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Old 06-16-2007, 09:13 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by SlamMan View Post
Maybe the point should be to support your local track. If your local track is run by, or sponsored by the local hobby shop then do what you can to support them.

The important thing is to do what you can to make sure you have a place to race into the future.
Great point. Having a place to race and grow the interest in the sport is key
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Old 06-17-2007, 07:49 PM   #47
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Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:07 PM   #48
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If you feel that you "have" to buy your gear and parts online, that is your perrogative. Just don't knock others that choose to support their LHS and share their good experiences with their LHS.

Oh, most Hobbytowns do not carry Serpent because Serpent is very exclusive to who they sell (I know, I helped open one of the Hobbytowns in my area).
..........wasn't knocking those that buy from their LHS.....just knocking that "if you don't buy from your LHS, there will be no place to race" nonsense. And yes, i DO HAVE TO buy my Serpent parts online because no one locally (such as Hobbytown) sells them as stated by yourself. Define LHS? 15 minute drive? 30 minute drive? 3 hour drive? I would say if it's more than a 45 minute drive , that's not really local.........
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Old 06-17-2007, 11:42 PM   #49
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In my opinion, based upon my area of Dallas/Fort Worth, a LHS is considered local when it is about 10 to 20 minutes from where you live. In other places, a LHS may be an hour drive from where a person lives. I know there are people that live spitting distance from their LHS. Again, buy your stuff from who you are most comfortable with and where you feel you get the best service.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:39 AM   #50
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It seems to me the hobby business in general is kind of taking a hit, on or offline. Brand loyalty is fading (if not close to dead) and there has been a decline in customers due to the dropping number of young people and heavy competition from video games. The US is one of the few golden markets left and even there it's tougher than in the past. If racing hadn't been born in Europe I think it would be very tough. Asia? Probably going to feel the pinch even more, especially Japan with it's coming grey wave. Ask me 3 years ago if I'd buy anything from hyper expensive Japan and I'd say you'd have to be crazy. Now the Japanese are out-pricing HK shops. These guys are going to compete to survive. I wonder if the Japanese want to be the Walmarts of the online RC business? Don't laugh. Some of the world's biggest convenience store companies are run by Japanese companies.

On the other hand, a LHS doesn't have to match prices penny for penny. Shipping overseas adds to cost and takes time. A LHS can definitely have an advantage there. But it takes a lot of effort and I think that's where some shops get into trouble. Adding value to the business in terms of advice, setup, repair, showing up at events, bring spare parts, sponsoring events, knowing the customers, ordering parts, offering deals to repeat customer, etc. is a constant job that takes up 90 percent plus of your time. Running your own shop is more about passion than profit. I think a lot small business owners get started thinking the shop will be a steady stream of moderate income. Come in, open up at 10:00, go home at 6:00 and Monday and Sunday off. It's just not true in the era of global commerce. To be a successful LHS, you've got to bust your a** and even then, there are no guarantees. You need to be extremely flexible. Customers want 1/8th today, learn 1/8ths in and out. Customers want park flyers and kites tomorrow, learn to fly. Don't even think about not having a decent web site. Consider Ebay as well. Despite the small profits turning away extra business can be fatal for a small business.

In all honesty, I could never open an LHS. I just don't have the dedication and love my free time too much. For all LHS owners out there making good business, keep up the good work. It's no easy job running a good LHS.

Rob
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:53 PM   #51
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Taylorm,
Just few facts; The VAST majority of tracks in the US are commercial operations. Started by Hobby stores. The VAST majority of racers got their start at one of these facillities. I have owned a hobby store for more than 10 years, I drive a 960, I stock parts for same. I know of 3 more stores within 40 minutes from here, that also stock Serpent parts. Your viewpoint is somewhat colored by the fact that you race 1/8 on-road. On-road (outdoor) is more likely to be a club operation than off-road or carpet indoor. Furthermore, 1/8 on-road is a relatively small piece of the rc pie. That is the reason most hobby stores do not carry what you need. If you are in an area not well supported by a hobby retailer, you have no recourse but to mail/internet shop. Nothing wrong with that. Saying that it is nonsense, that RC racing might be in jepordy without stores, is just wrong. Certainly club tracks might stay around, but they represent a small portion of the racing scene in this country. If nothing else, RC racing owes a debt of gratitude to the hobby stores for the very existance of RC racing.
Hobbytown is taking a lot of flack in this thread, somewhat understandable, but unfair. It is a full-line franchise, and each store is somewhat different. Depends a lot on the interests of the owner. The closest hobbytown to me, is owned by a train lover. His RC car stock is based on info from the franchise, the kids he hires and his customer base. That means lots of Traxxas & HPI. There are others started by racers and carry stock accordingly.
It is also unfair and inaccurate to call an employee an 'idiot' because he/she is not well versed in your particular interest. There are many different hobby interests represented in a full-line store, and that person might be quite the expert on one of those things. If not, then perhaps the 'idiot' label is applicable..
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:12 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by going4#1 View Post
It seems to me the hobby business in general is kind of taking a hit, on or offline. Brand loyalty is fading (if not close to dead) and there has been a decline in customers due to the dropping number of young people and heavy competition from video games. The US is one of the few golden markets left and even there it's tougher than in the past. If racing hadn't been born in Europe I think it would be very tough. Asia? Probably going to feel the pinch even more, especially Japan with it's coming grey wave. Ask me 3 years ago if I'd buy anything from hyper expensive Japan and I'd say you'd have to be crazy. Now the Japanese are out-pricing HK shops. These guys are going to compete to survive. I wonder if the Japanese want to be the Walmarts of the online RC business? Don't laugh. Some of the world's biggest convenience store companies are run by Japanese companies.

On the other hand, a LHS doesn't have to match prices penny for penny. Shipping overseas adds to cost and takes time. A LHS can definitely have an advantage there. But it takes a lot of effort and I think that's where some shops get into trouble. Adding value to the business in terms of advice, setup, repair, showing up at events, bring spare parts, sponsoring events, knowing the customers, ordering parts, offering deals to repeat customer, etc. is a constant job that takes up 90 percent plus of your time. Running your own shop is more about passion than profit. I think a lot small business owners get started thinking the shop will be a steady stream of moderate income. Come in, open up at 10:00, go home at 6:00 and Monday and Sunday off. It's just not true in the era of global commerce. To be a successful LHS, you've got to bust your a** and even then, there are no guarantees. You need to be extremely flexible. Customers want 1/8th today, learn 1/8ths in and out. Customers want park flyers and kites tomorrow, learn to fly. Don't even think about not having a decent web site. Consider Ebay as well. Despite the small profits turning away extra business can be fatal for a small business.

In all honesty, I could never open an LHS. I just don't have the dedication and love my free time too much. For all LHS owners out there making good business, keep up the good work. It's no easy job running a good LHS.

Rob
Rob,

I agree 100%

It's not easy running a LHS, in this case a "Hobbytown". People think I just show up every morning and play with toys all day long and it 's just a good old time. I work 6 days a week, unless I have an out-of-town race.

How about this, for some people to think about. If you need a part, say a Serpent part, and you know of a hobbyshop that has it in stock and they can get it to you in the same amout of time it takes to get it from a normal mail order place, why not order it from someone that it would directly help?
I am not sure what it is going to take for us here in the states to stop thinking so much about ourselves first.



Just a thought.
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