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Old 02-09-2004, 02:39 PM   #106
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seaball,
following your logic then a bowling alley must depend on lanes fees to survive? no shoe rental, pro shop, food, etc??

if it costs x dollars to open and run a race track then taking the hobby shop profit away = higher race fees. everyone will shop for their parts at wholesale prices at your race track and race at the other guys track who offsets his cost of doing business whith the parts sales income! until he sells no parts and he raises his race fee. no win situation. just my 2 cents
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:28 PM   #107
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Well, lets assume race fees are $15, say the average race night gets 40 peoples....thats around $600. Say they race 3 nights a week, thats around 1800 a week, 7200 a month....rent in our area(greater seattle) is around 1.25 a sq foot.....so a 3000 sq foot building, which isn't very big will run you about 3750 a month. Now pay 2-3 employees, plus power, plus phone, plus taxes, plus everything else under the sun. Two employees a week will run you 400 each, so thats another 3200....so where does the track get to pay for everything else? Soda pop sales aren't gonna cut it, and neither will practice or membership fees.

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Old 02-09-2004, 03:33 PM   #108
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Talking still off topic

sedan -

i'm not too sure about the analogy, as there a few differences. note also, that my philosophy as stated was strictly related to our hobby. regardless, your point is well taken.

i guess my opinion comes from a more idealistic viewpoint. i certainly don't mind spending money. i just demand that it go to those i deem most deserving. in my mind, i would continue to support the best track, not the one that is least expensive. and with that opinion, i don't consider the idea of tracks closing down if they don't have a hobby shop to profit from. the answer in my mind, is to put in some work and have a better facility than your competitor.

if we are going to spend the same amount of money either way, i would rather be told straight up to pay x amount weekly due to the fact that we don't have enough racers. infact, i have voulenteered my time and skills to our track so that we could have a better place w/o spending precious earnings for contractors, laborers, or anyone else that would have charged for what we did, which would result in increased fees.

i guess i can't attest to what the majority of people would do in any of the aforementioned situations, but i choose to believe that racers will support the place that they feel is most committed to excellence, if even at a higher cost.
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:34 PM   #109
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It's not as easy as it sounds. If it were, everyone would be doing it. First, you must order the rubber and have it shipped over here from the far east. That is, of course after you take a beating on the exchange rate. Then you must cut the sheets to the correct thickness( machine cost- $25,000). Next you have to grade the rubber into different shore readings. It is at this point that you find out if you got an accurate batch or a "bad" batch. Are the purples really purples or are they too soft/hard? Assuming all is good, you then must proceed to the laminating process. This is very labor intensive if it is to be done correctly. Now you must cut the donuts. We use a waterjet that costs about $250,000. Now you don't have to use this. You may use a hole saw or something, but remember- carry worker's comp- you risk losing a digit! Well, after the donuts dry it is time to mount. If you use contact cement make sure you have all the necessary OSHA requirements in terms of ventilation, explosion-resistant lighting, respirators etc.,etc. We use Super glue. The machine is custom made and cost let's just say "a lot". Now it is time to true! Everyone's favorite task. Make sure you have a good vacuum system, OSHA doesn't like tire dust floating around in the air. Well, now you can clean the tires, dot them, and package them. That is all there is to it. So let's see... we have rubber, glue for laminating, the rim, glue to mount, the dots, boxes, and a whole lot of labor and overhead. And by the way, an initial order on rubber is more like $50,000. I could go into all the details of how we go through proper distribution channels so hobby shops can survive and everyone can race, but I'll save that for another day. Have fun! Jack Rimer-CEO JACO Racing Products, Inc.
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:53 PM   #110
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Thumbs up back on topic

i think this debate should be continued in another thread, perhaps one with a title reflective of the subject. i appologize for posting opinions, as these are always responsible for thread degradation, not to mention, that i wasn't asked for it.

the best threads are those that stick to the topic. dam, that's another opinion.

i'm still searching to find the answers to those questions. i'm disappointed that in 10,000 members, nobody can share the technical info that i am seeking.

even worse is the lack of, or poor, response that i am getting from foam manufacturers here. perhaps it isn't meant to be.
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Old 02-09-2004, 04:23 PM   #111
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yes, finally some light on the subject. thank you mr. rimer you are a good man.

i am still curious. why do the donuts cost nearly as much as a complete tire? that was what got me thinking about doing this for myself. not necessarily so that the country could race. i see industrial suppliers that carry sheets of foam and will sell it in reasonably small quantities for diyers or small businesses. much of it appears to be fairly inexpensive, and this is considering that it is a retail price.

of course, i don't know what i'm looking for. that is why i was asking for those in the know to help out. aren't these boards amazing? had someone identified the material, and a budgetary cost for it, the momentum would have been lost. but unfortunately for me, that is not common knowledge and so we are nearing the 100 post mark.

is the material really the driving factor for the price? it appears that a majority of the cost adders were attributed to labor, machinery, and osha requirements versus the cost of the actual raw material.

my thought is that providing an economical donut would be a great product, since that would let the hobbiest who would trade time on the weekends for money saved. additionally you would bypass some of the glues, additional labor costs, and expensive machinery used for the adhesion process.

