Author Topic: Factory Direct Trains  (Read 4512 times)

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bobcat

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Factory Direct Trains
« on: February 26, 2010, 11:15:15 AM »
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Isn't Factory Direct Trains really just PCM?

I just got an email from FDT and they are selling the new PAs for $159.95. That is the same price that BLW is selling them for.

If they are both the same (and I'm sure they are), why in the world would a retailer ever want to carry their line only to be undercut by them. Because I am sure the regular brick and mortar stores are trying to sell them at the MSRP.

sizemore

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 11:21:11 AM »
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Avid buyers in the market and smarter than paying full MSRP. If I sell to Joe Blow Trains, for 50% of the retail and he sells to you for 75% of the retail, he's making money. If I sell my model for 75% of the retail to the end consumer, I get a higher profit margin than selling all of my stock to Joe Blow Trains at 50% MSRP to sell to the end consumer.

The S.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 12:05:21 PM »
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FDT is a funny thing. It IS PCM. They may claim not to be, but they are. They share tables at shows, operate very closely together, etc... You can think of them as their own Walthers Terminal Hobby Shop. They're the retail arm of PCM.

As such, they've probably saved PCM's bacon by giving them a vehicle through which to quickly and easily sell stock that their regular wholesale/retail channels weren't buying.

However, at the same time, they've destroyed PCM's credibility in the eyes of that very wholesale/retail channel. This is because FDT was blowing out products and severly undercutting the retailers who took the risk stocking PCM's products.

As such, PCM is pretty much going to have to become a direct to customer company, because if I were a hobby shop owner/operator, I sure as hell wouldn't stock their products. Maybe special-order them for customers, but never stock them, because I'd KNOW that in a few months PCM would just cut me off at the knees as soon as they needed some cash.

Chulvis

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 12:40:55 PM »
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As such, PCM is pretty much going to have to become a direct to customer company, because if I were a hobby shop owner/operator, I sure as hell wouldn't stock their products. Maybe special-order them for customers, but never stock them, because I'd KNOW that in a few months PCM would just cut me off at the knees as soon as they needed some cash.

Bang on. I special order it but do not stock it. Don't trust them.



SkipGear

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 12:47:05 PM »
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Ordering PCM/BLI models for a brick and morter it like playing russian roulette. Spin the chamber and see if this model is going to be a sell out or not. I love the models, I hate the company.

The last thing I ordered for our shop was the CB&Q E8's, and that was for me. I haven't ordered any stock for the shop since the E7's. We were fortunate enough that the E7's that we picked sold out pretty quick so they never made it to the blowout pricing. The CB&Q E8's were the same way, sold out before they hit the stores pretty much. A customer saw mine and wanted some for himself. I told him the only way he would have gotten them was to pre-order, they are already gone.

The gamble is, what will sell out, what won't. If it doesn't move fast, you can expect them to be on FDT at 50% off in 6 months or less. We didn't order any PA's. I had not one single person ask about them and really, who needs another PA anyhow? (Sorry ATSF and SP modelers, although the Delaware and Hudson PA is pretty nice)

E6's......who knows. I will probably order the B&O's for myself. It's not worth the risk of missing out on the release while taking a chance on them going on blowout pricing. Other than that, not sure if any more will be ordered. Even the distributors are only ordering pre-orders. Walthers and Horizon don't seem to set on the new releases very long at all. I doubt they order more than a dozzen over their confirmed preorders, or maybe just enough to make a case lot out of the order.
Tony Hines

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 02:21:10 PM »
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FDT is a funny thing. It IS PCM. They may claim not to be, but they are. They share tables at shows, operate very closely together, etc... You can think of them as their own Walthers Terminal Hobby Shop. They're the retail arm of PCM.

As such, they've probably saved PCM's bacon by giving them a vehicle through which to quickly and easily sell stock that their regular wholesale/retail channels weren't buying.

