HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
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Old Jan 05, 2012, 09:25 AM
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cocoa, Fla
Joined Jul 2009
205 Posts
but in reality im sure a retirement ck from gm does not hurt either,business is simple buy low sell high anything, in the real world nothing compares to the internet, i would buy low on forms and sell high in my shop, know ur products and buy quick when the deal is in front of you, ( FOR THE MOST PART FORGET DISTRIBUTORS, THEY ARE NO LONGER COMPETITIVE) u do need hands on but to pay todays bills house, car , kids ect one on one will not work, the hobby business has always been good to guys that are retired and need something to do, house is paid kids are grown ect, thats a hobby with a sighn out front, not a business.i just sold off my hobby shop and while i was selling i would have hated to be a store owner i sold brand new product for much lower then dealer cost,and i was in there back yard no matter where your shop is,and there are more just like me everyday, yes to me unless manufactures are going to floorplane the future for storefronts is over,or will be soon,
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Old Jan 05, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Joined Nov 2005
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Frustrated hobby shop owners

I've only been open here for 2 years and live in a small town, but yes, I am not making a living with my shop, but I very well could. I'm not all that interested in growing too big. It's just more or less a hobby for me. I am in the process of working with schools, Boyscouts, 4H, and the Civil Air Patrol.

I do have someone interested in buying my shop, after I explained everything to him. I will be able to get out and promote the shop, as it is now, I am the only one in the shop and can't be in two places at the same time.

Where there is a will, there is a way. I don't depend on clubs to bring in new customers, which is what most if not all other hobby shop owners must do. Also, I don't have to match mail-order prices, because most of my customers have no problem paying more for the convenience of having a local hobby shop in the area. I do agree that trying to make a living is extremely difficult, but I believe that it's not impossible, because there are probably some hobby shop owners who are doing OK. If it were feasible, I could show other hobby shop owners how to do their own hands-on promoting.

