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Hattons / Bachmann New Stock / cancelled pre-orders (07 Aug)

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2 minutes ago, melmoth said:

 

Mike, I hesitate to disagree with you, both on the basis of wisdom and knowledge, but I think Hattons have dealt with this reasonably well. It is only within the last couple of days that Hattons have cancelled pre-orders and Bachmann have removed Hattons from their list of retailers. These roughly simultaneous actions would obviously suggest that both parties have arrived at a point of mutual (and terminal) disagreement. However, for either to have acted before this point would have precipitous, assuming that both parties were acting in good faith, and both had hoped for a positive resolution.

I follow the logic of that, but it left the pre-orderers in limbo. Had they known months ago that Hatton's  would be unable to fulfill their order, then making alternative arrangements would have ensured supply. It might have happened that a pre-order item appeared and sold out elsewhere, leaving the perceived wisdom of pre-ordering looking silly. Perhaps an interim statement advising that delivery was uncertain might have helped. As it is, this thread now includes a number of customers who will not patronise Hatton's until hell freezes over, and some bad-mouthing will be spread about. Not clever. 

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8 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

I follow the logic of that, but it left the pre-orderers in limbo. Had they known months ago that Hatton's  would be unable to fulfill their order, then making alternative arrangements would have ensured supply. It might have happened that a pre-order item appeared and sold out elsewhere, leaving the perceived wisdom of pre-ordering looking silly. Perhaps an interim statement advising that delivery was uncertain might have helped. As it is, this thread now includes a number of customers who will not patronise Hatton's until hell freezes over, and some bad-mouthing will be spread about. Not clever. 

 

Yes Ian, I do agree to a point, particularly as emphasised in my quote from your post. But conversely, how do you think it would have played if Hattons had cancelled all Bachmann pre-orders, only for the two parties then to have reached an agreement?

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10 minutes ago, melmoth said:

 

Yes Ian, I do agree to a point, particularly as emphasised in my quote from your post. But conversely, how do you think it would have played if Hattons had cancelled all Bachmann pre-orders, only for the two parties then to have reached an agreement?

Indeed rock and hard place stuff. But in general if you put the customer first, he/she may come back. A number will not be doing so now. A calculated risk, perhaps. 

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47 minutes ago, olivegreen said:

Reading this because I, too, have had the Hattons e-mail cancelling my Bachmann Bulleid coaches pre-order.

For the modeller - the consumer - the background to the apparent dispute is irrelevant, he simply exercises his right to order from another supplier.

But having seen the prices of current Bachmann coaches (pushing 80 notes each at full RRP), a price when (if) they are released in the order of £240 for a 3-coach set is eye-watering stuff.

Now, if Hattons are clear (for whatever reason) of commitments to Bachmann, how about them commissioning Bulleid 64' coaches? On recent experience, they'll be available long before any Bachmann ones are likely to be.

Just a thought...

 

You mean, why don't Hattons sink many tens of thousands of pounds into producing a product that they know will be duplicated in the very near future, aiming at a market that has decided it doesn't want to pay the price of the competitor but might be willing to pay a lower price. 

 

I can see the meeting, "Hey guys, anyone got the price of a Bentley going spare? I know a group of people who want very cheap coaches and have promised that they won't endlessly demand the very highest levels of detail and finish on a popular web forum. All we have to do is drop everything else and rush them though..."

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32 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

I follow the logic of that, but it left the pre-orderers in limbo. Had they known months ago that Hatton's  would be unable to fulfill their order, then making alternative arrangements would have ensured supply. It might have happened that a pre-order item appeared and sold out elsewhere, leaving the perceived wisdom of pre-ordering looking silly. Perhaps an interim statement advising that delivery was uncertain might have helped. As it is, this thread now includes a number of customers who will not patronise Hatton's until hell freezes over, and some bad-mouthing will be spread about. Not clever. 

TBH, all that has happened is what many of us had already factored into our pre-ordering the better part of a year ago. I'm in the "fortunate" position that I'm not really expecting to see my 1P or Bulleid coaches much before 2021 anyhow. 

 

Hatton's had burnt their bridges as soon as they committed substantial funds to tooling their 66s. It seemed unlikely that either side could back down; Hatton's because they were past the point of no return and Bachmann because to do so might easily have led to other large retailers following Hatton's lead..

 

Yes, Hatton's cancellation of pre-orders was abrupt, without adequate explanation, and could have been handled much better. An announcement on their web page of the position, giving notice that email confirmation to those directly affected would follow within a week should have satisfied most people. 

