NEWS AND UPDATES
Slows Sales Week Again
There is a pattern emerging. Busy one week slow the
blame this partially on the economy situation and the
they way our wholesalers have been running their
Several years ago our main wholesaler stopped doing a
monthly sale which changed every month. BRH always
passes on the sale prices that we discount even further.
However when the monthly sale changed to a two or even
quarterly sale BRH saw a significant drop in our sales.
The reason for this is simple! The sales are 'stale'
after about two weeks. Sometimes the sale items sell out
within that two weeks leaving nothing for customers to
look for, thus they have no interest, thus sales go
Currently, we are in one of those cycles.
The sale at this particular wholesaler used to be strong
each month , mid month, for 5 days. It was like clock
work each month. Then they changed the length of each
Simply stated, the sales lost their 'rhythm'.
This happened before Covid and the supply chain issues
so that is not an excuse.
BRH is doing its best to et you the most in stock
product at the lowest possible pricing. This type of
business model from this wholesaler is not a good one
and has not been one for about 5 years now! It shows in
the slowing sales!
What's Up At Walthers
Walthers has been removing manufacturers from their
database for sometime now. So of this manufacturers jsut
have not been producing enough product if any at all.
Then there those businesses that are just closing up
shop like Fox Valley for example.
Also, one month Walthers announces a price increase on
the Mainline (910) items two months ago and then they
are now on sale!
Plus the MAP pricing situation that does not allow
dealers / retailers like BRH to sell to you at a lower
price. All the MAP pricing does is drive the BRH prices
closer to the Walthers pricing for some items which is
not fair to you our customers.
So, despite all the price increases via the supply chain
problems, what is up a Walthers?
I am hearing rumors but I am not going to spread them at
I can say is that the customer service at Fedex is
As of this update I have not heard for the Shipmanager
escalation desk to fix their software problem since
Friday 08/05/22. Not a peep from them in over a
Also, I tried to reach out to the executives at Fedex
and have not received any responses.
While the Shipmanager software is now working, (I found
an old contact at Fedex that I reached out to during the
week and he put me in touch with someone that could fix
the issue and he did!) but not do to the efforts of the
Fedex help desk or their executive team. Nothing but
It is a shame that Fedex can not handle a very very
BBB Removes Rating
So, for some unknown reason we found out the the Better
Business Bureau (BBB) removed our A+ rating! When I
found out I immediately contacted them to find out why?
The explanation was that the BRH information was not
updated. I advised an update was not needed and nothing
has changed. Within two days the A+ rating was restored.
I have found over the 18 years BRH has been in business
that the BBB is not a reliable and is not a neutral
operation. In the case of BRH vs BBB they refuse to see
the side of our business. I have always had to 'fight'
with them to maintain our A+ rating as they seem
to put blinders on when it comes a businesses side of a
you know that there is no where to complain about the
As with other online reviews services most are blatantly
false and ratings like Yelp and the Google weigh
negative ratings higher then positive ratings.
This holds true for not only BRH but other businesses
seeing the exact same thing.
example Yelp buries and has even has removed positive
reviews. Google refuses to removes bogus reviews even
then the negative review has the wrong company name in
it, They where not reviewing negatively BRH yet Google
lets the review stand after numerous complaints that I
sales where again down based on year to year comparisons
by 21%. This is due to the normal summer dull drums,
lack of product available to sell, the high cost of
living and general world wide negativity!
Year to year shows new customers down 47%, returning
customers up 112% and daily receipt totals down 23%.
New model railroaders are not entering the hobby, costs
of product have increased by a least 25% and there is
less available to purchase plus the over all economy is
in very very rough shape.
move of the shipping department to a new location has
been completed for the most part. Some organization of
some paperwork still needs to be done after hours but
the new, more efficient location, should decrease the
time it takes to ship orders to you our customers!
Since around Wednesday at 9am BRH has been without Fedex
Shipmanger software as the software for some odd reason
will not initialize.
I contacted the Fedex Shipmanager help desk early
Thursday morning. The lower level rep could get the
software to initialize so he had to escalate to the
department that was authorized to fix it!
I was told that it would 24 to 48 hours for someone to
call. I immediately advised the rep that I could not sit
by the shipping department phone to wait for this new
person to call back sometime in the next two days! Fedex
should at least give a time window for the callback that
was more reasonable.
Well I stuck around the phone for two hours and no call
was given. 4 hours later a call was received but I was
not at that phone. A message was left with a call back
number to the lower department. You could not get back
to the person that could fix the issue who left the
message. This happened 3 other time during the day.
Around 3pm I received a call from my sales rep. I
did not know I had a direct sales rep since my
last one quit 10 years ago.
got involved and claimed to have some contacts she could
reach out to. I advised here to advise them I would be
but the shipping department phone until 4:30. So for the
next hour and a half there was no call. I was working on
other things and finally logged out for the day at 5:13.
Later that evening I checked the BRH voice mails and
Fedex called at 5:20!
I called the help desk main number and again got the run
around and advised this person to note transaction
ticket that I would be available at the shipping
department number until 11am.
I received a call on my cell phone! When I asked where
they got that number he advised it was in the notes.
Probably from the sales rep. Within 30 seconds of this
call I received a call on the shipping department line.
I asked the cell caller rep to hang on ( I did nt put
him on hold) while I answered the store landline. I
advised that rep that I had someone on the cell line. He
quickly advised "Great! I close the ticket" and
immediately hung up before I could say a word! I went
back to the cell call and this person was gone as well!
