Where do I go?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Conrail, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    Where is it that you guys / ladies shop online for your H.O. goodies? I ordered some things from internettrains.com over a week ago and paid for two day shipping but they havent even sent it out yet! Meanwhile orders I placed later with Walthers have shown up via standard ground shipping in a few days. I was just curious other the above mentioned retailers you may have done business with and would be happy to recomend. Thanks. :thumb:
  2. trainworm

    trainworm Member

    I really like www.caboosehobbies.com . their website actually lets you know what is in stock, and they carry just about everything. but they are not the cheapest on the web.

    and they are not just another online business, it's an actual store in Denver, Colorado.
  3. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    I would gladly pay a little more for good service. Walthers does a good job. I just need more places to shop. You know the ol saying "don't spend it all in one place". :D
  4. 507wayne

    507wayne New Member


    Two dealers that I have dealt with are Hobbylinc and ehobbies. Both have a big selection and good service.
  5. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Walthers is great and I'm a regular there, but you'll basically always pay full retail price there (they can't discount or they'd offend all their retailers). I mostly go to Walthers when I need obscure stuff I can't find elsewhere.

    Other end of the spectrum is trainworld.com. Almost invariably the cheapest prices you'll find, and I've always found them reliable. They're bar-non the best price on Bachmann, Broadway Limited and Proto2000 (that's what I've bought there). I believe, just looking at prices, they're pretty much the basement price on everything else too.

    But some downside. Their website kinda sucks, for instance the "site search" hasn't worked in months. They're certainly not high-touch in terms of service: i.e. you call or send the order in by fax - no online ordering - and your stuff shows up, but don't expect the full complement of confirmation emails, phone calls, etc. I've never had a problem, and all you have to do is pick up the phone and they'll answer whatever you need.

    In between lie a lot of variations. I've found internettrains.com to be quite on the expensive side (e.g. They want $205 for a Spectrum 3-truck Shay versus $120 for the same loco at trainland) without the high level of service I expect at full-freight prices (no pun intended).

    I'd say I shop at Trainland about half the time, Walthers 25% and the remaining 25% divvied up among various others like internettrains.com, standardhobby.com, etc. depending on who has what in stock at what price.

    That's "shopping" in the sense of retail. I buy about half my rolling stock and motive power (less in terms of supplies, etc.) on Ebay. But be cautious, I'm amazed how many times people bid for items on Ebay at levels higher than they can pay for new, boxed, retail with warranty merchandise (often with lower shipping too).

    I often use Trainland.com for just that purpose - Sanity check on Ebay. Why pay $179 + $10 "shipping and handling" + $2 for "insurance" for a Spectrum Shay from "HappyTrickyLocoGuy" (or whatever) on Ebay when you can buy it for $119 new from Trainland.com with $7.95 shipping and no tax if you're outside New York... On the other hand, if you pick that loco up new-in-the-box for $99 total inclusive of shipping, etc., (as I did a couple days ago), you just saved at least $20.

    Sorry if I keep using the Spectrum Shay as an example, but I like the loco, run a logging section and so have bought about 8 of them over the last couple years -- so I know that one back-and-forth.

  6. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    For mail order I use four places:

    Trainworld (www.trainworld.com)
    HobbiesUSA (www.hobbiesusa.com)
    MB Klien (www.modeltrainstuff.com)
    Mitchell’s Hobbies through Walthers

    I would highly recommend all four. They have great customer service. Prices do vary depending on what you are looking for.

    Mitchell’s is also my primary LHS and I buy from them in person and through mail order through Walthers. They are about a 45 minute drive one way so if I know exactly what I want and Walthers carries it I use Walthers ordering. If Walthers doesn’t have or I want to see an item or just browse I go in person. BTW they have free shipping on all Walthers orders over $25.00.
  7. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Hey, speaking of a LHS 45 minutes away... I've just moved to central PA (Carlisle). Harrisburg, York and Lancaster are all within reasonable distance - Gettysburg too. Anyone care to recommend a good LHS in the region?



