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Old 07-10-2007, 12:35 PM   #256
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Some people here have had some great ideas on getting new people into racing at your track.

I'd like to add another....anyone who is a seasoned racer should spend 99 bucks for a 1/14th scale RTR Carisma. Put it on the track right out of the box. Everyone I know has the same thing happen...they say "WOW!".

Try it...then race one. The only upgrade you'll need to do is take a y harness from the receiver to power a transponder.

This is the car to hand to a totally new person at a track. It takes a real beating, it runs fast and feels pretty neutral out of the box. And...there's ton's of different body styles.

My thanks to Ron at Duneland Hobbies for letting me try my first Carisma a little while back at his track........
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:14 PM   #257
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Please everyone go out today and buy me a lottery ticket and I promise if I win I'll build a badass indoor onroad offroad superduper complex and let you race there for free! Providing I win more than 10 million of course. Otherwise I'd lose even more money!
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:54 AM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Joe View Post
The thing is...they CAN compete with the internet. One of the best places to buy 1/8th scale parts is Carolina's R/C (DOT COM!)...it's a local track with a shop. I haven't heard that they're hurting...and they have pretty good prices.

Lots of the best places to buy on the web are regular-old shops, with regular-old people working there. They've just decided to get into the pool, rather than standing on the edge, bitching about the people that are already in there swimming.
Are you the owner of one of these? Do you know whats going on financially behind the scenes? A LHS that is not a franchise does not have the bulk buying power a online only facility does. You can argue all you want about its feasible to compete with online, but the fact remains they will get less to possibly even negative returns after factoring shipping and distributor markups depending on the product.

I only know of one shop locally that tries to competes head to head with tower and horizon pricing. He even will pay sales tax on the items for the customers. He makes very little on the sales, and mostly keeps the store open because of being a huge Heli fan. Not sure how long he's going to last though as I heard last month he had maxed out his CC'ds.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:24 AM   #259
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I've just spent some time reading this thread and I'm really bummed out to read that SoCal is closing and is basically beyond saving...Jim & co. are good folks but you can't compete with massively increased rent!

I used to race 3 or 4 times a week in the SoCal area, driving from OC to Simi Valley or other areas just to try out a new parking lot club. I met some of the hardest-working people running clubs just to make a few people happy, including a guy in the Tacoma area that put his life and soul into a club that unfortunately folded a year or so back.

Now I'm in Britain and seeing how a different group of people tackle the same problem of racer turnover.

here are some suggestions or things that people could try:

1. Local shops shouldn't specialize in one type of RC or another, RC is cyclical as it's been mentioned here a few times. If off-road is big in the area right now, stock off-road parts and kits. If/when it moves to on-road, stock parts for those kits. I know this is very simplified but you get the idea.
2. Got a track that just closed? Go open source! SOMEONE somewhere will know about a parking lot that is unused (ask a Wal-Mart or Home Depot manager, etc.), get a cheap laptop and printer off Freecycle.org or eBay, find some free lap timing software, get lumber for barriers off Freecycle, charge a few bucks per entry and get the word out. JUST DO IT.
3. Once you get going and have a few regular members, call a quick meeting with some mature regular racers and see if they'll be officers in the club. If they are willing to take responsibility they'll put a little more effort into things. Organize a set of classes and rules (base them off what you can find at another club or track), get a club charter and ask people to join the club for a yearly fee to get reduced (or free) racing.

I don't mean to make it sound so basic if I have, I'm not trying to insult anyone's intelligence, maybe lots of you here have tried to start clubs (I haven't but I've thought about it, I just don't have the 'people person' type of persona) but I'll bet lots of you here haven't tried it. Check on MySpace or here on RCtech or local websites or shops to see what sort of group (on- or off-road, electric or nitro) needs catering to, and get them to show up.

Some of the clubs in the UK have been around for decades, most of them have permanent tracks (on- or off-road, depending on track), and the shops nearest the clubs cater to the needs of the club members. No shop that I'm aware of is actually directly connected to a club/track, and no shop actually owns a track. Many times, the shop owners are members of a particular club and are at the clubs on club nights or at local events to get the word out. The club members also generally contact shops or distributors or manufacturers to get help, banners, raffle prizes, etc., for the benefit of the club, not themselves, which makes it a self-perpetuating cycle.

I think having a for-profit shop own a track is part of what has led to this big 'crisis' of tracks shutting down - when an entity exists that HAS to put itself first, ahead of other concerns (like a track or club) then of course those other concerns won't matter as much. There's nothing wrong with having to feed your kids or survive as a business, but a club mentality gets people to volunteer their own time for no profit, for the benefit of the club members only, not to make money.

I hope I've been clear... it's disheartening to hear that tracks and shops are shutting down, but right now the focus in the US is on outdoor, dirt tracks - the market will rebound eventually and things will sort themselves out. It's not good if you're a TC racer and your local on-road track has shut, but things can be done in the meantime.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:19 AM   #260
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Default Hmmm?

If On-Road is so "dead", why is it that there are always more people browsing and posting in the On-Road threads than any other threads?
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:21 AM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray3619 View Post
eboogie , im sorry but you dont get it , nothing personal , but your not supporting your local shop , i know you saved alot of money on your stuff , they have less over head , meaning , THEY DONT HAVE A TRACK , im not yelling , but i am very passionate , if you dont have paid spectators , or a tv deal ,its a pay to play hobby , when you say a track opens and does good for awhile and then has trouble , what really happens is there in trouble on day 1 , now the people buy so much on - line , and its just a matter of how long they can take the bleeding , they have to charge the mark-up they do just to stay open and make a meger living , just my opinion and everyones else desereves theres , but stop complaining about the racetracks cosing if your not going to support them , ray
Maybe you didn't read what I posted, I do support the LHS but I don't care who you are, if you are coming back into racing and you are buying all of your equipment at the same time, there isn't a person out there that I know of that would NOT like to save over $600. Here is the deal, if I did go through the hobby shop, that single purchase would not have done a thing to change what happened so I would have spent an extra $600 to support my LHS just to have it close anyway?

