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FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER
WE ARE KEEPING YOU INFORMED
 

NEWS AND UPDATES

10/24/21

Inventory Reduction Sale

Don't forget about the


Everything in the retail store is being sold at cost.

To view more information about the sale


Anniversary Sale

Final Days


All In Stock Items Are On Sale!

To view more information about the sale


Where's The Model Railroad Product?

No doubt you have seen the reports on the national news about the supply chain crises. As of this update most of the issues are in California at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with some 80 ships sitting off the cost of Southern California.

Just unloading the ocean vessel can take 1-3 business days, because many ships have more than 10,000 containers on board.

An FCL (Full Container Load) shipment will be available for pickup after the container is unloaded and placed in the arrival port’s container yard. An LCL (Less than Container Load) shipment, will need to be trucked to a CFS (Container Freight Station) and deconsolidated before it's available for pickup.

Shipments needs to be picked up from the CFS or Container Yard (CY) before the Last Free Day to avoid demurrage charges.



Once the ship is unloaded then the containers have to transferred to waiting trains for the cross state or cross country trip OR to be loaded on trucks in California  for transport in state or Arizona. My understanding is that is where the bottleneck starts.

Due to California Law, only certain trucks that meet current emission standards can be used to transport the containers. This has lead to there being not enough trucks available to handle the amount of containers coming in and out of the California ports. I have heard that some trucks travel to the Arizona / California state line and transfer containers for the "good" trucks to the "bad" trucks in Arizona for transport to places east of California. This also adds hours if not days to the delays.

Opening the ports 24 hours a day per the president was not an issue. Before that was done prior last week. I had seen a news report on t.v. about the tug boats for the ports were already working 24 hours a day for some time now. Also, were will the crews coming from to unload and reload the ships? They are already working overtime!

Then there is the cost to have crews work the extra hours and the ware and tare on the equipment. There is a cost to have ships sit around off shore as well. Who will pay for all of these extra cost? The consumer. You!

And some warehouses are stocked to the brim with product since there are not enough trucks and warehouse and retail staff to distribute the product to customers!

It is one big mess that does not need to be!

Solution as I see it, temporary waive the emission standard so more trucks can be used to move the containers and the goods. Also, re opening of the Keystone pipeline would help with fuel prices and supply so we can stop begging Opec to send us more oil!

So, with cost of shipping up ten fold over the year and the port situations, prices will be going up. BRH is sorting and shipping 7 days a week right now. Friday was the biggest online order day we have had in over 12 years for items to ship to you towards  the end of this week. So please be patient as I am working very very hard to get it all done. Friday night I was keying orders  in until 2am! As soon as I finished the orders received more orders where in the queue! It was nuts!  But it was a good kind of nuts!

Orders are processed as they are received in the  order they are received. I am trying to keep the Retail Store Inventory Reduction Sale database as up to date as possible.

So again, think ahead as to what your may need for your railroad and order it now so you will have it when you need it.


10/17/21

Inventory Reduction Sale

Don't forget about the


Everything in the retail store is being sold at cost.

To view more information about the sale


Fraud  And More Fraud

Since returning from my Fall Vacation we have had 6 attempts from "people" trying to perpetrate fraud on BRH. All attempts where thwarted.
Credit card fraud is a big problem and is not tolerated here at BRH.

Very Busy!

October 5th was the 17th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Hobbies retail store.

With the Anniversary Sale, Inventory Reduction Sale and the catching up from the 10 day vacation it was a very very busy last two weeks. And this week is shaping up the same.

So please be patient as I process your orders as quickly as possible.


USPS No Show

On Saturday 10/9 and Tuesday 10/12 (Monday the USPS was closed for Columbus Day) the carrier did not pick up all of the packages due to ship on those days from the scheduled pickup requests. I had to fill my car and take them to the location USPS and drop them off at 3:30pm on Tuesday. So sorry for any delays you may have experienced.

Hopefully there will be no issues through Christmas!


10/12/21


17th Anniversary

This month is the 17th Anniversary of our retail store opening.

While the current version of the retail store is not what I hoped it would be after 17 years, and it seems the best  years for BRH happened some 10 years ago now, BRH is still here!

Many online and retail stores have gone by the wayside over the last 17 years. There are newer online and retail stores out there but  they can not compete with the proven BRH business model.
In fact many have copied what BRH does, including manufacturers stealing BRH marketing ideas!

Since the beginning of BRH as an online retail store with 98% of sales coming from internet sales and the retail store opening only lead to supplemental income but that was only 2% of sales while increasing overhead and time to run BRH.

From a small 1,200sf retail store growing to 5,000sf in just two years with employees and volunteers decreasing to 2,400sf in 2012 when the bottom dropped out of the hobby then in 2014 decreasing back to 1,200sf at the current location. This all was caused by the lack of product availability to fill a retail store with products that would sell.

Today, as many of  you already know, product availability for everything world wide is an issue. Model Railroad items are just one of the products that are suffering. Covid and the Covid restrictions are not helping the situation.

