Gregg

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About Gregg

  • Rank
    da Big Kahuna

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  • Website URL http://www.modelcarsmag.com
  • Skype ModelCarsMag

Previous Fields

  • Are You Human? Yes
  • Scale I Build All

Profile Information

  • Location Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Full Name Gregg Hutchings

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Gregg's Activity

  1. Gregg added a post in a topic Status Update: Model Cars #201   

    Time to end this.
    Everyone will have their own opinion.
     
  2. Gregg added a post in a topic Status Update: Model Cars #201   

    Then, please, explain to me why our distributor for newsstands recorded the highest sell through for magazines in a long long time over the past holiday season?
    Don't believe everything you read.
    Digital is a tool. Not a replacement.
  3. Gregg added a post in a topic Status Update: Model Cars #201   

    Heh, no big words....
    Not allowed....
  4. Gregg added a post in a topic Status Update: Model Cars #201   

     
    Thanks, Guys!
    If I "had" to go digital, I would shut it down, or sell it.
    I don't believe in digital only mags.
    That's not a magazine.
    That's a web site.
    Big difference.
    A magazine without a print presence is nothing in my book.
    Yes, harsh words, but I'm very opinionated on this, very passionate about the print industry.
    It's not going away, and either am I.
    As for the donation setup, that was tried before, and it just creates more problems, issues, etc., than the hundred or two dollars that it brings in.
    We are talking big money here, well, at least to me.
    A few dollars here and there doesn't really do much difference to the main picture of it all.
    We're talking thousands, not hundreds, and I know, every little bit helps, but I would rather drain my wallet, and piggy banks, again and again, then give anyone false hopes.
     
    Right now, funding is in place for this next issue, #201, but then, again, the next two issues are ready, and then that's another $25K give or take. It takes time, but it will happen. 
    Plus, I get accused of "ripping" people off, with the other mag, and I don't want that to be an issue (pardon the pun) here.
    It will work out.
    Need to get off my back, haha, and get up and do more of what can be done.
    Someone said to delegate, but problem is, with the way everything is set up, I can't afford the $6,000+ software that would be needed to handle delegation of the system/database/subscriber/dealer lists. It's all done in simple Excel, and it just wouldn't work. Something will slip through the cracks.
    Just look at the changeover from GBP to MCM,LLC. When they sent the subscriber list, they didn't include the account numbers for the subscribers.
    I didn't realize it until after I had set it up for the way I could do it (they had proprietary software, which I could not get) and did it all in Excel.
    After all the conversion, I noticed the account numbers from an old list, but it was too late by then.
    Yes, a programer could probably do a pivot table, or dupe find, and combine it all, but then, again, that's another grand or two.
    So, these are the cards I'm dealt with.
    I appreciate the offers of help, but there has to be a system set up and in place that would allow the sharing of the data, in real time, so that nothing gets missed.
    I'm not a control freak, I just don't want to lose anything, and have to start over, again.
    wow, that's a lot of mumbo jumbo....
    Maybe that guy in New Jersey who won the lottery likes to build  model cars and has a soft spot for the underdog?
    :-)
    a hui ho!
     
     
     
  5. Gregg added a topic in General   

    Status Update: Model Cars #201
    I know, it's May, 2016, and no new Model Cars Magazine issue, yet!
    In a nutshell, it's about money. When Golden Bell Press printed the mag, everything was done in house, and thus, at cost. 
    The costs to print the mag are huge, and getting huger (I know, there he goes again, those spelling misteaks).
    I sent out the renewals recently, yes, I should have done them a lot earlier. It's called cash flow. I also sent out dealer/shop invoices, and those are starting to come in. What comes in barely covers what it costs for the production of the magazine, and that's just production. I have not received any salary, payment, or even reimbursement for the emptied out retirement account that I have poured into this. Either has anyone else, and that's bad, I know. I sent out an email to all writers, asking for their support, patience, and delay in sending in default judgements for payment of articles, and that has helped, a bit.
    So, what's the problem?
    Well, it costs about more than $10K to produce, print, mail, ship, bill, and everything else, just to get the magazine out of Denver. WHAT? That's nutz! I know it is. When I took this over, I was told it would be $X amount, and guess what, that $X amount is if you print it yourself. So, the option is simple. Shut it down, or, rob a bank, and go for broke. Or something like that.... I am putting in $XXX amount each month of my own monies, and I'm running out of piggy banks.
     
