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brucet
Engine Wiper

Australia
381 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2018 :  9:10:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just wondering how Mr Trumps new tariffs are going to affect the hobby seeing it seems almost everything is made in China now days. It must affect Bachmann. Even the DCC systems that rely on electronics from China will be affected.

Sure small companies that we all rely on are based in the USA so that shouldn't be a worry. But if the likes of Bachmann are affected it will affect the mass market such as HO sets. That will in turn affect small markets such as On30.

Maybe it's time to buy up big and fill the shelves for a rainy day.

Maybe it will force us into more scratch building. That can't be a bad thing can it?
bruce


jbvb
Fireman

USA
5624 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2018 :  9:52:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Depends on whether the tariffs are written so they apply to model railroad stuff. If the cost to the US importer goes up 25%, modelers might see a 50% price increase. But this is less important for those of us (like me) who already have a lifetime's worth of stuff and are mostly focused on getting it built and onto the layout. Scratchbuilding is one way I approach things I want on the layout, but if it becomes more common, owners of really big layouts are going to need help.
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Dan
Section Hand

80 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  07:39:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gentlemen,

If I can remember my high school civics class from a half century ago, tariffs are usually applied at the import level, so any effect depends on the greed of the wholesalers and the retailers. The retail markups on Bachmann On30 trains are already through the roof, hobby market discounts that approach 50% are sometimes found, so a modest raise in tariffs may not even be visible.

Furthermore, tariffs usually apply to bulk items, such as steel or to popular big ticket items such as cars, large home appliances and entertainment systems. As long as the needed raw materials are already in the foreign country where our trains are being made, such as China, a tariff war should not result in much, if any change in hobby prices. However a U. S. manufacturer may take a hit by the new import tariffs on things like foreign made steel.

In the past, it was the volatility of the international currency market that drove prices up. If retaliatory tariff wars upset the global marketplace, it can happen again.

I know this sounds like heresy to most model railroaders, but with tariff wars looming and the hobby market uncertain, an effective way to reduce cost is to pay market prices and build smaller layouts.

In the future, as you show off your latest R-T-R based layout creation, I propose the term MINCRO for a layout that is in between micro and mini, you can tell your grand kids about the time when permanent, room sized layouts were the norm. They will either be amazed or they will be bored stiff with crazy grandpa and his silly trains.

All the best,
Dan
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BurleyJim
Fireman

USA
3389 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  08:01:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dan

Gentlemen,

If I can remember my high school civics class from a half century ago, tariffs are usually applied at the import level, so any effect depends on the greed of the wholesalers and the retailers. The retail markups on Bachmann On30 trains are already through the roof, hobby market discounts that approach 50% are sometimes found, so a modest raise in tariffs may not even be visible.

Furthermore, tariffs usually apply to bulk items, such as steel or to popular big ticket items such as cars, large home appliances and entertainment systems. As long as the needed raw materials are already in the foreign country where our trains are being made, such as China, a tariff war should not result in much, if any change in hobby prices. However a U. S. manufacturer may take a hit by the new import tariffs on things like foreign made steel.

In the past, it was the volatility of the international currency market that drove prices up. If retaliatory tariff wars upset the global marketplace, it can happen again.

I know this sounds like heresy to most model railroaders, but with tariff wars looming and the hobby market uncertain, an effective way to reduce cost is to pay market prices and build smaller layouts.

In the future, as you show off your latest R-T-R based layout creation, I propose the term MINCRO for a layout that is in between micro and mini, you can tell your grand kids about the time when permanent, room sized layouts were the norm. They will either be amazed or they will be bored stiff with crazy grandpa and his silly trains.

All the best,
Dan



Dan,

Right on target! [:-thumbu]

If we're already paying $80 for a R-T-R boxcar, we should have already been thinking about scratchbuilding. How are those 10-14 year old kids going to get into the hobby? Wait for the estate sale?

Jim
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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

USA
12714 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  08:05:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I quit buying anything made by Bachmann years ago. I also try to buy as little of anything made in China as possible. As far as I am concerned they can put a 100% ban on all imports from China and I could live with it.

Mike
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Craig H
Fireman

1393 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  09:58:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I could care less about China...we been behind the 8 ball on fair trade with them forever[:-banghead]
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railman28
Fireman

USA
4690 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  12:11:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Wait for the estate sale?

Jim



Alas, they are happening rather quickly these days.

It's only make-believe
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BurleyJim
Fireman

USA
3389 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  3:16:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by railman28

quote:
Wait for the estate sale?

