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FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER
WE ARE KEEPING YOU INFORMED
 

NEWS AND UPDATES

06/19/22
HAPPY FATHERS DAY

Walthers Prices Are Going Up!

BRH was informed on Friday that MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) will be going into effect. With Walthers being our main source for product sales this could effect our overall pricing on the BRH website.

From Walthers:

Walthers New MAP Policy and modifications to the WalthersMainline® discount and Preorder Program

Effective July 15, 2022, Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. will be introducing a new Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) Policy as well as modifications to our WalthersMainline wholesale discount and Walthers wholesale preorder program discount.

New Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) Policy

Walthers new MAP Policy will cover WalthersProto®, WalthersMainline®, and WalthersTrack™. Our goal is to maintain, protect and enhance the value of our brands and products.

New WalthersMainline wholesale discount

In response to ever-changing market forces and continued rising costs, we will be introducing modifications to our WalthersMainline wholesale discount and wholesale Preorder Program discount.

WalthersMainline wholesale discount: The discount will go up by a least 5%.

What do these dealers changes mean for BRH?


The new MAP Policy combined with the discount changes was designed to help support your margins on these products as well as your overall profitability. In addition, they make WalthersProto, WalthersMainline, and WalthersTrack more accessible to our entire dealer base.

What do these changes mean for our customers?


Combining the new MAP Policy with the discount changes will ensure we provide an overall value to your customers by continuing to offer high-quality products at competitive prices, which is especially important during these inflationary times.

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So, when this occurs BRH will be adjusting its pricing to reflect the price increase on the in stock items we offer on our website. Be prepared and order at the lower prices by 07/14/22!

BRH does  not agree with the discount change so that Walthers can line their pocketsIt is also a virtually no enforceable policy. This is the same MAP message we have stated about BLI, NCE and Kato's MAP policy.

BRH wants you, our customer to get the best overall pricing! BRH does not have the time to adjust pricing on these products and product lines so the chips will fall where they will.

I would be better for Walthers, in this case, just to raise the product pricing and not put pricing restrictions and time frames for discounts or MAP in effect. But, as with all of these types of announcements, the manufacturers do not care about their customers and makes it harder for dealers to operate and make an operating profit! Regardless of what they think. I have been proven wrong yet!

More Walthers Changes!

In addition to the MAP Policy, Walthers recently raised the minimum wholesale order from $100 to $250. Which is one of the reasons BRH changed our ordering and shipping schedules as a back up if it remains slow.

Well here is some more bad news!

From Walthers:

Walthers is updating our terms and conditions regarding handling fees for minimum shippable orders. Under the current terms, a $5.00 handling fee is applied to orders totaling less than $150 in shippable products. Effective July 1, 2022, Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. is increasing the handling fee to $10.00 for all orders that ship with less than $500 in shippable products. The $10.00 fee will apply to all orders, regardless of On-the-Right-Track Tier Status, program status, promotions, or existing backorders, and cannot be waived.   All qualifying orders containing over $500 in shippable product will be exempt from this handling fee.

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What is not clear is whether if this applies to wholesale accounts like BRH or if this is consumer direct customers, or both.

Just like the surcharges now being charge by Atlas and Rapido these charges will have to passed on to you our customers since this handling fee is not part of the product cost.
Most orders BRH places are over this levels, there should be  no issues.  However, until we receive and invoice we at the time the shipment arrives at BRH, we will not know what that cost, if any will be.

For 18 years BRH has not paid for shipping from Walthers, or any other wholesaler or manufacturer because of the volume of product we purchase per Walthers policy.
Not sure how this announcement will affect things.


I guess we will find out in 2 weeks!


06/12/22

Slow Slow Slow!

The last 4 months as gas prices rise BRH sales have slowed considerably.

So BRH is adjusting its shipping schedule to match the current situation.  Currently it is talking 5 to 8 days for transmitted to the warehouses and manufactures order to arrive at BRH for shipping to you. That is up from just 3 days pre Covid. The wholesalers and manufacturers are processing the orders the same day, the delay is in the USPS, UPS and Fedex systems.

At this point the plan is to ship Monday, Tuesday and Thursday until ordering volume increases and  shipping infrastructure changes back to pre Covid . We will change ordering from the wholesalers and manufacturers to match as needed.

So, orders received from Friday 6am until Monday 6am will be ordered as needed from the wholesalers and manufacturers at 6am Monday. Items should arrive late Saturday based on current inbound shipping schedules from UPS, Fedex and USPS and should ship on Monday.

Orders received from Monday 6am until Wednesday 6am will be ordered as needed from the wholesalers and manufacturers at 6am Wednesday. Items should arrive late Monday based on current inbound shipping schedules from UPS, Fedex and USPS and should ship on the following Tuesday.

