Why do you take a deposit for pre-orders?
We take a deposit for a variety of reasons, the main one is to give you peace of mind. Because placing a deposit creates a contract between you, the customer, and us, this is better for you as it means you have the peace of mind that we are obligated to do our complete upmost to fulfill your pre-order come rain or shine (of course, there are incredibly rare exceptions, please see cancellations below).
How do you know how many you can sell? Do you ever oversell?
No, we will never knowingly oversell a pre-order item. We place our orders with the manufacturer at the time an item is announced, and we never sell over that amount. Once an item has hit the limit we set it too, it is mark as "Sold out" or removed from the website entirely. If extra stocks can be obtained, we will then re-open the pre-order book.
We often set our pre-order limit on items a lot lower than the actual amount we order. This is because a lot of items now sell out before they are released, meaning that if an item arrives in damaged or not up to standard, there can either be a lengthy wait whilst it is repaired or even no replacement meaning that you are left missing out. We don't like this and therefore we will always keep back spare models of pre-sold out items - these items are kept unsold until all of the pre-order models have been tested and/or shipped. After a short period of time, if all of the pre-ordered models have arrived safely with their owners and there are any spare models left, they will be added to our website and sold from stock (this is often why previously sold out items occasionally come back into stock on our website).
On very rare occasions there have been IT glitches (note, this has occured only once or twice during our 10+ years in business) and a sold-out item listing accidentally allows pre-orders to be placed. In this event we will notify you immediately and refund any deposits paid.
What happens if the manufacturer cuts down your order?
This is incredibly rare, but it can happen. As we keep spare models back (see above), we very rarely get cut back enough that customer models are effected but it is something we have to be prepared for. In this case, we will do our upmost to try and fulfill your order, even if this means purchasing models from another retailer!
In the incredibly rare case we have to cancel a pre-order for this reason, the deposit is refunded immediately without question.
Can I cancel my pre-order?
Sure! Just contact a member of our team via email or phone and we can process that for you. What happens to your deposit depends on each indivuidual case, however typically we add it onto your account as store credit for a future order.
Do you test my pre-ordered locomotive?
In most cases, yes. Unless it is specifically request it at the time of ordering, 99% of locomotives that travel through our office are given a short run on our test-track to ensure they are in tip-top condition. The test is 90% mechanical based, ensuring that the locomotive runs, and if they are fitted, the lights and sound are tested. Our testers watch out for detail damage too and in most cases they will catch it but as modern models are so complex, occaisionally the odd small detail issue will slip through.
Limited edition models are not tested without customer consent, so typically when the balance payment is request, a member of the team will ask if you'd like your limited edition item tested.
Our testers are a small team of dedicated railway enthusiasts, they are always incredible careful and will always handle your new pride and joy with upmost care. We feel that testing is an important part of our service, and avoids dissapointment of locomotives arriving damaged or not working - over the last 10 years we have caught hundreds of damaged locomotives that would have otherwise been shipped out to customers.