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Old 04-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
pattern14
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Default Another hobby shop closes

2 years ago, there were 4 hobby shops within 30 minutes drive from me, now there are none. They closed one by one, about 4-6 months apart. Apart from picking up some dirt cheap bargains when they closed down, not much else was worth commenting on. One thing that doesn't get talked about much is the loss of contact with other enthusiasts. Even when browsing, you always run into another flyer /builder you haven't met before, and chat about what you're up to. Often times I speak to glo flyers as well, which happens rarely anytime else. Lots of people don't join or fly at clubs, but still have aeromodelling as a hobby, so really don't get the opportunity to share with others. I know lots of us talk in these forums, but with internet chats and on line shopping, the face to face thing seems to be dwindling. It may be another sign of the times, but I thought this aspect of losing your LHS's was worth mentioning.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:32 PM   #2
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The sluggish economy and internet competition has doomed lots of small businesses.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:57 PM   #3
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it is our duty to support the local shops or this will keep happening. The few dollars you save just online just isn't worth it
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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if the hobby shops were competitive, they would stick around. we have had two hobby shops open up this year already. in an hour drive, there are about 6-8 , maybe more. everytime we go to one I always buy something, even if its just a couple of props, a slow stick, or servo extensions. I will not pay $45+ for a 400 sized brushless motor though.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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This thread might be a bit more interesting if we had a clue where some of you are.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #6
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There is a great LHS near my home East of Pgh, PA that I frequent as it is close(7mi), has a superb stock of planes, cars, boats, trains, & helis. Tom, of Tailspin Hobbies in Apollo, Pa., maintains a great assortment of parts, supplies, & does repairs. He supports several flying clubs in the area by donating door prizes, attends club events, & maintains a superb relationship with all we rc'ers. He has a good business because we support him.

Many gripe regarding pricing as they feel they they can get it cheaper online. While that may be true, few ever recognize what it takes to maintain a business. He has overhead, expenses, insurances, advertising, & utilities that have to be met before he shows a profit.....& Yes, that profit must be decent enough to allow him his salary. He serves us.....he deserves to make a good living. He has great store hours to be convenient for those who may work different shifts.

If you have a LHS near you, support them, get to know them, & help them to thrive....it's for YOUR benefit.

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:04 PM   #7
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Default Remote Control Hobbies, Lacey WA

I moved to the Lacey WA area in the summer of 2008, knowing that the only hobby shop was less than useful, run by a guy you hardly ever saw, he hired kids that were not hobbyists in anything except video games. I was not real happy, but I had to move.

A few months later I saw a RC hobbies sign on a building that had not been there the day before. When I went in, the smell of fresh latex paint was in the air, as they were still working on the shop.

Thom Martin is the owner of the franchise, I soon became friends with Thom and all of his employees. They are all active RC hobbyists, Thom has been deeply involved with the TCMAA club for many years, and is currently the president. He supports all the RC clubs in this area as much as possible.

Thom has found the perfect way to run a hobby shop. We all support him as much as we can. I wish everyone could have a shop like this close to them. The other shop closed shortly after he opened, I don't know of anyone that missed it.

I can't believe how lucky I am, the shop is 2.5 miles from my house.

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Old 04-28-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
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IMHO Local Hobby shops need to advertise on the Internet too, and not just rely on walk in customers, The internet is another avenue of income for the small hobby shops, and if they dont sell on the internet, then they have just Doomed themselfs, look at Hobby people, they sell both ways, walk in and internet and they are able to stay in Buisness.

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Old 04-28-2013, 11:21 PM   #9
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True enough, if you want them to be around you need to support them.

Got my money's worth today, and proved they can beat the internet sometimes.

Blew out a set of bearings in a Mega motor, and had a couple of choices to make.
#1 ship it back to Mega and wait several months to see it again. Roughly $$$ to have done.
#2 look up a set of bearings on the net and order em, wait a week for them to show. Figure an easy $25.00.
#3 hop down to the hobby shop and talk to the repair guru there. ???

Figured what the heck, off to the LHS. Walk in, tell Jerry I need some bearings.
He whips out a set of calipers, takes a couple readings, gets up and walks over to a wall of car parts. Comes back, pops out the old and installs the new.

