I would much prefer to purchase the items I want in a local shop, be able to gain some expert advice
and look before I buy, sadly the nearest shop only has a very limited stock and the owner admits he knows little about model boats
, railways being his thing. To find a specialist shop entails a round trip of 126 miles which makes buying on line far more attractive, but this has frequently meant that when the item has arrived (often after weeks of delay as it has come direct from China) it is the wrong size, not as described or there are no understandable instructions
. Not sure what the answer is, perhaps moving near to a big city would help.