Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

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InFullSteam
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Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by InFullSteam »

These comments are based on the recent Sam's Trains video "hrr drr Rapido's wagons are too expensive, let's do 3D printing for much cheaper".

It's a bit disingenous to say the 3D wagons are cheaper because you have to buy the materials and a 3D printer (which depending on what level is picked, isn't cheap either and you have to make a lot of wagons for the per-cost amount to be worth it). 3D printing is still in its infancy and depending on the materials chosen are more prone to warping long term.
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Mountain
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Mountain »

I have to say it all depends on ones outlook.

Get what you pay for. Yes, BUT, get what you pay for is different to value for money. Sam is what we call a modeller who represents the heart of the hobby. He speaks for the average enthusiast rather than the finescale purist.(Nothing wrong with that, but the finescale modeller will be perfectly willing to pay a lot more than the average modeller will to buy an item they like. An average enthusiast will say "How much! I will but the cheaper one".
Then we have the hound beginner (Which Sam is certainly not) who just wants a loco, some rolling stock and some track... Enough to start off with and won't even care of the livery is the same. As long as it runs and is cheap, they are happy. Sam does have the beginners in mind as I, like Sam also recognise that both the beginners and the average modeller are being priced out of the market to the point where even if the individual could afford the prices, they would not buy.
The issue is that the industry is perpetually pushing for finescale excellence because there is a circle of perpetual motion between the modelling press and the manufacturers who seem to be selling or trying to impress each other, and have left the ordinary folk behind.
The ordinary "Average" modeller waits for prices to come into "Bargain basement" levels before they spend, because at RRP prices, they are just too high.
To the finescale modeller who loves their finescale detail and appreciates this, they are willing to pay the finescale prices and so do not see what Sam I and others have been trying to point out.

Ok. Let's make a point by comparing the past with today.

In the past the manufacturers mostly aimed their products at "The average modeller". The average modeller wanted a model that was reliable, looked something like the real thing and was priced within their budget.
Finescale modeller back them we experts at super detailing these "Average" models.
Production volumes for many typical locomotives was often averaging 15,000 units per model.
Now we have had a massive upturn in interest in our hobby, yet the average production rarely exceeds 5000 units and even that is mostly pre-ordered so they have the money before production commences. 5000 units was more like a limited edition special in the past! These 5000 units are sold at prices equivalent of two or three times the prices past models sold for, if one takes inflation into count.
The average enthusiast is not buying these models in general as it is more down to a competition between the finescale purists and collectors who generate the sales.
Collectors were rare in the past and so were finescale purists. Though most finescale modellers also took the additional challenge of converting them to DO instead of 00.
Today the ones who attempt to convert the scale to gauge inaccuracies are rarer than in this past, as generally today's models tend to be less straightforwards to convert than in the past as chassis were simpler to convert.

My point is, that Sam is trying to provide cheaper alternatives to help cash strapped modeller and beginners into the hobby. The issue is that there are less and less average models out there, as manufacturers no longer market to the average modeller, but rather to those who are prepared to pay more for more expensive models.
Last edited by Mountain on Thu Sep 07, 2023 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Richard08
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Richard08 »

I think Sam hit the nail on the head about print-your-own, but not hard enough, for those who desire more trains for less money. I've been attracting much sniggering for a few years now when expressing my view that in the not too distant future people will be down loading a design and printing a model, paying at the same time for any hardware required like wheels to be delivered. Adjusting the CAD to suit any gauge, O/OO/EM/P4 etc is relatively easy for providers, spreading cost over more customers. Engines may be a way further down the line (3d metal printing is becoming a thing), but for wagons and coaches the time is very near I'd say. In niche markets like narrow gauge downloadable designs seem to be quite a thing already. The elephant in the room of course is decoration, but Sam also showed that using simple (3d printed) masks produces results that while not being perfect are certainly adequate where quantity is more important to the modeller than intricate detail - those he showed would be tickety-boo on a weathered wagon, in fact they looked rather good for that use appearing aged as they do. In a way this may become a new strand of the hobby, half way between ready-to-run and kit building. It's fun to speculate.

