NEWS AND UPDATES
As of this update
shipments from the Milwaukee and Jefferson City
warehouses are taking 5 to 7 days to arrive at BRH
shipping and shipping from the Easton warehouse are
taking from 3 to 5 days to arrive at BRH shipping.
Shipments are arriving at BRH shipping around 4 pm daily
from both UPS and Fedex. USPS arrives for outbound and
inbound shipping around 12pm daily.
BRH is shipping delay except Sundays.
Weather delays could affect these estimates.
Bottom line is that BRH will process and ship you order
as fast as we can.
So, please be patient.
Supply Chain Issues
Out of 130,000 plus items available to order from the
warehouses and manufacturers only about 28,000 +/-
product numbers are available to sell to you each day.
This has been an on going and worsening problem since
2008 and has gotten much worse
since the Covid situation started 2 years ago.
This is all caused in part with the supply chain issues
plaguing the world.
Because of this BRH decided last summer to stop doing
back orders and advance reservations and focus on in
stock and available today products. Even by doing this
quantities are very limited.
So again as I have stated before think about what you
may need for your layout or display about a year in
advance and build up some inventory at home so you will
have it when you need it.
BRH prides itself in our customer service. We do make
mistakes every now and then and i do my best to correct
However, recently there have been a rash of customers
claiming issues but offering zero proof.
One customer emailed and stated his flex track order
came in a crushed box and the track was mangled.
He stated he would no longer order from BRH because of
that. I emailed him back and asked for images of the
damaged box and track so we can resolve the issue and so
far after a week have had no response.
Another customer ordered the wrong electrical item and
when I advised him of the BRH policy of no returns on
electrical parts yet offered an solution under the RMA
policy he has never responded!
Yet another customer claimed some window decals where
damaged that where shipped in a padded envelope. Again,
I asked for images of the package and damaged item(s)
and for the last two weeks have not received anything.
I can not resolve issues without back up. If customers
do not provide proof of their
claim(s) then BRH can not resolve an issue.
This week BRH had an issue regarding shipping from
Rapido to BRH.
Though BRH has ordered a lot of product from them
directly over the last couple of years,
it seems that if an order to be shipped to BRH is
less then $500 then they will charge shipping from
Canada to BRH.
BRH pricing is based on free shipping but we have
been notified that any shipments under $500 will be
charged shipping to BRH. So far for the last 3 years
this has not occurred. However, this week they
tried to ship and wanted to charge shipping. After I
complained they combined that order with another order
(which BRH and our wholesalers do all the time) to be
far above the $500 level.
One of the reason BRH started ordering direct with
Rapido for that Walthers was having Rapido fulfillment
problems. When BRH shifted to ordering direct from
Rapido shortages and cancellations went away.
Currently Rapdio is charging an additional 5% surcharge
on new shipments. Also they may start charging for
shipping if the $500 free shipping level is not reached.
BRH bases our prices on what we have been told in the
past. Unfortunately if this occurs then BRH will
have no choice but to pass this added cost on to you or
All new orders from today forward will be placed
with Walthers again. This way the free shipping to BRH
will not be an issue and BRH can offer a lower price.
I hope that the old cancellation and shortages from
Rapido to Walthers will not occur.
Predications for 2022
Last year MTH-Railking closed and Con-Cor went away.
I predict the IMR (Inter-Mountain Railway) will also
close since they can not seem to create any product that
our customers have ordered.
BRH has a lot on advance reservation / back order with
them but there has been zero order fulfillment for
several years now.
Since we lost the accounting
computer due to the snow storm and a power outage on
Sunday the database was not up to date.
As of 7pm EST today the database of product is again up
We received the new power supply around 5pm and was able
to get things back to normal fairly quickly.
Sorry for the issues on this. First time it has happened
in almost 18 years of business!
Since we lost the accounting
computer due to the storm power surge we have had an
issue with getting the complete product database up and
functional despite the backups. Seems to be a server
issue. Only about 28,000 items out of 36,000 are
Once we receive the new power supply sometime this week
we should be able to get this situation corrected. Sorry
for the issues but I am ding my best to get this
TCS Price Increase
Late on Monday Train Control Systems
announced a 20% price increase effective 01/21/22. As
the prices are changed the product database will reflect
the new prices.