 

On the other hand, it could have been handled much worse, either by not saying anything and allowing everyone to find out (or not) from Bachmann. Worse still, those whose ears aren't close to the ground might blithely consider their pre-ordered loco etc. was "in the bag" only to have same surprise sprung on them after other retailers had pre-sold all their allocated stock and it was too late to make alternative arrangements.

 

From a PR perspective, Hatton's have dropped one, but they have essentially done the right thing, however badly they presented it. 

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Ah yes, the voice of common sense. I withdraw my previous comment.

Phil (another one).

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I've been a customer of Hattons for decades. Spending 10's of thousands in that time. I have never had any cause for complaint. I cannot remember any deliveries that were damaged or not working. I certainly have never had to return anything. All delivered to me in the States in a very short period at reasonable cost. Not Amazon quick but around 2 weeks after shipping.

 

I've used other companies when I wanted to buy something not available from Hattons and I'm sure they're all great folks but I've had problems. VAT not deducted, expensive postage, deposits required for pre-orders (I hate that), delivery problems, and more. So I'm reluctant. Hattons really is the best in my book.

 

I received the Hattons email cancelling about 800 pounds worth of my Bachmann pre-orders. It's was short and to the point "We are no longer able to fulfil (sic) this pre-order and have therefore cancelled the order on our system, and from your account".  Nothing there for me to get upset about. In fact I thought it was cool of them to tell me so that I could place pre-orders elsewhere.

 

Which I might for the items I really, really want like the wellington brown birdcages and the Parrot wagons. But not all. I'll just spend the money with another manufacturer like when I cancelled my Bachmann mobile crane pre-order (the price has gotten rather silly), the money went to Oxford for a couple of Dean goods.

 

Who loses in this disagreement? I think everyone does. Hattons loses sales revenue. Bachmann loses a route to market which, whatever folks tell you, is never a good thing. And I lose out on some upcoming models. I suppose Rails & Kernow make out but not if they have plans to start manufacturing models and if Hattons makes a success of it, they surely will.

 

All in all, a bit sad.

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I cancelled my Farish pre-orders with Hattons and sought alternative suppliers some time ago as I could see where this was heading.  The only pre-orders I had left with Hattons were for DJM products which I cancelled as soon as that infamous Ratners-esque moment occured.

 

Having received excellent service from other retailers I doubt I will ever be a customer of Hattons ever again after over thirty years.

 

It's been a weird year in the Railway Modelling Universe!  And there is still five months left to go... 

 

 

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What I find unacceptable with Bachmann's pricing is I have a rake if Mark 1 Pullman's, looking at the prices £19  would have been an average prices looking at the stickers.

 

I can accept that new models you factor in the cost if development etc, but for a coach they have had the tooling  for nearly 20 years to change nearly £75 rep I find ridiculous.

 

So by that if Hattons had not brought out their 66 what would Bachmann have pushed their 66 prices to.

 

Completion is healthy for the modeller, look at Hornby and their reaction by bringing out their numerous liveries 66's at reasonable prices for the modeller.

 

Completion is healthy but nit fir Bachmann.

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, John M Upton said:

... I doubt I will ever be a customer of Hattons ever again after over thirty years.

...

 

 

Blimey. I thought loyalty worked both ways?!

 

I've been a Hattons customer for a similar amount of time. They have always given me impeccable service. I felt a strong pang of disappointment when they stopped using string on their parcels, but I figured you have to take the rough with the smooth. 

 

Rails has got my 4-figure order for 158/159s, the only things I wanted from Bachmann (I mostly enjoy ex-M&GN/ex-GER lines, so Bachmann has never been a major supplier). 

 

Everything else on pre-order can happily stay with Hattons. 

 

Paul

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6 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

Not quite a parallel case.

 

Choosing not to supply goods to a retailer, without good reason such as non-payment, certainly used to fall foul of EU law as a restraint of trade.

 

Breach of contract terms sounds like a good reason.

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29 minutes ago, NINJA said:

Completion is healthy but nit fir Bachmann.

 

Officer Crabtree is alive and well.

 

We spent an interesting day last week which including looking at what goes into the decoration of the Western Pullman which explains some of the costs. I'd love it to be compulsory viewing for those mumbling about prices.

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Mmm, so to sum up my understanding of the situation:

 

Hattons and Bachmann have had a parting of the ways for reasons officially not commented on but possibly contractual.

 

Bachmann continue to sell to other retailers.

 

Other manufacturers continue to sell to Hattons.

