• Feedback on hobby shop: Hobby Circle, Brooklyn, NY

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by thrdkilr
I'm looking for some feedback on Hobby Circle and would appreciate any comments from anyone who has delt with them. I ordered some items by check. mailed it on 27 Feb 04, they cashed it on 3 Mar 04. It's been awhile so I called them today to see what was up with my order, got voice mail saying their on vacation till 16 Apr 04. Is this normal? Thanks in advance for any comments.

  by NYC-BKO
If you are talking about Hobby Circle in Brooklyn, NY see my feedback in the MDC RS-3 thread down in the forum. I don't like them. :(

  by Phil Hom
They are closed for Passover. :(
  by denis
Not a place I would deal with. :(
I was high bidder on an auction item from them. Same day auction ended, I emailed and asked for their instructions for paying by c. card. Sent 3 emails. They never responded. I finally went to their web site & submitted data there. Sometime after that, they sent an email saying I could submit by email. Bad way to furnish this info, and I had already done so. Never heard from them again.

  by thrdkilr
Called back Apr. 16, new phone message saying thier on vacation please call back "15" Apr....thats 33 cents interest they've accumulated...

  by thrdkilr
Fellow train guys, I am posting this update in the hope no one else will get burned by this outfit. The following is a log of my dealings (one and only) with the Hobby Circle of Brooklyn, N.Y.

26 Feb 04 - I mailed an order for $62.26 (Walthers Catalog & 3 Athearn trucks). I paid by check.

03 Mar 04 - Hobby Circle cashed the check.

05 Apr 04 - 39 days elapsed, have not heard from or received anything from H.C., placed call (not an 800 number) to them. Voice mail informed that they were closed till 16 Apr. 04.

16 Apr 04 - Called H.C., got voice mail stating they were closed till 15 (!) Apr. 04.

23 Apr 04 - Called H.C. (2:40 PM), man who answered asked me to tell him what I had ordered, said he didn't recognize order & since they were closing for the weekend, could I call him back Monday.

26 Apr 04 - Called H.C., got voice mail, left message to call me.

27 Apr 04 - Having not heard from H.C. decided to fax copy of order & canceled check, fax is busy through-out day, fax does not answer after business hours.

28 Apr. 04 - Mailed copy of order & canceled check, and asked them to call.

04 May 04 - Having not heard from H.C., placed call, got voice mail, left message to call me.

06 May 04 - Called H.C., got answer, started to explain situation, he wanted to know what I had ordered, at this point I realized we had been here before, so I asked him if received my letter of 28 Apr. He asked me where I had mailed it, I told him the one on their Web sight, 543 Bedford Ave, P.M.B. 248...., he told me they were having problems with that Post Office Box and it should be cleared up in a day or so, give him another week or so. He did not ask me to complete telling him what I had ordered.

07 May 04 - I re-mailed copies of order & canceled check to Bedford Ave address, and one I found on MSN yellow pages (34 Franklin Ave).

15 May 04 - Having figured out what is going on, I sent a certified letter requesting a refund, I enclosed this log, order, & canceled check.

26 May 04 - Found out that the post office attempted to deliver certified letter at 12:38 pm May 20, 04. No Joy!

Please excuse the rambling, but I felt it important to get this out to community. The same day I placed this order I placed one with Trainworld under the same conditions, they called me, kept me informed, sent me a partial refund and the merchandise months ago. I hope this save somebody some money.

  by Topo
Bad thing! :(

It appears that you have not been the only to get burned by these guys:


I think that you can also follow this advice&directions:
In the future, it is a good idea to research a company you are unfamiliar with BEFORE a purchase and you might avoid these problems.

The Better Business Bureau says the report on this company is "currently being updated," which is probably a negative thing for the consumer (usually is, from my experience).

