HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Jim Lee's Avatar
United States, WA, Port Orchard
Joined Apr 2007
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Our local Hobby Shop (Hobby Outlet) in Port orchard,Wa closed in Dec, 08.

There are still three Hobby shops in the area, but I wonder how long they

can keep their doors open with the economy the way it is.

I try to support my LHS as much as I can, but they don't always stock what

I need, so I do order some items online.

Jim
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 07:48 PM
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SKY KING's Avatar
Isle of Rhode, US
Joined Sep 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Sharp

HobbyTown USA.... (Bellingham, Ma.), went out of business 1 1/2 years ago.



Hey Kenny,


The shop in Bellingham relocated - the rent was increased an exhorbitant amount and Bob settled in Ashland (Rte 122 -the plaza with Sears, Radio Shack and Dominoes). Other than the recent overall downturn in the economy his business has grown nicely.
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 08:00 PM
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United States, CA, Tehachapi
Joined Nov 2005
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The way folks continue to buy directly from China, it won't be long before most LHS and online retailers go out of business.

On a good note, there are still plenty of places right here in the good ol' USA that makes RC products.

Check them out here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=976993

Frank
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 08:22 PM
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USA, VT, Springfield
Joined Jan 2004
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When people stop trying to begrudge the LHS for making money from sales, then maybe the LHS will have a chance. People want the service and the convenience of having a LHS, but they for some reason get all mad when they find something cheaper mail order from China or some basement dealer.
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 08:28 PM
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United States, CA, Tehachapi
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I hear ya. I don't get that either.

You know the cool thing is about a lot of LHSs is that when you buy from them often, they typically give you discounts. And my LHS, and many others, probably orders stuff with no shipping costs.

Frank
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 11:06 PM
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USA, VT, Springfield
Joined Jan 2004
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Hobby Hangar in VA used to always make me sweet deals. Went in there once for a GWS DC3 and they gave me two for the price of one, and the one I paid for was the same as any online price. Of course, I think I spent $15K there over a few years.
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Nebraska
Joined Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murocflyer
The way folks continue to buy directly from China, it won't be long before most LHS and online retailers go out of business.

On a good note, there are still plenty of places right here in the good ol' USA that makes RC products.

Check them out here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=976993

Frank
I've been in this hobby for about a year. I order stuff directly from China all the time. I also have spent about $1500 at the LHS so far. I think there is room for both.

I would buy even more at the LHS if their prices were better. I am willing to pay more there, but not 3x the price. ($20 vs $65 on a lipo battery for example). That adds up way too quickly.
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Finger Lakes Region, NY
Joined May 2008
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In the fifteen or so years I've been flying, we've lost three good Hobby Shops in my area. There is one still open about seven miles away, but during the winter months it is open very limited hours due to the high heating costs.
I purchase whatever I can from this shop but it is difficult to catch them when they are open. Many times they do not have what I am looking for. The owner is very good about ordering whatever I need and usually cuts me a break on the price. The difficulty is if I order something, it could be two or three weeks before I can get to the store when it is open. The next closest shops are over an hours drive away. Under these circumstances, mail order works best for me.
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Old Jan 27, 2009, 04:15 PM
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gawler, South Australia
Joined Jul 2006
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Hi Guys

I used to worked in a hobbyshop for 5 years, due to online shops like hobbycity which cut in to certain bread and butter lines of the hobbyshop it is making it harder for the LHS to survive and so we wil lose many of them, my LHS doesnt have much experience in electricflight so sadly there is not much they can do for me, without being bigheaded but I know more about it than they do, yes it is the one I worked in lol.

I still and buy stuff from them but the service is slow, Awhile ago I rang the shop and asked a new guy about did he have any XPS receivers in stock and he asked was that jr or futuba, I told him that it was only a rx and that didnt matter and he insisted that it did and was prepeared to argue with me so I said I would come into the shop.

I agree people should support the LHS's because they can provide a valuable service if staffed with committed people, On friday I wanted to buy 3 spektrum AR500's, so I rang the LHS again and they didnt have stock and so he was going to get the order guy to ring me, I rang again some hours later and he said that he didnt get any message to ring me and when i asked him about the AR500's he was going to get back to me, after that I went onto the Modelflight website which is based about 45kms from me and ordered them online, they just arrived while I was writing this post and I am still waiting to hear get a phonecall from my LHS.

