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Old Jul 25, 2007, 12:46 PM
My Bulldog is my copilot ..
TheLost's Avatar
Herriman, Utah
Joined Feb 2004
2,205 Posts
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Harder and harder to find GWS products localy...

When i started this hobby years ago, i could walk into any LHS and pick up a Slowstick or almost any other GWS plane.

Yesterday i couldn't find any...

I asked the owner of one shop when they would be getting the GWS F-15's in. His response was "GWS is about to go belly-up". He went on-and-on about how his orders are not getting filled, how the new brushless motors have been discontinued and parts are getting harder to find.

Now... I know GWS isn't going to disappear. And there are some cool things coming out. What troubled me about the comment was who it was coming from. This shop is 'THE' LHS for R/C airplanes in my state. They ONLY do planes and helis and have been around longer then most of the pilots that shop there.

They had stacks of the little Cox warbirds.. Every Hyperion and Fliton ship you could want.. DR-1's, SA5e & Fokker D.VII's from ElectriFly.. Jenny JN-4's, Brio's, Ultra Sticks, FuntanaX's from E-Flite. but nothing from GWS.

Anybody else seeing the same thing?

~Brian
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 01:11 PM
"Cracking Toast Grommit!"
metalbuggy's Avatar
Sanford, NC
Joined Feb 2005
679 Posts
Several threads are dealing with that very issue now.

I hope GWS doesn't go anywhere, but I'll have to wait and see as the news lately looks grim.

Where's Mr.Lin when you need him?
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 01:28 PM
'Riders fan.
David Winter's Avatar
Vancouver, British Columbia
Joined Mar 2004
1,165 Posts
I've experienced similar. My regular LHS will only special order GWS models now. He won't stock them. But when he tried to find the new Harvard kit we discovered that there seems to be no Canadian distributor for GWS. I've looked online and none of the regular Canadian shops seem to stock the new kits. Not even the 262 that has been out for quite some time.

The other shop I go into from time to time won't stock GWS kits on principle anymore as they have a terrible time finding them and there are to many other manufactures that they can get items from.

I suppose I could drive way out of my way to go to a shop in Langley BC. They might have some of the new kits. But that place is never open so I stopped going there.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 01:47 PM
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Grove City PA basement/park
Joined Feb 2005
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Shops I go to have them.
Shops often could care less about what YOU WANT.
They want to sell you what THEY WANT TO STOCK.
They have a bunch of little pet peeves about who is easier to deal with, and what stuff makes the most money for them. Those 2 issues are the bottom line issues with EVERY shop I've talked to, that is really giving me the honest answer to the question.

GWS may very well have some drag in manufacturing lately on some products, but...
Hobby Shops are notorious for telling you a bunch o' bull about stock issues. The biggest problem is that they are simply too lazy to keep track of everything. I could singlehandedly keep better stock of any of the shops I go to, versus the number of employees at the shop, and that's not even a boastful statement. Wouldn't require much effort, looking at how they do it. They overstock high dollar junk that they end up eating, which I could have simply told them not to do if they asked, since I know the hobby. They don't stock simple low dollar items that we need and would sell, since they have little clue of what's really out there.

You really have to be into the hobby to know what folks use and want. I't amazing how out of touch some HS owners really are with the electrics, being that they haven't studied the new products and what folks are using. They need to invest some effort in keeping up, and I really don't think its all that much effort that is needed. Just more than they put in.

Bill
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 03:10 PM
A-4 nut!!
skyhawk's Avatar
Vancouver B.C.
Joined Apr 2002
4,630 Posts
David,
Why don't you do what I do and have stuff drop shipped to Blaine? I go down , pick it up, and take it through customs myself.

As model airplanes are duty exempt - All you do is pay the tax, and lately - they just wave me through if my total is less than $100.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 03:51 PM
Seeing the Farside.
Blaze.45's Avatar
Seattle WA, USA
Joined Aug 2005
4,285 Posts
Hah Blaine, where there is only cows to keep you company.

GWS needs to act soon, or future flyers will never even know they exist. I first learned about GWS thru an LHS... and then on here RCG. Maybe the answer is for GWS to open up their own LHS in each of the major cities!

