Ordering from tjmodeltrains??


Brian Kopp
 

Has anybody had any luck in the past month or two ordering direct from Joel and Teresa Prantle through their tjmodeltrains yahoo email address?

Over the past month, they have not responded to my emails or voicemails looking to buy some parts.

I may have to resort to using their extensive ebay store. That is less preferred because they gave a 15% discount when you order direct via email from tjmodeltrains@....

Precisions Scale does not give a discount either when you order direct from them.

I must admit I don't understand the business arrangements here with these three vendors that I believe are all owned by the Prantle's?? But I guess I don't need to understand if I can get the parts I need. =)

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Climax@...
 

Brian:
I can feel your frustration but how much are we talking about here, a couple of bucks or hundreds of dollars?  Discounts mean that someone, usually the dealer is taking a cut off the price of what ever in order to sell it to you.  We all enjoy discounts but to the cottage industry who operates on perhaps if they are lucky 10% now days it becomes a major problem.
As an example I use to have a hobby shop in the Orlando area called BKW Trains which I started and ran for 6 years.  Now a business costs a lot of money to run.  I had rent of the building I was in that cost me to start with $2500 a month and ended at $3500 a month, then there was insurance, phone, yellow pages ad, licensing, code compliance, upkeep, cleaning, maintenance, employee, customer theft, and employee wages and taxes to be paid, which all had to be paid out of the "profit" made on the goods I sold before I could even take a penny for myself.  
Now lets look at an item I sold.  As an example I will use either a Kato or Atlas N Scale Locomotive which retailed at $100. I use to get in 4 of each road name in each number plus the non numbered ones.  When they hit my shelf I put them at the same discount, 25% off, as Texan Rails which was a mail order house who did not have all my expenses.  Pretty neat, a home town shop which would have it all and you could get it now.  Customers would come in, look at it, feel it, smell, it, hear it, and practically taste them.  Then they would put them back in the plastic cases and order them from Texan Rails.  i asked why.  The answer was they could save the $6.00 in sales tax by ordering them that way.  I then asked how much were they charging to ship the order to them, if they still had that one.  The answer was $10 to $12.00.  
Now how much money did I make on these locomotives.  Because I ordered so many and paid for them ahead of time, I got 40/10/2.  or $52.92.  In other words the business was making a total of $22.08 on each locomotive which had to pay all the expenses as listed above.  I was always operating on a shoe string and at times that string would break.  I had an employee, Paul, whom I found out was skimming from the register, then he started taking merchandise home and selling it from there.  He was eventually fired when i caught on.  I had customer theft with empty boxes left on the shelves, combined kits into one box, and the city to deal with.  I will not even get into the swap meet dealers who pretend to be hobby shops at the wholesale level and get the same discounts as hobby shops then flood the market at deep discount prices even below the store costs causing dead stock on the shelves.

Every modeler dreams of owning a hobby shop and having the ability to get just about anything they want at a huge discount but everything you take off the shelf is a lost sale, every discount you give is a decrease in the bottom line.to continue.  i found out that customer loyalty goes about as far as the next discount offered.  In the six years that I ran BKW trains I had never taken a penny for myself as wages for the 7 days a week 364 days I worked from 9am to 8pm each day.  At the end of 6 years I closed up the doors and had only lost about $20K of my own money.  After I closed up, and leading up to it with a going out of business sale from Thanksgiving to just after New Year, I had people call my home and ask where I had moved to.  I told them I had not moved, I had closed.  I got some pretty strange remarks until I asked them when was the last time they had purchased anything from me.  

We are an odd lot of people who look for a discount as a way of life in our hobby.  Who hasn't looked for a Blackstone Engine or car at a reduced price when they came out, who has not scoured the internet for the next Mico-trains issue, track special, switch machine deal, or what ever.  Its out nature.  Who else saves this gidget or that cap thinking it would make a neat thing on our railroads.  