I've gone on about possibly over-highly detailed models before. Well, ok I admit it, often, so I'll not go there except to say I think the 'average modeller' is far more interested in affordability than rivet counting, however high the volume is set in certain places; particularly now. Your comment about those wanting excruciating detail should add it themselves I get, but not perhaps for the same reason. Back in the day I used to happily hand over some cash, take my new item of rolling stock out of the box, plonk it on the track and be all excited. Then a few weeks later it was just part of the scenery (not literally, unless there was an unfortunate incident). These days, making everything means that when the thing is finally put on the track it has a history full of blood (occasionally), sweat (fear of melting something) and tears (read 'Language' and/or looking down the end of the air brush to see if it's clogging whist finger is still on trigger) and means so much more. If folks had to 'finish off' their model I kind of feel they would be more invested in it, "I did that" rather than just "I bought that". That probably sounds terribly snobby now I read it back. Social skills never was my thing ;-)
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Mountain
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Mountain »

When I pulled out of 00, it was due to the costs going up and up. What I wanted from 00 was to buy locomotives that could pull lengthy trains for a potential garden railway, so centrally mounted driven at both ends diesels. The detail element to Mainline standards was not really needed, as for me, Lima or old Hornby standards (Margate) was absolutely fine. My issue is that I wanted to buy complete lengthy takes of rolling stock at bulk buy prices, so finescale wagons at £35 each is a ludicrous proposal! £5 each (£10 for coaches) was more like what I was looking for. As long as they looked the part and ran well I was happy!
(And yes. I was willing to buy quantities of 50 wagons or vans a time. But if they came down to bargain prices so they were affordable. I didn't mind if they lacked rivit detailing as long as they looked the part).
I got out of 00 when prices doubled and then doubled again in just a few years, and the running qualities of modern coaches went to pot when close coupling combined with NEM pockets took over the market, so that was curtains for my interest in 00!

I turned to 7mm narrow gauge instead as the answer to satisfy my needs. It wasn't the draw to narrow gauge. It was the ability to model on a budget that attracted me.
Bigmet
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Bigmet »

Richard08 wrote: Thu Sep 07, 2023 2:53 am I think Sam hit the nail on the head about print-your-own, but not hard enough, for those who desire more trains for less money. I've been attracting much sniggering for a few years now when expressing my view that in the not too distant future people will be down loading a design and printing a model, paying at the same time for any hardware required like wheels to be delivered...
Leave the sniggerers to their ignorance, this is kit building by another name. The limitation is that it will only appeal to kit builders, because what most want is a 'replicator' of the StarJerk variety, that rolls out a complete RTR item with the only skill required being a credit transfer. IMO.
InFullSteam
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by InFullSteam »

Mountain wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2023 11:40 pm I have to say it all depends on ones outlook.

Get what you pay for. Yes, BUT, get what you pay for is different to value for money. Sam is what we call a modeller who represents the heart of the hobby. He speaks for the average enthusiast rather than the finescale purist.(Nothing wrong with that, but the finescale modeller will be perfectly willing to pay a lot more than the average modeller will to buy an item they like. An average enthusiast will say "How much! I will but the cheaper one".
Then we have the hound beginner (Which Sam is certainly not) who just wants a loco, some rolling stock and some track... Enough to start off with and won't even care of the livery is the same. As long as it runs and is cheap, they are happy. Sam does have the beginners in mind as I, like Sam also recognise that both the beginners and the average modeller are being priced out of the market to the point where even if the individual could afford the prices, they would not buy.
The issue is that the industry is perpetually pushing for finescale excellence because there is a circle of perpetual motion between the modelling press and the manufacturers who seem to be selling or trying to impress each other, and have left the ordinary folk behind.
The ordinary "Average" modeller waits for prices to come into "Bargain basement" levels before they spend, because at RRP prices, they are just too high.
To the finescale modeller who loves their finescale detail and appreciates this, they are willing to pay the finescale prices and so do not see what Sam I and others have been trying to point out.

Ok. Let's make a point by comparing the past with today.