However, at the same time, they've destroyed PCM's credibility in the eyes of that very wholesale/retail channel. This is because FDT was blowing out products and severly undercutting the retailers who took the risk stocking PCM's products.

As such, PCM is pretty much going to have to become a direct to customer company, because if I were a hobby shop owner/operator, I sure as hell wouldn't stock their products. Maybe special-order them for customers, but never stock them, because I'd KNOW that in a few months PCM would just cut me off at the knees as soon as they needed some cash.

I may be wrong (most likely) but I thought the owner of Factory Direct Trains is the brother of one of the main guys at PCM/BLI.

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 02:57:28 PM »
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Funny, my PA's arrived in the mail today.  Just ordered them 2 days ago and not from Factory Direct.  They run fine and the paint is decent (PRR).  The typical Alco sound surprised me as I was thinking they would reuse the EMD sound from their E7 and 8s.  The horn has better control then their E's.  Runs great at slow speed but, as typical of PCM, any dirty track will stall it.  Haven't reset DCC as yet and it does run too fast at higher throttle speeds.

Guess it's time to sell my older PA (LL) as this one is much better.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 03:16:59 PM »
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FDT is a funny thing. It IS PCM. They may claim not to be, but they are. They share tables at shows, operate very closely together, etc... You can think of them as their own Walthers Terminal Hobby Shop. They're the retail arm of PCM.

As such, they've probably saved PCM's bacon by giving them a vehicle through which to quickly and easily sell stock that their regular wholesale/retail channels weren't buying.

However, at the same time, they've destroyed PCM's credibility in the eyes of that very wholesale/retail channel. This is because FDT was blowing out products and severly undercutting the retailers who took the risk stocking PCM's products.

As such, PCM is pretty much going to have to become a direct to customer company, because if I were a hobby shop owner/operator, I sure as hell wouldn't stock their products. Maybe special-order them for customers, but never stock them, because I'd KNOW that in a few months PCM would just cut me off at the knees as soon as they needed some cash.

I may be wrong (most likely) but I thought the owner of Factory Direct Trains is the brother of one of the main guys at PCM/BLI.

Could be. Wouldn't surprise me.

They often share booths at shows too. Here they were at Timonium a few years back.
Because it's tough to tell the separation, that's BLI/PCM on the left, and FDT on the right.



For all intents and purposes, they ARE the same entity. Maybe different books, maybe different names on the paperwork, but the same thing.

tom mann

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 03:25:43 PM »
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Ed, I know Timonium is a stag party, but I didn't realize that women are so rare that a 'women' label needs to be placed over them.

wazzou

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 03:31:25 PM »
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Ed, I know Timonium is a stag party, but I didn't realize that women are so rare that a 'women' label needs to be placed over them.

Now that's funny...I was thinking the same thing.
Bryan

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 03:35:07 PM »
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It's funny, I never noticed that until I was JUST posting that photo.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 04:36:25 PM »
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Ed, I know Timonium is a stag party, but I didn't realize that women are so rare that a 'women' label needs to be placed over them.

Good one Tom ;D,  but it should say 'woman'.

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2010, 04:47:44 PM »
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Ed, I know Timonium is a stag party, but I didn't realize that women are so rare that a 'women' label needs to be placed over them.

Good one Tom ;D,  but it should say 'woman'.
Maybe she has split personalities.

conrail98

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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2010, 06:43:08 PM »
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Ed, I know Timonium is a stag party, but I didn't realize that women are so rare that a 'women' label needs to be placed over them.

Good one Tom ;D,  but it should say 'woman'.
Maybe she has split personalities.

Don't they all?
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Re: Factory Direct Trains
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 06:57:46 PM »
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There is a family relationship between BLI and FTD. It's a brother or a brother-in-law or something.

When FDT opened, they not only undercut dealers who had stock on the shelves, but they also had an inside channel to low stock, often stealing reservations from dealers.

I now only order to fill reservations. I will not stock BLI because of this relationship.
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