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Old 08-10-2017, 10:25 PM   #31
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Perfect example:

GP Distributors buys a kit from Company X.

Retail price: $699.99 (Some LHS actually try to sell at this price, sometimes they actually get away with it)
SMAP price: $499.99 (this is what Amain and most hobby shops sell at or around.)
LHS price: $349.99 (This is what the hobby shop pays GP for the product.)
GP cost: $???.?? (Obviously they are paying less what they sell it to the hobby shop for)

Now is where it gets shifty.

Great Planes owns Tower Hobbies, one of the largest online retailers. So in reality when Tower makes money, so does GP and vice versa.

So if GP pays $249.99 from the manufacturer, they can sell it to Tower Hobbies for $250.00 and still profit. (Yes I know only a penny, but follow along)

Now Tower Hobbies lists it "On sale" for $329.99 AND they offer $30 in E-cash, now you can buy that product at $299.99. $50 less than what the hobby shop can even buy it for. How are they supposed to make money competing against something like that??

I have seen that exact scenario play out. (Not with those exact numbers, that was just numbers I made up as an example)

Now obviously Tower doesn't usually do stuff like that, why? Well because they can easily offer that same kit for $499.99 (the same as everyone else) offer you $20 in E-cash and you think you got a great deal when in reality they profited almost 200%. The hobby store loses a sale and the CEO of GP/Tower puts a down payment on another Bentley. Then the LHS closes the local track and everybody loses. Except the Bentley dealer.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:38 AM   #32
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Local hobby shops have been competing with Tower Hobbies for decades. This isn't new. It sucked then and it still sucks today for hobby shops. But Tower is only a small piece of the puzzle when you look at why LHS are dying.

LHS are on a long list of brick and mortar retailers that are dying due to the internet, Sears is a perfect example. Video stores are another example, it won't be long and if you ask a kid what a video store is they'll have no idea because they're all gone.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:13 PM   #33
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The internet. It is a blessing and a curse.

Remember hearing Louis CK and some other guys on a radio show talk about how business and the consumer has changed. One of them referred to brick and mortar stores as nothing more than a "3D billboard" now. You walk in off the street, look at the product, try it out or try it on. Then (instead of buying it there) order it on your phone for cheaper. That was spot on.

Companies actually lose money keeping these places open. The store is only a physical advertisement for the brand, and while less people are buying in person, its helping their online sales. The days of a stand alone hobby shop are long gone. The only justifiable reason to open one is if its also running a track. Or some other purpose for people to be there, because buying parts/kits are not it(anymore).

But the RC industry is also too diluted with brands competing for your money, which further fragments the hobby. This doesnt help the state of things. The only good thing that could possibly come from a few companies lawyering up and pursuing patents is it controlling the number of competing manufacturers.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:18 AM   #34
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Traxxas has become the cancer of the RC hobby industry.
They spend all their money on advertising and marketing and lawyer's to take down other hobby companies that offer superior products.

I say boycott them. They shouldn't be in the hobby industry at all. Word needs to be spread to everyone possible so they can see for themselves the stuff Traxxas is doing

first post on joining these forum.

Last edited by racer1812; 10-11-2017 at 09:02 AM. Reason: language
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:55 AM   #35
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just to add, one way tower has restricted people compared to just a few years ago is; If you order too much from Tower they Flag your account as a Commercial buyer.

Bunch of forum people and facebook people just got screwed by tower this year.

So for example You are a collector, you buy like 5 copies of a Tamiya Widget kit.
you do this because the order is over 1000$ and you get additional deep discount from being a speed member. ok so you have done this for years no problem.
Today your account gets flagged and effectively banned until you sign up as a commercial vendor with tower hobbies. so 20 years as a normal buyer you spent 100000$ with them, they decide to terminate your account.

nice... so a bunch of normal collectors just got massively screwed this year.

me i go to the Source in China where everything is made even the japanese stuff and i get it direct at a massive discount plus free shipping. i have not used tower in over 12 years.



It started for me years ago when Carrera started to put out country specific collector cars that you could not buy in certain countries for whatever stupid reason.
the regional distributors acted like nazis so nature found a way. I laugh when Carrera USA announces some New Container coming from germany with exciting products they cannot talk about yet, when i got it 9 months ago from china direct.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:00 PM   #36
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Traxxas is going down the deep dark path that killed SmartParts in paintball. They started filing patents and suing everyone. Eventually led to the biggest name in paintball being a shell of itself.
Here's a couple other examples of that corporate philosophy & the ultimate doom that beset the companies that did it...

