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Squires to take over DJH products


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A good website, but without the cost/complication of online ordering can work well for "Small Suppliers". The market for their products isn't large anyway (even for those with quite wide product ranges) and probably wouldn't justify the cost of a full e-commerce site. It might make purchasing a bit easier for the customer but would probably do little to attract new customers. 

 

We need to remember that sales and marketing are effectively two different disciplines and it is the former that gets your products in front of the customer. In my experience attending shows is increasingly un-productive or unviable unless it is a specialist society or one of the "finescale" shows. Even large shows such as those put on by Warners, etc. don't attract a suitable customer profile to make it worthwhile for the small supplier. The mainstream magazines also seem to be heavily invested in reviewing and promoting the products of the major businesses and an advert or a piece in the Small Suppliers Forum in MRJ won't extend awareness very far beyond the existing  consumer sector.

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For a small supplier such as myself, I find that word-of-mouth is the most effective way of publicising a quality product.

 

In 25 years of running Cambridge Custom Transfers, I have never published an advertisement or attended a show as a trader - yet reputation sells all the product that I wish to handle at age 75!

 

John Isherwood,

Cambridge Custom Transfers.

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29 minutes ago, cctransuk said:

For a small supplier such as myself, I find that word-of-mouth is the most effective way of publicising a quality product.

 

In 25 years of running Cambridge Custom Transfers, I have never published an advertisement or attended a show as a trader - yet reputation sells all the product that I wish to handle at age 75!

 

John Isherwood,

Cambridge Custom Transfers.


Would you not consider your prolific presence on this website (8.7k posts) to be a form of advertising? 

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Squires is a model shop though. Also attend many exhibitions, mostly in the south. As I pointed out they have an eBay presence.

 

As for advertisements in magazines. I have a feeling that many on here don't look at any apart from MRJ. Out of the two "mainstream" magazines I buy regularly I would reckon that Model Rail's advertising is about a third "small supplier" and Railway Modeller is nearly half!

 

This idea that they are just full of box shifters just isn't true. Loads of etched brass, whitemetal, resin, card, plastic, etc. in those adverts.

 

As for kit building. I reckon it's model railways that seem to have a problem rather than kit building in general. Have you seen how many manufacturers and retailers there are for military and aviation modelling? Many of which sell all those bits and pieces such as tools, materials and paint that you are probably looking for. 

 

 

Jason

 

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1 hour ago, cctransuk said:

For a small supplier such as myself, I find that word-of-mouth is the most effective way of publicising a quality product.

 

In 25 years of running Cambridge Custom Transfers, I have never published an advertisement or attended a show as a trader - yet reputation sells all the product that I wish to handle at age 75!

 

John Isherwood,

Cambridge Custom Transfers.


When six words of a 62 word post are your company name, for me, that is publishing an advert.

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I suspect that building an e-commerce web site is the easy part. There's plenty of ways to do that for a relatively small outlay. The bigger issues may be

  • getting traffic to come to the site (major search engines can take months to index a new site) and for a lot of people, if you're not in the top three pages of a search for e.g. "white metal loco kit" you don't exist
  • given the transaction volumes, the merchant service charge for processing card payments takes a significant amount of the net margin
  • integrating it with whatever "back office" setup the trader has now, so that stock levels are near real-time and so on.



 

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36 minutes ago, The Pilotman said:


Would you not consider your prolific presence on this website (8.7k posts) to be a form of advertising? 

 

Having done that degree of research, perhaps you can break that down between those that mention CCT, and those that don't?

 

You will find that the vast majority do not, and where they do - it is in usually in connection with the thread subject.

 

Very occasionally, I will mention a new sheet which has been prepared in connection with another supplier's kit, which has previously been mentioned.

 

As I have frequently said, I do NOT chase additional business or rely on the modest income, but I do try to provide products that will make life easier for fellow modellers.

 

That is not direct advertising in my book.

 

John Isherwood.

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35 minutes ago, BroadLeaves said:


When six words of a 62 word post are your company name, for me, that is publishing an advert.

 

Read my post above; it would be pretty pointless if it did NOT mention who I am.

