NEWS AND UPDATES
BBB Removes Rating
So, for some unknown reason we found out the the Better
Business Bureau (BBB) removed our A+ rating! When I
found out I immediately contacted them to find out why?
The explanation was that the BRH information was not
updated. I advised an update was not needed and nothing
has changed. Within two days the A+ rating was restored.
I have found over the 18 years BRH has been in business
that the BBB is not a reliable and is not a neutral
operation. In the case of BRH vs BBB they refuse to see
the side of our business. I have always had to 'fight'
with them to maintain our A+ rating as they seem
to but blinders on when it comes a businesses side of a
you know that there is no where to complain about the
As with other online reviews services most are blatantly
false and ratings like Yelp and the Google weigh
negative ratings higher then positive ratings.
This holds true for not only BRH but other businesses
seeing the exact same thing.
example Yelp buries and has even has removed positive
reviews. Google refuses to removes bogus reviews even
then the negative review has the wrong company name in
it, They where not reviewing negatively BRH yet Google
lets the review stand after numerous complaints that I
sales where again down based on year to year comparisons
by 21%. This is due to the normal summer dull drums,
lack of product available to sell, the high cost of
living and general world wide negativity!
Year to year shows new customers down 47%, returning
customers up 112% and daily receipt totals down 23%.
New model railroaders are not entering the hobby, costs
of product have increased by a least 25% and there is
less available to purchase plus the over all economy is
in very very rough shape.
move of the shipping department to a new location has
been completed for the most part. Some organization of
some paperwork still needs to be done after hours but
the new, more efficient location, should decrease the
time it takes to ship orders to you our customers!
Since around Wednesday at 9am BRH has been without Fedex
Shipmanger software as the software for some odd reason
will not initialize.
I contacted the Fedex Shipmanager help desk early
Thursday morning. The lower level rep could get the
software to initialize so he had to escalate to the
department that was authorized to fix it!
I was told that it would 24 to 48 hours for someone to
call. I immediately advised the rep that I could not sit
by the shipping department phone to wait for this new
person to call back sometime in the next two days! Fedex
should at least give a time window for the callback that
was more reasonable.
Well I stuck around the phone for two hours and no call
was given. 4 hours later a call was received but I was
not at that phone. A message was left with a call back
number to the lower department. You could not get back
to the person that could fix the issue who left the
message. This happened 3 other time during the day.
Around 3pm I received a call from my sales rep. I
did not know I had a direct sales rep since my
last one quit 10 years ago.
got involved and claimed to have some contacts she could
reach out to. I advised here to advise them I would be
but the shipping department phone until 4:30. So for the
next hour and a half there was no call. I was working on
other things and finally logged out for the day at 5:13.
Later that evening I checked the BRH voice mails and
Fedex called at 5:20!
I called the help desk main number and again got the run
around and advised this person to note transaction
ticket that I would be available at the shipping
department number until 11am.
I received a call on my cell phone! When I asked where
they got that number he advised it was in the notes.
Probably from the sales rep. Within 30 seconds of this
call I received a call on the shipping department line.
I asked the cell caller rep to hang on ( I did nt put
him on hold) while I answered the store landline. I
advised that rep that I had someone on the cell line. He
quickly advised "Great! I close the ticket" and
immediately hung up before I could say a word! I went
back to the cell call and this person was gone as well!
So here I am left hanging.
called back in and was advised that the ticket was
closed and they had to start over yet again. As of
this update I have not received a call since 10:30am
Friday. So the Fedex system is still not initializing.
I the past when I have had issues like this where the
lower line employees and not responding to fix and
issue. When I try to reach out to a supervisor I get the
So then what I do is reach out to the presidents or
CEO's of companies via their emails listed on the
internet. I know that these emails are really not a
direct link to them, but usually have a person or
department that monitors these emails.
In the past I have reached out to Bob Iger former
CEO of Disney. I reached a call, not a email with an
hour. Very impressive! And the question I had was
resolved. In fact Disney wnet over and above.
Also, I was having some issues with our Point of Sale
software so I reached out to the CEO of Intuit. I
received a call from tem within two hours. Since I could
not the software issue resolved due to an upgrade on the
Intuit side and I was not going to pay $2,000 to upgrade
the software I had, the finally agreed with me and sent
me the new version with the upgrades for free! I did not
ask for that. Again, very impressive.
back to Fedex.
As of this update, late Thursday I sent and email to the
Founder and CEO of Fedex regarding this matter and the
processes within Fedex to resolve this issue.
of this update I have not received any response back.
So, I reached out at 3pm Friday to the upper executive
management at Fedex:email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; FWSmith@fedex.com;
of this update I have not heard a word from anyone at
Fedex that will resolve their software issue.
And so the poor customer service world wide continues.
Letter Last Week
Sorry I missed the news and updates email last week. I
just had way to much going on with the move of shipping
operations last week to the new location I got a bit
behind so there was no time for updates.
USPS Carrier Screw Up
Thursday the USPS fill in carrier picked up some 45
packages for shipment around 314pm. Unfortunately this
carrier encoded ALL of the packages as being delivered
to the ship from address which was not correct! This
caused a lot of emails and call to BRH with customers
thinking there shipments where sitting at BRH which was
I have been keeping an eye on that days shipments and
all seems to be arriving at the customers ship to
locations. It was the on line tracking information that
was messed up!
Also, this past Friday the USPS Carrier was a no show
for our scheduled pickup of outbound shipments to our
so it goes!
Walthers Handling Fee
As of this update BRH has not been charged a handling
fee for orders which is a good thing so BRH has not had
to pass this cost to our customers.
past two weeks have been quiet. This is both good and
Since I needed time to close down the Pleasantburg
shipping operations and get the new location open and operating
while closing the old location, the "hot" and "cold"
uneven online sales has been a good thing.
