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FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER
 

NEWS AND UPDATES
01/13/18

USPS Rate Increase

The USPS will be increasing postal rates at the end of the month on January 27th!
Please remember that postal rates are a pass through cost from the USPS to you the valued BRH customers! BRH does  not mark up costs!
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FROM THE USPS

WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today of price changes to take effect Jan. 27, 2019.

The proposed prices, approved by the Governors of the Postal Service, would raise Mailing Services product prices approximately 2.5 percent. Shipping Services price increases vary by product. For example, Priority Mail Express will increase 3.9 percent and Priority Mail will increase 5.9 percent. Although Mailing Services price increases are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Shipping Services prices are primarily adjusted according to market conditions. The Governors believe these new rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with needed revenue.

If favorably reviewed by the PRC, the new prices will include a 5-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 50 cents to 55 cents. The single-piece additional ounce price will be reduced to 15 cents, so a 2-ounce stamped letter, such as a typical wedding invitation, will cost less to mail, decreasing from 71 cents to 70 cents.

The proposed Mailing Services price changes include:

Product
Letters (1 oz.)
Letters additional ounces
Letters (metered 1 oz.)
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.)
Domestic Postcards  

Current
50 cents
21 cents
47 cents
$1.15
35 cents

Proposed
55 cents
15 cents
50 cents
$1.15
35 cents

The proposed domestic Priority Mail Retail Flat Rate price changes are:

Product
Small Flat Rate Box
Medium Flat Rate Box
Large Flat Rate Box
APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box
Regular Flat Rate Envelope
Legal Flat Rate Envelope
Padded Flat Rate Envelope

Current
$7.20
$13.65
$18.90
$17.40
$6.70
$7.00
$7.25

Proposed
$7.90
$14.35
$19.95
$18.45
$7.35
$7.65
$8.00

First-Class Package Service, a lightweight expedited offering used primarily by businesses for fulfillment purposes, will move to zone-based pricing to better align with the cost of service and improve value based on distance.

The Postal Service has some of the lowest letter mail postage rates in the industrialized world and also continues to offer a great value in shipping. Unlike some other shippers, the Postal Service does not add surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, or regular Saturday or holiday season delivery.

The PRC will review the prices before they are scheduled to take effect Jan. 27, 2019. The complete Postal Service price filings with the new prices for all products can be found on the PRC site under the Daily Listings section at https://www.prc.gov/dockets/daily (see listing for Oct. 10). For the Mailing Services filing see Docket No. R2019-1. For the Shipping Services filing see Docket No. CP2019-3. The price change tables are also available on the Postal Service website at https://pe.usps.com/PriceChange/Index.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.

THE BREAKDOWN

Summary of the 2019 Postage Rate Increase:
Domestic Mailing:

  • The First Class Mail Letter (1 oz.) rate for postage purchased at the Post Office will increase by five cents to $0.55 from $0.50.

  • Each additional ounce for a First Class Mail letter will cost $0.15 (a decrease from $0.21).

  • “Metered Mail” rates for First Class Mail Letters (1 oz.), which includes online postage providers and postage meters, will increase three cents to $0.50 from $0.47. Each additional ounce will cost $0.15.

  • The five cent “Metered Mail” rate discount for a First Class Mail letter (1 oz.) compared to the Post Office rate represents a savings of 9%.

  • First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelopes (1 oz.) rates will not increase and will remain at $1.00. Each additional ounce will cost $0.15.

Domestic Shipping:

  • Priority Mail Express will see an overall rate increase of 3.9% in 2019. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $22.68 (previously $21.98).

  • Priority Mail will see an average rate increase of 5.9% in 2019. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $6.95 (previously $6.55).

  • First Class Package Service will see an average rate increase of 11.9% in 2019. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $2.66.

  • First Class Package Service will move to zone‑based pricing in 2019.

  • Parcel Select Ground will see an average rate decrease of 1.3% in 2019. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $6.85 (previously $6.55).

  • Media Mail rates will increase by 2.9% in 2019. Rates will start at $2.75 (previously $2.66).

International Shipping:

  • Priority Mail Express International will see an average rate increase of 3.9% in 2019. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $42.00 (previously $40.38).

  • Priority Mail International will see an average rate increase of 6.2% in 2019. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $39.71 (previously $38.29).

  • First Class Package International Service will see an average rate increase of 3.9% in 2019. Commercial Base (online postage) rates will start at $9.98 (previously $9.50).

    So get you orders in ASAP to avoid the increases!

Upcoming Preorder Deadlines

January 15: Atlas Preorders
January 30: Bowser Preorders
January 31: Intermountain Preorders
January 31: Walthers Preorders

All-New WalthersProto HO Tank Cars Now Shipping

New WalthersProto 55' Trinity Modified 30,145-Gallon Tank Cars are based on prototypes with upgraded safety features. Spotting features on these models include reinforced/shielded ends, revised end platforms and a multi-valve housing to meet federal safety mandates. These new models have all of the highly visible
modifications and they'll look great on your  modern unit oil trains. They're also used for ethanol, gasoline and
more. These highly detailed and much-anticipated cars feature etched-metal walkways, applied grab irons and accurate decoration for extra realism. Available in multiple road numbers per scheme,
make sure to order now so customers can add them to their tank
car fleet!