$3.75 out the door.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
IMHO Local Hobby shops need to advertise on the Internet too, and not just rely on walk in customers, The internet is another avenue of income for the small hobby shops, and if they dont sell on the internet, then they have just Doomed themselfs, look at Hobby people, they sell both ways, walk in and internet and they are able to stay in Buisness.
I hear ya Chellie......wish Pegasus had a better on-line catalog, but their in-store people are very helpful and their parts rack (enormous) has stuff dated back to the Ice Age.......lol.......Same with Hobby Town in Corona...except you cannot order on-line from them, but from a different location like Torrance and have it delivered to Corona without the shipping charge...or just drop in the Corona store....done that on a couple occasions since Torrance is 75 miles from me and Corona is only 30.

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Old 04-29-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
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Even the shops that are not closing are switching to new revenue streams.
The largest local shop where I live used to have a very large selection of aircraft. Parts, kits, motors, covering, balsa, you name it. But over the last year or so they have fazed out nearly all of the enthusiast supplies and only carry Parkzone and Hobbyzone PNP and BNF models with a smattering of other manufacturers ARFs. Their main focus has shifted to RC Ground vehicles.They went with where the money is right now.

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Old 04-30-2013, 07:33 PM   #12
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Wow! I'd love to have a hobby shop like some of you have. Unfortunately my LHS is a joke and really shouldn't advertise as a hobby shop. They were out of thin C/A for 3 months along with kicker. If you go in looking for a prop forget it as the smallest they have is 24". The balsa rack is filled with warped or broken wood that hasn't been replaced or stocked in almost a year and if your looking for 1'16" balsa forget that. They carry the usual assortment of out dated Eflite kits and the high priced Eflile motors and even those are slowly dwindling in stock. The bankers hours are just to funny 11am - 4pm the owner usually shows up around 12 and closes around 3:30 if business is slow (Duh!). I get out of work at 4:30 and can only get there on weekends.

After my last visit and coming up empty handed I left vowing never to return ordering what I needed online. If I've waited awhile I can wait a week more and have what I need.

Sure the economy is tough but if all you going to offer is broken sticks and high priced one brand kits and expensive motors along with poor business ethics then you deserve to go out of business.

BTW, Hobby King offers Dealer prices to brick an mortar.

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Old 04-30-2013, 08:13 PM   #13
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We are lucky and have a few hobby retailers within 50 miles. (closest is 2 miles from my door)

The close one is RC car oriented 90% + of what they carry. so of limited value for aircraft supplies.

The others, with increasing distance, carry more and more aircraft oriented stuff.

Each is orienting their business to what the market demands from them and thus they are doing fine.

Good service and good selection in the areas they work to cover.
People drive the distance needed to get to the store that serves their needs.

Fail on service or selection and you can bet that any business will end up closing.
If the demand is there and the business meets the customers' demands then they will succeed.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:50 PM   #14
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I buy most or my rc needs from my local hobby shop (leasure hours hobby in joilet il) Scotty the owner has been great to us airplane guys and the car guys and truckers have it made with a indoor and out door tracks. I have been buying off of Scotty for 25 years and he gives me 20 percent off of the sticker price. Put the 20 percent off with no shipping costs when i order it through them and its a winner for me.Shure he has alot of car stuff but he has more than enough airplane arfs and kits for every need . joe
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Turner View Post
This thread might be a bit more interesting if we had a clue where some of you are.
I'm in Tasmania, which is probably more out of the way than most of the posters here.. Aeromodelling is very limited any way, although model yachts are very popular. It's a weather thing
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:27 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
I'm in Tasmania, which is probably more out of the way than most of the posters here.. Aeromodelling is very limited any way, although model yachts are very popular. It's a weather thing
I would say a little out of the way is a under statement. joe
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:22 AM   #17
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Well if you ever get down my way stop at Graves. It's the Valhalla of hobby shops!

http://www.gravesrc.com/

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
2 years ago, there were 4 hobby shops within 30 minutes drive from me, now there are none. They closed one by one, about 4-6 months apart. Apart from picking up some dirt cheap bargains when they closed down, not much else was worth commenting on. One thing that doesn't get talked about much is the loss of contact with other enthusiasts. Even when browsing, you always run into another flyer /builder you haven't met before, and chat about what you're up to. Often times I speak to glo flyers as well, which happens rarely anytime else. Lots of people don't join or fly at clubs, but still have aeromodelling as a hobby, so really don't get the opportunity to share with others. I know lots of us talk in these forums, but with internet chats and on line shopping, the face to face thing seems to be dwindling. It may be another sign of the times, but I thought this aspect of losing your LHS's was worth mentioning.
Yeah
Our local hobby shop is 20 miles away in Greenfield WI. I just bought a Hanger 9 Twist model airplane from them. They had to order it (by phone), got it in two days. And got it for $20 less than on line, and didn't have to pay shipping. Many of their prices beat the internet prices, don't know how they do it.

