Is our hobby getting more expensive or what?

A friend of mine at UC Santa Cruz, a gimpy grunt who'd been at Khe Sahn, son of a carny family, married to the daughter of a carny family, and a great collector and flea market wheeler dealer, said this: "If it won't sell at $5, change the price to $50 and some fool will jump on it."
Reply to
Steve Caple
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Relative to the shell, which can take a lot of abuse, and to the drive, which is pretty well protected, they are indeed fragile, however crude or fine they may be. The wire stanchions and handrails don't break easily, but they ARE fiddly to install if you are trying to make money.
I don't remember this - IIRC the F7s and GP38-2s that I bought came with a separate small manila envelope of detail parts that had to be installed. Perhaps your dealer assembled them before putting them on display?
I prefer to call it compromise. If it lets me have 3 decently detailed models for the price of 1 superdetailed one then I'm all for it. Of course I haven't bought any diesels for a while anyway, except when they come with other stuff at a train show.
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
Reply to
pawlowsk002
>it's far better to actually deal with MSRP
Reply to
Stephanie Miller
I'm going to use a '75 Walthers catalog and the AIER calculator for the following, the today price is using the calculator to show what the '75 price would equate to:
Walther HW passenger car kit--$9.75, today $35.38 [it's amazing how close that is to a Branchline kit of a similar car]
Walthers TS-5 switch motor--$4.95 Today $17.96 [really close to the cost of a Tortoise]
Here's an interesting one, SS Limited (remember them) roundhouse kit--$86.00 today $312.03
Tools seem to be cheaper, Dremel moto-tool $49.95 today $181.23
The point here is you can plug in any price and see what it would/should be today. Using this data it seems to me the hobby has not gotten more expensive but in many cases cheaper.
Reply to
Stephanie Miller
Agreed, and when you consider price/quality ratios, most current production much, much cheaper. Eg, that Walthers passenger car kit you mention. It had a basic wood body with pressed metal sides, cast metal ends (which required a great deal of cleanup), some metal detail parts (the steam traps were small nails, BTW), and no trucks or couplers. I have a couple of those old Walthers cars - and I keep them for sentimental reasons only.
Also, people have gotten used "deep discount" prices and have forgotten that in the 50s/60 and early 70s you rarely if ever were able to purchase model railroad items at the heavy discounts that are common today. IMO, many consumers think of MSRPs as pure fantasy, and with good reason. There's dumping of excess product once the initial market has been satisfied and the expected profit has been realised. There are distributors that operate a direct-to-consumer division selling product at close to the dealer discount of 40%. The secondhand market pegs 20-30% of original price as the norm. And so on. What's a "comparable price" in such a market and with such expectations?
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
[...] I can actually buy that engine, on ebay, cheaper today. For those
If anything, the AIER's calculation of current prices gives you figures that are too low, because disposable income has increased considerably in the last 50 years. In the 1950s, the $1.25 (Can) cost of an Athearn kit represented about 2x minimum wage in Alberta, and was in the lower range of typical industrial hourly wages of the time (at the local petro-chemical plant in which I worked for a year, wages ranged from $1.33 to $2.78/hour, which was higher than in other industries.) Thus, as a proportion of income, model railroads are cheaper now than they were back then. If you go with median family incomes, the AEIR's figures IMO are 30-50% too low to provide a fair comparison of prices.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
I agree...and if you look at how much easier it is today to find used model RR equipment via Ebay, Model RR shows (Greenberg, etc) then it can be viewed as even less expensive than looking at the AIER calculator.
Cheers, Bill S.
Reply to
Bill Sohl
I had that exact thang happen to me a loooong time ago (1964, I think) when I was still New Yawk Pete. Worked in the office at a furniture mfg./custom cabinet shop when the owner gimme me a planed two or three inch thick slice of a big ol' rosewood tree and told me to have fun. I made it into a very attractive coffee table with a pedestal base.
At that time we had a hole-in-the-wall retail outlet on east 33rd St. and I drew Saturday duty one weekend, so I put the table in the front window. A young expensively dressed couple came in and expressed interest in it but we hadn't made a price yet. I phoned the boss at home and asked how much to charge. He said, "Well, the slice was free and you only took a few hours to make it... try to get $250." When I relayed the price to the couple they said they'd think about it and left.
I was not in a good mood that day due to a bad hangover and a series of desperate unsuccessful calls to try and get a date with a really fine woman whom I'd met at a big party in the village the night before, so when another couple that could easily have interchanged with the first lookers asked the price I said, rudely, NY style, "800 bucks."
Five minutes later I was putting it in the trunk of a cab for 'em. Once the check cleared the boss loved me for it and I feel very fortunate to've gotten my lesson in this particular odd aspect of human nature so early on.
Texas Pete
Reply to
Texas Pete
Wolf, Its comforting to know that prices at not too out of whack and that folks are unable afford some things so much better than what they couldn't afford twenty years ago. Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Favinger
"Texas Pete" kirjoitti viestissä: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com...
And what we learn from this..... It´s not fool to ask, it´s fool to pay ;)
Reply to
Jarkko Lundén
The rate of parting of a fool and his money is directly proportionate to the magnitude of the fool and the _square_ of the quantity of money in his pockets!
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
Reply to
pawlowsk002
What worries me, I mean really worries me, is that these glitz-dazzled bozos are members of the "executive class." They're running our businesses. Explains a lot, IMO.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
Their reality, making a million or more a year, gives them the option to buy whatever they want without worrying about costs. Their time is worth more to them per hour than a table at $800. The folks at the top of the food chain also value exclusivity and privacy far more than being concerned aabout saving a few bucks. How else would these top end boutiques selling shirts and other apparel at hundreds of dollars per item manage to exist?
Cheers, Bill S.
Reply to
Bill Sohl
I think that's what the Scarecrow said on the wizard of OZ right after he got his brain...
Reply to
Big Rich Soprano
Naw, it was a misstatement of the Pythagorean Theorem.
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
Reply to
pawlowsk002
snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu spake thus:
I thought that was "The squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the other two squaws." Or something like that.
Reply to
David Nebenzahl
[...]
Zinnngggg! (I needed that.:-))
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
Ug...
Reply to
Big Rich Soprano
Big Rich... it would help to back up your claim of "doubling prices as soon as a product line is bought" with some proof.
Reply to
Mark Mathu
What we need to establish is a "cost-of-modeling-index" to keep track of the prices of common modeling products.
Maybe a plastic freight car kit, a small loco, and a bottle of paint.
:-)
Reply to
Mark Mathu

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