Even emails and calls have been off a bit.
As of this update outbound shipping all caught up and
BRH is running on the "new normal".
Faster Order Processing
the move of shipping operations and the late in the day
inbound deliveries coming at around 3pm each day, BRH
can now ship your orders to you one day faster.
The new location allows a 12 hour quicker processing of
your orders for shipping. The old way meant the
deliveries had to be transferred to the old Pleasantburg
location which for the last 2.5 Covid Years, has been a
PITA. Though the old days of processing orders in 3 days
instead of the current 5 to 7 days seems to be gone
As always I process orders as fast as I can so there is
no need to call or email about your order status. It is
rare there are issues and if there are issues, I will
reach out to you with a call, email or global update via
the news and updates.
Fox Valley Models
Valley Models brand has been sold to Scale Trains which
means that BRH can no longer offer FVM any longer. Not
sure what will happen to all of the back orders
with the Milwaukee warehouse since, as of the update, we
have not been advised if they will honor all of the
outstanding back orders and advance reservations.
The honest thing to do is honor those orders but I feel
that will not occur.
FVM has had a lot of production issue even before the
Covid situation. So this sale of the brand is no
Regarding Scale Trains.
Initially Scale Trains signed up 32 dealers when they
first opened for business in 2014. Shortly after that,
and I mean shortly, they would not allow any more
dealers like BRH to be allowed to sell their product.
Scale Trains like Exact Rail, have chosen to sell their
product direct and have cut off most hobby shops
around the world. What does this mean? While Scale
Trains makes a great product, the do not want to allow
you the consumer to get any discounts on new items!
Be prepared as
I still feel the next big manufacturer that will
disappear this year will be InterMountain. As BRH has 100's of outstanding orders we have placed with them
and they have not produced hardly anything.
Time will tell.
Oregon Rail Supply
After years and years of limited supply and delays
delays and more delays it seems that they may have gone
the way of Con-Cor and MTH-Railking. They may have
recently gone out of business.
Recently a blog post stated "I
called ORS their voice mail was full.
If they are out of business"
As of this update we have not been officially notified
by the wholesaler or the manufacturer.
Walthers MAP Policy
Let me perfectly
clear! BRH does not believe that MAP (Minimum Advertised
Price) helps anyone. In fact this policy costs you, the
model railroader, more money for already expensive
products. BRH does not agree with this policy.
As of 07/15/22, Walthers has implemented the MAP policy.
So some items in the 910, 920 and 948 series of items
now will cost you about 12% more for absolutely no valid
Dealers, like BRH, should be able to sell ("advertise"
via our product search page) without restriction.
BRH stands by this and has done so since 2005.
So when you see the note in the product description "MAP
PRICING IN EFFECT", this means that this item has the
forced higher price. BRH has no control over this.
File a complaint with Walthers!
Changes At BRH
When I started BRH back in 2005 I had a business model
and for the first 7 years that model worked very well
but in 2012 it went by the wayside.
At that time, because of lack of product availability,
manufacturing issues and economic issues, it was decided
to reduce the size of the retail store from 5,000sf to
2,400sf with the plan to move into the Miniature World
in 2013. That
move to MWOT™
did not occur due to lack of space at that
2012 to 2015 product availability got worse and seemed
to bottom out in 2016 as sales at BRH started to
Fast forward to 2019 with great sales and an open retail
store. Then Covid hit and BRH had to rethink the
business model again as the retail store operations had to go
to a by appointment only operation with online retail
From day one, 99.9% of BRH sales come from online sales
and since very very few people came to the retail store
during Covid , March 2022 I stopped all retail
store visits in anticipation of a move to a new venue.
Also, product availability is still an issue with very
little consistency in product availability due to supply
chain issues which still exist today.
The other issue is lack of product to sell. When we
started BRH in 2005 there where about 130,000 items
available to order each day with about 90,000 items in
stock each day. Today there are only 39,000 items in
stock to sell each day! That makes a big difference in
sales. Hard to sell what you can't get!
Shipping to BRH has been erratic since 2020. There is no
consistency. For example a wholesaler did not ship an
order just before the holiday last week thus delaying
shipment to the customer. On Tuesday they overnighted
the order however Fedex did not deliver on
Wednesday! The order arrived on Thursday! So much for
Other issues include higher gas prices and plans for the
move to MWOT™,
we have tried
to consolidate days we ship.
Well, with the anticipated move into the new Miniature
World of Trains™
location to be
announced in the forth quarter of 2022, I have closed
the retail location and have moved shipping operations
to a temporary location.
What does this mean?
Local customers, as they have done in the last 2
years will need to order online. Our other online
customers will continue as usual. In fact, due to the
fact the shipping location is closer to my home, I will
save gas, travel time and have more shipping and
This all will help keep the cost of product to you, our
customers, as low as I can get them.
Bottom line is BRH is not closing, just
reinventing itself for the 3rd time!
Shipping Last Week And This Week
the move to a new shipping location, the last shipping
from the Pleasantburg location was on Thursday. The
equipment move to place on Friday for a restart on
Saturday but there was some computer connectivity issues
that finally got resolved late last night.
Also, the July 4th holiday messed up the wholesaler
shipping and delivery to BRH. I should be back on track
by tomorrow. So apologies for the delays.
The Next Two Weeks
the next 20 days I will continue to finalize the move
out and cleanup.
USPS Rates Increase Today!
Unfortunately USPS postal rates go up today as I
announced on 06/26
of this update for orders this week there have been no
additional handling fees that Walthers has charged and
we have been able to order every day as BRH has done in
Online sales have been strong this past week which is a
THANKS FOR THE