You'd better believe that hobby shop is busy during open hours.

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Retired and the days are just too short, busier than ever!
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:12 AM   #19
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Ive got a few ty hobby shops and a hobby town that isn't the best thing either within distance I like to travel. Theres a really nice hobby shop about an hour and half away but only go there once in a while if I have a big order I cant find online.

Me and my Father want to open a RC wonderworld but know it will probably never happen. We have access to a chunk of land that we could literally do everything RC related at. Air, water, ground you name it we have a spot to do it. Would love to get it all setup and have a nice small shop filled with rc parts. If I ever hit the lotto I will do it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:44 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BBCorvette18 View Post
Ive got a few ty hobby shops and a hobby town that isn't the best thing either within distance I like to travel. Theres a really nice hobby shop about an hour and half away but only go there once in a while if I have a big order I cant find online.

Me and my Father want to open a RC wonderworld but know it will probably never happen. We have access to a chunk of land that we could literally do everything RC related at. Air, water, ground you name it we have a spot to do it. Would love to get it all setup and have a nice small shop filled with rc parts. If I ever hit the lotto I will do it.
I dream of doing the same if I hit the lotto...

Cost-minus RC sales for club members :p
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #21
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Default Local hobby shop closings.

Hi, I stumbled upon this thread and after reading it, I would like to share a few observations. I own two hobby shops in Florida and like most LHS owners I'm a consumer in other stores and see both sides.

Since 2007 more than half of all Brick and Mortar Hobby Shops in the U.S. have closed. There are a multitude of factors that have led to all of these stores closing. Obviously the primary factor is the economy. But, the internet has also been a factor, but surprisingly not in the way that most hobby store customers believe. Some stores have closed due to poor management and some due to the same cause that induces most buisness failures- cash flow or lack there of.

Most stores do advertise on the internet and most are comparably priced to the major U.S. Internet resellers such as Tower and Horizon. It would be difficult for most B&M stores to beat Tower or Horizon as the owner of Tower (Hobbico/Great Planes) and Horizon are the main distributors and manufacturers of RC hobby products in the Americas. Hobby King and Hobbypartz etc., have done some damage to the local hobby shops. It's just not possible to compete with them as they are based in China and there are no distributors and in most cases they are bypassing customs charges and freight forwarder fees etc.. In some cases a few companies compete unfairly by violating law, such as shipping li-po's through the mail system. I hear people complaining about companies outsourcing and moving jobs overseas etc.. But, that is kind of what is happening to the U.S. hobby industry. The difference is that it is being driven by the U.S. consumer. There are some good reasons to "Buy Local", "Buy American" etc.. Buying local keeps some of your neighbors employed and your money stays in your local economy.

We hear customers sometimes complaining that we don't have some item that they want. As the conversation continues it comes out that they need something that is missing or defective in their airplane package that they just purchased online from one of the import houses. That is where a lot of customers misunderstand how most retail businesses operate. We track what we sell and try to stock the parts and accessories for what our customers are purchasing from us. It's not that we care where you bought your plane from, it's just that there is no sales data to prompt us to order it. Of course with some of the import products we can't even get the items to stock. But the bottom line is that if you don't spend money in your LHS they won't be able to stock new items. They need cashflow to stock the store, pay the bills and add new items. If you LHS doesn't have what you are looking for, don't walk out without saying anything. Please tell the manager/owner politely what you were looking for. In my stores if people keep asking for something, I try to stock it. If you don't ask, we may not know there is demand for it. I say politely because if you tell someone "they suck", the conversation is pretty much over.

Someone posted that HK offers dealer discounts - that has not been true for several years. They stopped offering trade discounts and tried to get U.S. store owners to open HobbyKing stores with the stipulation that you cannot sell their products online. I'm pretty sure that there are no U.S. locations.

