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  1. #51

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    PS I forgot to add YOU ARE IN COMPETITION WITH ALL YOUR SUPPLIERS not a good business model
    Good one! I forgot that distributer Hobbico competes in the retail arena with Tower. They can drive you into the ground with pricing tricks.

    Web sales are driving brick & mortar stores into extinction.
    Mike
    Waco Brotherhood #215/Ultra Sport Brotherhood #126

  2. #52
    w0mbat's Avatar
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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    I started manufacturing kits 10 years ago. Most of our sales were mail order with a few dealers here and there. About 3 years ago, we decided to open a local showroom that turned into a hobby shop. The hobby shop has been a great business - so good that we enjoy it much more than the manufacturing/mail order end of the business. Our town has a population of about 50,000 people and we started out with about 100k in inventory/cash on hand. In a little over 3 years, we have grown to over 200k in inventory. Needless to say, it's a big shop for a small town but our sales have been growing by 30% every year since we opened the shop - and that's during a recession! I can only imagine where our business would be in a good economy. There have been at least 5 other shops in town before us and they have all closed in short order. I work with my wife and we both really enjoy the business and make decent money at it. In fact, after 10 years, I am enjoying the hobby now more than I ever have!

  3. #53

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    I am going to guess that the reason w0mbat is having a good success with his hobby shop is because he is located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona...........it is located in a nearby lake(Lake Havasu) for RC boat enthusiasts and is in the middle of the desert with wide open spaces for flying RC and hitting the gas pedal to the metal on an RC truck.......ALSO Lake Havasu City has year round GOOD WEATHER with NO BLIZZARDS, NO ICE, NO SNOW, NO HURRICANES just good, mild RC flying, boating, trucking weather all year round.....in other words, the place has tons of RC opportunities for the average Joe citizen.................and that is why he is having good success. The place is a haven for RC flying, boating, trucking and what have you. ON THE OTHER HAND.....if you are located in a heavily populated metropolis/city/urban area...........the RC flying, boating, trucking opportunities are less and therefore the demand for RC hobbies is less. LOCATION!!!! LOCATION!!!!!!!!!! LOCATION!!!!!!!!!......IS EVERYTHING. Think about liability also when you open up a business....you will need liability insurance for when a customer slips on your store because the floor is wet due to spilled soda from some customer. It is not your fault, it is the other customer's fault but you will get sued. You may have to relocate to an area with lots of RC flying, boating, trucking opportunities with a big enough local population to make your RC hobby store viable. I am an auto technician at a big Rent-a-Car company making $55,000+/year with one month annual paid vacation, 5 paid floating holidays a year, 8 days paid sick days a year that is cashed out at a 150% cash out rate if unused at the end of the year, 2 weeks free car rental every year, full medical, dental and vision insurance, $10,000 free life insurance and working under a Teamsters Union contract...........I also graduated in 1974 with an associate degree in Automotive Mechanics.................I suggest going back to school and using your $50,000 to get a degree in Computers and getting a corporate job with all the benefits. Then work part time in a local hobby shop and see if you like the business side of life. If you don't like it then you haven't lost anything. That is the way I would do it. 'Nuff said.....and as always....God Bless....Larry.

  4. #54
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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    The OP has not posted since post 18. I think we've sufficiently crushed his dream [&o]

    So, we all know reasons why it would fail and ruin his life. Does anyone have any ideas as to what would make it work? While the super model idea was intriguing I doubt any of the 10,000 viewers bought the plane... or even noticed the plane in the picture? Without going back...what model plane was it? I think it was an Sukhoi but honestly I'm not sure

    To the OP. You've made the first step. You have the wife's aproval. Now get her involved. Make her the owner as women owned businesses get breaks. If she can claim a minority status, even better. Now sit down with your fellow enthusiests and ask them what they want in a hobby shop and determine if you can provide that. Don't ask what you want in it or you will be your only customer. You must offer something your customer needs that cannot be had over the internet. Don't think it's advice. Just look here on RCU for all the advice you can ask for. Service? Sure. That's a good one. One of the previous posts here actually made me think of one of my local shops and he does offer something you cannot get online. His invantory is 80% used models, equipment and even parts. Buy/sell/trade used and support with parts. Offer a few new kits/RTR's etc. Start in your garage if your local ordinances allow.

