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Local hobby shops

Old 03-04-2021, 04:41 PM
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Default Local hobby shops

I'm all for supporting local hobby shops, but pricing can't be so far off that the online shops are cheaper. What's everyone's opinion.
Old 03-04-2021, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lefty346
I'm all for supporting local hobby shops, but pricing can't be so far off that the online shops are cheaper. What's everyone's opinion.
My opinion?

My opinion is that your about 8 to 10 years late with your question, online shopping has pretty much buried all of the LHS in my area....
Old 03-04-2021, 05:17 PM
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Not late at all, just thought by now shops would be more comparable.
Old 03-04-2021, 07:57 PM
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It's not so much pricing for me at all. The types of models I fly aren't something that the local hobby shop even has a clue about, nor do they sell any major components for such models. What's left around my area is a shop that sells foam BNF models, small hardware section, a few items/accessories, a good selection of batteries(he does sell most electric planes), a small selection of glues, really no building tools... but alot of tools for RC cars/helis/quads.. Of course they say(and I know..) I can order anything through them, but it's pulling teeth to get it right, simply because they don't have any grasp on kits or giant scale models... It's all ARF/foamie/BNF... I've tried, and wasted more gas and time(dozens of trips back and forth) that I got fully tired of trying to support my LHS... and decided to let those they catered to support them... and ultimately the shop closed on January 31st. I tried to support them for 20yrs actually.. and got orders that were incorrect, orders that took weeks to arrive, and actually orders that never showed up.

Gone is the craft of building in most local arenas. Local hobby shops just don't carry kits, engines, or any mid/high end radios, and no servos other then maybe low-end equipment.

If I can order and have items delivered to my door why wouldn't I. I'm not donating to any business that can't deliver on what they're supposed to be selling.

I can order from several suppliers and have my items at my door in 2 days in some cases... at mail order price.. I'll gladly pay shipping on it as well... just to know I get what I order, it's in stock, and it ships and delivers when promised. It's easy easy, and I can afford it.
Old 03-05-2021, 07:26 AM
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When I got started, the local hobby shop helped me pick a kit, engine, radio, etc. to get a plane in the air. That was over 30 years ago. I would go in there on Saturday morning and pick up what I thought I needed, or ask for help. The guy who ran it explained a whole lot to me and even said more than once he wasn't trying to sell me on an item, he just wanted to tell me about it, how to use it, etc. He let everyone balance props on his fancy balancer so we wouldn't have to buy one. He showed me several different beginners kits and told me the pro's and cons of each. He even suggested I go with a .40 size engine since it was a popular size and I could move that motor to a new plane when I was ready.

I bought several kits from him, a couple of radios, engines, tools, covering, everything. But as time went on there was a little snag. He didn't have what I wanted so he said he could order it for me. Would only take a few days. Well, 4 phone calls, 3 empty trips over there, and a good month later the item came in. That's when I started poking around and found Tower. I started ordering most things online. It was much much cheaper and I could have it at my door in about 4-6 days. I wasn't very wealthy back then so I had to stretch my dollar. I also started going to swap meets and found I could get stuff for cheap there (assuming I could find it).

So what did the hobby shop do? Well, he introduced me to the hobby and got me a real good start. He did that for scores of guys. But after getting along for awhile, I realized he didn't carry everything so I moved on. I still went over there for stuff I knew would be in stock but still, hobby shop prices are high.

These days with most people buying ready to fly foamy electric planes there isn't much call for the hobby shop. That's a shame but it is what it is. I got addicted to this hobby at the hobby shop. Dad used to go once in a while when he was flying control line. I was instantly hooked when I saw all those monsters hanging from the ceiling, the perfume of dope and castor oil, Dad discussing an engine with the owner, etc. I was about 5-6 years old and it really stuck so I owe it all to the hobby shop.

Old 03-05-2021, 07:33 AM
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I don't mind paying a little extra at a local hobby shop. There is value you talking to knowledgeable hobby shop owner before making a purchase. This is what you are paying extra for. Sadly most don't understand this and it shows as hobby shops in all but big markets are going the way service managers who know about cars.

Old 03-05-2021, 08:38 AM
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I go to the LHS when I need something now or when I need to see and touch items to make sure they are what I need. Big things like radios and vehicles I buy online.
Old 03-09-2021, 03:16 PM
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We have a couple of really good hobby shops here in our area. I still shake my head over the time I went in and asked where they were hiding the micro balloons. The guy had never heard of micro balloons! The nearest one has embraced online selling and even have people working for them that do nothing but fill orders for online customers. Sad to say though that they no longer stock anything with a piston in it and are continuously reducing the stuff we traditionally needed when we were building kits. They, like other shops have followed where the sales are and are now pretty heavy on the r/c car stuff.
Old 03-10-2021, 06:14 AM
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My LHS is a really good one except he is almost two hours away. He provides a lot of service and will meet any on-line price if I order through him, This is nice because if I have a problem, he can take care of it instead of me waiting on the phone, playing email tag, or having to box up and ship the item back on my dime. He services and offers to build, repair, or assembly anything he sells, so he carries a good stock of building supplies, parts, and tools. He has also been buying and stocking old kits, balsa, and covering that has been discontinued through estate sales. His big business is cars, and a surprise is that many are going nitro, which is a plus because he then carries fuel. Flat track and drag racing is a big thing in my area.

I learned that going for the cheaper on-line seller has its price when I get a missing, wrong, substituted, or damaged part.

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