HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
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Old Sep 01, 2010, 01:34 AM
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Hobbyking Factory Conditions

I've placed a few orders from hobbyking and I'm sort of curious what's behind their low prices. I checked their site, there were no specifics. A google search didn't yield much either. It's never really bothered me before, but now that they're becoming the top supplier for many of us, I'm sort of curious what it looks like from the other side.

Does anyone know anything about hobbyking's suppliers? The factories? The laborers?

I really want to know more about them before I place any more orders.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 02, 2010, 10:17 AM
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I'm still searching, and I haven't found anything very specific. A few pages in to a search for HobbyKing's suppliers I found this.
http://china.eguideglobal.com/CN/SEA...plane+Model/1?
It's just a list of factories that produce hobby related stuff. Whether or not they're tied to HobbyKing, I don't know. It's very hard to get any more information on them other than what they provide in their description.
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Old Sep 05, 2010, 11:56 AM
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grow shot a email to the people that make deans connectors they should have all kinds of info later tater salade ...signing off tater chip
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Growf911 View Post
I'm still searching, and I haven't found anything very specific. A few pages in to a search for HobbyKing's suppliers I found this.
http://china.eguideglobal.com/CN/SEA...plane+Model/1?
It's just a list of factories that produce hobby related stuff. Whether or not they're tied to HobbyKing, I don't know. It's very hard to get any more information on them other than what they provide in their description.
makes you wonder how many of these company names are really just under one factory.
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Old Aug 04, 2014, 02:51 PM
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Did you ever find any more information on this?

I know it's been awhile, but I'm in a similar situation--about to do a lot of ordering from them and interested in knowing more about the suppliers/factories/laborers and working conditions.

I've done some googling but haven't come across much...would love any tips.
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Old Aug 05, 2014, 04:50 PM
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Long story short, HK gets their products from the same factories as everyone else in the RC distribution business.

From what I have heard, the HobbyKing business model was borne out of the owners, Anthony King, desire to make our great RC hobby affordable to the masses.

To me affordability means low initial purchase cost. Some people equate low cost to cheaply made and low quality products backed by poor customer service. You get what you pay for is a favorite among HK detractors.

In my experience, that saying does not hold true for HK and the products I have personally bought.

I have only bought mostly fixed wing aircraft ARFs and their accessories from HK and am pretty much a satisfied customer, i.e. various (9 pcs) 1400-1920mm wingspan aerobatic balsa ARFs, a couple of EPP 3D foamies, Turnigy motors, HK SS 60-70A and 90-100A Opto ESCs, servos and their accessories, heli FBL controller, radar gun, Wattmeter, Orange brand park and full range receivers and satellites, CA glue, foam glue, wheels, tail wheels....well you get the picture.

HK has been my source of pretty much everything I have needed to fly except Transmitters, propellers, LIPO batteries and chargers (of which I have tons of).

BTW, I am also in the RC model import and distribution business, so understand much of what HK has done and where I think they are headed. In a way we are competitors but like to see HK as a partner in our RC industry.

So going back to the original post which seems to ask if HK sources their inexpensive products from sweatshops, all I can say is that they probably get 99%, if not 100%, of their products from China and Vietnam

Which brings us to another question: where is the rest of the Western World getting their products, or more specific to us RCers, where are Horizon, Tower, Great Planes Hangar 9, ExtremeFlight etc all getting their products.

If you noticed many of HK products look like knock-offs of popular brand name items, you are probably right and wrong. Some may be copies, who knows...but their darned good copies. Many of HKs personnel are RCers themselves, in fact the owner Mr King is or was an RCers himself. They are knowledgeable for sure. Anyhow, going back to the products and their sources, I can tell that some if not many of their products are re-branded or built in the same factories as the name brands.

If we are wondering how HK can price themselves low, I can only say that their overhead and profit margins can be lower than the competition, simply because of their huge volumes. Call them the WalMart of RC.

