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Old 07-14-2007, 02:01 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by Ed237 View Post
Anyone who tries to operate a track and a hobby store needs to understand that one should have nothing to do with the other.

The track/store owners make their case "Buy from me and pay more because I give you a track to race on" but the perception will always be:

The store/track owners usually have higher incomes than their customers, get everything they need at cost, and dont pay race fees which naturally leads to some resentment.
Whoa, talk about a baseless argument. I would hate to live off the income of a small retail store owner. I used to own a business selling similar markup aftermarket automotive parts and was one of the biggest in the region and I was not even pulling in 35K a year in income. Not exactly the lap of luxury. Many of my customers made far more then I did. That was pushing $500,000-$750,000 of merchandise a year. Overhead, employees, expenses, etc ate all of my profits. Now, a hobby shop owner sells a much lower profit margin product, works with a much smaller consumer base, and has just as much overhead. Talk about an equation of poverty. That is why i got out of retail. Most self employed folks work 60+ hrs a week. I would make more at a $15.00/hr construction job with no headaches, employees, broken stuff to fix, etc. That was a reality check for me. Luckily I want bck into my major of Finance and never looked back.

If my local track owner drives a new BMW or a Mercedes, I would second guess this argument, but until that happens, your argument is squashed.
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:35 PM   #347
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That may be true, but reality doesnt mean a thing. Its the perception that counts and its impossible to overcome. You didnt understand my argument at all.

There are no doctors, lawyers, day traders, real estate moguls, or guys who got rich off the interenet where I race. I can assure you most all of the guys I see at the track all have incomes well under 6 figures and make less or have less than the guys who own the tracks/hobby stores.

What is the demographic of the average racer? I dont know, but I would guess someone who is mechanically inclined, probably works with their hands, makes under $75k, 16-40 year old males. (Mostly). So even though the economy is incredibly good right now and we have record low unemployment, the guys who race, dont really have that much more to spend than they did 5years ago.

Isnt that really the problem: The wealthy people are out there, but they are chosing not to race RC vehicles. And were left arguing over if the correct race day fee should be $15 or $20.

No matter why Track or Hobby Store Owners post here, you will get no sympathy. At times, this is a nasty, distastefull business. We all know that. But dont blame the racers or customers or potential customers for failure. You run the tracks you sell the kits and control practically everthing. If it works - great. I'm happy for you and I hope you make a boatload of cash.

But if it doesnt, its not because someone bought a part on line. Its because you didnt understand your market or had a poor business plan or couldnt manage it properly.

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Old 07-14-2007, 02:46 PM   #348
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The perception that the track or store owner is a rich man is typically held only by youth that do not work. Once one start holding down a 40hr/wk job, one would realize that the life of a track owner who works 60+ hrs a week is not a life that one would chose to have. I had he same stereotypes when I had my shop. High school kids that couldn't afford to put gas in their cars thought I was rich, and my more mature clients with families and jobs always asked how we were doing. And those that have the falicy that they can get rich running a hobby shop and track try to start their own and most miserably fail.

I don't have books of the local track to back up my statement, but just by looking at the appearance of a typical store owner, the way he/she carries himself, the car he drives and the location of the shop, I wouldn't turn down my 6 figure occupation to run a shop... This holds true in all niche hobbies.

The RC hobby is more diverse then one would think though.
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:22 PM   #349
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I think prices need to be raised. Racers can afford an increase in prices as I've seen hundreds of racers purchase too many chargers or w/ they don't need. Why can't a B4 be around $300? People can afford it and it will help the hobby shops around the world. It may be alot to ask but it compares to nothing when your racing MX or ATV's.
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:37 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by Ed237 View Post
That may be true, but reality doesnt mean a thing. Its the perception that counts and its impossible to overcome. You didnt understand my argument at all.

There are no doctors, lawyers, day traders, real estate moguls, or guys who got rich off the interenet where I race. I can assure you most all of the guys I see at the track all have incomes well under 6 figures and make less or have less than the guys who own the tracks/hobby stores.

What is the demographic of the average racer? I dont know, but I would guess someone who is mechanically inclined, probably works with their hands, makes under $75k, 16-40 year old males. (Mostly). So even though the economy is incredibly good right now and we have record low unemployment, the guys who race, dont really have that much more to spend than they did 5years ago.

Isnt that really the problem: The wealthy people are out there, but they are chosing not to race RC vehicles. And were left arguing over if the correct race day fee should be $15 or $20.

No matter why Track or Hobby Store Owners post here, you will get no sympathy. At times, this is a nasty, distastefull business. We all know that. But dont blame the racers or customers or potential customers for failure. You run the tracks you sell the kits and control practically everthing. If it works - great. I'm happy for you and I hope you make a boatload of cash.

