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Hachette Hogwarts Express


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On 29/08/2020 at 22:12, Hilux5972 said:

Has anyone seen this? Purchased the first issue? Just a test at the moment I believe but at 1:32 scale it should be a very nice size. Just wish it comes to New Zealand! https://hogwartsexpress.hachettepartworks.com

 

Really?!?

 

I'd have thought that they could have gone the whole Hog(warts) an done one that ran on a circle of track round the Christmas tree ! Very seasonal.

 

I'll forego this one, methinks!

 

John Isherwood.

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Looks fairly sharp practice to me. Not immediately obvious that it costs £1200; the number of issues is lurking in the FAQs. And the ridiculously large increase in price per part after initial £2.99. I know you can work these things out from the advert, but they are relying on people signing up without noticing the actual cost, many of whom will not see it through so will have been ripped off.

 

If you are happy with the cost, what guarantee do you have of getting all the parts? You could spend £1000 and end up with part of a model if they cease trading. Essentially you are gambling on their solvency. 

 

Perhaps I am over cynical. 

 

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17 hours ago, Sotto said:

Looks fairly sharp practice to me. Not immediately obvious that it costs £1200; the number of issues is lurking in the FAQs. And the ridiculously large increase in price per part after initial £2.99. I know you can work these things out from the advert, but they are relying on people signing up without noticing the actual cost, many of whom will not see it through so will have been ripped off.

 

If you are happy with the cost, what guarantee do you have of getting all the parts? You could spend £1000 and end up with part of a model if they cease trading. Essentially you are gambling on their solvency. 

 

Perhaps I am over cynical. 

 

 

Yes you are.

 

All made clear to you if you read the blurb. That is clearly visible in all the advertising.

 

You won't have any problems with them going insolvent. The company has been going for nearly 200 years and has made hundreds of these models. They are also the biggest publisher in Europe and worth billions.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachette_(publisher)

 

 

 

Jason

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9 hours ago, Hilux5972 said:

And when you compare the price to a loco and coach bought seperately in 1/32 scale? 

Who knows? I was not making a judgement on whether it was worth £1200; my issue is with the deceptive method of selling and the risk that you won't get all of it.

Although you are also asked to take it on trust that it is worth £1200.I wouldn't buy a finished model for that price, unseen by me or any one else, unreviewed, just from a manufacturers advert. It's a gamble. It might payoff, it might not.

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6 minutes ago, Sotto said:

Who knows? I was not making a judgement on whether it was worth £1200; my issue is with the deceptive method of selling and the risk that you won't get all of it.

Although you are also asked to take it on trust that it is worth £1200.I wouldn't buy a finished model for that price, unseen by me or any one else, unreviewed, just from a manufacturers advert. It's a gamble. It might payoff, it might not.

 

It's not though. They are licenced and made for Warner Bros. Other models are made for Disney. It's a multi national corporation, not a dodgy internet scam.

 

The models have already been made and tested by professional modellers. You aren't buying anything unseen. The Build The Flying Scotsman and Mallard were DJH kits for example. Expensive yes. But you could buy them weekly and got magazines showing you how to build them step by step.

 

There is a forum dedicated to the hundreds of partworks. Maybe read some of it before coming up with conspiracy theories.

 

http://www.partworkmodels.co.uk/phpBB3/index.php

 

 

 

 

Jason

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7 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

It's not though. They are licenced and made for Warner Bros. Other models are made for Disney. It's a multi national corporation, not a dodgy internet scam.

 

The models have already been made and tested by professional modellers. You aren't buying anything unseen. The Build The Flying Scotsman and Mallard were DJH kits for example. Expensive yes. But you could buy them weekly and got magazines showing you how to build them step by step.

 

There is a forum dedicated to the hundreds of partworks. Maybe read some of it before coming up with conspiracy theories.

 

http://www.partworkmodels.co.uk/phpBB3/index.php

 

 

 

 

Jason

I was half hoping for a contrary view, so thank you- I would like to have faith in traders in general!

 

Nevertheless, you are taking a risk that you would not take with a conventional purchase (failure to produce for whatever reason, not just insolvency). It may be a small risk but its still there. I did not realise how big Hachette were- I just associate them with partworks.

 

Interestingly the Wikipedia article you reference mention problems with missing parts- which is one of the issues I would anticipate.

 

Also surely there is an inevitable value problem- you are not just buying the parts, but also 'free ' gifts, and magazines which you may not want, plus a lot of post charges. And their internal admin is surely higher than for  a conventional 'all in one piece' kit sale.

 

I guess the proof of the pudding is in how big a proportion of those who buy the first parts continue to the end and build the model- they are the happy ones - I imagine such information is impossible to find but i'll have a dig!