If we question the ethics of HK, we may as well question the ethics of their competitors too (if we are thinking sweatshop operations, that is) as chances are, the entire distribution side of the RC industry is buying from the same factories in China and Vietnam.

This might be off topic but a good story has to be shared. Yesterday I picked up a couple of ARFs from the USA Warehouse. There was some miscommunication regarding one of my orders and although paid for, it was on HOLD. Happy to say that the warehouse personnel, one of whom was a fine young gentleman named Michaely (my apologies if I did not get that right) who was in charge of returns, helped me sort out the issues and I was out of there with my two airplanes shortly, a very satisfied customer.
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Old Aug 06, 2014, 10:28 AM
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I was in the electronics business for most of my working life so far, typically working with vendors all over SE Asia. Do note that most HK based businesses are just distribution companies for manufacturers in China proper. That is true for almost all industries. Although some Chinese city's like Shanghi are changing that model. It makes it very difficult to sort out who makes what for who unless the parent owns the PRC company. Even then it isn't very obvious. Alilbaba lists 1017 different rc manufacturers in mainland China. Good luck sorting that out, eh?
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Old Aug 07, 2014, 05:38 PM
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From what I have heard, the HobbyKing business model was borne out of the owners, Anthony King, desire to make our great RC hobby affordable to the masses.
Rather his wish to make money...
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Old Aug 07, 2014, 10:12 PM
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..... Alilbaba lists 1017 different rc manufacturers in mainland China. Good luck sorting that out, eh?
Can't be that many rc model manufacturers. Maybe a fourth or less of that figure involved in the manufacture of model Airplanes, helis, cars, boats, motors, servos, ESCs, radio, hardware, etc. The Shanghai International Model Exposition (SIME) will showcase the real manufacturers.

When I started my model import business, I was confused when dealing through Alibaba. It seemed companies listed there were mostly middle men. Lots of dead end info in Alibaba if you're looking to find manufacturers.

Good thing I contacted the model manufacturers directly through their websites and got going from there.

As mentioned above, with Chinese companies, unless you physically visit their offices and factory, its hard to say what they really are....trading company/middlemen or manufacturer.
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Old Aug 08, 2014, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreasX View Post
Rather his wish to make money...
Probably both, but if money were the main goal, wny the low low prices?
But, whatever the reason, ain't it great to have such a big selection of parts for low bucks?
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Old Aug 08, 2014, 12:35 PM
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One thing I hope HK would work on is their high shipping cost.

I would like HK to do "free shipping" for orders over a certain amount, for example Tower Hobbies or MotionRC.

I got my 64" Phoenix Extra 330S ARF from Tower Hobbies for $130 shipped. The box is big too. My Phoenix Tucano 60" from TH was $119 shipped. HK has to work hard to beat these prices. That is why my other go-to online store is Tower Hobbies, at least for the cheaper ARFs.

I would buy balsa ARFs from HK only if I can pick them up because their shipping on these are too high, IMO.




.
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Old Aug 08, 2014, 03:19 PM
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I agree on the large size shipping costs but do you think the local planes would be that price if HK wasn't in the picture.

We win both ways.
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Old Aug 08, 2014, 04:08 PM
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Probably both, but if money were the main goal, wny the low low prices?
Because he thinks that's the way to make most money. Lower wages, lower prices. That's the futurepresent.
Quote:
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But, whatever the reason, ain't it great to have such a big selection of parts for low bucks?
Sure!

Cheers
Andreas
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 03:52 PM
RC plane addict ;-)
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FliteTest over on Youtube did a video where they interviewed the man himself Anthony Hand,quite a good couple of videos and a good insight to the man.

Here make up your own mind.

Flite Test - Anthony Hand Interview Part 1 - INTERVIEW (10 min 53 sec)


Flite Test - Anthony Hand Interview Part 2 - INTERVIEW (10 min 31 sec)
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