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LHS Rant!

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Old 08-17-2012, 06:09 AM
  #26
LesUyeda
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"Les, that would mean that we could only buy what the lhs owner decides we could buy."

I think everyone else have covered this, so I won't bother:-)))))))))))

Les
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:10 AM
  #27
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Sorry, didn't see that last post before I posted as I had to leave the computer.....  in a store that large, you would think he could at LEAST stock some of the more well known kits that so many people start with when they first start kit building.  Again, out of politeness, if he allows folks selling planes in his store, if you wanted $1,000 for a $400 plane I'd say, "Sure, hang it up there."  I'd give you a couple months or maybe until someone else needed the space..... at that point I'd probably call you up or email you and say, "Pat, I haven't had any interest, maybe you could drop your price?"  I wouldn't be a dick about it, but then again, maybe that's why I'm not such a great business man.  LOL  
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:52 AM
  #28
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The primary goal of any business is to make a profit, pure and simple. If you stray from that focus, you won't be in business for long. Hobby shops are no different than the auto dealership or the grocery store, profit is the goal. How much of a profit and how it's made, is what makes the difference in a good shop vs a bad one. Stores have to stock what sells and to a hobby shop, that is even more imperative due to the rapidly changing technology, product mix and customer base. You have to know your customers and what they're going to buy. What was hot last month is collecting dust on your shelves today and next month it will be something else. RC Cars and BNF/PNP foamie electrics are hot now, so the owner is going to stock what sells quickly and allows them to restock and get in the newest releases. This hobby is rife with guys with the "gotta have the latest and greatest" syndrome and if you don't sell it to them while they are in the store, they'll buy it from your competitor or just go online. Like it or not, impulse buys are a large component of retail hobby sales and the reason many only allow returns for store credit.

As noted above, hobby shops are not philanthropic organizations or museums. If you feel that you know the magic formula for the "perfect" hobby shop, then by all means invest your time and money into that dream. I am a builder myself, but right now, spending time with my 3 year old is far more important than carving balsa and ply. She's only going to be a child once and the wood airplane kits can wait. For now, it's ARFs, foamies and the occasional RTF bought from CL or the classifieds.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:01 AM
  #29
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No wonder we have no time to build. We are all on here complaining about stuff that's never going to change and beating the same dead horse over and over until you don't know it was a horse. How many kit manufacturers are still left? 5 maybe 7? And who is the distributor for almost all the items the hobby shop stocks(maybe)? Yep the Big H and the Big T Most of the guys that support this hobby at all are in their 20's to 30's, and they want instant satisfaction NOW! They are the ones at all the events and getting sponserships from manufacturers. They want out of the box performence, and buy it today fly it tomorrow action. Life moves on gentlemen, just like we drive cars now instead of horses and malls replaced downtown shopping. Those who adjust and niche themselves survive and those that don't go under. It's just the way it is. I got back into this hobby because of electrics and arfs and if they were not available then I would have never gotten back in. We NEEDall those young people buying arfs to keep this hobby alive or else the manufacturers that are left will go the way of the Dodo bird. So instead of us wasting our time B....ching and moaning about the old dayshow about we teach a new generation why we call it modeling. Look what that club did in MA a few months ago, getting a bunch of guys to build the same scratch build and have a ball doing it. To borrow a song lyric " the good old days were'nt always as good, and tomorrows not as bad as it seems" Oh by the way I'm over 50 and Ibuild kits, rebuild crashes, and generally enjoy my arfs.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:03 AM
  #30
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I see it from both sides.  Any good merchant can and should focus on the merchandise that moves well and has a reasonable margin.  Even as a builder, I respect that decision.  On the other hand, as a builder, I would like to be able to support my LHS with the purchase of kits.

I think what was really the case that started this post is the frustration of a builder that the complexion of the LHS has changed.  I believe that we all lament that.  But for me, I'm glad that some LHSs have been able to weather the storm and have found a way to stay in business.

Look at my building/buying process.  My decision to build a kit is not an impulse buy.  I don't wake up some mornings and decide to purchase a kit.  I doubt I would spontaneously purchase a kit while strolling down the isle of my LHS.  For me, online buying makes the most sense.  The few days wait to receive the kit is not a problem.