So here I am left hanging.
called back in and was advised that the ticket was
closed and they had to start over yet again. As of
this update I have not received a call since 10:30am
Friday. So the Fedex system is still not initializing.
I the past when I have had issues like this where the
lower line employees and not responding to fix and
issue. When I try to reach out to a supervisor I get the
So then what I do is reach out to the presidents or
CEO's of companies via their emails listed on the
internet. I know that these emails are really not a
direct link to them, but usually have a person or
department that monitors these emails.
In the past I have reached out to Bob Iger former
CEO of Disney. I reached a call, not a email with an
hour. Very impressive! And the question I had was
resolved. In fact Disney wnet over and above.
Also, I was having some issues with our Point of Sale
software so I reached out to the CEO of Intuit. I
received a call from tem within two hours. Since I could
not the software issue resolved due to an upgrade on the
Intuit side and I was not going to pay $2,000 to upgrade
the software I had, the finally agreed with me and sent
me the new version with the upgrades for free! I did not
ask for that. Again, very impressive.
back to Fedex.
As of this update, late Thursday I sent and email to the
Founder and CEO of Fedex regarding this matter and the
processes within Fedex to resolve this issue.
of this update I have not received any response back.
So, I reached out at 3pm Friday to the upper executive
management at Fedex:email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; FWSmith@fedex.com;
of this update I have not heard a word from anyone at
Fedex that will resolve their software issue.
And so the poor customer service world wide continues.
Letter Last Week
Sorry I missed the news and updates email last week. I
just had way to much going on with the move of shipping
operations last week to the new location I got a bit
behind so there was no time for updates.
USPS Carrier Screw Up
Thursday the USPS fill in carrier picked up some 45
packages for shipment around 314pm. Unfortunately this
carrier encoded ALL of the packages as being delivered
to the ship from address which was not correct! This
caused a lot of emails and call to BRH with customers
thinking there shipments where sitting at BRH which was
I have been keeping an eye on that days shipments and
all seems to be arriving at the customers ship to
locations. It was the on line tracking information that
was messed up!
Also, this past Friday the USPS Carrier was a no show
for our scheduled pickup of outbound shipments to our
so it goes!
Walthers Handling Fee
As of this update BRH has not been charged a handling
fee for orders which is a good thing so BRH has not had
to pass this cost to our customers.
past two weeks have been quiet. This is both good and
Since I needed time to close down the Pleasantburg
shipping operations and get the new location open and operating
while closing the old location, the "hot" and "cold"
uneven online sales has been a good thing.
Even emails and calls have been off a bit.
As of this update outbound shipping all caught up and
BRH is running on the "new normal".
Faster Order Processing
the move of shipping operations and the late in the day
inbound deliveries coming at around 3pm each day, BRH
can now ship your orders to you one day faster.
The new location allows a 12 hour quicker processing of
your orders for shipping. The old way meant the
deliveries had to be transferred to the old Pleasantburg
location which for the last 2.5 Covid Years, has been a
PITA. Though the old days of processing orders in 3 days
instead of the current 5 to 7 days seems to be gone
As always I process orders as fast as I can so there is
no need to call or email about your order status. It is
rare there are issues and if there are issues, I will
reach out to you with a call, email or global update via
the news and updates.
Fox Valley Models
Valley Models brand has been sold to Scale Trains which
means that BRH can no longer offer FVM any longer. Not
sure what will happen to all of the back orders
with the Milwaukee warehouse since, as of the update, we
have not been advised if they will honor all of the
outstanding back orders and advance reservations.
The honest thing to do is honor those orders but I feel
that will not occur.
FVM has had a lot of production issue even before the
Covid situation. So this sale of the brand is no
Regarding Scale Trains.
Initially Scale Trains signed up 32 dealers when they
first opened for business in 2014. Shortly after that,
and I mean shortly, they would not allow any more
dealers like BRH to be allowed to sell their product.
Scale Trains like Exact Rail, have chosen to sell their
product direct and have cut off most hobby shops
around the world. What does this mean? While Scale
Trains makes a great product, the do not want to allow
you the consumer to get any discounts on new items!
Be prepared as
I still feel the next big manufacturer that will
disappear this year will be InterMountain. As BRH has 100's of outstanding orders we have placed with them
and they have not produced hardly anything.
Time will tell.
Oregon Rail Supply
After years and years of limited supply and delays
delays and more delays it seems that they may have gone
the way of Con-Cor and MTH-Railking. They may have
recently gone out of business.
Recently a blog post stated "I
called ORS their voice mail was full.
If they are out of business"
As of this update we have not been officially notified
by the wholesaler or the manufacturer.
Walthers MAP Policy
Let me perfectly
clear! BRH does not believe that MAP (Minimum Advertised
Price) helps anyone. In fact this policy costs you, the
model railroader, more money for already expensive
products. BRH does not agree with this policy.
As of 07/15/22, Walthers has implemented the MAP policy.
So some items in the 910, 920 and 948 series of items
now will cost you about 12% more for absolutely no valid
Dealers, like BRH, should be able to sell ("advertise"
via our product search page) without restriction.
BRH stands by this and has done so since 2005.
So when you see the note in the product description "MAP
PRICING IN EFFECT", this means that this item has the
forced higher price. BRH has no control over this.
File a complaint with Walthers!
THANKS FOR THE