    Best of luck to you and I hope you beat the internet... I mean the odds
    He who dies with the most toys wins!

  5. #55

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    I also thought of opening a hobby shop, was about 30 years ago. A buddy at the time came up with a great name.

    We be props & ****.

  6. #56

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    Guess the mods didn't like the word sh%t.

  7. #57

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    i do not mean to belittle anyone, but i suspect a lot more thought, earnestness and effort went into several of the answers here (which are good enough to charge money for), than into op's thought of opening a hobby store. i could be wrong about that though, which goes without saying.

  8. #58

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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: Mr67Stang

    The OP has not posted since post 18. I think we've sufficiently crushed his dream [&o]

    So, we all know reasons why it would fail and ruin his life. Does anyone have any ideas as to what would make it work? While the super model idea was intriguing I doubt any of the 10,000 viewers bought the plane... or even noticed the plane in the picture? Without going back...what model plane was it? I think it was an Sukhoi but honestly I'm not sure

    To the OP. You've made the first step. You have the wife's aproval. Now get her involved. Make her the owner as women owned businesses get breaks. If she can claim a minority status, even better. Now sit down with your fellow enthusiests and ask them what they want in a hobby shop and determine if you can provide that. Don't ask what you want in it or you will be your only customer. You must offer something your customer needs that cannot be had over the internet. Don't think it's advice. Just look here on RCU for all the advice you can ask for. Service? Sure. That's a good one. One of the previous posts here actually made me think of one of my local shops and he does offer something you cannot get online. His invantory is 80% used models, equipment and even parts. Buy/sell/trade used and support with parts. Offer a few new kits/RTR's etc. Start in your garage if your local ordinances allow.

    Best of luck to you and I hope you beat the internet... I mean the odds
    I think many here have shared the reality of business in this country and brought some good ideas forward. Often business endeavors are "against all odds" in many communities. One can still make it and do a good business but must be wise as wise can get. One thing that I would do before ever considering a business is approach the local gov and see if they will offer any incentive for the business in their community - a 5 year tax break or other special deals. We know they would snicker at it because of the greed in their hearts thinking of what they can get instead of how beneficial another business would be to their tax base.

    You mention service and to me that is number 1! Every business I was involved in was built around our service model. I was able to go home at night and rest with a clear conscience because I provided good service even though I may have lost money. I simply could not give someone a product that I knew in my heart was not good. This is another reasaon I did not like doing business was the "crap" that vendors would send you and expect you to sell it by telling the customer some sort of lie to deceive them into buying it. They would spice it up with special paint and decals yet it was still crap underneath.

    Plain and simple - I took a beating many times in order to provide good service. Today service is a joke - some businesses better than others but overall a joke. Even getting a human on a phone these days is all but gone. I remember the days when we washed windshields and checked engine oil at our gas stations Yep, we actually had concern about people driving on the highways [X(]

  9. #59
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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: Luchnia
    I remember the days when we washed windshields and checked engine oil at our gas stations Yep, we actually had concern about people driving on the highways [X(]
    I think I worked at one of the last gas stations with a service center and a full service fueling lane. It pains me now when I go back to that town and see the service center has been converted to an "impulse buying fat lazy American making market."

    He who dies with the most toys wins!

  10. #60
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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    Has Chick finally retired ?
    Defying gravity ...

  11. #61

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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: STRAFEDOG

    Has Chick finally retired ?
    dont think so, he is still at it. I used to love going to his shop as a kid.

    The bottom line is price you need to have best price and you can't because you are not manuf. You also have to collect sales tax which in NJ
    puts you at 7% disadvantage. Until they level the playing field with the web retail is an up hill battle. Just ask best buy.

    As far as good service. NO ONE CARES!!!!!! We give great service go above and beyond all the time. We get rewarded by the customer going
    direct to horizon for the same price because...... you guessed it they "saved the sales tax". Good service is a distant 4th or 5th on the list.
    If customer service was first why would anyone buy from banana after reading the customer reviews.