Due to the ongoing, unprecedented changes in the
world TCS has been forced to introduce our largest price
increase to date. Some of the factors which have forced
us into this decision include:
inflation at around 6% for 2021
COVID shutdowns and
shortages across industries
completely unprecedented electronic component
Ongoing shipping and
Due to the factors
above every piece of TCS' products from packaging and
literature, to printed circuit boards and components
have gone up in price and lead times have been extended
beyond anything seen before.
Over the past year and a half TCS has eaten these price
increases and made numerous internal changes to avoid a
price increase, but with no sign of things changing TCS
must take this step. Some of the steps we have taken
internally to reduce this need include:
circuit boards for certain products so we can use more
available packages and versions of the components.
Expanded our remote
and contract work to reduce overhead.
Scooped up extra
stocks of components from liquidators to mitigate
massive lead times on components.
We will continue to
take steps internally and externally to provide the
highest quality, American made product, just like we
always have. Even as we all deal with the ongoing
challenges of the day we appreciate the ongoing support
of our loyal customers and enthusiastic users!
*The price for all UWT-100 variants, replacement parts,
and services will remain unchanged
**UWT-50 variants, Decoder Testers, and Kapton Tape will
only be increasing by 10%.
9" Of Snow!
Snow started around midnight
on Sunday and ended around 12pm or so.
No big deal it was an heavy wet snow.
However, the BRH office lost power around 8:30am until
Again, no problem as we have a back up generator.
As the power went down, one of our computers was booting
and it looks like the short spikes in the power fried
the power supply in the CPU. New one is on order.
However, we could not work on the product database
update on the back up computer as some of the software
was not loaded on the back up. We had to do that.
So, this news and updates is late as well as the product
Shipping And Deliveries
Looks like the roads in
northern Greenville, SC are very very icy.
Not sure if there will be any deliveries today from
Fedex and UPS. USPS is closed for MLK day.
According to the morning weather and the SCDOT secondary
roads may not be passable until Tuesday.
So nothing inbound or outbound will be leaving from BRH
until Wednesday it seems barring any further computer
Miniature World Of Trains™
There will be more to come in the full MWOT™
We have added yet another venue into the
mix of locations which is a real long short, ut we are
looking into it. More on that venue in the mini update.
Also, just to let everyone know there is about
$130,000 invested into the for profit MWOT™
as of this update.
We still need investors, donors to reach our funding
goal and we need volunteers some volunteers to help
build the initial displays.
Please visit the following MWOT™
Invest or Donate
Sorry to be so negative with this update!
Easton Warehouse Partial Slowdown
BRH was informed the other day the
Covid has hit the Easton Warehouse.
According to the warehouse email: "Up to this point we
have been very fortunate making it through the
Christmas season without any major Covid issues.
Unfortunately, today we have a major issue. 60% of the
warehouse staff is out. No one is seriously ill and they
will be back to work as soon as they feel better. The
rest of us are being safe and hoping no one else gets
sick. Please be aware that orders may ship a little
slower than normal this week. Thank you for your
understanding. Stay healthy."
So far this week BRH has not seem any issues with order
fulfillment with the warehouse.
There are no issues at the Milwaukee or Jefferson City
Warehouse as of this update.
Surcharges from the manufacturers and wholesalers
continue to occur.
Lionel and Rapido have a "temporary" 5% surcharge on all
newer items as we announced last week. These surcharges
are now being passed along to our customers as the
surcharges are not part of the BRH pricing. Also, the
Milwaukee Warehouse is now passing along special
shipping charges on "oversized" item like grass mats.
Again this cost will have to be passed along to our
customers as needed.
Lionel items with the surcharge are noted as such in the
product description. Rapido only lets BRH now when we
get the shipping invoice! And with the oversized
additional shipping charge you should just assume that
things let grass mats, flex track, cork, train sets etc.
, might have this surcharge. BRH will not now if there
is a oversized surcharge until after the item(s) are
shipped. BRH has no control over that.
Keep sizes of products in mind when you order. BRH does
its best to keep shipments down to the minimum number of
So, for example, do not order flex
track and then a building because there are no boxes
conducive to shipping these items in one box!
