1.) Who is Merrimack Valley Models?
Merrimack Valley Models is a small (literally 1 person) online only hobby shop. The store was founded by Michael Peters Bond. I started by creating some of my own 3D printed accessories for model railroading that I felt were missing, not easy to find, or not well made. Additionally my personal experience in product management, finance, marketing, and social media felt like it was the right fit to try to reach a broader audience on the web.
2.) Is your store secure?
Yes! We use a major e-commerce platform called BigCommerce. Our website is secured using SSL certificates that are installed and managed by BigCommerce.
3.) Do you store credit cards?
Currently no. We use third party billing solutions like Square, Stripe, and Braintree by Paypal to process all transactions. We cannot see any credit card information.
Shipping & Returns
Please see our Shipping & Returns page!
1.) How do pre-orders work?
Pre-orders are complicated. Our e-commerce platform, BigCommerce, allows us to put items on pre-order with an estimated delivery date. We can also expose info about product availability. We use in combination to describe when the pre-ordered item will be available. Due to the limitations of the BigCommerce platform, we do not take reservation style pre-orders and all pre-orders are due in full at the time of purchase. We understand that due to the nature of the model railroad industry taking several months to produce items announced, this is less than ideal.
2.) Can I cancel my pre-order?
Yes. We will refund you in full at any time for a pre-order up until the product arrives at our facility for shipping. However by doing so, your item will be put into our inventory and available for any other shopper to purchase.
3.) What is a production run pre-order?
Most of the model railroad manufacturers announce new products with an order cut off date called the guaranteed delivery date. This gives distributors and dealers and opportunity to place an order for product to carry in the store. The manufacturer takes all these pre-orders and then places their order with the factory plus a little extra.
If you order a production run pre-order before the cut off date, we will place an order with our distributor for that item and tag your order number to it. Generally on the last day of the pre-order, we will evaluate our own inventory and place a limited order for additional inventory on the website. We will then remove any item for sale that we did not get orders for and do not plan to carry. For items we will carry, we will continue to take pre-orders but we will add inventory limits that match the quantity we ordered in addition to customer orders.
Remember, it's complicated!
Here is an example:
Atlas announces new box cars on 8/18/2020. The guaranteed delivery order by date is 10/15/2020. With a product delivery date of July 2021.
Merrimack Valley Models lists the products on the web site for pre-order. Any customer pre-orders between the announcement and the order by date will be submitted to Atlas with the order number.
When Merrimack Valley Models receives the order in July from Atlas, we automatically ship it right to your door.
1.) Can I request a product you don't have listed?
ABSOLUTELY! Being a small shop means we don't have everything on the shelves and we rely on our customers to request brands, roadnames, scenery, etc. We are limited to what our distributors carry, but we have access to quite a bit of product. However at this time, we cannot carry Walthers brands or Athearn due to us being online only. These manufacturers require a physical hobby shop to carry their products.