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Old 06-29-2007, 12:59 PM   #46
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Maybe its because tracks are flooded with "sponsored" racers that don't support the local hobby shop anymore.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:00 PM   #47
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Its all fine and dandy to say tracks can charge more, but racers would throw a fit I honestly think some would rather the track close than pay $5 more.
even though they have $2000 in a rc car.

and all racers think you should be paying out either half the money in cash or gift certificates that you take in for entries. Dirt is the WORST for this for some reason they think they should get paid for being mediocre local racers... must be the dirt bike backgrounds??? LOL

if all tracks formed a union we could charge $30 and entry and not have to waste money on hobby shops sounds good to me I could dump all my inventory and spend that money on the tracks and building to make it look nicer...
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:00 PM   #48
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All hobbies cost money to enjoy

and buying online does keep racers racing ,mainly coz it saves you money end off

as for LHS not stocking other company's stuff
well it's coz the LHS owners like to deal with 1 big distributer ,instaed off dealing with 4-5 little company's to keep things in check (less paper work ) LHS owners have a easier life dealing with less account's


on a side note re;; track closure
over here in the UK a certain local club (maritime) is moving house soon ,at the mo they have a tight indoor place & they are
moving to a building complex that will house 3 different tracks 1/10th / ministock/1/12th & off road (all indoors & carpet

the 1/10th track will be 30 meters long (about 15 meters wide,approx) (very big compared to what we have now indoors (hell it even puts some outdoor tracks to shame

and there members numbers are well up ,not so much with the big time charlies, but more for newcomers & club racers )

not sure what the magic formula he has ?/ but it works for the lower league drivers
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:01 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by DavidAlford View Post
Maybe its because tracks are flooded with "sponsored" racers that don't support the local hobby shop anymore.

now that does hold true
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:08 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by EAMotorsports View Post
Yes online does hurt as well for some part. When I go somewhere to race I always take time to go through the hobby shop and purchase something while I am there. Most places have something that you need or will eventually use.

I know I try to keep track of where the guys that buy stuff from me are racing at. I have asked a lot of my repeat customers why their hobbyshops will not carry my stuff there and have even contacted them on my own. Most are just to lazy to email or call in a simple order. I have pricing setup so shops can make good profits on stuff and NOT have to compete with my pricing on line as it's set on the higher side for that reason!

EA
I'd have to agree with the LHS being lazy. I would happily buy from my LHS if they would stock anything I needed. They will only order from a single distributor and if they don't carry it, forget about it.

Example....6 out of 10 TCs at our track are a single brand. Walk into the LHS, do you find ANY parts for that brand of car. NOPE. They complain that we don't buy from them but won't carry the parts we need. Its crazy.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:22 PM   #51
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Let's remember Distributors are just sellers...and they force LHS to follow the payment rules, orders rules..etc.
some shops can't afford to deal multiple distributors....whether it be credit issues...payment term issues and the biggest of all PRICING TIER ISSUES. Which LHS can compete with Towerhobbies/Great Plains? Someone please name 1!!!!!!

I've seen what my LHS pays for stuff at "wholesale" and it's darn near close to the online prices at Towers.
What other retail segment only makes 10 to 30% mark up.....not many...most retail (clothing, electronics or whatever) mark up is over 100% at least.
The Distributors expect the LHS to sell items at MSRP...which is almost 100% percent markup. when they send their pricing info to the LHS it always has some ridiculously fictitious suggest price. But yet the Distributors don't follow it themselves....they intentionally undercut the small shops/tracks.
Consumable is the only thing a LHS can get a decent return on...bodies, tires, etc....that mark up is somewhere around 25 to 50% percent but that group of items is small.

here is an option for those guys who really want to support a LHS with a track.

look at it from their side...if they stock parts for a specific car...
just because someone says this needs to be on the shelf...

what happens if you don't buy the part after they have ordered it?
they are stuck with it....dead stock..which has to be paid on usually Net 10 (maybe Net 15) for small shops or prepay before order is processed.

What I've done is pre-paid for my part orders...that way the LHS knows that the goods won't get stuck on their shelves. Which in turn they try and match the online pricing or provide a little price break for going with them.
I have yet to experience and LHS saying they won't do that....money upfront talks ..TheY order it and "maybe" I'll buy the stuff later just is a waste of time.

Just an example:
I wanted to try GRP foam tires...store wasn't very receptive to initially buying 3 or 4 sets out of pocket and hoping they would sell at the track since Jaco and Parma do well. So I told em I'll pay for 2 set up front....and if the 3rd set didn't sell within 2 weeks i would buy them also....they ordered 4 sets ...all sold that weekend...

Please also consider....I don't mind paying a small percentage over online pricing....since the store has to handle the parts/product....
time spent validating the order
time spent validating the accepted shipment
time spent inputting into stock (in order to process a receipt).
Time is money....
and the other benefit is...i don't have to wait on the post office/UPS the LHS can deal with that for me

9 times out of 10....LHS can't return an item to a distributor without taking a bit hit on return fees.
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Last edited by olhipster1; 06-29-2007 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:32 PM   #52
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we used to carry parts for 3+ touring cars associated (still do) and jrxs still carry some and mainly xray b/c that's what most run I run corally but don't stock it just for myself. a guy has a tamiya car but why would I carry parts for 1 person?

hobbyshops to make money need to buy what sells not what sits on shelves. consumables #1 and then stock parts for the majority.

we stock asc and losi for offroad. anything else has to be ordered... takes care of 90% of the people.

shops get stuck with a lot of dead stock on special orders... I've started doing half up front so people won't walk away from it.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:28 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by DavidAlford View Post
Maybe its because tracks are flooded with "sponsored" racers that don't support the local hobby shop anymore.
How true...I like your signature

I used to race TC and didn't like the fact that kits cost up to $600 and a new one came out every year. In our heads, in order to be fast, you have to have the newest stuff. It must be better right?