If you have an issue with a
possible surcharge on an advance reservation or back
order, please contact BRH by phone during our normal
business hours so we can cancel your order!
Keeping Your Information Up To Date
Again there are issues with people not keeping their
information up to date.
It is the responsibility of each customer to keep your credit
card information, address, email and phone information current. If
your credit card information, such as credit card expiration or a
change in credit card information or address, email and phone
information you must notify Blue Ridge Hobbies™ immediately by
telephone during our normal business hours and speak with customer
service OR you can update your credit card information using the
secure Blue Ridge Hobbies™ Product Search Page Shopping Cart and
picking the item CREDIT CARD. The other fields do not need to be
Merchandise Not Paid For
Here is the reason we
are no longer doing advance reservations and back orders
for most of your customers.
This week there has been a trend of established
customers placing order and then when
received the merchandise in for shipping their credit
card will not process for one reason of another! We make
three attempts to contact the customer to resolve the
issue via the Cart32 shopping cart email and / or our
regular contactus email or possibly a call.
If a customers does not respond the order is cancelled
and that person will no longer be able to order from BRH
again. In some cases we have a deposit on file which we
can not refund to the credit card and we do not issue
checks since we do not know if the customer is at the
address we have on file or maybe deceased!
Also, some customers that have previously purchased from
BRH are having issues when we try to ship a brand new
order. Their credit cards do not work for any number of
This costs BRH a lot of money. Out of 20 advance
reservation we processed this week 5 of them had credit
card issues. That is 25% of these orders. This is
Most of our customers, both old and new, do not have
this problem. But this problem costs BRH time and money.
So we do not have to raise prices to cover these loses,
we will be pre charging all orders effective immediately
for the merchandise only at the time of order. Then
shipping, handling and any surcharges from the
wholesalers and manufacturers will be added in a second
charge when the order(s) are ready to ship.
Thanks For 2021
Thanks to everyone for a very busy
and challenging year.
Product shortages and lack of product availability where
the highlight for 2021.
Bad reviews on Google because people do not read the
store hours and the policy regarding visiting the retail
Overall sales have 2021 down an even 10% over 2020. The
trend for the 4th quarter was down as well and December
2020 vs 2021 a whopping 35% year Again because
lack of available product.
For the last 90 days but over it looked good on paper.
New customers up 76%, returning customers up 165%,
average receipts up 54% and average items per receipt up
13%. But those items where not big ticket items like
January is our busiest month each year and so far for
the first week sales look promising.
Sale End Times
Most BRH sales end at 9pm however
some customers have been sending in orders after 9am.
Sometimes hours and sometimes days after the sale ends.
Effective with the current sale, if your order is
received after the 9pm deadline, you will be charged the
current price for the ordered item at the time the order
is received via the shopping cart.
The reason for this is that the wholesalers and
manufacturers end sale pricing on certain dates and will
not honor the sale price after the sale is over.
Fedex, USPS and UPS
I was shocked this past week when shipments from the
Milwaukee and Easton warehouses arrived at BRH within 3
days of ordering. Something we had not seen in some 3
years! Maybe that will continue into the new year!
Fedex and USPS are running short delivery schedules on
Friday 12/24 and 12/31.
Warehouse Holiday Closures
The Milwaukee Warehouse was closed Thursday 12/23 and
Friday 12/24 and will be closed Friday 12/31/21
plus the normal Saturday and Sunday closures. The Easton
Warehouse and Jefferson City Warehouse was closed
Friday 12/24 and will be closed Friday 12/31 plus the
normal Saturday and Sunday closures.
With all of the warehouse and delivery to BRH
closures the outbound from BRH shipping schedule will
inevitably be delayed and will most likely not be back
on track until the week of January 17th. This happens
every year so no surprises at this point.
As with the pre Christmas shipping, all current orders
received had been shipped by Christmas that have arrived
at BRH by 12/23/21
There is a large amount of Rapido, Walthers, Atlas and
other manufacturers that we have received back orders
and advance reservations from that are currently being
checked in and sorted. These arrivals most likely will
not ship until after the first of the year.
USPS Rate Decrease
The holiday shipping cost increase with the USPS
officially ended today so prices have reverted back to
lower / regular pre holiday pricing.
THANKS FOR THE