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Hattons auctions - Model Railway On-Line Shopping. - Other Areas. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu May 5th, 2022 04:43 pm
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Longchap
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Hattons introduced this feature a few weeks ago, but only had a few items on, possibly to test the format. It's now better populated, but its existence is a bit odd, since Hattons already have a well established pre-owned stock section on their website, which I've purchased numerous good items at sensible prices over the years.
 
Today's selection features a couple of Triang clerestories brake 3rds, which I've often picked up from Hattons at £7 a go. The current bids are currently about double this and once two chaps get into competitive spirit and not sure of true values, Hattons make a good sum. I declined buying another brake 3rd just last month for £7, as I have enough to keep me bashing for quite a while and maybe they’re not so popular nowadays.
 
https://www.hattons.co.uk/
 
On balance, there may be some bargains to be had, so I'll take a back seat and see how it develops. Perhaps it's a good way to get rid of a surplus of second hand stuff not sold under the pre-owned section.
 
Has anyone any experience with this service yet?
 
Bill

PS. I have a test bid on an item to see what the experience is like.

 



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 Posted: Thu May 5th, 2022 08:50 pm
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Gwiwer
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So not content with leaping from box-shifting retailer to warehouse-managing distributor Hattons is now trying to run their own version of eBay.  

To each their own.  The auction sites were sometimes good when they first began as you genuinely could pick up a bargain sometimes.  Not now and not for a long time past.  

Hattons is free to make such business decisions as they see fit and I am equally at liberty to avoid them like the plague.  I was a fairly regular customer when matters were dealt with at Smithdown Road but not since.  Customer service hasn't improved, prices haven't improved and in my opinion they have taken a leap which has in some quite significant ways apparently backfired on them.  




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 Posted: Thu May 5th, 2022 11:33 pm
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Colin W
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Madness or Genius?

somewhere in the middle I reckon.

It seems like a logical progression for a company whose web interface is among the best designed in their sector, light years ahead of their competitor over the Pennines. Why then pay a rent to a third party when you have available the infrastructure and connections to manage auctions from screen to dispatch?

From anecdotes I've heard, rising costs of business on eBay progressively have squeezed sellers and buyers alike so why pay someone for something you can do. Seems eminently reasonable.

Despite some significant hiccups, Hattons still has a lot to offer for those of us living beyond the "sceptred isle". Huge range of suppliers for a start; many of my most successful purchases have been of their pre-owned and deep discounted stock and the ability to consolidate for O/S shipment has become essential.

To each their own I guess.





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 Posted: Fri May 6th, 2022 01:38 pm
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BCDR
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Hopefully it will bring a bit of realism to the other auction site, which has turned into a retail business, with silly money prices. As long as they keep it an auction without unrealistic starting or buy it now prices it could be a success. It also helps them setting their secondhand pricing (and what they pay when buying from us) Good business move in ensuring adequate profit margins. Looks like they have a real business manager now. Could be a 3-tier business model - new, as new/good secondhand, auction for anything that doesn't meet secondhand standards.


Probably best to check the sold prices on eBay before bidding, as well as the cost of the new equivalent. Gives an idea of what the market will bear. That said, I once sold an N-scale coal wagon with custom lettering for £85. Couple of bidders got into a battle. 


I look forward to the opening of the shows, especially the smaller ones which have modelers selling their unwanted and unloved (relatives not allowed, too many legal issues).


Nigel




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 Posted: Fri May 6th, 2022 04:12 pm
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Petermac
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I've always been a fan of Hattons - either just a fan or an absolute groupie depending on my experiences.

They are usually amongst the cheapest on the net and, as I don't have a local model shop to support, I buy on price and service, both of which Hattons seem to be good at.

I've never bought any of their "previously owned" range - unlike some, I've had a few bad experiences with used stock and, as has been suggested, the "big one" has, for me, cooked it's own goose over postage charges.

My only, well, "main", grouse with them is their falling out with Bachmann.  I don't run their business but, from my seat, they've done themselves a lot of harm.  I now go elsewhere for Bachmann stock although given my level of expenditure, they certainly won't notice I've gone.

As has been said, given the problems with "the bay", it's probably going to prove to be a very good move. 



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 Posted: Fri May 6th, 2022 09:57 pm
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Colin W
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Petermac wrote: I've always been a fan of Hattons - either just a fan or an absolute groupie depending on my experiences.

They are usually amongst the cheapest on the net and, as I don't have a local model shop to support, I buy on price and service, both of which Hattons seem to be good at.
....

My only, well, "main", grouse with them is their falling out with Bachmann.  I don't run their business but, from my seat, they've done themselves a lot of harm.  I now go elsewhere for Bachmann stock although given my level of expenditure, they certainly won't notice I've gone.

Peter,

While your point is understandable in isolation, in reality it is a common business situation when you have two (or more) powerful Suppliers to a market sector and two powerful high volume low cost Retailers (no names needed). More common in the USA because of the sheer size of their markets.

I've first hand experience of this from being part of a business study of the US Paint industry. Look at Home Depot and Lowes where you'll find mostly different large brands of paint on offer. The situation comes to a sort of equilibrium when the brands don't compete head to head on the shelves.

This structure balances power on both sides so is beneficial to both. If Retailer 1 undercuts R2 in its dealings with Supplier 1 and so on it becomes a cutthroat, everyone in the supply chain loses. Customers benefit, mostly at expense of suppliers with the retailers still clipping "tickets", just more at lower margins .

When the major supply channels become aligned as above, there need to be other good channels to market for the suppliers, smaller hardware in the US, local model shops in the UK to provide effective competition.

Looked at in this light, the decisions by all the big players in the Model Railway business make perfect sense, for them. Also explains the rocketing prices since these changes came about, especially by the Supplier who discounted much more aggressively while in survival mode.
  



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 Posted: Sat May 7th, 2022 11:11 pm
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Colin W
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HATTONS Auctions vs RAILS Furniture!

Notice of an interesting development via my inbox this morning, Rails is diversifying into Garden Furniture.

It'd be hard to imagine two more diverse retail activities. After all, which serious / dedicated UK modeller has time to put their feet up in the garden and relax when there's a layout to be built? Too much reflection and they might figure that a G&T or two is a better prospect than a new GER loco, cheaper too.

Bizarre move, unless I'm missing something :hmm.  Unlike Hattons latest, it doesn't sit at all easily in the Strategy Playbook.

Puzzled in Melbourne,

PS: the single connection I can see is Steel / Sheffield







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 Posted: Sun May 8th, 2022 07:30 am
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TeaselBay
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Ha. I saw that. Suggests to me it’s a friend or family members business which they hope to plug with their mailing base! 



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 Posted: Mon May 9th, 2022 01:55 am
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BCDR
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Or they're going all out on garden layouts (if you can afford one you can sit back and watch the trains go by with the G&T).

Nigel



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