Orders received from Wednesday 6am until Friday 6am will be ordered as needed from the wholesalers and manufacturers at 6am Friday. Items should arrive late Wednesday based on current inbound shipping schedules from UPS, Fedex and USPS and should ship on the following Thursday.

BRH is trying to save gas and limit trips to the shipping department so that we keep prices down!

Also, the USPS did not pickup this past Fridays shipment until Saturday thus adding an additional day to the shipping mess!

Kato Ends Free Shipping

From Kato 06/09/22

To start, we want to thank you for all of your support of Kato USA, especially over the last few years since the pandemic started. It has been a very difficult time for all of us, with difficulties getting electronics manufactured, increases in shipping times out of Asia, and more. Thank you for sticking with us and your patience throughout this difficult time.

Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons including rising shipping costs I’m sorry to say that we will no longer be able to offer free shipping on dealer orders starting this month and will be instead charging exact shipping via USPS or UPS (if you have a preference, please let us know!) for any orders placed to Kato USA. We will also no longer be holding orders for more than a period of one (1) week in order to combine orders with other items. If you have a UPS account that you’d prefer we use to ship items to you, we can accommodate this. We hope that this will help prevent delays in shipping to hobby retailers of products that customers are eagerly waiting for.

What is not clear here is whether direct to consumers and shipments to dealers will be effected. Currently BRH does not order direct from Kato we order from the Milwaukee and Easton warehouses.

My feeling is that if free shipping ends at the wholesaler level the wholesale cost to BRH will most likely go up shortly.

So as I have stated many times,  if you see or need something either now or in the near future  I would suggest you order it now if it is available on our product search page.

Kadee Announces June Release: Sort Of!

It seems that product shortages are starting to occur so please be aware.

Here is the Kadee June Product Announcement received on 06/09/22

Sorry due to labor shortages, There will not be a new car release for the month of June.

Not sure where the labor shortage is. Is it a Kadee or in China at the factory.

Regardless, I feel this is going to be happening more and more with more and more companies.


Miniature World of Trains

MWOT will have an update a news letter update this week so keep an eye our for that.


06/05/22

Back From Vacation!

Got back from another Disney World vacation late on 05/26 after attending the previews for the new roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and a free late night at Hollywood Studios.  Great times and a great new roller coaster!

Also, we got a chance to the a SpaceX launch of the Boeing unmanned Star Cruiser which was pretty cool as well!

Unfortunately during the stay at the 'mouse' I was not able to get orders into the warehouses from 05/16 until 05/27 thus putting the shipping of the orders to you, our customers, in a timely manner. Also, with memorial day, another day was added to the delay.

As of this update orders from 05/16 6am until 05/27 6am have been received and shipped. Orders from 05/27 6am forward until 05/31 6am arrived late yesterday and should ship tomorrow, Monday.

As of this update there are no plans for travel until late September.

Horizon Hobby In Financial Trouble Again?

According to our sources, Lionel Trains has cut off Horizon Hobby from any future orders.
Back in 2012 / 2013 Horizon Hobby was having financial problems thus Blue Ridge  Hobbies stopped doing business with them due to their cash flow issues. The company subsequently sold internally to the CEO.

Are they having financial problems again and is that why Lionel is cutting them off?

Recent purchases of Hobbico (2018) and
AKA Products (2021) may be causing the issue.

Please note that any orders already placed through Horizon Hobby will be honored according to our sources, but Lionel we will not be accepting any NEW orders, including orders for the upcoming 2022 C2 catalog.

BRH is not having any issues in getting product from our the Easton and Milwaukee warehouses. The problem has been product availability.

All available items are listed on our product search page.


Still Slow!

As of this update sales are still very slow and product availability is tight and limited.

BRH has no control over this and can only offer what the wholesalers and manufacturers have  to sell.

Classic Metal Works

As other manufacturers have done, Classic Metal Works has imposed
a six percent surcharge on newly shipped items thanks to
increased materials and shipping costs. The surcharge will be
reflected on the product search page.


05/08/22

April Sales Report!

As predicted April 2022 Sales where down. The higher gas prices and over cost of living issues are driving down sales. Not to forgot the lack of product availability. We are reliving 2008-2012 again! But this time there seems to be an easy fix! The war in Ukraine is not helping either!

Anyway, BRH sales are down 17% year to year. New customers up 23% however and returning customers up 55%. Daily transaction up 13% but they are smaller transactions. Totals per transactions down 17% as well as item per transactions down 24%.

Can't sell what you do have to sell.
This is not the fault of BRH. It is a manufacturing and wholesaler issue.