I can assure you that there are very few U.S. LHS owners getting rich from it.

If you have a LHS, how many times do you go in just for a prop or a Du-bro horn etc.? If you don't support it, the store may not be there the next time you need a $1 part to get your poject into the air.

One post mentioned the social aspect of the LHS. The percentage of RC'ers that are members of clubs is very low. We need the interaction between hobbiests that are both club and non club members. As a hobby we need that place that exposes the hobby to those that don't yet participate online.

Sorry for the long winded post.
Bill
Hobby Central
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:00 AM   #22
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I'm in my LHS so often we used to joke that I deserved a private stool at the counter.

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Old 05-12-2013, 05:04 PM   #23
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LOL, we actually have stools that we let regular customers use on their prolonged visits.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:49 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by hobbycentral View Post
Hi, I stumbled upon this thread and after reading it, I would like to share a few observations. I own two hobby shops in Florida and like most LHS owners I'm a consumer in other stores and see both sides.

Since 2007 more than half of all Brick and Mortar Hobby Shops in the U.S. have closed. There are a multitude of factors that have led to all of these stores closing. Obviously the primary factor is the economy. But, the internet has also been a factor, but surprisingly not in the way that most hobby store customers believe. Some stores have closed due to poor management and some due to the same cause that induces most buisness failures- cash flow or lack there of.

Most stores do advertise on the internet and most are comparably priced to the major U.S. Internet resellers such as Tower and Horizon. It would be difficult for most B&M stores to beat Tower or Horizon as the owner of Tower (Hobbico/Great Planes) and Horizon are the main distributors and manufacturers of RC hobby products in the Americas. Hobby King and Hobbypartz etc., have done some damage to the local hobby shops. It's just not possible to compete with them as they are based in China and there are no distributors and in most cases they are bypassing customs charges and freight forwarder fees etc.. In some cases a few companies compete unfairly by violating law, such as shipping li-po's through the mail system. I hear people complaining about companies outsourcing and moving jobs overseas etc.. But, that is kind of what is happening to the U.S. hobby industry. The difference is that it is being driven by the U.S. consumer. There are some good reasons to "Buy Local", "Buy American" etc.. Buying local keeps some of your neighbors employed and your money stays in your local economy.

We hear customers sometimes complaining that we don't have some item that they want. As the conversation continues it comes out that they need something that is missing or defective in their airplane package that they just purchased online from one of the import houses. That is where a lot of customers misunderstand how most retail businesses operate. We track what we sell and try to stock the parts and accessories for what our customers are purchasing from us. It's not that we care where you bought your plane from, it's just that there is no sales data to prompt us to order it. Of course with some of the import products we can't even get the items to stock. But the bottom line is that if you don't spend money in your LHS they won't be able to stock new items. They need cashflow to stock the store, pay the bills and add new items. If you LHS doesn't have what you are looking for, don't walk out without saying anything. Please tell the manager/owner politely what you were looking for. In my stores if people keep asking for something, I try to stock it. If you don't ask, we may not know there is demand for it. I say politely because if you tell someone "they suck", the conversation is pretty much over.

Someone posted that HK offers dealer discounts - that has not been true for several years. They stopped offering trade discounts and tried to get U.S. store owners to open HobbyKing stores with the stipulation that you cannot sell their products online. I'm pretty sure that there are no U.S. locations.

I can assure you that there are very few U.S. LHS owners getting rich from it.

If you have a LHS, how many times do you go in just for a prop or a Du-bro horn etc.? If you don't support it, the store may not be there the next time you need a $1 part to get your poject into the air.

One post mentioned the social aspect of the LHS. The percentage of RC'ers that are members of clubs is very low. We need the interaction between hobbiests that are both club and non club members. As a hobby we need that place that exposes the hobby to those that don't yet participate online.

Sorry for the long winded post.
Bill
Hobby Central
good post bill. I support us suppliers over hobby king whenever possible. I always buy something when I go to the hobby shop. even if its just a prop or two.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:00 PM   #25
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If the Internet Tax passes the House that should help the local Hobby Shops. Its hard to compete with the internet specials, 0% financing, 3 pay plan etc. I race cars also, without the LHS's I wouldn't have a track so I try to support them when they have what I need. The Track is worth a lot to me.
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