-Chris
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Joined Dec 2006
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I have the same problem locally. Best shop around will not bring in the GWS stuff, except for one or two planes every few months. What really peeves me is that when they do get them in, they are sold almost instantly. I wrote a email to the shops owner, telling all about the newer planes that GWS had just come out with, the new BL motors and such... and he promised to get in more items, but has not.
GWS needs a active sales force of one or two people hitting the phones to all these mom and pop shops, or mailing out litature or something to these shops.

They also need to fix any stock issues they have. Once a dealer has a hard time getting items from a vendor, he isn't going to wait around for the vendor to improve.

I hate resorting to mail order, but for me it has gotten to that point. Local shops only carry expensive Thunderpower lipos, E-flite BL motors and ESCs. KIts are almost always E-flite or Hanger 9. Thats ok though, Tower Hobbies usually has free shipping or 10% off coupons floating around, and I can buy 10 servos from UH hobbies for 32 bucks.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 04:46 PM
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scratchandbash's Avatar
Grove City PA basement/park
Joined Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akdude47
I have the same problem locally. Best shop around will not bring in the GWS stuff, except for one or two planes every few months. What really peeves me is that when they do get them in, they are sold almost instantly. I wrote a email to the shops owner, telling all about the newer planes that GWS had just come out with, the new BL motors and such... and he promised to get in more items, but has not.
GWS needs a active sales force of one or two people hitting the phones to all these mom and pop shops, or mailing out litature or something to these shops.

They also need to fix any stock issues they have. Once a dealer has a hard time getting items from a vendor, he isn't going to wait around for the vendor to improve.

I hate resorting to mail order, but for me it has gotten to that point. Local shops only carry expensive Thunderpower lipos, E-flite BL motors and ESCs. KIts are almost always E-flite or Hanger 9. Thats ok though, Tower Hobbies usually has free shipping or 10% off coupons floating around, and I can buy 10 servos from UH hobbies for 32 bucks.
Do what I do:

Start being vocal with your local shops, and tell them, "If I have to start ordering stuff, then I'll order all my stuff. May as well make my shipping worth it".

They need to be told constantly. Remind them that you WANT to support them first, but that they do have competion, and have to make some effort to get what you want.

Any shop that won't custom order for you in a TIMELY fashion is not much of a service, as far as I'm concerned. My LHS can get most stuff for me in less than 2 weeks. Still, they cry about not wanting to buy from certain vendors, some of which I know are good firms. I can understand not wanting to deal with every vendor, but sometimes they want everything as convienient as possible for them.

Bill
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 06:21 PM
Midnight Maniac
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USA, NE, Lincoln
Joined Dec 2006
893 Posts
*snip*
Quote:
Local shops only carry expensive Thunderpower lipos, E-flite BL motors and ESCs. KIts are almost always E-flite or Hanger 9.
This describes the two local stores to a "T". I will give them credit, they have ordered stuff for me with no extra charges, always within a week or better (most recently, a bearing for my BL motor). If they had GWS kits on hand I would gladly take them off their hands. As a matter of fact, the last GWS kit I saw in the store, I bought. Other than nickel-dime items, it's mail order for me.
Further, of the two stores in the area, there is only one or two employees who actually fly model aircraft. The rest just get a blank look when I start asking questions.....
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 06:36 PM
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Mesa, AZ
Joined Aug 2004
1,848 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by planekiller
Further, of the two stores in the area, there is only one or two employees who actually fly model aircraft. The rest just get a blank look when I start asking questions.....
There's your basic problem... you tried to ask an actual question in your LHS. They can generally answer things like "Where is your balsa section" or "do you have a public restroom" but don't bother getting more specific.

Sometimes it amazes me that new people get into this hobby at all with some of the shops out there.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 07:38 PM
'Riders fan.
David Winter's Avatar
Vancouver, British Columbia
Joined Mar 2004
1,165 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoder
There's your basic problem... you tried to ask an actual question in your LHS. They can generally answer things like "Where is your balsa section" or "do you have a public restroom" but don't bother getting more specific.

Sometimes it amazes me that new people get into this hobby at all with some of the shops out there.

I fully agree with the above statements. I've been building models (of various sorts) for 34 years. So I already know I'm more experienced than a considerable number of the employees of hobby shops I go into, but I still shake my head at some of the answers I get to questions asked.

