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Has anybody enquired about the cost of kits direct from a manufacturer?

3 hours ago, andyf117 said:

 

I've tried that a couple of times, only to have mine sell for a lot less! ūüėĘ

You need a bidding war to get a good price. And be prepared to enlist a friend to bid the price up for you if you really want to scalp your fellow modellers. 

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4 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Has anybody enquired about the cost of kits direct from a manufacturer?

You need a bidding war to get a good price. And be prepared to enlist a friend to bid the price up for you if you really want to scalp your fellow modellers. 

So I hope this was an attempt at humor.   Being an avid ebayer for my kits as I get back into the hobby a little disheartening to realize I’m being ripped off every time I go and bid. 

 

But buyer beware, I get it. As for eBay I realize prices there can go insane, but I pay only what I want to, if it goes to high I pass. So truly what the market will bare. 

 

If Meng is getting $450 for a kit then people are willing to pay that price point to get it. Market at work. 

 

Model companies do sink a lot of R&D dollars into a subject, prototype it, and then deliver it to us the modelers. Licensing fees are but one of their many many costs to bring a kit to us. Tough to open a small business these days and the ability to bring their products to us a good price is challenging. So other than some of the items I get off eBay I try to buy from the vendors mentioned here to keep the products flowing. 

 

I am am hoping with the continued developments into additive manufacturing techniques (3D printers, CAD software) that kit details go up and possibly price to produce goes down. Just a thought. If we can 3D print airworthy parts for military aircraft than maybe the technology will continue to flow down to general manufacturing. 

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4 hours ago, YF65_CH53E said:

So I hope this was an attempt at humor.   Being an avid ebayer for my kits as I get back into the hobby a little disheartening to realize I’m being ripped off every time I go and bid. 

 

But buyer beware, I get it. As for eBay I realize prices there can go insane, but I pay only what I want to, if it goes to high I pass. So truly what the market will bare. 

 

If Meng is getting $450 for a kit then people are willing to pay that price point to get it. Market at work. 

 

Model companies do sink a lot of R&D dollars into a subject, prototype it, and then deliver it to us the modelers. Licensing fees are but one of their many many costs to bring a kit to us. Tough to open a small business these days and the ability to bring their products to us a good price is challenging. So other than some of the items I get off eBay I try to buy from the vendors mentioned here to keep the products flowing. 

 

I am am hoping with the continued developments into additive manufacturing techniques (3D printers, CAD software) that kit details go up and possibly price to produce goes down. Just a thought. If we can 3D print airworthy parts for military aircraft than maybe the technology will continue to flow down to general manufacturing. 

It was a little yes, but there is a nugget of truth in it. Ive seen it happen on kits Ive been interested in. The price tops my maximum and is won only to return time and time and time again from the same seller even though each auction is won.

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11 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

You need a bidding war to get a good price. And be prepared to enlist a friend to bid the price up for you if you really want to scalp your fellow modellers. 

I've always been at least reasonably happy with the prices I've got - I always set my start prices at what I think something's worth, or the minimum I'm prepared to sell it for. Yes, on occasion I've been disappointed when things have sold for less than I'd seen others go for - but other times I've been astounded at how high some prices have gone, such as the previously-mentioned £70+ decal sheet! Along with that one, I had quite a few other OOP sheets that went for more than £20 and £30 each, including a number that I know were bought by the guy who'd originally produced them - him buying back his own product at three or four times the original retail price confused the hell out of me!

As for 'shill bidding', that's not anything I'd ever entertain - a friend of my wife once asked her to counter-bid for a few items she was selling for a charity, in order to drive the prices up. I quickly shut that one down...

6 hours ago, YF65_CH53E said:

So I hope this was an attempt at humor.   Being an avid ebayer for my kits as I get back into the hobby a little disheartening to realize I’m being ripped off every time I go and bid. 

 

But buyer beware, I get it. As for eBay I realize prices there can go insane, but I pay only what I want to, if it goes to high I pass. So truly what the market will bare.

I set a limit on how much I'm prepared to pay for something, and stick to it. My principle is that I'm never in a hurry for anything hobby or leisure-related, so if I miss out on one, another will come along at some point - might be six days, six weeks, or six months, but eventually there'll be another. I slowly built up my 'stash' of Sea King kits over a number of years - saw some sell for at £10, £15, even £20+, but acquired all 30+ of mine for an average of just over £8.00 each...