    Issue #201 (let's stay away from the month of each mag/issue for now) is on the way to the printer. The check's in the mail, as they say, and hopefully it will be enough. It seems every time I send a check in, another bill/invoice shows up, with another charge or cost. 
     
    No, I'm not going to quit. Not going to shut down. Yes, I'm really bad at business, they don't make a kit for it, and of course, there's no instructions...
     
    So, with my cents of humor intact, or lack thereof, I am moving forward as bestest as I can. 
    Will we get caught up?
    Yes, of course!
    Am I better? Well, yes, kinda, sort of, maybe... I still am in bed a lot, but at least I can walk, move, and yes, I have travelled already. Is it fixed? Yes and no. The debilitating (i think I messed that word up) part is gone, where any movement would send me to my knees, the floor, or worse, look for a towel (if you know what I mean) and Kelly and I have started walking again. But, it's best to describe, if you remember the old days, the pre-2009 days, I would still have to lay down at shows, or just fall apart, but I do feel stronger. And with time, I know it will get better. It's only been six months since the surgery, and the doctors can't believe the difference, but heh, they see me for 15 minutes, not all day. So, that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.
    I'm doing all the bookkeeping, accounting, banking, taxes, etc myself, learning as I go. Yes, I'm terrible on the phone, 93.25% of the time I don't answer. Not because I don't want to, I'm either laying down, out cold, or not by the computer. Most calls would be about subs, and if I don't have puter in front of me, I can't answer the question. And, still yet, when I hang up, two minutes later, I won't remember the call. Emails are best, you can text also, to that main 808 number, I do respond to texts, since I can see them and refer back to them.
    I'm trying to get someone set up to do the customer service, but with no money to pay, that's really hard to do, right now. 
    Also trying to get other help, and it's moving along slowly.
     
    As for the back issue catastrophe, all I can say is catastrophe aborted! The 2,000 pound pallet finally showed up this past week. Everything was intact, but I think there may be some boxes missing, since the pallet isn't the same one I remember packing up in Denver with John O. It will take a while to go through everything, when I can. 
     
    So, that's it for now.
    #201 is on the cloud to the printer, we have the next three issues ready to go, just need to get more funding in place.  
    #201 should be printed and mailed within the next week, and I'll get all the biz side of that issue going to get the monies back in, hopefully. 
     
    Thanks for your patience, support, words of encouragement, and being part of this ohana we started over 17 years ago, if not longer. 
    Mahalo nui loa
     
     
    • 27 replies
    • 1,047 views
  6. Gregg added a post in a topic Barnes & Noble and MCM   

    Bob, thanks!
    Didn't know that about Dillions/Kroger grocery stores. That's real interesting.
    I appreciate the leg work.
  7. Gregg added a post in a topic Model Cars Magazine Renewals   

    Dave, that's what I'm using now, but it's basic.
    I need to be able to show who got what, when, etc., changes, updates, etc. When started, and everything else.
    Much more is needed, and maybe Excel could do this, but I'm a dumb haole and puters ain't me strong point....
     
    Yes, I can add them by hand, but I need the reports for the mailing, the yearly USPS one, and other reports, etc.
    I really like FileMaker Pro, and I have a company that's trying to help with this.
     
  8. Gregg added a post in a topic Model Cars Magazine Renewals   

    Thanks, Neil! I wouldn't knock Golden Bell though, without them, Plastic Fanatic would have been long gone, and then, of course, no MCM.
    It's a learning curve, that's for sure. GBP did all this with a full staff, seven or so upstairs in the office, and of course, Brian and press/bindery guys.
    So, for now, it's just grumpy me, I'm not a phone person, and emails are the best.
    If I don't respond to an email, more likely than not the reply was blocked, or not received.
    I can safely say that I respond to 99.9256% of all emails
    Even that prince guy from Nigeria gets a reply....
    I'll look at your account and see what's up.
    I am still doing this all by hand, don't have the luxury of GBP's proprietary subscription management system/software, and to get a "Real" software system runs about $6,000 a year. Yes, that's not a typo!!!!
    The cheap ones/system was a waste of money, not happy about that. They called themselves geniuses, geniuses at taking money!
     
