Re: Store displays

We were recently on a trip and I was able to stop in a number of hobby
shops. I noticed that most of the ones I visited had just about all of
their HO engines on display in large glass cases. That sorta surprised
me because I'm not used to seeing that in my area. Most shops I'm
familiar with just have the unopened boxes on a shelf where you can read
the end labels.
I've always liked seeing displays. I'm sure I probably purchased
numerous locomotives that I otherwise would not have bought had I not
seen them on display.
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of hobby shops. I
their HO engines
because I'm not used
have the unopened
What does your
something to
and war. : )
The store where my repair shop is uses the glass display cases so customers can see what they are buying, but keeps unopened boxes on the shelf for their purchase.
If the stock gets down to just what's left in the case due to 'limited runs' they give a decent discount for "shop wear".
Len Head Rust Scraper KL&B Eastern Lines RR Museum
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I like the locos displayed in a case. Other wise it is sort of like going into a new car showroom with nothing to see in there. More sales appeal. If they could be displayed in a well done realistic setting which perhaps could double as a test track that would be even better in my view. Imagine having a sample of all the engines on a medium sized module and customers are encouraged to go for test drive. Presentation is a big part of a good sales pitch.
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Lynn Caron
It seems odd to do this on Proto engines but I have seen samples in case this way, not the entire inventory.
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Interesting comment.
I wonder how many new 1:1 scale cars would get sold if the dealers kept them wrapped up in the boxes or even shrink wrapped.
R. Boone, the Elder Bon Vivant, Raconteur and Occasional Microferroequinologist
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One of the LHS in my area has several signs in bold letters by the locos and rolling stock that state "DON'T OPEN THE BOXES". I just buy elsewhere.
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I know that we've picked up at least a couple engines that we wouldn't have thought of if we hadn't seen them in the display case. I'm a great believer in wanting to see what a kit is going to look like in the finished state or what the engine looks like with all the details attached.
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Dale Kramer
I like the displays, our stores do this, as do the ones I visit in Toronto. It makes it easier to dream, and to comapre, and buy too, even if you don't really need it.
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In the old days we had Swallens, a local discount concrete-floor bunker store that up until the 1970's had a respectable train department. But they kept EVERYTHING behind the counter on shelves, and you had to ask. Ask for what? I dunno, I couldn't read an Athearn box label from 6 feet away. They had a glass counter case, but it only contained whatever items they wanted to feature, usually locos. The guys behind the counter in the old days would keep pulling Athearn boxes off the shelf and showing them to you as long as you wanted... after while, they fired the hobby manager - after all, why have an actual experienced hobby person when you can get another bad-attitude punk. Swallen's was notorious for hiring the people nobody else would hire.... rock bottom. By about 1975 or so, the store was completely staffed with utter idiots, and jerks. They finally went under around 1990 I think... a family business driven into the ground by the second generation, although they blamed Wal-Mart I'm sure.
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
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Andy Harman
This question makes me wonder about something else of a similar nature. Lets say you go to your favourite train shop and they don't have what you're interested in on the shelf so you can actually see and hold it before you buy. It may not even be a RTR item but a kit of a car or structure. How do you satisfy yourself that the finished model will probably meet you needs when you finally finish it and place it on the layout. Can a manufacturer's website give you enough information to allow you to make a confident purchase, with a combination of description and pictures? If not what would you say is lacking? Can a manufacturer's reputation for producing quality models, overcome the disadvantage of not actually seeing the new item.
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Lynn Caron
In some cases I'd say yes. For example, I can depend to a high degree that Campbell will produce a high quality kit that will both challenge me in assembling it and look good on the layout afterwards, assuming I haven't botched the construction. I'd probably prefer to see a photo of what the final structure looks like prior to purchase to have some idea of the overall shape and appearance, and the Walther's catalog is fine for that.
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Rick Jones
Bought my DL-109 off the glass shelf. Didn't have a choice. It was the only one left in C&NW.
It comes out of the box pretty easily, so I don't think detail getting broken is a problem unless the guy handling it is a complete butter-fingered oaf.
Jay Modeling the North Shore & North Western C&NW/CNS&M in 1940-1955 Due to spam, all e-mails except those from selected addresses will be refused. Thanks for your understanding.
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This is basic merchandising, something that is sadly lacking in most hobby shops. It's poor practice to put out EVERY engine, but there should be an EXAMPLE model of every different kind for people to see. A shop can leave the examples on display for several years, and then just write them off as an advertising expense.
Also, there should be example structures, and example freight cars, and so on. People need to see what is available. How many people have ever seen a built-up Tichy or Westerfield model? I bet they'd sell a lot more if people could see the final results.
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Achmed Ptooey

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