NEWS AND UPDATES
It seems that after the Tuesday and Wednesday database
updates we had problems with the database and the
shopping cart. Our apologies. The problem seems to have
cleared up on its own by around 1pm on Wednesday. Our
website/database server was under some minor maintenance
at our hosting company Raleigh, NC. Seems to be working
Also, do to the high volume of business, during certain
times of the day the website and the database
pages on the search engine may be a bit slower. This is
due to the high volume we are currently
experiencing. Which is both good and bad. Another thing
that may be limiting your experience on the website
would be the band width availability. Since most of use
do not have dedicated internet and we share bandwidth
with the rest of the neighborhood, there are certain
time of the day that you might experience slower
download and upload speeds.
are right after school gets out each afternoon and in
the evening since more and more of us are streaming our
movies and T.V. shows these days.
example my home bandwidth in the evening should be
around 30mbs download. But from about 4pm to 10pm it
averages around 19mbs. Find out from your internet
access provider what your maximum download speed should
be and then check it.
Here is one popular FREE website I use to check the
Malware on your computer could be slowing things down as
feel. One of the best FREE site is MalwareBytes.
Download the FREE version to check your system:
another good FREE Antivirus download is from AVG. Here
personally have upgraded to the pay for version as they
cover more potential issues. But first, clean up your
computers with the FREE versions! I hope this will help
you all enjoy you shopping experience with BRH!
are working hard to continually improve our Cart32
shopping cart services.
We had to postpone our previously scheduled maintenance
time this past Sunday,
so we are letting you know that our shopping Cart32
servers will down
periodically for 2 - 4 hours starting around midnight on
Sunday, February 4, 2018 (CST).
We will be working hard to minimize the downtime.
Thanks to all of you for your patience while we
struggled in getting your orders shipped. It has been a
very very busy month with a lot going on in our store.
Traditionally January is a busier month than December.
And this year was no exception.
December 2017 sales vs January 2018 sales up 37% and
January year to year is up 58%!!! Best January since
Year to year new customers are up 125%, returning
customers up a whopping 567%, daily receipts up 71%,
average receipt totals up 40% and average receipt items
And some of you are recommending us to others. We
greatly appreciate the word of mouth!
We are doing our best to sell you the items you
need when you need them. We are not doing to bad with
the current way the wholesalers and manufacturers are
supplying us. New locomotives and rolling stock are
selling out now even before they are available to ship.
So all I can say is Pre Order Pre Order Pre Order!
If you where not aware, our main wholesaler is
Walthers. BRH is a top dealer with Walthers. Some
dealers would be considered a top dealer at the
President Level of $50,000 per year in wholesale
purchases. Well BRH sells that much and much much more
each month! This is one of the reasons we can keep
prices lower than most of our competition. The more you
all buy with us the more you will save!
More Credit Card Fraud Attempts Happening
Believe it or not there is a lot of credit card
fraud out there. We stop about 99.9% of that due to my
former experience from working for Barclays Bank and the
U.S. Secret Service back in the late 1980's. Recently we
helped stop a large fraud ring working out of Delaware
as well. While only one transaction slipped through when
I was out of town back in 2016, Broadway Limited Imports
processed thousands of dollars of fraudulent credit card
internet orders from this same group in Delaware that
they can not recoup.
When this occurred back in 2016 we put in place the pre
charging of orders from new customers before we even
place the orders from the warehouse for that customer
and stopped sending news first time customer orders to
alternate addresses as well. About 50% of new
customers are fraudulent transactions as it turns out since the cards
are declined or do not honor when we receive the orders. We do try to contact
the new customers but that usually means no return
contact from them thus we cancel the order per BRH
garners any cost for merchandise. This means we do not
have any merchandise sold issues that we will not get
reimbursed for because of a fraudulent transaction.
The latest scam is from new customers that are verified
with good credit cards
and some we even spoken to by us. Some of these customer
have found a chink in the online credit card system.
While we are not to divulge this chink ever, we are now
forced to require signatures on all new first time
customers shipments. We regret having to do this, but
this will end a lot of fraud attempts by customers. So
you will all have to sign for your packages for your new
first time customers.
This is done to continue to keep our prices low!
PLEASE NOTE: That any credit card fraud attempts, no
matter how much, are reported to the local authorities
in your area as Credit Card Fraud. What is occurring is
no different than shop lifting directly from the retail
store!. Most transactions are across state lines and can
even have harsher state and federal law violations. We
will prosecute no matter how much is involved!
Missing From Walthers New Gas Stations
new Cornerstone® Modern Gas Station #933-3537. Since
delivery last week, we've discovered that part #57, the
Car Island Canopy Ceiling, was not packaged with the
Based on your initial order, free replacement roof/s
will be mailed to you around the end of February, and no
further action is required. Please be sure to hold your
remaining inventory, and/or alert customers who have
purchased this model.
We are currently holding our remaining inventory, but
expect to begin shipping again very shortly.
While the Modern Travel Center (#933-3538) also uses
this same part, this model was packed complete.
