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SonyKen

Squadron

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I don't think I've seriously ordered from Squadron since 2006. Theyre one of my last stops online as it is. Usually they don't have anything I want/need.... and when they DO have it in stock, they want way more for it than anyone else in town.

I miss their 80% sales, but how much of a sale is it really when you've only got 4-5 of the sale items in stock? I got lucky and snagged a hasegawa 1/48 tomcat once for 30 some odd dollars, and even then they waffled back and forth over whether or not they had a kit to send.

Let them die, I say. They aren't doing the hobby any favors.

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They're having a 20% off sale on Trumpeter right now. Just got a 1/48 EA-3B for $68 shipped! :banana:/>

Excellent! Now you can spend the money you saved and help my little basement business out by picking up a Steel Beach correction set!

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Fair enough. Let me rephrase. Spruebrothers is excellent for many things. However, I find them to be lacking in aftermarket products for 1/72 aircraft. I would love for SB to be my go-to source for online purchases, but I find I have to go with Hannants for many PE and resin detail sets, and especially decals. These things at SB are typically out of stock, or just not carried at all.

Hannants is great, but shipping overseas can get expensive.

I agree. As much as I like Sprue Brothers, I have to buy my 1/72 scale decals from other sellers because SB doesn't keep a lot of them in stock.

As for Squardron, I'm not much into the "Hobby Shop Welfare Program" thing. If they want my business, they need to earn it.

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Ive bought quite a few things from Squadron but then again its 6 minutes from my office and they have local pickup.

That being said its been awhile as I now buy everything from Hobbyworld USA. Matthew Bole is the owner and a good dude. Anything Ive wanted he has obtained. Prices are good so there is really no reason to go anywhere else.

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Dear Friends,

I was forwarded the string of comments that is hitting the ceiling these days on some forums about the “demise” of Squadron. I never was a true believer in responding to certain commentary because responding sometimes opens up a bigger can of worms and that can get quickly out of hand or become ugly for no reason.

But in this case I’m a little shocked about the bitterness that is “floating” around. Many of you know me from my Verlinden and Black Box days and through the years I made countless good friends and always have or tried to be very neutral towards the industry and everyone involved.

I hope I have accumulated enough credibility over the years in the model community that I can vouch that Squadron is doing well. As many of you will know, Squadron underwent a significant change in management more than a year ago. Also, an entire new computer system has been implemented with all the quirks that come with it and last but not least major structural renovations have taken place to our building. These three initiatives were done to improve service for our customers and, in a perfect world, should not affect daily business, but they briefly did and anyone who owns or operates a company, especially in this industry will agree that any change will have side effects and that it takes time to cure these. We are working very hard to come out ahead and serve our customers even better. It must be working as we have seen a significant growth in our customer base over last year with many people enjoying the new services we have been offering with our Help Desk, Squadron TV videos, and expanded merchandising.

But what most shocked me personally, is the tone of the comments that are strewn around. “Let them die”, “let nature takes its course” and “I won’t lose any sleep if they go out of business” to name a few, are very cold sentiments that are uttered against a company that served the model community for almost 50 years and has pioneered the way for what the hobby is today. Being ousted publicly without mercy is even for me, a hard nut to crack and I don’t understand where all the loathing is coming from. In my long involvement in the industry and I have been very fortunate to make this hobby my livelihood, I have stood on both sides of the fence. Both as customer and professional.

From very early on, I have looked at Squadron as the place to go. They have always been there as the resource for my modeling needs, even when times were down. I have always considered Squadron a company that has stuck by its principles to be there for the modelers and to be run by modelers. We have a crew of dedicated people, many of them veterans and patriots – and most of them modeler’s themselves, who invest a lot of their experience in the company.

We are the only company in the industry that holds an event entirely dedicated to celebrating the modelling hobby – EagleQuest will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

It is hard to digest the feeling, that at the end of the day, all this means nothing to some. And mostly these are individuals who have no understanding what it takes to make and keep business successful. Some of the commentators admitted not to have bought from Squadron for over 10 years! I think for them to join the “angry mob” and making negative remarks is only distorting the truth even more.