    I think there is a 3 month rule for hobby customers. You get about three months of helping them, selling them products, teaching them
    what to do before they get enough confidence to start buying from bad banana, hobby king, or nitro. At that point when the stuff does not work,
    which is most of the time, they have no problem bringing it in and asking for help. The only problem for mr. customer is now that help starts at $40.00
    a hour. They also have the option of contacting who they bought it from LOL. How does that work out for them. They get pissed it is my fault they bought
    junk I do not want to fix, like I said the 3 month rule. []



  12. #62
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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    Make her the owner as women owned businesses get breaks.
    great advice there. Wish someone had given it to me before I started my business (not hobby related).
    Let's go Pens!

  13. #63

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    I was looking into the same thing a couple of years ago. I used Hobbytown's franchise offer as a base for $$ going in. They required $150K as an initial investment on stock products. That didn't include brick and mortar (If I remember correctly). If you are going to do this, make sure you have secured at least that and you should be able to consider it gone. I don't mean that you should go in thinking it won't make money, but don't leverage your house to do it. At the time I was looking into opening a shop, I wasn't able to go independent and be competitive without large minimum orders to Horizon, etc to get decently discounted prices. I'm not saying don't do it, but be careful. The LHS's that I frequent, were started by people who had deep pockets and wouldn't be on welfare if the business failed. They also had enough start up capitol to make a nice shop in a decent location. They are very good at marketing too.

  14. #64

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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: DanMN

    I was looking into the same thing a couple of years ago. I used Hobbytown's franchise offer as a base for $$ going in. They required $150K as an initial investment on stock products. That didn't include brick and mortar (If I remember correctly). If you are going to do this, make sure you have secured at least that and you should be able to consider it gone. I don't mean that you should go in thinking it won't make money, but don't leverage your house to do it. At the time I was looking into opening a shop, I wasn't able to go independent and be competitive without large minimum orders to Horizon, etc to get decently discounted prices. I'm not saying don't do it, but be careful. The LHS's that I frequent, were started by people who had deep pockets and wouldn't be on welfare if the business failed. They also had enough start up capitol to make a nice shop in a decent location. They are very good at marketing too.

    no hobby town's in NJ why? The cost of real estate to high. Straight from a hobby town VP.

  15. #65
    w0mbat's Avatar
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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: larrysogla

    I am going to guess that the reason w0mbat is having a good success with his hobby shop is because he is located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona...........it is located in a nearby lake(Lake Havasu) for RC boat enthusiasts and is in the middle of the desert with wide open spaces for flying RC and hitting the gas pedal to the metal on an RC truck.......ALSO Lake Havasu City has year round GOOD WEATHER with NO BLIZZARDS, NO ICE, NO SNOW, NO HURRICANES just good, mild RC flying, boating, trucking weather all year round.....in other words, the place has tons of RC opportunities for the average Joe citizen.................and that is why he is having good success. The place is a haven for RC flying, boating, trucking and what have you. ON THE OTHER HAND.....if you are located in a heavily populated metropolis/city/urban area...........the RC flying, boating, trucking opportunities are less and therefore the demand for RC hobbies is less. LOCATION!!!! LOCATION!!!!!!!!!! LOCATION!!!!!!!!!......IS EVERYTHING.
    Actually, this is one of the worst places for an RC Hobby Shop mainly because this is a very low wage community. This is why nobody has ever survived here in the past. We have one small airfield and are surrounded by mountains, hills and rocky terrain. You can't just go out and fly in the desert unless you have a specially made aircraft that can handle softball size rocks. The weather is good for 5 months, bearable for 3 and miserable for 4! It's the second hottest place in the US where temps can and do reach 130 in the summer. It's windy every day from March - June so that eliminates a couple months of good flying temps. The lake is big and extremely busy which is not suitable for small RC boats - hence why we don't even sell them. Cars are probably the best thing to do out here and we have never sold cars until about 3 months ago. Our business was expanded only by selling airplanes and that is in an area with almost 9% sales tax! So how do we survive?

