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mom and pop vs. big hobby shop


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#41 JamesW

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:15 PM

The selection at my LOCAL hobby shop has dwindled to almost nothing over the last few months. I'll take a trip to Ypsilanti at least once a month, I would go more but it's an hour drive, one way. They don't have a HUGE selection, but they do have some OOP kits and I love talking/visiting with them, just GREAT people. If I'm looking for a specific kit that they don't seem to have he'll get on the internet right then and see if he can find it.



#42 Harry P.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:19 PM

The selection at my LOCAL hobby shop has dwindled to almost nothing over the last few months. I'll take a trip to Ypsilanti at least once a month, I would go more but it's an hour drive, one way. They don't have a HUGE selection, but they do have some OOP kits and I love talking/visiting with them, just GREAT people. If I'm looking for a specific kit that they don't seem to have he'll get on the internet right then and see if he can find it.

 

Or you could have done that yourself in the first place and saved yourself the time and gas to drive to Ypsilanti and back.



#43 JamesW

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:23 PM

Yes, but as I said, they're great people and I love going in there and talking to them. Plus, in most cases, they're prices are lower than internet prices. It costs me MAYBE $20 in gas round trip. It's nice to get out of the house once in a while instead of sitting in front of my computer.



#44 slusher

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:42 PM

In a week or 2 the internet will all have to charge sales tax and with shipping will swing things back to som local shops  Most internet sales are because of convenience..

 

 

Umm, that bill still has to pass, and what I read a few days ago, it had not passed yet

 

They said today it should be passed this week.



#45 Harry P.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:45 PM

They said today it should be passed this week.

 

It's supposed to be voted on tomorrow. Nobody can say whether or not it will pass.



#46 ToyLvr

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:45 PM

Wow, we hit a nerve on this topic, eh?

As I was telling our MCM buddy, GluHead, I'm fortunate to have one of those old-fashioned privately owned LHS in my area.

Admittedly, the shop caters primarily to the Model Railroad guys, but the owner & employees make an honest effort to service the model car-ship-plane clan as well. Customer service there is great. The owner is willing to order most anything that I want if he doesn't already stock it. Prices are reasonable. The shop provides meeting space for local modeling clubs. I like being able to look at items and make a direct judgement on product quality, etc., before I buy it. And of course, I simply enjoy visiting the shop and talking with both the employees and other modeling nuts.

Last, but not least, here's the kicker. The shop owner makes a point of shopping estate sales, etc., and buys vintage stock for his store. A couple of shelves are dedicated to vintage model car kits!

I realize that I'm lucky to have this kind of shop in my area, where a lot of you have no resort other than internet shopping or driving insane distances.

With all due respect to internet shopping fans, I cannot see the logic in spending hours staring at a computer screen and trying to locate an item and make price comparisons, pay elevated shipping prices, then wait for days for the item(s) to arrive. I have better things to do with my time. I find it decidedly more convenient to visit the LHS....

#47 martinfan5

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:46 PM

 

 

 

They said today it should be passed this week.

should and it actually passing  are two different things, and they also say that it might not as pass, just like another bill that goes before the house, but this is cutting it very close to that line of talking politics, so we should leave it at that.


Edited by martinfan5, 05 May 2013 - 04:47 PM.


#48 Harry P.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:51 PM

I like being able to look at items and make a direct judgement on product quality, etc., before I buy it

With all due respect to internet shopping fans, I cannot see the logic in spending hours staring at a computer screen and trying to locate an item and make price comparisons, pay elevated shipping prices, then wait for days for the item(s) to arrive. I have better things to do with my time. I find it decidedly more convenient to visit the LHS....

 

A: How can you make a "direct judgement on product quality" by looking at the box?

 

B: A google price search for a model (or anything) takes just seconds. Then clicking on the store where you want to buy takes, again, seconds. And actually buying, seconds. Total time spent? Maybe a few minutes?

 

It's more convenient to drive to a hobby shop and buy?  :blink:  You can say you prefer a hobby shop for the "human interaction" or what have you. But you can't tell me it's more convenient to buy at a hobby shop than online.

 

And 9 times out of 10, the internet price plus the shipping is cheaper than paying the hobby shop price, plus sales tax, plus the gas (at over $4/gallon here) to get to the hobby shop and back. Total cost is the bottom line.



#49 Harry P.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:05 PM

I'm not down on hobby shops. In fact, I wish there were more of them!

