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Everything you wanted to know about preorders

posted Aug 31, 2012, 4:41 AM by Randy Hammill   [ updated Apr 15, 2014, 7:47 AM ]
The model railroad industry has changed over the last decade, and until relatively recently you might have said,

"I didn't expect to have to place a preorder."


[Enter Cardinal Train]

Nooobody expects to place a preorder.

The main reason to place a preorder is acquisition...and for your dealer to determine demand.

Demand and acquisition.

The two reasons to place a preorder is acquisition and demand...and for us to make sure that we make enough...

Three reasons to place a preorder is acquisition, demand and supply...and an almost fanatical devotion to model rail...

Four...no...Amongst the reasons to place a preorder are such diverse elements as supply, demand, acquisition...I'll come in again.   

Seriously, though, preorders just help us determine if you want a model, and how many of you want a model. 

We determine which projects have priority based on early preorders, and a model goes into production when we've received enough preorders to cover the costs of producing the model. We usually add on a small number of models to account for late orders, but it's not much. Any money tied up in inventory is money we can't put into tooling a new model.

So what do we mean by a 'preorder?' These are orders placed by dealers, through major distributors, to us.

This includes your preorder, but we don't know it's yours. We just get a bulk order. We also have no idea if a dealer is ordering inventory for their store, or if all of the models they order are already spoken for.

Your preorder is an agreement between you and your preferred dealer. These are important so the dealer can make sure you get the model you want. It also helps the dealer determine the demand in their area, so they can decide how many additional models to order. 

True Line Trains has not, does not, and will not require any money up-front for preorders.
If you made a deposit, we do not have your money. We don't get paid by our dealers until after they have received the models.

Your dealer may have their own policies. Some just want you to tell them you want it. Some require you to sign up on a sheet, or give them your info to reserve a model. Some require a deposit or a credit card on file before they'll accept a preorder from you. We don't have any control over this, and quite frankly we don't have an opinion either. Each dealer must determine what will work best for their business to ensure their continued success.

Our business model is simple. 
We support, to the best of our ability, our distribution and dealer network.
We don't require money up front.
We don't sell direct.
We don't sell at shows.
If you contact us to find a model, we'll help find a dealer who has it, or to place a preorder for you.

We do want to make sure that every preorder (made before the deadline) is filled. If for some reason you haven't received a model you preordered, we'll be happy to try to help you find a dealer that has one. We don't stock inventory, and we aren't in the business of direct sales. If we were to make direct sales, it would have to be at full retail price, and you'd have to pay shipping. That's the only fair way to treat our dealers. 

True Line Trains - No obligation, no money down preorders. See your preferred dealer for details.