 

The world is continuing in it's orbit around the Sun.  The sky has not fallen in, and the four horsemen of the apocalypse are still sunning themselves on the Costa Brava.

 

In other news, model railway enthusiasts were today hailed by environmentalists for providing nest sites to thousands of wasps in their underpants

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1 minute ago, wombatofludham said:

Mmm, so to sum up my understanding of the situation:

 

Hattons and Bachmann have had a parting of the ways for reasons officially not commented on but possibly contractual.

 

Bachmann continue to sell to other retailers.

 

Other manufacturers continue to sell to Hattons.

 

The world is continuing in it's orbit around the Sun.  The sky has not fallen in, and the four horsemen of the apocalypse are still sunning themselves on the Costa Brava.

 

In other news, model railway enthusiasts were today hailed by environmentalists for providing nest sites to thousands of wasps in their underpants

 

Fake news......................

 

Well at least the last one is.

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Quoting Andy.

 

We spent an interesting day last week which including looking at what goes into the decoration of the Western Pullman which explains some of the costs. I'd love it to be compulsory viewing for those mumbling about prices.

 

 

 

Yes I agree with what you say about the Western Pullman, but those other Pullman's for £75  have been tooled a long long time ago.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, NINJA said:

What I find unacceptable with Bachmann's pricing is I have a rake if Mark 1 Pullman's, looking at the prices £19  would have been an average prices looking at the stickers.

 

I can accept that new models you factor in the cost if development etc, but for a coach they have had the tooling  for nearly 20 years to change nearly £75 rep I find ridiculous.

 

So by that if Hattons had not brought out their 66 what would Bachmann have pushed their 66 prices to.

 

Completion is healthy for the modeller, look at Hornby and their reaction by bringing out their numerous liveries 66's at reasonable prices for the modeller.

 

Completion is healthy but nit fir Bachmann.

 

 

 

On the assumption you meant competition (not completion which, for example, with DJM was lacking/the problem) is it good for the UK modeller? Having, had model trains since the mid-1950s it seems every time we have more than two main stream suppliers within the market at least one goes bust, leaves the market or at least a segment of it. 

 

The list of vanished makers is quite long; the cake at any given time is finite, selling thin slices does not a profitable operation make.

Edited by john new

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2 hours ago, Ronny said:

 ........ I suppose Rails & Kernow make out but not if they have plans to start manufacturing models and if Hattons makes a success of it, they surely will.

 

Rails seem to be following a commissioning model, rather than manufacturing.  

 

Yes, Kernow are now having stuff made for them directly, but they are playing a canny game and developing a niche for themselves.  Bulleid diesels, Beattie Well Tanks, GWR steam rail motors and their like are not going to stomp on the big boys toes.

 

In going for the Class 66, and supplying it to other retailers, Hatton’s have gone straight up against what is probably Bachmann’s most popular model.  That is a very different approach!

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4 hours ago, melmoth said:

 

Yes Ian, I do agree to a point, particularly as emphasised in my quote from your post. But conversely, how do you think it would have played if Hattons had cancelled all Bachmann pre-orders, only for the two parties then to have reached an agreement?

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

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Posted (edited)

Personally what I will most miss is the pictures of REAL models posted on Bachmann's website, and continuation of those pics after stock is sold out (Rails also have pictures, but pages are taken down when sold out).

The situation does seem to have got out of hand. Hornby are not severing ties with Rails due to the duplication of the Terrier. This will probably hurt Hattons more than Bachmann. How often have people ordered a loco, and added a couple of other items given flat rate postage, swelling overall sales. Obviously Hattons will know what percentage of orders comprised Bachmann items, but still, there is an element of cutting the nose to spite the face here.

 

It certainly marks the end of Hattons as a 'one stop shop' stocking nearly all of the major RTR in British model railways

Edited by G-BOAF
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6 minutes ago, G-BOAF said:

Personally what I will most miss is the pictures of REAL models posted on Bachmann's website, and continuation of those pics after stock is sold out (Rails also have pictures, but pages are taken down when sold out).

The situation does seem to have got out of hand. Hornby are not severing ties with Rails due to the duplication of the Terrier. This will probably hurt Hattons more than Bachmann. How often have people ordered a loco, and added a couple of other items given flat rate postage, swelling overall sales. Obviously Hattons will know what percentage of orders comprised Bachmann items, but still, there is an element of cutting the nose to spite the face here.

 

It certainly marks the end of Hattons as a 'one stop shop' stocking nearly all of the major RTR in British model railways

The situation between Hornby and rails regarding the terrier is different as rails have commissioned the terrier from Dapol and aren't selling it to other shops/retailers. 

