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Well, unfortunately, it's the wrong era, the wrong railroad, and it has sound. 3 strikes... YEEEEEER OUT!
But I'm sure there are people who will be interested in it. Thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You know once some time ago they under the search tag USED one of the big Lionel steamers. I forget which precisely. And the story was someone had dropped it. So the cab top or side had a ding. But it was really discounted. ... I just remember that. Well I guess the overall point is they really do seem to have some good deals from time to time...
 

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I often find really good deals at Trainworld. One of the few e-mailed fliers that I actually read.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah I like mb Klein... I mean they are certainly good and for ho I think better overall. But train world has the deals nitch going.
 

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From 1977-1997 I lived three miles from Trainland, their Long Island store. Spent a lot of time and money there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
and i live near enough to mb klein to go .. except they closed their retail front. while not a huge selection, it was big enough and their in store staff were top notch and informative i thought. plus they had a rack of "returns" with various problems, often minimal in nature -- that had a price cut. couple of small layouts to look at it -- it was kinda fun really.

I believe I've purchased less with the store front closed. I also ventured to other online retailers although I still tend to go to mb klein (aka "modeltrainstuff") for HO.

i guess my point is -- was that really a good idea?
 

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Was what? Closing their retail store front? Yes, it probably was.

Let's start off by noting that not all small business owners have any business training, and don't really understand how to run a business. By and large, these are the ones that just fold up and die when faced with a changing business environment. Based on my experience with them, I don't think MB Klein was one of these.

I think their decision was based on a hard business case analysis. They looked at what the retail space was costing them, in terms of rent, utilities, payrolls, etc, compared to the percent of their sales that were coming from the brick and mortar location, and concluded that it was no longer a cost effective operation. Some loss of sales ensued, obviously, but it was more than offset by the reduced overhead costs. The American consumer is evolving. More and more, they prefer the convenience, greater selection, and lower cost of shopping in line versus going to a brick and mortar location. Wait, lower cost? Yep. Because while shipping charges are an obvious expense over in-person shopping, it doesn't factor in the time and transportation costs. Even if I value my time at minimum wage ($11 in CT, and I get paid a lot more than that), if it takes me an extra two hours, it's almost always more than the shipping cost. Since the nearest hobby shop to me is a 35 minute drive away, plus another 15 or more to find parking and travel to and from my car, locate what I want (if they even have it), wait in line, etc, etc, and throw in a couple bucks for gas and parking, there's really no scenario where the physical shop is cheaper for me. And that shop isn't a good one (it's a generic toy and hobby place). If I want a GOOD train store, now you're talking 45 minutes to an hour one way, and the math gets even worse for the brick and mortar place. Add to that the risk of a wasted trip if I can't find what I want (or ANYTHING I want). The tradeoff, in most cases, is the wait to receive it (although that can be mitigated by a curbside pickup, like Walthers Terminal Hobby Shop).

Sure, there are still some advantages that go to brick and mortar locations, like expertise, better visualization, testing / demos, and instant gratification. Whether these are enough to offset the e-mail advantage depends on the customer.
 

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I've heard of a few places where their store was essentially a warehouse for their online sales, but hey if you're in the neighborhood stop by. They'd be in industrial parks and not retail malls. Otherwise the internet is killing small hobby shops.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well their warehouse i interpreted to be in the back of retail front. the building is/was nondescript small business park type building. its entirely possible they simply ran out warehouse, calculated a cost on a move to a larger space -- and realized they could just make do with absorbing the remaining retail. they'd already closed part of it off a year or so earlier... so the retail space was pretty small. there's a pic if you search google. its not worth it. it's a 2 story brick building with some other shops. its not really in a retail area either.
 

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I've heard of a few places where their store was essentially a warehouse for their online sales, but hey if you're in the neighborhood stop by. They'd be in industrial parks and not retail malls. Otherwise the internet is killing small hobby shops.
The internet isn't killing small knobby shops. Capitalism is. There is a saying in business "the only constant is change". Companies that adapt to a changing business environment and reinvent their business model thrive Those that don't become extinct. It's harsh, but that's the way our chosen economy works.
 
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