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southernelectric

New Hornby Collectors Club?

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Can't remember where I read it on this forum, but I'm sure somebody mentioned that at Warley Hornby were talking about a new collectors club for next year, to incorporate the other brands it owns (Scalextric et al).

 

Anyone have some more details they can share?

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If you check out www.Hornby.com and scroll down and click on 'collectors club' you will find the info you need.

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Looks like they are getting rid of the free loco or catalogue choice now. There goes my plan to join the club in 2015

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Looks like they are getting rid of the free loco or catalogue choice now. There goes my plan to join the club in 2015

 

It does say "£20 voucher to spend on exclusive club models" though. Having said that, I always thought the club loco was worth more than £20....

 

Likewise, I will be considering whether to renew, or to swap allegance to the Bachmann club. 

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I won't be sad to see the club loco go. I never liked it.  Bachmann does a better job of exclusive products for members.

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There is even less in the new club to attract me. It seems even less a club for serious railway modellers than the current one. I certainly wouldn't subscribe to it as an addition to the Bachmann Club, let alone a replacement for it!

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I am actually looking forward to the new club. I have a big Scalextric layout for starters and also I like the download option that will be available so that suits me just fine. 

 

YMMV of course.

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Looking at the scant information from Hornby it seems that the club fee is being cut (down to £15 if you opt for electronic versions of the magazine) including a £20 voucher to spend on the Hornby (including all Hornby brands) website. In addition you get 10% off any purchases from their website, the possibility to jump the queue in pre-orders and exclusive models to purchase. This doesn't seem too bad value, especially as the majority of the old fee went into posting out the magazine which was of very little interest anyway. Often the Hornby website becomes cheaper than most retailers (including the box-shifters) once the 10% discount is used, so this makes the £15 fee seem quite reasonable.

Reading between the lines this could be inferred to mean Hornby are trying to tie customers into their website by becoming cheaper than the box-shifters with this discount and hence stealing business form the traditional retail outlets. In addition the means to pre-order models direct with Hornby could result in reduced numbers being shipped out to retailers if more are sold first through the Hornby website (WoE Exeter fiasco).

As a very disgruntled Hornby website customer (once again they have preferred to sell to a new customer rather than honour a replacement due to damaged goods, even though the damaged model was returned to them prior to the last new model being sold).  

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I don't know what the retailers of Hornby products will make of these offers.  A combination of in effect free membership, 10% discounted buying, which must make the margins offered to retailers seem even poorer, and their recent juggling with distribution quotas, would make me feel distinctly unhappy.

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Having looked at this (my wife usually gets this as an xmas gift!) I noted that the £20 voucher is stated to spend on exclusive club products - implying it's not applicable to general Hornby shop products?

 

I see it's also 4 magazine issues per year, which I think is a reduction of at least 2? (currently every other month??).

 

Must admit, I joined for the club loco although shifted to the voucher more recently. I was planning to rejoin, but now very 50:50.

 

A download of the magazine would be good - it would save photographing the "how to improve a level crossing" type articles for future reference before it inevitably gets chewed up by my daughter!

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If you check out www.Hornby.com and scroll down and click on 'collectors club' you will find the info you need.

Honestly, the linked page is as clear as mud.

 

From the FAQs:

How many magazines we will receive?

  • There will be 3 brand specific club magazines and 1 winter magazine; written by Hornby Hobbies staff, interviews with the designers, and sneak peeks on pre-production models, updates on the design process from ideas to implementation.

So does that mean they will publish 3 Hornby + 3 Scalextrix + 3 Corgi + 3 Airfix magazines per year and you choose a brand? (I can't imagine how exciting a Humbrol magazine would be! :O ), or does it mean one of each, Hornby + Scalextric + Airfix for everyone?

 

Will there be any new stuff?

  • A dedicated online area for club members to enjoy exclusive access to pre-order, forums and site-wide club discounts.

Perhaps that means to actually get what you order you have to join the club? Makes you wonder a little if this further marginalizes retailers in some way.