 

2 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

It was a little yes, but there is a nugget of truth in it. Ive seen it happen on kits Ive been interested in. The price tops my maximum and is won only to return time and time and time again from the same seller even though each auction is won.

I've had similar, but almost in reverse. We've won items at a bargain price, only to have payment returned, either with a claim that the item's been broken or lost, or no explanation whatsoever - and then see them re-appear later at a higher price...

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12 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Has anybody enquired about the cost of kits direct from a manufacturer?

 

 

Large manufacturers have zero interest in selling to retail customers - that's not how they do business. The logistics and effort involved in selling tens of thousands of kits individually to customers would not be commercially viable.

 

They sell in bulk to distributors, who sell in turn to retailers who then sell them to you and me. The retailers might be bricks and mortar shops/chains, they might be large online retailers or they may be small one-man online retailers who have set up an account with the distributor.

 

The retail price for the same kit is different across the world, so a manufacturer would have to constantly calculate different selling prices if they were selling to individual customers and they would also be competing directly with their own distibutors in those countries, a situation neither they nor their distributors would benefit from.

 

Some ebay sellers are just exploiting those variations in retail price across the world - buying from a retailer in a country where the retail price is lower and then selling in a country where it is higher and pocketing the difference.

 

The aftermarket manufacturers are different - many can afford to sell direct to the retail customer because they are typically selling smaller volumes (in the tens or the hundreds). Indeed, it is often more profitable to sell direct than to use a regional distributor.

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54 minutes ago, John Tapsell said:

 

Large manufacturers have zero interest in selling to retail customers - that's not how they do business. The logistics and effort involved in selling tens of thousands of kits individually to customers would not be commercially viable.

 

Airfix sell direct to retail customers through their website(s)...

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7 hours ago, andyf117 said:

I've always been at least reasonably happy with the prices I've got - I always set my start prices at what I think something's worth, or the minimum I'm prepared to sell it for. Yes, on occasion I've been disappointed when things have sold for less than I'd seen others go for - but other times I've been astounded at how high some prices have gone, such as the previously-mentioned £70+ decal sheet! Along with that one, I had quite a few other OOP sheets that went for more than £20 and £30 each, including a number that I know were bought by the guy who'd originally produced them - him buying back his own product at three or four times the original retail price confused the hell out of me!

As for 'shill bidding', that's not anything I'd ever entertain - a friend of my wife once asked her to counter-bid for a few items she was selling for a charity, in order to drive the prices up. I quickly shut that one down...

I set a limit on how much I'm prepared to pay for something, and stick to it. My principle is that I'm never in a hurry for anything hobby or leisure-related, so if I miss out on one, another will come along at some point - might be six days, six weeks, or six months, but eventually there'll be another. I slowly built up my 'stash' of Sea King kits over a number of years - saw some sell for at £10, £15, even £20+, but acquired all 30+ of mine for an average of just over £8.00 each...

 

I've had similar, but almost in reverse. We've won items at a bargain price, only to have payment returned, either with a claim that the item's been broken or lost, or no explanation whatsoever - and then see them re-appear later at a higher price...

Ive been on both ends of ebay too. Ive got some nice prices for kit that went for a lot more than I got them for, Ive been the victim of sellers bidding up their prices. Selling is swings and roundabouts too.

The only thing I can say about ebay that is for sure. Ive never bid up my own auctions. If there is a price I wont go below then I listed it as a buy it now.

6 hours ago, John Tapsell said:

 

Large manufacturers have zero interest in selling to retail customers - that's not how they do business. The logistics and effort involved in selling tens of thousands of kits individually to customers would not be commercially viable.

 

They sell in bulk to distributors, who sell in turn to retailers who then sell them to you and me. The retailers might be bricks and mortar shops/chains, they might be large online retailers or they may be small one-man online retailers who have set up an account with the distributor.

 

The retail price for the same kit is different across the world, so a manufacturer would have to constantly calculate different selling prices if they were selling to individual customers and they would also be competing directly with their own distibutors in those countries, a situation neither they nor their distributors would benefit from.

 

Some ebay sellers are just exploiting those variations in retail price across the world - buying from a retailer in a country where the retail price is lower and then selling in a country where it is higher and pocketing the difference.

 

The aftermarket manufacturers are different - many can afford to sell direct to the retail customer because they are typically selling smaller volumes (in the tens or the hundreds). Indeed, it is often more profitable to sell direct than to use a regional distributor.

I worded my original question as I did on purpose.

