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JNRModelsNick

Hello from your friendly Australian Supplier :)

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JNRModelsNick

Hey guys! The names Nick, and I recently noticed the site after doing a little bit of research. I am part of the new management of JNR Models, Australia's supplier of Japanese model railways. I personally model light Japanese railways, currently working on a shelf-layout for trams. I'll post pictures when I get a chance :) If there are any other Aussies on here (or anyone else that is interested) I'd love to get some more traffic over on our new JNR site :) I'm using it mainly to post about new items we are getting into the country, but I'm also doing a blog talking about some of the item specifics. My aim is to make this the best repository of information on Kato and other Japanese brands in English, which is sadly lacking a bit I feel.

Look forward to chatting to you lot :) The site address is www.jnrmodels.com.au

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Densha

Although I'm not from Australia, I quite like your website; very informative stuff especially for the beginning Japanese railway modeller!

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Azumanga Davo

Ah, very interesting!  Welcome aboard.

I had heard from the good chaps at Stanbridge's about supply changes, which I can understand would impact times on things.  I'm wondering if there could be a timeframe of normality returning to parts delivery to the shops, as in my case I've had a few spare parts on order since May or June at the earliest.

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cteno4

hi nick, welcome!

 

glad to see there is a good distributor activity for japanese rail in australia! you should start a jnr models thread in the suppliers forum and post there when you get new stuff, sales, articles etc.

 

look forward to seeing what goes up on the new site!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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John P Boogerd

It's a very nice website but it seems totally oriented to the N-scale modeller - there is a growing number of HO-scale modellers as well.  In fact, Microace is now coming out with HO models, too - I have ordered an Enoden model already.  As an aside, I really wish Tomy or someone would produce the Lawson's/Seven Eleven store I Ho-scale.

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JNRModelsNick

Wowee thanks for the great response! :)


Azumanga Davo: Spare parts are always the tricky in terms of availability. What sort of things were you after? I cannot advise you on what our shops have communicated with us/ ordered, that's between us and the shops. But if it's something we can hunt down for you I don't mind telling you if we have it or not. :)

cteno4: Yeah sure I'll do that :) I'm already posting up whenever we get new stuff via the website, so what I'll do is I'll just list what we are getting here and link you guys across to the site if you want to see pictures or anything.

John P Boogerd: Indeed it is tailored at N scale atm. We also have a range of Z scale which I'll be posting up there when I get time to work at it. At this point in time we are not stocking HO scale however it's on our list of things to look at. We have only managed the company for a few month now so we are just trying to keep stock coming in as usual and keep stocking the same stuff, but probably going into next year we are going to look at a few things and do a cost analysis to see if they are worth it. We will first be looking into Kato US models and Tomix Thomas the Tank engine (which have been tricky for JNR in the past due to competition and costs). Because this is Australia and HO scale is far bigger than it is in Japan I think it's definitely worth giving it a go, but I cannot make any promises. I will certainly be posting here if we get some in that's for sure! :)


 

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westfalen

A drawback of living in Australia.  It's a nice place to live but you wouldn't want to buy trains here.

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marknewton
Microace is now coming out with HO models, too - I have ordered an Enoden model already.  

 

John, do you mean Modemo? If so, they've made HO models in the past. Apart from the Enoden car, they produced a couple of Tokyo trams, and a number of JNR passenger cars in kit form. I've got some of the passenger cars in my "to be built one day" pile. 

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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marknewton

G'day Nick.

 

Good luck with the new venture, I hope it goes well for you. Like John Boogerd, I'm modelling in HO, so I'll be interested to see what develops.

 

All the best,

 

Mark

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JNRModelsNick

Cheers Mark. It's encouraging to see a lot of support for Japanese HO, and yes I think you are correct, Modemo is moving into a few HO items at the moment.

I can't really make a comment on our retail prices as we are the supplier. As a couple of you have bought up the concern I will say though that the Japanese retail items available online and our Australian shops go through a very different set of processes to get the items to you, and there are several factors which cause the price disparagy. All I will say is it's always worth going into the shops and asking questions, a good retail outlet will always give you expert advice and afford you proper garuntees that wharehouse style online retailers can't. :)

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Ochanomizu

Hello Mr JNRModelsNick,

 

This is becoming an interesting topic.  The reasons why western model railroad collector buy direct from Japan, pay high postage rate and risk the loss of product in the mail is interesting, don't you think?  So I looked at some retailer and was surprised to find mark up of over 225% on RRP in Japan.  Meanwhile, most retail shop offer better discount (20%-25%) on RRP than the warehouse/online retailer such as Hobby Search, who still offer 15%-20%.

