R/C Stores Gone By the Wayside - Page 12 - RC Groups
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Jul 03, 2009, 12:29 AM
Registered User
Challenger 413's Avatar
I would like to add http://www.e-flightline.com/ as going under. I tried to order a gearbox back in May, was giving the run-around and finally got a hold of them after 1 month about it. They said that they are going to mail my refund back.

Whenever I have ordered in the past, they would ship out with-in a couple of days and I would get it in about a week. Now, the online phone # doesn't work, they don't return e-mails (except) after 10 days, etc., etc.,...

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Jul 03, 2009, 05:44 AM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
Originally Posted by Challenger 413
I would like to add http://www.e-flightline.com/ as going under. I tried to order a gearbox back in May, was giving the run-around and finally got a hold of them after 1 month about it. They said that they are going to mail my refund back.

Whenever I have ordered in the past, they would ship out with-in a couple of days and I would get it in about a week. Now, the online phone # doesn't work, they don't return e-mails (except) after 10 days, etc., etc.,...

Thanks for getting us back on track/topic, although sorry to hear about yet another RC store going away.

Jul 03, 2009, 08:42 AM
Tree Fodder
MumblinBerk's Avatar

We have 2 small LHS about 15 miles apart. One close to me focused mainly on R/C trucks, and (gasp) static plastic models and trains. BUT... they carry MultiPlex, and the Horizon line (Eflight, ParkZone, HobbyZone). Not much inventory, it's a small store, but they represent well, AND they can GET me anything I want. There are ZERO plane "experts" there, so they are no resouce whatsoever, but I throw as much business at them as I can, and encourage my buds to do the same.

The neat part is that since prices are more-or-less fixed on those products, I'm paying the same as Internet purchases, and NO shipping charges. Just sales tax.

What I can NOT figure out (and keep bugging them about) is that in my area, no one can just run out and grab things like props, dean's connectors, bullet connectors, carbon fiber, that sort of thing. Yet they waste shelf space with GARBAGE, like static plastic models with 1/4-inch of dust on them, taking up shelf space for 10 years. I don't get it? Why not a full selection of APC and GWS props, and adapters that would actually SELL. Think about it. Who goes to a store for emergency props and does NOT shop around for additonal supplys? It's a no-brainer, but I can't convince them.

My guess is that they are worried about the questions they would be asked about which prop for which plane, etc, etc. as they have no flight people there.

I understand why they don't stock things like ESC, Motors, Lipos. I would avoid that as well if I were trying to run a LHS.

Anyway, I always run to the LHS before ordering, even little things. I appreciate them being there when I need some epoxy, or balsa, etc, etc. I was very suprised to find a "blinky" cell balancer there recently and snatched that up for my field box, even though it would have been cheaper on-line.

Things run in cycles, and my guess is that once our nifty new President gets around to imposing taxes on Internet purchases, the playing field will start to level out, and local shops may find the game a bit easier to play.

Tax, AND shipping, AND waiting for items to arrive? Yuck.

Jul 03, 2009, 03:00 PM
One last off topic.

I was wrong, I saw Atlanta Hobby promoting PA planes at SEFF. I shouldn't have assumed PA didn't promote at other shows.
Jul 28, 2009, 11:03 PM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
Although not my LHS, I see that Medusa Research is going out of business.


Jul 29, 2009, 01:22 AM
Closed Account
That's too bad. I had only heard of them with my purchase with Stevens Aero Adrenaline Rush with the suggested motor. It's a great little high speed 12mm inrunner.
Last edited by eagle777; Jul 29, 2009 at 02:07 AM. Reason: 12mm dia - not 20mm
Jul 29, 2009, 01:28 AM
Magicsmoke maker
Inflexo's Avatar
I have to say, I can indeed feel for them. I'm looking to be a similar sort of business (well, I'm already a small custom electronics for R/C business) and it's damned hard to get market penetration in terms of advertising, ultimately you have to work from the bottom with a lot of sponsorships and freebies as well as pushing it on to single people and hope that the "word of mouth" works. Alas, big budgets and glossy adverts win out a lot more.

