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Old 02-01-2007, 09:57 AM   #1
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Default LHS prices vs Online Retailers

Was I wrong in thinking that the LHS prices would at least be $1 less!??!

I planned to fulfill my noob dreams this morning and woke up after only 5 hours of sleep so I could get a sweet nitro car. Sadly enough, my LHS doesn't even have a price list to look at. Instead you have to ask how much every vehicle is. I mean, is it so hard to compile a price list when you must at least have an inventory for the store?! And they only had 3 cars in stock. And naturally they were trying to sell me the most expensive one, a $479 Tmaxx 3.3.

Anyway, the prices are totally outrageous to say the least.

I know I'd get better support and advice if I bought the car/truck from them instead of an online retailer, but is it worth the $30-$80 more?!

I don't think so.

I walked in there thinking I'd be able to get a Traxx or Associated Nitro RTR for less than $300.

WHoooooops.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:16 AM   #2
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Usually LHS are more expensive than the online retailers.
If you have a local hobby shop near where you live and they are knowledgeable on the products and about RC (and not just a hobby/toy/craft store); I would recommend purchasing from the LHS.
I would also recommend purchasing a vehicle that the LHS has some stock of spare parts for on the shelf.
In my opinion; you should support your LHS if at all possible.
The LHS I mainly deal with is pretty competitive with many of the online retailers (sometimes cheaper). If your LHS is fairly decent and staffed with knowledgeable people; you won't regret it when you have trouble with your vehicle. Plus you can meet other people interested in RC or might even be able to get involved in racing through the LHS.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:36 AM   #3
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I have seen two mindsets at LHS. One where they price things within reason to what online guys sell it for, and those who start the price at msrp.

I would say when you go to buy the item from the LHS, ask them if you buy a bunch of items from them, if they may give you a discount on a package purchase. The worse thing they could say is no. To me at least, knowing they could sell about 500 worth of stuff and have a repeat customer by discounting them about 10 - 20 bucks would be worth it.

In general for myself, I usually bought kits online and most to all my parts from the hobbyshop. The kits online however was due to the fact that the LHS when I was in Connecticut was pricing there kits about $50 - $80 more than even the normal priced online places. But I did buy parts from them at retail, and assisted with track setup and built the tracks often for the friday carpet stadium truck races over jumps on my own.

As there is no LHS where I live now, I have to buy online other than fuel which I purchase when I make the trip to WWNH about 3 hrs away. I also pickup some items too that they have if I need them as they are really nice there too.

You will also see at alot of hobbyshops that charge a repair fee that if you are buying stuff from them in quanity, they are more willing to work on your stuff and not make mention of the normal repair charge.

Main thing to take away is this, its always great to support your LHS, but that doesn't mean you need to be a complete lemming about it either.
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:52 PM   #4
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Just go with the wallet saver!!! And make sure the lhs has your parts or talk him into it!!! My lhs sells everything at MSRP. Wanted to get me my Losi xxx nt sport. At $400.00 plus I pay for what it cost to ship it What a joker! So I went to ultimate hobbies and got it for 299.95 free shipping and will only buy fuel and glow plugs from him... But Ill buy my parts online.... Just buy the obvious extra parts....Or ones that you know will be perishing the most.. After a while you will get a hunch for that sort of thing!!!!
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:12 PM   #5
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If you don't buy from the LHS, they might not be there long enough to buy the next gallon of fuel, or the next pair of brushes. It cost the hobby shop: rent, lights, heat, inventory, track repair, ect.... all of that $ has to come from somewhere. I have seen at least 5 hobby shops go under in my area in the past. So I do support my hobby shop. I have big $$$$$ tied up in the rc world. If I lose the lhs, I lose a place to race, bench race, buy parts to run the next day, or what ever.

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Old 02-01-2007, 02:39 PM   #6
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I wanna know what nitro RTR you can get for less then 300 bucks.