 

But when it comes to going to a store that has a limited inventory of kits, or going online and having literally the whole world's inventory at your fingertips, nobody is going to convince me that it's more convenient to shop at the LHS!



#50 JamesW

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:17 PM

But, here's an example. The LHS in Ypsilanti got in the snap AMT Chevy Dooley Street Machine, anyone eBay shopping knows how the prices get. He had it for $25, held it for me for almost 3 months (car issues, didn't want to drive out of town til it was taken care of). When I did FINALLY make it up there, he knocked another 10% off my purchase. I also got the Tamiya Skyline GTR with BOTH sets of detail up parts for $32. Had $100 worth that day, only cost me $90. He's got 2 of the Johan Rambler Wagons, sealed, for, IIRC, $50 each. His prices on vintage/oop kits are much better than eBay or any other online vendor I've seen. I still do a LOT of shopping on eBay though. :rolleyes:



#51 Guest_Johnny_*

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:29 PM

The last two here locally put themselves out of business.

One turned his focus to the fickle model railroad guys who pushed him to stock more and more train stuff. To do that he cut back on models and RC stuff because all the profit went to buy what the RR guys said he needed to stock.

Then they stopped coming in after a while. When he called some of them to tell them he had the stuff they asked him for they either had bought it elsewhere, or were too broke or said they had all they could use for now but maybe later..............

When he was selling out he sold most on ebay and actually turned a profit but it could not save his business.

He admitted he had driven away his best customers, The modelers and the RC guys.

 

The other guy went almost all RC and even opened a track! Big business and he all but dumped plastic with just a small aisle of models.

That lasted about two years and like someone turned a switch people just stopped coming to the track and buying RC stuff.

Some of the old customers were trying to sell their used stuff through him but he could not help them either. He said all most would say is they had moved on to something else. Most the kids sauid it was not any fun anymore others said it was too much work to keep them running!

 

Both places were higher than buying on line. Myself I didn't even have a home computer yet. I think 2005 was the first time I ever went on line.So I bought from them even though I knew from others I could go online cheaper. Felt I would rather support a local business.

Now the few places I have went up north, I would never go back to. Punk kids who were more bothered by you being there interrupting their game playing than having interest in selling anything!

One  was a husband and wife and talk about rude people! Instead of asking if we needed help he pushes me out of the way saying I have to keep the aisle clear???? F Him!!!



#52 ToyLvr

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:56 PM

Hey Internet Shopping fans, I'm not entirely "down" on internet shopping - I do buy some things online.

I'm just saying that for me personally, I can stop by the LHS on the way home from work (or while running errands on Saturday), and make a quick dash in to buy supplies (or even a kit) and be back home at my workbench in minutes. I cannot get that sort of *immediate* service and delivery when buying on the internet. So, for me, it really IS faster and more convenient to visit the LHS.

As for making a "direct judgement on product quality", there are a lot of other components that are often involved in building a model car these days besides the kit itself. Aftermarket parts, for example, consisting of things like wheels, tires, prewired distributors, photoetch kits, resin parts, etc, etc. it's nice, in some cases, to be able to inspect these items firsthand before you decide to buy to assure that they meet your needs. And as for the kit itself, if you insist on it, a quality-minded LHS will usually allow you to open a kit and inspect it before buying. Photos on an internet site are helpful sometimes, but NOTHING takes the place of being able to examine the product in person, IMHO.

In the final analysis, it's a free country, and we each spend our money how and where we want to (except for being taxed to death, but that's another never-ending topic for discussion).

#53 Harry P.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

In the final analysis, it's a free country, and we each spend our money how and where we want to (except for being taxed to death...

 

Now there's something I agree with you on 100%!  :lol:



#54 stargazer1

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:33 PM

I don't know about other areas, but my local hobby shops are only open because of the RC people. They spend big bucks on their airplanes or cars, and most importantly, they crash. That means repeat business.

 

Armor and aircraft modeling is most popular here in San Diego. Not unexpected with the large contingent of retired and active duty Marines. Model cars are something of an afterthought. They have started carrying some detail parts, but if I really want the big selection, I need to drive up to the LA area.

 

Oddly enough, science fiction modeling is growing. They've doubled their shelf space on that genre in the last year or so. Guess there are more geeks than old guys. Though some of us qualify as both.