But for me, there is indeed a need for the LHS.  When I'm out of CA, fuel, need a prop, some aircraft ply, wheels, hardware, covering, etc., I want it NOW.  I rely on the two LHSs in my area for that stuff.  At least so far, those things are still available in the store.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:24 AM
  #31
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The worst hobby shops are the "Hobby Town" ones. They dont cater to kit builders for sure. heck they really dont even help the ARF guys either. they carry all the cheap trainer planes to get people started in the hobby. the ones where they get kids and young adults to buy a 150 dollar E plane and smile when they know they will be back tomorrow to buy a new wing, props, tail set and tail boom because they crashed on the first flight. These new guys to the hobby will spend way over 600 on parts just what these guys want. My LHS here in Vacaville is bad also. They have space set aside for all the little items needs for kits like some glue, pushrods, horns and all the dubro, sullivan stuff. the thing is it is never stocked. i have been here since 2006 and that store still has the same Zinger wood props since 2006. i suggested to them if they lower the price they would get rid of those props. Who buys zinger props anymore? I told him i would buy ZOAR props if he would carry them. He always asks what size you need i can order them for you. I told him so can I....... the sell a most of the OS size engines but stock only three size fuel tanks 6,14 and 24 ounce tank. Get this also the have two of the Eflight EF1 arfs but do not have the batteries, motor or even the spinner to go with it... [X(] I wish i had the money to open my own store and put them out of biz. So many of these types of shop hurt the hobby more than promote it. they just want a quick buck little do they know they can still sell the junk 2 channel planes and still sell to the real hobbists.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:51 AM
  #32
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The last kit I built was a Ikon "Pilatous Porter". I ended up replacing most of the balsa sheeting provided and decided never again to buy another kit.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:00 AM
  #33
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: LesUyeda

''Les, that would mean that we could only buy what the lhs owner decides we could buy.''

I think everyone else have covered this, so I won't bother:-)))))))))))

Les
Les, I was saying what they should do. If only they would listen to us.

Here is a fantastic hobby shop: http://www.hodgeshobbies.com/ If Monokote or Ultracote makes it, he has rolls of it on hand. He has a whole room just for covering. I haven't been in a couple of years, but he did have a room just for engine parts in aisles. He also built on a room with tables where you can work on your planes. Outside, he has a large full scale grass strip where you can fly models any time. If only he wasn't two hours away.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:13 AM
  #34
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My obligation when it comes to spending money is to maximize its exchange to my benefit. The argument of paying more for an item because the local LHS owner is a nice guy and we want to keep him/her in business is not relavent. Maybe the LHS owner should sell his product for less because he/she wishes to see his customer have more money left over to feed their family?
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:44 AM
  #35
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Lamoilleriver

My obligation when it comes to spending money is to maximize its exchange to my benefit. The argument of paying more for an item because the local LHS owner is a nice guy and we want to keep him/her in business is not relavent. Maybe the LHS owner should sell his product for less because he/she wishes to see his customer have more money left over to feed their family?
That's a very short-sighted view. I'm all for saving a buck, but did you ever consider where your money goes after it's spent? If you buy from HK, it's going straight to China's economy. If you spend it at the LHS, it benefits the owner, the community around him, the distributor he buys from and the employees and community there, and then on to the manufacturer of the product (wherever they may be) and their employees, etc etc etc. The LHS is not always more expensive than the online stores, most items are now street priced so that online and the LHS have a relatively level playing field. GP/Hobbico/Tower still loves to stick it to their dealers with their coupons, but Horizon is pretty good about not messing around.

FWIW, you've got it completely backwards, the customer should be taking care of his family and other obligations first. If it's the other way around, he deserves whatever happens to him.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:59 AM
  #36
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A few years back, I was shopping at Costco and came across the LHS owner buying supplies for a family BBQ and wondered why he wasn't buying his supplies from his local supermarket. What is good for the goose is good for the gander?
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:08 AM
  #37
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Maybe someone has already said this so it may be repeating info.  But when I first got into this hobby the owner's of the LHSs were also fliers and members of the local clubs.  I think that is a rarity today when you are talking about the franchises.  The 2 independent stores I have been to here having plenty of kits - and owners who fly.  But the franchises don't - kits nor fly.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:17 AM
  #38
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Hemikiller


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Lamoilleriver

My obligation when it comes to spending money is to maximize its exchange to my benefit. The argument of paying more for an item because the local LHS owner is a nice guy and we want to keep him/her in business is not relavent. Maybe the LHS owner should sell his product for less because he/she wishes to see his customer have more money left over to feed their family?
That's a very short-sighted view. I'm all for saving a buck, but did you ever consider where your money goes after it's spent? If you buy from HK, it's going straight to China's economy. If you spend it at the LHS, it benefits the owner, the community around him, the distributor he buys from and the employees and community there, and then on to the manufacturer of the product (wherever they may be) and their employees, etc etc etc. The LHS is not always more expensive than the online stores, most items are now street priced so that online and the LHS have a relatively level playing field. GP/Hobbico/Tower still loves to stick it to their dealers with their coupons, but Horizon is pretty good about not messing around.