I will always support my LHS! I live in jersey and I know of many people that come to my LHS from Brooklyn to but kits , parts , fuel. Like stated above if you don't support your local hobby shop it WILL NOT be there .
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:10 PM   #7
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My LHS is called UPS or FEDEX. I don't buy into the argument that I should pay higher prices just so the local hobby shop can stay in business. I have yet to hear a compelling reason for doing this.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:17 PM   #8
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Generally speaking the margins in the R/C industry are very low, especially on kits. It is kind of like CD's. Best Buy, Walmart, Target, ect... can sell a new release for $10 (which is about a 1-2 dollars profit at most). They sell it at the low price when they will sell lots (The high number of units moved allows the lower price). The corner record stores could not afford to only make a dollar on an item with an $18 list retail price. So they charged more, now we are seeing these corner stores close shop.

Hobby shops are similar. Retail space costs much more to rent per square foot than a warehouse (which a mail order operatiion sells from). The LHS has higher operating costs and less volume. On a kit the average mailorder house makes at best 10%, probably more like 5% of the selling price in profit. Most LHS can't afford to make that little on a $300 investment. Hobby shops make money on hop-ups, electronics, and replacement parts. (it's the razor/razorblade business model). The local hobby shop will almost always charge more than mailorder.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:53 PM   #9
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They all have great points and should listen to them My hobbie shop is really lame though so ...... Arts trains ,,, junk like that and he just sells a few good brand nitros tooo. Support your wallet... Know matter how much in debt you are over this hobby,,,kinda like a drug this hobby!!! do what you want.. I buy online period!!
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J C F D
I wanna know what nitro RTR you can get for less then 300 bucks.

I will always support my LHS! I live in jersey and I know of many people that come to my LHS from Brooklyn to but kits , parts , fuel. Like stated above if you don't support your local hobby shop it WILL NOT be there .
Under 300.00 RTR great buy Badass truck!
Log on to ultimatehobbies under 1/10 offrad nitro RTR ..... See the Losi xxx nt RTR $299.95 Frreeee Shhiiipppiinngg!!!!!!
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:38 PM   #11
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Lowgeared,
I agree totally. The person that started this thread is on a budget. The online retailers have brought more people into this hobby than any LHS ever could. The result is we have one more racer at the track who otherwise would still be in sticker shock and looking for another hobby.
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:50 PM   #12
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I have the best of both worlds...LOL...a couple of the better "online" stores are local to me.

Steve at Speedtech is 15-20 minutes from here and so is Ultimate...but I'd rather shop at Speedtech any day of the week. Better prices, better parts and 10,000 times better service.

I used to buy most of my stuff from HobbytownUSA right up the street, but their prices are usually 20-40% higher than what the market price is. They all buy theor stuff from the same places and -- assuming Steve manages to put food on the table selling his stuff cheaper -- I don't feel the need to subsidize Hobbytown by paying extra. They never have what I want ("Shim, what's a shim?" ) when I want it. Steve does...at a great price.

Every place is local to somebody. Buy where you get good service and a good price.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:00 PM   #13
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I've tried to help my local guys out, but from now on Im ONLY supporting the one at my track, as the one closest to my work is slow on getting things in (still waiting on a month long order of Step Pins) and NEVER call me if its in.

The other one is very nice, we race there, but its so far sometimes for me that I can only go there when we race. My other alternative is Stormer Hobbies, especially if I buy a lot at once.
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:07 PM   #14
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Unless you have a good friendship with a LHS manager or owner Youre biting your own buck Hobbytownusa is pretty expensive we have one here in Indianapolis and I refuse to go there... Towerhobbies is my main shopping center ,,,, now that LOSI is part of my life, I will probably shop at A- Main now unless somebody can direct me to a great online store for losi parts!!!! HINT HINT

Oh ya this might seem like the dumptser diving move of the year for yall!!!! Find a pawn shop that carry scrap rollers and junk that knowone wants anymore... never know when you might find the love of your life sitting on the shelf ready for eloctronics!!!
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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LowGeared,
I think Stormer hobbies has just about every Losi part ever made. I used them when I was running my MF2 last summer. I'm running a Kyosho MP777 WC now and use AMain hobbies. I've never had any problems from either. Both have great prices and various shipping methods. I started racing in the mid 80's, I remember not being able to race for weeks waiting on parts. I also used to buy two cars and use one of them for spares. Now I can break something on sunday and a new one is on my doorstep Tuesday.
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