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ringleheim

Sprue Bros. vs. Scale Hobbyist Pricing Development

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In the last few days, I have been doing a lot of kit "window shopping" at my two go-to sources for modeling supplies in the USA: Sprue Brothers and Scale Hobbyist.

 

I used to be a huge customer of Sprue Bros. until I found Scale Hobbyist.  Their prices were consistently cheaper almost across the board, sometimes by a lot, and I slowly pulled away from Sprue Bros. and shopped more at Scale Hobbyist.

 

FF to the last couple of days.  I have noticed a whole bunch of kits priced identically at both websites, and a few kits were actually cheaper at Sprue Bros.  

 

It seems to me, without really undertaking a scientific study, that Sprue Bros. is reacting to Scale Hobbyist's cheaper pricing, and is adjusting what they charge to stay competitive.  

 

Anyone else notice this?  If true, it's a welcome new development.  You won't find better service than from Sprue Brothers.

 

In particular, I love that they will almost always ship my order the day I place it, as long as you don't place it too late.

 

 

 

 

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I shop at Google and eBay.  Whoever has the best price gets my business.  It's just that easy.  And quite often that turns out to be Scale Hobbyist.  It's almost never Sprue, unless it's something that literally nobody else carries.  

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I have noticed the recent price equality between the two...  In some cases, it's either SB has lowered their pricing as you say, or SH has raised theirs.... I haven't done a real study to determine which is the case.  I know that at least in one case I can comment on, SH is still very much less expensive than SB.  The 1/32 Tamiya 1/32 F-16CJ from SB is listed $175.99 while the price at SH is lower.  Shipping is a factor in both cases dependent upon your location.  For me, Scale Hobbyist has lower shipping in most cases (for those kits/purchases under $200) due to the simple fact that I'm closer to them than I am to Sprue Brothers.

 

To give SB proper accolades though, they do have a wider selection than does Scale Hobbyist.  I went looking for Modelkasten tracks last night and while  Sprue Brothers was out of stock for the item I was looking for, Scale Hobbyist doesn't even stock Modelkasten. 

 

As a third point, I tend to agree with Jennings in that I will always see what Ebay and/or Amazon has for deals regardless of the free shipping that Sprue Brothers offers for orders over $200.  A recent purchase of the 1/16 Trumpeter Panzer Mk V (Panther G early) from an Ebay seller saved me $50 over the SB price and both offered free shipping.  You can see why I took the Ebay offer.  I actually found a set of the Modelkasten tracks I was looking for last night and at a price that was 30% lower than was SB's and in stock.

 

Another  thing I want to mention is Sprue Brothers rewards program.  For every 200 points in purchases you earn, you get $4 in store credit.  I haven't looked lately about how many points to the dollar you earn but I do know they expire in a year.  So, if you're thinking about hoarding points to get that kit that costs $100 and you're banking on saving over a couple years,  better think again.  For those that spend a lot in the year, this is a good perk.  For those that don't, it's not and does not play a factor in purchase decisions (at least in my case).

 

Lastly, I will still shop at SB but mostly when the weekend deal has something I'm looking for and the price with the discount + shipping is one I can stomach.  Having said all that... when the Zoukei-Mura 1/32 Ki-45 hits the street here in the USA, I may [emphasis added] just pull the trigger at SB because they usually get them first (after Volks USA which would cost me $20+ for shipping) and this is a kit I am waiting for (for YEARS).  I'll still look at the other places I've mentioned but if they don't have them yet or their pricing isn't comparable to SB then SB it is.

 

In the end, it's all about being an informed consumer unless you just don't care about the cost of something.

Edited by Juggernut
Corrected grammatical errors

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10 minutes ago, LSP_K2 said:

I buy whatever I buy, wherever I can get it the cheapest, period.

 

LOL, in other words, your loyalty lies with your wallet...:lol:.  Can't say as I blame you one bit and in many cases, the same is true for me.

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On 1/12/2019 at 12:54 PM, Jennings Heilig said:

I shop at Google and eBay.  Whoever has the best price gets my business.  It's just that easy.  And quite often that turns out to be Scale Hobbyist.  It's almost never Sprue, unless it's something that literally nobody else carries.  

I buy a ton from Ebay as well.

 

I tend to rely on the large online retailers for supplies though.

 

My intention in creating this thread was simply to point out that Sprue Bros. seems to be having a widespread re-think regarding their pricing, which is good for the consumer.

 

I'd also point out that often, the cheapest price you can find on Ebay is no cheaper than the best price from Sprue Bros. or Scale Hobbyist; it all depends.  Or the savings is so negligible it does not justify dealing with a mystery seller in China who is going to send the product via economy shipping that goes through customs.

 

 

 

Edited by ringleheim

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22 hours ago, LSP_K2 said:

$30 difference for the Trumpeter 1:16 Jagdtiger at SH. I'll have to keep that in mind for when I order the kit, whenever that may be.

For something like a big, expensive model kit of East Asian origin, Ebay and Japanese or Chinese sellers are usually the best way to go, but not always! 

 

 

 

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On 1/12/2019 at 1:41 PM, Gewehr 43 said:

Remember too that Tamiya just put a MAP policy in place.  If you're seeing price parity between the two shops on Tamiya products, that's mandated by Tamiya.

That's not really accurate.

 

Tamiya's new pricing policy simply means that retailers must advertise the price at MSRP; they don't have to sell at that price.

 

Scale Hobbyist, for example, deals with this by listing all Tamiya products with an indicated price of "Less than X".  You then must place the item in your shopping cart to see the actual price they are charging, which is no different than the old, much less than MSRP price they would have charged prior to this new Tamiya initiative.

 

It's a little annoying, but not that much.  

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My vote is for Scale Hobbyist, more now  since they now carry the Mr.Color Lacquer line of paints. But, when I need something in a hurry then SB is my choice. And if you keep looking at the Deal of the Day section everyday you could get things at terrific prices.

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54 minutes ago, nachjager said:

My vote is for Scale Hobbyist, more now  since they now carry the Mr.Color Lacquer line of paints. But, when I need something in a hurry then SB is my choice. And if you keep looking at the Deal of the Day section everyday you could get things at terrific prices.

Quite true.  I also noticed recently that Scale Hobbyist now carries Wingnut Wings stuff.

 

For a while there, Sprue Bros. did, but SH did not.

 

 

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