TO ORDER



New Arrival of Popular WalthersMainline HO Scale EMD SD70ACes Now Shipping!

The latest arrivals of EMD SD70ACes are shipping now!
This latest release includes new road numbers for BNSF and KCS units plus NS heritage units decorated for NYC and PC fallen flags. Modern-era modelers love the reliable, affordable EMD SD70ACe diesels for their good looks and great performance. NS heritage-painted diesels are extremely popular with many of you, and some BNSF road numbers are just about sold out, so order now and don't miss out!

TO ORDER


Bowser Announces New HO Freight Cars

Bowser has announced new schemes and road numbers ready-to-run PRR X31 Boxcars and K11 Stock Cars. Based on PRR prototypes, these distinctive round-roofed cars were also operated by other  railroads and could be found running coast to coast. Bowser cars feature detailed injection-molded bodies, accurate decoration, metal wheels and magnetic knuckle couplers. Preorder now before they are sold out!

TO ORDER


NEWS AND UPDATES
01/06/18

Welcome To 2019!

I hope everyone had a great holiday and you found time to work on your layouts.

For the next four months I will be working on restocking the retail store after inventory is completed and prepping for the potential move into the new
Miniature World of Trains display's location.

I will be at the new location for MWOT
with the general contractor and architect again on Monday to review the proposed changes to the building interior for review by the governmental agencies. Once this is completed and the answer is in our favor I can move forward with the plans for a planned late 2019 opening.

More to come!

Track Crew Memberships

As of 01/01/19 I will no longer be offering the Track Crew Membership to new members.
If you are a current member, your membership is good until the expiration date in 2019.

Phone and In Store Ordering

This is an old store policy that I have not enforced over the years but I will have to do so do the the time it takes for me to manually input your in store orders and phone in orders.  This will need to be done since in all cases customers have already checked or are on the BRH website when calling in or have the exact pricing and information when they come to the store!

So, as noted in the store policy page, all in store orders and phone orders will have a 5% charge for the total purchase including shipping.

Credit Card Fees

Just in case you did  not know, credit card fees are rather high for most small business that can not negotiated lower rates due to sales volumes compared to a Walmart or Amazon for example.

On average each time a business wipes a credit card there is a fee of about 25cents, plus a transaction fee of  around 2%. International bank credit cards are more plus the currency conversion fee!

When you order online we have to manually input your credit card number which has a high transaction cost. Debit cards as well have fees. All paid by the merchant.

For the holiday season for in store purchases we have implemented a minimum $30.00 credit card charge.

Keep in mind at the retail store I prefer cash for all transactions over credit cards. So, even though you have had to input your credit card number for an in store pickup of an online order, we prefer payment in cash!

The more we can save on credit card fees the lower we can keep both online and in store prices!

Update From Digitrax

It’s been a tough 9 weeks since Hurricane Michael’s (Cat 4+) eye wall passed about 4 miles to the east of Digitrax on October 10, 2018. Digitrax was without power for several weeks and our internet was finally restored on December 13. All of us at Digitrax have worked every day since the storm to get back up and running. We are so thankful for all the kind words of support and for your patience during this disaster.

We have inspected, tested and repackaged finished goods that were in stock prior to the storm, and on Friday December 14 we resumed shipping to our dealers. Zephyr Starter Sets were on back order at the time of the Hurricane and they will still be on back order for a couple of weeks until we can begin building them again. There will be other items that may become temporarily unavailable as we re-start. Most of our component inventory and all raw circuit boards were at the epicenter of our severe building damage and must be replaced. We are in the process of ordering the parts we need to build our products.

Over the past 9 weeks, we moved our manufacturing operations into our smaller building which was not as badly damaged as the main building. There are still a few leaks when it rains and space is tight but, we are fortunate to have a suitable building where we can resume manufacturing operations. Much of our surface mount equipment will be replaced due to storm water damage. We will be able to return to our pre-storm manufacturing capacity once we get the replacement equipment installed and programmed and once we replace our component and circuit board inventories.

Our main building has been dried-in and all interior drywall, carpet, etc. have been removed. We will begin rebuilding that structure after the first of the year.

Our phone service is still limited so, if you call and don’t get an answer, please leave a message and we will call you back. If you have tech support or repair questions please send them to our help desk @ helpdesk.digitrax.com.

All repair items we have received are being logged in now that our network and internet is running. Repairs will be completed after the first of the year, when we have resources to process these. Again, we are very thankful for everyone’s patience; including dealers, users and employees.

We would like to thank all our wonderful stakeholders for their support during this time. We couldn't do this without you!