    PS - I forgot to mention MB Klein in my post, but second the recommendation for them.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Don't know your location, but one good Canadian shop is www.larkspurline-trains.com . It is my local train shop, but Jeff started out 25+ years ago as a mial order business. Regular retail prices apply, but he often has excellent sale prices on many lines, like Proto, Accurail, and so on. Never had to deal with him by mail as he is 15 minutes away. Service is excellent.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    The place I frequent most around my area is The Train Station. Probably the nicest spot near me to pick anything up I need asap. I have been doing ALOT of my recent on-line business through internettrains & walthers. Walthers wins my vote for best service by far, but when I'm trying to save a buck or two I go to internet trains. Internet trains has a price match guarantee so the price is always as low as I have been able to find said item any place else, or they will make it so. I'm not impressed at all with their service though. I am STILL waiting on an order I placed about 2 weeks ago and paid 3 day shipping for. It's supposed to arrive today thank goodness. I have recieved items from Canada faster. I suppose you can't have your pie and eat it to, although that would be nice. I hope things over at internet trains pick up because I have placed 3 more orders since the first one I'm still waiting on and the last on was for $1700.00+ so I would like to have that on yesterday even though I imagine it will be another two weeks again. Can't start my layout until I get my orders.
  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

  11. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    Very disapointed in internettrains.c0m!! I have placed 4 orders totaling well over $2,000.00 and only recieved one which took 3 weeks even though I paid for 3 day delivery. They said an item on one of my orders wasent in stock and they e-mailed me and where waiting for a reply.....:confused: ....I replied to them immediatley after recieving that e-mail & told them to scratch the coal loads for my Accurail hoppers from list and credit my account....the rest of the order never showed..meanwhile the coal loads I ordered from Walthers as a replacement for the ones internettrains didn't have in stock showed up Wednesday last week!! They said they didn't have the Kadee couplers I ordered for my passenger cars in stock either and were waiting for a shippment to come in....thats why that order never showed...nobody notified me to tell me they didn't have them in stock. I had to call to find out where in the heck my orders were in order to find that out! :curse: My last order I just placed at the beginning of the week was for over $1700.00 and they couldn't tell me jack about the status of that order so, I just canceled them all, and I will take my hard earned loot to someplace with some appreciation for the customer.....geesh what a hassle!! If there was a thumbs down icon I would insert three right here!
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    A hobby circle was also terrible. my uncle ordered me trains, and i only got one car. the other stuff never made it to my uncle, and they gave all sorts of issues with getting the money back.
  13. brakie

    brakie Active Member

  14. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Wow, that's really cruddy service Conrail. I'd have axed the order too... Funny, I just had the same situation with another place that's sorta known for not being too user friendly and it was the exact opposite - they called up, said one item on my order wasn't in stock, offered a suggestion for an alternative, or did I want to drop it from the order. 2 days later (today), I got the order without the out-of-stock item.... There are too many good vendors out there who deserve the business to put up with anything else.
  15. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    I think I may have found a good connection. The guy is a retailer who said he can get me anything Walthers sells at 5-20% off Walthers price depending on the manufacture. I sent him a list for a quote. I had actually done business with him previously and it was fast and smooth. So I decided to contact him regarding my larger order. He said it would take 6-7 days from order to delivery. Sounds like a winner.
  16. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Not too bad. 5-20% off Walthers is okay, though you can usually find 33% off without much trouble. But in the price/reliability spectrum, that ain't bad - especially if he's more to the 20 side than the 5...
  17. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    Everything minus the Kadee items was 25% off!! Most of it was on sale on top of that. The Kadee items are only 5% off. Superb deal!!. If this transaction goes as smooth as my last purchases with him did I'll post a link for you guys. :thumb:
  18. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    One last thing... regarding your tagline... Where should I ship her and how soon will you send the trains?
  19. rilines1

    rilines1 New Member

    mainlinehobbiesinc.com is a great place to shop for N through G scale and a whole lot more! Prices are reasonable. Purchases are shipped promptly and tracked. You want a good place, try them out. Service and delivery are top notch. Maybe paying a little more in price is worth getting your purchases in a timely manner. Good people. [​IMG]
  20. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    I tell you what...... I must say that Walthers has SUPERB customer service. I know the prices are mostly retail but the service is top notch and the shipping is fast. I ordered another set of A I M weathering powders last week and it showed up with two medium earth powders and no grimmy black in the set. I contacted Walthers just to give them a heads up that there must have been a packaging error at the A I M facility and the powders in my set were incorrect. I let them no that it was no problem for me and that it actually worked in my favor as the medium earth powder is the one I use the most and the grimmy black is the one I use the least. Long story short they sent me an e-mail reply and said they apologized for the error and another set of weathering powders were on their way. The told me to keep the old set and appreciated my help. Thats a free $30.00+ set of weathering powders. Thats true customer appreciation! So if anyone is looking for someone reliable for whom to do business with... I don't think you can go wrong with Walthers. No wonder they have been in business for so long. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

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