Author Topic: Prices Skyrocket  (Read 1751 times)

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steamrail43

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Prices Skyrocket
« on: July 23, 2007, 06:07:45 PM »
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For years now we in Australia have been buying N Scale Lifelike Diesel Locos for around $75au, Atlas and Kato sell for around $175 - $200au, now that Walthers have taken over Lifelike and the distributor has been changed we will be paying around $140 for Lifelike Diesels, I dont know how they will compete with Atlas and Kato but that is one mighty big price hike.

Dave.

3rdrail

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Re: Prices Skyrocket
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 06:58:57 PM »
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The advance in prices has nothing to do with the change in distribution, but everything to do with exchange rates. The US dollar has declined in relation to almost all other currencies except the Japanese yen. It is now at virtual parity with the Canadian dollar, where a couple of years ago the Canadian dollar was only worth 70ยข US. The Pound Sterling is worth almost $2.00 US, a year or two ago it was less than $1.70.

The Australian dollar has also advanced against the US dollar. We're trying to cheapen our exports...

ljudice

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Re: Prices Skyrocket
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 08:43:43 PM »
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The recent LL GP38-2 is on par - for the most part with Atlas/Kato. Probably smoother running, though missing the Atlas painted handrails and of course having a moulding error (lack of sight glass on the side).

By and large I would say they are in the same class as Atlas/Kato though...

Lou


wes_sutton

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Re: Prices Skyrocket
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2007, 09:57:57 PM »
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The way exchange rates are going at the moment should make imported things cheaper for us here in OZ.

With the former Lifelike stuff, it used to be shipped to Oz straight from China and in fact we got them much, much cheaper than people in the US were paying for them (and sometime before they even hit the US mainland). When the Mallet's first came out, there were people in the US in the know, ordering them from Australian suppliers because they were substantially cheaper (30-40%) here than in the US.

Whether they were cheaper here because they were shipped direct, or whether someone in the factory in China had a nice little arrangement going, we will probably never know.

All Walthers have done is restored the status quo and probably taken firm control of the distribution process.

I agree that Lifelike is now on a par with Kato and Atlas, it's just that now they have to compete on equal terms for our consumer dollars.

It isn't a price hike as such, more - as they say in the financial markets - a price correction.

Wes   

jimk

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Re: Prices Skyrocket
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2007, 10:09:29 AM »
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If the prices of Atlas and Kato locos have stayed the same, then I would say the exchange rate is not the answer.  Since the increased quality of the Life Like models, their prices have also increased to match the competitors.  What I liked about Life Like is they improved the quality of the models and kept the price down until consumers started taking them seriously.  I was able to get E7s, E8s, PA1s, FA2s, and Erie Builts for less than half of what a new Atlas and Kato loco.  I then bought a GP60 at a price comparable to Atlas and Kato.  So the prices have gone up, but the quality is there as well. 

3rdrail

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Re: Prices Skyrocket
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 10:19:27 AM »
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I had forgotten...Wes Sutton has it exactly right, somehow Life-Like models were getting to Australia direct from China, bypassing Life-Like's markup. Walthers closed this "loophole", so the prices are now higher. Some importers do not have worldwide rights to Chinese made models, nor Slovenian made models for that matter. Look at the fine print on some of the IHC ads. They have North American rights only.

steamrail43

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Re: Prices Skyrocket
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2007, 03:58:19 PM »
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I am certainly not complaining about the quality of Lifelike, I have several LL Diesels and are more than happy with them, I got my first one 11 years ago, unbelievable price $32au, less than half of the others. ;D

I guess I am just a little peeved that they can sell something for $70 then sell the same thing a few weeks later for $140, seems to me that someone is making lots of $$$$$$$, guess its the sign of the times.  ???

Picked up an SW8, SW9, 2 x GP20s, GP18 and an Erie Built at a total cost $450au before the price hike, after this it will be Atlas and Kato. ;D


Dave.