Jim



Alas, they are happening rather quickly these days.



Not even a 'mark down' planned here, yet!

Jim
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quartergauger48
Fireman

USA
5604 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  3:31:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gentleman'... Let's be positive PLEASE'... And buy American...Except for WE Honest… Look at the prices Woodland Scenics is charging for their lighting products. The margins are criminal. I love scratch building but some RTR is also necessary at times...You HOers think prices are high, check out O Scale and O gauge, A rich mans hobby for sure'...[:-banghead]



Ted
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brucet
Engine Wiper

Australia
381 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  6:12:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep in mind that places like WalMart only exist because WE the consumers demand cheaper prices. To meet than demand WalMart shops in China.
Same can be said for Bachmann products. We want 'cheap' so Bachmann goes to China. Bachmann produces a new On30 loco and we all go online to find the cheapest buy. (And by the way 'margins' is only another way of spelling wages or salary).
Before anyone blames anyone else for this pickle we are all in we had all better have a good hard look in the mirror.

When was the last you went to you local hobby store? Oh wait a minute, he closed down. Maybe because we were buying stuff online.

Don't blame the politicians. They are only reacting to what we want. And now the result may hurt our budget. But hurt it will. If we aren't prepared to pay the price then folks like Bachmann wont produce the new stuff we all want.

It's going to be a new world. Maybe one or two locos instead of a whole roundhouse full of them. Those who scratch build will hardly notice the difference. The other will have to rethink how they want to stay in the hobby.

bruce
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quartergauger48
Fireman

USA
5604 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  7:08:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This area of expense is no different than those that have 'cabin cruisers and yachts, and drive luxury cars. If you can afford it, you'll buy it. The new stuff will be there for those that have the "disposal Income". There are more that have it than those that don't...for the rest of us there is always, Clever Models" ..



Ted
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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

USA
12714 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  07:09:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"We want 'cheap' so Bachmann goes to China."

Bachmann doesn't go to China they ARE China. 100% Chinese owned and operated.

Mike
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ocalicreek
Engine Wiper

USA
487 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  1:00:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit ocalicreek's Homepage  Reply with Quote
One more reason I love this forum - a topic that might get way off track in a different forum and eventually be shut down has been kept on track, civil, and railroad-focused right here on the Railroad-Line.

My 2 cents - some of you may know already from other posts I've made that my family has decided to declutter our home and reduce our possessions by 1/3. In the area where we live we simply can't afford to purchase a large home so we're preparing for the day we find a smaller place we can afford. The benefit has also been finding the joy in living with less.

I'm not against folks having enough money to purchase whatever their heart desires, or live large, etc. But for me, I'm discovering how nice it is to focus on a smaller model railroad, concentrate on building a few really nice structures and rolling stock to a high degree of detail and craftsmanship, and not worry about trying to fill a big room with lots of trains.

Any economic downturn, whether related to tariffs or recession, forces us to reevaluate priorities and learn to live with less. Getting creative and thrifty can bring about all kinds of innovative modeling techniques.

Thanks again for keeping it civil and positive. I sure do appreciate this forum.

Galen

My Train Blog: http://ocalicreek.blogspot.com/
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mabloodhound
Fireman

USA
6637 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  3:37:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Won't affect the price on my kits. All parts are made in USA and all cutting/3D are made in USA.

Dave Mason
D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”~Benjamin Franklin
The 2nd Amendment, America’s 1st Homeland Security
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brucet
Engine Wiper

Australia
381 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  5:04:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well said Galen. I've started many large layouts and never gotten very far with them. But due to space restrictions I have a nice small layout that is well on they way to being 'finished'. (never will be finished). The point is that the small layout has meant less of everything so my dollar goes further.
While we may not like price increases for whatever reason. It may just be the motive to re-evaluate what we really need.
One caveat. I'm ok with higher price as long as the quality remains the same or better.

bruce
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railman28
Fireman

USA
4690 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  8:02:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I too agree with Galen, but what is small is relative to the viewer. You who know me know that I'm scratch builder and long ago I deliberately (and repeatedly renewed) committed myself to keeping the Railroad small so that I could someday have it mostly finished. Galen's railroad is 1/2 the size of mine and I wound be happy with 2 of 3 engines but I like to spend my time designing and building my empire. I do spend a lot on tools though. And I am glad I saw these tariffs coming and moved up the purchase of a big ticket tool.

It's only make-believe
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