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Poor websites

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Bill Dawes26/01/2021 18:11:48
401 forum posts

In this day and age is there any excuse for some of the poor websites of certain suppliers.

Just browsing for a steam raising blower I came across one site that just had a picture and bit of description, no means of ordering on line.

If Macc models, one man and his wife as far as I can make out, can have an excellent website why can't they all.

Bill D.

Robert Butler26/01/2021 18:22:08
207 forum posts
6 photos

Mind you it is nice to speak to someone, particularly in the current climate! Especially if they know what they are talking about.

Robert Butler

Edited By Robert Butler on 26/01/2021 18:23:37

JasonB26/01/2021 18:26:05
19961 forum posts
2178 photos
1 articles

Maybe some prefer to put their capital into stock, take M-machine for example they have one of the biggest ranges of metals for the hobby consumer yet don't even have online ordering (well not in the true sense of the word)

On the opposite hand there is a well known supplier who has all their casting sets shown on the website with easy ordering but it goes down hill from there.

Edited By JasonB on 26/01/2021 18:27:39

Bazyle26/01/2021 18:31:09
5785 forum posts
216 photos

Less concerned about the lack of online ordering if an email and phone number is provided though they probably lose out from the quick click buyers.
However I 'agree strongly' with the lack of photos and description. It is ridiculous that items costing thousands only have a couple of stock views that appear a thousand times when you do an image search.
Also the lack of online manuals is deplorable but maybe they would be a bit embarrasing for their poor quality and chinglish.

Bill Dawes26/01/2021 18:46:23
401 forum posts

It just smacks of can't be arsed to me.

Phoning is fine if you can get through, a sore point with me at the moment suffering from hair tearing frustration at trying to get through to some companies by any means let alone phone, giving email adresses these days seems a no go for some companies. To be fair these have been large utilities, a total nightmare at the moment, not any of our suppliers.

Will give someone a ring for my blower and hope for the best. On which subject any suggestions for supplier of these that will give me good service?

Bill D.

Robert Butler26/01/2021 20:17:50
207 forum posts
6 photos

I think you have hit the nail on the head - suppliers who give good service is key.

Robert Butler

not done it yet26/01/2021 20:58:33
5626 forum posts
20 photos

My stepson in law designs websites. Easy enough to have it done professionally - but it does cost money. Sometimes that saving, by not spending on a professional job, can be reflected in the prices....

Richard Marks26/01/2021 21:07:50
202 forum posts
8 photos


Look on youtube for a steam raising blower and there is a video of how to make one, I made one roughly following his plans and it was not diificult and I had most of the bits in the junk box.

Paul Lousick26/01/2021 21:45:04
1692 forum posts
625 photos

There are plans on ME to make a steam raising blower.

Recent post on MEW

Edited By Paul Lousick on 26/01/2021 22:12:41

Bill Dawes26/01/2021 22:49:39
401 forum posts

I should be ashamed of myself really not making one having spent a lifetime in industrial fan enginerering and semi retired engineering manager of a fan company. I decided i'm taking long enough making my 5" loco without making fans!!

I could get one made at work i suppose if I don't mind 8mm plate and a 200kw motor!

On the subject of making related items I will have a driving truck to make/aquire, having another browse came across Phoenix locos who do driving trucks amongst others including a running chassis kit.

Anyone had any experience of these.

Bill D.

James Alford27/01/2021 07:25:45
422 forum posts
74 photos

A friend of mine runs his own manufacturing business. His website lists all of his products, along with pictures, but he offers no on-line ordering. He considered it, but finds that demand for his products varies widely, some being ordered once in a blue moon, others fairly regularly. Having on-line ordering would need him to spend a lot longer maintaining stock records on the website and holding larger stocks of products which may not sell quickly enough to make justify the investment. Relying on customers ringing or e-mailing means that he can respond to demand more quickly and avoid costly investment in products which do not sell.



Bill Dawes27/01/2021 18:37:22
401 forum posts

Agree James, not all business suited to online ordering it has to be proprietary stuff off the shelf really, my own company has a website but you can't order anything, too many whistles and bells. The fact is though that thankfully most of the suppliers we use in the world of ME have good websites.

Bill D.

old mart27/01/2021 20:38:44
2686 forum posts
176 photos

To have online ordering built in to a website, a sophisticated stock control system would have to be employed. Otherwise it would be very easy to run out of stock of a particular item.

Neil Wyatt28/01/2021 10:47:21
18499 forum posts
720 photos
78 articles

Some of these small businesses are literally one older man operating out of his shed - I have visited a few such people.

Such a small business may do enough trade without a full internet shop - if you are content that the living you are making meets your needs, expansion for the sake of it and the extra responsibility and effort it demands may not appeal.

Others may not welcome the additional costs and complexity of running a 'proper website' if they feel the additional sales may not cover these costs, especially if they are specialists who could only expect to sell a few extra items online.


SillyOldDuffer28/01/2021 12:10:40
6876 forum posts
1539 photos
Posted by old mart on 27/01/2021 20:38:44:

To have online ordering built in to a website, a sophisticated stock control system would have to be employed. Otherwise it would be very easy to run out of stock of a particular item.

Except it would be better to buy an e-commerce solution rather than roll your own website, shop and stock control software. E-commerce packages typically automate most of the processes that need doing. The software presents a catalogue, and special offers, takes orders round the clock, explains Terms & Conditions, manages secure payment (and refunds), does stock control and management (including replenishment), does accounting, tax, and shipping. Whether it's worth doing is another question!

A friend enjoyed running his small business until he tried to scale up. Up to 2 or 3 employees he was able to understand and control what was going on with school exercise books, and his wife did spreadsheets for tax and pay.

This simple system failed when he became too successful. From having an excellent reputation he became the man whose phone was permanently engaged, who didn't answer letters promptly. Trying to manage ordering, planning, payroll and tax himself, he couldn't maintain the personal touch with customers or staff, some of whom needed constant supervision, did shoddy work, made expensive mistakes, and lied to him and customers. Didn't help he is much happier doing hands-on practical work rather than admin! I felt he caused himself a lot of trouble by sticking to his old methods, but he just wasn't interested in computers.

In the end, he bankrupted the big firm and went back to being tiny, just him and 2 or 3 casuals, relying on word of mouth for work. Far less money in it, but he was much happier! Retired now on a state pension.



Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 28/01/2021 12:11:22

Bill Dawes30/01/2021 15:45:10
401 forum posts

I take the point about cost but I would think small companies these days use off the shelf e-commerce solutions.

I come back to my comments about companies like Macc and BA bolts that I have used , excellent websites.

Bill D.

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