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My favorite hobby store

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Old 02-27-2003, 04:45 PM
  #1  
greenboot
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Default My favorite hobby store

Two days after ordering, this place had everything I needed on my doorstep. Wheels, props, heli parts, and a new 1/3 scale kit. No tax, no shipping, no driving, no phone calling, no waiting. They even beat the prices of all the local shops. Yes, I love Tower Hobbies.

I've been to small shops and they are wonderful places for those who enjoy browsing and whatever else. But internet mail ordering is my choice. I can have anything on my doorstep before I find time to drive to the LHS. And with the price of gas, it's cheaper to pay shipping, even for small items.

I will continue to support Tower with the hopes they are not squeezed out by the little guys with their great service and customer support.

Please patronize the business of your choice!

Tom
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Old 02-27-2003, 06:03 PM
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GrnBrt
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Default My favorite hobby store

Here's mine, 10 minutes from my house.
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Old 02-27-2003, 06:15 PM
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ramcharger
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I'm from St Louis and their are 2 LHS's that always have the exact prices as Tower. Actually one is in St Charles. You have to substitute state sales tax for s&h. I find myself buying more and more from LHS's. Times are tough now and I would miss one of these stores not being around. I would guess in percentage dollars spent it is 50/50 betweeen mail order and local. I get unique sometimes high cost items by mail order which easily offset a lot of small local stuff.
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Old 02-27-2003, 06:37 PM
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MikeL
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Hobby Warehouse in Richfield, MN is where I get most of my stuff. Not only do they have great prices, but it's a family business and they've always treated me well. I'll mail order almost all of my computer equipment, but for some reason I don't enjoy doing that with RC stuff. My favorite childhood hobby shop closed years ago, and I'd hate to see that happen to the shop that's always had what I needed when I needed. Not only that, but it's actually fun to walk in and see the props, kits, ARFs, models on the ceiling, isles of fuel, engines and radios under glass, and... to be able to actually touch the stuff! That's something you just can't do with mail order.
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Old 02-28-2003, 01:06 AM
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Default My favorite hobby store

I use Doug's Hobby Shop in Waldorf, MD.

http://www.dougshobby.com

Not only will they match Tower's price, it comes with advice and friendship. The staff all know me by name and their "customer service" is fantastic. Outstanding LHS!
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Old 02-28-2003, 01:13 AM
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probligo
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Airsail, Auckland. 5 mins from work.

Good wood
Most anything I need
And I just love going in there to chew the fat.
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Old 02-28-2003, 01:54 AM
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Those of you that have a LHS should be thankful. I needed some fuel a few weeks back. It is one of the items I don't mail order because of the hazmat fees. Three hour drive round trip to the not so local hobby shop.

Eric
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Old 02-28-2003, 02:23 AM
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I have four within 20 miles of my house. When I travel for work, I keep the Horizon catalog in the suitcase. When I've got some extra time, I look up LHS phone numbers in the back and go to browse. I've met quite a number of good people that way. There always seems to be something different at each store, and it's always interesting to stop.
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Old 02-28-2003, 04:00 AM
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Default Dear Mister Tower,

I just wanted to let you know my order arrived even sooner than I had expected. Everything was in perfect condition.

Luckily, you stock tail blades for my old heli, I banged them last weekend. Due to the inclement weather, driving to the LHS would have been a pain in the butt. Last time I was there, they didn't have them anyway.

The GP Extra kit looks awesome. Nice of you to have it on sale. The free glue you included was a nice touch too. I was surprised you shipped both big boxes for free.

I talked with one of your sales persons on the phone. She was nice enough to help be get an additional $20 discount on this order. Cool!

Regards,

Tom
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Old 02-28-2003, 04:59 AM
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I do all my shopping at my local hobby shop. I use Dougs Hobby shop in Waldorf Maryland. I want to see what I am buying and I want to talk to folks that have some knowledge about what I am going to spend my money on, not a data entry clerk! I want to be able to drive to my LHS to buy that broken control horn I just busted and not have to wait 3-5 days for the UPS folks to bring it. I want to stand around my LHS and talk to fellow R/C flyers and tell stories and talk trash. If what I buy is defective or will not work in the application I wanted it for, I want to be able to take it back to a real person that I can work with and not stand in line at a UPS facility mailing things back and forth. And most importantly, I feel about Tower Hobbies the same way I feel about Bill Gates, they shouldn't own the whole damn world!!!
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Old 02-28-2003, 04:13 PM
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Default Too many, and not enough...