 

CJI.

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9 hours ago, BroadLeaves said:


When six words of a 62 word post are your company name, for me, that is publishing an advert.

Isn’t that what parts of the media, especially the BBC, might define rather as ‘product placement’ I suppose?  But I’d accept it probably doesn’t count as direct advertising …

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8 hours ago, cctransuk said:

As I have frequently said, I do NOT chase additional business or rely on the modest income, but I do try to provide products that will make life easier for fellow modellers.

 

That is not direct advertising in my book.

 

John Isherwood.

And not all of John’s posts are about his transfers if you look at his post history, I get the impression like all of he likes trains, and as a side line offers a service we need to us modellers rather than sitting in front of the TV

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1 hour ago, Graham456 said:

And not all of John’s posts are about his transfers if you look at his post history, I get the impression like all of he likes trains, and as a side line offers a service we need to us modellers rather than sitting in front of the TV

I agree. I’ve been on certain threads where John has commented most helpfully on points of full-size and model railway interest.  I am happy to accept at face value his statement that he does not advertise, nor do I see it as ‘product placement’.   John makes items that are very useful for us railway modellers - that is what matters. Long may that continue.

 

No connection to John, not even I’m afraid as a satisfied customer!

 

John Storey

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On 16/02/2024 at 22:55, ERIC ALLTORQUE said:

So is production ceasing in Consett and moving elsewhere? just if your keeping the ready built models is the model makers been kept employed who build them?

I don’t think this question has been answered. And does anyone know what has happened at DJH?  DJH has been on the go for a long time. Is it a case that the current owners/proprietors, whoever they may be, are retiring?  Or is there no longer a decent business to be made in it? Or whatever?

 

Preferably not speculation in response to this - I’m hoping we hear from someone who knows a little of the background.

 

John S 

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18 hours ago, cctransuk said:

That is not direct advertising in my book.

 

Not by the meaning of the term, but it's targetted advertising. Anyone who frequents these pages sees your strapline, and hears from time to time about new sheets. You also pop up now and again to recommend ways of applying transfers or other modelling ideas, and those posts of course always have CCT at the end.

 

I put it to you that you are an influencer ... 😄

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7 hours ago, it's-er said:

I don’t think this question has been answered. And does anyone know what has happened at DJH?  DJH has been on the go for a long time. Is it a case that the current owners/proprietors, whoever they may be, are retiring?  Or is there no longer a decent business to be made in it? Or whatever?

 

 

DJH is (was ?) a lot more than just model railways (such as 'Knobs and Knockers' and all sorts of tourist souvenirs) - see link below listing six companies in the group - if we assume Squires have bought the loco side of the business, what about everything else ?

 

https://www.djhgroup.co.uk/our-brands

.

 

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1 hour ago, DavidH said:

 

Not by the meaning of the term, but it's targetted advertising. Anyone who frequents these pages sees your strapline, and hears from time to time about new sheets. You also pop up now and again to recommend ways of applying transfers or other modelling ideas, and those posts of course always have CCT at the end.

 

I put it to you that you are an influencer ... 😄

 

I know that you are joking but, believe me, I don't need or particularly want transfer business.

 

It's just that it seems to be selfish to have the ability to produce my own transfers and NOT offer them to other modellers.

 

Others may not believe this but - look at my face - do I care!?!? 😀

 

John Isherwood.

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22 hours ago, BroadLeaves said:

I suspect that building an e-commerce web site is the easy part. There's plenty of ways to do that for a relatively small outlay.

 

Exactly! I may have an advantage in having a technical background including coding, but there are free open source solutions with plenty of help available on the web. Hosting doesn't cost an arm and a leg and the maintenance is very low effort, apart from infrequent major upgrades that can be more painful. There's plenty of help available on line on various forums.

 

22 hours ago, BroadLeaves said:

 

The bigger issues may be

  • getting traffic to come to the site (major search engines can take months to index a new site) and for a lot of people, if you're not in the top three pages of a search for e.g. "white metal loco kit" you don't exist

 

That's not necessarily true. I added new products and they were indexed and ranking top three within a month. The ranking does probably depend on the search terms used and they are, admittedly, fairly niche products, so little competition.

