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unimpressed with hobbytown

Old 01-17-2013, 01:15 PM
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tlojak38
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Default unimpressed with hobbytown

had to drive 70 miles today to get a roll of covering. back story for this: two weeks ago, i went to my lhs, bought a roll of ultracote. two weeks later, i needed another roll, so i called them. was told, "we can order it and it will be in next week". now, this isnt the first time this has happened, they either dont have whatever i need at that time, or if i buy one, no matter how long it is, if i need another one, they have to order it. well, at that rate, i might as well order it online, itll take the same amount of time to get it, and if i look around, i can get it cheaper! so, i decided to look around and see if there were any other lhs's around. found hobbytown about 70 miles away. so, i think, ok, road trip. since i was on there web site, and it looked to nice, i took some extra money with me,"just in case". . i drive all the way down there, walk into the store all excited, and wow was i disappointed. i walk around, found an old monokote rack but no ultracote. asked the guy there where the ultracote was, he didnt know. i said to him that i checked online before i came here and it said you had one. so i walk back to the monokote rack, and see a roll of the color i need. figured id loot at it and it was the ultracote i needed. it was discounted because they are not going to carry it anymore. i start looking around, and they have nothing but park flyers, a few tx and servos, not much more than that as far as rc stuff. wont be making that trip again. anyone with anyother experiences? would like to hear them.
Old 01-17-2013, 01:31 PM
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scale only 4 me
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

The one near here finally closed up last year,,, same experience, never any inventory, I stopped going about a year before they closed
Old 01-17-2013, 01:31 PM
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vicman
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

The guys in Hickory, NC are trying pretty hard to get our business. Much better than most of them to be sure.
Old 01-17-2013, 07:44 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

My closest Hobbytown is 1 hour away and not worth the trip. I consider them to be a toy store not a hobby shop. They mostly carry small RTF park flyers (choppers and planes), very few glo ARFs (trainers if any), no gassers, no building equipment to speak of, and no kits. But you know what...that's what sells in their area. The train dept there is similar, not for the hard core hobbyist. Good traditional "hobby shops" are a dying breed. Luckily there is a decent LHS 1 hour in the opposite direction, carries an assortment of glo ARFs as well as the park flyers, excellent on building and repairing supplies (stocks engines, TX/RX batteries, covering, good wood assortment, landing gear, wheels, etc), used airplanes for sale, knowledgeable and helpful owner, but still no gassers and no kits. About 3 or 4 yrs ago I asked If he had any kits in stock, and he just chuckled and said he quit stocking kits about 7 yrs ago..."can't sell um, they sit on the shelf forever". So I guess that's the hobby world in this day and age. I try to buy as much as I can from this LHS so he keeps the door open. The next closest after him is an hour and a half away. He does carry kits, I've been there, bought three planes from him too.
Old 01-18-2013, 05:15 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

Same here - Hobbytown is more of a toy store in my opinion. I needed some covering as well, ended up ordering from Tower and had it three days later at a cheaper price....

Steve
Old 01-18-2013, 06:40 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

We had a store near us in Oklahoma City (he folded at least 3 years ago) I had a chance to talk to him about the business.

According to him when one buys a Hobby Town franchise you MUST buy and stock what the national chain HQ tells you to stock. You can add to that but there is a minimum amount of all things that you must carry from RC to trains to dolls. Once the three years is up you can prove there are things that don’t sell in your area you start deleting those things and start tailoring your stock to the local market or just drop the things you have no interest in.

The franchise is also set up so that the non-hobbyist can open a business that will more than likely make some kind of profit in those first three years.

This guy was less than 3 miles from our 105 member RC flying club, and 8 miles from the next nearest club and he had absolutely no interest in working with us to get an idea of what we’d be buying on Saturday night or Sunday after noon on the way to or from the field.

His thing was war gaming so when the three years came up, his stock of RC things went to the foam arfs on the dusty back shelves. He was out of business in a year.

On the other hand there’s a store in NORMAN OK that caters to the local RC and plastic modeling crowds and he does booming business.
Old 01-18-2013, 09:54 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

My Hobby Town store is about 10 miles from my house and is really, really well stocked. I think it is because the owner and his manager are both into gliders and RC flight. It is one of the only hobby shops I frequent where the store is balanced between cars\trucks and airplanes/helicopters. Yes, they carry slot cars and rocketry stuff, and a few plastic models, but all in all, they are a very good store and have been in business a very, very long time.
Old 01-18-2013, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