 

Regardless of that though to me that advert is just designed to catch the unwary. 

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Well, a bit of googling reveals only complaints; Hachette have a Trust pilot score of 93% Bad or Poor out of 232 reviews, mainly around customer service . I know that people who are happy don't write reviews but that's still not good- and the fact that you have to interact in the first place with customer service means there was a problem which you would prefer not to have had, even if you are happy with the solution. And there is so much more scope for problems with this business model than a normal sale.

 

The forum is going to be populated mainly by serious hobbyists who know how the system works and put up with/deal with the problems, a bit like those on here who buy a loco and are prepared to fix faults rather than sending it back- neither represents the general buyer.

 

Edited by Sotto
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5 minutes ago, Sotto said:

I was half hoping for a contrary view, so thank you- I would like to have faith in traders in general!

 

Nevertheless, you are taking a risk that you would not take with a conventional purchase (failure to produce for whatever reason, not just insolvency). It may be a small risk but its still there. I did not realise how big Hachette were- I just associate them with partworks.

 

Interestingly the Wikipedia article you reference mention problems with missing parts- which is one of the issues I would anticipate.

 

Also surely there is an inevitable value problem- you are not just buying the parts, but also 'free ' gifts, and magazines which you may not want, plus a lot of post charges. And their internal admin is surely higher than for  a conventional 'all in one piece' kit sale.

 

I guess the proof of the pudding is in how big a proportion of those who buy the first parts continue to the end and build the model- they are the happy ones - I imagine such information is impossible to find but i'll have a dig!

 

Regardless of that though to me that advert is just designed to catch the unwary. 

 

Where does it even say that?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachette_(publisher)

 

There is no risk at all. It's all written in the small print.

 

https://hachettepartworks.com/en-en/terms-and-conditions.htm

 

 

They've spent millions on just the licensing for Harry Potter. Even if there was a problem they could pay for it out of the office tea money.

 

If you don't want, it don't buy it. But millions of people have bought partworks and are happy.

 

Do you really think that Warner Brothers are going to let a company ruin their name and reputation?

 

 

 

Jason

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Just now, Sotto said:

Well, a bit of googling reveals only complaints; Hachette have a Trust pilot score of 93% Bad or Poor out of 232 reviews, mainly around customer service . I know that people who are happy don't write reviews but that's still not good- and the fact that you have to interact in the first place with customer service means there was a problem which you would prefer not to have had, even if you are happy with the solution. And there is so much more scope for problems with this business model than a normal sale.

 

 

232 reviews. Out of how many million transactions....

 

 

If there was something wrong with Hachette do you think that WHSmiths, Sainsburys and Tescos would stock them?

 

And Disney, Warner Brothers and Universal would let them use their licensing for things like Star Wars, Harry Potter and James Bond?

 

Not a chance in hell.

 

 

Jason

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Look, I am not suggesting it is some sort of swindle or conspiracy . It is a high cost sales model, rather like selling insurance door to door used to be. Both lead to the cost of the product being higher than it otherwise would be. Neither are conspiracies or cons.

In addition it has the potential for problems caused by the numerous transactions required where one would occur in a conventional sale. 

 

 You may think the way they are sold is totally fair and they are good value- that's fine.  I don't think so and that's fine too. There is not much point arguing because we clearly won't agree, and the data to settle it is confidential to Hachette and the rest of them so we won't get anywhere.  

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The rolling road approach to displaying the completed model is interesting- I've not seen that before (except at the Science Museum and those coin in the slot model locos you used to see at certain stations and possibly still do)

 

I same to remember that we had a similar conversation about Hachette's "Your Model Railway Village" partwork a few years ago. I was deeply umnimpressed with that (and its French and Italian equivalents) as the end result was a decidedly track mat "train set"  layout, using steel track, at a total cost at least double that of building an equivalent  layout in a more conventional way.

The partwork approach isn't dishonest, the price rise after the first few editions is normal and probably explicable by the far larger sales these things get in their early stages that gradually tail off through their run, but it is a very inefficient way of buying a model. The plus is that, if you decide after starting it that you're not as interested as you thought you were going to be, then you won't have wasted too much money. I suspect that the profits come from the large number of people who buy the first few editions - in normal times those that appear in the newsagents before they go to subscription only- and go no further.  

Some people do seem to like this approach for trying out a new hobby, and you do get the editorial content of the accompanying magazine, Personally I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole. 

Update

I've now also been through the TrustPilot and other reviews of Hachette Partworks and noted this judgement from the Advertising Standards Authority

https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/hachette-partworks-ltd-a18-436764.html

Make that a twenty foot bargepole!

Edited by Pacific231G
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