I know a manufacturer not only isnt interested in selling to retail customers, I know most of them simply cant (they might for instance have no ability to fill in customs paperwork)

They make models, they sell pallet loads.

Not all manufacturers even make "the models" the same.
A company might for instance, have it sprues shot in China, the plastic is shipped to the UK for packaging.

My question was more regarding the actual costing of a model... Not the price you pay once it gets to the retail "store" in which you would buy it but the price a manufacturer sells a model kit for...

 

A good recent one is the new Italeri Tornado kit.

I know several UK shops that sell that kit for £135.99. A particular retailer said that seems like a particularly high price for that kit after he did an out of box review of it.

I know that I can buy that kit for £90.73 (inc UK VAT) from another retailer who does make a profit from selling it at that price.

 

A manufacturer goes on value chain economics. They ask how much does it cost to make it and how much can we sell it to somebody for (not a retail customer but a distributer), if the first is higher than the second then they cant make it. If the second is higher than the first then they will produce it. And when I say produce it I mean they will start the design work for the plastic model, etc etc.

 

Now looking back at the Tornado example above. Where did the £45.26 go? The manufacturer didnt get it.

And yet it seems to be the manufacturers who are taking most of the flak in this thread because their prices keep going up and up year on year.

 

What I dont like it where "the blame" gets placed.

But the only people who can tell you what is really going on wont say a word about it because they are protecting their sales guys.

Edited by ElectroSoldier
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2 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Ive been on both ends of ebay too. Ive got some nice prices for kit that went for a lot more than I got them for, Ive been the victim of sellers bidding up their prices. Selling is swings and roundabouts too.

The only thing I can say about ebay that is for sure. Ive never bid up my own auctions. If there is a price I wont go below then I listed it as a buy it now.

I worded my original question as I did on purpose.

I know a manufacturer not only isnt interested in selling to retail customers, I know most of them simply cant (they might for instance have no ability to fill in customs paperwork)

They make models, they sell pallet loads.

Not all manufacturers even make "the models" the same.
A company might for instance, have it sprues shot in China, the plastic is shipped to the UK for packaging.

My question was more regarding the actual costing of a model... Not the price you pay once it gets to the retail "store" in which you would buy it but the price a manufacturer sells a model kit for...

 

A good recent one is the new Italeri Tornado kit.

I know several UK shops that sell that kit for £135.99. A particular retailer said that seems like a particularly high price for that kit after he did an out of box review of it.

I know that I can buy that kit for £90.73 (inc UK VAT) from another retailer who does make a profit from selling it at that price.

 

A manufacturer goes on value chain economics. They ask how much does it cost to make it and how much can we sell it to somebody for (not a retail customer but a distributer), if the first is higher than the second then they cant make it. If the second is higher than the first then they will produce it. And when I say produce it I mean they will start the design work for the plastic model, etc etc.

 

Now looking back at the Tornado example above. Where did the £45.26 go? The manufacturer didnt get it.

And yet it seems to be the manufacturers who are taking most of the flak in this thread because their prices keep going up and up year on year.

 

What I dont like it where "the blame" gets placed.

But the only people who can tell you what is really going on wont say a word about it because they are protecting their sales guys.

So what your question was or what your problem is, is where is the ¬£45.26 going? Well that‚Äôs the multiple ‚Äúpass thru‚ÄĚ that these manufacturers do not see to get there product to the ‚Äúmarket‚ÄĚ. Albeit the online market or traditional brick and motor store fronts.¬†

 

The distributors are are in the middle here and they are getting that pass thru. As you stated you feel it is excessive and they don’t talk about it to protect their sales force. Possibly the movement to be started here is more direct online sales would help eliminate those higher pass thrus. But again that kit manufacturer would have to be familiar with the import export laws of the countries they want to do business with. 

 

Hence the distribution centers have us by the ba**s here as they typically have and continue to have agents and contracts in place to import the kits into an arena that we the buying public can access. 

 

The manufacturer really does not have control over the multiple markups placed in the kit by the time it gets to us everyone is out to make profit in their perceived work to get the item to market. 

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8 hours ago, YF65_CH53E said:

So what your question was or what your problem is, is where is the ¬£45.26 going? Well that‚Äôs the multiple ‚Äúpass thru‚ÄĚ that these manufacturers do not see to get there product to the ‚Äúmarket‚ÄĚ. Albeit the online market or traditional brick and motor store fronts.¬†

 

The distributors are are in the middle here and they are getting that pass thru. As you stated you feel it is excessive and they don’t talk about it to protect their sales force. Possibly the movement to be started here is more direct online sales would help eliminate those higher pass thrus. But again that kit manufacturer would have to be familiar with the import export laws of the countries they want to do business with. 

