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Old 06-29-2007, 11:47 AM   #31
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I'm blaming a lot of this on the fully sponsored guys running stock... The new guy is the one who's buying all his parts and kits from their LHS and the sponsored guys aren't....

We have 2 tracks left that are close... 1 Off Road and 1 on road.. Problem is that the on road track is a fully stocked multi level hobby shop that caters to everything from Trains to RC's to Models and such... The RC Racer is hardly any of their business... The track is open on limited days and last years trophy events were invitation only... The owner does not want his limited parking, that he has to share with a lot of other businesses, being taken up by people who are going to be spending no more than the entrance fee...

It's probably time to bring Club racing back to the Clubs and take the cars back to the parking lots... I foresee a market for shaft drive tubs coming back... I went out to a friendly parking lot race last weekend and can't wait till sunday... It was the most fun I've had in this hobby in a long time... It's also a ball to see a 5th scale, 8th scale and 10th scale all buzzing around together...
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:48 AM   #32
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To the "online hurts the LHS" line...I say

Most of the online places I buy from are someone else's LHS. If a shop is bound and determined to not sell parts at a competitive price, then too bad for them.

If Speedtech (local to me...) or A-main, Carolina's (or wherever) can keep the doors open on a shop selling tires at a decent price, I'll be damned if I'm paying $15 a pair for Sorexes at the local shop just to throw them a bone and keep them going. It takes two to tango...I like them, but I'm not going to throw money away just to make them happy.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:58 AM   #33
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batteries are the biggest downfall no question reliability has been junk since gp3300's I said that a little while back in the trinity ep thread.

brushless helps a little, but not much.

From a local track owner you want to know who are the biggest cheap skates? (from our tracks point of view)

onroad drivers they won't buy unless its online even if you discount parts in your shop. our tire prices are what they are online which is hard to do for a small shop just to get them to buy tires threre. Everything in our shop is at least 10% off and people whine. big items are 10% over cost + tax and whats sad is sometimes even at that we can't beat some online prices.

Towerhobbies is whats wrong with the rc industry. Great planes shouldn't be allowed to compete with its customers. There are other cut throats too but tower is the worst... of course they will be cheaper they are working off the distributor price not the dealer cost...

The best customers are oval customers b/c the availability to get parts online is far less as most stores unless they are niche oval companies stock those parts so they are loyal by default.

Dirt is 2nd best and by a large margin over onroad. Again we discount tires a lot more to get them to buy from us, but they do buy most parts through us...

Dirt is bigger so the volume is bigger, but they make up 90% of all sales in our hobby shop.

Our track is not doing well financially as well due to a total lack of support by all the tracks oval, onroad, and dirt during the summer. Everyone races outdoors which I understand, but where we are at location wise that isn't an option. So if we don't do a landfall business during our 5 months of winter then we would have to close up shop. As is its month to month.

Unfortunately most people never think about supporting the track till its gone...

We are lucky to have a couple of racers that want to keep the track open or we'd already be gone. I for one have dumped in thousands to keep it open and after a while that gets old from an owners point of view b/c most of the time you can't race or have fun at your own track with running races, hobby shop, concessions or whatever so at the end of the day if the owner is a racer he could take that money and travel all over the US and enjoy racing LOL
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:03 PM   #34
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I tell you what turbo joe if shop/track owners took your approach then I think tracks should charge a $50 entry fee and tell all the racers if they don't like it to ask towerhobbies or amain to open up a track in their area.

I understand what you mean and some hobbyshops are retail+ and I do agree, but I think meeting the shop/track halfway isn't too much to ask.

We mark down the consumable as much as we can to meet online pricing, but parts are just 10% off retail. like I said at 10% over cost on radio's chargers etc. we are just barely competing with tower etc. thats the real problem big wholesalers undercutting prices...
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:04 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Turbo Joe View Post
To the "online hurts the LHS" line...I say

Most of the online places I buy from are someone else's LHS. If a shop is bound and determined to not sell parts at a competitive price, then too bad for them.

