Arizona Hobbies (previously Golden Spike) has been selling railroad books and related items on the Internet since 1999. Owned by Randy K. Curtin in Tucson, Arizona, who at one time owned a hobby shop called "The Train Station", this store is a means to remain in the hobby business. About 99% of the listed titles are in stock and most orders ship within 1-2 business days.
A few words about this cottage industry.
This business is just that - a cottage industry. All books can be considered 'limited run'. The publisher has to go with a gut feeling on how many books will sell. Most publishers are mom-and-pop operations and hope to make enough money to pay for the cost of their book plus have a little extra left over for their efforts. Maybe even enough left over for another title or a re-print if the book is popular.
Communication is poor between the publishers and distributors. Often there is no notice of a titles stock becomming low - or being sold out. It is only learned of this situation when an order comes in and the books aren't there. Many publishers intentionally hide their stock count so certain retailers will not buy up all the remaining stock to 'corner the market'.
Also because of the size of the publishers, shipping to distributors can be erratic and slow. If the publisher is unavailable for whatever reason, it may take 2 to 3 weeks or longer for orders to be filled. Arizona Hobbies tries to stock in depth to anticipate not having any inventory out of stock. Usually a title is still in stock while more have already been ordered. Still, out of about 1800 plus titles, there are times when titles are out of stock (usually only a handfull of titles at any given time).
Do not be complacent that a book that has been available for a number of years will always be available. Most titles will never be re-printed. These small publishers cannot afford to exceed demand and tie up their limited resources on dead stock. As one example, Morning Sun Books is now making smaller runs on books as many titles of their production from 15 years ago exceeded demand.
My advice is to rank the importance of your desired books and make certain those are the ones you purchase first.
If you have any comments or suggestions to improve this site or my service, please contact me, I want to make this store the best it can be. Thank you.
This Internet Store is a one-man operation. I am often not available to take phone orders, if you leave a message I will return your call as soon as possible.
Since phone orders are rare, I use my home phone as my business phone also and my phone is listed under my name rather than the business name.
On-line ordering is MORE secure than phone ordering. Also there are fewer errors in the process as you can see your items selected and total costs as entered.
Please see my contact page if you have Questions, comments, or suggestions.
Why shop at Arizona Hobbies?
Here's one customer's comments:
Thank you for the attention paid to my recent order. It was received in the mail in excellent condition thanks to your secure packaging and wrapping and arrived quickly thanks to fast shipping. I also appreciate that all the advertised books I ordered were "in-stock" and not back-ordered which is very frustrating. All the books are in perfect shape. I bring this up because other people I know have ordered books from some shops/book-sellers that are obviously "well thumbed through" already. I can see I will not have have any problems in this regard when purchasing from you. I am very satisfied with your prices, service and products and will think of purchasing from you first when I need to buy railroad books in the future.Signed, "A satisfied customer from Nebraska"
And another customer's comments:
Dear Arizona Hobbies:
You invited my comment concerning my order. I want to say that my experience could not have better, with a good web site, prices, communications, and fast service. I'll check to see if you have what I want the next time I want to order railroad subject books or videos.
Arizona Hobbies receives many comments like these. Give us a try - highball!