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Perhaps this topic has been discussed before and I've missed it, but with the end of another year approaching, my issue is with the cost of catalogues.

In town recently, I walked past Argos - free catalogue and Christmas supplement advertised in the window.
Next came Woolworths - Free catalogue now available splashed everywhere.
Then a Travel Agent - How many free catalogues do you want Sir? (even if they do call them brochures).

Finally the model shop - Hornby, Bachmann, Ratio, Peco, to name just a few, all available, all to be paid for.

Now I understand that some of the smaller "cottage industry" type suppliers need to charge for a brochure/catalogue because of the cost vs turnover ratio being much smaller, but what about the big players?
Should we be paying for information on how we can increase their turnover?
Why should we pay for catalogues that will benefit their sales?
Should they be free or come with a credit note?
Or should we be happy that they charge us for marketing information?
What do you think?
 

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i stopped getting the catalouges about 3 years ago.
if they provided well reaserched information, perhaps give us an insight into the company and the people who make the models. then get rid of those frankly booring 3/4 angle shots (bachmann) and the side illustrations(hornby). there is so much that could be included in a nice catalouge that would make it worth buying. but i wont pay for a booring pictures.

as for ratio and peco (they are the same company) frankly i am amazed that we get colour ilustrations! with the coach kits you used to get a nice colour double sided A3 sheet with illustrations of the different coaches in the range. now, if your luckey you set a single sided piece of A4 in black and white.
They are great kits but things like that just dont do them justice.

Comming back to hornby and bachmann. hornby does the extra booklets of track plans and digital how-to's, how about putting all that in a single catalouge.

The worst one i have ever seen is the bachmann china catalouge. they are still using the 2003 version and if you look closely 2 of the 6 steam loco's are actually the same!!

So much could be done with the catalouges that would really make them worth buying.

Peter
 

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one last thing, what also annoys me is when you spend £50 on a stand and they still wont give you a free catalouge! i understand they dont want people just collecting catalouges and not buying anything but if you spend a shed load on someones stand i think its a cheek not to give you a catalouge priced at 50p

Peter
 

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QUOTE one last thing, what also annoys me is when you spend £50 on a stand and they still wont give you a free catalouge! i understand they dont want people just collecting catalouges and not buying anything but if you spend a shed load on someones stand i think its a cheek not to give you a catalouge priced at 50p

You have my whole hearted support. What does it cost to build a simple web site showing the product, it's time some of these cottage industries were a bit more professional and got a web presence. BTW 50P for a catalogue is cheap, most are 3 or 4 pounds.

 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 26 Nov 2006, 05:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You have my whole hearted support. What does it cost to build a simple web site showing the product, it's time some of these cottage industries were a bit more professional and got a web presence. BTW 50P for a catalogue is cheap, most are 3 or 4 pounds.



It often surprised me that Townstreet never got a website. Probably why they are still a cottage industry.

I haven't bought a catalogue in years, Lats one I bought was Fleischmann four years ago. It really isn't worth buying a new one of the same company every year as not that much changes. I tend to just look at the relevant pages on Lokshops website. They post all the European ones. I tend to just look at Hornby and Bachmanns website to see what new stuff has come out in the six years since I last got a catalogue of either of those companies.

I've found Brawa are good at sending you free information. I registered on their site a couple of years ago and get stuff posted from Germany, which can't be cheap. I have had posters as well as catalogues.
 

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>It often surprised me that Townstreet never got a website. Probably why they are still a cottage industry.
They do make cottages don't they?


>I've found Brawa are good at sending you free information. I registered on their site a couple of years ago and get stuff posted from Germany, which can't be cheap. I have had posters as well as catalogues.

They probably know you post reviews on here! It's possible you're their number one fan
(in Oz anyway)

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 26 Nov 2006, 10:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>>It often surprised me that Townstreet never got a website. Probably why they are still a cottage industry.
They do make cottages don't they?


>I've found Brawa are good at sending you free information. I registered on their site a couple of years ago and get stuff posted from Germany, which can't be cheap. I have had posters as well as catalogues.

They probably know you post reviews on here! It's possible you're their number one fan
(in Oz anyway)

David
They certainly do and they're very good cottages at that.


Brawa have been mailing me stuff for a couple of years and I only received my first Brawa product last week so unfortunately the two aren't connected. I would definitely say I am a fan as I'm well impressed with their product. Hopefully they may provide me with stuff free if they find out I'm doing reviews of their stuff.
 

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QUOTE (Gwent rail @ 25 Nov 2006, 11:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>In town recently, I walked past Argos - free catalogue and Christmas supplement advertised in the window.
Next came Woolworths - Free catalogue now available splashed everywhere.
Then a Travel Agent - How many free catalogues do you want Sir? (even if they do call them brochures).

Finally the model shop - Hornby, Bachmann, Ratio, Peco, to name just a few, all available, all to be paid for.

Should we be paying for information on how we can increase their turnover?
Why should we pay for catalogues that will benefit their sales?
Should they be free or come with a credit note?
I don't disagree with what you say Jeff. However Argos alone, can expect to pull-in over £750M just over the Christmas period, so 5 million catalogues at 3 quid each is money well spent. If our manufacturers could expect us to spend that over Christmas, then I suppose we might have a case!
 

