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Big jump in kit prices at Tower

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Old 07-04-2012, 01:42 PM
  #26
DESERT RATT
 
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

What a great way to get it done. This is one of those things that when I read I hit myself in the back of the head and say "Why didn't I think of that." I just bought a Tile saw and table to4X1/2 it does cut the balsa very good and smooth, but I didn't think of 2X4 pieces and totally cut my own
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ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

I will go over to the wood shop today and take a few photos of the recut saw, OOPS!!! The 4th, it is probably closed? I buy blanks of balsa in 2X4Xas long as I can get it then go to my wood working club. A recut saw is just a BIG band saw but it is set up very accurate so I can make very thin cuts. For 1/16 I just rip it a bit over size then take it to the small over head micro sander and run it through until I get the exact size I want.
I'm really lucky to have a wood shop with all the tools required. We have two of the best table saws I have ever used. I buy 3/4 X 2X as long as I want of Poplar and rip all my hard wood stringers. I can't locate any bass wood or I would use that.
Anyway, I will try to get some shop photos for you this week.
I used to buy my wood from Lone Star, I have been using National Balsa the last year and I'm very happy with there wood. I need to place an order for more balsa 2X4s or what ever I can get for my own ripping. Doing it myself also requires less storage room and blocks don't warp like sheets.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
thats why buying now is always better than later . Hoard while you can , and when you can.


Tru dat !
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:02 PM
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Just compare the prices on their products.
A 60 size stick plane for $199, tricycle landing gear
Value Hobbies sells a very similar one for $88, tail dragger
I have this plane and it is of very good quality, flies great.

Tower has a good quality, no doubt. And there are many people buying nothing but their products.
They are a good source for odd spare parts, hope they'll survive for some time.

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Old 07-04-2012, 02:37 PM
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

I agree with Gray beard,when I first got into RC I bought kits,about 15 yrs ago I got a bandsaw,scroll,drill press,belt sander and some other small stuff.now I buy a set of plans go to lowes & home dep get the ply & poplar and cut myown kits,I enjoy building as much as flying.I'm not into arfs.winter builds-summer flys.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:39 PM
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower


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ORIGINAL: eddieC

GB, is that a club or community organization that owns the wood shop? Pretty cool having such great equipment, and upgrading as necessary! [8D]
I live in a Del Webb Community but the shop is our own making. Originally the club put up the money for equipment and got the space from the HOA. This is a huge complex and it is really a small space and they won't give us a bigger area or allow us to expand. We have never asked them for any money, fact is they are like a lot of HOAs and more of a hindrance. We do the club projects that pay for any new equipment, the board has never been asked for help. We do have to ask the board for any building type of upgrade we want to do. So, it's a private club and you pay a whopping $25.00 a year dues and have our {club}rules to follow. Our rules are the most stringent rules in any of the clubs here but for good reason.
I gave up buying kits years ago and I gave up tower even more years ago. They no longer carry much of anything I use or require and Iwas building bigger models then they had products for.
At one point up to about 15 years ago tower had a lot of everything a builder would need, a one stop shop if you will. Then they quit stocking items like canopy's and landing gears and started selling more and more ARFs and less and less kits!
I question the price rise of kits now?? Perhaps they plan on going full ARF like horizon??
I built/cut my own kits for years using just my scroll saw and sander, my wood club is better but I still do a lot of my cutting here at home in my little shop.
Start looking at plans, anyone that is a kit builder can build from plans. As a kid I designed my own planes and used an exacto knife to cut them so I know how easy cutting a kit can be. Why worry about Tower and there prices, who needs them anyway??
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:50 PM
  #31
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

tower is good to deal with. there prices a little high ,but you can get discounts and sometimes free shipping. these other websites are the same thing. a foam glider is 139.00 plus 19.95 shipping etc. see it all the time. there making money on shipping too................RON
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:09 PM
  #32
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower


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ORIGINAL: Gray Beard
I live in a Del Webb Community but the shop is our own making. Originally the club put up the money for equipment and got the space from the HOA. This is a huge complex and it is really a small space and they won't give us a bigger area or allow us to expand. We have never asked them for any money, fact is they are like a lot of HOAs and more of a hindrance. We do the club projects that pay for any new equipment, the board has never been asked for help. We do have to ask the board for any building type of upgrade we want to do. So, it's a private club and you pay a whopping $25.00 a year dues and have our {club}rules to follow. Our rules are the most stringent rules in any of the clubs here but for good reason.
I gave up buying kits years ago and I gave up tower even more years ago. They no longer carry much of anything I use or require and Iwas building bigger models then they had products for.
At one point up to about 15 years ago tower had a lot of everything a builder would need, a one stop shop if you will. Then they quit stocking items like canopy's and landing gears and started selling more and more ARFs and less and less kits!
I question the price rise of kits now?? Perhaps they plan on going full ARF like horizon??
I built/cut my own kits for years using just my scroll saw and sander, my wood club is better but I still do a lot of my cutting here at home in my little shop.
Start looking at plans, anyone that is a kit builder can build from plans. As a kid I designed my own planes and used an exacto knife to cut them so I know how easy cutting a kit can be. Why worry about Tower and there prices, who needs them anyway??
Gray Beard, I think you are very fortunate.