The one thing that I am trying to drive home here is that many of these "businesses" are what are referred to as Cottage industries.  They do this on the side and work other jobs to pay the bills.  Sometimes they are just busy, or on vacation, have a family problem, or are just not able to answer all the questions and such.  The small cottage industry i have Sierra Scale Models is an example.  i get orders in a then produce the product.  Sometimes i get some small orders and other times large order (large meaning $100 or more).  I take care of it but if an order shows up and I am not there, well it sits and waits for me to get back. Patience is a virtue.  I am sure they will answer you but remember that 20 cents, or two dollar discount you seek, or you will go to someone who will give it, hurts everyone sooner or later.
Just me rambling early in the morning, is all this is, Nothing more and nothing less.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Kopp
Sent: Jun 4, 2021 7:43 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: [HOn3] Ordering from tjmodeltrains??

Has anybody had any luck in the past month or two ordering direct from Joel and Teresa Prantle through their tjmodeltrains yahoo email address?

Over the past month, they have not responded to my emails or voicemails looking to buy some parts.

I may have to resort to using their extensive ebay store. That is less preferred because they gave a 15% discount when you order direct via email from tjmodeltrains@....

Precisions Scale does not give a discount either when you order direct from them.

I must admit I don't understand the business arrangements here with these three vendors that I believe are all owned by the Prantle's?? But I guess I don't need to understand if I can get the parts I need. =)

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Brian Kopp
 

Dave,
thanks for the response. 

I am not sure if it was coincidence but I just heard from them and they completed the order.

Dave you were probably more on target than you know. Teresa apologized and said they had some employee turnover that had caused the delays. She said she hoped to avoid such tissues in the future.

I may sound like Roseanne Roseanna-Danna here from SNL but maybe this is now a case of "never mind".....


--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Wayne
 

RE:  ...."never mind"...   On the contrary, your post was most informational.  I order frequently from them on eBay (I like to tinker with old HOn3 brass models and fix/improve them) and didn't know about the email ordering option.  They do offer honest shipping savings by combining lots of items on the same order but the individual item prices are still inflated.  Will contact them about how to place an email order next week.


On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 9:03 AM Brian Kopp <kc5lpa1@...> wrote:
Dave,
thanks for the response. 

I am not sure if it was coincidence but I just heard from them and they completed the order.

Dave you were probably more on target than you know. Teresa apologized and said they had some employee turnover that had caused the delays. She said she hoped to avoid such tissues in the future.

I may sound like Roseanne Roseanna-Danna here from SNL but maybe this is now a case of "never mind".....


--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL



--
Wayne Taylor


martin feldwick
 

I want to buy some pSC castings using ebay .about 4 to be precise.They are quoting 56 USD mail cost to UK so thats out .Maybe I will be rfunded  the combined difference .it importatnt to know the cost as  a few dollars  extra on a package  can make me pay a lot of tax and handing cost .but who knows

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 4:03 PM Brian Kopp <kc5lpa1@...> wrote:
Dave,
thanks for the response. 

I am not sure if it was coincidence but I just heard from them and they completed the order.

Dave you were probably more on target than you know. Teresa apologized and said they had some employee turnover that had caused the delays. She said she hoped to avoid such tissues in the future.

I may sound like Roseanne Roseanna-Danna here from SNL but maybe this is now a case of "never mind".....


--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Wayne
 

RE: postage to UK.  Try placing your items in the shopping cart and then request a combined shipping total from them.  The combined total is often less than the amount to ship 1 item, at least it has been for me for USA domestic shipping.


On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 9:21 AM martin feldwick <trackpass@...> wrote:
I want to buy some pSC castings using ebay .about 4 to be precise.They are quoting 56 USD mail cost to UK so thats out .Maybe I will be rfunded  the combined difference .it importatnt to know the cost as  a few dollars  extra on a package  can make me pay a lot of tax and handing cost .but who knows

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 4:03 PM Brian Kopp <kc5lpa1@...> wrote:
Dave,
thanks for the response. 

