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Hello all,


I'm fairly new to G-scale, but one of the first things I found out is you can't afford to buy stuff at the local hobby shops, even if the have things in stock.  I began purchasing my trains and track in September, using a certain internet shop out of Horseheads, NY.  The prices were good (a relative term in G-scale) but their delivery has been questionable at best.  My question is what are the best internet train shops for price and delivery?


Thanks
 

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Never had anything but good service and pricing from Ridge Road Station.


 


http://www.ridgeroadstation.com/
 

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Ken:

The relative small market for LS trains, batch rather than continuous production and a supply chain that in most cases stretches to China causes lots of availability uncertainties, delays and missed deliveries. Each person seems to have their favorite source, but there is no single source that has the best prices, everything in stock, and will make their shipping schedules 100%.

Another wrinkle is that the shop with the best price sometimes has the highest shipping and handling charge, thus negating part of the low price. Be certain you understand what additional charges are involved before giving them your CC.

I'm certain the next 10 posts will sight deficiencies with (insert supplier name) and give assurance that (insert supplier name) has never missed a delivery, but in my opinion they are all about the same. I would encourage you to find the best way to contact whatever supplier(s) you choose. This can access the best information to trace items that are slow in getting to your RR. Simply sending a supplier an email is usually the way to get ignored.

Just one example: I have found Bachmann service to be good, but emails and / or phone calls to their 800 number often go unanswered or do not produce a result. Calling their regular business number during their East Coast office hours does get good results.

Most of the large on-line vendors are good when it comes to getting a set, car or other large packaged items off the shelf and sending it to you. Getting scratchbuild and other small parts is often more difficult. I do trade with Wholesale Trains and have found them to be good in all respects, even getting some items (trucks) they did not have in stock and that were no longer being manufactured. It just took a while, but no one else offered to get the parts, so waiting was the only way to get the result I wanted.

'The Bachmann' (moderator of Bachmann's forum site) has a single word saying: "Anticipate". That about summarizes the LS train market.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
 

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I've had good experiences with:

ridgeroadstation.com
rctrains.com
staubintrains.com
caboosehobbies.com
rldhobbies.com
 

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Simply sending a supplier an email is usually the way to get ignored.


Hear, hear! Couldn't be better said...
 

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I'll add my 2 cents here.    Be sure to ask if the item is in stock.   Just because it is on their web site does not mean it is "in stock".  
 

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I've had good luck with Caboose Hobbies in Denver. http://www.caboosehobbies.com/catalog/index.php Their on line catalog has a clever search engine and tells you if something is in stock or not. They are quick to put things in the mail or UPS. They are responsive when you call them with a query. They, are other dealers, are subject to the delivery whims of manufacturers when items are out of stock. However, I have found that their in store stock is very good. By the way, it's a fascinating place to visit if you are ever in town.
 
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Posted By chooch on 01/07/2008 3:40 PM


Never had anything but good service and pricing from Ridge Road Station.


 


http://www.ridgeroadstation.com/


 


If I have to spend money on trains and Dave can't get it for me...I shop here as well!  I havae never had a bad transaction at with RidgeroadHorseheads has dissappointed too many times!


Nothing avail locally!  as you well know!


 


cale



 
 

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Trainworld and Ridge Road Station have good prices and service. As far as service is concerned, the jury's still out on Wholesale Trains as I just recently placed an order with them. I rarely if ever buy stuff at the LHS.
 

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Make sure you ask about what happens if a product arrives damaged or broke. I found out the hard way with St. Aubins. You have to file a claim and UPS has to come pick up the damaged goods. Then you wait and wait. According to St. Aubins I won't know anything until next Monday.So that means I am at least going to be Two and a half weeks out from having my repalcement. And that is if everything goes well.
 

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I've had nothing but good service from Nicholas Smith Trains ( http://www.nstrains.com/ ). They seem to do a good job of keeping track of what they have in stock, and showing this on their web site, and if it's not, they have contacted me (unlike some other vendors).
 

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Ridge Road Station gets my vote for best. However St Aubins and Wholesale Trains are better than average. Just a note, living in Arizona if I want something from St Aubins I call the Las Vegas store and order it over the phone, otherwise if I order it over the internet they ship it out of their Illinois shop and the shipping is more.
 

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I would second JerryB's comments that "most" large online and magazine sources do a pretty good job most of the time. i've had great service from Ridge Road and from Wholesale Trains as well as Trainworld/Trainland. Over the phone as well as in person within the last year. I've also ordered from St. Aubin's over the phone and a handful of other online & magazine advertisers. I've ordered enough over the years that I've had problems with all of them too. I've also ordered parts from Charles Ro and gotten stellar service as well as slow service. Sometimes you've simply got to wait for more parts to be made.

There are some things you can do to prevent potential problems. Most important is to call during their business hours. If you have questions ask them. If you do not want to be "surprised" by shipping costs, ask before they hit the payment key on the CC. Make sure they have it in stock and will be shipping within a day or so. If tehy do not and you know that no one lese has it make sure they will be getting it. Some places will wait to place an order with a manufacturer until they have a minimum dollar amount to order from that manufacturer. Not because they want to but because they have to per the manufacturers rules. Make sure it is the right color roadname or model number if you can. Saves shipping things back. Ask if the box has been opened. For some products this makes a difference. If it is a highly collectable piece then you want it un-opened or at least know that it was on display at the store and was properly re-packed and re-packaged.

After all the horror stories however most of the time things go right. this isn't rocket science but there are lots of places for things to go wrong on all sides. Only so many things you can do and the store & shippers can do to prevent that.

Good luck and enjoy!

Chas
 
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Gscale juntion in ohio and southeast trains in goergia are one of the best places to buy, and they bolth will price match and most times you can talk them into free shipping, me personally , i would stay away from st. aulbins, that place is a joke!!! no one there noes much about trains or customer service...
Nick S.
 

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I have  Delt with   Caboose,   Ridge Road andn St Aubins  depending on which one had what I wanted   IN STOCK.  They all  have been  good to deal with.  Just shop around.
 

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I've had excellent experiences with G-Scale Junction (best email responses ever!) and Gold Coast Station. I've also had great experiences with St Aubins, both in person & via mail order (before they opened their LV store). I order lots of parts from Wholesale Trains, and am pleased with service & delivery, but their shipping charges tend to be on the high side. I'm sure there are a couple of others I've dealt with successfully but can't remember just now (sorry!). Hope this helps.
 
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