Digitrax is back running trains, and we’re rebuilding better than ever!

Update From Lionel

In an effort to keep everyone up to date on important product changes, please read the information below:

Item 434-614198 80 Watt Transformer CW80

·Between the last time we produced the CW80 and now, new government regulations on external power supplies have been issued. Electrical performance standards and safety requirements need to be met through ETL and UL. This means completely changing the electronics and software that control the CW80. Because of the new testing, it will have new regulation numbers printed on the case and packaging. This also means it will have a new product number from us when re-introduced.

· The indicator LED behavior will change to mimic the new GW180, with a bi-color LED showing green for power, and flashing red when there’s a short detected.

· The new CW80 will have no more cooling fan. The design will be more efficient and reliable and not need the fan.

· We are sold out of this item and all current backorders will be cancelled in our system. We anticipate the new CW80’s to be available to order in the 2019 fourth quarter catalog coming out this fall.

Item 434-681495 40W Powermax Transformer

· It has been decided that once we sell out of the inventory on this item, it will be discontinued and no longer made.

Rapido Trains Announces a Trio of New HO Locomotives

Now is the time to order the latest locomotives announced by  Rapido Trains. New in the "Icons of Canadian Steam" are two widely used steam locomotives - the Canadian National Class H-6 4-6-0 and the Canadian Pacific D10 Class 4-6-0s. These light, general use ten-wheeler steam locomotives could be found in use on freight and passenger trains across their railroads' systems into the late 1950s and early 1960s. CN Class H-6 locomotives were inherited from the Canadian Northern in 1919 and this model is of the H-6-d and H-6-g subclasses. The CP D10-class Ten Wheeler was the most numerous class of steam locomotive not only for the CP but in Canada, numbering 502 strong, all constructed between 1905 and 1913. Rapido's H-6 and D10 models will feature many optional details and appropriate decoration to match several configurations (with oil or coal tenders) and sub-classes.

Tenders are also available separately.

For diesel modelers, Rapido has announced the widely-used EMD-GMD SW1200 in over 16 U.S. paint schemes and with prototypically appropriate body styles, truck styles (Flexicoil or Type A) and detailing as a follow-up to its highly popular Canadian SW1200RS. This is a model that will appeal to many of you.

All of these Rapido locomotives are available with or without

LokSound and DCC. Order them all now!


NEWS AND UPDATES
12/27/18

Shipments To And From BRH

I know on the last update I advised that all shippable items had shipped to all of our customers. However, it seems our main wholesaler did not ship on 12/21 so with the current shipping status from the wholesalers and shippers here is what is going on.

Orders received from 12/20 6am until 12/21 6am did not leave the wholesaler until 12/26. Orders received from 12/21 6am until 12/25 6pm left the wholesaler on 12/26. They will arrive at BRH on 12/28 based on what I know as of this update. However, BRH retail and shipping is closed from 12/27 2p until 01/03 10am.

 Orders received from 12/25 6p until 12/28 6am should ship from the wholesaler on 12/28 but will not arrive at BRH until 01/03 at the earliest.

Once all the shipments arrive, they will be processed in the order the where received and ship to you as quickly as time will allow.

Sorry for the delay, but they are beyond my control!

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!


 


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The prices and products reflected on these pages are subject to change without notice. Shipping, handling and sales tax are not included
and are added at the time your order is shipped to you or picked up at our retail store.
Prices on these pages are available for online sales only

Minimum Online Shopping Cart Order is $0.00 effective 07/19/12
Effective 07/27/13 - On Line Orders under $50.00 will have a mandatory $3.00 service fee to cover credit card processing fees.

All Phone Orders Are Subject To 5% Fee Based On The Overall Order Cost
All Shipped Orders Have A Minimum $2.00 Handling Fee
See our store policy and information for more details.

The information on our web pages are updated as frequently as possible.
100% accuracy of information is not guaranteed.

The  images are supplied by the manufacturers and wholesalers.
100% accuracy of information is not guaranteed.

"At Least One Or More Available At Our Warehouse"  does not indicate what is available for sale at the retail store.
"At Least One Or More Available At Our Warehouse"  indicates what is listed as on hand in our warehouse, the manufactures and wholesalers
warehouses or in our retail store as of the last Blue Ridge Hobbies® manufacturers product search page update. This includes but not
 limited to items that are dealer returns, show stock, reserved items, damaged product, and otherwise unavailable for sale items.
Therefore, not all items listed as "At Least One Available At Our Warehouse"
 are available for sale or distribution at your time of viewing the product search page as product availability changes throughout each day. 

The Unknown Availability  or Advance Reservation listing shows items expected to arrive according to the manufacturers or wholesalers supplied information.  
The information on this page is updated as frequently as possible. 100% accuracy of information is not guaranteed.
Check with Blue Ridge Hobbies® via email at
contactus@BlueRidgeHobbies.com for updated information.

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