fliers1
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 09:06 PM
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headshot001's Avatar
United States, GA, Dalton
Joined Oct 2009
288 Posts
I bought from my local shop which is a Hobby Town. I bought parts and planes from them but then I had a prolem with a helicopter right outa the box. They would not talk to me about it except to say to send it to Horizon Hobby. Heck if I wanted to be in charge of my repairs from a faulty product I would just buy direct through the mail which was cheaper, I did not have to drive 50 miles, and shop from home---which I do now.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 12:23 PM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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I would like to see one local or online hobby shop in the Los Angeles/Orange County set up and advertising itself as a "one stop source" of kits, motors, speed controls, battery packs, accessories, supplies and materials for the electric powered RC model builder. If online, they should gladly handle phone orders by credit card. It is frustrating to drive to three different shops in unsuccessful attempts to buy common items needed in building from a kit or plans, i.e. Dubro bagged accessories and fasteners, music wire, balsa sheet, ply, basswood, and balsa sticks, brass and aluminum sheet and tubing, light weight covering materials, glue and adhesives, paints, wheels, props, brushless motors and shaft adapters, clear acetate for windshields. A nice selection of commonly used motors, speed controls, BEC's, battery packs and connectors, chargers and adapters would also be nice but could be special ordered from fast trunaround local suppliers . Let the chain store hobby shops and Hobby King sell ARF's,cheap battery packs, , RC cars, etc.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 03:21 PM
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Central Lake, Michigan
Joined Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Challenged View Post
I would like to see one local or online hobby shop in the Los Angeles/Orange County set up and advertising itself as a "one stop source" of kits, motors, speed controls, battery packs, accessories, supplies and materials for the electric powered RC model builder. If online, they should gladly handle phone orders by credit card. It is frustrating to drive to three different shops in unsuccessful attempts to buy common items needed in building from a kit or plans, i.e. Dubro bagged accessories and fasteners, music wire, balsa sheet, ply, basswood, and balsa sticks, brass and aluminum sheet and tubing, light weight covering materials, glue and adhesives, paints, wheels, props, brushless motors and shaft adapters, clear acetate for windshields. A nice selection of commonly used motors, speed controls, BEC's, battery packs and connectors, chargers and adapters would also be nice but could be special ordered from fast trunaround local suppliers . Let the chain store hobby shops and Hobby King sell ARF's,cheap battery packs, , RC cars, etc.
I have to agree with you. There are three hobby shops within 45 miles from where I live and none of them stock kits, descent balsa or parts. Only one stocks Dubro and the only balsa available locally is Midwest crap. I prefer BUSA or Sig for balsa.
A couple of us in our club tried to persuade one of the nearest shops to carry Sig kits...nope. All three shops carry ARFs only. IF I want a kit I have to find some other shop either downstate or order direct. IT seems that no one around here wants to build from kits anymore. Just walk into any hobby shop and take a good look at their stock. How many kits to ARFs ratio?
There was Hobby Town in Traverse City, but it was managed so poorly it went out of business.
So I guess those of us who want quality parts, kits and building materials are going to have to order through the internet. Too bad for all you hobby shop owners...
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 02:11 AM
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United States, MI, Taylor
Joined Mar 2009
119 Posts
We just had our local shop close their doors. Riders/Downriver Hobby in Tayloy closed the Friday before Christmas.
There are three or four R/C clubs in the area and one helicopter club.
They made it hard for me to shop there. One of the co-owners was a serious helicopter guy and they had a car guy. That left the ones flying fixed wing aircraft on the short end.
Over the summer, you could walk in and the prop rack had props 10 inches and under or 15 inches and up. Trying to get a prop for most medium size planes was out of the question. Most of the fuel was for cars or 30% heli mix.
I did buy quite a bit of their wood products and hardware because I'm a builder instead of an ARF guy. Generally they had 2 or 3 kits on hand. All Sig kits, an LT-40 kit, a Kadet Senior and Senorita.
I have a Hobby Lobby close, but their balsa is almost double what I paid at the LHS.
I'm sorry to see them gone, but I feel I did my share. Seemed I was in there at least once a week.
It's hard to stay in business when you don't stock what most of the people are looking
for.
Dave
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
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USA, VT, Springfield
Joined Jan 2004
3,858 Posts
Now that the Chinese distributors will sell to everyone through the internet, you can't compete. Try to explain the quality differences to most people- they don't care. Unfortunately, those Chinese companies counterfeit, clone and sometimes just plain rip off legit companies and also skirt US importation laws. You can't play by the rules when nobody else does and come out ahead.
I just visited my favorite hobby shop that I've dealt with since 1993, down in Chantilly VA. I miss living near there because of the places to fly and the easy access to any R/C stuff I wanted. While looking though their store, I heard one guy saying to another how he wanted to look at an ARF, then buy it online. Jerks... waste the time of the hobby shop people and then not pay for it? The ARF they were looking at is only maybe $10-$15 cheaper anywhere online.
Get out while you can...
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Old Jan 29, 2012, 10:47 AM
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Central Lake, Michigan
Joined Dec 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detroit Dave View Post
We just had our local shop close their doors. Riders/Downriver Hobby in Tayloy closed the Friday before Christmas.
There are three or four R/C clubs in the area and one helicopter club.
They made it hard for me to shop there. One of the co-owners was a serious helicopter guy and they had a car guy. That left the ones flying fixed wing aircraft on the short end.
Over the summer, you could walk in and the prop rack had props 10 inches and under or 15 inches and up. Trying to get a prop for most medium size planes was out of the question. Most of the fuel was for cars or 30% heli mix.
I did buy quite a bit of their wood products and hardware because I'm a builder instead of an ARF guy. Generally they had 2 or 3 kits on hand. All Sig kits, an LT-40 kit, a Kadet Senior and Senorita.
I have a Hobby Lobby close, but their balsa is almost double what I paid at the LHS.
I'm sorry to see them gone, but I feel I did my share. Seemed I was in there at least once a week.
It's hard to stay in business when you don't stock what most of the people are looking
for.
Dave
Remember what happened to Joe's Hobby Shop up in Farmington. I would shop there whenever I was down your way. I have a brother who lives in Trenton and the only shop there is Keck's Hardware and it's small anyway. Now the only decent shop is The Prop Shop up in Warren. Ryder's Hobby Shops aren't what they used to be. I lived in Grand Rapids for a number of years and watched the Ryder's there go downhill, especially after they promoted one of the employees to management,who was a model train guy and could care less about anything else. Consequently the RC section was allowed to go downhill. The last time I was in there, they had hardly anything for the RC plane people.
As far as buying an ARF online after checking out the same one in the store is concerned, they are not saving any money. ARFs are expensive to ship nowadays but they'll do it just the same and then moan and complain because the local shop went under or decided to no longer stock RC stuff because THEY CAN GET IT CHEAPER ONLINE!
Not to leave any stone unturned, I'll also place some of the blame on the shop owners or the people left in charge to mismanage it. In Traverse City, there was a Hobby Town. IT was constantly moving from one location to the next in the mall. It was run by dimwits who couldn't manage a snowball fight. They lost orders, never kept inventory up, didn't have an awful lot of RC anyway and generally annoyed me and everybody else. They also hired a couple young guys to help on the weekends who helped themselves to the game boards and ignored the customers.... I would have fired them on the spot. So they went out of business simply because they had to business to attend to.
There are a couple hobby shops up here in Northern Michigan and at least one of them is going all out to get and keep customers. They even set up indoor flying in a local gym. yesterday I placed an order with them for some covering and hardware and was told they would be in by Thursday. If that's not service, then I don't know what is. I hope they have continued success as they are really making a great effort to succeed.
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Old Jan 30, 2012, 01:47 AM
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United States, MI, Taylor
Joined Mar 2009
119 Posts
Hey Jolly Roger,

