Walthers Prices

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by PennRailRoads, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    Hey all,

    I wrote an email to Walthers about their price on one of their items, the Rivarossi HO U.P. Big Boy. The Spring Sale catalog says that the cost of a non-digital Big Boy is $319.98, and the price of a digital is the same price. Now this is where I get a little upset, I paid in cash for my non-digital Big Boy (was $260.00 value but went down $210.00) and as I looked at the Walthers price for the non-digital it seemed rediculous. Why would anyone pay the that amount of money for a non-digital? :mad: I told them they should lower the price to $260.00 and see if they sell as many as they can, otherwise they wont sell at all and they'll be stuck on their shelves for a long time. A fair price can go along way for a company, the lower the value is the better it will sell faster. Aint that the way it should be?
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    In theory, sure. But they, like every other company in a free economy, want to maximize their profits. They may sell fewer at the higher price, but still make more money.

    As we all know, there are certain items for which we'll pay a lot more than what we're charged. And there are those items for which we wouldn't buy no matter what the price. So the company has to figure out where they want to position the item in the marketplace, and go with it.

    In some cases, it may be better to price it way higher. Happens in the consulting field all the time - if somebody charges too low a price, we start wondering if they're competent.
  3. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Walthers is known for selling products (directly to the consumer, at least) at the manufacturer's recommended price. The price of these locos is set by Rivarossi in this case, not Walthers. Also note that these locos are NOT on sale (no red "sale" price)!

    You're barking at the wrong cat, in this case!

    Despite no discount (except for MOST of the sale catalog items - which is a VERY small amount of their total inventory), Walthers is doing quite well. Most of their sales are direct to various hobby stores. They are the principal source for our local store, Midwest Trains, for example. They are not in the "discount" business. At least, not to the consumer. They do discount in "bulk" to the hobby shops, I think.

    The main advantages in ordering from Walthers, despite the higher price, is:

    1. They carry items you can't get anywhere else - the largest inventory of model RR goodies anywhere. Period.

    2. If you pre-order a new limited edition locomotive, you will get it. Most other discount sellers hedge their bet by saying you will get the loco IF they receive enough from the maker (read the "fine print" at Tony's Train Exchange, for example). You can be SURE of getting the loco you pre-ordered from Walthers. That's why when I REALLY want a limited production model, I will order from Walthers despite the higher price (have the RI P2K GP18 on backorder with them now). If I see it for a lower price later, so what? Sometimes I rather pay more for the "ensurance".

    Don't worry about Walthers - when the "Big Boys" the hobby stores and discount sellers got from their other suppliers have sold, Walthers will have no trouble selling the remainder of these locomotives! Come to think of it, Walthers probably sold it to them to begin with - they are now Rivarossi's main outlet here in the U.S.

    Walthers has been in this business a LONG time (first catalog in 1937), and know this game well! They will be there when some of the discount sellers are long gone. Their motto ought to be "dependability". It ISN'T "discount"!

    You have a "Big Boy", and got it at a good price, PPR!
    So cheer up! You are a winner on this one!

    But I don't think you will be able to "change" Walthers!

    Concerning the Rivarossi pricing on these locos, perhaps the cost of work and parts that go into a "digital" vs a "non-digital" is so simular that the locos must sell for the same price. I am not sure what Rivarossi is really selling here - if "digital" only means "DCC ready", why not just make them all this way? P2K, Stewart and others do! I doubt that the "digital" BB locos come with a decoder - as far as I know, only Atlas Master and the new Broadway locos come with the decoders installed. Any one know the difference between the two locos ???

    - George
  4. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    Thanks for the replies fellas!

    I know I cant change Walthers prices on the BB's, but it still wouldnt make sense to buy a non-digital at the same price for a digital one. Oh well, I guess that they cant see that the cheaper the product is the more sales they will get.

    I know it was a "Steal" to get the BB at $210.00. I asked the guy if it was brand new and he said he just got it the other day before I got there. I know Ishould feel like a winner on this one, but it doesnt seem fair for the rest of us if the prices go up instead of down.

    Nope dont know the difference between the two, they look the same to me! LOL :D
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    When the announcement was made that Rivarossi was releasing the Allegheny 2-6-6-6 I ordered two. When they finally came out, I got mine for considerably less than the current MSRP. Walthers isn't always too high priced.
  6. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    Thanks for the info Pete! :)

    Whats the price of the Allegheny now? I might get that next month!
  7. RI541

    RI541 Member

    Walthers does have most of the market tied up,as for prices I can't realy say,All of my dealers use Walthers to get what I need except for the Micro-Trains.

  8. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    You are right, Pete.

    SOMETIMES one gets a discount. It looks like I may get one for the GP18 (I hope - my "bill" shows a less "net" price than the "list" price), but when I got my Athearn Genesis RI "Mike", it was full price. So it varies. In most cases I've seen, however, one pays full price unless it's in the sale catalog.

    - George
  9. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

    It's been my experience that Walther's charges list price, unless an item is in their sale flyer. The reason I use them is that their catalog is online, and is updated daily. When I go to order something, they tell me whether or not it is in stock right now. I can order from them at 3 am and know the item will be on its way by dinner time. I dont have to wait and wonder if I will get the item anytime soon, as I would with other suppliers. Caboose Hobbies also has an online catalog that is updated daily. Their prices are lower but their selection is smaller (although it is still huge). Are their any other suppliers who have this 'live inventory' feature? I have no qualms whatsoever about ordering from either of them online. I just wish Walthers would go back to making their old metal sided passenger cars and wooden freight cars. Did you change your clocks? Bill
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The last MSRP I saw on the Allegheny was $585. You might find one for less at a hobby shop, or online auction.
  11. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I see in my May issue of RMC which arrived today that First Hobby is advertising the UP Big Boy for $199.99 :D :D

    Also, the Walthers ad for the Big Boy identifies that the digital is a special $20 off the regular price which accounts for it being the same price as the non-digital which isn't on sale.

  12. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    But not in the Walthers Spring Sale catalog, Bob (unless my vision is worse than usual) - both prices are in black! Maybe an oversight?

    Do you (or anyone else) know what the difference is between the digital and non-digital ???

    Is this a Rivarossi term for "DCC ready" or what ???

    - George
  13. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    Thanks Pete! Your a very helpful soul! ;)
  14. Jim de Bree

    Jim de Bree Member

    I've purchased a lot of stuff from Walthers. They stand behind their merchandise and are extremely dependable. They have the stuff that nobody else has.:D
  15. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Sometimes you win sometimes you loose! All depends on how bad you want it. I just purchased a Bachman Spectrum series GE 44ton switcher. Bachman wanted $60, Walthers wanted $70 I just about talked myself into buying it when I got a flyer from Model Expo in Florida. I paid $36.99 for it. Just got lucky!!!!:eek:
  16. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Way to go Andy. I still usually order from Walthers, but I almost always check their prices against a few others, especially for locomotives and bigger ticket items.
  17. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    The digital Big Boy does include a decoder. This was widely advertised when it was first released. I have no desire for a Big Boy, but if I did I'd get the Trix model.

  18. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I think our good friends at Walthers have been listening to their critics. I placed an order with them last week, and upon receiving confirmation that it was shipped early this lovely morning (YAY!!! I need those durned turnouts!!!), I noticed that, while I ordered directly from their website prices, the price of every item I ordered (five in all) was all reduced from what I expected to pay....................
  19. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    Gary, I'd get the Trix too if I had the $$$$!
  20. pierce

    pierce New Member

    Digital includes a DCC decoder and non digital is DCC ready I believe. Im not real sure about non-digital being DCC ready.

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