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Cavalex Models and crowdfunding


Grimleygrid
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I had serious reservations about other crowdfunders and never invested. It is a pity if any of the activity surrounding a now former manufacturerer.affects Cavalex. The Cavalex method is different. Much of the work is done before any money is required from anyone. When money is requested the project is well advanced. Coupled with open and frequent updates it is a simple process. 

 

Finally I trust the guys involved and they have shown what they can do with the PGA. I am really looking forward to the BBA.

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The way Alex & Cav have accommodated requests around particular necessities regarding my PGA orders has been outstanding in its willingness to help a customer, and indicates a desire on their part be genuinely helpful to the modeller (and their revenue stream!) which should be applauded. 

 

I'm slightly worried that the move into such as a complete IC225 is so fundamentally different than "just" wagons though.

In terms of purchasing of the necessary units (individual models) to complete the whole IC225, whilst modelling on a budget, some recouping of the slush fund is required before the next round of purchasing can be enabled.

I did get the feeling (assumed or inferred) with the PGA launch that it was very much "miss it, miss out" ie if you don't get an order in now, you won't get, shy of slightly higher priced stock which certain chosen retailers might still have. Re-runs were barely mentioned.

 

It'd be nice to know future policy of Cavalex, in terms of ability to order items after the initial runs to cater for paid orders have been fulfilled (warehousing overrun stock or indications of interest for second runs) etc?

 

C6T. 

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Hi C6T, thanks for your comments and support through the PGA wagon development.

 

Addressing the project 225 concerns, I can understand where you are comming from and yes investment from customers will be necessary to enable the project to go ahead. We as a company are dedicated to making the process as transparent as possible and this is also true of how we fund our projects. That has been clearly pointed out by Alex above so I won't reiterate here.

 

However, what you have to consider is that we are a small manufacturer and as such cannot fund massive stock levels on the off chance customers will want to buy more items further down the line. Even the big companies in the current climate offer only small batches of models for customers to snap up and they have huge (by comparison) financial backing in the form of previous profits and investors. As for Cavalex, we are currently a small crew of people who work other full time jobs and take no personal profits from the business in its current form.

 

That said, we have a project plan in place and provided we get the support for the initial run we will absolutely be producing further runs of the IC225 models (full sets as well as locos).

 

Of course the pre orders of the first run of any of our projects will be paramount to their success and we cannot stress enough the importance of committinng at this stage. Holding on to see how the wind blows will have a negative effect on what we can produce at that stage. We are here to get things done and produce fantastic models for everyone but we need our customers support to make it all possible.

 

During the PGA project we had great support from a few retailers that put their faith in us which has helped give us a massive leg up and put us on the radar. Now we are a known entity we are getting more and more support and I can only thank the people and companies that champion our products. As a result we are being approached more and more by retailers wishing to stock our products, this is positive as it helps to ensure that one, our products get made and two, there will be a stock available after the pre-orders end, however, this should be viewed as a bonus rather than an alternative to pre order as without your initial pre-order investments the project won't get off the ground.

 

In summary, yes there will be further runs of all of our models and yes availability will be maintained through some retailers for those who cannot fully commit in the first instance. However, we would urge that anyone who would like to see a project go ahead who can afford to pre-order should do so. We open pre-orders well in advance of the required payment dates so giving you time to save up if necessary. That way we know the demand is there, know we can fund the project and you can save by taking advantage of the pre-order discount. We like to think of it as a symbiotic relationship for getting the models people want out onto the market. 

 

I feel simply stating that its a 'miss it miss out' situation is rather unfair though as it has to be understood that, as a small company, we can only provide so much. If everyone sits on the sidelines waiting for others to commit then there will be nothing in the end to commit to. That initial investment allows the future of that model to survive, and future runs to be made.

 

All we can say at this point is thank you to everyone that has supported us in these early days.

 

Regards

Cav

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I think that the principle of developing the CAD and design prior to requesting funds, when tooling is ready to start is very commendable and consistent with earlier crowdfunding concepts. The first crowdfunding ideas I saw already had prototypes and pretty mature designs before they asked for support. In model railways, because of one particular company, it seemed to become not much more than a wishlist with money involved. Call me a cynic but I have always been of the view that if a person isn't willing to stake their own money on their ideas then why should anybody else? I wish you guys well, its good to see you approaching things in the way you are. 

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Hi Cav/Alex

 

I certainly don’t have any doubts about supporting your projects. The PGA looked fantastic just didn’t fit my plans but the BBA very much does and of course ordered as I know it will be a superb model. Whilst I couldn’t make DEMU this year the news of the KFA was an inspired choice and the 4 different numbers were emailed off to order from Trains4U.

 

Your approach, clear communication and development of projects is great for the hobby and I hope this continues well.

 

thanks

Mark

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

As someone who has just had their first (unsuccessful) attempt at purchasing Cavalex products I think that the message re: your business model could possibly be better promoted, as I’m one of those people who weren’t aware of the fact you only do very small runs, and that you can only buy direct by pre-order.  