 

Hence the distribution centers have us by the ba**s here as they typically have and continue to have agents and contracts in place to import the kits into an arena that we the buying public can access. 

 

The manufacturer really does not have control over the multiple markups placed in the kit by the time it gets to us everyone is out to make profit in their perceived work to get the item to market. 

I know where it goes.
Both kits come from the same distributer...

 

The story you get from the retailer is but I have overheads to pay, I have staff wages to pay I have this I have that, If I charge £45.26 less I might as well not open the shop at all.

And then I look at the kit I paid £45.26 less for and think yeah your right, you might as well not.

 

Edited by ElectroSoldier
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On 2/6/2021 at 9:23 PM, sigtau said:

Generally, I don't believe most modern tooled kits are overpriced.  I can remember getting my first Hasegawa 1/48 F-14A back around 1990 and it was in the $50 range.  That high cost was being driven by currency exchange rate and Marco Polo imports.  The Tamiya F-14A at $100 is within the range I would expect for a modern tooled kit.

 

However, there have been a few more recent releases that seem to be off scale high as far MSRP:

 

Hobbyboss 1/48 MV-22 - $240

Trumpy 1/35 MLRS - $140

Meng 1/12 GT40 - $450

 

I'm quoting approximate MSRP, actual price you can find would be 40% below these.  But even after 40% off, that GT40 price is just crazy.  This hobby must be growing at a rapid pace for Meng to ask for that kind of price.  It's also possible that licensing fees are getting steep for some subjects.   

The prices have landed.

 

Hobbyboss 1/48 MV-22 - SRP $240 - actual $102.85 (80% decrease $137.15)

Trumpy 1/35 MLRS - SRP $140 - actual $86.03 (47.7% decrease $53.97)

Meng 1/12 GT40 - SRP $450 - actual $351.37 (24.6% decrease $98.63)

 

They are retail prices that you can buy the kits for here in the UK. GBP converted to USD for the sake of the conversation.

 

Yes manufacturers charge more now, the cost of manufacturing has increased and the amount of profit from the product has increased too.

But the big increase you see doesnt come as a result of increased manufacturer costs, it comes from retail of the product.

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3 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Hobbyboss 1/48 MV-22 - SRP $240 - actual $102.85 (80% decrease $137.15)

Trumpy 1/35 MLRS - SRP $140 - actual $86.03 (47.7% decrease $53.97)

Meng 1/12 GT40 - SRP $450 - actual $351.37 (24.6% decrease $98.63)

 

You might want to check your math.

 

(102.85/240) = 43% = 57% decrease

(86.03/140) = 61.5% = 38.5% decrease

(351.37/450) = 78% = 22% decrease

 

*my math results rounded to nearest 0.5%

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37 minutes ago, habu2 said:

 

You might want to check your math.

 

(102.85/240) = 43% = 57% decrease

(86.03/140) = 61.5% = 38.5% decrease

(351.37/450) = 78% = 22% decrease

 

*my math results rounded to nearest 0.5%

Yeah sorry I was using the USD SRP and the GBP actual prices.

 

What it does show is that you can see where the high mark up prices is in the supply chain though. Right?

 

 

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23 minutes ago, ElectroSoldier said:

What it does show is that you can see where the high mark up prices is in the supply chain though. Right?

 

 

Agree  :thumbsup:  but high markups are hardly unique to our hobby.

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59 minutes ago, habu2 said:

 

 

Agree  :thumbsup:  but high markups are hardly unique to our hobby.

No they're not but they have got particularly high in recent years.

 

As I said before you can sell the new Hobbyboss MV-22 for £74.30 and make a profit. So why are people paying prices like £97.99.

 

That GT40 is a particularly expensive kit to import and wont get much of a mark up compared to other kits. But they will still try and rinse as much as possible out of their customers never the less. Most wont get it on stock, they will make it a special order item because of the cash tied up in it for even a week is to much for most of them.

 

Ill put this out there not just to you habu2 but in general.
I dont really like subjects like this one because seeing the industry from another angle as I do its hard to keep your mouth shut about what you do know.

Distributers and retails are the ones moping up the OPs money, not the manufacturers.

A disty will make a different amount of money of different retailers depending on how much they buy or even if they can off load the costing to somebody else. Then the retailers mop up the rest of the money.

