Does “Built to Order” on train world mean that it’s gonna take forever to get to me ?

Original Post

No, "Built to Order" simply means that Lionel only produces the number of trains that are ordered by the dealers. If it is in stock then it would ship right away, if not it would be delivered, hopefully, around the expected arrival date. 

Trainworld has closed its shipping operations through April 15 due to NY's telling non-essential workers to stay home.

Built to ordermeans to me that they won't build it until they get enough orders to build it in order to make some type of a profit off of the locomotive or whatever it is.  I don't know exactly how they do it but it seems logical that it would be done that way.  I'm assuming that you are talking about a Lionel locomotive.  Train World is just the dealer, it would be the same amount of time if it were Mr. Muffins Trains, or Nassau Hobbies or someone else.  I had ordered an AC-9 that was on the BTO program, if I remember correctly, it only took about 11-13 months, it may have been longer but I was really happy when I opened the box and all my waiting and wondering when it would get there just went out the window and I was a happy camper and never gave it another thought.  I don't think TW has any control over how long it takes, they are great to deal with and doubt if any of the dealers do either, my suggestion would be to call Lionel and ask them flat out how long it's going to be. 

They occasionally have ordered extras and have some to sell when the BTO items come in- that is perhaps what you are seeing on the web site.  If it is in stock, this is probably the case.  Check the inventory - that will tell you.

BTO or Built To Order is the terminology that Lionel uses on their high-end Legacy Engines. Built To Order means that Lionel will only order what dealers order.  Most dealers only order what customers order before the preorder date cuts off.  We at TrainWorld usually order extra on most items since we are inventory based and carry a large supply of trains.   We will continue to take orders until we sell out.  It is very helpful that you preorder before the order date that Lionel recommends however for those who like to see what they purchase before they order it we tend to carry extra stock on most items.  

Hope this answers your question. Be safe!

Ken Bianco Jr. 

RJ, you've received some great replies including one from the man himself at TrainWorld.  I can tell you that Ken is a terrific guy to work with and he won't steer you wrong.  I had ordered a Lionel set for my Uncle and there ended up being a slight problem with it, Ken called me and had the problem taken care of before I could bat an eyelash.  He is a super nice person to deal with.

@KenJrTW Hi Ken, I placed an order a few days ago on your website.  Understandably, you and your team will not be able to ship until NY lifts the shelter-in-place order and allows non-essential business to get back to work.  Will you/your system notify when it ships?  Will there be a tracking code?  Thanks!

Thanks J Motts for the kind feedback.  

JD, not sure what your name is, order number or what you ordered so I can't really check to see what is on the order. I can say if you ordered something that is not in stock and is on preorder you will not get a tracking number until we receive the item from the manufacturer and then ship it out.  If you ordered something in stock then yes we will process your order and hopefully, we can resume business April 29th and ship you your item along with tracking information.  Were crossing our fingers with the NY shutdown date.  Its been postponed and has really affected our business.  Thank you for your support and patience during this time.  

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