FWIW, you've got it completely backwards, the customer should be taking care of his family and other obligations first. If it's the other way around, he deserves whatever happens to him.
Sounds like a good union man

Sorry, but altrusim does not exist. Companies are in business to make a profit - and profit is a function of cost. The LHS buysjust as much stuff from China but tacks on profit. And it is not my responsiblity to make sure he has the profit to feed his family. So unless he can cut down costs by buying in bulk or saving shipping costs I'll buy online as much as I need.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:21 AM
  #39
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Hemikiller


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Lamoilleriver

My obligation when it comes to spending money is to maximize its exchange to my benefit. The argument of paying more for an item because the local LHS owner is a nice guy and we want to keep him/her in business is not relavent. Maybe the LHS owner should sell his product for less because he/she wishes to see his customer have more money left over to feed their family?
That's a very short-sighted view. I'm all for saving a buck, but did you ever consider where your money goes after it's spent? If you buy from HK, it's going straight to China's economy. If you spend it at the LHS, it benefits the owner, the community around him, the distributor he buys from and the employees and community there, and then on to the manufacturer of the product (wherever they may be) and their employees, etc etc etc. The LHS is not always more expensive than the online stores, most items are now street priced so that online and the LHS have a relatively level playing field. GP/Hobbico/Tower still loves to stick it to their dealers with their coupons, but Horizon is pretty good about not messing around.

FWIW, you've got it completely backwards, the customer should be taking care of his family and other obligations first. If it's the other way around, he deserves whatever happens to him.
BTW, your LHS in Branford has an on-line store that is the same as what, 20000 other on-line stores. I know it's the same site as Danbury's. At least Build Right Fly Right is honest about what he sells and actually has some inventory.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:38 AM
  #40
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rgburrill

Maybe someone has already said this so it may be repeating info. But when I first got into this hobby the owner's of the LHSs were also fliers and members of the local clubs. I think that is a rarity today when you are talking about the franchises. The 2 independent stores I have been to here having plenty of kits - and owners who fly. But the franchises don't - kits nor fly.
LHS was also similar, owner was quite honest that he enjoyed paying wholesale for his equipment while his customers payed retail, that was the benefit of being the owner. That's the way the world works.

Not sure what the difference is when buying the same item from HK or TH or the LHS, where the money goes is not my problem.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:58 AM
  #41
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The best LHS i have found so far in Cali is RC Country in Sacramento. very large in size as it used to be a old grocery store.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:26 AM
  #42
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Yep and thats why we have only walmarts. You obviously have never owned a small business before. The little mom &pop stores are not making a killing even the francise stores. If you are not marking up your items at least a 100 to 150% you will be out of business in no time. In fact it is the small items that have the most mark up because they have the least cost and offer the retailer the most opprtunity to make a profit. So having lots of kits on the shelf that carry only a small M.U for the guy who might come in once a year to buy one really doesn't pay.
Quote:
ORIGINAL: Lamoilleriver

My obligation when it comes to spending money is to maximize its exchange to my benefit. The argument of paying more for an item because the local LHS owner is a nice guy and we want to keep him/her in business is not relavent. Maybe the LHS owner should sell his product for less because he/she wishes to see his customer have more money left over to feed their family?
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:39 AM
  #43
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Sam Walton started out with one store and assuming all the risk he expanded his business, many small mom and pop shops make a decision to remain small(their right.free country) and most also assume the risks of remaining small.

Spending more for an item than necessary will put me out of business.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:53 AM
  #44
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I live in the greater Houston area and the LHS I choose to go to does sell kits, arfs, etc. Just recently I spied a 1/3 scale Spacewalker which I wanted but didnt have the funds to purchase at the time. When I returned a week later it was gone, so obviously people in my area are still building and buying kits.

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: pmerritt
We just lost an awesome family owned hobbyshop in Plano that has catered to this hobby for decades. A new owner came in and bought the remains and I noticed close to an $8.00 per gallon price increase on fuel alone. As mad as that made me, our current economy requires a specific profit margin in order to pay the cost of doing business. I was really hoping for ''business as usual'' but the new owners won't replace the hospitality, love, friendship, dedication and customer support that once fueled that store. I've been self employed for 33 years. You can't pay the electricity bill with any of those attributes listed above but they all fall into the equation of making sales.
I always liked going to Lou's shop. Lou (and some of the part time guys) are builders and I think that's the only reason he stocked some of the stuff. While some have written that catering to the builders increases sales I am not so sure. Some of the kits Lou had were on the shelf for 5 years or more and many were popular models like SIG Four Stars.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:45 AM
  #46
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Have you tried the online support?
It's back for a while now and we will be happy for some impression from the service....
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:35 PM
  #47
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No one has time to build.