The last thing I want to do is look for excuses for there are none. We live in a competitive world and Squadron is dealing with it the way that we see fit to make and secure a brighter future for our hobby. One of our main purposes has always been to be out there as your friend and partner and giving things back to the community like donating to Non-Profit Veteran organizations and offer the helpdesk, videos, reviews and blogs. All of this means that it is sometimes not possible to be the cheapest game in town. We will be the first to admit we are far from perfect….But we learn every day and do all we can to put our customers first.

So instead for some to go off on a tirade of how “mean”, “deceitful” and “crooked” we are, think about how you could help us with positive feedback that would benefit everybody.

Now, again these are my personal sentiments and they do not represent Squadron’s but I’m pretty sure they feel the same. I’m just blown away from all the negativity that has been launched towards a model company that has served its customers close to 50 years and that has meant so much to so many when they were kids. Loyalty and support are becoming more and more words with no true meaning behind them.

I do apologize and meant no offense to the thousands of wonderful customers that showed their allegiance through the years and keep on doing it. And that by itself gives us the motivation to do even better in the future. I just had to get it off my chest.

Jef Verswyvel

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For someone who lives in Dallas, I would like to shop there more, but here are my issues. You asked for feedback from a customer.... First, if nothing is in Stock I can't buy it. Pretty simple. Second and most importantly, I do not appreciate the deceptive pricing. If you need to be slightly more expensive, ok. I buy from S.B. first and foremost. They are not always the cheapest. But constantly changing your pricing in under handed ways is what puts me off as a customer. I was looking at your 1/48 Scale Hobby boss F-14. The listed price was decent, but I just wasn't ready to pull the trigger. Then you posted a sale, 20% of Hobby Boss. I jumped on your site to buy the kit thinking "cool, I'll grab it for a good price". The sale price was HIGHER than the original price! That's just shady, underhanded pricing. That's why I don't buy there anymore.

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Hey Jef, good to hear from you! I don't shop at Squadron due to the search function not pulling up correct items. For example searching "1/16 panzer" brings up three correct matches and a bunch of other unrelated magazines and kits, but there are other 1/16 panzers you carry that the search doesn't even mention. The shipping by dollar amount and not the actual item was also a deal breaker last time I tried which admittedly has been many years. I also agree with Falcon on the price juggling, I don't shop at DragonUSA for the same reason. Hopefully this information is useful to them. For the record, I think you were always a stand up guy when you owned Black Box and I always enjoyed talking to you and your wife at the various shows back then. Best of luck to you both in all of your endeavors!

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Even with their current 5 days of savings, today's is for Eduard...

The link on their email takes you to the Eduard items on sale, at least 25% of which are listed as "in stock soon"

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Right. I feel the website uses "used car salesman" language. "In Stock Soon" has no credibility because soon implies within a defined time period in the foreseeable future, but the reality is that this has completely lost its meaning and we no longer see that message to mean a product will ever be restocked.

Edited by Exhausted

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Jef, you can say what you like, but the truth is this:

-website format hasn't been updated in years

-no realtime stock tracking

-minimal stock levels

-proud prices

I can think of at least 3 institutions right now that beat you on all four of those marks, and have for years now. You preach of loyalty, but when you aren't doing anything to better yourselves for your clients, why should we support that? You talk about all the issues squadron has faced over the last year, when their issues have in truth existed for years before that.

I have an extremely limited amount of money to spend on this hobby, and I'm going to spend it where I can get the most bang for my buck. If that's a brick and mortar store, or online it doesn't matter to me, but my money will go towards whoever provides the best experience for the money... and right now you guys aren't it.

Edit: stupid auto correct

Edited by Skull Leader

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Jef, you can say what you like, but the truth is this:

-website format hasn't been updated in years

-no realtime stock tracking

-minimal stock levels

-proud/janky pricing system

I can think of at least 3 institutions right now that beat you on all four of those marks, and have for years now. You preach of loyalty, but when you aren't doing anything to better yourselves for your clients, why should we support that? You talk about all the issues squadron has faced over the last year, when their issues have in truth existed for years before that.

I have an extremely limited amount of money to spend on this hobby, and I'm going to spend it where I can get the most bang for my buck. If that's a brick and mortar store, or online it doesn't matter to me, but my money will go towards whoever provides the best experience for the money... and right now you guys aren't it.