 

I’m by no means a hermit (I subscribe to Hornby Magazine and Rail Express for model railway info) and I missed that critical information.  I’m the kind of person who comes into a sizeable amount of disposable income every now and then and go on a spending spree (I’ve spent about £350 with Accurascale in the last 2 weeks) and was going to do the same with some Cavalex product only to find there is none in stock anywhere.  However, I appreciate that your business model doesn’t allow you to order extra stock over and above pre-orders.

 

Perhaps you could include the crowd funding element of your business model in your name to make it explicit, or be more forthright in press releases about your “miss it and miss out” approach so that people know there are no second chances on a particular run?

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10 hours ago, aureol40012 said:

As someone who has just had their first (unsuccessful) attempt at purchasing Cavalex products I think that the message re: your business model could possibly be better promoted, as I’m one of those people who weren’t aware of the fact you only do very small runs, and that you can only buy direct by pre-order.  

 

I’m by no means a hermit (I subscribe to Hornby Magazine and Rail Express for model railway info) and I missed that critical information.  I’m the kind of person who comes into a sizeable amount of disposable income every now and then and go on a spending spree (I’ve spent about £350 with Accurascale in the last 2 weeks) and was going to do the same with some Cavalex product only to find there is none in stock anywhere.  However, I appreciate that your business model doesn’t allow you to order extra stock over and above pre-orders.

 

Perhaps you could include the crowd funding element of your business model in your name to make it explicit, or be more forthright in press releases about your “miss it and miss out” approach so that people know there are no second chances on a particular run?

 

Hi Jake,

 

We don't do 'very small runs' we do runs every bit as comparable as Revolution trqins/accurascale etc. We have now produced several thousand PGAs and our new BBA arriving Q1 2020 is also in the thousands. The issue is that you have come along late to the game for whatever reason, not a critism on your behalf, and expect stock to still be sat around. In most cases it won't be. The retailers do take a big portion of stock though and will be selling for quite a while after they hit the shores.

 

Our business model does share crowdfunding elements but is not 100% typical of it. We do demend pre-orders to get models off the ground but accurascale and revolution trains both do this amd no one is asking them to add 'crowdfunding' into their business name. A little unfair to ask that of us it seems.

 

To also correct your statement, the buying model is not 'miss it and miss out'. The pre-orders are taken by us initially but as mentioned previously there is plenty of stock after that point available from several retail outlets who support our products.

 

Regards

Cav

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11 hours ago, aureol40012 said:

.....................  I’m the kind of person who comes into a sizeable amount of disposable income every now and then and go on a spending spree........

I think rather than repeatedly giving Cavalex stick you should perhaps look at your own spending habits

 

Instead of stomping up and down that you want something NOW when you get some money, perhaps you could consider another approach

 

Every manufacturer makes models in finite batches and if you will really want a model you need to pre-order. Perhaps you could consider doing more pre-orders and when you do get additional disposable income, save it to pay for the pre-orders? That is what I do, and every other modeler I know 

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33 minutes ago, Ryde-on-time said:

I think rather than repeatedly giving Cavalex stick you should perhaps look at your own spending habits

 

Instead of stomping up and down that you want something NOW when you get some money, perhaps you could consider another approach

 

Every manufacturer makes models in finite batches and if you will really want a model you need to pre-order. Perhaps you could consider doing more pre-orders and when you do get additional disposable income, save it to pay for the pre-orders? That is what I do, and every other modeler I know 

Hi Ryde,

 

Thanks for your reply.  I think you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. Cav and I have had a very civil back and forth by email, no stomping or any other kind of stropping going on ;-)

 

And thanks for your tip, now I know how Cavalex work I shall certainly do that. The issue was I had no idea that the set up was like it is.

 

Finally, again just to avoid confusion, I’ve got plenty of pre-orders in at shops and manufacturers across the land for the things I *really* want, and the PGAs weren’t on that list. When I get my “splurge” money I buy the things that otherwise would not make it to the top of the “buy it” list.  I’m sure there are plenty of people on here who have a fund like that that avoids the wife’s (or husband’s!) scrutiny.....!

 

Cheers mate.

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I got to admit, I got caught as well, i missed the pre-order date for the lower price with stage payments.

 

I enquired and was offered to do the stage payment, but at the higher price.

i thought that counter intuitive, so didnt place an order.

 

Since then Rails has opened orders, so I placed it there instead, same price, but pay on delivery.

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1 hour ago, adb968008 said:

I got to admit, I got caught as well, i missed the pre-order date for the lower price with stage payments.

 

I enquired and was offered to do the stage payment, but at the higher price.

i thought that counter intuitive, so didnt place an order.

 

Since then Rails has opened orders, so I placed it there instead, same price, but pay on delivery.

 

The issue is we cant offer the discount forever. We need to reward people who place orders early and thus give an incentive to push the project on. If we had the discount price on for a longer period then it could potentially slow down a project or even prevent one going ahead. Which would be a shame.

 

I can hear the complaints from backers now when there pre-orders are delayed indefinetly due to a slow uptake of customers.

 

There has to be a balance and we are forever trying to acheive that. You cant please everyone all of the time.

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