If Speedtech (local to me...) or A-main, Carolina's (or wherever) can keep the doors open on a shop selling tires at a decent price, I'll be damned if I'm paying $15 a pair for Sorexes at the local shop just to throw them a bone and keep them going. It takes two to tango...I like them, but I'm not going to throw money away just to make them happy.
Hopefully you will be able to enjoy racing sewer lid to sewer lid outside your house....
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:04 PM   #36
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I'm glad someone else mentioned clubs. This is the biggest thing we don't have anymore.They have gone the way of the 1/10th pan car (road course).Racing in parking lots is gone. With permanent tracks hidden and no exposure it hard to get someone excited about spending there money.Quit whinning about sponsored drivers is stock. They have been there since the beginning. They didn't just show up for the first time at the track and get sponsorship. Maybe they practiced some- know how to set a car up?But there will always be sponored drivers is every class.
When I first started racing I was sponsored and about 3/4 of the club I was in got sponsored.I still could beat some of the others and it wasn't the equipment.I had better stuff- they could just out drive me or would do thing to make me lose my focus during the race.I would see them coming and that was it. I still do the same thing but I have fun at my hobby.That's all it is a hobby to us. To the LHS it there business!If you can't sell them cars and parts then race entries and Food.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:09 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by racenut123 View Post
Not trying to be funny Chris,but you have it made in SOCAL.There are as many offroad tracks as 7-11's down there.Try offroad.You won't look back.I am not kidding.
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I'm working on it...
i had a blast last time Joe let me run his B3.. talk about "lawn dart". but its just not as fun as touring in my opinion. lets see what happens.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:16 PM   #38
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Turbo Joe,
You're signing the tune of someone who still has a local track to race on.

I put money into my LHS and the tracks I race at to ensure they have the best shot at continuing to give me a place to race. It would be wise if the majority of hobbyists wised up to the consequences of their actions, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:39 PM   #39
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Default chickens coming home to roost

Several tracks close and everyone is in a panic. No one saw this coming for the last few years?

Let's see:
A battery matcher comes on and says a problem is the batteries, but few want to run lipo, which:
1) don't fail unless abused
2) don't fall off unless abused
3) don't require maintenance
Instead we use the wonderful IB batteries which have poor reliability. Add to that the push to lower voltage to save the electronics, versus the push for higher voltage cells in racing. A good matched pack sells for $60 and lasts for how many runs before it falls off. Racers spend how many $ on battery packs that don't last? No one saw this coming?

All of the newer high end cars, which are 95% of what is raced by die hard racers cost $600 without electronics to get on the track, $1000 + with everything. Corally, Losi, Associated, Xray all come out with new cars that are $400 for the kit alone (never mind the options needed to be competitive.) No one saw this coming?

Foam tires are now available in many compounds which cost $35-$40 per 4 tires/wheels. You can go to pep boys and buy 4 low end real car tires for $80. Rubber tires/wheels cost $35 for 4 and last 5 runs before falling off. No one saw this coming?

The only thing that hasn't gone downhill are the brushed stock motors, which for $32 each (co27) is a downright bargain.

There are many things killing on road. The tracks closing are simply a leading indicator of the general state of on road rc racing.

Most tracks run on a shoestring budget anyway. Several hicups come along and they are gone. The shops that are hobby stores with other product lines are not susceptible to these hicups. These hobby stores are in retail locations and get exposure from the other product lines. Racing has rarely made money and I feel sorry financially for those who put in their time, effort and MONEY into tracks so that others can race for a few dollars. They subsidize racing for everyone else. WHY SHOULD THEY DO THIS?

It is time that tracks stop acting like charities and start acting like businesses. This means:
1) use handout motors for racing
2) use handout tires for racing
3) charge everyone for racing/practice. No one gets a freebie.
4) Raise the price to race to $20 and practice to $10, and make everyone pay it.