I have three hobby shops that are all close together, Nice twice was old school, just sold and not what or where it used to be but still usually way better then out Hobby Town and Hobby People. Hobby Town: A couple months back I needed a Great Planes adjustable motor mount for .70 to .90. Walked in and asked for exactly that. The counter man asked if I also had the part number?? Come on, It's a motor mount! He went looking through every one of those fold over shelves they have and went right by three motor mounts. It turned out the guy didn't have a clue what a motor mount looked like. I took him back and showed him where the three mounts were and what they looked like. None of them were what I asked for though. Two weeks later my partner went in looking for some props. He asked the new counter girl where they kept there wood props? She looked him in the eyes and asked what a prop was?? This is a store in down town Vegas with hundreds of RC modelers just in there area.
You can buy several types of hand puppets and YoYo's but for RC Airplanes the pickings are slim and you have to find the items yourself because no one that works there knows where it is or what it looks like.
They are pretty big on RC cars though and one counter guy knew what a fuel tank Bung was, they didn't have any but he knew what it was at least.
Hobby People isn't much better, a little bit but not a bunch. It's cleaner if that counts for anything?
The original Nice Twice hobby shop was an Arm Pit but they stocked everything, even most of the odd ball items I need for a scratch build. Not so much the new owner or shop but it is cleaner and more organized.
I have taken to ordering by mail order again. When I add in the gas I use running around to all three shops and the time I waste it's cheaper to just pick up the phone or type in an order on my puter.
My last trip I got had on the price of some epoxy by Hobby people. All I needed was a few sticks of piano wire and epoxy, they had it but I could have mail ordered it and save money by not having to drive over to get it.
Ultracote is always easier to just mail order as needed, most retail stores don't stock it, Town or People.
Old 01-18-2013, 05:21 PM
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Minnreefer
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

There are two pretty new hobby stores that opened up close to me, they both cater to park flyers and cars and trucks. both have a couple of glow engines, but they really have no clue, at least they don't try too hard to pretend. One of them had a sale for Christmas on kit's, the problem is they only have ARF's that they call kits. I can get real basic parts or anything for an electric plane.
Old 01-18-2013, 08:12 PM
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carrellh
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

Hobbytown can be hit or miss, and each one stocks what the franchisee likes.
I messed up a pushrod on a PT-60 and neither of the 'real hobby shops' near me had any long enough. Went by Hobbytown and they had them, in fact they have a pretty big selection of GP hardware.
Another time I needed a 14 inch prop and HT had nothing bigger than 12 inch.
Old 01-18-2013, 09:21 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

^ At least yours knows what a prop is!! The new counter girl is cute but that doesn't count for a lot if she didn't even know what a prop was. I was in there a few weeks ago and they didn't know what Nyrod was either. If they hire in someone to work the counter they should at the very least know the basics or work as a stock clerk for a few weeks so they know what and where things are.
Old 01-19-2013, 06:25 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown


ORIGINAL: Chucksolo69

My Hobby Town store is about 10 miles from my house and is really, really well stocked. I think it is because the owner and his manager are both into gliders and RC flight. It is one of the only hobby shops I frequent where the store is balanced between cars\trucks and airplanes/helicopters. Yes, they carry slot cars and rocketry stuff, and a few plastic models, but all in all, they are a very good store and have been in business a very, very long time.
The thing about your Hobby Town is he started it when they didn't have franchise rights in California so he wasn't required to to go with their stock. He basically payed a reduced franchise fee and got access to all the vendors, the basic inventory programs and help with initial setup. He is also great at keeping up on the trends, is willing to try just about any new big thing and works hard at making it work. The one thing about Bill though is he will work hard to get you to buy a package that works best for him not just you. Don't get me wrong he wont sell complete junk or a way to advanced setup but it may not be the best choice if he will make more from it. John will do his best to hook you up with what is right for you.
Old 01-19-2013, 08:13 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

I went in to a Hobby Town close to my work.
I spent $70 for wood to build a 40 size fuselage, Bridi Super Kaos.
All 36" lengths, no 48".
I'll probably mail order my wood next time.

Oh Well,
KW_Counter
Old 01-21-2013, 04:18 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

Hobbytown where I live in Austin, Tx have turned into a toy store iho. Tey really dont carry much RC airplane products exept for a few ARFs. I guess it dont sell for them so they stock stuff that sells like marbles, games , and stuff like a toy store has..
They are NO hobby shop to me..

Old 01-21-2013, 04:45 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

I must be one of the lucky ones, my LHS is a Hobby Town and is well stocked.. The owners are great and always very helpful, If they don't have an answer for you he gets on the phone with someone he knows that does... On anything thatI need and they don't have, they order it and 2-3 days later I get a call saying it's in.. Thissaves me a lot of money on shipping and really saves if something is wrong and has to go back..
They also are a big supporter of our events every year and always donate stuff to our club, just good people..