But if it doesnt, its not because someone bought a part on line. Its because you didnt understand your market or had a poor business plan or couldnt manage it properly.
Ed you made the same observation I did. But I know where the "rich" people are; they're flying airplanes!
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:39 PM   #351
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I think prices need to be raised. Racers can afford an increase in prices as I've seen hundreds of racers purchase too many chargers or w/ they don't need. Why can't a B4 be around $300? People can afford it and it will help the hobby shops around the world. It may be alot to ask but it compares to nothing when your racing MX or ATV's.
Won't work. Read up on economics. Prices are what they are because that's what people are willing to pay. Raise prices, and less people will buy.
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:41 PM   #352
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jim, yes, big airplanes and 3D helicopters are vastly more expensive than touring cars. The transmitters those guy use are enough to feed a high-end TC budget for a whole year. Transmitters, of course, are a tiny portion of their RC budget.
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:42 PM   #353
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I think there isn't enough TV advertisements. On Saturday morning you see all the toys advertised. Why not have commercials about R/C on TV during the football, basketball, baseball, Indy, Nascar, and boat racing events. Most people don't have a clue where to go buy. They don't even know what differance there is between 2 speed forward, L/R turn toys and variable speed proportional steering cars. Other than seeing a Hobby People ad on TV once in a while, I never see any TV ads for R/C in general. No local newspaper ads anywhere. Flyers at the local mall or supermarkets near the track. How can people be reached if noone brings it into thier home.
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:51 PM   #354
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RC is too niche of a hobby to be mass marketed and get a good return on investment. What might be a counter idea is to get hobby level RC into normal consumer stores at affordable prices. Inside each package include a list of local hobby shops/tracks.
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:04 PM   #355
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Won't work. Read up on economics. Prices are what they are because that's what people are willing to pay. Raise prices, and less people will buy.
If people are willing to pay $700 for a STR or SP2 then why not a little more for the cheaper kits? I am talking about the hobby shops. Discounting given to beginners and the young ones so that they aren't scarred of the prices to race. When they get hooked and older with a bigger allowance they can afford to help support the track and shop.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:12 PM   #356
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Racers, be it RC or full scale, are probably some of the cheapest bastards on the planet! They will go out of their way to save a nickel. Also, why pay full price at the track when you can get it for 20% off at your regular hobby shop

"Support the track? If he wants me to support him, he needs to lower his prices."

That is an actual quote from a racer.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:52 PM   #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml View Post
Racers, be it RC or full scale, are probably some of the cheapest bastards on the planet! They will go out of their way to save a nickel. Also, why pay full price at the track when you can get it for 20% off at your regular hobby shop

"Support the track? If he wants me to support him, he needs to lower his prices."

That is an actual quote from a racer.
The margin was much more than 20% difference... (It wasn't me who said that quote...)
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:56 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by jiml View Post
Racers, be it RC or full scale, are probably some of the cheapest bastards on the planet! They will go out of their way to save a nickel. Also, why pay full price at the track when you can get it for 20% off at your regular hobby shop

"Support the track? If he wants me to support him, he needs to lower his prices."

That is an actual quote from a racer.
Thats sad, I don't like some of my LHS's prices but its the only one I have. Besides ones in New Orleans over a hour away.
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:35 PM   #359
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We were 45 min. away from racing today and a guy wanted to run his 1/8th scale around the track. They asked him to pay his $5 like everyone else and he got pissed about it. $5! Just shows the mentality of some of the people we deal with trying to run a race program. He can afford a $500 car but not $5 to race like everyone else. I've posted before about what a hobby shop makes and I guess it just doesn't soak in. We personally marked kits up about $25 over cost to allow the racers a chance to get started. Parts we usually give a racers discount which lowers the profit alot overall. Now I'm talking a small hobby shop. Lets say we sell 10 kits a week and make $25 on each one. And they need parts for these kits. 40% mark up. So maybe another $20 profit on parts. So this week we made $450. Take that employee's salary from that. Minimum wage of course and you wonder why he has an attitude. So take $260 from that $450. Hmmmm....that only leaves $190 for the week. Now we have to take expenses out of that. See where I'm going? And you guys want to buy online.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:39 PM   #360
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Economy has been mentioned on this thread alot but I think a better word is value. I have raced a long time (20 yrs) and if anything, the expensive stuff has gotten alot cheaper relative to inflation. Batteries used to cost $80-$100 a pack for anything considered top end, mod motors cost the same $69-$79 that they do now. Stock racing has always had the same problem; there's nothing "stock" about it aside from the motor. I think lipo is the answer to cause a resurgence in electric. A technology freeze in thr rules would help too. A guarantee that the technology won't change fast enough to put a bad taste in the mouths of racers that are tired of racing their competitor's equipment instead of their skills.

The reason that tracks close is lack of profit. There's not enough designed into the products they sell to stay out of the red. Store owners can change their practices but most shop/track owners are not extremely astute business people, they are passionate racers.
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