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Old 07-10-2009, 01:08 AM   #1
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Default Australian RC prices!

I know this probably gets thrown around quite a lot. But i needed a couple things, 1 item which all the stores in Aus that i have checked with would have to special order it in (common stock in the U.S)

Now i am not blaming the hobby shops here, i have worked at one, and i know they need to make a living as well. I think that maybe we are being ripped off by the importers in some cases???? (i may be wrong and i probably am) that is just what i think, so please don't start flaming. Just trying to see what others think of this.

I am ordering:
3 pairs of 1/10th rear buggy rims
3 pairs of 1/10th front buggy rims
2 pairs of deans plugs
1 pair of rear and 1 pair of front 1/8th scale shock springs
XX4 screw kit

AU$105 SHIPPED from the U.S (AU$87 without the shipping for an even comparison).
cheapest from online in AUS so far is $125 without shipping.

Don't get me wrong i want to support the LHS's and all, but most of the time my LHS doesn't have the things i need, and i am not paying even more to cover them having to special order it. So generally i have to get things shipped.

Opinions? I do not know all the ins and outs of the whole importing wholesale part, and have just expressed my thoughts, so please don't turn this into a flame war. I am asking this to try and find out why there is always such a huge price difference. I don't have an endless supply of cash, i try and race off a budget as i have like most people a mortgage to pay off, and when i can get a lot more for the same $$$ or in some cases less, the choice is obvious.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:28 AM   #2
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Well to add fuel to the fire I have a friend who used to own a hobby shop and I know what he paid for things from australian distributors. The mark up some shops charge is quite large. The problem in australia is that our hobby is quite small. Setting up a shop with all the bits is quite a big investment in something that may or may not move. So they try to make it up by margin selling rather than volume. This creates another problem as you have pointed out that ppl can now easily price comparison and in the US it is quite a competitive market.

Ultimately it comes down to choice, do you choose to help the owner make his business profitable and his staff make a living in the industry. Do you choose to support having an rc industry here in australia at all? The fact is that if people dont buy stuff from these shops they wont exist and you the consumer will not have a choice. In all honesty I think the future is web based australian shops. I dont feel the need to go into my lhs and look around, I know what I want and quite frankly dont have the time to go to a shop. Therefore I order most of my stuff online from australian shops and have it delivered. It is convenient for me and more cost effective also. Comes down to what is convenient for you.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:30 AM   #3
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I remember purchasing some 17.5 brushless motors from a hobby store in Melbourne that shall remain nameless.Anyway,when I was told of the prices,I nearly had a coronary!!,and on top of that they said I had to pay a special order postage for the items I wanted!

I truly wanted to help out some LHS then,but after that experience of greed I was totally put off! I know I shouldn't generalize but "Once bitten,twice shy!!"
Buying O/S is so easy.You are in the comfort of your computer chair,warm house and just order away...
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:47 AM   #4
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fanboi, i know what you mean, i know what the hobby store i worked at paid for items and what mark was put on them. As i was the one that got the god awful boring job of entering all the new stock into the computer and pricing it (set price mark up, i didnt make it up) i am not going to say what they marked it up by, and i am sure most stores are roughly the same. But i also know for a fact that they had to do this mark up as otherwise they would have gone out of business.

In terms of the web being the future, i think you are 100% correct. The problem is that the stores need to cover rent and electricity etc etc. I have looked into opening an online shop, and the suppliers i went to all wanted an address and photo of your hobby shop...... ie no at home / on line business. Which yes you can understand, but it does effect competition.

And the choice of choosing O/S or local hobby shop. Well i do still buy local on smaller items that i need quickly, paints/connectors etc etc. But if i used a LHS for all my parts and kits well i wouldn't be in the hobby as it would cost to much. And i am sure there are a few people in that position. And my LHS definately does not stock parts for the XX4 so.

I think it is a bit of a nasty circle. People go O/S because of the prices, so the LHS loses business and has to increase prices...... you get the picture. But as i said b4 it isn't always a matter of choosing to support the LHS and the sport vs going O/S and saving $$$ for me its a choice of whether i stay in the hobby or whether i slowly can't afford to keep racing.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:08 AM   #5
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I come at it from a different angle, a club organisational level

When a club is organising a big event and are running a control tire, the people who 9 times out of 10 support it by stocking the tires and offering them at a heavily reduced price to what they normally would are the Australian Distributors

Not only do they have to bring in a large number of these they also generally carry the can when it comes to any that are faulty, or excess amounts which are left over as clubs cannot generally afford to wear this.