 

Postage to ROW and EU:

This was hilarious. First there was no embedded hyperlink (RMweb inserted it here). Manually pasting the link takes me to:

 

USA, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Switzerland ... £25 ... FREE when you spend over £100

 

So, £20 (postal membership) + £25 postage then? Or is it  £15 (membership) + £25 postage for me? Or something else? (The old club for ROW was £35 if memory serves.)

 

Quoting General McAuliffe at Bastogne, "Nuts!"

 

Plus I don't even know if my card was charged for my 2015 membership yet - I tried to renew it online a month or so ago but it wouldn't take. I wonder if I'll get a refund on the unused nine months or so? I wonder if there will be a December-January issue for the existing Collectors Club?

Edited by Ozexpatriate

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I see it's also 4 magazine issues per year, which I think is a reduction of at least 2? (currently every other month??).

I got the impression that it's 3 magazines plus a single combo (all brands) Winter edition.

 

The current schedule is six bimonthly magazines plus two 'Collector Plus' (though I'm not sure that the 'Collector Plus' was consistently issued twice per year). I interpret that it goes from eight down to three railway specific issues. 

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Upon reflection, I think the most significant thing about the collectors' club is the 10% discount.  This looks as though it remains, but only on one brand of Hornby's products  It now says on the web site "10% off your 'selected club brand' products".  So, if you select "Hornby" then you don't have 10% off Corgi.  All the other benefits, if the magazines and club loco will be as bad as in the last couple of years, are not really that good.

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All the other benefits, if the magazines and club loco will be as bad as in the last couple of years, are not really that good.

If going down to three magazines makes them more substantial then the new setup could possibly be an improvement. It will be interesting to see how they compare with Bachmann's quarterly offering.

 

There won't be a club locomotive as far as I can tell.

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It seems to me, now, that our 10% discount on Hornby products has disappeared for Christmas.  In other words, through Hornby changing the club, we can't have our 10% for Christmas.  Happy Christmas! I tried the last code in the last issue of the Collector Magazine, and it does not work anymore.  I paid for it, and it has been whipped away from me.  Is their another "Collector" magazine, with a new code, which I have not seen yet after the Oct/Nov 2014 issue?  Second, it is not clear yet whether or not the new club arrangements will give us the 10% back in the future.  The words "Club brand products", on the Hornby site advertising the new club, are not that clear to me.  Does that mean if I elect the Hornby side of the club, I have 10% for all "Hornby" or 10% on only "Club" items?  That's a problem with multiple nouns used as adjectives - things become obfuscated!

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It seems to me, now, that our 10% discount on Hornby products has disappeared for Christmas.  In other words, through Hornby changing the club, we can't have our 10% for Christmas.  Happy Christmas! I tried the last code in the last issue of the Collector Magazine, and it does not work anymore.  I paid for it, and it has been whipped away from me.  Is their another "Collector" magazine, with a new code, which I have not seen yet after the Oct/Nov 2014 issue?  Second, it is not clear yet whether or not the new club arrangements will give us the 10% back in the future.  The words "Club brand products", on the Hornby site advertising the new club, are not that clear to me.  Does that mean if I elect the Hornby side of the club, I have 10% for all "Hornby" or 10% on only "Club" items?  That's a problem with multiple nouns used as adjectives - things become obfuscated!

Hornby issued a code on 1st of December by email to members that should cover the whole month. Reading their website the members' 10% in future will only apply to the brand you have selected as your particular area of interest. If you chose model railways then the 10% discount should apply to all Hornby products bought via the Hornby website or by telephone. It does not say if the 10% discount will apply to Hornby concessions or not.

What is not at all clear is the situation for those who renewed mid-year in 2014, and paid up for a full 12 months. Hornby appear to be encouraging people to renew again in January in order to benefit from the advantages of the new club without saying what will happen to those who wait until their 2014 membership expires. I have emailed Hornby to ask this but am not holding my breath for a reply, given how long it takes them to respond the situation will probably have been cleared up before they get around to addressing my question directly.