Edit: stupid auto correct

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Dear Friends,

I was forwarded the string of comments that is hitting the ceiling these days on some forums about the demise of Squadron. I never was a true believer in responding to certain commentary because responding sometimes opens up a bigger can of worms and that can get quickly out of hand or become ugly for no reason.

But in this case Im a little shocked about the bitterness that is floating around. Many of you know me from my Verlinden and Black Box days and through the years I made countless good friends and always have or tried to be very neutral towards the industry and everyone involved.

I hope I have accumulated enough credibility over the years in the model community that I can vouch that Squadron is doing well. As many of you will know, Squadron underwent a significant change in management more than a year ago. Also, an entire new computer system has been implemented with all the quirks that come with it and last but not least major structural renovations have taken place to our building. These three initiatives were done to improve service for our customers and, in a perfect world, should not affect daily business, but they briefly did and anyone who owns or operates a company, especially in this industry will agree that any change will have side effects and that it takes time to cure these. We are working very hard to come out ahead and serve our customers even better. It must be working as we have seen a significant growth in our customer base over last year with many people enjoying the new services we have been offering with our Help Desk, Squadron TV videos, and expanded merchandising.

But what most shocked me personally, is the tone of the comments that are strewn around. Let them die, let nature takes its course and I wont lose any sleep if they go out of business to name a few, are very cold sentiments that are uttered against a company that served the model community for almost 50 years and has pioneered the way for what the hobby is today. Being ousted publicly without mercy is even for me, a hard nut to crack and I dont understand where all the loathing is coming from. In my long involvement in the industry and I have been very fortunate to make this hobby my livelihood, I have stood on both sides of the fence. Both as customer and professional.

From very early on, I have looked at Squadron as the place to go. They have always been there as the resource for my modeling needs, even when times were down. I have always considered Squadron a company that has stuck by its principles to be there for the modelers and to be run by modelers. We have a crew of dedicated people, many of them veterans and patriots and most of them modelers themselves, who invest a lot of their experience in the company.

We are the only company in the industry that holds an event entirely dedicated to celebrating the modelling hobby EagleQuest will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

It is hard to digest the feeling, that at the end of the day, all this means nothing to some. And mostly these are individuals who have no understanding what it takes to make and keep business successful. Some of the commentators admitted not to have bought from Squadron for over 10 years! I think for them to join the angry mob and making negative remarks is only distorting the truth even more.

The last thing I want to do is look for excuses for there are none. We live in a competitive world and Squadron is dealing with it the way that we see fit to make and secure a brighter future for our hobby. One of our main purposes has always been to be out there as your friend and partner and giving things back to the community like donating to Non-Profit Veteran organizations and offer the helpdesk, videos, reviews and blogs. All of this means that it is sometimes not possible to be the cheapest game in town. We will be the first to admit we are far from perfect….But we learn every day and do all we can to put our customers first.

So instead for some to go off on a tirade of how mean, deceitful and crooked we are, think about how you could help us with positive feedback that would benefit everybody.

Now, again these are my personal sentiments and they do not represent Squadrons but Im pretty sure they feel the same. Im just blown away from all the negativity that has been launched towards a model company that has served its customers close to 50 years and that has meant so much to so many when they were kids. Loyalty and support are becoming more and more words with no true meaning behind them.

I do apologize and meant no offense to the thousands of wonderful customers that showed their allegiance through the years and keep on doing it. And that by itself gives us the motivation to do even better in the future. I just had to get it off my chest.

Jef Verswyvel

I used to shop at Squadron all the time, but it just isn't worth it now. The majority of what is listed is not in stock, I looked today at the Eduard sale to see what could be worth buying and there isn't much. The website shows 54 1/48 Eduard kits, but of those only eight are in stock. Spruebrothers website shows about 130 1/48 Eduard kits and of those about 120 are in stock. Why should I shop at Squadron when a competitor with similar prices has 15 times the in stock selection.

That's an example of a product Squadron actually carries, and the number of products Squadron has compared to other places is poor. They don't carry hardly any Hasegawa or Academy, they have nothing from Bronco, and for aftermarket the selection is even worse. There is nothing from Aires, Quickboost, or Vector.