These are things I think we tend to forget or not think about, I know now being involved in a club that to order tires like this for an event from an online overseas shop would be an absolute nightmare (could you imagine trying to source large numbers or trying to send back tires – good luck). These are things you have to think about if racing at club level or when you enter that next big event as things such as the tires or cash for these aren’t just picked off of a tire or money tree at the back of your club.

Also I don’t see too many online “Put store name here” stores sponsoring events, also have not heard of too many if any online OS stores donating raffle prizes to assist a club raise funds for their future.

As a newly started club this is a big deal in assisting the start up process and the ongoing viability as such, I know we have had several offers of assistance from several Australian distributors and shops in our start up.

So yes at times it is cheaper to get things overseas but we need to think of the bigger picture by taking a balanced approach. Also by thinking what it would be like if there were no local shops or distributors, the simple task of going to grab a pinion on a Friday before race day or that can of motor spray would no longer be an option.

I am not saying there is a right or wrong thought process and I realise money is tight but I think sometimes we need to think of the bigger picture at times and give the local guys a chance before we make that online purchase. I will be the first one to admit I was one who ordered online often but now realise the importance of ensuring we continue to have Australian distributors and shops so we continue to have a thriving sport which we can enjoy for years to come.

I write this with no intention to stir the pot or start an argument but just as a thought point.
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:54 AM   #6
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B4James, This is not aimed at a pot stirring thread.... hopefully

I made this thread so i could get an idea of what others think about the issue. And you make some very good points. I race for fun at club level, and have never entered a big sponsored race event. Yes they do sponsor the event and bring all the tyres, but it does get them good publicity, so it's not as if they get nothing out of it.

I just find that $85 vs $125 is a huge difference. And when you think about how many budget racers are out there it is a valid question to ask. The sponsorship is something to think about, but the US distributors would also sponsor events. In the end i think there are valid arguments from every angle. I don't like going O/S but currently its that or i don't race.

Hopefully once i finish the studies, the money side won't be such a big deal then i will happily support the LHS or Aus shops. And just in case some one raises this, i dont smoke and very rarely drink. That money goes into the hobby, i just make sure i'm real close to the tune pipe on the buggy when its warming up just kidding.

Edit: Appreciate all the valid arguments, and lack of flaming so far.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMB21 View Post
(AU$87 without the shipping for an even comparison).
Are you kidding? So Aus shops don't pay shipping? And being a shop they pay GST and duty! You are not!
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:47 AM   #8
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Are you kidding? So Aus shops don't pay shipping? And being a shop they pay GST and duty! You are not!
yes.. I agree... when doing comparisons between B&M vs online.. you need to compare cost to the door. So shipping must be included. Plus you need to factor in the value of warranty /ability to easily return things that aren't 100% right.

having said that.. I find it difficult to pass up 25% discount offers from online retailers like towerhobbies.
IMO. to make an international online purchase worthwhile, there needs to be a significant savings, to the door. like 30%+
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:48 AM   #9
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By Shipping i meant the shipping from the hobby shop to my front door. As in the parts only cost 87 and 125, i just hadn't got a price for the parts & shipping from the aus store.

I would have to get shipping from both O/S and the Aus store regardless of which i bought from. But if you wish to have that comparison then here it is. From O/S with shipping included the price was AU $105, still $20 cheaper than just the parts from the aus store (and i would still have to pay shipping on top of there price).

For the things i am purchasing i don't see the warranty/ease of return a huge issue. 2 pairs of shock springs, a bunch of 1/10th rims and some connectors. Not your usual return items to be honest.

Although return items would be an issue, for things like electronics. Even so i bought a Venom 120A esc from a store in Sydney and 1 of the wires for the fan pulled out of the plug when i unplugged it. I emailed Venom asking if i could purchase a new one as stores do not stock them, they sent me one free of charge. Not really a return issue though.

Guess it isn't always just a price to price comparison, depending on the purchase though.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:03 AM   #10
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By Shipping i meant the shipping from the hobby shop to my front door. As in the parts only cost 87 and 125, i just hadn't got a price for the parts & shipping from the aus store.
Which is wrong, the shop has paid postage (albeit less per item due to quantity) to get the product into Australia. Shipping would be max $10 overnight for that so say around $135?

At least you have made a comparison to an online shop, not a shopfront which has much higher overheads to keep the doors open.

As corrctly mentioned a couple of posts back, warranty!!!!!!!!! BIG ISSUE!!!! You can get it from reputable dealers O/S but you lose so much in postage.

