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Old 12-18-2001, 02:23 AM   #31
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Hi guys. Greetings from Malta.

Quote Sosidge: I know it's tricky trying to make a business out of RC.

I run an RC shop as a second line. My main business is the Dunlop tyre import and distribution in Malta.

I started the RC business through my son's needs, some 7 years ago. There are two ways to run a business.
a) you buy small stocks cheap, flog them, then run....bugger the after sales service, or
b) you do it as I have done, with total committment and thousands of pounds in spares and equipment.

I import Yokomo, Corally, Associated, Schumacher, Losi, Orion, Novak, KO Propo and quite a few other famous brands - Proline, Reedy, Trinity etc. I race a Yoke myself and my son races a TC3, all with Novak electronics, KO servos and Corally motors and cells.

I guarantee a parts service to customers, any time, any day, including a parts service at race meetings on Sundays. I pride myself of the fact that customers don't ask me whether I have a particular part, but simply ask me to give them the required part, in the knowledge that I will definately have it in stock. If it's not on the shelves I will take it out of a kit, to satisfy a customer.

But what do you get in exchange. Two customers immediately spring to mind. In both cases I looked after their Tamiya cars - both not bought from me - and in one case produced a good enough car for this customer to win the only championship he has ever won, and is ever going to win. For my efforts they have both gone spending from another source that is making a good name for itself for not being able to give an after sales service.

Some have tried that and are returning to the fold. With others it's taking a bit longer.

So yes you are right, like any business, the RC trade has it's pros and cons.

But at the end of the day people soon realise they have boobed. it's just that some can't swallow their pride.

We had a good day out on Sunday. Son Josh was 3rd in round 11 of the mod championship and 1st in the 12th. I had 2 fifth places which isn't really bad for an old man I suppose.

It's good fun all the same, which is what it's supposed to be all about.

regards

Joe from sunny.....but cold....Malta.
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Old 12-18-2001, 06:53 AM   #32
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I must confess to being a bit of a "floating" customer.

My local model shop, which is run by a fellow racer, will always get my business for tyres, motor spray, bodies etc, which are always in stock, and expensive to mail order.

In fact, the guy that ran the shop where I used to live said he did a surprisingly good trade from the little things like connectors etc.

When it comes to bigger purchases, I'll either ask what the local shop can get in, and what price he'd charge, or I'll mail order - that's capitalism, basically.

But when it comes to spare parts, I'll virtually always "let the phone do the walking", and mail-order, usually from Apex, because I know they'll have the parts I need, and I'll get them before the next race meeting.

I know the local shop can get the bits in, but i've had a few experiences where things don't come in as quick as you'd like.

A question for you john (which you don't have to answer)...

Do you think you'd be able to run the r/c business the way you do if you didn't have the dunlop business as well? Or is the big car trade subsidising your little car hobby?
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Old 12-18-2001, 12:06 PM   #33
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Hi guys. Greetings from Malta.

Sosidge. I don't mind answering your question at all.

My Dunlop business is my actual means of living, keeping a family, and seeing to my expensive hobbies - racing real cars and playing with big motorbikes. The model shop is a part time job though I bet I hold more stock in RC car spares and electrics than all the local model shops put together.

Yes, you are right, the RC shop pays for my hobby basically....and keeps everybody racing thanks to my stock of bits. I'm afraid that sometimes it gets like a charitable institution, people come to me for stuff if they can't afford to buy it and need credit, but order stuff themselves direct if they have the cash. That's how nice people are. But it doesn't bother me much - a sale is a sale, and having been bitten too many times I am giving far less credit nowadays.

I do RC because I enjoy it. I'm not the quickest - at my age I never will be, though thanks to my experience building real race cars, I think I prepare the best cars for myself, my son, and some selected customers. A Tamiya I prepared last year for a customer who had never won a Tamiya Cup race previously, won almost every race it ran under my guidance, eventually winning the Tamiya Cup championship. I didn't get much in the way of thanks for it though.

My son's TC3 is pretty unbeatable and has been for a while. In fact I can say that this season he has won every race in which he hasn't either had some form of failure, or been taken out - usually when lapping backmarkers, and not always accidentally either. In fact his three failures have been a broken diff once, and stones trapped between wishbones and chassis twice. The last of these was last Sunday, when he noticed the handling deteriorate. He brought the car into the pit road. I removed the offending stone, put the car back on track in a solid last place, then he just drove like a man possessed, having lost a couple of laps in the pits, and he still finished 3rd. just 3 seconds from the second man. MR4 Malta can confirm this. He was in the same race.

My Yoke is always blindingly fast in a straight line, and it handles too - it wins when Josh drives it, but of course my problem is my brain to thumb coordination - or lack of it.

Yes, I enjoy it and can boast that the club has improved and grown under my presidency much more than it ever did previously.

But I enjoy it, and that's all that counts. Results are a secondary bonus.

regards

Joe from sunny Malta.
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Old 12-18-2001, 06:50 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by johnbull
.........................A Tamiya I prepared last year for a customer who had never won a Tamiya Cup race previously, won almost every race it ran under my guidance, eventually winning the Tamiya Cup championship. I didn't get much in the way of thanks for it though.
Joe, I know exactly what you mean. Even in RCTech there are a few people who ask a lot of questions....... you give the answers and not even so much as a word of "thanks", instead you just get even more questions!

Fortunately, I did a quick scan of this column and theres no one this falls into this category here!
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Old 12-19-2001, 05:10 AM   #35
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Is it good forum etiquette to say thanks?

I always thought it wasn't necessary.

Actually, i don't mind answering continuous questions.

Although it can get a bit ridiculous on the HPI forum sometimes.

Typical questions "HOW FAST IS A PRO3" (often posted in caps)

"WHICH CAR SHOULD I GET"

And a favourite of mine from the other day - the topic title was "HELP HPI IT'S AN EMERGENCY".

The post itself was...

"CAN I GET NEW DIFF BALLS FOR MY PRO3"

Errrr... Yes.
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Old 12-19-2001, 05:33 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by johnbull
Hi guys. Greetings from Malta.


when he noticed the handling deteriorate. He brought the car into the pit road. I removed the offending stone, put the car back on track in a solid last place, then he just drove like a man possessed, having lost a couple of laps in the pits, and he still finished 3rd. just 3 seconds from the second man. MR4 Malta can confirm this. He was in the same race.


regards

Joe from sunny Malta.
yes joe i can confirm this.....josh is an excelent driver....he lost a lap .....and got it in a minute....i think i finished 4th in that race...
ohh..and once...josh was lapping me....and i span out in the corner...and josh drove into me and broke somthing....it was my fault...but joe... not on purpouse....if you where refering to that incident that was done on porpouse...it was not... totally my mistake..
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Old 12-19-2001, 07:06 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by sosidge
Is it good forum etiquette to say thanks?

I always thought it wasn't necessary.

Not so much forum etiquette but more of a "human" etiquette! 'Thanks' is a very easy word to say/type if the answer is a response to a direct question I see no harm in saying thanks to recognise that you have read and understood that persons post!
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Old 12-19-2001, 07:08 AM   #38
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duplicate post!
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