 

22 hours ago, BroadLeaves said:
  • given the transaction volumes, the merchant service charge for processing card payments takes a significant amount of the net margin

I guess that depends on the margins, but it's only a few percent of the sale price with PayPal, less with something like Stripe, even less if you have the volumes to get good rates on a merchant account. If you take card payments at shows or in your shop then it's not an issue as you are going to pay these fees anyway. Some customers pay by bank transfer which is free on both sides. A shop or show stand taking cash or cheques will may incur fees for paying in to the bank account.

 

22 hours ago, BroadLeaves said:
  • integrating it with whatever "back office" setup the trader has now, so that stock levels are near real-time and so on.

That's true if you have show or shop sales. For a purely on-line presence a decent e-commerce package will manage stock levels in real time.

 

To avoid accusations of advertising I will leave off any signature. Those that matter know who I am :)

 

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2 hours ago, Mike Bellamy said:

DJH is (was ?) a lot more than just model railways (such as 'Knobs and Knockers' and all sorts of tourist souvenirs) - see link below listing six companies in the group - if we assume Squires have bought the loco side of the business, what about everything else ?

 

https://www.djhgroup.co.uk/our-brands

Seeing that impressive range of production skills, and their potential markets, it is easy to understand why the Railway Modelling side has been hived off.  I wouldn't be surprised if the weekly turnover of just one of the subsidiary companies exceeded the annual figure for the models locos.

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12 hours ago, it's-er said:

I don’t think this question has been answered. And does anyone know what has happened at DJH?  DJH has been on the go for a long time. Is it a case that the current owners/proprietors, whoever they may be, are retiring?  Or is there no longer a decent business to be made in it? Or whatever?

 

Preferably not speculation in response to this - I’m hoping we hear from someone who knows a little of the background.

 

John S 

I live in Consett and its been around town the model rail bit was winding up for a few months,they do something else in the factory but i think its been quiet but the people who own it are very wealthy people with more than one business. They own a local car quick fit chain and the romour is the will locate the Consett branch in the unit as they have the Citroen dealership in Durham and many more around the area. Croxdale quickfit centres as the origional family business was office furniture at a big site in Croxdale Durham.

Edited by ERIC ALLTORQUE
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I have a part time business selling jams that Jen set up and ran until her untimely demise due to cancer last June. I used to be chief jar washer, steriliser and updater of the website that my son set up (shameless plug http://www.jamsandjellies.co.uk ). Now that I am actually making the produce I haven't got around to updating the website with the latest marmalades that I made last month because it means getting the camera and tripod set up, charging all the AA batteries for the camera and flash, rolling out the white background, taking photos then re-sizing them to fit on the website, then actually setting up the products in the website, attaching photos, creating the inventory before publishing.

 

To put my products into context, I attend craft fairs where people can try before they buy and I can sell up to 15 jars a day. Online sales in the past year has been 2.

 

I do not want the business to grow bigger than it is now, otherwise I would be producing, marketing, updating stock levels and a website as a full time job.

 

I can absolutely understand why people who make and / or sell things feel that they do not want a presence on the web.

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1 hour ago, 96701 said:

I can absolutely understand why people who make and / or sell things feel that they do not want a presence on the web.

 

They've got one though!

 

Or should I say several....

 

http://www.squirestools.com/home.htm

 

https://www.facebook.com/people/Squires-Tools/100057105833783/

 

http://www.sefinecast.co.uk/Contents.htm

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/squirestools

 

No idea how this conversation even started! 😕

 

 

 

Jason

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23 minutes ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

They've got one though!

 

Or should I say several....

 

http://www.squirestools.com/home.htm

 

https://www.facebook.com/people/Squires-Tools/100057105833783/

 

http://www.sefinecast.co.uk/Contents.htm

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/squirestools

 

No idea how this conversation even started! 😕

 

 

 

Jason

 

Perhaps reading the thread from the first post might help?

 

Just a thought ...... 🤔

 

CJI.

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