Yes I do purchase O/S from dealers i can trust. Like you sometimes the $$$ dictates the bottom line. But you have to realise an importer is always going to be behind the 8 ball due to that little bit extra they have to hand over to Little Kevvy, unless they can pull a rippa wholesale deal compared to the O/S guy!

Agreed your items are no warranty issue stuff.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:17 AM   #11
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X5, as i said, turning into something not quite as easy as price to price comparison. nothing is ever easy is it. The things to compare just keep piling up

But in the end even after comparing it to death, the $$$ is what dictates how we buy. Please don't get me wrong, i do not go O/S for everything, i just spent $700 odd at MassiveMods getting a new motor and fuel etc etc etc and they are sponsoring the MT and Truggy titles. Had the extra cash after having to take a break from RC.

Just the way it goes,when i have to watch the $$$ i am more than happy to wait that little bit extra for the parts to arrive.

EDIT: Warranty is a big issue depending on what has to be done.... warranty on an esc or motor will be costly. So far my Venom fan was very cheap and i am expecting a radio tray for the RC8B to arrive shortly as it was faulty in the kit, went straight to AE and they said they will send me a new one.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:19 AM   #12
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My 2c.

Imagine being quoted nearly $500au for a new LRP SPX speedy and LRP 10.5 motor from a local hobby shop. Then searching the internet for all of about 5 minutes and picking them up shipped to my door from the US for $275au. Pretty hard decision that one! I'm sorry but i don't care how much they support the local industry or events or clubs but you'd be mad to shop at those prices. No one wants to pay more than they have to for anything. Whats more disturbing is when you know the LHS cant even buy it for $275au from the local distributor. Funny that isnt it.

For another industry example:

With what i do, a distributor would be lucky to make 10 to 15% on top of their wholesaler's or manufacturers prices. We might make another 20% after we discount a bit to the end customer so all up your talking about a 30 to 35% mark up from the manufacturers price which is common place and considered acceptable. Id like to see some of the margins that these guys are trying to make and I bet the LHS has the smallest margin and it flows from there on up.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:28 AM   #13
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X5, as i said, turning into something not quite as easy as price to price comparison. nothing is ever easy is it. The things to compare just keep piling up

But in the end even after comparing it to death, the $$$ is what dictates how we buy. Please don't get me wrong, i do not go O/S for everything, i just spent $700 odd at MassiveMods getting a new motor and fuel etc etc etc and they are sponsoring the MT and Truggy titles. Had the extra cash after having to take a break from RC.

Just the way it goes,when i have to watch the $$$ i am more than happy to wait that little bit extra for the parts to arrive.

EDIT: Warranty is a big issue depending on what has to be done.... warranty on an esc or motor will be costly. So far my Venom fan was very cheap and i am expecting a radio tray for the RC8B to arrive shortly as it was faulty in the kit, went straight to AE and they said they will send me a new one.
Yes of course the $$$ say it all. You did ask the question why and hopefully I've some info to answer the question.
Wait a little longer? In a lot of cases you get it in half the time from O/S!

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My 2c.

Imagine being quoted nearly $500au for a new LRP SPX speedy and LRP 10.5 motor from a local hobby shop. Then searching the internet for all of about 5 minutes and picking them up shipped to my door from the US for $275au. Pretty hard decision that one! I'm sorry but i don't care how much they support the local industry or events or clubs but you'd be mad to shop at those prices. No one wants to pay more than they have to for anything. Whats more disturbing is when you know the LHS cant even buy it for $275au from the local distributor. Funny that isnt it.

For another industry example:

With what i do, a distributor would be lucky to make 10 to 15% on top of their wholesaler's or manufacturers prices. We might make another 20% after we discount a bit to the end customer so all up your talking about a 30 to 35% mark up from the manufacturers price which is common place and considered acceptable. Id like to see some of the margins that these guys are trying to make and I bet the LHS has the smallest margin and it flows from there on up.
Which is another point I was about to make, the guy selling you the gear might be further down the purchasing chain. ie: he may have purchased this product from a local wholesaler anyway.

With a saving of 50% it's very hard to go passed for sure......
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:38 AM   #14
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Yes of course the $$$ say it all. You did ask the question why and hopefully I've some info to answer the question.
Sure did, and everyones input opens your eyes a little to whole situation. Not just the end price. But at 50% like Benzaah said you'd be made not to go overseas.

Why do we do this hobby anyway? Oh right.... the fun factor! Sure is fun to be broke
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:47 AM   #15
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Why do we do this hobby anyway? Oh right.... the fun factor! Sure is fun to be broke
Amen to that!
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