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10312Re: [z_scale] Opportunity for Marklin dealers in Europe

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  • ztrack@aol.com
    Jul 1 7:15 AM
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      I must bow out on this one. My official policy and the policy of Ztrack
      Magazine is to support your local Märklin dealer. Ztrack Magazine does not
      accept advertising from European dealers to run in North America. We instead
      offer supplements for European dealers to be mailed to subscribers in their
      country.

      There are many reasons for this policy. First is to support the local shop
      owner. I have seen too many dealers hurt because they are loosing sales
      direct to Europe. Frankly, we need these shops. If we did not have the
      committed local dealers, Märklin Z (as well as HO, etc) would be hampered in
      growth and support. Recently, I watched a shop owner spend at least twenty
      minutes with a customer going over the intricacies of a HO digital
      locomotive. The dealer did not get the sale and found out that the loco was
      instead ordered through Europe. The customer was only there to view before he
      purchased. Why should a hard working shop owner commit his time to be a
      visual catalog for sales when he has rent to pay?

      As for the support issue, while most folks have not had problems with the
      overseas dealers they are working with, one noted Z scale German dealer is in
      actuality a gray market dealer. Many Zers have been burned by poor service,
      and non-truthfull advertising (used while sold as new).

      As for pricing, I am sometimes unimpressed by the savings. It also should be
      noted that in the seventeen years since I started into the hobby, pricing on
      many Märklin items has actually decreased. The gap has narrowed. Märklin Inc,
      and Märklin Germany are also working to narrow if not eliminate the remaining
      gap. Dealers in the US have the opportunity to buy direct from Märklin
      Germany, further reducing the cost of the product.

      So let me end by asking a question. Why should we help the small to mid level
      dealers in Europe when the small to mid level dealers in the US are
      struggling? What would it be like not have a local dealer? Many of you
      already know the reality. For us who have suffered through not having a local
      dealer, only to gain one, we definitely do not what to loose them. For me,
      the benefits of having a loyal, knowledgeable dealer that you work with in
      the US, far outweigh the slight savings from purchasing overseas.

      Rob Kluz

      Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
      6142 Northcliff Blvd.
      Dublin, OH 43016
      Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
      www.ztrack.com
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