I have been to some of the H.T. that you guys speak of, not much for our hobby....
Old 01-21-2013, 05:09 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

The Hobby Town in Augusta Ga. is not bad either, real knowledgeable guy owns it,always has the stuff I need. Only down side is that it is a total wreck! Dont try to find anything yourself unless you have all day, better off to ask, the owner will walk right to a shelf and pick it up, a little on the pricey side too.
Old 01-22-2013, 09:59 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown



Since Bill and John know I am no newbie, they always treat me pretty well and don't recommend much to me since they know that I know what I am doing. I tell them what I want and I get a discount so no complaints here. I have seen Bill push a particular helicopter even though it wouldn't have been my first choice. John does have a lot to say about what gets sold in the store though. He resisted getting the Ares Gamma 370 into the store, but it seems they are going to stock the Pro version of the Gamma 370. I like shopping there.

Old 01-22-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

I get a lot of stuff from my local Hobby Town. The owner is a real nice guy and is knowledgeable about RC items and supports all our local activities.
The one thing that I find amazing is the very small section in the store devoted to RC Aircraft, BUT 99% of the time he has just what I'm wanting and if not he'd order it and I'd get a call in about 3 days telling me it was in. Hard to knock that kind of service.
Kudos to Hobby Town in Orem, Utah.
Old 01-23-2013, 03:39 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

When I visit my son in Mobile, Alabama we often 'need' something and the HobbyTown is the only store in that area and it is well stocked and has a very good trained staff. I love to go there.....we HAD one in Phoenix, but he went out of business (sadly) as it was close to home!
Old 01-23-2013, 04:24 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown


ORIGINAL: Chucksolo69



Since Bill and John know I am no newbie, they always treat me pretty well and don't recommend much to me since they know that I know what I am doing. I tell them what I want and I get a discount so no complaints here. I have seen Bill push a particular helicopter even though it wouldn't have been my first choice. John does have a lot to say about what gets sold in the store though. He resisted getting the Ares Gamma 370 into the store, but it seems they are going to stock the Pro version of the Gamma 370. I like shopping there.

Are you in Fountain Valley or Huntington Beach???
Old 01-23-2013, 10:58 PM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

I have been visiting my HobbyTown which is about 5 miles from me since they opened. If they don't have what I need they order it and u have it the next day if I order before 12. No complaints here, the shelves are pretty well stocked and have a good assortment of planes, helis etc.
Old 01-24-2013, 08:16 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown


ORIGINAL: Gray Beard


ORIGINAL: Chucksolo69



Since Bill and John know I am no newbie, they always treat me pretty well and don't recommend much to me since they know that I know what I am doing. I tell them what I want and I get a discount so no complaints here. I have seen Bill push a particular helicopter even though it wouldn't have been my first choice. John does have a lot to say about what gets sold in the store though. He resisted getting the Ares Gamma 370 into the store, but it seems they are going to stock the Pro version of the Gamma 370. I like shopping there.

Are you in Fountain Valley or Huntington Beach???
We were talking about the San Marcos Hobby Town.
Old 01-24-2013, 09:54 AM
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tlojak38
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

update on my lhs. failed me again. i called and ordered the ultracote from them on friday, was told it will be in thurs. i called this morning and asked them if their order was in, was told yes. Went there, asked for my ultracote. he went to the back, came back out and asked when i ordered it. told him fri. he looks up the number, and told me it was just ordered yesterday, and i might be in friday. i remarked, "but im not off work tomorrow, im off today, im off today because you told me it would be here today" by now, im upset. a whole day wasted because they forgot to order it till yesterday. so i told the guy, ill call tomorrow and if its in, ill come and pick it up, but if its not here, cancel my order, ill order it online. then i told him, even if it is in tomorrow, ill pick it up, and just order everything else i need online, itll cost me just as much, but ill get it sooner. i dont think he was happy with me. they are the only hobby shop in the area, and they know they've got us over the barrel. loosing my business probably wont hurt them, but do it to enough people, and they wont be in business anymore
Old 01-25-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

Yes, San Marcos, CA.
Old 01-25-2013, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: unimpressed with hobbytown

I've got a local Hobby Town. All ARF and Bind N Fly stuff, but they have a good selection. They have gobs of building supplies, woods, glues, widgets and gizmos a plenty. Workers seem to be at least 1/2 way knowledgeable and the manager is pretty laid back and willing to help. One of the LHS here is about the same, but the employees are to concerned with their own toys, or those of their buddies and you stand for 15 minutes listening to the banter about a 1/10 scale car race from 2 years ago...... Since prices are virtually the same, I'd rather go where the employees are friendlier.

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