Why Not Buy Your RC Products Locally? - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Oct 19, 2012, 05:08 PM
Closed Account
I am indifferent as to where I buy from. I buy what I want from where I want based on my needs.

Truth is that most everything my LHS sells is made overseas anyway. I simply cut out the 3 middle men that jack the price up to where a $3 foam wing becomes a $70 wing.
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Oct 19, 2012, 05:11 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
I used to have my choice of LHS around me but only one remains as the rest of them closed years ago. It's about 30 minutes drive so it's not too far. I try to buy things from him other than glue or building supplies but admittedly, the vast majority of my hobby shopping is done online. He simply doesn't keep enough airplane and helicopter-related things in stock. He's got his fair share, don't get me wrong, but he's mostly a car shop and THAT business booms for him.

While I have a long list of websites that I buy from, the majority of my purchases come from the same 2 - 3 shops. They are websites of US-based hobby shops so I know my money is hopefully staying within the local economy.

I am more than happy to pay a shop like that a little more money for a name-brand product and customer support. Not knocking "the other guys" (Hobby King for example), but they just aren't for me.
Oct 19, 2012, 05:22 PM
cmdl's Avatar
like foamflyer i believe china makes quality stuff. imo they make a lot of stuff so probability is higher that when someone complains the product is chinese. same thing would happen no matter who was the largest supplier.
i buy only at my LHSs and for the reason that jasmine cites - i have had great experiences with all the LHSs in my area and i don't see a need to buy elsewhere. of course, i also only buy HH so i am also willing to pay a premium to support my favorite company.
Oct 19, 2012, 05:39 PM
Visitor from Reality
If I had a LHS, wifey would probably end up giving me the Hard Spousal Stare every time I was thrown out of there so they could close and go home.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on viewpoint, while I know where they are, my HS are not L. Not so much the much the miles - a 30 or so mile round trip in a Prius that only does 41.3 MPG around town is hardly a lot of gas - it's the time involved as both involve far more time sitting on 'Free'ways than I care to expend.

There's also a lot of stuff I need that they don't carry. Can't blame them for that - I admit to being something of a rare breed these days.

So, like it or not, I end up with a lot of mail order in my aeromodelling life. There is a running shopping list in the BDF in case I get somewhere near either NSLHS (not so local HS, sorry), but it's based on stuff I know they have. I will admit to a slight reluctance to pay the staggering purchase taxes of this region, though someone has to support the pols and Iams of local government, I suppose.

That's life, as the saying goes.

Oct 19, 2012, 06:04 PM
Registered User
Wingman26's Avatar
In my case the closest hobby shop is $20 worth of gas away, when I get there they have helicopters and cars, almost no planes, a few servos, some hardware, screws etc. The don't have room to stock more, they are out of space, so they can't really stock up on planes if they wanted to. We did have a pretty good hobby shop that had reasonable prices and a pretty good inventory, it was a few miles further than the closest one (that doesn't carry much), but the trip was worth it since they would have most things you wanted in stock. The spring and summer of 2011 was brutal, much of the spring it was way windier than usual, and this is windy country, and there was no in between, it went straight to 100+ degree days, the weather was so bad nobody was flying, and our great hobby shop went out of business. The summer of 2012 was even hotter than 2011, so even if out great shop had struggled thru 2011, 2012 would have killed it off.

I almost always order from US hobby suppliers, I have placed ONE order for some stuff I couldn't source inside the US, but that will probably be the last one, virtually everything I need can be found in US internet suppliers, and I have developed a small list of trusted sources that give me great service, and I will continue to do business with them.
Oct 19, 2012, 06:10 PM
Ochroma Pyramidale Tekton
Fly Wheel's Avatar
I buy locally. Well, as locally as geography will allow. The nearest hobbyshop is in Rock Hill, 45 miles distant. Yet I will drive all the way up there because I like the face to face experience. It helps if I have other rasons to go to up there as well, naturally. Also they are one of those rarer places that if they don't have it they will try to get it, without charging extra for the privilege. I have the same philosiphy when it comes to getting supplies for bicycling a well. Granted, electronics are pretty much guaranteed to be foreign, even if the companies aren't.

Only things I haven't gotten there have been kits, as they don't have many, at least not of the kind I like; although they are suprisingly well stocked on building materials - balsa, hardware, covering... The kits I have gotten have been from American companies though, and as far as I know, built in the US as well. The two kit manfacturers I have patronized are AeroCraft (Miss Stik, Skimmer, Eastbourne) and DynaFlight (BOT).

