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So, coming back to model railroading after 25 years away from it, I re-subscribed to Model Railroader magazine. Wow, kinda sad. The magazine is now about 1/3 as thick as it was when I last subscribed 25 years ago. Still good content, but what jumped out at me is the almost non-existence of advertising content, including pages and pages of "mail order" dealers. This is sad because it demonstrates shockingly how interest in the hobby seems to have spiraled downward. The same thing goes for hobby stores. There used to be an awesome Hobby Shop only 20 minutes away from my house, with train layouts in almost every scale. It's been gone for years now too. Thankfully there are still some bigger dealers now with "online" shopping. Convenient, for sure, but it's still sad to see all the others gone. Time, and progress(?) marches on, I guess.
 

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There probably is some waning of interest, but you also have to consider how the internet has destroyed the mom and pop brick and mortar stores, not only hobby shops but everything. We're all guilty of contributing to that. I try to buy from my local hardware store and hobby shop, but they can't possibly keep stock of all the stuff I can get online.
 

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Still good content, but what jumped out at me is the almost non-existence of advertising content, including pages and pages of "mail order" dealers.

The "mail order" dealers are all on-line now. The days of buying multi-page adds to list your catalog in a magazine are long gone when all you need is a half page ad advertising your business and web site URL. No one is spending $$$$$$$$$$ to list all the items they're selling individually. 25 years ago that sort of e-commerce didn't exist, so the mail order guys had to list their catalog somewhere. Now that's all on their website.
 

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I certainly do realize the impact of online purchasing. It's just that leafing through a magazine after not looking through that magazine for 25 years was a bit of a shock to my system. I will be the first to admit that I happily use online shopping for many things. It's quick and convenient. But I wish the local hobby shop that I used to deal with was still in business. You can't beat that kind of service. They had everything I would want or need under one roof, along with face to face information and advice.
 

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im definitely one who buys online. If an item is $100 in store or $80/free 1 or 2d shipping.. guess where im buying...

I just bought 5x36" atlas flex track code 100 from amazon. Just realized local hobby shop its the same price even after tax so ill buy it locally next. I had amazon gift cards so that is also the other reason i went that way.
 

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I will be the first to admit that I happily use online shopping for many things. It's quick and convenient. But I wish the local hobby shop that I used to deal with was still in business. You can't beat that kind of service. They had everything I would want or need under one roof, along with face to face information and advice.
Well, there you have it.....seems you can't have both, so you better get used to it......sorry to be so blunt, but.....:eek:hwell:
 

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Looking at the old Model Railroaders from the late 70’s brings back a lot of memories. I remember in particular the Longs Hobby shop 2 page ads....I still enjoy the magazine today, but it’s content isn’t what it use to be. I use the internet sites for shopping, as on Vancouver Island their isn’t a real good hobby shop.

I’m going to Edmonton this year (in December), for the world juniors (hockey), any hobby store recommendations?
 

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Hobby Wholesale is about the only train hobby store in Edmonton now.....I always make it a point to stop in there when I'm in Edmonton.....
 

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So, coming back to model railroading after 25 years away from it, I re-subscribed to Model Railroader magazine. Wow, kinda sad. The magazine is now about 1/3 as thick as it was when I last subscribed 25 years ago. Still good content, but what jumped out at me is the almost non-existence of advertising content, including pages and pages of "mail order" dealers. This is sad because it demonstrates shockingly how interest in the hobby seems to have spiraled downward. The same thing goes for hobby stores. There used to be an awesome Hobby Shop only 20 minutes away from my house, with train layouts in almost every scale. It's been gone for years now too. Thankfully there are still some bigger dealers now with "online" shopping. Convenient, for sure, but it's still sad to see all the others gone. Time, and progress(?) marches on, I guess.
It's not so much that interest in the hobby has waned (sales and dollars spent are booming), but that print media is being overcome by the internet, and advertisers don't see print magazines as effective use of limited advertising budgets. If the average model railroader weren't a man in his middle to old age, I suspect the magazine market would be long gone?
 

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I certainly do realize the impact of online purchasing. It's just that leafing through a magazine after not looking through that magazine for 25 years was a bit of a shock to my system. I will be the first to admit that I happily use online shopping for many things. It's quick and convenient. But I wish the local hobby shop that I used to deal with was still in business. You can't beat that kind of service. They had everything I would want or need under one roof, along with face to face information and advice.
Check out Otter Valley Railroad. They are in a new location in Tillsonburg Ont. they have a huge bricks and mortar store as well as a web store. I don't think their prices can be beat. Unless you are in the US
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Check out Otter Valley Railroad. They are in a new location in Tillsonburg Ont. they have a huge bricks and mortar store as well as a web store. I don't think their prices can be beat. Unless you are in the US
Brian, I had already bookmarked Otter Valley in my favorites. You are right, their prices are very good. Tillsonburg (my back still aches when I hear that word) is a pretty good drive from Niagara, but if I am in that area and have a chance to stop in I certainly would. I'm sure I will be using their web store, though.
 

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Tommy B—I use to order from Otter Valley, but I had 2 shipments come in damaged. I know that can happen to anybody, but the reason I moved the bulk of my on line sales to Cedar Creek is price
BDD5FF71-9108-4379-8F91-1E548894C162_1581445577914.png
$209 for Walthers engine at Otter Valley
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$159 for the same engines at Cedar Creek. I had a $900 order, shipped out for $30. I only use Otter Valley for small items, as they do have good stock/inventory levels.
 

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So, coming back to model railroading after 25 years away from it, I re-subscribed to Model Railroader magazine. Wow, kinda sad. The magazine is now about 1/3 as thick as it was when I last subscribed 25 years ago. Still good content, but what jumped out at me is the almost non-existence of advertising content, including pages and pages of "mail order" dealers. This is sad because it demonstrates shockingly how interest in the hobby seems to have spiraled downward. The same thing goes for hobby stores. There used to be an awesome Hobby Shop only 20 minutes away from my house, with train layouts in almost every scale. It's been gone for years now too. Thankfully there are still some bigger dealers now with "online" shopping. Convenient, for sure, but it's still sad to see all the others gone. Time, and progress(?) marches on, I guess.
I agree that there are less brick and mortar shops but as has been said, I'm not sure there's that much less overall interest so much as online stores (and there are MANY) have replaced them.

As for the lack of magazine catalog pages, that's simply reflective of the fact that the print catalog is no longer the dominant venue for by-mail-sales-advertising. The fact that you're on this forum indicates that you know how to use the internet and so does everyone else. Why would a company create a print sales list sales list 3 months in advance (that would likely be outdated the day after it was compiled) when customers know they can go online and get immediate, accurate results and order-at-will?
 

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Not all websites will include the entire catalog on their site. If they will not be receiving it they may not advertise it.

The best source of new products is the manufacturer's web site. Then a search can be made of your favorite retail stores to see if it is available for either sale or ordering.

Chances are, if it's not listed on the web site they will not carry it if they have no print catalog.
 

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prrfan…..interesting array of opinions in that thread. Also, I had not know about Model Railroad Hobbyist. It is now bookmarked.
EVERYONE in this hobby should know about MRH. Best hobby mag going!
 

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There hasn't been an actual model-railroad hobby shop in my area for years. In fact, there are no hobby shops of any kind. I have no choice but to buy online, or at the twice-a-year train shows.
 
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