In the past the manufacturers mostly aimed their products at "The average modeller". The average modeller wanted a model that was reliable, looked something like the real thing and was priced within their budget.
Finescale modeller back them we experts at super detailing these "Average" models.
Production volumes for many typical locomotives was often averaging 15,000 units per model.
Now we have had a massive upturn in interest in our hobby, yet the average production rarely exceeds 5000 units and even that is mostly pre-ordered so they have the money before production commences. 5000 units was more like a limited edition special in the past! These 5000 units are sold at prices equivalent of two or three times the prices past models sold for, if one takes inflation into count.
The average enthusiast is not buying these models in general as it is more down to a competition between the finescale purists and collectors who generate the sales.
Collectors were rare in the past and so were finescale purists. Though most finescale modellers also took the additional challenge of converting them to DO instead of 00.
Today the ones who attempt to convert the scale to gauge inaccuracies are rarer than in this past, as generally today's models tend to be less straightforwards to convert than in the past as chassis were simpler to convert.

My point is, that Sam is trying to provide cheaper alternatives to help cash strapped modeller and beginners into the hobby. The issue is that there are less and less average models out there, as manufacturers no longer market to the average modeller, but rather to those who are prepared to pay more for more expensive models.
It's not just the model railway industry - all industries are aiming at 'more premium' products because that's where the money is. Same thing with cars - they are few 'cheap' cars anymore because of the features added to cars these cars as standard which were 'options' 10-15 years ago. If you're a company, why make 15,000 of something basic, when making 5,000 of something premium makes more money?
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Mountain
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Mountain »

I think part of the issue today is that overall costs to make things compared to the past.
The second is the stock market introduces an extra level of people who need to be paid.
Buelligan
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Buelligan »

InFullSteam wrote: Wed Sep 06, 2023 5:50 pm These comments are based on the recent Sam's Trains video "hrr drr Rapido's wagons are too expensive, let's do 3D printing for much cheaper".

It's a bit disingenous to say the 3D wagons are cheaper because you have to buy the materials and a 3D printer (which depending on what level is picked, isn't cheap either and you have to make a lot of wagons for the per-cost amount to be worth it). 3D printing is still in its infancy and depending on the materials chosen are more prone to warping long term.
I've not had time to read through the other replies, so apologies if someone has already said this, but... While on the one hand, yes before you get anything you can be several hundred into a printer and materials etc. But, once set up, you can churn out wagons for pennies, I think the 5 plank wagons I print cost less than £1 in material and energy. You can then use the printer for many other items for the railway, buildings, wagon loads, signals, benches, cars, bridges, streetlamps, boats, bikes, platforms etc You can even print loco bodies, and dummy track for scenic use. Not only can you print those items, but you can scale and edit buildings to suit your needs, rather than have to create the correct space for a kit.

On top of that, the printer can then be used for general items, off the top of my head, I've printed a key to unlock the electric and gas boxes, a key for the loft door, little toys for the kids, and even managed to use the printer to fix a broken carpet cleaner that I bought for £10, but would've been over £100 had it been working. I've also used them to print things for people at work who pay me to do so, which covers part of the cost of my railway printing.

So no, if you price it solely on printing wagons, it doesn't make sense, you'd have to print hundreds. But if you take into account all the other items you can print for the railway, it starts to make a lot more sense. Then add in the other things you can print, and the little bits people will pay you to print, and it makes complete sense. And that's just with printing things other people have designed, when I finally get time to design things myself the possibilities will be even greater.
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Dad-1 »

Printing your own may work for the IT Literate.
Being old and set in my ways commercial kits are my bread & butter.

A strange paradox, the easier it is the less respect something has.
From a personal point of view technology has ruined many an interest,
or activity. Believe me road rallying was fun with 'OS' 1" to the mile maps,
It didn't change much when we went to 50,000 scale. Ruined by Sat-Nav,
it killed the whole concept of finding your way around.

Still that's an old-timers view.

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Alexander Court
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Alexander Court »

I think it's funny. I mean as I said in my comment on his video for the wagon comparison, it's all about seizing the means of production :twisted: Like I mean you are still going to need some things like metal items and motors because most of that stuff is in China lel, but could be brought back into someones shed just like everything else, we could have shed based blacksmiths/metalworkers churning out wheels and coupling rods and motor componants and wait for industrial revolution again and...........

....Yes I'm talking nonsense probably...

