. N-scaler and I have written some files (attached below) that I send out to new people like you, who are starting out on their first layout. The files have lots of information that can be helpful for new modelers. There is a lot of text though, so read them at your own pace, if you want to read them at all that is. :laugh:
Other good information sources are the "Beginner's Q&A" section of this forum and the book "N-scale Railroading, {getting started in the hobby}" by Marty McGuirk. You can order a copy from https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/products/books
Also, if you have any questions about model railroading, this is a good place to ask them. We have many members, with loads of experience, who will be glad to help.

Good Luck & Have Fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment WHERE DO I START rev 4.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 3.pdf
 

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I see where Walthers would have a leg up on shipping speed, but in many cases they are also the most expensive, and their shipping is not always competitive either.

You may find for some things Walthers is the best source but likewise as you try different dealers it's very possible you'll find lower prices, lower shipping and similar shipping times.

As a related issue, I get a lot online but I do prefer to buy from a local dealer seller, or swap meet when possible, I'm willing to pay a little up charge to do so. Many of these online dealers are local shops and depending on your point of view, there may be some merit in supporting a shop that isn't a distributor, whether they are local or a distance away.

Maybe it's worth it to you to not have to pay shipping and have a local dealer order it from Walthers. Walthers almost never undercuts the price of local dealers, so you save on shipping and support your local train shop though at the cost of increased delivery time.

Put another way, it all comes down to how you personally rank the value of: cost, speed of delivery and local business.
 

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Not many mom-n-pop local shops carry European imports. Unless you live in a handful of areas in the US, you will be acquiring equipment via the internet unless you are planning a trip to Germany.

Walthers is extremely limited to their European imports and the majority of that is American outline, including structures.
 

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Just as with brick and mortar stores, sometimes you have to shop around a bit before you find a place with good prices and good service. I'm generally good staying with Model Train Stuff and Trainworld, although I shop MicroMark for tools and Scale Hobbyist for paints ane building supplies.

Me personally, I have never liked it when a seller tells me, "I can have anything in the Walthers catalog in 3-4 days." Because I can too.... A word on Walthers pricing, though. Their policy is to always sell at MSRP, so that they don't undercut their dealers. A dealer can chose to pass all or some of any discount he gets to his customers, but Walthers won't offer that discounted price directly to the customer.
 

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These are the main three with which I now do business . There are a few others, but they all have disadvantages compared with these three. That would be price, shipping speed, or in-stock availability.

Some of them strike out on all three and many don't even get to the plate to take a swing.

I will though, order from others if there is something I need and can't wait for it and the others are out of stock.

https://www.modellbahnshop-lippe.com/hersteller/0/0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-gb-hr-0/index.html

https://www.micromacromundo.com/

http://www.tee-usa.com/index.html
 
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