But we also have to keep in mind that the world of model building has changed. Several of the LHS' in my area now sell 'ready built' scale plastic models in boxes. Pre painted, and almost fully assembled. All you need to do is snap the wings on. Even here, on this forum, I see posters bemoan the fact they actually have to paint their GWS kit Heavens to murgatroid!! I don't know how many times I've asked GWS to make the plain white kits more readily available, only to have 5 other posters aghast at the proposition of painting. And that's just paint!! This is the world we live in now.

Instant gratification, with no work. People don't want to build and fly models anymore. They want toys they can throw in the air.

So hobby shops will cater to those folks because generally they spend more money in the store, and don't come back asking for some sort of support or help. So when those of us looking for 'models', or model building supplies, or spare parts, or something that requires a knowledge of the skill of model building, we're likely to be dissapointed now. Usually because we as modellers, have more knowledge on the subject than the people that work in the stores and are only there to sell toys.

There are exceptions to this general observation. There are some very knowledgeable LHS owners, even around here. But they still need to stock product that caters to their core consumer, and we're no longer it.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Mesa, AZ
Joined Aug 2004
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I had this conversation with a friend (crxmanpat) on the phone the other day. Perhaps we need a thread, if there's not one already, titled "If I Owned a Hobby Shop"...

I'd stock 90% RTF/ARF stuff, since as you said, that's the market, but for the other 10% I'd ASK MY HOBBY CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT! I mean, seriously... how hard can that be... If the people who come in to buy balsa and carbon fiber tell me they'd like to be able to buy hex head screws... I'D ORDER THE DRATTED THINGS.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 11:21 PM
Pusher jets rule!
crxmanpat's Avatar
Mesa, AZ
Joined Jan 2006
16,967 Posts
We all need to start a letter writing campaign to GWS USA (send an email to operation@gwsus.com, and a copy to ceo@gws.com.tw and service@gwsus.com). After all, here is the mission statement direct from the front page of the GWS USA site:

"GWS USA was established in January 2004, to enhance and improve the distribution channels of GWS products. Our goal is to have the complete GWS product line available in stock to provide immediate satisfaction for local market demand. GWS USA is focused only the distribution and support of GWS products so there is no conflicting brand interests.
In order to improve customer service, GWS USA will be addressing all warranty and repair issues for the American market. This will simplify and expedite customer service issues."

Send your email in now and let them know we not only want NPS and brushless powered kits of both the old and new models, but we also want replacement parts (I was told you cannot even order the aluminum Slow Stick fuse anymore, get them while you can) for ALL kits as well, old and new. We want brushless motors and the new 3-blade propellers. We want replacement cowlings, canopies, fuses and wings. We want Slow Sticks of every variety, color and power system (and NPS). Email them now and tell them what you want.

Even Mr Lin himself has said that distributors are simply not placing orders. But it's hard to place orders for something listed as "discontinued" by either the distributor or GWS USA.

I'm sending my email right now.

BTW, I'm one of GWS' biggest fans and supporters (ask anyone ). I wish to see them do well and often express that sympathy directly to the GWS staff. I maidened my P-40 this morning, and I'm dying to see what they come out with next. But most of all, I want to be ABLE to buy the stuff I need.

Pat
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 12:03 AM
Pusher jets rule!
crxmanpat's Avatar
Mesa, AZ
Joined Jan 2006
16,967 Posts
I've just sent off an email to the addresses I listed above. Show GWS that you want their planes, old and new alike, by sending them an email too!

Pat
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 09:14 AM
My Bulldog is my copilot ..
TheLost's Avatar
Herriman, Utah
Joined Feb 2004
2,205 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsoder
There's your basic problem... you tried to ask an actual question in your LHS. They can generally answer things like "Where is your balsa section" or "do you have a public restroom" but don't bother getting more specific.

Sometimes it amazes me that new people get into this hobby at all with some of the shops out there.
That is what saddens me even more. My original post was about a hobby shop that specializes in RC Planes.

When somebody asks me how to get into the hobby now, I cant say "go down to <xxxxx> and they will hook you up with a low-cost SlowStick package" anymore.

~Brian
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