P.S. I too am all for improving foreign relations, FoamFlyer - does she have a sister?
Last edited by Fly Wheel; Oct 19, 2012 at 06:24 PM.
Oct 19, 2012, 06:15 PM
Registered User
I will buy from whoever has the lowest price. If that means cutting out the middle men and price increase I do not mind that. Overseas dealers sell to your LHS and he charges you way more than he needs to. Long live freedom of choice.
Oct 19, 2012, 08:06 PM
Yea, I fly dusty planes..
zeezee's Avatar
I support US online companies, knowing full well that damn near everything sold there is made in China. My kids are making sure my grandkids are learning Mandarin. They have a plan unlike the US and don't play games. Our country as a whole is lazy, I hate to say that, but.....Our leaders are liars and opportunist who pass laws to guarantee there success even if it harms us. Some times a man has to say something he knows is true even if he knows it may harm him. I say that all of this stuff will continue to escalate and that it won't end, no matter who's in office, until The Lord Jesus Christ sets His feet on the mount of olives. That's God's plan..........David
Oct 19, 2012, 08:12 PM
25+ years of RC flying
BigIron357's Avatar
Like many others, my "local" hobby shop isn't local. The nearest shop is in another town & county some 15 miles (about 30 minutes) away and is run by a grumpy man with a poor attitude and even poorer product selection. His balsa prices are actually higher than those at the local Michaels craft store (just 3 miles from me) and the rest of his hobby stuff is related to nitro cars more than anything else. I went to his store to get supplies to scratch build some balsa planes but ended up buying only a single piece of 1/16" piano wire. All the while I was there with my wife, the owner was complaining to a worker and another customer about lousy business. He actually ran the customer off. My wife was not impressed. Sounds like he won't be in business much longer.

Last week I had an appointment in "the big city" about 60 miles away and found a Hobbytown USA there. Went in and they had everything needed for our plane projects. The staff was very helpful and attentive. Going forward, we'll plan our hobby purchases around our regular trips to the city and pick up the stuff we want or need from a business that knows how to serve the customer.

And we'll also buy online as needed. I'm currently awaiting delivery of a small purchase from across the ocean.

It's just not like it was in the old days and there's nothing wrong with that.
Oct 19, 2012, 08:27 PM
AMA 994002
matiac's Avatar
Is there ANYTHING related to this Hobby that ISN'T made in China? No matter what you do, you're stimulating their economy, And the people over there that run these manufacturing facilities are laughing all the way to the bank, even selling their stuff at cost to American distributers when you consider what an average Chinese worker in any capacity makes for a wage, I would imagine their overhead ain't that big...
Oct 19, 2012, 09:03 PM
Closed Account
Originally Posted by matiac
Is there ANYTHING related to this Hobby that ISN'T made in China? .
There are a few things, but not many.

The greedy American businessman did this to themselves. Moved manufacturing and support jobs overseas all in the name of being compeitive. They blamed unions, wages, politics, etc for this need to be competitive. As they moved more production overseas they created an environment where they needed to move even more production overseas in order to continue to stay competitive with themselves and others.

Some of the big names in the U.S. hobby business own other 'hobbies' that many do not know about. So they lock of entire markets and control supply and demand. The current situation with our hobby is only mirroring what occurred in the train hobby.

That controlling of supply and demand by non Asian entities are one of the reasons that Asian vendors and manufacturers are doing so very well. As well, since the U.S. government refuses to control the price of oil, our economy has tanked. That forces Americans to look for the best bargain for their dollar. At the moment that is in China.

Where and what I buy, hobby related or otherwise has nothing to do with loyality or patriotism, it has to do with surviving and enjoying my day to day existance.
Oct 19, 2012, 09:15 PM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
Originally Posted by Endlesslag
Unfortunately, it's all about money...so until china and the other major players in the cheap labor game raise up their prices, we're going to continue to have things made there. The best we can really do right now is buy from US-based companies, regardless of where their stuff comes from. Eventually maybe we'll see 'made in the USA' on boxes again.
Very well said and I am encouraged to see people that care about America's economy and choose to shop locally.

As mentioned in post #1, that $9 servo you buy at Servocity generates 5 times that amount for the local economy. In the big picture of things that is huge and I believe that we should try to do that as much as possible.

I don't think there is anything RC related that we can't buy here in the US, is there? Not to mention the fact that customer service makes a big difference when you make a large purchase.