1. Apple computer - they sued the pants off anybody & everybody that made any type of add-on device & most software too. First up was the Apple II's then MAC's when they came out.

The II's had sockets on the mainboard for addin cards like PC's do.

If you made an add-in card that enhanced the Apple II's abilities, they sued you. Before long, companies & people said FU we're tired of getting sued & stopped making anything for Apple computers. Rather ironic considering the fact that Jobs stole the MAC graphical user interface concept from Xerox PARC.

IBM made the first true PC (as we know them today) - it was called.. "IBM PC". Within no time they were getting cloned & IBM did nothing about it.

When MS released "Windows", because PC's were open source and anybody could make hardware for them. Manufacturer's kicked it into high gear to develop technologies to make PC's run "Windows" as well as MAC's ran they're graphical interface.

Now PC's are everywhere & MAC's are in museums & land fills.

2. Sony developed BETA-MAX for home VCR's (remember those?) but refused to let other companies manufacture BETA VCR's under license. So JVC & another company developed VHS... anddd the rest is history.

3. SmartParts (info from above) filed patents and sued everyone; eventually leading to the biggest name in paintball being a shell of itself.

4.Traxxas... just learned about the Tower/Hobbico/Traxxas dispute today.

Went to tower to find out how much for a rear bulkhead for my P4de. Say what?? NO parts for Traxxas trucks.... Look further... NO Traxxas cars or trucks either.

Apparently, Traxxas is heading down the same path as the above named companies.

I'll keep the Trax trucks I have maintained & running, but won't be buying anymore.

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Old 10-12-2017, 05:56 PM   #37
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I used the term patent troll of the RC world to describe Traxxas .
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:39 PM   #38
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tower hobbies is closing up here shortly.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:18 PM   #39
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tower hobbies is closing up here shortly.
No chance of that. Tower doesn't NEED Traxxas.

Tower has always been the leader when it comes to internet sales. With brands like ARMMA, RC4WD, HPI and Redcat, they have nothing to worry about.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:06 PM   #40
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In 2016 Hobbico experienced financial difficulty and did not distribute Employee Stock Ownership Plan benefits to former employees.

In August of 2017, Hobbico's financial difficulty continued and the company laid off 35 employees. This seems to be a result of the ongoing litigation for patent infringement.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:06 PM   #41
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Average annual revenue for Tower Hobbies is 7.2 million dollars.

I concede that they are restructuring, but I think they, nor the parent company are in danger of collapse.

Regardless, looking back on this thread one day will be interesting to see how things played out.
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:28 AM   #42
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Maybe it will come down to a RC Black Market, where you meet a guy by a alley in a bad neighborhood ,

Hey Buddy , You wanna buy some shocks?
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:25 AM   #43
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Maybe it will come down to a RC Black Market, where you meet a guy by a alley in a bad neighborhood ,

Hey Buddy , You wanna buy some shocks?
I've been out of the scene for many years now so it might be different today but that is kinda how the top end slot car world was in the late 90s to early aughts. There was this weird agreement between tracks, distributors and manufacturers to only sell through the distributors to the tracks, no online sales or direct sales. It was good in some ways, you had to buy stuff from the track which helped keep tracks in business but it is such a small business, a lot of the best new stuff wasn't carried by the distributors. This was where being a smoker was an advantage. You could go out for a smoke, talk to that guy from brand X outside the track and go do a deal out of his trunk.
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:38 AM   #44
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I've been out of the scene for many years now so it might be different today but that is kinda how the top end slot car world was in the late 90s to early aughts. There was this weird agreement between tracks, distributors and manufacturers to only sell through the distributors to the tracks, no online sales or direct sales. It was good in some ways, you had to buy stuff from the track which helped keep tracks in business but it is such a small business, a lot of the best new stuff wasn't carried by the distributors. This was where being a smoker was an advantage. You could go out for a smoke, talk to that guy from brand X outside the track and go do a deal out of his trunk.
I was into the slot too , during the same era . Ive played with new chassis where I had one of the first Twenty released to racers. Luckily I only like scale cars like Flexi , 4 1/2 nascar, C2. never did the really expensive stuff like Eurosport.
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:58 AM   #45
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There is Nothing on a Traxxas car that has not been done before and done better. There were many cars produced with coil over oil filled shocks before Traxxas was even a company.
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