    1. We have no debt
    2. We are at the business just about every day and happy about it!
    3. We are friendly with our customers - no matter what information they ask for.
    4. We are knowledgable about EVERY product we sell. If we can't answer questions about something, we don't sell it.
    5. We match online pricing even if that means we only make 5%.
    6. We have an extremely clean, organized shop with highway frontage.
    7. We are fully computerized and know our expenses, costs and profits at the click of a button.
    8. Our advertising cost is zero. Word of mouth travels far and fast!


  16. #66
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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    if you are located in a heavily populated metropolis/city/urban area...........the RC flying, boating, trucking opportunities are less and therefore the demand for RC hobbies is less
    Counterintuitive. The more the population, the better the chances of sales. I've seen some thriving clubs flying out of tiny fields in industrial parks, baseball and football fields, etc. They adapt.

    Actually, this is one of the worst places for an RC Hobby Shop
    Odd how others 'know' your circumstances, having never set foot there.



    I might not be very good, but I'm fun to watch!

  17. #67

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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: w0mbat


    ORIGINAL: larrysogla

    I am going to guess that the reason w0mbat is having a good success with his hobby shop is because he is located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona...........it is located in a nearby lake(Lake Havasu) for RC boat enthusiasts and is in the middle of the desert with wide open spaces for flying RC and hitting the gas pedal to the metal on an RC truck.......ALSO Lake Havasu City has year round GOOD WEATHER with NO BLIZZARDS, NO ICE, NO SNOW, NO HURRICANES just good, mild RC flying, boating, trucking weather all year round.....in other words, the place has tons of RC opportunities for the average Joe citizen.................and that is why he is having good success. The place is a haven for RC flying, boating, trucking and what have you. ON THE OTHER HAND.....if you are located in a heavily populated metropolis/city/urban area...........the RC flying, boating, trucking opportunities are less and therefore the demand for RC hobbies is less. LOCATION!!!! LOCATION!!!!!!!!!! LOCATION!!!!!!!!!......IS EVERYTHING.
    Actually, this is one of the worst places for an RC Hobby Shop mainly because this is a very low wage community. This is why nobody has ever survived here in the past. We have one small airfield and are surrounded by mountains, hills and rocky terrain. You can't just go out and fly in the desert unless you have a specially made aircraft that can handle softball size rocks. The weather is good for 5 months, bearable for 3 and miserable for 4! It's the second hottest place in the US where temps can and do reach 130 in the summer. It's windy every day from March - June so that eliminates a couple months of good flying temps. The lake is big and extremely busy which is not suitable for small RC boats - hence why we don't even sell them. Cars are probably the best thing to do out here and we have never sold cars until about 3 months ago. Our business was expanded only by selling airplanes and that is in an area with almost 9% sales tax! So how do we survive?

    1. We have no debt
    2. We are at the business just about every day and happy about it!
    3. We are friendly with our customers - no matter what information they ask for.
    4. We are knowledgable about EVERY product we sell. If we can't answer questions about something, we don't sell it.
    5. We match online pricing even if that means we only make 5%.
    6. We have an extremely clean, organized shop with highway frontage.
    7. We are fully computerized and know our expenses, costs and profits at the click of a button.
    8. Our advertising cost is zero. Word of mouth travels far and fast!

    Well done and the way it should be! The fact that you know your products and don't sell what you do not know speaks volumes.

  18. #68

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    Thanks for all the advice. Where live it is heavily populated and I'm on a main road. As for a building I have a great two story workshop/shed that is larger then the hs that I got to now. I have a outdoor track that me and my friends built for our bmx bikes but lately we have been driving our rc on it. Just have to make a platform and some guard rails. My wife is gonna work on the suppliers for the inventory .
    Only bashers know how to drive

  19. #69
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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: blazen06

    Thanks for all the advice. Where live it is heavily populated and I'm on a main road. As for a building I have a great two story workshop/shed that is larger then the hs that I got to now. I have a outdoor track that me and my friends built for our bmx bikes but lately we have been driving our rc on it. Just have to make a platform and some guard rails. My wife is gonna work on the suppliers for the inventory .
    blazen's backyard hobby workshop

    A track would definitely help with business.
    With great speed comes greater repair bills.
    Click on My models to see some of what I own. Eventually will add the rest