And for those that wish to purchase RC products that are made here in the USA, they can choose from these 250 companies: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1751051

Oct 19, 2012, 09:49 PM
222 km/hr Parkjet flyer
solentlife's Avatar
I applaud the sentiment and intent of the OP .... as a person living in a ciountry that is poorly served in LHS ... and forced to buy online.

But let me go back to when I lived in UK and was able to nip a couple of miles to a LHS ...

I reckon I bought about 75% of what I needed as well as model kits, but that was in the 70 and 80's when online wasn't there. The nearest to online was postal after looking through magazine adverts and then phoning them to place order. In those days difference of price was minimal as most kits / gear was produced in your own country.
Fast forward a few years and like many other markets / industry local cannot compete with cheaper labour countries and don't forget that many own brand labels moved their manufacturing to those cheap labour areas .... where do you think your Iphone is made ?
We now see a situation and confirmed by many in many countries incl. USA that LHS mark-ups can be too high, pushing away the very clientele that they need.

It's like British Railways .... mark up ticket price too high - people use their own cars ... bring ticket price down - people use the train and MORE people use train returning the train system to a profit.

I am a previous shop-owner (I bought a shop for my ex Wife when in UK ... the economics of which were not as simple as we previously thought. We thought keeping prices at levels that people could accept would be enough ... but all that happened was people used us for small stuff and the big stayed unsold ... it was hard to understand ... even though our price was only marginally greater than external.

I wish OP luck with the campaign - but at end of day manufacturing is in cheap labour countries and as China costs increase - that will move to Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico ... wherever next cheap labour market is ... LHS in your country will lose out as they try to maintain prices that customers will not pay .... just like the Corner Grocery Store vs the Supermarket ...

If anyone thinks protectionism works ... which many countries try officially or unofficially ... it doesn't. Clever companies find ways round it ... so end result is similar.
We are part of the reason for this change in market ... we don't want to spend more than absolutely necessary.

Last bit :

In UK - we had many 'cottage industry' kit manufacturers ... small dedicated business supplying most what we wanted. But quality of diecutting etc. was moderate in most cases needing quite a lot of work on part of builder to clean up etc. But the models produced were good flyers.
Along comes the Japanese kits from the likes of Pilot ... wow - nothing like it in terms of Lite-Ply, incredible die-cutting .... the kits literally clicked together with minimum clean up needed. The precision was astounding. Price ? similar or even less than the local kit .. The UK 'cottage industry' basically died and the Japanese as they did with cars took over the market. Prices then crept up until they hit the max that we would pay ...
The same argument as read here raged then ... Buy from local ... don't buy from outside. But we wanted the models as we couldn't get same from local manufacturers. (I agree that OP is LHS .. and back then in UK it was manufacturers ... but I think it's a similar affair).

You cannot blame customers going for economic options. It's no good saying that LHS will no longer be there when you need that small immediate part .. because that trade does not sustain a LHS. Most people anyway buy multi-packs of gear online ... something that further reduces need for LHS.

Oct 19, 2012, 11:45 PM
AMA 537620
ChillPhatCat's Avatar
I still buy a lot from Tower hobbies... they ship quick and support their customers. Yeah, much of what they sell is made in China, but at least the sale of these Chinese goods employs Americans. I mostly buy motors, ESC's and servos from Hobbyking... the rest from stateside suppliers.
Oct 20, 2012, 12:39 AM
cmdl's Avatar
Originally Posted by ChillPhatCat
I still buy a lot from Tower hobbies... they ship quick and support their customers. Yeah, much of what they sell is made in China, but at least the sale of these Chinese goods employs Americans. I mostly buy motors, ESC's and servos from Hobbyking... the rest from stateside suppliers.
kudos for seeing the bigger picture.

eventually it comes down to the incremental benefit (marginal benefit/cost/revenue for instance) one gets from a transaction (cost savings is one such incremental benefit) as well as the fact that all our economies are integrated (any macroeconomy view should include benefits from trade).

and of course differentiation. if a consumer does not feel there is enough difference between two products then of course they go by cost. that is where price competition comes in. consider even the pc component sector - while price competition is fierce, there is differentiation. why do people buy asus (a taiwanese firm) for motherboards over all else? why do people buy intel and western digital (american firms) for chips and drives over all else?

let us not try to oversimplify everything - economics is more complicated than a single variable.
Last edited by cmdl; Oct 20, 2012 at 01:19 AM. Reason: typos (by vs buy)

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