However, I don't think that anyone who is a kit builder can build from plans. I am a kit builder, but when I look at plans that have minimal or no instructions, I am lost. I for one need those step-by-step illustrated instructions that Great Planes, Top Flite, Sig, etc provide.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:38 PM
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

As for 'overpriced' kits on the 'bay, I sold 2 kits this week and took hits on them both.   The buyers got great deals IMO. Lots of watchers, only one or two bids.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:41 PM
  #34
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

In fact, have a GP F-15 new-in-box with 9 minutes left, a great buy...
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:44 PM
  #35
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

just stop buying for a few months make use of your old planes trade around> i have 12 planes why do i need more?
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:03 PM
  #36
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower


Quote:
ORIGINAL: combatman

Anyone else notice the price jump in Great Planes, Dynaflite, and Top Flite kits at Tower Hobbies? Wow!
If you have not noticed the buying power of the US dollar has declined.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:35 PM
  #37
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Everything coming out of China has gone up. Not just at Tower. Nitro planes T45 which I bought 8 months ago for $145 is now $199 and other items I purchased have gone up at least 15%.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:35 PM
  #38
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

I noticed the same price jump at Sig. Now that they are starting to get invantory back; it seems to have returned with a 15-30% price jump.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:07 PM
  #39
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Its not just the kits. The arfs have gone through the roof as well. I bought the top flite 60 size thunderbolt arf for 289.99 about 8 months ago and now that same plane is 369.99. Also why hasn't Horizon's prices gone up. I think its strictly a great planes thing going on. All theses brands that have been listed are are all owned by great planes. No thanks ill stick with Horizon.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:58 PM
  #40
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Good Morning,
I was planning on purchasing a couple of balsa kits from Tower Hobbies two weeks ago, before i noticed the prices have increased. I contacted Tower Hobbies about the price change and the guy i talked to didn't know why the costs of their balsa kits have gone up.

- Allan
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:58 AM
  #41
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Hi Fellows: I was just reviewing Tower's website, and almost choked my tongue down. Just what are these mfg's thinking? I really do not want to cut my own balsa size wood needed in order to build a model. Purchased a lot of wood some time ago; so it will be only when starting a new plane that more wood will be needed. In view of the number of model kits I bought over the years before retiring, I will not need to purchase any of the kits on the market now. Spent a good amount of funds purchasing plans from the RCM Plans Service; so if a kit build is not interesting enough, I can fall back on building from plans. What really steams me is to see the price of a kit at or more than an ARF of the same model. This type of message is telling customers to not purchase a kit. This type of pricing is not doing any good for the original motivation of the hobby back in the yester years. People have control of their time, and to market that they have no time to build a model, but have time to drink beer is a big lie.

I am moving back into the 1/2A arena as I can fly this size model here on our own 2.6 acres after the FAA and HomeLand Security guts our fuel flying. It is ok with me for people to play with electric trains, but leave my fuel models alone.

Rich S.



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Old 07-05-2012, 03:26 AM
  #42
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower


Quote:
ORIGINAL: eddieC

Charge what the market will bear, it has NO bearing on what an item costs to produce.
I think in some cases this is true, however I don't think this is factual in all cases. Many times it is the cost to stay in business and it is a sad fact in the US and one of the reasons is that everyone wants their hand in the pie and there is not enough pie to put your hands in. You are getting less product and more cost added.

Just the other day we bought a box of cereal and I was curious exactly how much they had cut the content volume back since I had been watching cereal boxes get smaller and smaller over the years to where they almost so small they will fit in a pocket book. I remember when they had many bowls of cereal in them. I was more shocked than ever when I poured the contents and measured them. I put the entire contents in a small ziplock bag! This has pretty much occurred in the last 30-40 years and I have watched it with amazement.