I did a review of his wagon on my youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB-mxSB8Zac&t=1528s

I guess in the end none of this really matters because at the end of the day we are going to all die and everything will be forgotton, all the reviews, the moans, the things we wanted but couldn't afford, won't mean nothing when we are dust. But in the meantime if we could enjoy it as a hobby without moaning about eachother so much wouldn't it be nice xD

Not taking anything seriously anymore, I'm too hot and tired,
Alex haha

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"
Bigmet
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Bigmet »

Dad-1 wrote: Fri Sep 08, 2023 12:08 pm ...A strange paradox, the easier it is the less respect something has. From a personal point of view technology has ruined many an interest,
or activity...
Unless you actually work on the technology that displaced the previous craft skill based technique. I loved listening to 'Jack' who had the station master's house at Oxenhope until he died. His career had been in brewing and he would remark on how easy it was now, compared to when he started. But - twinkle in the eye - you still had to know a thing or two to prevent trouble. (Not attempting to replicate his Yorkshire vocab and accent.)
Dad-1 wrote: Fri Sep 08, 2023 12:08 pm ...road rallying was fun with 'OS' 1" to the mile maps, it didn't change much when we went to 50,000 scale. Ruined by Sat-Nav,
it killed the whole concept of finding your way around...
I found a particularly good spot for such activity near Midhurst W. Sussex. The satnav went into 'near enough' mode two miles from destination with multiple small lanes lacking useful signage. Local roads for local people. The O.S. map sorted it out, once we found the church which long ago local people had carefully concealed from view.

My own slaughtered interest is photography. The effort in subject selection, composition and correct exposure of colour slides, eliminated by digital capture. Yes, a monkey can do it. https://www.google.com/search?q=monkey+ ... e&ie=UTF-8
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Richard08 »

Alexander Court wrote: Fri Sep 08, 2023 1:38 pm I think it's funny. I mean as I said in my comment on his video for the wagon comparison, it's all about seizing the means of production
I think you, and he, are right. As I'd hoped to suggest in my reply, 3d printing opens completely new opportunities for modellers*, whatever the subject; trains, planes or automobiles. 'The Manufacturers' really need to be aware of this new avenue - Kodak being a supreme example of a company that ignored technological change and went from top dog to bust overnight(ish) by ignoring it.

*e.g. My BG kit build. Some versions have doors welded up. I you want that particular version you can just alter the design to reflect the changes before printing. Yes, it does require some new skills - as did DCC, and may not be everyone's cup of tea (including me - my hobby is the actual making of metal kits, the layout is just somewhere to put them, RTR has zero interest) but it does offer a whole new world of possibilities to the hobby and a potential threat to manufacturers who ignore it (SWOT analysis). Though in the age group usually regarded as an old fuddy-duddy I'm well aware that to youngsters technology is just a tool to be used, like a spanner or a saw, not the scary monster many of my peers fear.

Not quite the same thing, but Dapol sell 'all' of the 'separately fitted parts' of their O gauge Mk.1s as spares. I'm never going to buy a RTR Mk.1 but Dapol have hade three sales to me they would otherwise not have had by doing this (corridor connectors, jumpers and their screw couplings).
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Mountain
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Mountain »

I do agree with the "You get what you pay for" statement, though my position is that the RTR market is already in the zone of the elite collectors side of the hobby (And nothing wrong with that in itself) but to the exclusion of those who want to buy 25 to 30 four wheeled wagons or vans to run a decent length train. Can one imagine the price today to do that!


(Be aware that autocorrect changes some of the words I type. Can't remember what word I put on last quoted comment as it came up as "seizing". But you get the idea).
Bigmet
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by Bigmet »

Mountain wrote: Fri Sep 08, 2023 6:38 pm ...to the exclusion of those who want to buy 25 to 30 four wheeled wagons or vans to run a decent length train. Can one imagine the price today to do that...
From current RTR, £250 for new purchases, less with s/h. This is one of those 'strike while the iron is hot' moments. I imagine Oxford's opens won't be £10 for much longer, same standard as Bachmann's newly introduced NEM pocket fitted wagons which were £5 coming up 25 years ago now.
InFullSteam
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Re: Why is "you get what you pay for" such a hard concept for people?

Post by InFullSteam »

Begs the question of: If the 3D printed design files will be 'shared/downloaded/torrented illegally' like music/video files were 20 years ago to the present.
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