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Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

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Old 01-31-2003, 04:48 AM
  #1  
LTV_A7D
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I live in Manhattan. Today, I schlepped over to the one major hobby shop that sells RC planes. I needed ZPoxy finishing resin, but, apparently that was too exotic of a request. They said they could order it for me for next week. I said no thanks, went back home, called Tower Hobbies and will receive my ZPoxy tomorrow via FED EX. I've determined that this particular hobby shop is an internet-based operation. Their showroom is nothing more than a facade. I'll know for next time to just order R/C supplies from my computer. It wasn't a total loss though. I rollerbladed home from the hobby shop. At least I got some exercise!

Steve
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Old 01-31-2003, 05:34 AM
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ebeygin
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

i have to agree on that one too!

we have several "good" LHS in TORONTO.. and i don't see a reason of going to them, when I can just order all the stuff from tower hobbies..

And there is rarerly anything that you need VERY FAST.. cause when you're building a plane.. you know exactly what you'll need ahead.. so I just order it and when the time comes to use that particular part.. it has already arrived by mail...

-eugn
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:32 AM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

we lost our best hobby shop which was just a club member who brought lots of stuff and you could go at any time just to get one snap link if you wanted. We've got a guy that comes to the field but only on sundays if its not raining and you get there in time. Other than that its a drive to the city
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Old 01-31-2003, 01:18 PM
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Roby
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I suppose you have a right to be dissappointed with the
LHS in your area because they didn't have exactly what
you wanted and when you wanted it.

Your negative comment may apply to your local area
but I'm pleased with mine , so please don't group the
whole industry as a inter-net based showroom as a
facade.

My LHS has plenty of finishing resin, he may not have
a selection of pusher props ,and 6 grades of glass cloth,
or several of the Dremel bits available,but he will get them for me within a reasonable time.

I have made this statement in another thread months ago
and was somewhat validated by others.

"You do not really know how or what this hobby is like ,until
you've been on the other side of the counter" This is
because many people know the price of everything and
the value of nothing .

Regards
Roby
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Old 01-31-2003, 02:58 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I have seen "GREAT" and bad LHS. I am luck to have a great on in my area. Some of the bad ones are gone. Its a tough business based on volume and customer service.

Actually, I buy most of my stuff form the LHS. There are times they are a little more expensive, but the convenience of getting, the screw, glue or accessory needed to fix a plane Saturday to fly again on Sunday can't be beat. There are some internet sales thought that are to good to pass up!

When you find a good one, you will really appreciate them.

ML
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Old 01-31-2003, 04:52 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I used to have a hobby shop here when I was in college. You can't stock everything people want, but we had a lot. The nice thing about a hobby shop, is if you need something that will allow you to fly in the morning, or a part for the plane you are working on now, they may have it if they are big enough. The company that bought mine didn't know anything about RC and trashed it. They brought in hundreds of 3 blade props and racing props, engines and kits noone would ever buy and stuff noone could use. They went broke very fast. The shop we have now has nothing for RC. You can't even get hinges or most screws. Its a real pain. I wish we had a good one. I would rather support a local shop that has some stuff, than have nothing. Its nice to be able to get a stick of wood or glue when you need it fast. I have ran all over town looking for a piece of monokote the color I needed to finish the plane I want to test fly because I was an inch short or something like that. Good thing for other modelers in the area I could borrow it from. Ordering is ok, but when you want it now, or have a question, there is no substitute for a good hobby shop.
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Old 01-31-2003, 05:05 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Stocking a LHS is very hard when one conciders the many variations in this hobby. I like to use the LHS whenever he can come close to the mail order price ( usually does and sometimes beats them).

All it takes is once if you have just used your last prop, ran out of fuel, or need some minor thing while building, you know the things (glue, hinges, blind nuts, etc.) I would rather pay a little more and have that type of thing NOW).

No one misses a LHS until they have to travel 100 miles round trip to find one because the LHS in their home town had to close because of lack of customers.
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Old 01-31-2003, 07:08 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Everybody is always in a hurry to go nowhere. I support my LHS 100%. Im not in any way degrading Tower Hobbies but I am going to support my local family of flyin friends. If I send my money off to another part of the country all I am doing is boosting someone elses economy. If they dont have what I need its not a big deal....They will get it in a few days. If I need help,,They are there for me. If I want to go down to the shop and hang out with guys for a while,,,Thats great too. I cant just hang out and talk shop with the folks at Tower. Its all about fellowship to me. Never bite the hand that feeds you..............John
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Old 01-31-2003, 07:27 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I'm all for supporting my LHS and will do so in a pinch. I pretty much know what he carries and what he can order and when he can get it. Using that a basis of understanding I will also go out on the internet and order elsewhere.

