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How strongly and in what way do past trends affect your ordering?

In September, we asked hobby retailers how strongly and in what way do past trends affect their ordering. Here are some of their responses. To read more, check out the November 2011 issue of Model Retailer.
Published: September 26, 2011
John Olson, Jim's Junction, Billings, Mont., wrote:
Not much! Model train stores tend to carry area-specific items. With everything now being a limited run, when a new locomotive is announced and it's pertinent to your area you order heavily. Penn Central is not going to sell well in Montana, but Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Milwaukee Road and CB&Q are.

Fred Hill at The Original Whistle Stop in Pasadena, Calif., said:

Preorders are what are driving the customer.

Jerry Anderson of Jass Collectibles, Red Deer, Alta., wrote:
Local trends do a lot to help me decide what to order or what new product to add.

Dennis Stephen of Ye Old Train & Christmas Shoppe in Boyertown, Pa., had this to say:
I had somewhat of a slow July and August, but that is usual. We did have quite a few large sales of some sets and larger ticket items. Its seems if we put items on sale they tend to draw interest and sales. We get a lot of lookers checking prices and if we have items in stock. I found that if a distributor gave us a deal and we passed it on to the customer, it drew interest. We continue to look for inventory reduction sales to pass on to the public. It also seems that people have become very disenchanted with catalogs and items that don't come in or are delayed for years. I've noticed less catalog orders in comparison to other years, especially Lionel's catalog. We try to call up the websites for them, but they don't want to take the time to view them. People are more willing to put things on layaway and pay on them every other week.

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