If you get down this way, there is another good shop on 9 Mile and Farmington Road. It's not too far off I-275 and it's a bit closer to me than the Prop Shop. I sit a few miles due east of Detroit Metro Airport.
You mentioned Keck Hardware. They carry a couple things in electric planes and some R/C car things, but it seems they make the model area smaller every year.
I would rather buy from a local shop, but nor it's a 50 mile round trip to the LHS and with my truck that comes to over $10.00. I made the 50 mile trip a few weeks ago to get silver covering to finish my plane and when I got there, they were sold out. I did buy 5 servos and some other things I needed but not what I really made the drive for.
I make it a point to keep a list now. When I need something I write it down. When the list starts getting long I plan a trip to the hobby shop.
I have another list started too. It's my annual Toledo Show list. I have 4 cases of fuel and six receiver batteries on that list so far but it has time to grow before April 13.
Dave
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 02:15 PM
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cocoa, Fla
Joined Jul 2009
205 Posts
all you builders are the first casualty,i use to sell planes like a goldberg eagle 2 and make 10 bucks on a sixty dollar sale, or there about. then make 40 percent on fuel tank, wheels ect not so much on covering but also sold the tools, today its all in 1 box and the profit is still only that 10-20 bucks on the sale, so the demand has dropped on accessories. i had every du bro,hayes and sullivan fuel tank in stock, a year later i had sold around 4 of them, after 20 years most of my profit from fuel tanks was hanging on the wall that i also paid rent on, the the models are being made in china, not copied in china, even hanger 9, great planes kits ect are all made there now, the companys that are making them are just selling them direct as well,once the hobby shop numbers get to low there will be no need for distributors, then it will all fold very fast, im sure we are close to that now,they cant compete either, someone said they thought the hobby shop was to blame for not keeping stock up,you must work for someone and get a steady pay check, if the money is not there to pay the bills and replace what you sold you cant restock inventory, its not like you dont stock it becuase you dont want to, its the 1st sighn of going under and hobby shops will all be gone soon, if for no other reason the suppliers will be gone soon
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Old Jan 31, 2012, 06:44 PM
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MGBGTRacer's Avatar
USA, VT, Springfield
Joined Jan 2004
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the suppliers are not going anywhere- they're selling retail too and killing the hobby shop.
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Old Feb 01, 2012, 07:37 AM
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http://www.nrhsa.org/

Wonder of this organization can do anything to help?

fliers1
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Old Feb 01, 2012, 11:12 PM
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I dealt with this as a computer shop owner. One of the banners I proudly displayed stated " I already paid the shipping and have it in stock, do you really want to wait a week to get up and running?" I also dealt in a considerable portion of used equipment. While in the Hobby business, you might not be able to make more than a couple of percent on full aircraft, you can make a decent profit from tested motors and engines, radio gear and make your highest profits from accessories. Hinges, servo horns, connectors, etc. The purpose of business is to make and keep customers. This is business 101. To keep them, your service has to be exceptional compared to China or ebay.
I also keep a modest reef tank (150 Gal) and I will pay 100% mark ups at a local fish store because the owner makes me feel important. I have no problem doling out cash for that feeling.
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Old Feb 02, 2012, 06:32 PM
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USA, VT, Springfield
Joined Jan 2004
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The problem is that people are too cheap to see any value in respected brands, customer service etc. In fact, they'll steal customer service by shopping in your store- asking a bazillion questions, brain raping your staff... then buy online from some basement part time dealer or straight from the Chinese military to save 5 bucks- more if it's a knockoff, counterfeit or clone.
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Old Feb 02, 2012, 08:27 PM
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United States, NJ, Mahwah
Joined Oct 2011
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I am a customer but I always buy my stuff from LHS because of the following

1. When I place order with the LHS I always save on shipping costs. All I have to pay is the cost and the tax. The LHS being a distributer does not lose anything. Sometimes I get very good deals. I also get at a lesser price on the actual cost for bigger items.
2. I get freebies (like extra battery) sometimes as a courtesy of being a good customer which keeps me happy and inspired.
3. The LHS does not complain if I decide not to pick up the order.
4. I can order however small an item, like a set of $3 props.
5. I just call over phone and place my request and the item arrives in 3-4 days of time
6. I do not have to pay an advance for the order placed.

What more do I need? Due to these advantages I have spent around $1500 in the matter of 4months.

I do not get any of these from the online stores.

- Sunil
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