 

In Japan, retail shops must pay very high rent, especially in downtown areas of Tokyo, Osaka, as well as those located in major shopping malls.  Yet I would not purchase from one offering a discount of less than 20%.  Nonetheless, it is an economic model that appears to work as many of the retailers have been in business for decades.

 

I would like to give a practical demonstration of the differences in pricing.  I use the beautiful Kato 10-222 E3-1000 Yamagata Shinkansen as an example:

 

Japan:http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10081531 (I edit link to make English version)

Australia: http://www.stanbridges.com.au/shop.KA10222

America: http://www.newhallstation.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/912

England: http://www.gaugemaster.com/search_results.asp?searchstring=train%20Kato%20scale~~%ACn%AC~~scale%20category~~1260~~category

 

So, of course, greedy Japanese vendor on Ebay is selling to westerner at highly inflated price: http://www.ebay.com/itm/KATO-10-222-JR-Series-E3-1000-Yamagata-Shinkansen-Bullet-Train-Tsubasa-7-Car-/150689199492?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item2315c6b584

 

It is because greedy American vendor on Ebay is charging even more: http://www.ebay.com/itm/KATO-N-SHINKANSEN-YAMAGATA-BULLET-TRAIN-SET-E3-/370491643949?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item564305d82d

 

So, what is the problem?  I think there is not.  I think the price is set at what the market can bear.  I think international customer is generally happy to pay the price.

 

As to added value of going to a retail outlet to get expert advice?  I cannot agree for two reasons:

1. Retailer must make money.  To do so, retailer must sell something.  Even information comes at a price;

2. I go to retailer to browse only ... and to get some peaceful time away from my wife .... :glasses2:

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westfalen

Newhall Station is hardly a good example of an American retailer, I wouldn't buy anything off that rip-off merchant no matter what country he was in.

 

For example, your plain, garden variety EF65-500 from Newhall Station versus M.B.Kein.

http://www.newhallstation.com/store/product_info.php/cPath/26_30/products_id/1011

http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Kato-N-Japanese-Electric-Locomotive-p/kat-3060-1.htm

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cteno4

Newhall is definitely not a good example. its just a reseller for a japanese hobby shop with trans shipping of stock. their business practice is to just charge very high amounts and take the few that will bite and reap a large profit. Its very unfortunate, and in my opinion bad for the hobby. but caveat emptor!

 

there are a few greedy american ebay sellers of japanese trains, but these are spotty and they are not the cause of the japanese gougers IMHO, but the other way around. i think most of the few us high priced sellers i have seen have priced things not knowing the price and just giving it a price of euro trains, not realizing they are probably the most affordable trains in the world! they probably just follow what they see from newhall and a number of higher priced japanese ebay sellers.

 

there are a number of japanese selllers on ebay that have consistently been listing items for years at 2x and even 3x the going price, even for things in stock at street price places. I think they are just doing the newhall dance of hoping that some will bite not knowing better.

 

Actually buying from japan is about the same shipping costs as ordering from any us shop (if you ship sal) and after several hundred packages shipped from japan sal i have never had one go missing or had the contents damaged. so in practice there is little risk in ordering from overseas from japan in my experience.

 

in the us we just dont have much of anyone importing japanese trains anymore. we get some kato stuff into some dealers via what katousa brings over. we use to have a distributor that imported lots of greenmax and tomix building and a smattering of trains. he was able to wholesale the buildings to retailers to have a street price here equivalent to japanese street price. trains were higher but only by 30% or so as he did it in very small quantities. he has retire and passed on and the business closed. bt trains unfortunately also had its owner pass away and they were importing at pretty close to japanese prices well. unfortunately it leaves us with no one really actively importing or distributing japanese trains in the us now so not much of a LHS option here.

 

i think most of us are NOT happy to pay an inflated price for our trains. there are enough good japanese sources to get our trains easily at a price pretty close to japanese store prices. A lot of this is educating new comers to what the trains should cost and the reputable sources to buy them thru.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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JNRModelsNick

I've said all I can on this topic so I wont harp on about it. I will say though that we do try to hit that sweet spot of "only a BIT more than Japanese retail" so we can still get stuff into the shops at a somewhat competative price (but ultimately we only have control over this at the supplier level).  I really want to point out at this stage that I don't mind chatting about this kind of thing, but being in the position I am I can't disclose any more information about prices. My hands are somewhat tied in that regard.