Please accept our apologies for any confusion and
thanks for your support of Cornerstone products.
BRH will forward you the part at our expense once we
receive it. Please be patient!
Upcoming Pre Order
February 8: Rapido Preorders
February 13: Atlas/Atlas O/Trainman Preorders
February 26: Intermountain Preorders
February 28: Walthers Preorders
Cornerstone HO Urban Overpass and Commuter Station Kits
In stock at the retail and Now Shipping are
four new Cornerstone kits make it fast and fun for you
add elevated trackage through congested urban areas on
their layouts. These highly detailed HO structures are
common designs in use from the 1900s on as increasing
autotraffic made replacement of grade crossings a better
many are still in use today. As a result of elevating
the rail lines, some roads built the prototypes for the
Station on the elevated right of way and in many areas
Urban Retaining Walls allowed the line to have a
narrower footprint -
something you will love. These realistic additions to
commercial, industrial and suburban areas are great!
Often modelers will use more than one in their scenes so
don't be bashful about suggesting multiples. Also,
suggest using them with Cornerstone Asphalt, Brick and
Concrete Street System kits (each sold separately) to
help you build a great looking display!
SceneMaster HO Bulkhead Flatcar Loads and Trucks In
The latest new SceneMaster products to arrive are
perfect and offer Wrapped Lumber Loads for CC&F Bulkhead
Flatcars and 72' Centerbeam Flatcars for the
WalthersProto and Walthers Mainline cars. Each load
features colorful, realistic lumber
company graphics and is a quick way for modelers to add
realism to their flatcar fleets. For modern-era model
International(R) maintenance and utility company trucks
bringrealism to streets and construction scenes. Utility
trucks are easily customized with the supplied decals in
News About Upcoming Bowser HO Diesels and
In-Stock Car Kits
Bowser has announced new schemes for its highly popular
Canadian- built GMD SD40, SD40-2 and SD40-2f diesels
used in Canada and the U.S. Available with ESU LokSound
Select & DCC or as standard DC models, these diesels are
ideal for 1960s and later layouts. All three of these
announcements are sure to sell out fast, so order now
for best selection. Bowser also keeps growing its
popular line of HO freight car kits as well as
ready-to-run models. Kits are great for you modelers who
are on a budget or those looking for quick hands-on
projects. New 60000-series hopper kits come with
free-rolling trucks with metal wheels and knuckle-spring
couplers for great performance. New cars and road names
are now in stock! In addition, Bowser has announced new
to-run PRR-built flatcars and gondola models - order
them now today!
THANKS FOR THE
What's Going On With Product
NEWS AND UPDATES
Well, since 2011 when the big factory closings
happened that affected most of the model railroad
manufacturers, the hobby has been on a downward spiral.
While recently over the last year things have been
getting a bit better, there are still long wait times
from some manufacturers for product.
What has precipitated this update is that there are many
manufacturers still having trouble filling pre orders
and back orders. I may now tick off some of the
manufacturers with this update, but it is their problem
from my stand point, not ours!
For example, last year Broadway
Limited announced, with much fanfare, Choo Choo Shoes to
be released in June 2017. As of this date, we are still
awaiting them to fill orders! Also, recently some pre
ordered buses came in from Rapido. That take 18 months
from the time the customer ordered.
The biggest offenders on the back
order / pre order fulfillment front seem to be the
following: MTH-Railking, Lionel, Inter-Mountain Railway,
Terrain For Trains / American Plastics, Atlas Model RR
and Broadway Limited. We are still awaiting 2017 Lionel
Christmas items that where pre ordered for customers.
Broadway has a new policy of producing a batch of one
item, let's say 1000 of them, they have them produced
and shipped then they announce them. For example the
latest announcement's are on there way to the USA so if
you do not purchase now, you may not get one or even see
one in a local hobby shop! While this is a good way to
do business in some respects, the new "just in time"
ordering and order fulfilling method being taken by many
manufacturers across the retail and wholesale word is a
Don't get me wrong, BRH retail has
adopted this policy back in 2012 when product
availability became an issue. We shrunk the size of our
retail and shipping from 5,000sf to 1,200sf. And we
still can not seem to get enough basic model railroad
items on a consistent basis.
Since 2007 when I started BRH, we
have always had about 130,000 products to sell on a
daily basis. Back then, about 90,000 where available for
sale each day. Before Christmas 2017 there where still
130,000 items in the database but only 45,000 items
where available to sell on a daily basis. Over the last
two weeks we have seen available items drop to 40,000
+/- to sell each day and the overall database drop to
127,000 +/- items.
Some of the simplest basic items like track where not
and are still not available. We ran out of Lionel
Fastrack (they have stopped making the old tubular track
as well) and Bachmann EZ-Track, Kato HO Track and
Lifelike. Lifelike track has been back ordered since
2016 in some cases! We ordered extra track across the
board this past year but ran out during Christmas and
could not get restocked and still can not get the track
in most cases.
