Jump to content

Squadron Mail Order annoying ongoing problem


Recommended Posts

35 minutes ago, Mstor said:

 

I doubt they ever had a true real time inventory. If they did, it wouldn't be this F'd up. With real time inventory, every item pulled for an order is scanned when pulled and inventory is updated immediately. If they are relying on someone to manually update inventory later from a list of sales, it ain't real time and will never work.


All I can say is, back when they had their annual open house, walking thru the warehouse was like a scene from the end of an Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark movie - kits and aftermarket and supplies and books as far as the eye could see.  Their facility is huge. They definitely had inventory. 
 

Admittedly that was a few years ago. Understand distributors like Squadron don’t order single kits one at a time, they purchase by the case - a box of 6 or 8 or 12 kits. My theory is that Squadron tracks clicks on “available to order” items and, if there is enough interest (clicks) they consider ordering a case of that particular kit. This is just a theory, and I’m not defending or promoting it as a business practice, but it makes more sense than a brain-dead practice not tracking inventory in real time. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, habu2 said:


All I can say is, back when they had their annual open house, walking thru the warehouse was like a scene from the end of an Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark movie - kits and aftermarket and supplies and books as far as the eye could see.  Their facility is huge. They definitely had inventory. 
 

Admittedly that was a few years ago. Understand distributors like Squadron don’t order single kits one at a time, they purchase by the case - a box of 6 or 8 or 12 kits. My theory is that Squadron tracks clicks on “available to order” items and, if there is enough interest (clicks) they consider ordering a case of that particular kit. This is just a theory, and I’m not defending or promoting it as a business practice, but it makes more sense than a brain-dead practice not tracking inventory in real time. 

 

Oh, I have no doubt that have plenty of stock of various items. How they manage the stock is another question.  They started out as a true mail order business, before the advent of personal computers and the Internet. In their day, they were at the top of the heap when it came to mail ordering models and supplies. Their monthly flyer was eagerly anticipated by me and many others. Then Sprue Brothers came on the scene with an entirely new "model" (:naughty:) of selling. Virtually all sales via the Internet. rapid turn-around of orders and accurate stock reporting. Needless to say, they have been extremely successful and their "model" for selling has been copied by many others (not that the Sprue Brothers invented it).

Squadron has tried to make the jump to the age of computers and the Internet, but has never got it quite right. I think they use the "available to order" method because they no longer have the cash flow to keep large amounts of stock on hand. As you said, they wait until they have enough orders to justify placing an order with the supplier. This leads to delays which, in this day and age, are not tolerated. Especially when there are so many other online stores following Sprue Brothers' model and where I can get what I want at a reasonable price with little delay.

Unless someone comes in, buys out Squadron, rebuilds it and influxes capital, I think we are seeing the last gasps of a once great retailer.

Edited by Mstor
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mstor said:

... Then Sprue Brothers came on the scene with an entirely new "model" (:naughty:) of selling.

 

I think that's called 'economy of scale"....  :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, habu2 said:

 

I think that's called 'economy of scale"....  :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

                                          :thatfunny:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody remember when Squadron used to be MMD - Military Model Distributors? They were the main importer & distributor of kits & accessories manufactured outside the USA. MAN, did they ever go downhill! I don't feel sorry for them, because they did it to themselves. :boohoo:

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is too bad to see them slowly wither away like this.  They were awesome, and many of us have happy memories of Squadron. Some time in the early to Mid 80s, my uncle gave us a Squadron flier when we visited, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, all these kits I had never seen in stores before.   When I got Serious about the hobby after college, It was so much fun to get the two color flier again. And in the early 2000s, if you remember they had the best coming soon page, they were pretty accurate with the new releases. They also had the  "Bruce Beamish Special" that would get taken down if it was discussed on the internet, it was often a 75% off or more special price on a random kit. 

