A whinge about peco's website

OK, OK, I know that you guys won't think this is all that important, but since Peco does solicit trade outside the UK, I think they ought to
figure out how to market their stuff beyond the seas.
Basically, I find Peco's website practically useless. As a marketing tool it fails abysmally.
a) The only pictures are for new products. I go to a manufacturer's website to _see_ what they have on offer. Lists of products don't mean a thing without pictures.
b) There are no downloadable catalogs. Print catalogs are offered, but at prices that suggest that Peco sees them as a "profit centre", not a marketing tool.
c) And then there's that really, really tedious "small, medium,large" radius. Since there is no agreement between manufacturers what these terms mean, they are worse than useless. In any case, I think of "medium radius" as 30" or thereabouts, which I suspect is not what Peco means by it. (The only thing worse IMO than "medium radius" etc is the Continental "Era II, III" and so on.)
I do like the printable diagrams of their track.
cheers, wolf k.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wolf K wrote: [...]

I did send Peco an e-mail before posting this rant.
wolf k.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps you don't know about Peco's and Railway Modeller's early attitude to the internet. To say that they behaved like Luddite's would be a slight understatement. As you have worked out, they seem to be more interested in selling their paper catalogues rather than giving information to their customers. To be fair though they do have PDF files of their points which you can use to plan layouts.
Fred X
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But not for Code 55 N gauge track, or for 0 gauge track. The former *might* have the same geometry as the code 80 stuff, but it would have been *so* easy for them to say so.
Pity, as these are exactly the two track ranges I was looking to use... Sod's law again.
In general, I agree with Wolf's comments. They are not alone, too many sellers seem to regard information about their products as some kind of state secret. I really can't see the point of loco kit makers, for example, not even bothering to show you a picture of the product, which may cost hundreds. Do they expect you to buy on the strength of that? OTOH, some go the extra mile, for instance I commend Jim McGeown of Connoisseur Models, who even has a fair percentage of his instruction sheets available for download.
David
--
David Littlewood

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Comet are good like that. Lots of instructions and helpful stuff as well as good photos/drawings of many of their products. In fact find it to be an easy site to use and seems regularly updated. Wish Trevor at Mercian would add a few more pictures/diagrams to his site, have managed to be bit confused with his 4mm Peckett.
Cheers, Simon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 17:02:30 -0000, Fred X put finger to keyboard and typed:

That's still fairly common across the industry, though. Bachmann, for example, won't allow Internet-only retailers to open a trade account with them. And Hornby's practice of attempting to keep their new release schedule a secret until the official release date is a throwback to pre-Internet days.
Of the major UK manufacturers, none of them really exploits the Internet to its maximum potential. Hornby has the best website, but they stick to print-era publicity practices and charge for their catalogue. Dapol are the best at using the Internet for giving out news of new products, but they don't have decent online product listing. Bachmann's website is functional but limited, and Peco are still stuck in the web 0.1 era.
Much the same applies to the retailers. Only a couple - Hattons and Rails - have what I'd call a professional-looking website design, and both of those could benefit from some significant improvements. Ontracks have the strapline "founded in 1999"; they might just as well have "website designed in 1999" as well.
Mark
--
Please sign my petition: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/geopostcode /
Read why: http://mark.goodge.co.uk/musings/422/locate-that-postcode /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 12 Feb 2010 21:24:11 -0000, Mark Goodge

But that's a different matter of internet retailers undercutting the bricks and mortar shops. I'm sure that any shop owner could tell you stories of having spent a lot of time allow a customer to inspect a model and then the customer saying that they are going to buy it more cheaply on line. I don't think that it would do any of us any good if in a few years time there was only a few model retailers left, due to the online only shops taking all the business.
Fred X
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 18:06:00 -0000, Fred X put finger to keyboard and typed:

That's not a problem unique to railway modelling, though. It's an issue for any retailer, in almost any line of business. But, in any case, refusing to trade with Internet-only retailers isn't doing anything to prevent the products being available on the Internet. You can even buy Bachmann products on Amazon, despite the fact that Amazon doesn't have a bricks and mortar outlet.
Mark
--
Please sign my petition: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/geopostcode /
Read why: http://mark.goodge.co.uk/musings/422/locate-that-postcode /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 20:47:54 -0000, Mark Goodge

It's not about selling on the internet though, it's about a proper model shop selling the items. If a model shop sells it via their website it's still money that is going into a bricks and mortar shop which will keep the business going, which presumably what Bachmann are concerned about.
And Amazon don't sell Bachmann, but model and toy shops sell their items via Amazon.
Fred X
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fred X wrote:

That sort of thing seems to be a common misconception - same happens with "I bought this widget from eBay". No they didn't!
--
Paul Boyd
http://www.paul-boyd.me.uk /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

SNIP
Beware of some of those toyshop prices. Nearly bought some lego item from one at GBP160, then noticed lego catalogue advertised it at GBP120. Sure enough lego website sold it at the catalogue price. Its so easy to get caught !
Cheers, Simon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 14 Feb 2010 17:31:22 -0000, Fred X put finger to keyboard and typed:

Online retailers *are* "proper" shops. To suggest that an online model retailer isn't a proper model shop is as daft as suggesting that Amazon isn't a proper bookshop. A shop is defined by what it sells, not by where it sells it.

Which, to customers, is exactly the same thing. And it also has exactly the same efect on Bachmann and traditional bricks-and-mortar shops.
In any case, it's easy to get around the requirement for a bricks-and-mortar shop simply by having a small customer-facing showroom at what is otherwise a distribution warehouse. That's what OnTracks do, for example - I'd be surprised if anything more than a tiny proportion of their sales is to personal callers.
(Although Ontracks is notable also for having a really badly designed website; they may be the closest that we've got to a major pure-play online model railway retailer but they're wasting a lot of their potential).
Mark
--
Please sign my petition: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/geopostcode /
Read why: http://mark.goodge.co.uk/musings/422/locate-that-postcode /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 14 Feb 2010 21:45:48 -0000, Mark Goodge

When I say a proper shop I mean something that a customer can actually walk into.

What, Amazon selling Bachmann items is the same as bricks and mortar model shops selling Bachmann on Amazon????

I think the main reason for Bachmann having this rule is for those Ebay traders who run their businesses from their homes or small locations, rather than the big online retailers like On Tracks.
Fred X
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 15 Feb 2010 16:01:50 -0000, Fred X put finger to keyboard and typed:

Right. Whereas most people these days think a proper shop is somewhere you can buy something from.

To the customer, yes. They go to the Amazon website, they place the order, money is taken from their card and the item arrives in the post. To Bachmann it's the same; an item has been bought by a customer who never crossed the door of a bricks and mortar shop.

Not that I'm a great fan of eBay traders, but since when has there been anything wrong with a business model that starts out small and then expands? If Bachmann are happy for big companies to sell online, but not for small ones to do so, then that's only going to make it more likely that the only online shops will be the box shifters - which isn't exactly beneficial to the hobby as a whole.
Mark
--
Please sign my petition: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/geopostcode /
Read why: http://mark.goodge.co.uk/musings/422/locate-that-postcode /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Wouldnt have thought so, bet theyve had the rule for longer than ebay has been around. More likely they feel that they are sending goods to an established address so theres a greater chance of getting goods paid for. Accept there are lots of ways of ensuring stuff paid for but could their accounting systems cope with them - dont forget this is the distributer that closes for 2 weeks every year to do a stock take.
Cheers, Simon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Amazon in the US sells Bachmann Direct, not just through other vendors.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh right. I guess that the US Bachmann have a different policy then.
Fred X
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fred X wrote:

[...]
No, different rules of commerce.
cheers, wolf k.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Also its worth having one of their catalogues as a reference especially when starting out. Does have fair bit of info in.
Cheers, Simon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I would if they did them for O-gauge.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.