You can't beat the LHS when it comes to a part you have to have yesterday and you know he carries it.

I wish I was like 'ebeygin'; he knows what he needs days in advance and has the insight to pre-order it. Unfortunately, I'm like probably 99% of the other people in the hobby :stupid: that finds out what he needs when I turn the page on the instruction manual or when I put the stopper into the fuel tank that came with the kit and watch the fuel tank split down the side . My van ride to the LHS is certainly a lot faster than UPS in that situation -- i'd be flying rather than twiddling my thumbs waiting for mail.
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Old 01-31-2003, 09:42 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

This is really a hit and miss sort of thing. I do not care to do any buisiness at my LHS, but there are good ones out there. Those are the ones that really need to be supported. NEARLY EVERYTIME I go to the one near here, he has to order whatever I am looking for. I even asked him one day if he could match Tower's price on the Realflight G2. Sure he could, but then he wanted to add tax and he would have to order it, be here next WEDNESDAY. I could order it from Tower and get it by Tuesday and not pay shipping or tax.
I understand that these shops have to make a living, but not off of ONE sale. If they would drop their prices a little and deliver ON TIME I think they could easily make more sales which would be a win win situation.

I BUY ONLINE and from places like DON"S
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Old 01-31-2003, 09:51 PM
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Tippie
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Ah, the impatience of youth. Many LHS's will match or come very close to internet prices when you include the shipping. (They have to pay shipping to their place too) Just try to get some advice from the online hobby dealer, they don't answer e-mail's. They are interested in one thing and that is to take an order. Ask one of the online dealers to help you setup a radio or adjust the carb on your engine. It's not about how cheap you can get something, it's the benefits that a LHS provides, there is no free lunch. They can't be everything to everyone, but as your local shop offered to have what you want a week. Without your support of the LHS how can they expand and grow to provide more to the local hobbiest.
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Old 01-31-2003, 09:56 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Well, I have to say that I've been less than impressed by most of the LHS's that I've been too. I mean, they do have their good points and like many have said, if I break a prop today, I can be flying again by tomorrow, but when it's something bigger and they mark up the price so much more than the online shops, it leave a pretty bad taste in my mouth for them. The main hobby shop that i go to charges 55 bucks for the Great Planes Slot Machine, whereas you can get it online for around 25 (tower actually has it for 25 right now with a couple of accesories). And glues, fugetaboudit. at least twice the price of Tower. If I know stuff that I need far enough in advance, I order. If not, then I'll resort to going to the LHS.
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Old 01-31-2003, 10:53 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Just for clarification.....I dont consider places like Hungates as a Hobby Shop. All these places try to do is huh huh huh you and wont even give you a kiss afterwards.........................John
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Old 01-31-2003, 11:28 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I sure wish you guys had the hobby shop we have here in Everett. Tim, the owner tries real hard to match prices of the mail order places, and will work with you. I have never ordered anything on line and I won't. The shop is only a 10 minute drive from my house and he usually has what I need but I do understand that there are a lot out there that could give a hoot about the customer.
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Old 02-01-2003, 01:08 AM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I am very fortunate here in the Tampa Bay area because there is year-round flying and a lot of people interested in pursuing recreation. So there are several excellent hobby shops within an hour's drive.
THEY ARE STAFFED BY KNOWLEDGEABLE, HELPFUL PEOPLE
These are guys we fly with on the weekend. They are Active, even officers, in the local clubs.
Not to slam the mail order houses, but "warehouse R/C (a generic fictitious name I made up) can't teach you how to tweak a carb, or to recognize a bad glo-plug. They're not going to sell you a can of laminating resin, then spend a half-hour telling you how to use it. But the LHS guys do. How much is that worth? A lot!
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Old 02-01-2003, 01:22 AM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Tippie,
You are right, you can get some good advice/help from a GOOD LHS. I would most definitely support a GOOD LHS. There just isn't one here. There is a LHS, it just isn't a GOOD one.