Jul 29, 2009, 10:48 PM
Registered User
I envy you folks who are losing good hobby shops. At least you had them. In the Birmingham (AL) area there are a couple of decent ones. Not great, just decent. Pretty good selection of planes but carbon fiber may or may not be stocked in the size you need. Ditto for a lot of stuff. The other area shops are predictable. Call about something and get told "we can order it". I can do that myself and walk to my mailbox rather than drive to thier store. It's nice to shop a little and actually see and handle the merchandise but ordering online at 2:00 am can be pretty nice too.
Aug 02, 2009, 11:56 PM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
And another one bites the dust.

MS Composit USA

Aug 03, 2009, 12:09 AM
What's 3D?
trumps's Avatar
from what i have heard on recent ATTF episodes MS composites USA has been down the drain for a while now, but still had their site up and wer still taking and charging for online orders. sounds like more than one person got burned by them!!! including the ATTF crew who had been talking up their product for a long time. nothing worse than vouching for somebody or thing only to have them break the trust, sorry to hear of anyone getting stitched by a buisness that has no intent of fulfilling their end of the deal. Good riddence maybe, their true colours have come out in the wash!

Aug 03, 2009, 09:35 PM
just Some Useless Geek
Shops that are NOT going down the tubes:

Hobbytown, USA in both St. Charles, IL (my chosen home shop) and Schaumburg, IL. I never for a moment thought that a wide-spectrum, franchised, girly-boy "hobby" shop that deals in kids' toys, board games, plushies, and other useless kaka could possibly be any durn good at all for serious hobbyists. I grovel on the ground in abject apology. Both of these fine LHS have personnel who know exactly what they are talking about, keep some serious parts inventory, and are Johnny-on-the-spot about getting the stuff that you need. I highly recommend either of these stores.

Radio Control Hobbies in Naperville, IL. Yet another franchise place that has surprisingly hip personnel, a goodly selection of parts, and quick response to orders. These guys are making a living out of being right when it comes to selecting the right components to make a plane work.

Perennial favorites Al's Hobby in Elmhurst, IL, and Venture Hobbies in Wheeling, IL. Neither of these shops is going anyplace real soon; Al's has been there for something like 40 years, and Venture for prolly 30. Need something hardcore? Go to one of these shops.

Hey, despite the fact that I have blown nearly four grand in Internet order R/C stuff over the last year and a half I've spent at least that much at my local hobby shops. I certainly support the guys who support me. We better all do that if we want them to be there tomorrow. And the day after that.
Aug 04, 2009, 02:03 AM
old pilot
Ickarusmelt's Avatar
We are so fortunate to have an excellent LHS here, Who's Hobby House. It's been going for 50 years and still successful, mainly because Clancy, second generation owner, loves flying RC and he and his staff know the details. They stock everything anybody may need and serve a wide area. Icky
Aug 04, 2009, 05:32 PM
Go Hawks!
cryhavoc38's Avatar
One more going down the drain who had been circling the bowl for some time.

Ultimate Hobbies in Auburn, WA.

Apparently, the doors will be closing at the end of the year, and another local Hobbyshop may be moving into the space when their current location lease expires.
Aug 04, 2009, 06:01 PM
Registered User
I'll chime in and say that Big Sky Hobby in Eagan, MN has been going strong and will probably expand soon. Jeremy is a great guy to deal with. If he doesn't have it in stock he will get it in a few days. He also matches prices from online vendors (Tower Hobbies for example).
Aug 04, 2009, 06:31 PM
Registered User
I like the guys at our LHS, but I wish the decision to buy locally resulted in more consistent customer service policies. I do feel for them - I think RC is inherently very difficult to support because there are so many opportunities for catastrophic user error and resulting damage. That said, it would be nice if an item that's bad or questionable right out of the box would be exchanged at the store rather than needing to be mailed back. Despite my sympathy for the line they need to walk, that decision related to a $50 part has already cost them several hundred dollars in sales that are now going to online retailers. If I'm going to have to ship things back anyway, I may as well save a little by ordering online.

I still buy from them, but much more selectively.

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