 

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2 hours ago, wombatofludham said:

In other news, model railway enthusiasts were today hailed by environmentalists for providing nest sites to thousands of wasps in their underpants

Never seen wasps wearing underpants ......

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6 hours ago, melmoth said:

 

Mike, I hesitate to disagree with you, both on the basis of wisdom and knowledge, but I think Hattons have dealt with this reasonably well. It is only within the last couple of days that Hattons have cancelled pre-orders and Bachmann have removed Hattons from their list of retailers. These roughly simultaneous actions would obviously suggest that both parties have arrived at a point of mutual (and terminal) disagreement. However, for either to have acted before this point would have precipitous, assuming that both parties were acting in good faith, and both had hoped for a positive resolution.

I think the problem is their wording - judging by the reaction on here in various threads where people have immediately formed the opinion that there are huge delays to Bachmann products or they are not going to be made at all, and have come on RMweb to say so.  I had thought the situation of Bachmann not supplying Hattons any more was fairly common knowledge and it certainly seems to have been the case, albeit on anecdotal evidence, for over 8 months thus the cancellation of the pre-order could have been mentally linked linked to that.

 

But obviously not everybody was aware of the situation and equally 'your pre-order is cancelled' is, in my view, rather abrupt and the reason could have been, and perhaps should have been, explained.  Maybe Hattons were simply hoping that putting it that way they did would mean some of the lost Bachmann pre-orders might be transferred to something else (which they will be able to supply)?  But surely it would have been more informative from the customer's viewpoint to simply say Hattons are no longer stocking new Bachmann items?

 

And of course not all of Hattons customers look at RMweb and they might well read one of the magazines.  Such as 'Model Rail' which has landed on my doormat within the past couple of days which, as usual, shows a progress chart for several items from Bachmann.  I would agree that should somebody care to look more closely at the advert they won't find any upcoming Bachmann items listed nor is there a 'forthcoming' feature on Bachmann models - as  has been the case for a while now.  But if someone has placed an order in the past I suspect they might look no further than the progress chart.

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We all interpret messages differently.  Terse and impersonal to one person is fine and sufficient to another.  I felt that the email I received was impersonal and off-hand, effectively throwing my money back at me (which of course had not yet changed hands) without the decency of a sensible explanation.

 

I will agree to differ with those who see things from other viewpoints.  But I will not be back shopping with Hattons.

 

A reply email arrived today.  This time it was addressed personally no doubt because it was a reply to my initial response not an apparently generic email to possibly thousands of customers.  It didn't elaborate on the reasons why pre-orders were cancelled.  Rather I was effectively offered the other brands which, I was assured, Hattons would continue to be able to supply.

 

There is some overlap between brands.  Mk1 coaching stock and a few locomotives and wagons might sum it up.  The items cancelled are not available from another manufacturer therefore I have placed the orders elsewhere as mentioned above.  If I am accused of throwing toys out of the pram then that is the interpretation placed upon my comments by others.  When I order with the supermarket I want oranges not apples.  When I order model railway items I want what I order not something else.  

 

Hattons once had the personal touch but have shifted their business model so far away from that in the direction they see fit.  So be it.  Other retailers still sign their till receipts with a "Thank you" note from the staff member packing the order.   One lost customer may not break the camel's back but I feel I have been treated as a number rather than the valued customer any business needs to stay afloat.  

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It was very good of them to reply to you after you stated you were never going to shop with them again.  They would have had nothing to lose by ignoring you, but instead someone sat down and typed out an email to you personally.  Customer service eh?

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No one yet has mentioned Bachmann's production run limits now that Hattons are no longer one of their major wholesalers.  All assume that demand for Bachmann new releases will simply flow onto other dealers complying with Bachmann T&C's.  Now if Bachmann are not supplying Hattons then why assume that they will still maintain normal production runs.  Could not Bachmann reduce their run numbers in light of one of their major suppliers is no longer in the game thus by limiting supply Bachmann are artificially maintaining a non-discounted pricing policy.  This will no doubt be good for smaller outlets unable to meet the discounting provided by the larger stores.

 

Secondly, regarding T&C's in supply contracts.  Several years ago, possibly in response from overseas distributors of  Hornby products to limit grey imports, Hornby introduced a new policy for UK model shops that they were not to supply foreign countries.  Well that obviously seems to have been forgotten as I experienced no disruption in my purchases of Hornby items from the UK.   Manufacturers can ignore breaches in their terms and conditions when it suits them to do so.

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