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There were about 3 pegs of Blacksmith coach kits hanging on the stand at S4um.  I bought one which was the last of that kind.  These had recently appeared on the website but I was loathed to send any money via that method and waited for the show instead.  The stock for the item I bought is now presumably exhausted though it is still listed as for sale on the website.  Let the buyer beware!

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If everything fails, I'm not sure that he'd sell on, though. Pride is a strange thing.

And also like so many of these "hobby" businesses will want to recover the amount invested (so often far more than it was worth) and then have the claim that there is "goodwill" in the business. In reality as in most of these businesses there is no "goodwill" - even with the big names as it dies with the original owner.

Edited by Kenton
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I saw this stand at S4N on Sunday, and I was struck by two things, the first that no one was buying while all the other traders were absolutely besieged, and secondly that the owner was hidden away at the back of the display and seemed to be engrossed in his laptop. All very odd.

 

Regards

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I saw this stand at S4N on Sunday, and I was struck by two things, the first that no one was buying while all the other traders were absolutely besieged, and secondly that the owner was hidden away at the back of the display and seemed to be engrossed in his laptop. All very odd.

 

Regards

Busy doing all his refunds and replies on here ???  :jester:  :no:  :O

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And also like so many of these "hobby" businesses will want to recover the amount invested (so often far more than it was worth) and then have the claim that there is "goodwill" in the business. In reality as in most of these businesses there is no "goodwill" - even with the big names as it dies with the original owner.

A "brand" has a value. It might be worth next to nothing (as in this case) or have a reasonable sale value, as in the case of the Martin Finney range. The real value depends on what someone is willing to pay for it.

 

A new owner can maintain, improve or destroy the the brand value, depending on how they manage the business.

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Or, in the case of Blacksmith, has been killed stone dead by the current owner

 

Not really, though he has not helped. This was the second sale of the Blacksmith range. The first was not succesful either and included a terrible website that was always waiting to be updated. Some things never change. The coopercraft range of GWR wagons were good for their time. But I am currently converting some to P4 and by the time you improve the underframes and brake gear about the only things left are the sides and ends! time has moved on me thinks. Same goes with the Mallard/Blacksmith range.

 

Craig W

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I saw this stand at S4N on Sunday, and I was struck by two things, the first that no one was buying while all the other traders were absolutely besieged,

and secondly that the owner was hidden away at the back of the display and seemed to be engrossed in his laptop. All very odd.

 

Paul Dunn had stock on Saturday and lots of buyers, so little was left on Sunday.

 

I sympathise with him tinkling his laptop to alleviate boredom when it was quiet, but if you went and talked to him he was receptive to comments and enquiries. That is not to say he can act upon them if circumstances are beyond his control...bust machine etc.

 

Another dormant  product changed hands this winter and the new owner helped to capitalise his business by seeking cash injections from enthusiasts. This appears to have worked as he has launched the product.

 

I wonder if some of those here who have spent the last year or so criticising Paul would be willing to put up say £50 to help him move forward?

Think positive and do something to help instead of just moaning from the sidelines!

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It would be a great pity if some of these kits were lost to the hobby and its a very good idea fora type of crowd funding to assist a struggling company and I for one would not mind stumping up the said amount to help out in return for perhaps a credit against future purchases.

 

Having said that one must balance out what has gone on before. Is it just one broken machine that is causing the problems ? if so why cannot the injection moulding be outsourced ?

 

Secondly for this to work for me there needs to be someone not involved with the business to have a credible business plan and hold the purse strings. In principle though sounds a good idea

 

By the way, which range is it that has been bought back into production please

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Paul Dunn had stock on Saturday and lots of buyers, so little was left on Sunday.

 

I sympathise with him tinkling his laptop to alleviate boredom when it was quiet, but if you went and talked to him he was receptive to comments and enquiries. That is not to say he can act upon them if circumstances are beyond his control...bust machine etc.

 

Another dormant  product changed hands this winter and the new owner helped to capitalise his business by seeking cash injections from enthusiasts. This appears to have worked as he has launched the product.

 

I wonder if some of those here who have spent the last year or so criticising Paul would be willing to put up say £50 to help him move forward?

Think positive and do something to help instead of just moaning from the sidelines!

 

I already paid ******* £30 to move him forward. That is the problem. How much more money would you like him to devour with nothing to show for it?

 

I sell stuff online, I dispatch within seven days, I have never had a chargeback ever. I am not interested in any excuses on his behalf about defective IT skills. This stuff is not difficult to get right.

 

The only way to fix this guy once and for all is to starve him of his retail opportunities. If we had a list of all his forthcoming exhibition venues plus emails of exhibition organisers, each one should be contacted and warned that they are allowing someone on the premises who would feature in Watchdog if he was in a different business. Do not accept his stand booking fee.

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I wonder if some of those here who have spent the last year or so criticising Paul would be willing to put up say £50 to help him move forward?

Think positive and do something to help instead of just moaning from the sidelines!

 

Just buy £50 worth of kits from the website.

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I have inadvertently contributed £10.50 to the "Keep Paul Dunn afloat" fund. Not much, but every little helps him keep going to take advantage of others.

 

 

 

 

Edited to point out my contribution was not voluntary , but through the mistaken belief that he would actually supply items listed as available on his website!

Edited by LNWRmodeller
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  • RMweb Gold

Another dormant  product changed hands this winter and the new owner helped to capitalise his business by seeking cash injections from enthusiasts. This appears to have worked as he has launched the product.