from the pricing that i have seen, the donuts are the price of a complete assembly, minus the wheel. are there not additional costs to be saved in reduced operations and requirements that this product would necessitate?

chris goetz - creative hobbiest

it's getting hot in here.
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Old 02-09-2004, 04:39 PM   #112
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ok...great....we all know how much is takes to maufacture the foam tires...SO WHAT? it still doesnt tell us why...WHY it cost so freaking much! why do we have to pay 20+ for a pair of foam tires where we could get the same thing HALF WAY AROUND THE WORLD thats less then 50% of the price? does shipping it half way around the world makes the price go down? if so...why does play tickets cost so much? they should be paying me to ride on the plane!

im not only tlking about elligi or fast tires..im talking about jacos and american brand name stuff! they cost 50% less than the price here!!
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Old 02-09-2004, 04:58 PM   #113
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Are we sure that the stuff comming from Asia is the real thing?

I saw a Tamiya TRF414 once that came from Hong Kong wich was a total fake. It was clear since the first batch of these were numbered on the motormount. Thing is that at a race i saw one with the same number on it. I had a word with both of the owners and 1 of them had bought his car through the Tamiya US site and the other came from Hong Kong. So the owner of the US bought car mailed to Tamiya and they told the guy that some of the Tamiya stuff comming from HK is fake, read rippoff.
I'm not saying everithing comming from HK is fake, but keep a good lookout.
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Old 02-09-2004, 05:46 PM   #114
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Boy oh Boy, Fake Tamiya Not to diss any Tamiya lovers, but most of the Tamiya kits I have seen, even the new hot touring cars are a bit........plastic.
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:21 PM   #115
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focus!
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:25 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally posted by PitCrew
Boy oh Boy, Fake Tamiya Not to diss any Tamiya lovers, but most of the Tamiya kits I have seen, even the new hot touring cars are a bit........plastic.
when are they NOT plastic?
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:13 PM   #117
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No tire manufacturer is going to open their books wide for everyone to inspect. I think Mr. Rimer gave us a LOT of inside information that we probably won't hear from anybody else. Thank you.

I agree that the price of foam tires has gotten a bit out of hand. I don't know what has caused the spike in prices, maybe someone on the inside can give us a little tip on that. Is it the cost of the raw materials? Labor costs? OSHA regulations? Import fees? What happened over the last couple of years to cause this increase?

In defense of the hobby shops, they work on a discount from the retail price. Depending on the volume they sell, their discount can be anywhere from 30% to 50%. In a specialty business like this, you can't work on the 5% to 10% margin model of the mail-order companies. There is a lot of investment in real estate, inventory, employees and such that require a higher margin to make ends meet. When their costs increase, the prices go up accordingly.
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:51 PM   #118
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We have not raised our foam prices. In fact, we lowered our prices about 4 or 5 years ago because our supply lines were improved and we felt we should pass this on to the consumer. The bulk of the cost is the foam. It is made to very specific tolerances and is manufactured by only one company for the express purpose of racing tires. Thus, it is quite expensive. As to why our products are available overseas so cheap.... I believe it is because some of our foreign distributors are content to make little or no profit by selling to these mail order shops. They, in turn, are content to work on ridiculously low margins to move product. I can't see these shops staying in business long. Perhaps tires are a loss leader in Asia. I really don't know how they survive. We have had some of these shops banned from selling into North America, but new ones pop up every month. Donut prices are so high because we sell so few. Again, the raw materials account for the bulk of the price. Also remember, it takes multiple sheets laminated together to make a tire- it is not just one sheet of rubber.
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:51 PM   #119
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Less than $7.00 overseas to $22.00 at my LHS is much more than 50% markup, or do we pay 50% to each level of distribution? 3 or 4 middle men all making 30 to 40% on the product would add up to the amounts we pay. I know my LHS pays more than double from thier distributor than the people in Hong Kong charge there retail customers. Mabey distribution in Hong Kong is more efficient with less middle men? I don't think the hobby shops or the manufacturers are to blame, I think our distribution system is.
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:06 AM   #120
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Quote:
Originally posted by CypressMidWest
When you get those tires, are they the same foam as the TRC or Jaco or CRC tires? The shore rating may be the same but the rubber itself is different and performs differently on the track. I know, I've tried the "inexpensive" tires, and the preformance is not the same. The cheap stuff works great on prepared asphalt, but it sucks on carpet.

I suggest that if you want less expensive tires buy them online from CRC at $19.99 a pair. Less expensive than the MSRP of the other brands by a few bucks, and they're of equal or better quality.
We're talking Gandini tyres - ie Ellegi, Fast, Power, etc - who has been producing tyres for years (targetting gas racers). These are arguably as good as TRC/Jaco/CRC if not better.

I think the Internet is rapidly changing the way we purchase, not just in this hobby. Irrespective of who's fault it is, I think there will be some major changes in the way R/C products are sold in the not too distant future.

Last edited by veecee; 02-10-2004 at 01:14 AM.
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