Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by brakie, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    From the MR website:

    Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., to reduce price of reference books (catalogs) in 2007

    Model railroad manufacturer and distributor Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., of Milwaukee, Wis., will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2007. As part of the anniversary celebration, the firm will reduce the price of its HO and N and Z scale Model Railroad Reference Books to $9.95 each.

    John Sanheim, Walthers’ vice-president-marketing and sales, said the lower price will be attractive to both long-time and first-time buyers of the catalogs. "By making this book available to as many people as possible, we hope it will help everybody in the industry," Sanheim said.

    Sanheim said dealers will receive more information about the 2007 Model Railroad Reference Books beginning in June. – Hal Miller, Editor, Model Retailer magazine

    I can't help but wonder if the sales plummeted after these reference books shot above $20.00 or if the Internet played a part?
    I haven't bought a Walthers wish book since 2001..Before that I was buying one every three years. I feel I can find out what is new by simply clicking on Walthers web page or Model Railroaders web page,plus I signed up for Atlas,MR and Athearn news letters.For me that covers the Walthers high dollar "wish book" quite efficiently.:thumb:
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The only one I have is 2001, and that was given to me. The internet has largely replaced the book I think, and almost always turns up a better price anyway.

    For $10, I might pick one up...

  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    The Internet has changed a lot of things in this world, this one may be one of the good things. It always mystified me that someone could actually charge for a catalog that was used to purchase things from that company. I know Sears no longer sells through a catalog, but can you image what their sales would have been like if they charged for it over the 100 years they did have one. It does cost a bit to print and distribute them, but a lot of companies will charge you a few bucks for their catalog and give you that in credit on your first order. I had litterly hundreds of electronic reference catalogs when we had our business, some were thicker than the Walther's ones, and I would be appalled if anyone ever charged for one, and that included the ones from Radio Shack.

    No one should make a profit on selling their catalog, and apparently Walther's has been doing that up to now. Would I pay $10 for one? Probably...:D :D
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I certainly agree that it appears that those who sell their catalogues are a bit too greedy. I usually try to get one of the used copies of the Walthers' catalogue from the LHS when the new ones come out, although you have to be there on the right day. The idea of a credit towards purchases is a good one that should become more common, as I usually buy a catalogue because I'm interested in the products the company offers: smaller companies would most likely get more information out to potential customers and at the same time, recoup some of the cost of doing so.
    Sometimes, I'll buy catalogues not just for the products offered, but also for the information on using those products. A prime example of this is the Northwest Shortline catalogue: all sorts of parts of which many modellers are completely unaware, and also a very informative section on how to use the products. I buy the C-D-S lettering catalogue mostly for the lettering diagrams, $9.00 and not refundable, even on my last order of over $100.00. Needless to say, I don't bother to buy the catalogue every year. Bowser offers credit towards purchases, or at least they did 10 years ago when I bought my latest catalogue. A lot of products are no longer carried in Walthers catalogue, Horizon (Athearn , Model Die Casting), PSC (one page of text only in my 2005 version, as opposed to 26 pages, with illustrations, in the 1995 catalogue).
    One of the simple, low-cost pleasures of model railroading used to be sending away an ssae for a free catalogue or brochure, which opened up whole new vistas not always available on display at the LHS.
    The internet does offer some new possibilities for viewing new products, but it's pretty difficult to haul all the computer equipment upstairs so that I can peruse while sitting next to the woodstove on a cold winter evening, or out by the pool in the summer.

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    You need a wireless network and a laptop!

  6. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member

    Why buy an overpriced catalog, and then send the owner more of your hard earned modeling dollars? Besides showing you what's available, the internet shows you if its available. If I want to see what's new, the counter copy at the local hobby shop will show me, and the information is free.

  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Tom, the internet is a useful resource for many model railroading products, and I do use it. However, when I'm planning a project like a loco rebuild, where I need to know not only the price and availability of the product, but also dimensional or performance specs of obscure little bits and pieces made by manufacturers that either don't have a web site, or don't keep it up-to-date, or where my catalogues are old, a quick 'phone call or even a letter will give me the info that I need. I'm probably more of a "paper" guy as far as information goes: when I do go to the internet to check a product or dealer, it's usually because my interest was first piqued by something seen in a magazine. Another thing to bear in mind is that those of us in Canada and the U.K., when we buy a catalog(ue), get those two extra letters for our hard-earned cash.:D :D

  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I used to but the catalog every other year, I didn't stop because of the internet, I stopped because of the price. This was easily 5 years ago. I will probably buy one now, I like to peruse it, say I want a structure and don't have one in mind, it is easier, imo, to flip thru the pages than click on hundreds of links. I never regarded it as a catalog to increase Walthers sales so much as a bible of all things produced, tho that is no longer the case. Much of the items I may see in the catalog and wind up ordering from my LHS was ordered from other sources than Walthers. Never really cared much about where it came from tho, I just like to buy from my LHS.
  9. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I agree with a lot of what has been said already. The internet has changed the way most companies do business, especially retailers. In some industries, if you're not on the 'net, then you're nobody. With the internet and some computer know-how, a start up can grow his/her business right out of their home in their spare time. There's no need for a storefront, employees, government fees, loans, or a lot of the other things that go along with opening a traditional business.

    Personally, I prefer to shop online. It's usually cheaper for one thing: If I need something, 9 times out of 10 the whole family wants to come along. There's gas money, dinner for 5, and the whole works. Not to mention it takes 500 times longer. There are some security issues when buying online, but I feel it's safe most of the time.

    But, I do like to pick up a catalog once in awhile too. Sometimes you just feel like kicking back in the recliner while watching TV and thumb through the pages for ideas or just wishful thinking. I don't think I'd ever pay for one though. Walthers is no exception...if they want me to buy more of their stuff, send a catalog with my order. Charging money for a catalog is like having to pay to watch commercials on TV, or having to pay a toll to read billboards.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Two things that support having your own copy at home. The nearest shop that is a Walther's dealer and has a copy I could look through is 50 miles away. One round trip and I've spent two extra hours and at least that $10 in gas. Secondly, recently I wanted something at Walther's, but didn't know how they would list it by name on their web site. It took maybe ten minutes of searching before I found what I was looking for. When I placed my order by phone, I had picked up the vendor # rather than the Walther's # and the operator had to spend a few minutes finding it for me. If I had a catalog in front of me, that wouldn't have happened. That would have saved me $10 in aggravation. Yeah, it was nice to find what color and style was in stock from the Internet, I'll give you that, so they are both handy tools in their own right.
  11. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    It would seem to me that everyone has missed what has happened here. The Walthers HO book was a reference to what was available in the hobby. You could find nearly everything that you needed in it. You knew what it was and who made it. True some things were not available at any given moment, but you knew that they had been produced and would probably be again.

    That said, a large part of Walthers sales and reference material came from Athearn and MDC/Roundhouse. There were numerous small manufacturers that can not meet Walthers quotas and have been dropped. 'Tain't there no more. Thus the book is now just a catalog and not the reference it once was. The price had to drop. 'Nuf said?

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