 

I wonder if some of those here who have spent the last year or so criticising Paul would be willing to put up say £50 to help him move forward?

Think positive and do something to help instead of just moaning from the sidelines!

Whilst I understand the sentiment behind your thinking that really isn't a good idea, given his track record in taking orders without being able to fulfill them I do not think he is someone that it would be possible to trust in such a scheme. His best option is to seek finance and business guidance from someone with some business acumen .....and a good lawyer...

 

What was the other product ? I can't think.

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I wonder if some of those here who have spent the last year or so criticising Paul would be willing to put up say £50 to help him move forward?

Think positive and do something to help instead of just moaning from the sidelines!

 

If he want's to go down that route, maybe a request on the front page of his website for investors (not customers!) would be appropriate.

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I already paid ******* £30 to move him forward. That is the problem. How much more money would you like him to devour with nothing to show for it?

 

I sell stuff online, I dispatch within seven days, I have never had a chargeback ever. I am not interested in any excuses on his behalf about defective IT skills. This stuff is not difficult to get right.

 

The only way to fix this guy once and for all is to starve him of his retail opportunities. If we had a list of all his forthcoming exhibition venues plus emails of exhibition organisers, each one should be contacted and warned that they are allowing someone on the premises who would feature in Watchdog if he was in a different business. Do not accept his stand booking fee.

 

 

I do understand your annoyance and would be as upset as you are, but that does not save the range

 

Just buy £50 worth of kits from the website.

 

I think that has been tried with varying sucess of failure.  

I have contributed £10.50 to the "Keep Paul Dunn afloat" fund. Not much, but every little helps him keep going to take advantage of others.

 

By the sound of it a lot more finance is needed, but it is a step in the right direction

 

Whilst I understand the sentiment behind your thinking that really isn't a good idea, given his track record in taking orders without being able to fulfill them I do not think he is someone that it would be possible to trust in such a scheme. His best option is to seek finance and business guidance from someone with some business acumen .....and a good lawyer...

 

What was the other product ? I can't think.

 

That's why there needs to be an independent third party who understands finance and will keep investors informed exactly what is happenning

Edited by hayfield
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You would also need his interest and agreement!

That, I suspect would be the hardest part.....especially if he has had the misfortune to read this thread!

Don't jump down my throat, like Hayfield I can understand people being fedup, but you cannot have your cake and eat it to!

I suggested a while back in this thread that if people were so upset with the issues to look to helping him and I was NOT talking about buying a few kits.

I believe Hayfield is on the right track, but I also think it would need tact, to approach him in the first instance.

After all it is his business, no matter what others think of the way he runs it.

I would have thought if he was agreeable to financial help it could see the kits continue for years to come.

One other thing that has been touched on, is the issue of whether the kits are now to dated for what modellers expect.

Either way I think that will always be a market for the kits no matter what. With the cost of having moulds made and recouping costs I suspect will be getting prohibitive unless someone in the hobby has a vested interest.

The other thing to consider is that printing is moving along in leaps and bounds, to the point  that I wonder whether there will be injection moulding in a couple of years time!

 

khris

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Couple of points here

  • Three-four years is a long time to have a "my machine is problematic" on the front page of the website
  • I've previously reported that there was a proposal to buy the business by a well known name - price was much too high
  • I've previously reported tht a shop near me has said that the latest quality of stuff they'd received was "dire".
  • For both of these the informant areed to me posting but not identifying them.
  • A quick scan of eBay produces prices for used injection moulding machines of £1-5k
  • BUT it's the moulds that cost an make or break the kit - moulds wear - comment about dire quality above
  • Does the person in change have the engineering skill to make new moulds even if a machine could be funded? On his own? With little demonstrated business acumen thus far?

I'm not going to waste fifty quid. I'm not even going to waste fifty pence.

 

As has been suggested above - 3D printiing may well be the way forward for this hobby.

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In this post Ian Kirk, the man who started the range, mentioned the alteration of moulds etc. As I understand matters (and please correct me if I'm wrong), injection moulding machines work to moulds of a standard size, but the coach roofs and sides were larger than the standard size of mould available at the time, so the moulds were made to a larger than standard size and the injection moulding machine modified accordingly to work with these larger moulds.

 

From what I have been told, the problem is not with getting hold of moulding machines, but getting hold of one that is identical to the modified machine, which is, of course, nigh on impossible.

 

If this is correct, the current owner seems to be in a difficult position and one that, to my mind, doesn't seem to have an easy answer.

 

Phil

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It would be a great pity if some of these kits were lost to the hobby and its a very good idea fora type of crowd funding to assist a struggling company and I for one would not mind stumping up the said amount to help out in return for perhaps a credit against future purchases.

 

Having said that one must balance out what has gone on before. Is it just one broken machine that is causing the problems ? if so why cannot the injection moulding be outsourced ?

 

Secondly for this to work for me there needs to be someone not involved with the business to have a credible business plan and hold the purse strings. In principle though sounds a good idea

 

By the way, which range is it that has been bought back into production please

There now, someone is thinking positively   :heart_mini:

I agree re a third party to manage this proposal.

Lets see if there are any more positive thinkers.

While I am probably not that 3rd party I do know Paul well enough to make such a suggestion to him

I will pm you re the PRODUCT not range I referred to.

Reluctant to mention it in public as it will only stir up more hornets.

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