  9. Gregg added a post in a topic Model Cars Magazine Renewals   

    PAYPAL Disputes
    One thing, and I hope everyone reads this, if you pay by PayPal, and then since I'm habitually late, and you file a PayPal dispute claim for not receiving your sub within the three days you expect it, you lock up the PayPal account. So, I have no choice but to refund the money instantly, and then of course I delete the account, and place it in my not so nicely named list/place.
    Yes, I'm an arrogant snob, sometimes, but only when I'm trying to get this thing going.
    This is now a business, and when you mess with the business, you really start to make me look at things differently.
    I am human, well, Clark Kent-human, but I do take things personally, and I know I shouldn't.
    This is supposed to be a close knit family/ohana of model builders, and when claims are filed, it's a slap in the face.
     
    tanks
     
  10. Gregg added a topic in General   

    Model Cars Magazine Renewals
    I have sent out renewal letters for readers whose subscriptions expire with issues #198 all the way up to Issue #202.
    Golden Bell use to send out those little folded envelopes, but of course, they all had the GBP address on them, and I really didn't like the way they were done. I have had more than a couple of subs sent in for the foreign amount, for US addresses, and I could see why. The foreign price is bold/highlighted.
    I have removed the reference for foreign subs, for now. I'm trying to get a handle on the costs for the foreign subs, so while we of course are honoring all foreign subs, I have to see where we stand for renewals and new ones overseas.
    It's on the list TO DO.
    It's a big list.
    I tried to set up a PayPal button for renewals, but for some reason, it's only displaying it as a standard subscription.
    If you are going to renew by PayPal, on the site Subscribe online, there is only one option right now, and I'll try and fix that tonight or morrow. Just send me a note that it's a renewal
    And, yes, some, if not all, account numbers were not included in the changeover. Why? Well, when this all first happened, the export list I got did not include the account numbers, and since I never did the renewals, or got a renewal, I didn't see, know, or realize that there should be account numbers. By the time the brain cell I have left realized this, it was too late. I had done so much changes to the list that it was literally too late.
    With over 2,300 names/accounts, to add the numbers by hand would be too much
    I know there's something like a pivot table, or other relational database thingee I could set up that would pull the account number/name, but that's above my pay grade, which of course for the past six months has been not only zero, but negative balance....
    So, it's all coming together, slowly.
    Yes, we need to get the cash flow going, to keep this baby alive and growing. The same goes for Slot Cars, which has been hit even harder, since it's not even at a break-even point yet.
    k, I pau…
    Thanks for your support, I really do mean this.
    We will get it back on track, and it will be better than ever.
    We need your support, like they say, put your money where your mouth is!
    OUCH...
    :-)
    a hui ho!
     
    • 8 replies
    • 776 views
  11. Gregg added a post in a topic Barnes & Noble and MCM   

    I hate to get all mushy, but when I see these pics of the mag in newsstands, I do get all mushy...
    Thanks, Guys!
     
  12. Gregg added a post in a topic Changes at Model Cars Magazine   

    Thanks, Chris. I think Magzter has the option for the links, but I have to set that up beforehand, still on that ever growing To Do List....
  13. Gregg added a post in a topic If you have been banned is it ok to sign up with a different user name?   

    If you guys see something, use the Report Post link in the thread.
    It works!
    I have it set up where I get almost instant notifications, I think the other guards do also.
    On that one person, haven't had time to dwell into this.
    Just a heads up, I keep a printed copy of all problems, and it's filled up over three file folders already, they may need their own filing cabinet, not including the screenshots of everything that went on, which is why I haven't been able to address the aforementioned incident/person. I know, da legal beagle wording.... I speek gooder...
  14. Gregg added a post in a topic Changes at Model Cars Magazine   

    Chris, was the quality of the digital version on Magzter good/adequate?
    I want it to be super high-resolution, but there is/are limits with Magzter.
    Did it take long to download?
    Overall experience?
    Thanks!
  15. Gregg added a post in a topic Wondering about all the Forum's members...   

    Shoot
    I forgot about that.
    I'll try finish