So again, as I state each week, think ahead about what you need and order when it is available so you will have it when you need it! 


People Don't Read!


Why is it that people just want to waste my valuable time?

BRH has received several 1 star reviews again about store hours. Some complaining about the former $50 store visit request policy. So I recently ended that program and have closed the retail store to visitors since March 7th. Yet BRH just got another bad 1 star review. This person had the nerve to say "
OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. FEE WILL APPLY CONTACT FOR DETAILS." . I  could not believe that.  BRH just ended that policy!
Again, someone that did not read the wealth of information on the Google Reviews as well as the BRH Store Hours page!

I continually get emails and calls from people asking about a specific product and availability. If they would have taken the time to put the same info they are emailing BRH about into the Product Search Page they would get the exact info.

When I send or tell them about the Product Search Page direct link and the exact link to the item they emailed BRH about, I usually get no response.

Also, as noted all over our website, BRH for the last two months, does not have any retail store hours. Why is it that people continue to contact BRH about picking up at the retail store because they live nearby? Simply stated on the same web pages they got the phone number from it states just that!

Then when I tell them about the new policy and why BRH retail and shipping does not have  set hours now you never here from them again! If they needed model railroading "stuff" they most likely would order online and have it shipped. Since BRH has very very low prices and that they live nearby why didn't they order from BRH? If you order from BRH then the shipping should not be that expensive! Certainly less then ordering from some business out of state!

Also, another local person called and left a message about something they saw on the Product Search page and wanted to pickup. When I explained that BRH is an online retailer and that 99.9% of BRH business is from online shipped sales he said he would order online. To date BRH has not seen that order.

And so it goes!

Shopping Cart Updated

We have updated the shopping cart personal information fill in screens so be aware.
We have changed the sequence, removed some questions and added new ones pertaining to the
Miniature World of Trains™.

Some of our customers use "auto fill" to answer questions. By doing this some of the questions could be answered incorrectly which may lead to delays in shipping your order to you.

Miniature World of Trains

MWOT credit card investments and donations placed via your Blue Ridge Hobbies shopping cart order have started to be processed finally this past Thursday. This is a new credit card  processing system from the project and is taking a little longer to learn then the BRH processing system.

Receipts for your donations and investments will be emailed via the BRH shopping cart order number that you placed  it on. They will show up on your credit card statements as a Miniature World of Trains
transaction.

Some of these donations go back as far as early 2022. Sorry for the delay but it took a while to get the credit card processing company to understand how the project needs to process credit cards at this time.

On Monday it is our plan to do a regional press release here in the Upstate of South Carolina and get some location news coverage about the project. The press release will talk about the project but no a specific location. Right now we have 7 in mind. The last time we announced the permanent location we wanted for the non profit version when we where seeking funding, the location was revealed and within 30 days the building was sold to a developer thus nixing the lease deal. We will not make that mistake twice!

We will however talk about the project and what we are planning for the venue. Hopefully someone will cover it on the local news, radio and print.  I will let you know if something positive happens.

Join your fellow model railroaders in investing / donating / volunteering
to help build this new venue. 



THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!

 

 


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The prices and products reflected on these pages are subject to change without notice. Shipping, handling and sales tax are not included
and are added at the time your order is shipped to you or picked up at our retail store.
Prices on these pages are available for online sales only

Minimum Online Shopping Cart Order is $50.00 effective 07/27/20

All Phone Orders Are Subject To 5% Fee Based On The Overall Order Cost

All Shipped Orders Have A Minimum $2.00 Handling Fee
See our store policy and information for more details.

The information on our web pages are updated as frequently as possible.
100% accuracy of information is not guaranteed.

The  images are supplied by the manufacturers and wholesalers.
100% accuracy of information is not guaranteed.

"At Least One Or More Available At Our Warehouse"  does not indicate what is available for sale at the retail store.
"At Least One Or More Available At Our Warehouse"  indicates what is listed as on hand in our warehouse, the manufactures and wholesalers
warehouses or in our retail store as of the last Blue Ridge Hobbies® manufacturers product search page update. This includes but not
 limited to items that are dealer returns, show stock, reserved items, damaged product, and otherwise unavailable for sale items.
Therefore, not all items listed as "At Least One Available At Our Warehouse"
 are available for sale or distribution at your time of viewing the product search page as product availability changes throughout each day. 

The Unknown Availability  or Advance Reservation listing shows items expected to arrive according to the manufacturers or wholesalers supplied information.  
The information on this page is updated as frequently as possible. 100% accuracy of information is not guaranteed.
Check with Blue Ridge Hobbies® via email at
contactus@BlueRidgeHobbies.com for updated information.

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