COMMERCIAL: Some help appreciated with possible business venture

Hello all, I am considering setting up a small business, specialising in mail-order of UK outline models to modellers in the Euro-zone countries, as I am
based in Ireland. In an attempt to gauge the size of the possible market, I am asking for some assistance If you are based in a Euro-zone country and would prefer to purchase in Euro, and wouldn't mind taking part in a little market research, please drop me an e-mail
derekheath(at)eircom(dot)net
Thanks for reading!
Del
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 21:55:26 +0000, Derek Heath

Living in France and modelling UK I find myself almost living in eBay as very few dealers in the UK make enough effort to catalogue their goodies online. There are specialists with limited range, there are dozens of sellers of RTR but mention the word "Spares" or "Decals", "Name/number plates" and silence reigns.
Buying is not a problem for anyone as PayPal type systems, ordinary bank cards etc suffice for just about everything.
However, the Germans have some bizarre bank card habits which can leave you frustrated rather, and come to think of it the Austrians are similar. My old Lloyds card worked in the African wastes and the US back woods but would not buy petrol in France. My French card was unwelcome in Italy! You cannot use cheques (euro) freely between member states and the UK clings to its dark ages pound sterling and almost unique time zone.
In short dealing in Euro or sterling is really a myth and the plastic reigns supreme.
There is however definitely a market in Europe - even if it is only me!
Regards
Peter A Montarlot
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"peter abraham" wrote
There are specialists with limited range, there are

I suppose it's a simple question Peter of retailers stocking what provides a return for both the space utilised and the cash investment necessary.
It used to be a relatively simple matter in the old days with Hornby where maybe 100 spares would vitually cover their entire product range, but after the acquisition of models from Dapol and the shift of manufacture to China the number of spares has probably increased more than ten-fold, and availability from the manufacturer is limited to a few months after the last production run of that particular model.
The same with name, numberplates and decals. The various ranges are just too vast for most small retailers to carry in any sort of depth. When all the small shops are gone due to competition from the mail order big boys, the situation will only get worse.
John.
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On Thu, 9 Feb 2006 10:45:35 -0000, "John Turner"

    I do appreciate the problem - especially the big guys who grab the Xmas trade and leave the problems for the full timers. That is not my beef! There is a long list of accredited repair / dealers for Hornby but an amazing number have no stocks.
    We have the same problem here as traders of all shades refuse to keep stock and expect the customer to know exactly what they need and be prepared to pay in advance even if the result is anincorrect component. Most of the spares numbers are cachι to the trade and not available to the end user. When I had my own business (electronic and pneumatic controls systems) there was every effort to shut out people like me even in the various trades involved.
    Yes everyone must make their living but one of the ailments in Europe is to shed all support sytems and trained, skilled technicians in favour of fast buck, quick turnover using cheap unskilled sales people.
    Gosh, that feels better.
Peter A
Montarlot
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peter abraham wrote:

Until recently you couldn't find Hornby stuff over here in The Netherlands for love nor money. At least I couldn't and I frequent things like Eurospoor and the train market in Houten and frequently wander around the big towns in the Randstad.
Curiously enough, a couple of years ago I started seeing Hornby stuff in what was then my local hobby shop in Utrecht. Indeed, the wagons were actually cheaper to buy there than in the UK! Equally curiously enough this change of heart seemed to coincide with Hornby's live steam product.
Recently I've seen more places stocking Hornby basics (few engines here, trucks there) and they all seem to have one thing in common: the live steam product. Looks like it's managed to create a presence here where previously there was none.
As to the original idea... if I had a job (and therefore readies) I'd be interested, especially when at the last show (couple of weeks ago in Rijswijk) there was only one stand selling BB motorised bogies and then at the stupid price of more than EUR 72. As it was I picked up what I suspect is a Lima motor bogie for EUR 10 to stick in the cheaply bought Lima coaches that I plan to butcher for an experiment (assuming I can mount it).
The original ideal may work but (a) the prices have to be reasonable and (b) I agree with what Peter said: plastic reigns.
-- Rod
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it).
Funnily enough, the same thing happened here in Atlanta USA. The local big hobbystore stocked live steam, and now has a small collection of Hornby / Bachman. Rob
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The British are coming!
Cheers, Steve
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*Back*. You missed out the important word!
--
Dave,
Frodsham
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contains these words:

Technically don't we still have a claim on California ... natives, the real owners excepted of course?
--
All the best,

Chris Wilson
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Possibly. But would we _really_ want it?
--
Dave,
Frodsham
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contains these

Oh good grief no!
--
All the best,

Chris Wilson
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Chris Wilson wrote:

I'd sell it off to the highest bidder.
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contains these

Well, the Hawaiian State Flag still incorporates the Union Jack (Flag), a symbolic hangover from when we *did* sell the state off to the highest bidder, so there is a precedent!
Cheers, Steve
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Steve W wrote:

But we've never owned Hawaii (or the Sandwich Islands as they used to be called). Originally they flew a version of the Red Ensign, because of the Kings friendship with a Naval Captain, and later it was changed, but still kept the Union Jack part.
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On Thu, 9 Feb 2006 23:50:53 -0000, "Steve W"

Hawaii was never British. The Hawaiian king just liked the flag.
--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK

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Shown on http://www.50states.com/hawaii.htm and http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/states/hawaii /
--
Colin

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wrote:

Hi Arthur, I think you may be swallowing the politically-correct sanitised version.
These are the simple facts from http://www.shgresources.com/hi/symbols/flag /
"In 1794, King Kamehameha of Hawaii was given a British flag by Captain George Vancouver. It is believed that he was the first to raise a flag in Hawaii. Until 1816, Hawaii was under British protection"
and
a.. 1794-1816 Hawaii flew Union Jack as its National Flag
It was a de facto British Protectorate.
Hawaii's turbulent history is well explained here:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/pac/hhl/hhl25.htm
Cheers, Steve
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On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 00:00:06 -0000, "Steve W"
Some sailors might have thought so, but Britain disagreed about this - and protection isn't the same thing as owning anyway.

Leaving aside the author's confusion about the use of "England", and the union of the crowns and governments of England and Scotland:
" But the astute Ka-meha-meha, while looking for English protection from the greed of other nations, stipulated that the Hawaiians should "govern themselves in their own way and according to such laws as they themselves might impose." The action of Vancouver was not ratified in England, owing to more important European questions, and a real protectorate was never established. "
If you do some Googling, you'll find the details are disputed. It doesn't help that many modern USians have a bit of a fetish about flags, reading rather more into them and their use than modern Europeans tend to.
--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK

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wrote:

Well of course I agree, Arthur. *Everything* is disputed nowadays.
And I know what you mean about clinging to meaningless symbols. When I was at the MoD I tried to introduce TOPS codes to replace the old Regimental names. The Black Watch would have become the 48/2 and all the soldiers would have been numbered in the 48 200 range instead of having names like "McTavish".
Just think, none of this sentimental nonsense we are getting nowadays when some poor squaddie gets dismembered in Iraq. Just a notice that number 48 297 has been withdrawn from active service. Unfortunately the generals were having none of it, and I was quietly transferred to the Department of Health.
Cheers, Steve
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contains these

Well I need a Christmas present for Granny next year, I usually give bath salts ... do you think you could have it gift wrapped? :-)
--
All the best,

Chris Wilson
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