#55 Mercman

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:37 PM

Interesting points of veiw from all. Back in the 80's I managed a craft/hobby store in Mhd. When I started there they were basically all about crafts, dolls, beads and the such. The owner did it because she was a crafter. I started after her death, and got the management ot add to the model car, and such line of merchandise, as that is what I knew. However I took time to educate myself in the other fields of merchandise we sold, and became fairly knowledgeable with the same. Got to be I got to know some of the regular customers quite well, and we implemented a discount program for them. Also if they were looking for something special I would order it for them. Basically it came down to customer service.

As for the internet I have bought a few things on that auction site, but find I can get it faster, and get better service here at my LHS. Besides the one shop we have her we have 2 specialty shops that carry RC planes only, and the other RC cars only. We also have a Michael's, and a Hobby Lobby, which has downsized the area that I frequent the most, trains, and dio supplies. But ti still frequent them on hunting for other items I may find useful. Check out the bead dept. sometime, and just let your imagination go wild. All sorts of different items that can made use of.

Back to our LHS, I knew the manager when he run the Gager's Hobby Store here in the 70's. They moved though after sometime, which left us with a small MOM and POP place. This one closed due to the decision to add white ware( plaster castings), and the lack of just because.Now back to the local LHS, back in the 80's again the current shop opened up here, and I frequent him regularly. He provides a good selection of product, is quite knowledgeable in all aspects of the supplies he stocks, trains, models RC, gaming, and more. Also you can talk with him about new products, and he will special order for you. He orders on Tue, and you get it Fri of the same week.

Recently he revamped the shop to give modeler's, and the gamers a place to meet once a month. This is room he could use to stock product, but has done this for those who keep him going. His staff though young, are fairly knowledgeable about what they sell, with most being into a specialty like RC or gaming.

I do however about twice a year drive to Mpls. 250 miles away to peruse a couple of the hobby shops there. I can go in, and find stuff that isn't stocked here in town, and load up on different supplies, or OOP kits, and paints. As for the net, I have ordered a few things, but don't do much online, as I prefer the face to face contact. It's great to talk to some one about your ideas, and get their take on it.

Well that's just 2 cents worth.

Oh yeah before I forget the store I worked for closed due to bad management by the CEO, didn't pay the bills like he should have.

#56 lordairgtar

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:39 PM

I am so happy I live near Milwaukee. We have the best LHS selection out there. Plus being involved with two model shows, it's nice that I can call and ask for door prize stuff from the owners. I know them and they know me. I tend to support those who support the hobby locally. I have to give kudos to a big company, Revell, for helping out with kits and displays of upcoming stuff at our NNL.



#57 slusher

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:58 PM

should and it actually passing  are two different things, and they also say that it might not as pass, just like another bill that goes before the house, but this is cutting it very close to that line of talking politics, so we should leave it at that.

 

Its a matter of time before we have sales tax on online purchaces. No argument.



#58 slusher

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:07 PM

l wish there was a hobby shop in my area. l would love to shop at one. l visit one in east TN on vacation. He buys collections from time to time and he sold the oop  kits for 10 to 15 bucks with tax. Thats cheap. The hobby lobby in our area does a good job and has a large testors paint section but no tamiya paint. l buy what l don't get from them thru ebay and model roundup. Ebay shipping prices is another topic....



#59 Modelbuilder Mark

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:46 PM

 

A: How can you make a "direct judgement on product quality" by looking at the box?

 

 

Our LHS will open the box up for you to review if need be, so at least in our case, not just the box to look at.

Recently, they had the Revell London Bus, and let me tell you, there is just NO way that you can get that same experience looking at it online, even if you can find a review or something that has all the sprue laid out etc. 

 

Plus, the guy that posted that also mentioned that their LHS would buy kits from estate sales etc, so compared to buying online from someone who says "Seems to be complete", then with the old kit right there in your hands, you may be able to see for yourself if it is complete, or warped etc etc.  

 

To that end, you still go the the grocery I assume? Around here, you can actually shop online for your groceries right from the same brick and mortar store that is all over the place, and they will deliver them right to your door. But, people still want to go to the store, thump the watermelons etc. 

 

Again, both avenues work.  



#60 martinfan5

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:50 PM

 

Our LHS will open the box up for you to review if need be, so at least in our case, not just the box to look at.

What store?


Edited by martinfan5, 05 May 2013 - 07:51 PM.