I'm lucky(?) enough to have four hobby shops in town that carry airplanes stuff. If you want to be ignored, and have 19 year old pimply kids that only know what the latest car is, then go to either of the two Hobby Towns, you'll be treated like the weirdo airplane guy you are there. Cedar Park Hobbies is a real hobby shop, though it's almost an hour away from me. I go there when I want it, and now. Most of the time they'll have it, or can get it quickly. There's the Village Hobby shop, which is mostly trains and plastic, but they have some older FF and C/L stuff. He'll treat you well, depending on his mood that day. Oh, I forgot about Discount Hobbies up in Georgetown. Haven't been up there yet. I met the owner's son, who was nice enough... They are kitting their own planes, which I take to be actively participating in aircraft R/C...

If you don't mind waiting a bit, Tower and others like it are hard to beat... Some stuff I get from them, but mostly I get stuff at Cedar Park Hobbies. www.cedarparkhobbies.com

phil in austin
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Old 03-01-2003, 02:20 AM
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I buy stuff from tower and my lhs. I prefer the lhs, it is rather small and is packed, and I mean packed to the ceiling with R/C and modeling hobbie supplies. An old guy owns it, and is properly named "Grandpa's Train Shop". It is in Rice Lake, Wisconsin
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Old 03-01-2003, 07:40 AM
  #13  
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My fav...

www.rchobbycenter.com

Great bunch of folks!

IronZ
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:35 AM
  #14  
choffman41
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I don't have a LHS within a 2 hour round trip so I use mail order rather than 15 bucks worth of gas and a lot of driving time. I just got my latest Tower order and they sent some fuel line in place of the slow flyer props I ordered. I sent an e-mail, and within a couple hours got an apology for the mistake. They said keep the fuel line and they'll get the props out right away. Seems like this is all a guy could ask for. I'm happy as a clam with their service......
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:32 AM
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Dear Mister LHS,
It is Saturday. I have a flyin' tomorrow and was desperate for some fuel and stopped by only to find that you have gone out of business. Now what am
I going to do when I need stuff in an emergency. No matter how well I try to plan ahead, Me, and everyone else in the world knows that there are ALWAYS going to be times when we need to get an emergency item NOW. I know you haven't seen me lately as I've opted to do all my shopping online at Tower Hobbies, I am sure that you have heard of them. I realize that by spreading my purchases around, you might still be there for me, so I guess I am to blame for the demise of your business. Feel free to give my phone number to all your past regular customers as I am sure they all have a word or two to say to me, now that they no longer have their favorite store to go to. By the way, I am so proud of my obvious disconcern that I think I will brag about it on RCUniverse and see if I can't wedge a booted foot deep in my pie hole. Yeah, yeah, I know that you could have ordered items for me that you did not have in stock, and I would have them in a couple days, but I'm far too impatient for that whole scene. I realize that most people would find my attitude to be somewhat insensitive and destructive towards a hobby that I enjoy so dearly, but I could care less as the only opinion that matters is mine. Like I always tell everybody, "if you're looking for someone to be part of the solution, don't look at me!"

Good Luck,

I. B. Callous
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:22 AM
  #16  
Bob Peterson
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Crashmaster,
I agree with you. If we don't support the local hobby shop, we will lose them. I will not shop mail order just to save a few bucks. I want my lhs to do well and be there when I need a clevis. Don't buy the high dollar items mail order and then gripe when the lhs closes his doors. If saving a couple bucks is so important, maybe a different hobby would be better. So, I'm opinionated, but I have several local shops still here.
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:33 AM
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Originally posted by SDCrashmaster
Dear Mister LHS.......

....so I guess I am to blame for the demise of your business. Feel free to give my phone number to all your past regular customers as I am sure they all have a word or two to say to me, now that they no longer have their favorite store to go to.

Good Luck,

I. B. Callous
I am just sitting here dumbfounded by this post. I mean, you can't be serious.

*sigh*

Businesses are in business to do one thing....make money! Businesses that stay in business despite not making money are called charities. If you can be in a business, doing something you love....and still make money, you are truly blessed. I just don't understand why people are so adamant about supporting a business that has high prices, nothing in stock, and employs people that don't give a rat's ass! Oh, wait...now I remember...they sell hobby stuff. Businesses have to earn our patronage...not the other way around.

HS's with good stock, fair prices and friendly people should be supported. Any business that has those things should be supported.

SDcrash is making the huge assumption that a HS of that caliber (i.e. worthy of patronage) is reasonably close to greenboot....in a most arrogant way. Even if there is, it's his money, he can spend it any way he chooses. And he's not the one *****ing about having to get stuff mail order!

I have always hated the argument that a HS
deserves my money simply because it's open. I work very hard for my money, and I spend a lot of it on this hobby (just got into turbines....ouch). Only people that work equally hard will get it from me......regardless of where their business is located.

