Author Topic: $75 cars? Will they sell?  (Read 3080 times)

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thomasjmdavis

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2019, 11:56:52 PM »
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The MSRP is listed on Atlas site 74.95 (not the street price).  A $56 MSRP as listed on Fifer (Thank you Point353) would make more sense to me in terms of the math in my post above and makes me think again that the Atlas web listing might be an error.  The street (discount) price is 40-something or 50-something depending where you buy it. 

Instead of whingeing about prices, why don't people tell us how they would go about making them cheaper.

And if you know how to make things cheaper here;s your chance to put Atlas (and others) out of business.

Go-on, entertain us, I love a good laugh.
Personally, I don't actually care about trash flats, since I would never buy them anyway (1956 cut off date for equipment on my layout).  All my trash travels in old gondolas.  But I do care about Atlas pricing generally.  I suspect that they have priced these well above the economic equilibrium price for the product, in which case, they are foregoing revenue. 

Looking at boxcars (apples to apples, if you will), currently an Atlas master line boxcar has an MSRP 4 to 10 dollars higher than Intermountain and Micro-trains MSRP- in fact, some Atlas Trainman boxcars carry the same MSRP as IM and MT cars.  There is nothing to "laugh" at here, their competitors are demonstrating that comparable and in some cases superior products can be produced at lower prices. 

As a practical matter, on subject of price- there are some customers who will buy what they want regardless of cost.  Others will set a budget limit, and buy as many as they can.  Still others (I fall in this category, usually) will buy one or two representative items, but not as many as they would at a lower price), and some will buy something else that they consider a better value.

Which is to say, some customers who were considering putting a trash train on their layout will now not do so.

Hopefully for Atlas, they guessed right in their pricing and the higher prices do not cause them to end up taking a big loss, but I certainly won't be changing eras to buy the things.  I can buy a 12 car Super Chief circa 1953 for substantially less than a 12 car trash train.  So, I think I'll stay with the mid 50s and passenger trains as the focus of my modeling (with the occasional freight run in and out of the nearby freight houses and line side industries).
Tom D.

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Maletrain

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2019, 09:08:45 AM »
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As prices go up for Chinese-made toys, I expect that companies will start to look for cheaper venues of manufacture, just like China replaced Japan and Korea, which replaced Europe and the U.S.  Not sure where that will be.  There are other Asian and some South American countries that might be interested.  And, maybe the politics will be better with whatever country eventually replaces China. 

But, as the dollar sinks in value, our prices are going to go up, no matter where things are made for us.  One of the sobering things I learned over my working life is that, if I adjusted my starting wage at the beginning of my career by a real index of inflation, my retiring salary barely exceeded my first salary in terms of real buying power.  What really helped is that, by accumulating stuff that lasts a lifetime, I was not buying so many things as I got older. 

milw156

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2019, 09:29:32 AM »
+1
Try populating an Athearn bilevel auto rack with Atlas F 100's and see what it sets you back! Or, you could just run them empty...

Lenny53

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2019, 10:33:51 AM »
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As prices go up for Chinese-made toys, I expect that companies will start to look for cheaper venues of manufacture, just like China replaced Japan and Korea, which replaced Europe and the U.S.  Not sure where that will be. 

Malaysia and Thailand come to mind.

dougnelson

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2019, 12:15:45 PM »
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Definitely worth it if they smell really bad.   :drool:

peteski

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 02:27:58 PM »
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Definitely worth it if they smell really bad.   :drool:

No worries, the rotting trash scent costs extra.  :D
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MK

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 06:54:47 PM »
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Malaysia and Thailand come to mind.

And Vietnam.

wm3798

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2019, 12:40:24 AM »
+2
It's all fun and games until China steals your tooling.
I went to collecting retro stuff because I can gleefully run old stuff that's familiar to me, easy to rough house with, and dirt cheap from train show boxes and on line sales.  I lost interest in the new shiny stuff when the cost of a basic freight car crested at $20.
At speed and from 3 feet away, they look and work just like their 25 year old $3.99 counterparts if you ask me... which of course, you didn't 8)
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wazzou

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2019, 02:06:18 AM »
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I lost interest in the new shiny stuff when the cost of a basic freight car crested at $20.

Crested?  Surpassed is more like it.
Bryan

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jpwisc

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2019, 11:37:23 AM »
+4
Price is what we talk about in the absence of value. If the car is nicely detailed, fits my layout (era and industries), I’m willing to pay more. I don’t run a massive fleet, but I want it to be good. I’ll even sell off older cars if a better car comes out. $30 a car doesn’t bug me.