 

Then things slowly changed. As recently as 5-6 years ago they seemed to be the first to get Roden kits, and have the best price, so I would still shop there for certain things. But lately, they do not even have the house brands in stock. 

 

Aside from Roden, I had stopped using Squadron after they had a huge sale, I think it was for black friday or closer to Christmas one year, they had a buy $500 get 1/2 off  sale. I was unable to find $500 of stuff in stock that I wanted ... and I was trying to get trumpeter 1/32 monsters .. any thing to get to $500 and it was impossible.  I think the only stuff in stock were 1/72 scale oddball eastern european kits of planes I never heard of.  

 

Times change, and if a business stays stuck in old ways too long, this is what happens.

 

 

Edited by Kurt H.
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, gkwan said:

They still are.   MMD = Squadron

But are they still the PRIMARY importer & distributor of ALL imported modeling related products, like they used to be?

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the years past they used to be a bigger player however that seems to have eroded away.  The only remaining brand they imported exclusively was HobbyBoss, however that recently has changed.  Another importer will be also bringing in HB which means we will start seeing more consistent supply and inventory on HB items in the US later this summer.  It is really hard to import products when you do not have any money.  Their financial condition is worst kept secret in the industry.

 

In my opinion, the primary players right now for importing modelling products in the US (in not particular order) is us (we import approx 65 brands), MRC, Merit Intl, Stevens, TamiyaUSA  and Blue Fin.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they burned their bridge with HobbyBoss when they fixed the price of the 1/32 B-24J kit at the MSRP of $240 and wouldn’t let anyone who got the kit from them sell it for less.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dai phan said:

Hi all

Getting Squadron's flyer is the best junk mail I have ever had! Do they still send these out? Dai 

 

Yes, they do still send them, they are more like a magazine now. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2020 at 5:05 PM, gkwan said:

In the years past they used to be a bigger player however that seems to have eroded away.  The only remaining brand they imported exclusively was HobbyBoss, however that recently has changed.  Another importer will be also bringing in HB which means we will start seeing more consistent supply and inventory on HB items in the US later this summer.  It is really hard to import products when you do not have any money.  Their financial condition is worst kept secret in the industry.

 

In my opinion, the primary players right now for importing modelling products in the US (in not particular order) is us (we import approx 65 brands), MRC, Merit Intl, Stevens, TamiyaUSA  and Blue Fin.

Damn it Gordon, you turned me into a Model hoarder to the nth degree! :rolleyes:

John

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, dai phan said:

Hi all

Getting Squadron's flyer is the best junk mail I have ever had! Do they still send these out? Dai 

They do. It is as useful as their OOS kits.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2020 at 5:05 PM, gkwan said:

In the years past they used to be a bigger player however that seems to have eroded away.  The only remaining brand they imported exclusively was HobbyBoss, however that recently has changed.  Another importer will be also bringing in HB which means we will start seeing more consistent supply and inventory on HB items in the US later this summer.  It is really hard to import products when you do not have any money.  Their financial condition is worst kept secret in the industry.

 

In my opinion, the primary players right now for importing modelling products in the US (in not particular order) is us (we import approx 65 brands), MRC, Merit Intl, Stevens, TamiyaUSA  and Blue Fin.

Have to think  being out of money is due in large part to undercutting their wholesale accounts. They never did find that balance of offering good everyday prices along with occasional sales aimed at the online retail customer vs Not undercutting the wholesale sale price to a Hobby Store. With constant every week below wholesale price sales they did just that. I guess it was an attempt to get an influx of cash. Thing is they have been doing it for close to 10 years now.  Who really knows how many Stores dropped them for distribution needs and how much money is gone from the books but loosing what is likely all your wholesale accounts is devastating, so here we are. Fortunately for us Sprue Brothers seems to have found that balance. Thanks Gordon!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SERNAK said:

They currently have a big sale but, the shipping cost is prohibitive!!!


🤷‍♂️


They had a Big Sale yesterday and they will have another Big Sale tomorrow. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...