A couple of for instances......
Bought my very first plane there, a HERR STAR CRUISER....cost me $72, at the time I could have gotten one from Online stores for $35....I didn't know and he took advantage of that.....

2nd one.... Bought a tail wheel at the same LHS, got it home and realized that it had a spacer on one side of the whell and not the other. Took it back and the OWNER told me that this is the way that it was manufactured because they use the same size bracket on all the tail wheels and either INCLUDE or EXCLUDE spacers for the size of wheel.....HMMMMMMM

If there were to be a GOOD LHS here, I would deal with it. Until then it's ART's Hobbies and the like.
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Old 02-01-2003, 02:21 AM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

lhs
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:38 AM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

This topic makes me want to vent a little. I really truly wish I had a GOOD LHS to support. If I did, I would support them wholeheartedly. But the sad fact is, my local hobby shops may as well be grocery stores or tanning salons or anything other then hobby shops. I went in the other day to get some 1/4 inch balsa sticks and some 1/4 inch hardwood. They had neither. I also needed some 3/8 ply for a firewall. They had none. While I was in there, 2 young kids came in the store with a nitro truck they bought from the store. They asked the guy behind the counter a few questions as they couldnt get it started. His response was, I am not good with those types of thing. I overheard the kids conversation and gave them a few pointers while I was walking out in disgust. And the thing that really burns my tail is they will ask you everytime you walk out of the store if you found everything alright. Hmmm, obviously not. Not only do they never have stock in the store, (basic balsa, props,4/40 bolts, covering in more then 3 colors, etc)they have very poor service. I know they dont fly, this guy couldnt help these 2 kids with their truck, and no one in the area deals in boats, so what exactly qualifies this guy to work in a hobby store?I see absolutely NO reason to support a store like that!. On the other hand, there are about 4 different online stores that I purchase from regularly. They have all provided outstanding service. If I have a question about a product, they have had an answer, If I needed help with something, they have given me tech help over the phone. My problem is, a lot of companies dont understand good old fashioned customer service. If I dont get it, I dont support the store. Plain and simple. If I feel like I am being talked down to or cohersed into a line of BS, I dont buy from them. I guess I might be different from most buyers as I dont impulse buy and always research what I need and ask a million questions. If I am building a plane, I plan ahead and try to order what I need or at least what I need to get started. When I get done reading the instruction manual through, I have a list of what I will need and order it during the initial construction phases. I pretty much see LHS's going the way of the DODO bird though. The internet just has so much more to offer me then my LHS's. One LHS is a major chain and the other is a small locally owned hobby shop. They are a tiny bit better with stock but they keep odd hours and are very arrogant and they tried to charge me $20 more then Tower for a realflight add-on plus shipping and tax. No dice! I waited 4 days and saved $30 bucks.

Warren
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Old 02-01-2003, 06:26 AM
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Hi Folks,

The ease of your powerfully opinionated responses drives my point home. Although, initially I didn't express myself as well as I would have liked to. I mentioned I live in Manhattan to clue you guys in, that I'm not talking about a "Mom & Pop", country-bumpkin hobby shop. I'm speaking of a hobby store which has multiple locations in two different states. It serves literally tens of thousands of customers. I was surprised of the fact that their showroom, which contains walls littered with R/C planes, lacked something as common as finishing resin (an essential item in building many airplanes). I drew my own conclusion, that this particular hobby store generates the brunt of its sales via the internet. I was given the impression, that I was better off staying home to place my order electronically, than making a physical appearance. My overall point is, that there seems to be fewer and fewer reasons in making a physical appearance anymore. If they are going to run a store, where you literally have the customer in hand, you'd think the last thing they'd want to do is chase the person off to the nearest computer. I'd be interested in hearing how much revenue a hobby shop makes electronically. From this experience it seems that the 'net is the more important avenue for a large-volume hobby store like mine. BTW: I received my ZPoxy resin (from Tower & FedEx) just as I was setting up my work table today...talk about service!