I am not sure if it was coincidence but I just heard from them and they completed the order.

Dave you were probably more on target than you know. Teresa apologized and said they had some employee turnover that had caused the delays. She said she hoped to avoid such tissues in the future.

I may sound like Roseanne Roseanna-Danna here from SNL but maybe this is now a case of "never mind".....


--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL



--
Wayne Taylor


Martin Fischer
 

Martin 

when ordering a few castings from them I got a signifikant refund after they actually shipped my order to Germany. I forgot the details but remember the final costs to be reasonable. 

Regards
Martin 

Am 04.06.2021 um 17:21 schrieb martin feldwick <trackpass@...>:


I want to buy some pSC castings using ebay .about 4 to be precise.They are quoting 56 USD mail cost to UK so thats out .Maybe I will be rfunded  the combined difference .it importatnt to know the cost as  a few dollars  extra on a package  can make me pay a lot of tax and handing cost .but who knows

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 4:03 PM Brian Kopp <kc5lpa1@...> wrote:
Dave,
thanks for the response. 

I am not sure if it was coincidence but I just heard from them and they completed the order.

Dave you were probably more on target than you know. Teresa apologized and said they had some employee turnover that had caused the delays. She said she hoped to avoid such tissues in the future.

I may sound like Roseanne Roseanna-Danna here from SNL but maybe this is now a case of "never mind".....


--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Dusty
 

My experience with tjmodeltrains via Ebay has been wonderful! I put a bunch of stuff in my cart to see the shipping. I saw the quantity shipping discount on each item but still saw like $25 shipping on $40ish worth of parts. Something like that. I called and found out that there would be a refund once I ordered. I ended up getting almost $20 back as a refund. Very generous I thought. No complaints with T and J.

Dusty Burman 


Robert Bell
 

Yes, they are great!  Fast shipping, too.  I have even emailed them to change/add more to the order and they have always been fantastic!

Rob Bell
Modeling the White Pass & Yukon Route in HOn3
Waynesville, NC




On Friday, June 4, 2021, 04:29:52 PM EDT, Dusty via groups.io <dustburm@...> wrote:


My experience with tjmodeltrains via Ebay has been wonderful! I put a bunch of stuff in my cart to see the shipping. I saw the quantity shipping discount on each item but still saw like $25 shipping on $40ish worth of parts. Something like that. I called and found out that there would be a refund once I ordered. I ended up getting almost $20 back as a refund. Very generous I thought. No complaints with T and J.

Dusty Burman 


Dale Buxton
 

I tried to order directly by phone back in Jan. But, because of Covid 19 lock-down there was no one but the recording to talk to me. 
I can see that has changed now. Nice! Because I need some PSC parts that they don't have in the Ebay store.

Dale Buxton

On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 5:43 AM Brian Kopp <kc5lpa1@...> wrote:
Has anybody had any luck in the past month or two ordering direct from Joel and Teresa Prantle through their tjmodeltrains yahoo email address?

Over the past month, they have not responded to my emails or voicemails looking to buy some parts.

I may have to resort to using their extensive ebay store. That is less preferred because they gave a 15% discount when you order direct via email from tjmodeltrains@....

Precisions Scale does not give a discount either when you order direct from them.

I must admit I don't understand the business arrangements here with these three vendors that I believe are all owned by the Prantle's?? But I guess I don't need to understand if I can get the parts I need. =)

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL


Brian Kopp
 

Dale and everybody,
my order arrived today from PSC/TJmodelTrains/j-tprantle ebay =)
Just for the record, and maybe to inspire some folks to reach out to them, even from Europe, here is their email signature from when Joel checked with me a few minutes ago to confirm the tracking and delivery. He apologized again for the delays this spring.....



BTW, I have ordered Tichy and NOS Grandt Line from them at their great TJModelTrain prices. Just ask if they have it.....

I did also confirm the Prantle clan own all three companies, plus a fourth which I believe is a brick and mortar store: Pf&S Railway.....

--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, FL