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Old 05-07-2011, 04:56 AM   #46
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Ryan,

Good topic and and even better question, though I can only guess the reason for it.

Shop:
Ideally it should be stocked with enough inventory so as to keep the "we can order it" to a minum. I know that a shop can't stock everything for everything. I do like to see some radios, kits, servos and such in stock at a shop. Doesn't have to be 50 of eack, but a couple of the more commonly pruchased products should be done. Basically find the right balance to have a little something for almost everyone. Racer and basher alike. A clean well thought out and orginized shop goes a long way with customers.

Track(s):
It would be nice to see a shop have a track and properly support said track. Yet it is hard to make money off of and the types of tracks wanted/needed vary quite a bit. If off road is the type of racing desired to have, a good sized indoor elec. track is a plus for the winter months when most out door tracks aren't running or running as much. A good out door track that can run the 1/8th and 1/10th classes is a plus for the summer, more so for the Nitro classes. Ideally seperate 1/8th and 1/10th tracks would be best, but not always possible. Which ever track type is chosen, a professional looking track setup is something I like to see. The appearance can make or brake the track. Monitors wired in to the scoring program with a live feed helps people know what's going on and negates the need for a PA system going full volume all day long. More so in the pit areas.

Pits:
Pit areas should be plentifull with a decent ammount of room. Lights and power are a huge plus. Both in door and out door. For out doors a good ammount of covered pit area would be nice so people don't have to bring as much stuff. Again I know that's not always possible, but would be nice to have. Basically simular to the shop in being well thought out. Something that I think gets over looked more often than not.

Race/Practice fees:
Race fees seem to be right around the 15-20 dollar range for club races, with additional classes being less. It's what I would expect to pay in most cases. Practice fees seem to vary a little more. I've seen them as low as 6 or 7 dollars for the day and as much as 15 dollars for the day. Being that many people would love free practice, the power and water does cost the shop money for people to use. I'd say 10 to 12 dollars on average is what I would expect to pay in most cases for practice.

Concession stand:
Nice to have, but I don't think is a deal breaker for me.

Switching brands based on what the shop has or doesn't have:
That's a tuff one. Some people are very loyal to the brand they like and it'd be a hard sell to get them to change. I think it's something that many might consider, but few would actually do.

Awards for races:
The plaques that are usually given out are nice to have. The idea of getting some shop credit in leiu of the plaques might be a better option. We do have a new local in door track that is going to offer raffle tickets. 3 tickets for first, 2 for second, and 1 for third. Then at the end of the month they will raffle off something cool, say like a brand new kit. I like the idea, but not sure how it will work in the long term.

Series or individual races:
Either is fine with me. Series races are fun if you can go to all or enough of them to make it worth it. My schedule doesn't always allow for that, so any race I can get to is what I want. LOL.

What are shops not doing that they should be:
Pricing would probably be the top spot. Staying on top of the pricing is key. I understand shops can't give away product and keep the doors open, but sometimes the pricing is way out of the range of normal that people will go elsewhere and buy. Next would be having access to enough suppliers/vendors/Mfg.'s so they can get what people want/need. I know of a shop that only deals with one main supplier and that makes it difficult to support that shop when you can't get what you need, even if your ok with having to special order what you want. The story I get is "there's not a big enough call for that product" or the "need to have a 100 dollar order minum to get it shipped". I scratch my head at the latter of because while I understand the current economy and shops not having the funds to place big orders, I would think having a 100 dollar order for a given supplier to ship shouldn't be an issue. Doesn't have to be per day, but at least per week should be doable. Lastly, stocking up on prerace season items. Tires, wheels, bodies, fule, glo plugs, paint, and paint supplies. Doesn't have to be a ton of stuff, but many times it seems that shops wait too long to get those items for the race season and when the shop goes to order, almost all of the items needed are backordered. Some planning before hand would help with that. Keeping a loose idea of the racers buying habits for race season gets lost along the way.

Other things to consider:
If a shop has a track or tracks, maybe the option to offer race passes at a set rate that also includes free practice could be done. If there's a decent ammount of pit spaces, perhaps a monthy pit rental could be done so you always have a pit spot. I know of some places that have done that and could work. Don't know a good price for that.

A bit long, but I hope there's something that helps answer your questions.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:23 AM   #47
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By far the best and "ultimate" Hobby Shop I've ever seen is Mike's Hobby Shop Superstore and Raceway in Carrollton, Texas. Mike's Hobby Shop is 15 minutes West of Dallas. He has a fully stocked shop with everything a R/C enthusiast could ever want. If he does not have it on the shelf then he can order it for you and have it in 3 to 4 days. Mike's H.S.R. has 3 racetracks: 2 indoor tracks (one carpet and one dirt) and 1 dirt outdoor track. The place is just amazing! You have to see it in person.

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Old 05-09-2011, 09:07 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwddww34 View Post
By far the best and "ultimate" Hobby Shop I've ever seen is Mike's Hobby Shop Superstore and Raceway in Carrollton, Texas. Mike's Hobby Shop is 15 minutes West of Dallas. He has a fully stocked shop with everything a R/C enthusiast could ever want. If he does not have it on the shelf then he can order it for you and have it in 3 to 4 days. Mike's H.S.R. has 3 racetracks: 2 indoor tracks (one carpet and one dirt) and 1 dirt outdoor track. The place is just amazing! You have to see it in person.

--------------------------------------> http://web.me.com/klbwalker/mvtarc
+1 on Mikes Hobby Shop in Carrollton, just 15 minutes North of downtown Dallas. Something for everyone in the R/C hobby. He has a place for small electric helis/planes to practice inside, crawler area, onroad carpet track, offroad indoor 1/10 and smaller track, 1/8th offroad outdoor track. Parts support is great for a good variety of what their racers run. Concessions are open everyday.
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