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wierd question about pricing.


Kenji T.

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I am a newbie at n gauge and I am just wondering, is trains, tracks ect. more expensive at the Kato hobby centre in tokyo or cheaper at hobby shops? I go to this shop in Akihabara,tokyo, called tam tam hobby or something like that. I am a frequent buyer and I compared their prices to other ordinary hobby shops and found out that their stuff are cheaper. I want to go to the kato hobby centre when I go to japan again this year but am unsure if it will be mire expensive as it is directly from Kato's suppliers,the rental fees are higher ect ect.so if anyone knows, pls tell me! I will really appreciate it ;)

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Kato sells at their suggested retail prices. Some sellers go under this price for some items. On the other hand, there are sales from Kato too, so prices vary. I'm sure some shops sell a few things above the suggested retail price. The best way to find something cheap is to compare the prices from all accessible shops and choose what is best for you. This might mean you have to get things from more than one shop.

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If I would be in Kato's hobby Centre I would buy something, just to have the feeling that I bought it there. Of course I won't buy everything I want there, as kvp said, it worths to compare the prices.

 

(When I am in London, I almost never buy any British model due to the price. It is cheaper in a lot of cases to buy on the internet - generally from Hattons - than in a model shop. Including post, of course.)

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Claude_Dreyfus

If I would be in Kato's hobby Centre I would buy something, just to have the feeling that I bought it there. Of course I won't buy everything I want there, as kvp said, it worths to compare the prices.

 

(When I am in London, I almost never buy any British model due to the price. It is cheaper in a lot of cases to buy on the internet - generally from Hattons - than in a model shop. Including post, of course.)

 

N.B. Whilst Hattons do a large amount of their business via the web, they do have a rather large shop. Sadly it is in one of the less salubrious parts of Liverpool.

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The Kato shop is often the place to find parts or some more obscure or older items but if I only had limited time in Tokyo I'd rather spend it in Akihabara where I could visit two or three of the several hobby shops there in the time it takes me to get to the Kato shop. Of course if I have really limited time I'd rather be out riding or watching real trains than shopping anyway.

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Takahama Trainwatcher

The Kato shop is, indeed, a nice place to visit. Even the journey there is an experience for someone visiting Japan (nice quiet narrow street in the "suburbs" of Tokyo). For cheaper prices, though, I tend to buy online (for example, from modeltrainplus.net when I'm in Australia, and when I've been in Japan I've used hs-tamtam.co.jp or rakuten.co.jp/wagon-ichi/ ; there are other Rakuten sites and I'm sure other hobby shops that provide really good prices, well below the recommended retail).

-TTW

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Of course another reason to visit other hobby shops is that the Kato shop, naturally enough, only stocks Kato.

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Another wierd and dumb question from me. Um. Do they sell every recent kato product at the hobby centre

 

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Hi Klaus

 

I visit Japan once a year to see in-laws and I buy most of my n gauge at Tam Tam Hobby in Akihabara. Prices are approx. 30% less than you would pay at the normal RRP. Yodabashi Camera and Popondetta are also good places although a little more expensive than Tam Tam.

 

Yodabashi in Akihabara has the best selection of all their stores in Tokyo and if you get their card you earn 10% of the price in points to spend in store later. 

 

Popondetta have a good selection of used stock with some very attractive prices as well as new. I am often in Fukuoka so visit the store in Amu Plaza in the station building. There is a store in the Prince Hotel in Shinagawa (Tokyo) although a little small but an ok selection of stock. I'm sure there must be another in Tokyo somewhere.

 

The Kato centre you will pay the RRP that is advertised in the Kato catalogue. They do have a lot of stock that you won't find anywhere else plus they provide services such as DCC installs and LED upgrades for those less confident in their soldering ability. I luckily timed my last visit when they were having a clearance and bought a few locos for 3000yen each.  The staff in the Kato centre are super helpful and they managed to find the last Kato 10-855 set in Japan. I had spent 2 years previous trying to locate one.

 

To summarize.  Tam Tam all the way and you can get more for your money. If you after something particular and have no joy at Tam Tam or Yodabashi, go to Kato Centre.

 

I would also recommend going to Tenshodo in Ginza, just for the experience. They are traditionally watch makers and have some stunningly beautiful HO and O gauge trains with prices reflective of their beautifully crafted models.  They also stock N gauge and have a used section on the top floor, although this is mainly very old O gauge

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