But despite all of the issues BRH continues and sales are good for now with what is available to sell to you all.

Right now I am not sure what the future will bring for the Model Railroad hobby but BRH will keep chugging along as long as product is available to sell and customers keep finding BRH and return for more products.

Thanks to everyone for your support!


Back From Vacation

The last week of September I found myself at Walt Disney World for the 50th Anniversary along with some 85,000 to 90,000  other guests.



CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE

This is an image of Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom at 7:45am just before official park opening at 8am. I arrived with our group just before 6:30am. Our group was allowed into Fantasyland since we where staying at WDW at Grand Floridian, my home resort at WDW. This image was shot from the rear of Cinderella's Castle through the portico. As you can seem the area from the Hub all the way down to the Main Street USA Train Station was filled with guests! That is a lot of people!

As most of you know I travel to Disney owned theme parks and cruise ships as often as possible. I am a big fan of the theme parks and how they are operated. In fact, I model BRH customer service after Disney's.

So, Covid aside, this was the third Covid trip to Disney World. I have lost count as to how many trips to WDW I have made since 1976. I have been going to Disney for 45 years and cruising Disney since 1999!

With that said, despite all on my vacation time, BRH has always been open and available as long as I had internet to access emails and orders.

BRH really has never closed in 17 years!

September Sales

Again another good month at BRH in September via only 3 weeks in sales. 2021 sales where up 15.6 % over 2020. So despite the 10 days of vacation with no sales transactions at the end of the month the overall month was good.

So far in October sales are strong as well.

BLI Shortages

BLI recently has cut wholesale orders back and has begun to short advance reservations that you, our customers, have made. They claim that their factory in China did not produce enough product and shorted BLI so BLI arbitrarily cut deliveries to the wholesalers.

According to information we  have received from one of our wholesaler said that they,  "where alerted by BLI that their factory shorted them on the 6640’s and they had to allocate what they
Received and we were shorted a significant amount of these."

As of this update we know of only one of our customers that have been effected by this debacle and they have been  notified. BRH does not know of any other issues!

Just another reason to move manufacturing back to the  USA!

Con-Cor Removed

Looks like the Milwaukee warehouse has removed Con-Cor from their list of manufacturers. No surprise here since Con-Cor has not been able to produce any product for some time and the owner did not seem to care about selling his product any longer!

Product Shortages

While model railroad supplies are thinning (as well as many other products we use every day) at the manufacturers and wholesalers and prices are on the rise due to Covid related issues. Currently not enough product is being created. What is being created is sitting on container ships off shore due to lack of people at the docks to unload, then when unloaded there are not enough truck drivers to deliver to warehouses nationwide.

Have you been shopping at your local grocery store lately? My local Walmart and Publix have a lot of empty shelves in the grocery area.  News accounts say that there is a supply chain issue and it is going to get worse. No kidding!

Also, there is not enough product being created and shipped out of the USA thus leading to the lack of containers going back to China causing a shortage of containers for China to ship to the USA. There is no relief in site.

These problems are causing prices to increase some 20% and BRH is seeing this occur each day. Prices are going out so again, think ahead and order what you can now!

So again, buy now for later!

Inventory Finalized

Over this last week the retail store inventory was finalized, finally.
So in the next couple of days the remaining retail store will be live online for all to purchase at deep deep discounts!

Watch your email for the announcement when we go live!

Store Visitations

Since March of 2020, BRH has required that customers make appointments to visit of retail store. This decision was not made because of Covid and the lock downs, it was made because BRH is an online retailer with 98% of sales being made online.

When people visited the retail store they did just that, visited with no purchases. We have to have productive sales to keep the lights on and maintain a retail store space so we changed to the new visitation format so that customer visits would generate sales.

Case in point. On Thursday we received a call from someone that was driving through the area on I-85 and was looking for a stop "so that they could stretch their legs"!
I did not know that BRH was perceived as a Rest Area along the interstate!

Again, this is the reason for the store visitation requests! The days of being open for anyone to wonder in and not buy anything went away 18 months ago.

Sorry for  this but BRH is currently a one man show and my time at the retail store is mostly used for shipping your internet orders and can not be wasted on visitors just wanting to stretch their legs as they pass through the area.


09/21/21

Con-Cor

Several years ago we eliminated Con-Cor from our database of products due to the lack of product that they had available. I seems our main warehouse has cleared out most of the the Con-Cor offerings from their list of products. The back orders and advance reservations see to still be in place at this point.

Looking at their website, it seems they are not making any product any longer which does not surprise BRH at all.  Jim Conway, the owner of Con-Cor, seems to be trying to be an online model train store and not make any Con-Cor branded models. Not a surprise to  BRH after the conversations we had with Mr. Conway back in February 2019. We stopped offering Con-Cor because of his issues. 

So long Con-Cor?



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 $50.00 effective 07/27/20

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.  
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