Don't complain about customers not beig loyal when it a company that is failing to meet the customers requirements. Give me one good reason I should shop at Squadron instead of going to Spruebrothers or even Amazon.

If Squadron has what I want I will shop there, I've made one order this year, none last year, and one in 2014. In that same time I've ordered seven times from Spruebrothers, because they have a better selection.

Edited by nspreitler

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Jef,

Spruebrothers currently has 7,028 Eduard items listed.

That is 1,028 MORE items from Eduard alone than Squadron has in "in stock" line items from all its product lines.

Squadron has roughly 8400 different line items listed, with approximately 2400 of them out of stock.

As a test, I just placed 8 decal sheets in my cart at Squadron and got a shipping amount of $16 dollars because of their total price. I can ship 8 decal sheets to anywhere in this country for less than $5.00 via first class.

Simply put, the overall selection Squadron has to offer is pathetic and their shipping charges are ridiculous and unrealistic.

Dave

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First off, a disclaimer. I am in the same city as Sprue Brothers and use them to sell my Steel Beach line. I am probably biased, even if I'm trying not to be. I understand the fond memories of Squadron and what they did for the hobby. However, if you don't adapt, you die. To use a parallel example, I fondly remember ordering from the JCPenny's catalog and drooling over all the toys for Christmas. I remember going with my dad to K-Mart and spending an hour searching through the model section. Fond memories, however, didn't prevent Penny's, K-Mart, Sears, etc. from becoming non-factors in the retail industry. The big question is why does Squadron spend thousands of dollars on a print catalog that is sent out to its customers? That is an expense that could be directed toward lowering prices. That's just one small example of a business practice that doesn't make sense. Has a study ever been done to see if it actually draws in sales? Those are the kinds of small details that need to be attended to keep the business going forward. The bottom line is that customers don't owe you, or Sprue Brothers, or Hannants, or anyone else anything at all. Loyalty lasts only as long as the business provides a service/products that the customer needs. All of the "negative" comments that have been posted are from customers that don't feel Squadron provides what they want. There is no reason for them to be "loyal" just because 50 years ago Squadron did something good for the hobby. That would be like saying everyone should buy Revell kits instead of Hasegawa and Tamiya because they were innovators back in the 1960's. I personally don't care one way or another whether Squadron survives or not. That's just the way business is.

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So instead for some to go off on a tirade of how “mean”, “deceitful” and “crooked” we are, think about how you could help us with positive feedback that would benefit everybody.

Jeff,

If you really want to improve Squadron is going to have to actually stock items. You can't start a sale on a product line and have 80% of the items out of stock and expect positive reactions. You don't have to stock everything, but if you want to compete you have to stock major brands like Hasegawa, Academy, Bronco, Great Wall, etc. It would also help to stock products that are becoming more popular like Mig washes, stuff by AK Interactive, aftermarket stuff and a better selection of decals.

Shipping rates should reflect actual cost not a blanket approach by cost, a lot of my purchases are photoetch and paint. I'm not paying $16 for shipping on a box that weighs less than a pound.

Drop the gimmicks, a listed retail price of $100 for a Hobby Boss easy build kit and some paint is ridiculous, those of us that have been doing this take a look at stuff like that ad see a ripoff.

Squadron was great and with the right leadership and business model it could be again, but it is going to take a lot of effort.

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As many of you will know, Squadron underwent a significant change in management more than a year ago. Also, an entire new computer system has been implemented with all the quirks that come with it ...

I have mentioned the problem of not being able to place an order online with the option of in-store pickup several times over the last year plus, yet the problem remains on your website. By "mention" I mean specifically describing the issue to a Squadron employee when I had to phone in my order to be able to pick up in-store, multiple times and over a long period of time. I finally gave up.

Simply put, others are doing it better. It's not rocket science.

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And to think, Squadron's big problem used to be that they had too much inventory:

Untitled-1%20copy_zpss7fnqpgc.jpg

(Squadron's first ever ad in FSM, FWIW)

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I personally don't find Squadrons prices that bad, but their limited stock, especially the misleading "in stock soon" is rather annoying.