  20. #70

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    I like the name . I think I might post a poll of a couple of the names to see what one really stands out.
    Only bashers know how to drive

  21. #71

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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    Go for it!!! I opened in Jan of this year and have been doing awesome! I have a 24x24 building, lease is first year of 50.00 a month includes electricity and heat. 2nd year and on at 100.00 a month. I offer new, used, trades, layaways, consignments, and repairs. I started with 5000.00 in hand and now have about 10,000 in new inventory and around 3000.00 in used vehicles. their are a lot of companies that do not require huge buy-ins and carry all the major brands. I will say repairs will be the bigger profit margin but dont try to get rich from it! Find 2 to 3 good brands and push them, get demos and dont be afraid to let the customer try them out. People are impulse buyers and let me tell ya if they can try it 90% of the time they will buy it! As much as I hate to say it traxxas will be one of your biggest part requests as I was not going to carry traxxas but with all the requests I decided to invest 2000.00 in common parts for traxxas alone. You have an advantage with a track just use it wisely as if your state is like PA Insurance is a must because no matter what someone will want to sue you. I am not looking to get rich from this and I am open when I want to be I am available for my customers by phone or text almost anytime they need and some are a pain but they know they get the help they need when they need it and they keep coming back for that service.
    One word of advice do not go without or put up your house or anything to do this! I sold stuff I no longer needed or used to get the money to start up, I have no real out of pocket planned funds in my shop yes it was hard to see that kind of money go but if you do not take the risks you will never get anywhere in life!
    Keep it small and simple limit it to what is in the area.
    Denny
    Big Boys RC Toys
    Howard, PA

  22. #72
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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    the shop I go to is close to or beats the best online prices, its amazing how they are able to do this because you know they are not making much on these things (if anything) but their little store is PACKED with stuff.

    it is true, people come in, learn the product, buy a cheap-o r/c then you never see them again unless they need help, or you get the people who come in ask a billion questions, look at the product, and walk away, go home and order online for $15 less.

    I support my shop when I can, the only time I don't is when I need electronics.
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  23. #73
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    RE: going to open my own lhs



    Cancelled. Poor taste.

    Ultra Sport Brotherhood #30

  24. #74
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    RE: going to open my own lhs

    ORIGINAL: Airplanes400

    Forget the free beer ... get this girl to work in your store. She'll have your store full of customers in no time. In just 5 days the guy selling this plane had over 10,000 views of his ad. All he posted were pictures of her posing with his plane. So imagine what this girl can do for your customer base if you actually had her (and not a picture) in your store!
    Well, if you insist on getting a hobby shop, I still say you should hire this girl. She is now up to 27,131 views on the ad in just over a week. That's more traffic than any local hobby shop will have in a year. Your wife may leave you over it, but you will be happy to come to work if this girl is there.

    If nothing else, turn this photo into a life-size poster, and place several of them around your shop or in the store window.

    Remember, sex sells.

    You can come up with slogans such as;
    "Girls love guys with big props."
    "Big toys get the most beautiful girls."
    "Girls are hot for R/C guys"
    "Chic-magnets"
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    We in the Federal Government have no sense of humor that we are aware of.

  25. #75
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    RE: going to open my own lhs


    ORIGINAL: Airplanes400

    ORIGINAL: Airplanes400

    Forget the free beer ... get this girl to work in your store. She'll have your store full of customers in no time. In just 5 days the guy selling this plane had over 10,000 views of his ad. All he posted were pictures of her posing with his plane. So imagine what this girl can do for your customer base if you actually had her (and not a picture) in your store!
    Well, if you insist on getting a hobby shop, I still say you should hire this girl. She is now up to 27,131 views on the ad in just over a week. That's more traffic than any local hobby shop will have in a year. Your wife may leave you over it, but you will be happy to come to work if this girl is there.

    If nothing else, turn this photo into a life-size poster, and place several of them around your shop or in the store window.

    Remember, sex sells.

    You can come up with slogans such as;
    ''Girls love guys with big props.''
    ''Big toys get the most beautiful girls.''
    ''Girls are hot for R/C guys''
    ''Chic-magnets''
    27K views and no offers........
    He who dies with the most toys wins!


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