At this rate, their will be NO indoor tracks left who don't rely on:
1) a full product hobby store to pay the bills
2) a rich owner who doesn't care about making money.

And to those that say the economy is firing on all cylinders, stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and look at some of the financial data. Even if everyone was doing great financially, does that mean it is ok to spend $2k to race a toy car?
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:41 PM   #40
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I tell you what turbo joe if shop/track owners took your approach then I think tracks should charge a $50 entry fee and tell all the racers if they don't like it to ask towerhobbies or amain to open up a track in their area.

I understand what you mean and some hobbyshops are retail+ and I do agree, but I think meeting the shop/track halfway isn't too much to ask.

We mark down the consumable as much as we can to meet online pricing, but parts are just 10% off retail. like I said at 10% over cost on radio's chargers etc. we are just barely competing with tower etc. thats the real problem big wholesalers undercutting prices...
I've bought a couple things here and there from Tower (OS stuff), but for the most part, their prices aren't that good. Speedtech can and does beat them on parts. Usually, Tower is higher than local stores unless you buy just right with a coupon...and that isn't very often.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:44 PM   #41
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I've been working on my 5th scale all week... I'll use a half a gallon of gasoline and that's it.... Only kicker is when I need new tires... about $150 for a set of 4... But they last longer than my 0th scale tires do...
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:44 PM   #42
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Default hobby store pricing

Since the majority of racers buy things mail order or used, does it make sense for hobby stores to carry large on road r/c inventories? It is much easier to charge more for racing and keep only consumables in stock. Since tower won't open a track to run on, why not charge MORE for the one thing you can't mail order, the track?
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:49 PM   #43
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I believe that off road is more tollerant of "rubbin"
Ive raced down there since 98, driving from Oklahoma and I can tell you hacking is not something new to the onroad racers lol. I think rough driving seems to be more accepted hobby wide. I certainly try not to drive that way, but you can only get ran over so many times before you get fed up.

btw... you going to the next Tulsa race? lol
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:52 PM   #44
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Turbo Joe,
You're signing the tune of someone who still has a local track to race on.

I put money into my LHS and the tracks I race at to ensure they have the best shot at continuing to give me a place to race. It would be wise if the majority of hobbyists wised up to the consequences of their actions, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Why not have the shop sell parts at a competitive price and charge a reasonable price for the track rental? If the track doesn't pay the freight, you can't just keep over-charging the parts customers, because the parts customers are really one who pay the freight, square foot-wise.

Revelation has a store...and their prices are decent on most things, but they don't do electric at all. If it came down to where I'm going to buy Losi parts...losipartshouse.com kicks ass and they sell at 10-20% off list...and it's a regular-old "brick and mortar" shop right down the freeway from me (but I buy online).

Where should I buy Losi parts at?

Hobbytown right on the corner(full list, not many parts on the hook)

Losipartshouse.com (have everything, great prices)

Revelation (don't have anything electric, all special order)?

Just trying to get this discussion back to earth.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:54 PM   #45
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Since the majority of racers buy things mail order or used, does it make sense for hobby stores to carry large on road r/c inventories? It is much easier to charge more for racing and keep only consumables in stock. Since tower won't open a track to run on, why not charge MORE for the one thing you can't mail order, the track?
Exactly...it's all about used here...LOL...

The solution to $400 touring cars? Wait a month and buy it for $200 used with spares.

BTW -- $20-30 to practice and race on a nice track with amenities (power, lights, decent PA, restrooms) would totally be worth it. I think the cheapskates are the guys who want to practice and race all day for $8. That's not paying your share.

I'm not paying $15 for two rubber bands when I can buy them at 10 other places for <$10 a pair from US places or as low as $7 from an offshore place. The guys that sell them for $10 are keeping the doors open somehow...while the guys selling them for $15 are having a rough time...too bad.
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