I certainly understand the frustration of price disparagies. I also build Gundam models as a hobby and although I'd love to get everything from my local shop, availablability and price often leads me to pick up the odd piece from Japan. Now that I'm part of JNR Models I'm really keen to look at ways we can properly compete and avaid these annoying "200-300%" markups I can see in some other areas of the scale model hobby. >_< There's a lot of work to do on this front but I think it's way too important to ignore in modern retail :)

As for American retailers I can't really comment. Again, that's a whole other WORLD of retail with their own laws and factors. We are also keen to look into getting Kato USA items, however in the past the previous owner of JNR had issues competing with the "mail order practically at wholesale" system they had in America. It's just another one of those things we have to factor.

eBay is another thing all together. I also work in a Model Train shop and I can't tell you how many horror stories we've had from grumpy customers who've gotten ripped off by eBay sellers (actually had a bloke wander in this morning with just that problem). The world can be a fun place sometimes >_<

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JR 500系
Hello Mr JNRModelsNick,

 

In Japan, retail shops must pay very high rent, especially in downtown areas of Tokyo, Osaka, as well as those located in major shopping malls.  Yet I would not purchase from one offering a discount of less than 20%.  Nonetheless, it is an economic model that appears to work as many of the retailers have been in business for decades.

 

I would like to give a practical demonstration of the differences in pricing.  I use the beautiful Kato 10-222 E3-1000 Yamagata Shinkansen as an example:

 

Japan:http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10081531 (I edit link to make English version)

Australia: http://www.stanbridges.com.au/shop.KA10222

America: http://www.newhallstation.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/912

England: http://www.gaugemaster.com/search_results.asp?searchstring=train%20Kato%20scale~~%ACn%AC~~scale%20category~~1260~~category

 

So, of course, greedy Japanese vendor on Ebay is selling to westerner at highly inflated price: http://www.ebay.com/itm/KATO-10-222-JR-Series-E3-1000-Yamagata-Shinkansen-Bullet-Train-Tsubasa-7-Car-/150689199492?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item2315c6b584

Nice comparison and infromation sharing Ochanomizu san!

 

Japan-world-store has been on the ebay market for sometime now. They are known to be very expensive, but they DO carry some of the very hard to find sets, like an example TOMIX 92984 JR Kyushu Diesel Train Series KIHA 58 'ASO 1962' 2-Car Set LIMITED (http://www.ebay.com/itm/TOMIX-92984-JR-Kyushu-Diesel-Train-Series-KIHA-58-ASO-1962-2-Car-Set-LIMITED-/400261305255?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item5d316ed3a7) that is very rare and hard to find, although the cost IS scary... 

 

The friendlier Japanese ebay seller available worldwide would be Plaza Japan perhaps? http://stores.ebay.com/Plaza-Japan

 

I started out from Plaza Japan too, since ebay is a easier to use portal and there is buyer and seller protection. I then move on to HobbySearch which has an extensive range of items, then to Popondetta, F-models, Bigman Izu, and finally my favourite loco1. 

 

 

i think most of us are NOT happy to pay an inflated price for our trains. there are enough good japanese sources to get our trains easily at a price pretty close to japanese store prices. A lot of this is educating new comers to what the trains should cost and the reputable sources to buy them thru.

 

cheers

 

jeff

Well said Jeff~ Indeed! 

 

Well at least you guys can get a local retailer. The only model railroader here in Sillypore is perhaps me and me alone....  :cussing:

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cteno4

Sorry I did not mean any of my above comments to reflect on JNR models. Importing Japanese trains for resale in retail stores is not cheap at all. Shipping, duties, getting in low on the Japanese distribution chain are all things that will add to costs of doing business. It's great there is some active distribution of Japanese trains going on in Australia! We currently don't have that outside Katousa and that's not much in the way of Japanese trains.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4

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Ochanomizu

Hello,

 

My examples were based on a simple Google search of "Kato model train 10-222".  I used the top responses from various countries.  Newhallstation was the top response from USA.  Of course, most of us use different DNS servers and may achieve different results.

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JNRModelsNick
Sorry I did not mean any of my above comments to reflect on JNR models. Importing Japanese trains for resale in retail stores is not cheap at all. Shipping, duties, getting in low on the Japanese distribution chain are all things that will add to costs of doing business. It's great there is some active distribution of Japanese trains going on in Australia! We currently don't have that outside Katousa and that's not much in the way of Japanese trains.

 

Jeff

 

That's alright dude I wasn't offended, I make no assumptions about these things. :)

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