Let me start by saying that our local slot car group buys slotcars as a CO-OP from our local brick and mortar hobby shop. We have worked out a deal with the owner that we get a fair percentage off if we buy in lots of ten or more and pay with cash. The cash deal saves him from paying credit card fees and keeps his costs down if you were wondering. We do have to wait for enough cars to come in for him to get his free shipping....
So last January I was on a three way call with the Hobby shop owner and the Scalextric USA sales rep ordering our cars. That was the time of the anouncement for the two car sets of F1 cars. I ordered 3 sets of them before the sales rep even had the part numbers!!! I used the numbers from the site from the UK. So later on after they had been released here in the US; I asked the hobby shop owner if he heard when my groups cars were coming. He called Scalextric USA and asked the question. No he was not getting any. Why not since we were the first one to order them in the states? They did finaly say that they could come up with one set of them and the might be avble to squeeze out two. The hobby shop owner called several weeks ago when I ordered some more cars from Scalextric USA and he asked if they 2 car sets were still waiting for him to get his free shipping. They replied they were there. I got a call from the hobby shop yesterday that the cars were in and I went there this afternoon to pick them up with a big grin on my face thinking I was finaly getting the Lotus and the Eagle. I went up to the counter and the Mustang,the Nart Ferrari, the Camaro and the Slot It Alfa were the but no two car sets. The owner of the hobby shop was there and after he got done with a customer I hit him up on where the two car sets were. He called Scalextric USA and talked to his rep and he was told that they did not have any to send him. I was fuming. She did tell him that they got the parts in and for $65 each I could build each of the cars from parts without motors. . . I was realy fuming then. . . Seven months of waiting after being the first guy in the US to order the cars I find out I could not get them. Great customer service eh?? And. . . . . . . to top it off three of the four cars that did come in had broken cases . . . . Auuuurgh!!!
So when someone asks you why you preorder your cars from online retailers you can tell them my story. . . . It is not the fault of the poor local hobby shop guy; he did everything right. I feel for him since he is caught in the middle trying to eak out a living and make a buck or two. Thank you for reading my long winded rant. And THANKS Scalextric USA. . . Moose
I've been ordering cars from Scalextric USA since '99 and have never had a problem. I got the 18 Lotus/Eagle sets I had pre-ordered months earlier with no problem. Scaley will replace the broken cases. All it takes is a phone call. However, everyone makes mistakes so don't be so hard on them.
I'm thinking, like you, that your "nice guy" dealer was just stuck in the middle. I don't believe that your dealer probably orders direct from Scalextric, but rather from a local distributor. The distributor would order from Scalextric based on how many pre-orders he got from his dealers.
This particular case is further complicated by the fact that there were only 7,000 of these sets produced, for world wide distribution, and I believe that only about 1,700 were allotted to this country. Certainly, not enough to supply everyone. The distributor would then be forced to selectively supply his dealers, based on how many they pre-ordered.
A small dealer, who may have only ordered a half dozen to a dozen sets, would not get as many as a larger dealer who wanted a hundred sets. Most likely neither one received as many as they'd hoped for, or could sell, but they do the best they can.
I almost missed this set myself, because I was waiting for the cars to be released separately. I'm sure they will (may) be some day, because that tooling is not cheap.
Fortunately for me though, within the last year, I discovered a quaint little internet dealer, actually quite a magical place, called www.132slotcar.us . They have been able to supply me with anything I want, even if I decide that I want it in a timeframe that most other dealers, can't deal with. The place and it's proprietors are highly recommended!
"I'm thinking, like you, that your "nice guy" dealer was just stuck in the middle. I don't believe that your dealer probably orders direct from Scalextric, but rather from a local distributor. The distributor would order from Scalextric based on how many pre-orders he got from his dealers."
Actually, hobby shops CAN order directly from Scaley USA (My store does all the time). They are, for a lack of a better description, the local distributor.