Tell all those guys that want to call and blame someone for the closing of the crappy LHS....they can call me....I'll tell them they are all idiots for spending their money there.

Sorry I ranted so long......


Bob
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:53 PM
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Bob (sideshow), thanks... My thoughts, too. I work Really hard for my living too, and don't need to support something that doesn't support me...

Crashmaster, you say strong things in support of local hobby shops, no matter the cost. Let me ask you this.... Why should I shop at a hobby shop (I have more than one choice, thankfully) that is as sideshow Bob describes, and watch the owner take sailing trips across the Pacific (he recently did that) while he won't even carry 1/5 scale pilot figures in stock. I bought his last one last year, and it was never replaced... He's got 20 Firebird XL kits to trap the unknowledgeable, and 10 RTF ARF's in the box, and a sprinkling of hardware, but not much of what most modelers use. Oh, and three rows of car stuff, too. And two rows of toys for the kiddies when they come in... The somewhat sparse supply of high retail priced balsa is way over in the corner.

He's making money, that much is certain, and I applaud him for being able to do that. However, I'm not going to buy, what he won't carry. Sorry.

phil in austin
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:13 PM
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I used to order everything from TH, we all know what has happened to the shipping policies that they have changed, well this made me look around for another shop. We have a local guy that has a small shop and also we have a HobbyTown, but both are about 1 hour to an hour and a half away from my house, depending on traffic. This week I discovered Quantum Models, I mean I've seen them in magazines for years now but never ordered from them. I found out that Quantum models is right here in my state, only about a 30 minute drive from my house. Dude has over 200 airplanes, a wide selection of engines, and a nice supply of accessories. I believe that I have found my permanent hobby shop...
Very happy modeler
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:00 PM
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Gosh, I just wanted to express how much I like mail order. And specifically the excellant service at Tower. I'm sorry that it angers anyone.

I've never asked anyone to abandon their LHS and in fact I always recommend the two excellant shops in STL. There used to be a couple more, but sadly they have closed up. When the last one closes, you're welcome to stop by the house if you need fuel or parts, I have some extra on hand.

Tom
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Old 03-18-2003, 01:14 AM
  #21  
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SDCrashmaster,


Well (if a little indelicate) put. While I don't have an attitude that LHS will get my business no matter what, I'm smart enough (and observant enough of history) to figure out what happens when small businesses (read a-m-e-r-i-c-a-n-w-a-y) are pushed out in favor of the Wal-Marts of the world. As soon as all the LHSs are out of business, and the people (and families) that they supported are doing 'something else' [have you considered an exciting career in electronics?], the items that they carry are going to go to pot quality-wise. They'll stop buying good products and go for cheap knock-offs to 'minimize costs', then you'll be paying a penny less for some cheap crap that costs half as much for them to make than you were for the good stuff. All across America, there are entire towns and cities where practically the entire workforce works for WalMart, for minimum wage or close, and unfortunately, many of these people used to be Small Business employees (and in some cases, even owners...) I know that's the way the country seems to be going with this new 'world economy', but I hate watching it happen in our beloved hobby.

Sorry, but I'll take face-to-face human contact whenever I can get it. Anyway, Paul's right--what are you gonna do when you need a plug or a prop RIGHT NOW, and the LHSs are all bankrupt?
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Old 03-18-2003, 02:13 AM
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How exactly are you supposed to get newcomers into the hobby by mail-order. Sure the LHS has slightly higher prices and that's because they have higher overhead. Ever noticed that small LHS are run by their owners, are open six days a week and the owner is never able to get to the field to fly.

When I used to live in Calgary their were three LHS's here in Kamloops their are none. Trust me you don't know how valuable they are until they're gone.
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Old 03-18-2003, 09:44 AM
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I purchase all my large orders from Tower also, and if I remember when ordering, small things too. I am sure I would be surprised if I totaled all my LHS receipts up, at how much money I do spend with them. Convenience definitely plays a role in my LHS purchases, and yes I would be disappointed if they were gone tomorrow. Would I feel solely responsible for the LHS demise after being treated like I was a interruption of their work rather than the purpose of it? What a silly question.
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:03 AM
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I prefer my LHS over mail order.

I am very lucky to have a good well stocked hobby shop close by, Iím in there all the time and I make my purchases there. They are well stocked and have lots of experience in modeling. Itís great to look around at different planes. If you are interested in one you can bring it to the counter and look inside. Try that with Mail order.

Also if I want to make a modification or entering into a new area their advice is very useful. Itís also great to check out parts for making mods rather than stare at a picture.

The shop is the Hobby House, Reseda California.
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