Steve
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Old 02-01-2003, 10:50 AM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Reasons why hobby shops can't/won't stay open:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...077&forumid=59

http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...216#post560084

Problem: http://webhome.idirect.com/%7eironsidz/instructor.htm

One solution: http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...356#post544022

Take care,
CCR
http://www.kites.org/rcc_instructors]
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:26 PM
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Default LHS

By the way LTV_A7D.... How much did that resin end up costing you.... with Fed X shipping etc.?
Jim Casey lives in a different state, but his words could almost duplicat my experience here with our LHS.
THEY ARE STAFFED BY KNOWLEDGEABLE, HELPFUL PEOPLE. These are guys we fly with on the weekend. They are Active, even officers, in the local clubs. Not to slam the mail order houses, but "warehouse R/C (a generic fictitious name I made up) can't teach you how to tweak a carb, or to recognize a bad glo-plug. They're not going to sell you a can of laminating resin, then spend a half-hour telling you how to use it. But the LHS guys do. How much is that worth? A lot!
I will have to agree that not all shops are like that..BUT .... there are a lot of them out there. By the way, our LHS also matches Tower prices and I have not seen or purchased one item that is a "mark up nightmare"!! They also stock a LOT of items and it is an "aircraft only" shop. I will admit.. they do not stock every covering color, or every engine, but they have most all the building supplies, fuel and accessories, flightline items,etc.This could go on and on...... sort of like Ford vs. Chevy debate. BOTTOM LINE: Those that have "good ones" will not have their minds changed. I am very fortunate to have a GOOD LHS and will support them.... lownslo
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:53 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I guess I'm real lucky. Here in the Northeast we have one of the best LHS's you'll find anywhere. I have to drive 50 miles to get there (and pass up two other "lesser" Hobby Shops) but the prices are right and the owner knows very well there are other options out there and does the very best he can on his prices. Plus he has the best staff of knowledgeable RC nuts on board to help you out and the stock he has is unlimited - you want it - he has it. If he doesn't have it you can be assured he will get it for you ASAP. I'm talking about RC Buyers in Nashua NH. Here it is Sat AM and theres my ride out there honking - we alternate car pooling and make an event out of it !
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Old 02-01-2003, 01:00 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

Apparently, most modelers don't realize how tiny the markup is for the hobby shop owner on RC aeromodeling products. To top that off is the much too few RC aeromodeling customers he may have. If the shop tries to match mail-order, Just for an example, he makes a profit (dirty word for club members) of $6.00 on a Sig LT-40 kit. Something like many items that may collect dust because won't be intimidated into selling his stock at a loss.

It also depends on the number of flying clubs in his area and how many active (read: paying customers) those 2, more of less clubs may have. So, the member who comes in for a certain item and then is upset because it's not on the shop owner's shelves, may be the only customer who has ever asked for that item.

Anyone want to get into the retail RC hobby shop business?

Take care,
CCR
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:14 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I consider myself very lucky. Our club is located on private land with the owner living on site. Frank has a very well stocked hobby shop and is a wealth of information and help and we have a 700 ft grass strip c/w clubhouse. I have to drive 1 1/2 hrs each way but gladly do it every week-end rather than drive 20 minutes to one nearby. The hobby shop is only officially open Tues evenings, Friday evenings and all day Sat. but in a pinch he will get you anything you need anytime as his house is only 200 ft from the shop. Many times Frank has helped myself and others with building problems, this is just a sevice he happily supply's as he is a serious builder and flyer himself having competed in warbird racing for yrs throughout the western states. Not quite like the service a person would get from big mail order houses.

I personally won't buy anything online, if we don't support these exceptional LHS's they will continue to go the way of the dinosaur.

Well, I gotta head up Island and pick up my Saito 100 from my LHS
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Old 02-01-2003, 06:02 PM
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Default Supporting my LHS...what's the point?

I went to my LHS to buy a set of floats. I didn't expect them to be in stock, but wanted to help support his business. I have been a regular customer and have bought several $$ worth of merchandise there. I am willing to pay a little more to support a local business and tax is a way of life. The cost of the floats was 80% more than Tower Hobbies price (I should have compared first and will no longer trust him to be fair), and it took 4 weeks to receive them. I will continue to buy items like screws and such from him (a 80% mark up on a $1 item is acceptable). But his price on an engine is 75% more than TH. HE WILL NOT ROB ME
TWICE!

Another problem is the posted store hours (8-5 W-M) mean that is the only chance to find them open. I have never found them there before 9 or after 4 and many times closed on days they should be open.
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