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LHS and the economic crisis

LHS and the economic crisis

Old 01-17-2009, 11:45 PM
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i have no specialist electric onroad LHS and so whenever i go to buy something locally, the only answer i receive is "nah mate, we dont have that in stock.. can order it for you though, might take 2-3wks".. and sometimes the part cant even be found because "we've never had that before"...

then there is the situation where one of the LHS is an agent for one manufacturer's motors, but they have told me that it might take 1-2 MONTHS! to get a motor in that I was looking to buy.. i ended up with the same motor from an LHS in another state, $50 cheaper and express posted to me (which will take about 3-4 days to arrive)..

also, all of the LHS had no clue about anything that I used to go in to ask/discuss about with someone.. i keep getting told that the most expensive item will perform the best for me, which is great for the shop but not necessarily the case on the track (and definately not for my wallet!).. several LHS specialises in planes, 2 at least specialise in nitro offroad, another 2 specialise in trains and doll houses.. hope you see where i am coming from!

to quickly summarise...

- my local hobby shop never has parts i need
- my local hobby shop is more expensive than overseas
- my local hobby shop has no knowledge about electric onroad (which i race)
- my local hobby shop doesnt carry high end kits because the distributor wont bring them into the country
- my local hobby shop does not hold stock of approved motors or batteries
- my local hobby shop, despite an agent, is unable to supply product in a timely manner

so the way i see it, when i buy from overseas i'm getting better service, better prices and i'm not hurting my LHS because they very rarely (almost never) have anything that relates to what most people here race (rubber tyre, electric, touring car, carpet/asphalt)...

my LHS doesnt support me, so i wont be supporting them.. unless its to purchase a couple cans of paint, tape, lubricants etc because this is pretty much the only thing they can supply me with thats relevant!

i would like to support my LHS, but time after time they let me down...

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Old 01-17-2009, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by timmyboy View Post
here in boise idaho we have but one lhs...
i just read this after i posted and your experiences are very similar to mine...
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:18 AM
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If a LHS doesn't want to or cant work to get your business then don't worry.I bought a 8 2.0 about a month ago from my LHS and they were willing to come within $25 to an online retailers price so i went with them.After calling a number of shops in the area that didn't budge from MAP.In turn i ordered up another $100 in stuff and spent prolly another $100 on small stuff since.And hes currently getting prices for a set of RB ws7 engines ill prolly get within the next week or 2.And once the Rb c6 USA come out ill get 2 of them through them to go with the 8 2.0t ill get from them.
Its common sense for a lhs to try and work for loyal customers.Sell in volume for less will always make more money then to hold to an item till you get MAP for it.This is especially true in this economy
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:44 AM
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When you live in Canada, generally, the only reason you don't use the LHS is if they're stupid with their pricing, or it's a specialty item...

After shipping costs, most things are within a couple bucks of Tower prices...
Sometimes cheaper.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:05 AM
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Small, under-capitalized LHSs with less than excellent customer service will find it almost impossible to survive no matter what the ecomony is.

Its not just the big internet retailers that are hurting the LHS. Its also places just like RC Tech.

I have found you can almost always get answers to questions and solutions to problems from experts here on RC Tech. The knowledge base at times is astounding. We have direct access to manufacturers and guys in the AMain at national events. I've seen people get great advise by posting vids of their races and photos of their cars or tracks. "Dude, your arms are on backwards!"

There is no way a single person working at hobby shop can even get close to what you can get here:

Complete set ups
Tire advise
Driving tips
Electronics support
Pit tips
Feedback on battery performance

Not to mention you can usually find the car you need with spares in the Buy/Sell forums for almost half what it would have cost new.

RC Tech is a testament to how helfull other racers really are and what a great hobby this is, but, its also one more reason to not have to pay more than you have to. People can buy on line and getter better advise than they could at the LHS here.

I refrain from taking shots at people who use on line shops. It all depends on the individuals finances (many of whome are in worse shape than the LHSs). If saving 10-20% on your car and parts means you can race 40 times a year instead of 20, do it.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by oXYnary View Post
On the other hand, some people are just cheap selfish jerks, who want things as low as possible no matter the effect beyond their immediate benefit.
I am glad you like ripping on people without knowing the whole story. I do support my LHS, I just don't support BestBuy for computer parts because they will not stock the parts or want to charge 20% more. Tower may have better deals on the kits and RTRs but I don't buy kits and RTR's often and even then I hardly buy new. I still buy parts as needed from the LHS, but they don't always have what I need.

The problem still exists that states are not forcing business to collect taxes on internet and mail orders. Even if taxes were imposed, I would still consider on-line because it could be more convenient than driving around town and not getting exactly what I want. Yes some other state would be getting taxes instead of my state but at least they are collected instead of neglected which should lower the overall tax rate everyone.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:36 AM
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Several years ago, my closest LHS was 40 miles from me. I liked the owners, they were also local racers "BEFORE" they became store owners. One was a 'Factory Sponsored' guy who didn't PAY for anything he used, and was PAID to race. The other was just an everyday racer, great guy and so on.

The partner who was the 'everyday' racer got in the hobby business first with a very, very tiny store (about 12 x 20) but it was a very low overhead, a non-employee ONE MAN shop and was very nice to deal with.

The FACTORY Racer talked him into opening a SUPER STORE with about a cool Mil. in inventory. PRICES went UP, service went DOWN...employees had to be hired, rent was VERY expensive on the SUPERSTORE...but I still tried to support them when ever I could.

BUT - to drive 80 miles for a few 3 - 6 dollar items was crazy, especially since I knew they had them 'In Stock', I wanted them to pop them in a small box or envelope and mail them to me, bill my cc number or what ever...


I said OK, and never bought anything from them, or LOCALLY again for almost 10 years after that. I could MAIL or INTERNET order, have my stuff in less than a week, many times with FREE shipping and NO local sales tax, plus a DISCOUNT on the price to boot.

I figure over those 10 years I probably saved close to $10,000...I don't care WHO YOU ARE - that kind of savings makes a HUGE difference. (yeah, it's about 15-20 bucks a week if you calculate it out...)
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:26 AM
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For me, I am happy to represent a LHS in sponsorship, when times are like these now with the economy being the way it is.

I never ask for much from them, but i'm happy to know that every time I race, their business is getting noticed, as well as helping on their forum as and when needed.

On a race day by pure chance one new guy had problems with his speed control, it wouldnt configure and the instructions were all in a different language - He got it from Fusion hobbies, my sponsors.

Luckily I figured out the sequence and got it working for him. Things like that always put a smile on everyones face. You wont get that level of service from an internet only supplier.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:24 AM
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I see many people are blaming the internet, but Tower Hobbies has been doing mail order long before the internet.

Hobby shops are the among the first to feel the pain when the economy takes a downturn. That's because hobby shops depend on disposable income, the money you have left over when all your other bills are paid. This downturn is a double whammy because of the credit crunch. Most hobby shop sales are impulse buying, and without credit you can't act on your impulses.

Hobby shops run by businessmen will suffer but survive. Hobby shops run by hobbyists will probably tank, but that will happen in a good economy as well.

As far as what's right and wrong, each person will have to decide for themselves what is best for them. It's no sin to try and get the best deal. If your LHS can do it, great. If you don't mind spending a few extra bucks to keep your LHS open, good! If you can get a better deal on the net, okay go for it. The responsibility of making the sale is on the salesman, not the customer.
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