Monday, March 12, 2012

The High Cost of Good Fortune

I could not believe the technical difficulties I had this weekend. First, the power went out. Then, the computer went down for a day. I wanted to (finally) watch a couple of DVDs I got for XMAS in the meantime, but my brother had "helpfully" upgraded the DVD player, and I had no clue how to get it to work.

Even the toaster decided to get all up in my face last night. Seriously!

Everyone at work yesterday was wondering why I looked so surly. I had to keep my mouth shut; they already think I’m a little daft as it is, and listening to me rant about the toaster would not help matters.

After all that, I did manage to get a preliminary draft of my paperwork for 2011 done. One word: YIKES!

I had no idea how much my good fortune "cost" me last year. Several large purchases - including three collections, and a massive haul in the NPOD - are what did me in.

"Winning" all those online drawings didn’t help either - I was happy to get the opportunity to purchase things like Fall in Love and Mont Tremblant, but I’ll have to be a little more selective about the drawings I enter in the future.

I’m a little puzzled by the fact that Reeves hasn’t started offering exclusive items to Collector’s Club members for general sale, to assuage that portion of their membership who has not been quite so lucky as I have been. Having every "Club Exclusive" be a drawing you have to win is not a recipe for long-term success. (Those sale coupons club members get sent aren’t going to cut it, either.)

I will assume that they’re trying to figure out the logistics of it all. Make too many, and they’re forced to sell them elsewhere, as they did with their later JAH Specials - and tick off the folks who bought them on the assumption that they were "exclusive". Make too few, and you’ll get more hurt feelings.

Making just enough to cover orders, a la Pamplemousse, would seem to be the most logical solution. But that required a huge lead time that an online customer base - now accustomed to very short delivery times - would not cotton to. (It boggles my mind that some hobbyists have gotten their Paddies already! Not me, yet.)

I don’t foresee myself buying many off-the-shelf horses this year, and I’ve been trying to stay off eBay, save for my futile attempts at some ephemera auctions. As for what may come my way via the flea market/thrift store/garage sale circuit, I’ll just have to be a little more mindful of the budget when those opportunities present themselves.

I’ll probably be able to make up some of my shortfall this year, since a not-small portion of my purchases at the end of last year were on low-end, easy to sell items I do well with at BreyerFest - books, miniatures, bodies, commons, ephemera. I really don’t mind catering to the low-end crowd, especially since most of the retail model horse market - Reeves, Stone, and Hagen-Renaker - has essentially abandoned the low-end collector’s market.

Sure, the high-end of the market is where the money’s at, but if you don’t cultivate customers at the low-end of the market, eventually you’ll run out of customers. High-end customers begin to feel exploited, and low-end customers (who may turn into high-end customers, later in life) get frustrated by the lack of access, and both eventually move on to greener pastures.


Christine said...

And some of the high end market gets disillusioned and drops back into the low :).

I have made three purchases this year, a red roan Bouncer, the Haflinger and a trad. War Horse. Unless they come up with something new and exciting for us non-club/exclusive folks that will most likely be it for me this year.

Anonymous said...

I agree they need something for all the CC members. I'm beginning to wonder why exactly I spent $20 to join, as I have not been happy with the web exclusives at all. Except the ones I have entered to win, I've not won. And the sales coupons....well imo they are not worth it as most models they offer are much cheaper through other retailers. I can't complain too much I suppose as I did enter so I could get Desatado. Even though his price is a bit much for me.