 

 

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On 2/15/2021 at 1:59 AM, a4s4eva said:

Why is it a problem?

Its not for me, but then I dont pay half what most people do for their new model kits anymore.

 

Would it be a problem for you if you knew you were paying over the odds for something?

How about if you were paying twice as much as I do each and every time you bought a kit from even if its from a discount online retailer at staff rates?
 

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On 2/16/2021 at 2:29 PM, ElectroSoldier said:

Its not for me, but then I dont pay half what most people do for their new model kits anymore.

 

Would it be a problem for you if you knew you were paying over the odds for something?

How about if you were paying twice as much as I do each and every time you bought a kit from even if its from a discount online retailer at staff rates?
 

None of that makes any sense, unless you're trying to big note yourself

Why are you worried what I pay?  

If I think something is worth it I buy it.. If not I don't.... 

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There are plenty of affordable kits out there to build. Tamiya has older kits that are very affordable  and very good kits for the price. I made a pact with myself not to spend $100.00 on a kit but now I see Tamiya is going to release an F4 Phantom. If it's at three figures when it comes out I will most certainly violate my pact, which will lead to me doing it again I'm sure. Prices aren't going to get any better, the hobby isn't dying, in fact the past year seems to have caused a resurgence of folks rediscovering old hobbies and this is one of them.

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5 hours ago, a4s4eva said:

None of that makes any sense, unless you're trying to big note yourself

Why are you worried what I pay?  

If I think something is worth it I buy it.. If not I don't.... 

No Im not trying to be note myself because I reality I probably pay no more or less than you do as long as you dont pay the retail prices for kits... I have no special access to anything.

 

I dont care what you pay at all, you are the one who asked why its a problem. For some people it is a problem. For some people they see themselves as paying way over the odds for something and they have no idea why. I attempted to explain why, thats all.

 

I my trying to explain a problem for you? Or maybe people discussing it is?

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On 2/15/2021 at 7:29 PM, ElectroSoldier said:

Its not for me, but then I dont pay half what most people do for their new model kits anymore.

 

Would it be a problem for you if you knew you were paying over the odds for something?

How about if you were paying twice as much as I do each and every time you bought a kit from even if its from a discount online retailer at staff rates?
 

So then explain if you have no "special access" why do you only pay half of what us poor schleps pay for a kit?

I am confused by your remarks up and down this post.  I know I am new here, but why point something out as a problem, with possible "insider information" on why it is a problem, but not clue us in on how you know this?

 

I have been buying model kits for over 45 years.  I understand the process of manufacturing a product and getting it to market.  I don't build models for a living, I do that for fun. I run a manufacturing business, that builds aircraft, so I understand running your own company, overhead, cash flow, labor practices, materials, long lead materials, unit pricing, blah blah blah.

 

The market is what the customer is willing to part their hard earned money for.  Period.  If my product or service is so high I run the risk of running myself out of the market, as someone will for sure build my mousetrap cheaper.  So I adjust with the market.  If the kit manufacturers are setting the price for their kit, and then the third party vendor is gouging the consumer so badly the kit simply would not sell.  Obviously this is not the case, as these kits do sell.

 

An example, I have seen over the years the large 1/350 1/200th scale ships on the market.  Tamiya and Trumpeter.  I build airplane models, not ships but I have always wanted to build that big Tamiya aircraft carrier, and doll it up with aftermarket planes and details. The trumpeter large ships are cool too.  BUT, I am just not willing to put out $500 - $1000 on one of those huge ships.  So I pass, and spend $150 on a big 1/48th scale helicopter.  Or, 1/32 scale fighter.

 

But, someone is buying those ship models, because they are available right now online and in my local hobby shop.  He doesn't have (5) of them for sale, but he has 1-2.  The hobby shop / on-line retailer took a risk, bought the kit and is hoping someone will come in and just have to have it.  And they buy.

 

Lastly, I agree as a returning modeler to the hobby after a break of 10-12 years, the hobby is alive and well.  The products amaze me.  I am not the oldest guy on these forums, but I am not the youngest, I remember buying an Aurora F-5 Freedom Fighter from my local drugstore with a tube of glue for .98 cent kit and .15 cent glue.  Last week I bought the Hasegawa 1/32 F-5 for $45 off eBay and cant wait to build it.  Its old, needs help, but its a great kit and $45 seemed fair for a sealed factory Hasegawa.

 

r/Dan

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