You should file a complaint with the BBB at
www.bbb.org. The company the BBB knows them as is Hobby Circle. This will help others from experiencing similar problems in the future.

  by Chuck Walsh
Thanks for the follow up/report. It's worth hitting the print key and filing it in my AZ file.
Relative to trainword, been a cust for years. Returned a loco and received refund credit back to my charge in record time.
  by stuart_iowa
after looking at items they had forsale on ebay, the prices were good, the shipping was high in my opinion but the feedback sucked. Some people never got what they ordered. I remember reading about them on the Trainorders.com site and nothing said was very positive about them as a business. Think a call to your BBB might help get this fixed.
After doing some more research as i wrote this, they do not seem to be selling on ebay any more.
[email protected]

I would think we should spread the word and avoid businesses like this

  by Throttle_JCKY
I have yet to hear a good word about HobbyCircle.com. Thankfully I have never had dealings with them, but know a few that have, and had similar dealings as yours.
I say take your record to the BBB and then search out the state of NY's AG and file with them. If enough people do, this place won't be in business or atleast will change their practice of business.

There record on Ebay (or atleast whom I thought was HC) wasn't good, and had numerous negative feedback for failure to deliever item and so on.

  by trainschnick74
I must say......and not to be rude......If I ever am in NY I will make it a point to see this guy and tell him how I feel.

I ordered a Walthers GP15 and it took two phone calls every dayfor about 2 weeks to finally get the item shipped!

The guy who speaks broken english told me he had it in stock when I ordered it. 2 weeks later (on the day it shipped)....he slipped and told me he just got it in stock. I was furious and expressed my anger to him....in a nice way.

This guy didn't seem to care much.....and the gal who answers the phone kept saying that she just does paperwork etc and knows nothing about it etc......blah blah blah.

You know...I could open a web based store and take credit card numbers and checks all day.........ahh but see......you must ship product out to your customer. This guy apparently doesn't understand that.

What's funny is that the GP15's were advertised as "blowout" or "clearance". If that's the case, doesn't that mean that you have them in stock and want to make more room for other items? Hence the name..."clearance". HMMMM Shady dealings.

I think I'm gonna be taking a vacation to NY soon :)

Sorry to ramble....but it's good to see that I'm not the only one.

Have a great day all.


  by thrdkilr
Jim, it is truely uncanny, it sounds like this guy (he says his name is Jim) treats all his custormers the same. Before I mialed my 5 letters, I tried to fax the paperwork. to save money, for 4 days, fax was busy during working hours, just rang & rang after hours. When I finally got a hold of him to see if he gotten the letters, I asked him about the fax, it sounded like Saturday Night Live, he says "yeah, I take thing off, cause they keep trying to send me stuff (CUSTOMERS!!!). I got a hold of him on 28 May, I, like you, tried in a nice way, and the first thing he ask me is for the order number, I start to explain...think better of it, and say I'm the guy who has sent the 5 letters, he slips, like with you, and says, "oh yeah, I got them", "I have 2 of the 4 items in stock...." after 3 months!!! I start to loose it, think better of it,so I tell him to just send me a refund. He promised, cross his heart, to get on it 1st thing monday...Of course, its been 2 weeks, and nothing. You say it takes 2 calls a day? I've already got $13 in comunications cost with this clown, but thats probably what he counts on, I'll get it back. Thanks for the info Jim...

  by trainschnick74

I knew the guy's name was familiar......it was on the tip of my tongue and I couldn't for the life of me remember it. :)

I say we go there together and let this guy have it. :P (in a nice way).


  by mlrr
I tried doing business with them when I saw Walthers had them listed as pre-ordering the Athearn/Walthers AMD-103 in Phase V. When I called Hobby Circle to confirm or get more information they were unable to help me at all even when I provided all the knowledge I had.

Bottom line, they sounded dis-organized. You would think that if they pre-ordered something, they would have it on record.

  by Smilin' Ed
I am fascinated with all this. I ordered a bunch of Atlas track from Hobby Circle a couple of years ago and it was at my door inside of a week. I then ordered some addditional turnouts and they got here "johnny on the spot", as well. Until reading all the above I would have given them a vote of confidence. Apparently, things have changed.