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DT
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As I was looking for a Christmas train to help decorate my tree - and yes, I think that it may be fun and a good excuse to bring a train into the living room - I was noticing some massive price differences between the US and the UK markets.

I was looking at Bachmann trains. The LGB Coke train doesn't really interest me. But Bachmann have a great range of G-scale trains in their Spectrum range.

I did come across a rather nice loco that I may add later to my garden layout. A model of a loco that was made in the US and exported all over the World as late as the 1950's. It could fit in to virtually any type of theme if decorated suitably.

Bachmann Spectrum G 2-8-0 Consolidation 81295



1:20.3 Scale 2-8-0 Narrow Gauge, Outside Frame Consolidation

Features include: DCC ready, LED headlight, smoke generator with on-off switch, NMRA polarity switch, load-synchronized LEDs in firebox and ashpan for realistic fire glow, precision can motor, die-cast gear box, metal frame, complete backhead detail, fully operational Baker valve gear with Johnson bar, numerous separate detail parts and chemically blackened machined metal wheels.

In the USA, this loco is selling for $220 (£107.14). Shipping price to me $91 (£43.32). Total: $311 (£150.46)
MSRP: $799.95 (£389.58)

In the UK, this loco is selling for £355 ($727.40). Shipping price to me is about £20 ($40.99). Total: £375 ($768.39)
MSRP: £451.85 ($925.84)

Now I do understand about the size of various markets, supply and demand and all that. I did economics at varsity. But if these items are all made in China and if a manufacturer can move large quantities of goods around the world in containers, why is there such a difference in price in one place compare to another?

I do understand that the USA model is tax free at £150.46. Lets add 20% tax to it (£180.55). Lets add a 30% mark-up to that (£234.72). It still is £140 less than the UK retail price. What's up?

I'm sure that I posted something similar last year when I was reviewing the American articulated logging locos. I'm sure that the justifications for such differences in price must have not sunk-in.
 

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DT
Joined
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4,794 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think the issue here could be middle-men. Just add one or two, each adding their percentage and you end up with the prices you see.

Importers, distributors, agents. etc.

I'm sure that the older generation of modellers who go down to their local model shop or order online from a trusted source like they have done all their like are not aware of this, but the younger generation will not put up with it. It is just as easy to order products from Texas than it is from the British Midlands. It comes down to price in the end and looking at this, Texas is cheaper.
 
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