Hi all and thanks for the replies. I was so upset yesterday when I wrote this. Bottom line is I am trying to keep one of the few remaining brick and mortar shops left in town by sending business his way. We have already lost two shops in the area and one of them was the one I worked part time at. The shop I was going through is a direct to Scalextric USA purchaser so the problem was not that. We ordered before Scalextric USA even had part numbers for the cars so it was not that either. My guess is the "totem pole" concept of not being a large enough retailer to be on high enough on the pecking order to get the limited quanities that made it to the states. I would like to be able to drive across town to get my cars, paints, brass, plastic, glue and other supplies rather than having to send my money somewhere else. I do business with Fantasy World, PM, 1/32Slotcar US online for some of the things the local hobby shops cannot get me. Thanks for listening to my gripe. Moose
Sounds like the Rep Goofed, or low on the pole. Remember, Scalextric USA was very shorted on this item, they were well sold out before they shipped, but that was months ago. You also don't know what was going on with finances between your dealer and Scalextric USA. There are many factors here, and unless we find out the full story, you can't blame anyone.
Maybe you should have talked to your dealer when these actually came available...I mean you do read the forum and would have been well aware of when these hit the market...WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY back in April.
I have had conversations with a few dealers who deal with the reps at Scalextric and from what I can tell, and their observations, they do not play favorites.
And just because I'm a fan of salting your exposed wounds...I see a set selling on Ebay that's ending in 44 minutes.
Your hopes: -3 Lotus sets
Last edited by Vinnie The Destroyer; 08-11-2008 at 03:12 PM.
I well know the inner working of Scalextric USA as it was originally my Company as "A Day at the Races"
After I sold in Nov 1999 I ran the Company till July 2002, and still do some consulting work for them from time to time.
The order system is such that Dealers are advised to place Pre Prders for items, this gives Scalextric USA an idea of how many to bring into the USA and secures items for those Dealers.
From time to time an item is hot, Such as the F1 Legends Set and Dealers are cut back on numbers, this is done fairly across the border all Dealers being cut not just the little ones.
Scalextric USA or Hornby America as they are now known is the Exclusive Importer and Distributor for Scalextric and as far as I know always plays fair with it's dealers.
However Dealers often do not tell it exactly how it is I remember getting a phone call when I ran the company while I was the C.O.O. asking why we did not support the Scalextric line. So I asked the consumer what item was it they could not get, they told me they had been waiting for 6 months for Scalextric Borders for their layout. I told them we have over 6,000 of them in stock and have not been out of them all year.
It seems the Dealer did not want to order them, when I mentioned this could be the case the frustrated customer said well they are waiting till they get to Mimimum order quantity, this was again not true as Scalextric USA, and all Distributors I deal with, do not have this policy. The only partial truth in this is there is often a Minimum to get free freight but no actual Minimum order.
Of course it is possible that a Rep made a mistake, they are human, however the Legends Set was in the system at Scalextric US for Pre Order in January, so all Dealers who placed Pre orders got some of the Sets.
Sadly many Dealers choose to not Pre order, rather waiting till an item comes out, in that case he would not have got any of these Sets as they Sold out in Pre order.
Scalextric US divided up the Pre orders so no Dealer could order all the available Stock or an unfair amount, yes some would try, so I feel either an error was made or this is not exactly true as told.
I hope this helps you understand the nature of Pre ordering in the Hobby Industry, sadly with almost all Production one time only ( China ) if you do not Pre Order on a Hot Item you may not get it.
However anyone want any Rally Cars, or sadly even the Chaparral, or F1 as they do not sell out often.
I hope you find the Set you are looking for and at a fair price. I applaud you for trying to support Local Dealers as I firmly believe without Local Exposure this Hobby is in danger, however in this case maybe the Dealer did not Pre order your item.
Ah, I think part of the point was that he was trying to get them at a discounted price. Whether they were available in NZ, OZ or Grand Brittania, at retail, plus shipping would kind of up the expected cost considerably. I don't know, so I can't say, but I suspect the dealer may have dropped the soccer ball on this one... and just didn't order them, or didn't order them in time. The paranoid fantasy of the day which comes tro my mind is that they may have gotten a few and sold them at retail to different people, rather than to you at a discount.