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I can't imagine how exciting a Humbrol magazine would be! :O

IT would be like watching paint dry...

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Is their another "Collector" magazine, with a new code, which I have not seen yet after the Oct/Nov 2014 issue?

Yes, there is a December/January issue. It arrived here in the colonies on Saturday. It contains a new discount code.

 

It is the last issue of "The Collector". There will be one following issue of "The Collector Plus" with the new 2015 announcements.

Edited by Ozexpatriate

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I'm paid up until February this year so what will people in this situation get from Hornby in lieu of the "missing" magazines and discounts, ...

 

I think a pro-rata refund is in order.

I mailed my renewal at the end of October before an announcement of the new club was made. (I literally only just paid the credit card bill a week ago for the full year subscription.)  My "2014" subscription covered the locomotive and two (out of eight) magazines. Being paid through February feels almost like a wash to me.

 

I don't get the impression there will be any pro-rating of prior subscriptions when the new program starts in January.

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Thanks for all these clarifications below.  I am most appreciative.  It looks like I don't have the new issue of the "Collector", and I must have overlooked the email.  I will take a peak at my emails again!!  (I checked and I can't find the code in early december emails.  I will wait here in the independent colony of the USA for the magazine....

 

Note added later:  My magazine arrived December 24th - just too late for Christmas... but at least I have it for January.

 

Bob

 

Yes, there is a December/January issue. It arrived here in the colonies on Saturday. It contains a new discount code.

 

It is the last issue of "The Collector". There will be one following issue of "The Collector Plus" with the new 2015 announcements.

 

 

Hornby issued a code on 1st of December by email to members that should cover the whole month.

Edited by rgmichel

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I have just taken a look at Hornby's own forum and they have (partly) replied to this question posed there. There is apparently no question of obliging you to renew in January, if you renewed your member ship in 2014 there will be no need to renew until your 12 months have expired into 2015. It does not however say what happens to the missing magazines and other advantages that you as a member of the old club benefitted from. I wouldn't be surprised if some small print somewhere allows Hornby to change the offer unilaterally. If you have already received your model/calendar/voucher then missing a couple of editions of the Collector magazine can't be seen as a great loss.

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... missing a couple of editions of the Collector magazine can't be seen as a great loss.

It's really not a great loss. Most of the cost of the subscription is covered in what I have received so far.

 

I'm more upset about having left my winter issue of the Bachmann Times on an aeroplane in a seat back pocket. I've contacted Bachmann about replacing it. (They are on Christmas break right now.)

 

With the Hornby club I have a bigger issue with them not supplying the December/January issue from a year ago. I can't find it and am assuming that they didn't send it. At the time I simply didn't notice the irregularity. The arrival of the Hornby magazines was so unpredictable (it is nominally bimonthly but with the "Plus" issues as a randomizer) that I was never anticipating them. I did contact them about it (and problems I had trying to renew online) but they ignored the bit about

 

The people at Melton-Mowbray who ran the Collectors' Club (I presume it was outsourced) now have one less client since the new club will be managed in-house in Margate.

Edited by Ozexpatriate

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To be fair, the club was run under contract by a firm specialising in that sort of thing, so the contract ending is just business.  Whether Hornby can do it better in house remains to be seen. 

 

It seems to be linked to the wider cunning plan they have for brands. Might have been better to let the Club run on as is whilst they sort out production and logistics first.

 

Losing the club discount from the other brands is plain dumb in my view, I added humbrol and airfix items to my online orders quite often.

 

The uncertainty over what is on offer beyond a voucher means I won't renew until I see a realistic proposition. Perhaps the club exclusive models will be something special. 

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I asked the question directly to Hornby via their website regarding the continuation of my membership beyond January 2015. They replied that it would automatically be renewed in January until the end of my 2014 subscription period (September 2015 in my case). I also asked if I will continue to receive Collector magazines at the same rate (bi-monthly) and the same reductions as I have done in 2014. This question was ignored! I have reposed the question being more specific this time.

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