So when you wonder into our retail store and see the
shelves a bit bare at times, this is why! We have to be
able to have product to sell to stay in business and get
models what they want and need! Without the stock that
people want a hobby shop can not stay in business.
Luckily, as it has been since the beginning, 98% of our
business is online and that continues to be a strong
area of sales. We are currently up and having the best
January since 2011! But profits are down while volume is
We tried display ads in Model
Railroader Magazine to help boost sales but that was a
bust with only a few orders coming from those three
months worth of ads! Our cheaper dealer listing ads
generate more business at 90% less in cost!
Recently I visited the World's
Greatest Hobby Show in Charlotte and visited with some
of the manufacturers and found the answers from the
manufacturers to be alarming.
One of our wholesalers is purging there database of model railroad
manufacturers that are not producing enough product to
fill the demand. And yes, there is demand, but not
enough 'stuff' to sell! The conversations with BLI and
MTH-Railking at the show did not shed any light on why
they can not meet there announced arrival dates. Maybe,
for example, Lionel should announce their 2018 Christmas
items as 2019 Christmas items since most likely that is
the year they will arrive! Nothing like buying a 2017
Christmas item and getting in sometime in 2018!
Lately, as I have discussed in the
past, we have been ordering more and more product direct
from the manufacturers. They have the product in some
cases, while the wholesalers don't. It seems, and this
nothing new over the last 7 years, the manufacturers
want to deal with the wholesale or retail customers
directly. Case in point: Exact Rail and Scale Trains for
example. While this may be a good model for them, it
only means even hire prices for you, the model
railroader, plus the additional shipping charges.
So much for our one stop shopping website idea from
Don't be surprised if you start to see a manufacturers
disappear from our database of products. It is a shame
this will happen.
So, please be patient when you pre
order. Calling or emailing BRH is not going to make the
product arrive any sooner. Just check the online
database for your items status. And yes, unknown
availability date means just that! We have no idea when
the product will arrive and the manufacturer has missed
at least two arrival dates. We have 60,000 of these type
But, for BRH business is good. With
the holiday last week, the Walthers shipping problems,
our inventory last weekend and the 4 inches of snow here
in the south (we are not prepared for this stuff down
here) John and I should be caught up with all orders
shipped now. There is a large back order / pre order
that has arrived and should ship Monday / Tuesday. All
customer service issues should be resolved as well.
Thanks for the support and enjoy
the hobby as best your can. Think ahead when building
your displays, order and be patient.
SALES OF $4,000.000
This week we hit the $4,000,000 sales
milestone and we are having a great month so
far in January. It has been very very busy,
especially over the last two weeks with the
snow, MLK holiday, shipping delays and the
retail store inventory.
So, after working every day for the last two
weeks I am taking the weekend off from
retail store and shipping activities but
will be back processing another large back
order that arrived on late Friday the
includes some Walthers Shinohara track, but
not the crossings!
January 31: Intermountain Preorders
January 31: Micro-Trains Preorders
January 31: Walthers Preorders
February 8: Rapido Preorders
February 28: Walthers Preorders
WalthersProto HO EMD F7 and GP35 Phase II Diesels
Diesel fans will love the new roadnames on the
WalthersProto EMD F7 and GP35 Phase II locomotives!
road name and era-specific details, accurate paint
the renowned WalthersProto drive. Both diesels are
standard DC versions or with SoundTraxx(R) Tsunami(R)
DCC. These diesels have proven popular and some road
sold out or in short supply, so if you haven't
already, order now
for best selection!
They're Here and Going Fast! All-New
WalthersMainline HO ES44 GEVO Diesels
These all-new modern road freight locomotives are
modelers have been eagerly awaiting! GE Evolution
ES44AC/AH/C4 GEVOs (the AC/AH/C4 letters are model
denoting minor performance variations) are the
backbone of the
North American diesel fleet and thousands have been
kinds of freights since 2003. Affordably priced and
with road name-appropriate truck, body and headlight
variations, these models are in extremely high
demand. The newly-
tooled locos are available with or without
SoundTraxx sound and
DCC. We have only a handful of some road names and
left, so order immediately! If you missed out on
these schemes, you still
have until Wednesday, January 31st to order the next
road names and road numbers
New Atlas and Trainman N Scale Products
Fast-selling Atlas and Trainman models are great
for N Scale. New Atlas models include the popular
FMC 5077 50' Boxcar, 40' PS-1 Boxcar and Alco
RS1diesels. Trainman models include 90-Ton 3-Bay
Cupola Cabooses and 50' Double-Door Boxcars. All of
demand models are moving fast and some road names
and road numbers
may already be sold out, so order now for best
detailed HO Freight Cars from Kadee(R) Now Shipping
Kadee regularly releases new schemes in its line of
highly detailed, limited-run freight cars. Featuring
decoration, appropriate body styles and details, all
cars come equipped with scale-sized Magne-Matic(R)
couplers and appropriate trucks with metal wheels.
cars include a 40' PS-1 Boxcar and a 50-Ton 2-Bay
You will love the accuracy of these models, so get