The real deal breaker though is their shipping. Based of the amount of the order? What kind if archaic method is that? Someone could order 3 Revelogram 1/48 109s and pay the same, if not lower, shipping than some guy who ordered just 1 Eduard ProfiPack 109. Why do that when I can just click over to Sprue Brothers and they calculate the cheapest shipping for every single order, and they'll even refund the difference if they overestimate?

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I get email from Squadron all the time, I look at their site and their prices are on a par with what I can get them for here in the UK without the additional import duties.

If Im thinking that then there must be others who look at their prices and laugh. Its no wonder they are going under. They offer nothing over the other retailers and charge a premium price for it.

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Selection, cost, availability, and shipping. The overriding theme here is that we shop where the prices are the best/cheapest (or at least competitive with other sites)...the selection open to us is at least adequate for kits, aftermarket, and supplies...the things we want are available...and the shipping isn't ridiculously overpriced. Seems simple enough.

:cheers:

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Jef, your mention of all the things squadron does illustrates how little you guys get your customers.

We don't want gimmicks. We want a shop where things are actually in stock, and where you don't use car-salesman bait and switch sales tactics.

Don't treat your clients like fools and maybe you'll have some loyalty.

Also that comment on your blog about 1/72 being a dieing scale, really ticked me off!

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Day 5 of Squadron's sale, this time, a 25% discount on Takom & Meng kits....

Fine, I look for three 1/72 scale Meng kits, the F-102A Case X kit, F-102A Case XX kit, and F-106, this is what I found......

Both F-102 kits not even listed

F-106 kit....OUT OF STOCK!

List price for the F-106, $43.49, I can get them cheaper from Asia for $40.00, including shipping.

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I echo with what others said. But I still on occasion place orders, mainly high dollar ones to save on shipping cost. Or for genuine sales, most of the time the continous sales aren't real, like what is already been said, I too have fallen for the sale excitement only to look up the kit I had been waiting for to only see the price was jacked higher for the "sale" or no longer in stock. On some occasions yes, there was actual sale, as in reduced price for usual price. Some new kits I've noticed are same or even less than SH and SB but the high shipping charges at squadron defeats it. If shipping cost and structure were comparable to SB and SH then I'd order a lot more often at squadron. I've stopped looking at the daily specials long ago since it will never be worth it to me at current shipping structure.

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I have always and still use Squadron as my #1 choice. But I have to say I wait for a discount code cause I think shipping has become a deal breaker in some instances. The shipping issue may have its root cause at the shipping company However the policy to ship by total order cost instead of size/weight is problematic. An example is during their Eduard sale day. They had a really sweet deal on the 1/32 SU-27UB BIG ED set. I put that in my cart. I then looked at 1/32 Eduard. The second page of stuff all listed as in stock soon. Then I looked at the 1/48 offerings. Of 12 0r 13 pages the last six pages of stuff was all listed as "in stock soon"! So if I went ahead and ordered just the SU-27 set it would cost me 15.95 to ship photoetch! I quickly exited the site with no order placed.

Then do they still offer free shipping on 150.00 or more? two weeks ago I bought stuff from their Sale (forget what it was called) I had only 160.00 to indulge myself and I did. I went to check out and in the shipping options (only two) there was no free shipping for 150.00 listed. I was going to call in the order and ask but they no longer are 24/7. So I took 3 kits out of my cart and checked out...

Like I said I still love and use Squadron but am getting frustrated. I am fortunate that I have a HUGE stash and don't order like I used to but Squadron shoulders a big part of the blame as to why my stash is as huge as it has become!!! :-)

Max Bryant

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Hmmm , interesting that you should refer to all these comments as hate mail .

You should instead be taking notes on the things that customers are complaining about and try to resolve some of those issues instead .

Your only reason for being is to make customers happy if you wish for them to support your endeavor ( buy stuff )

I have personally sent you several emails in the past concerning the shortcomings of your store but I have never got as much as a drop dead back from you

I disagree about 1/72 scale being a death's door . If you had some things available, I would once again place an order . I am not about to order a 1/32 Trumpeter kit because I needed a 1/72 mask .

By the way, those new sale gimmicks are childish . I look at your web site for modeling items, not sunglasses or leather jacket .

One more thing, if you have no clue how to please modelers, just contact the original owner . Never had any issues till he left.

I could go on much longer but everyone has already stated the obvious.

Regards, Christian

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