This type of junk is what businesses and vendors and money mongerers are doing in the US and it saddens me that this is our design. Cutting the quantity of glue? Sheeesh...when will this type of practice of greed end? Do you remember when you could buy an electrical appliance and the cord would reach the outlet? Now the cords are too short to reach the outlets and you have to buy an extension cord. Why, because the companies save every where they can and a foot of cord saves them money. Am I the only one that has watched this happen?

What happened to giving the consumer honest weights and measures for their hard earned money? I am old school and believe there is a price we all have to pay for these practices. If Tower Hobbies is part of this then they are no different than the rest, however many times it is the suppliers and all the red tape a company has to go through just to maintain a business much less make a profit.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:18 AM
  #43
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower


Quote:
ORIGINAL: eddieC

As for kit prices in general, it's Capitalism. Charge what the market will bear, it has NO bearing on what an item costs to produce.

Back in the late 70's, Chevy Impalas were sold out in the US. GM had a choice of building a new plant to meet demand, or raise the price a few thousand. They didn't build the plant! [X(]

Thank the same business-school experts for where we are now, including the lack of resonably-priced kits. I know kit-building is in the decline, but Tower and others don't have to take advantage with such huge price increases. Vote with your feet/wallet. I'm looking into kit cutters as an alternative.

You are 100% right. the answer you will get is most likely a lie. Like "I blame the wind turbines". There are naive people that believe that the prices of these items are cost-dependent. No, they are in response of a very careful and planned pricing strategy.

Look at the small Top flit Corsair. They came out with an outrageous price, and they obviously sold. Well, then they increase something else. The market sets the prices, and one wants to maximize the profits (always). If it does not sell, you will see sales after sales. Rarely they just go and change the price of an item.

If you ask, you will never get a price decision maker on the phone, and if you do, he will lie to you anyway:-) They have the lies already prepared too:-)

Gerry
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:34 AM
  #44
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Weak dollar. Bottom line, also people are spending less and companies want to continue making the same amount of profits. Fewer sales,highier prices.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:50 AM
  #45
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ORIGINAL: Turqui

Weak dollar. Bottom line, also people are spending less and companies want to continue making the same amount of profits. Fewer sales,highier prices.
Seems plausible, but that goes against basic economic theory, which states that when demand goes down, prices go down to generate sales.
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:51 AM
  #46
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Tower used to have many more pages of kits than ARFs and now it's the other way around.  Supply and demand says that when the demand goes down the price goes up so it's not suprising at all.
And if balsa cost is higher scratch building also goes up.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:23 AM
  #47
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

You are off a little on Capitalism. If you think you can make a better kit cheeper then the market will reward you. Ithink inflation is the answer.
Quote:
ORIGINAL: eddieC

As for kit prices in general, it's Capitalism. Charge what the market will bear, it has NO bearing on what an item costs to produce.

Back in the late 70's, Chevy Impalas were sold out in the US. GM had a choice of building a new plant to meet demand, or raise the price a few thousand. They didn't build the plant! [X(]

Thank the same business-school experts for where we are now, including the lack of resonably-priced kits. I know kit-building is in the decline, but Tower and others don't have to take advantage with such huge price increases. Vote with your feet/wallet. I'm looking into kit cutters as an alternative.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:19 AM
  #48
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Actually, looking back at the price of kits 10-15 years ago the new higher prices are much more in line or still cheaper than they were. A Top Flite P-40 kit has a lot of time from design to packing the box, and materials in it even for $239. I would bet the price increase is mainly due to still have all the same fixed costs of putting together a kit with much lower sales.

As far as balsa goes people really need to stop worrying about it. Balsa is more like corn than like a maple tree. If there is an increase in demand there will be much more balsa farming and the trees only take a few years to get to to a size for harvest.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:48 AM
  #49
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower

Its not just Tower. I was listening to the RC radio network podcast and the main speaker, who owns a shop I believe, was talking about several of the brands he carries had a rather large price hike.

As someone else said, there is a LOT of balsa used in the blades of those wind generators. They are buying up the balsa market right now!

Bill S.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:01 AM
  #50
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Default RE: Big jump in kit prices at Tower


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Turqui

Weak dollar. Bottom line, also people are spending less and companies want to continue making the same amount of profits. Fewer sales,highier prices.
you got it half right, it is actually a weak china Yuan. China has been keeping the value of there currency undervalued for years and they just now started to cash in,
china's exports are down, so they are now finally raising there currency to compensate for there loss in trade



"WASHINGTON — The Senate, seizing on the argument that the American jobs crisis is partly China’s fault, voted Monday to move forward with tough trade legislation that would impose tariffs on some Chinese goods to punish Beijing for keeping its currency artificially depressed." October 3, 2011nytimes.com
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