Other than my chargers and power supplies, I spent everything I had with the LHS, including a 12th scale kit, servos, parts, bodies, pinions, spurs, lubes, batteries, battery trays, solder etc.....in other words, i bought everything else there so the support was there. that had shit to do with the track closing. I am just as passionate about racing and the hobby and I did everything any person could do to promote the track, got people out to the track and was there to support it every raceday and practice day. So do me a favor, don't tell me that there wasn't any passion in my racing or that I am complaining because the only thing that you have to go off of is what you read, not anything about what you know. I know you are passionate, but don't judge.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:24 AM   #262
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Oh I got this one...

Because offroad racers are racing and onroad racers are viewing posts because all their onroad tracks are closing down
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:47 AM   #263
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:49 AM   #264
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Sad part is they still can`t figure out why no one will pay to race stock in a high speed , glued down 4w ride.....
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:28 AM   #265
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Oh I totally agree on the sandbagging part. I mean I am by no means a great great driver, but I am certainly not bad. I race sportsman on most days, and SOME days i could get away with a mid/back pack expert drive. There are a few reasons I stopped racing TCs.

1) No really nice raceways around. I used to race at Ripon speedway and also at the carpet races up in Norcal and ill tell you, between the high drivers stand, great guys running it, and accurate placement of drivers, I had an amazing time every race. And I always just felt like the difference between the win and a 3/4 finish was setup and driving. I never really felt like the equipment speed came into huge play.

When I moved to Socal, and I race at Socal RC, the sportsman are surely NOT sportsman. I cant race novice, because they ARE novice, but I cant race sportsman because they are all locals who know the surface/track and they spend crazy money on their cars. It really just became pathetic when I didnt touch a single dot all race long, and I finished last. I could not have really run a cleaner line/race.

For me, its a balance of money, and a nice track. If I had a REALLY CLEAN nice track with a great layout and surface, I would go even if I finished last. But not only do I not have that because I am sure its very very expensive for raceways to do that, but I dont have the money to keep up with all the sandbaggers.

So I started racing slot cars again.

(unluckily that didnt work out)

So now im sitting at home waiting for the day I can race my beloved rc cars again.

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Old 07-11-2007, 11:29 AM   #266
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Don't change the subject...the question is whether a "brick and mortar" shop can compete price and service-wise with an online shop. I listed three or four great online shops I buy from that ARE brick-and-mortar shops and presumably local to some people on here.

What is it that gives those shops their super-secret special powers to destroy local stores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oXYnary View Post
Are you the owner of one of these? Do you know whats going on financially behind the scenes? A LHS that is not a franchise does not have the bulk buying power a online only facility does. You can argue all you want about its feasible to compete with online, but the fact remains they will get less to possibly even negative returns after factoring shipping and distributor markups depending on the product.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:34 AM   #267
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G

and

I thought the topic is why sedan tracks R closing down everywhere ?
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:39 AM   #268
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So now im sitting at home waiting for the day I can race my beloved rc cars again.

If you're in SoCal, just pick up a used MF2 or T4 off the sale board (oh wait, that'll hurt your local hobby shop...) and come out to Pegasus Hobbies on Saturday nights.

Nice track, high stand, fun people...good times.

I know what you mean about the sandbagger thing...you see people racing Expert or Sportsman at Rev most nights, then a big race rolls around and they're running Novice or Intermediate just to win a prize.

And yeah..."Sportsman" at SoCal is "Expert" anywhere else. It's always been a pretty fast crowd there.

Last edited by Turbo Joe; 07-11-2007 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:41 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by Wild Cherry View Post
G

and

I thought the topic is why sedan tracks R closing down everywhere ?
I thought it was "indoor tracks"...or more generally shop-owned tracks. That's what it says at the top of the page.

Besides, if you read the post, I was talking about him changing the subject to whether I get to look at the books for Ultimate Hobbies.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:57 AM   #270
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Their super secret is knowing and executing a marketing and sales plan that keeps em in the black. There are alot of well known tracks to us RC enthusiasts, but many are little known, poorly marketed poorly promoted to the average person.

I see the ideal target market for RC is a family with kids in their adolescence to early teens. Parents with income that can afford to spend money on their kids as an alternative to video games, getting kids off the streets etc.

Only problem is the only people you see at hobby shops are geeks(like me), big dudes, etc. Not a whole lot of family action or diversity for that matter.....at least the ones near me. You want to attract the family. Parents have money to spend compared to the teen on grass mowing money. Kids need transportation to and from the track..

Here is an idea. Why not contact your local big talk radio station. Find out what the popular shows are, and tell them that you want to donate prizes to their listeners. Ask to donate 10 $20 gift certificates per month or something to use as giveaways. Alot of radio stations and other media trade product for advertising. By doing so, they mention the business all the time when they are giving the product away, some new listener gets a $20 gift certificate and is enticed to come into the store to find out what it's all about. Have them come in during a race day. Offer a $20 per day loaner package where they can rent a touring car or whatever for the races that day and let them run around the track. SOmeone will fall in love with the hobby, someone will spend money and become a racer. SOme of the other gift certificates will never be redeemed, and the ones that do, they will either spend it on a loaner car for the day, which cost the shop a nominal amount, or buy a kit and the hope is that the $20 certificate only ate the profit on the first item...and they will come back for more. Net cost is zero if done properly.

Just an idea to bring more folks into the hobby..

I do small business development, and find that these "free" ways of marketing are the best way to generate new customers.
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