You have to MAKE time to build.

If building is truely in your blood you will find time.

I have yet to buy an ARF that I would deem airworthy right out of the box.

Building is the foundation of this hobby. Even with ARF's...if you can't build you are at a great disadvantage.

SPEEDY G
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Speedy-Gonzales

No one has time to build.

You have to MAKE time to build.

If building is truely in your blood you will find time.

I have yet to buy an ARF that I would deem airworthy right out of the box.

Building is the foundation of this hobby. Even with ARF's...if you can't build you are at a great disadvantage.

SPEEDY G

Building is the foundation of YOUR hobby. I know many RC national competitors who only have an interest in FLYING RC planes - not building them. I would guess they spend much more on the hobby than most "builders" do, and as a result, support many hobby oriented businesses more than the typical builder.

Kurt

P.S. SPEEDY G: Looks like we joined RCU at about the same time.[8D]
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:41 PM
  #49
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: raptureboy

Yep and thats why we have only walmarts. You obviously have never owned a small business before. The little mom &pop stores are not making a killing even the francise stores. If you are not marking up your items at least a 100 to 150% you will be out of business in no time. In fact it is the small items that have the most mark up because they have the least cost and offer the retailer the most opprtunity to make a profit. So having lots of kits on the shelf that carry only a small M.U for the guy who might come in once a year to buy one really doesn't pay.
Quote:
ORIGINAL: Lamoilleriver

My obligation when it comes to spending money is to maximize its exchange to my benefit. The argument of paying more for an item because the local LHS owner is a nice guy and we want to keep him/her in business is not relavent. Maybe the LHS owner should sell his product for less because he/she wishes to see his customer have more money left over to feed their family?

I think that most people don't know or realize just how small the profit margins are on R/C goods. here in the US in order to operate a hobby shop you must buy from Great Planes and Horizon as they have exclusive rights to about 75% of what is produced. They both sell customer direct so the LHS has to price match if he wants to sell. That means that for the most part on kits ( ARF's too), engines, and radio gear they are making about 20% to 25%. On building materials and hardware it's about 45%. It's really hard to pay 4.00 to 12.00 per square foot of retail space with profit margins this small. In order to survive a hobby shop owner has to have fast inventory turn around. This means he has to stock what sells. Inventory is tracked and what sells the quickest is reordered, what sells slowly is dropped from the inventory list. As rule of thumb, when I was a manager at one of the SF Bay area's largest hobby shop I would not order anything I knew would not sell in 30 days. Most kits can be ordered and delivered in just a few days. When you order from you LHS, he pays the shipping, you pay the local sales tax. If the kit or ARF arrives damaged, he deals with it not you. I support my local guy because I know that when I need something I can just call and order it if he dosen't stock it. For those of us that have been in the hobby for a while, we are a small percentage of sales. It's the new guys that are paying the bills so the shops must cater to them not us. Operating a hobby shop is not as easy as it looks, mybe we should all cut or local guy some slack and be happy he is there at all.

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Old 08-17-2012, 03:18 PM
  #50
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Bozarth

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Speedy-Gonzales

No one has time to build.

You have to MAKE time to build.

If building is truely in your blood you will find time.

I have yet to buy an ARF that I would deem airworthy right out of the box.

Building is the foundation of this hobby. Even with ARF's...if you can't build you are at a great disadvantage.

SPEEDY G

Building is the foundation of YOUR hobby. I know many RC national competitors who only have an interest in FLYING RC planes - not building them. I would guess they spend much more on the hobby than most ''builders'' do, and as a result, support many hobby oriented businesses more than the typical builder.

Kurt

P.S. SPEEDY G: Looks like we joined RCU at about the same time.[8D]

Kurt,
Please take into consideration that "National Competitors" who only have an interest in flying and not building ARE NOT your average everyday modeller. They probably don't know how to change the oil in their own car and if they do they would prefer that someone else do it for them for fear of getting dirt under their fingernails.

If the big money sponsors went away for these big shots they would have to come back down to earth and buy their own glue and build before they could ever fly again.

I know you and I are not that type.

Building is the foundation. Whether you built it or someone else built it. A model airplane HAS to be built by someone.
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