Basically I got next day service from a online shop while still waiting for a phonecall from the LHS.
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 09:23 PM
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Joined Dec 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ickarusmelt
Internet suppliers are cutting into LHS RC suppliers around the country, but a well run LHS can do fine. We do our best to support ours.

We are so lucky to have a great one, Who's Hobby Shop, in RC, SD. It's been in a family of plane and RC addicts for 50 years, and they stock everything for guys in western SD, and parts of MT, WY and NE. They provide everything you may need and do their best to match internet prices. Their personal attention to helping everyone from newbies to experts with good info and equipment is extremely valuable and worth the drive.

Icky
I shopped at WHO's in 1980 when stationed at EAFB. I was a member of Propbusters. Learned to fly there.
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 06:39 AM
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USA, PA, Media
Joined Apr 2005
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another side note to this thread. While it is given that LHS are dissapearing, it is also given that it is a very hard buisness and usually not much of a profit margin, so that may contribute to the apparant downcline...

BUT, this thread, and most others, indicate that people are buying a large percentage of their stuff direct from china (myself included) and perhaps this is contributing to that decline in LHS. However, that is because we are on the internet. The club near me (I have stopped in on occasion but dont belong) is 90% people retired. I would imagine that a lot of those guys dont have the internet and arent buying things from the net, but supporting the LHS. But clearly we dont get their opinion here
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Old Jan 29, 2009, 08:23 AM
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Norfolk, MA
Joined Nov 2008
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The era of singe channel retailers is over. To be a successful retailer, one must sell through multiple channels and one of those must be eCommerce. This obviously doesn't affect only hobby shops. It is critical to the survival of all retail businesses and manufacturers that are selling products to the stores. It is simple economics. For example, a well known clothing brand normally develops or acquires a new brand and then starts building retail stores for that brand. It has traditionally been a successful strategy. To do that, they need to open 200+ stores with the hopes that 50 of them will be highly successful. The cost of opening up one of these stores is between $600,000 and $1,000,000. There new strategy is to develop the brand in the ecommerce channel first, refine it there, and then develop a select number of brick and mortar stores. Done right, it is a powerful combination. The cost of developing and launching a new ecommerce brand is a fraction of the cost of the old strategy.

There is a LHS in my area that is having some success. They have one store that is nicely stocked with plane, heli and car products/parts. They have a productive website (they could be much better at this), a good staff that is available via email/phone/walk-in and they have found that the bulk of their money is made in parts, repairs and upgrades. Are they getting rich? I doubt it, but they are doing better than surviving and learning how to be effective in the new economy.
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 08:50 PM
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I just sold a slow stick (TP 24-08, TP 9g servos, CC 18A, and AR6100 RX) today ready to bind.

The person I sold it to had bought a Typhoon 3D + DX6i from a Hobbytown USA store south of here. The fuse was broken into 3 pieces within 10 minutes (I didn't see it happen) . He even set all the servo travels to 30% or so. He said on a clerks' advice that it was a great trainer plane. I've found most of the time, the LHS advice is worthless. Probably the Typhoon had been sitting on the shelf for 6 months and needed to move. He probably got a deal in price, but they sold him an unsuitable plane.

I'm at the point I can figure out anything I need to, and obvious/wrong advice from the gas car guyz from the LHS for my 500w Extra doesn't make me want to spend a lot of money there. It's nice to buy props or covering once in a while, but I wouldn't be too sad to see most of them go for the most part.

Would I have gotten here without the LHS advice? Yes, with you guys! You RCGroup & Wattflyer members are so much better about dispensing advice. I've learned so much here.

You might say - without the LHS, no new flyers would get started. But I think most flyers get started when they see someone flying. Then we hook them up.

Another rant - I don't think Thunder Power batteries are worth the cost at all. The 1/3 price 25C Zippys are just as good, if not better.

I buy stuff from HK or wherever the best deal is.
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Last edited by eagle777; Jan 31, 2009 at 08:59 PM.
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 09:06 PM
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United States, CA, Tehachapi
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Advice given here is not for profit. That might make the difference.

Frank
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murocflyer
Advice given here is not for profit. That might make the difference.

Frank
That is the crux of the LHS dilemma.
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