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As a Bachmann Club member yoiu get a copy of the Catolouge for your "oo" or "n" scale models when you renew every year.

I wish Hornby did this as well.

I quite like them as it gives my youngster something to hold and look at. Not everyone likes looking at a computer screen (more for the grown ups than 3 year olds).

He can spot his Thomas trains or mine when he flicks the pages and hones his memory and recognition skills a nice aid to help them learn!!

Still expensive but I think worth while and will carry on buying them.

Darren
 

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I buy them, but only because I have every Triang Hornby one since 1965, when I got my first train set. I have to admit recent Hornby ones while slightly better than a few years ago, still lack the excitement of those from 1974 or the early 70s. I used to drool over the layouts in the 74 one. I scarcely look at the new ones!

However Hornby are still a massive improvement on the insipid Bachmann things. No originality at all, just 3/4 views of locos and rolling stock. And you will find precious little information in there either about the prototype (perhaps not needed) or the specification of the model (much more important).

I seem to remember when the new PR guy was appointed he said he would look at the Cat. However I understand its going to be the same as last year but with Epochs inserted Whoopee! Takes your breath away doesn't it!

Russell
 

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I picked up the Hornby International Catalogue yesterday, cost me £3.00, It's a mixture of models, computer images, drawings and photographs of the real thing, it's very much in the style of the old LIma ones. However it is easy to use, and the numbering system is straightforward. HL - Lima, etc.

Regards

John
 

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I understand the point made about the relative turnovers of Argos Vs Hornby, Bachmann etc. and I'm not saying that a good catalogue with useful information is not worth paying for. There are however alternatives.

Option 1 -- Take the Pedro approach. Include much more historical information on the models, some info on the company, some tips for running in or use of items like Scaledale , some general modelling info -- anything to give "added value" and also to encourage new modellers to "have a go". Then charge for the catalogue and we will all feel that we are getting something for our money.

Option 2 -- This option would be especially useful for the cottage industries, but could also be the Hornby/Bachmann approach. Produce a catalogue, like now, that is little more than a list of the items on offer, but include a cut out voucher for a discount. This discount could be for the same price as the catalogue, redeemable at any appointed stockist, to be used against goods over a set value. This is already done sucessfully by some tool suppliers etc.

E.G. Hornby could charge £5.00 for a catalogue, which could be used against any purchase of Hornby goods over, say, £50.00.
Surely that as a one off per customer would not cause the receivers to call?

Well there's two options. Question is are the manufacturers interested in giving the serious modeller value for money or not??
What do you prefer? Or have you got a better idea? And will we get a response from any manufacturer
I think not!!!
 

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Jeff,
Why not combine the two options? The current Hornby catalogue has elements of option one in it - their dioramas, particularly at the start of each section, are quite good, with some detail of the products used and the weathering applied. If they were to expand this and to include more information on the prototypes of the model, they could charge more?

But then include the voucher for, say, two-thirds of the catalogue price? Eg if catalogue was £7.50, include a voucher for £5 as you suggest.

I have to say I prefer a printed catalogue; I am not on line all the time, and if if I want to look up something while I'm in the loft with the layout, I just carry up the catalogue, not the whole laptop!

Like Russell, I also enjoy the historic side of the old catalogues, although I regret I don't have all the ones he has.

I do agree that Hornby's side-on pictures are a bit boring. There is scope, particularly where several versions of the model are available, to give various views - 3/4 front, 3/4 rear, above and both right and left sides.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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I buy the Hornby one every year. I don't think considering what most modellers spend on their hobby each year the cost of catalogues would rate a mention. The point about the voucher is a good one though. Oddly a website is not a subsitute for a catalogue. You can tell those who don't buy one (and who are otherwise very knowledgable modellers) posting really basic stuff that the catalogues answer.
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 27 Nov 2006, 19:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have to say I prefer a printed catalogue; I am not on line all the time, and if if I want to look up something while I'm in the loft with the layout, I just carry up the catalogue, not the whole laptop!
John Webb

Althouh a prolific "surfer" I agree 100% - there's nothing like a peruse through new (& old) catalogues and often its much quicker !
 

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Definitely prefer the printed catalogue for reference purposes. Its amazing how much you miss when just browsing on the web I think. Far easier to lug a catalogue around also...
What I really like about the Hornby catalogues are the scenic dioramas and tips, which come from Senic Model Railways. They provide me with no end of inspiration every year when I see them...and expense
All I need now is more space to fit in the various farms, canals, terraces, gas works, etc....god I hope they stop making that stuff soon since the lottery hasn't been working out to well for me lately....
 

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QUOTE (chengin @ 28 Nov 2006, 09:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What I really like about the Hornby catalogues are the scenic dioramas and tips, which come from Senic Model Railways. They provide me with no end of inspiration every year when I see them.

Thanks for sharing that site - it's certainly given me a few more ideas!!

Regards

John
 

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Thanks for the web address. Very nice! Do you think the 10ft x 6ft DCC Commercial layout under construction could be for Hornby- perhaps to appear in their catalogue and go on their roadshows?

Do hope so. The Dioramas are OK but there's nothing to beat a proper layout appearing in a catalogue.

Russell
 
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