On larger layouts, you can honestly hide lower cost cars in trains. People tend to notice the engines, the first 5-6 cars and the last 5-6 cars. The rest can be “fillers”. My trains run about 12 cars, so they get looked at. And my layout is 52”-54” off the floor, so they are pretty close to a lot of people’s noses. I’m glad I’m in N. The detail level I like is even more expensive in HO.
Karl
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basementcalling

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2019, 03:14:48 PM »
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I started the thread because I was more shocked by the jump in prices from the last run. Atlas trash flats were around $30 MSRP, but could be found for 30-40% off pretty easily. If containers were included with the car, MSRP was up around $45-50 I think. a $20-25 bump in just a few years is a lot of inflation.

Peter Pfotenhauer

dougnelson

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2019, 12:56:04 PM »
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No worries, the rotting trash scent costs extra.  :D

Warm summer day scent and cool winter scent will be different CV settings.  :trollface:

wm3798

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2019, 04:09:33 PM »
+2
Price is what we talk about in the absence of value. If the car is nicely detailed, fits my layout (era and industries), I’m willing to pay more. I don’t run a massive fleet, but I want it to be good. I’ll even sell off older cars if a better car comes out. $30 a car doesn’t bug me.

On larger layouts, you can honestly hide lower cost cars in trains. People tend to notice the engines, the first 5-6 cars and the last 5-6 cars. The rest can be “fillers”. My trains run about 12 cars, so they get looked at. And my layout is 52”-54” off the floor, so they are pretty close to a lot of people’s noses. I’m glad I’m in N. The detail level I like is even more expensive in HO.

Price is what provides or prevents the opportunity to purchase.  Yes, value for the price is a significant issue.  I'm sure a Bentley is a great investment, I still can't afford one.

When I was assembling my coal fleet for the WM layout about 15 years ago, the 70 ton MDC cars could be had for well under $10 for kits, around $10 built up with MTs, and the new Atlas Fishbelly cars, about $12-15.  At my peak, I had well over 100 of them.  The MDC cars were reasonably detailed, ran fine as long as you didn't use the trucks that came with them, and their WM paint scheme was serviceably accurate.  The Atlas cars were pretty well state of the art, with several add on detail, good interior details, and accurate paint.  Still I cringed at parting with more than $10 a car, having been weened on Atlas 90 tonners that could be had for $5.99 literally for decades.  At the end of the day, I was buying a model fleet, not individual model cars.  Apart from the occasional up close photo, there was no need to scrutinize every detail.  I just wanted to see a continuous line of red cars with that cool WM Speedlettering along the length of the train.  When the Bluford cars came out, they were $25 a car, a little less for the three pack.  I bought two sets, figuring Limited run, not available forever, and despite being an older paint scheme than I wanted (the yellow ends were an early indication that newfangled roller bearings carried the load, a design that fell by the wayside when roller bearings became the standard by the early 1960s. 

So before the Bluford cars hit, I had already spent on the order of $1,000 plus just on coal hoppers.  Not the engines that pulled them, or the layout they ran on.  Just the hoppers.  But, I had enough to assemble several trains of 20 cars or more, plus have empties to spot at the tipples, and loads to spot at my on line industries.  A whole operation.  Lots and lots of value for the investment.  This trash train, let's say you want a 25 car train to run around on the N trak layout at Christmas.  That's $1,375 (assuming $55 per car street price, including the containers) for ONE train.  And these trains run as a unit train, you're not going to need one or two.  Then there's the other trains you'll want, the engines, the decoders etc. etc.   So no, I don't care how pretty they are, how finely printed the reporting marks are, or how many add-on grab irons it has; that's NOT a good value to me.

If I'm going to spend that kind of quid on a hobby, I'll get a horse.


Lee

« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 04:12:05 PM by wm3798 »
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greenwizard88

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2019, 05:32:22 PM »
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I started the thread because I was more shocked by the jump in prices from the last run. Atlas trash flats were around $30 MSRP, but could be found for 30-40% off pretty easily. If containers were included with the car, MSRP was up around $45-50 I think. a $20-25 bump in just a few years is a lot of inflation.
it's not inflation, it's the import tax trump wanted. In order to get a few extra dollars per car, you need to rause the price 3x that to satisfy your stores and distributors. And unlike e.g.scaletrains, Atlas still uses an old school price model.

MetroRedLine

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Re: $75 cars? Will they sell?
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2019, 06:25:14 PM »
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I suppose it depends on the type of car and the quality. I am aware that ScaleTrains is coming out with an HO Gunderson MultiMax autorack in 2020, and an N scale version is likely later on. The MultiMax is is the holy grail as far as modern autoracks go in N scale, and assuming they list for the same $74.99 in N, I wouldn't hesitate buying a couple of them to make my autorack train (which already has several MTL & Red Caboose 89' racks) more prototypical.
 
However if I needed to buy a bunch of $75 cars for a whole unit train's worth, then hell no. Not worth it.
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