This is the reason I switched solely to 12th scale. The car design hasn't changed in the last 15 years. Parts are interchangeable, cars/tires/batteries are cheaper....and 8 min races

Here in San Antonio the only classes that have survived are 1/12 and 1/10 nitro. TC is all but dead.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:39 PM   #54
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I'm 3 hours from a "local" track. But I still make sure that when I go to one I spend money there.
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:52 PM   #55
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Even buying drinks and chips from your local track helps. Spend your money there and let them know your glad to help them stay open.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:07 PM   #56
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David:: Mike's is prolly the largest indoor facility in the U.S., what is your take on the low attendance??? I don't think it's the prices... I know it is all the other gear, heli and planes helps keep it open. Offroad is consistant. What is your take looking in?

I know in the past month, other than the series race, maybe we formed a heat. I recall running with the Recoils or 1/18's just to get to run.
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Old 06-29-2007, 04:18 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by vtl1180ny View Post
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...
We've done this in my area and it's been a huge success to just keep local racing alive. We don't have an official "club" but a bunch of die hards to help set up, tear down, run races, and access to many resources due to having so many different people involved and helping out. We've now got people racing with us again that have not raced anything in 10 years. No one is running a $600 TC. We have TC4 RTR's, Cyclone S's, TC3's, TAO5R's, and some FT TC4's. Many of our racers are also supporting the LHS. I hear he's having one of his best years ever this year. We did all this because our local indoor track closed about 4 years ago, and we've gotten tired of driving 2+ hours to race somewhere. In my city, onroad is where it's at right now. Our formula...keeping it simple, and our parking lot is in a BUSY location, giving us a TON of exposure.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:21 PM   #58
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The way it seems the industry is heading is the way of Nitro Offroad and Small scale indoor. Working for a parts distributor/ On-line store we have seen a great market to get into which is not saturated, and that is small scale R/C.

Outdoor offroad tracks don't have as big of an overhead as an indoor carpet or offroad since it is usually outside, with no building covering it.

With indoor micro scale racing (Mini-Zs, M18s, RC18s, etc) You need far less covered indoor space so your overhead is cut back heavily. Not to mention the parts are much cheaper and the technology allowed for racing is far more advanced than what is accepted in the larger scales. Li-po and brushless is heavily accepted and the standard for 18th scale. Neo Mags in motors and $10 for a set of AAA's are are the norm for the mini-z stuff. Tires are usuall anywhere from 10-15 bucks for a full set and last a long time. The problem is the stigma behind it. We are used to BIGGER is BETTER in the US (hence the booming nature of Offroad).

There is also very few mainstream racers and companies that have embraced it at this time. But they will surely all come around to it. I guarantee associated sells 10 RC18s to 1 B4 at the least.

Kyosho hit it right with the Mini-z's. 3 basic chassis that constantly re-invent themselves with as little as just putting a new set of wheels and a different body. R&D costs are minimum and they sell them by the BOATLOAD! On top of this Mini-Z's are sold essentially as a ready to run (which is what the mass consumer, NOT THE RACER wants). You can throw some hop-ups on a Mini-Z, and end-up with an all-out decked out race car for under 300 bucks that drives better than most R/C cars out there that seldom will ever break.

Overall, the industry is stronger than ever, R/C is not dying, racing is. We are all guilty of being resistant to change because we feel comfortable in our current racing niche.We don't want to re-learn the hobby (in the case of switching from electric to nitro, NiMH to Li-Po, brushed to brushless). If we want to race, I'm sure there is something to race around us. Is indoor touring dying? Probably, but many things have died through out the years as racing categories (pan car 10th scale, formula 1) I wouldn't point fingers at anyone else but the racer either. We become so involved in the politics of the Hobby and rarely do anything to start a club, or promote the hobby in a positive way. The racing situation all boils down to the old addage "If you can't beat them, join them!"

The internet is finally another contibuting factor to the changing face of racing. Yes Pro-style hobby shops can't compete many times against the on-line retailers' prices. But you can't blame the customer for this. This is due to the most simple of Economic principles. We have unlimited wants and limited resources. People will naturally try to stretch thier dollar to get the most for it. Pro-style shops are simply an obsolete business model in a world where impulse buyers can purchase items at 3am in the morning from an online retailer and have it in their hand in as little as 24 hrs. On that same level, on-line specialty or mass shops will never put the Diversified hobby shop out of business. They simply have a larger Target market and therefore will cross-sell a whole lot more products due to their INMENSELY diverse client base and their best asset of all, a show room floor where people can get to touch, see and feel the product, (and let their good 'ol impulse buying instinct take control of themselves.)

I guess I'm done ranting hehehe, sorry for the long post guys, but I hope I can get some people to see the industry from the point of view of somebody who works for a large retailer/dealer.

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Old 06-29-2007, 05:30 PM   #59
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Good to see you on here Cristian, miss the indoor asphalt track in Houston!

Your local Mini-Z champ can wheel a 1/10!
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:12 PM   #60
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You guys sound like oval racers 10 years ago. You've priced yourself out to the point that
A.) No one new comes into your niche of the hobby
B.) The existing shops/tracks can't survive on the smaller customer base that rarely buys from them.

Here's the answers: go brushless/lipo, race outdoors, keep sponsored drivers out of slower classes.

Simple.
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