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mom and pop vs. big hobby shop

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#121 kendog261


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Posted 09 May 2013 - 05:26 PM

I personally buy most of my stuff at Mega Hobby online. Like others have said you can shop whenever you want, it doesn't cost gas or time sitting in traffic to get to the store and they have most everything. If you spend $200.00 you get free shipping so I buy in bulk when I need stuff and it saves a lot of cash. I love the feel of gong to the LHS until I go to the checkout stand :)

#122 robertw


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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:00 PM

I love the LHS, any LHS! When I go to a new city the first thing I check is the phone book looking for what shops may exist there, whether they be mom & pop style or big box Hobby Lobby style. If I meet staff who are friendly and plastic knowledgeable that is just icing on the cake and a guarantee that I'll walk out with stuff that I might otherwise not purchased. As the old idea of hardware or hunting/fishing stores being a place for men to just wander around in, so a hobby shop is like catnip to me.


One of my favorite shops has recently been going through changes, reduced selection of kits, the departure of the plastic guy from the staff and new staff who are more interested in r/c, correspondingly my interest in visiting it is decreasing slightly.


While I certainly buy on the internet to get a lot of the stuff that local shops won't carry, p/e, decals etc. or rare or unusual kits the LHS will remain my favorite place to look for the stuff of our hobby and since it is the smaller shops that will usually have employees that have an interest in the customer I guess it will be the mom & pop style shops that I like to visit the most even if the prices are a little higher.

#123 HomerS


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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:52 AM

I make the occasional pilgrimage to the only small hobby store in the area, but they are 90% trains. Otherwise, I buy at shows or off the internet.

Why? Because the Big Box store check out is the only employee interaction I've had during the entire trip!
No, I don't have your frequent shopper card
No, I don't want to sign up for it or to be on your mailing list
No, I'm not in your system and I will not give you my phone number
No, I don't want to donate a dollar to whatever cause you believe in this week
No, I don't need batteries for my purchase today since I bought a Hot Wheel and a video game
No, I won't be putting this on my store name credit card (I have this weird thing called C-A-S-H)
I'd just like to make my purchase and get outta here!!!

Edited by HomerS, 12 May 2013 - 02:53 AM.

#124 mr68gts


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Posted 12 May 2013 - 09:48 AM

Since we don't have a hobby shop worth a darn within a 4 hour radius I have no choice but to order online when I need stuff. However, since I usually travel alot I tend to hit the hobby shops I enjoy along the way. Andy's HQ in Phoenix, (known them since they used to be in San Diego!) Reeds trains for my plastic ect in San Diego, and everytime I'd go to Salt Lake City I'd stop by M.R.S. , unfortunately MRS is now closed so that one is out now. I did find another hobby shop while in SLC and everyone seemed quite helpfull so there may be hope when we go there in 2 years! Due to our situation I tend to stock up on supplies while out. I make a list and hit up my favorites when I we travel. I still go to the Hobby Lobbys as I travel because I can't pass up a good deal. No one can. But customer service goes a lot farther than saving a penny with me. You walk into a Hobby Lobby and like mentioned before there is no interaction with anyone. No one knows or even cares about certain areas in the store. Hell, half the time you can't even find a person to ask! I guess it's all a matter of what you value more....... cheap or customer service. Robert, your not the only one that checks the phone book asap lol. Drives the wife nuts haha.



#125 MsDano85gt


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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:33 AM

My biggest problem with my LHS is Customer Service. Last time I went to my LHS, instead of asking what kind of models I put together (since I was in the Model isle), both associates basically pushed  me to look at their selection of Gas/ Electric R/C cars because they have an R/C track in front of the store. 


Not to mention, I know that from a business aspect, they obviously make more money on the R/C cars versus Little Ol' Model Kits. And when I ask them to order a kit for me, it seems like it ticked them off.


Just like Larry said. I can shop the internet with ease, not have to worry about being bothered when I don't want to be or find someone when I have a question. Their is no pushiness to purchase something. Given I hate paying for shipping because it's unbelievably high, but with the cost of gas and driving a V8, it's worth it so I don't have to deal with traffic, other people, etc.   

I agree 100%   my lhs which I love because of the  fact that instead of ripping off magazine covers and  throwing them in the dumpster the drastically reduce the  prices  shrink wrap them up and throw em in a clearance bin!   I constantly get mcm mags and  scale auto for a couple bucks    only problem is when i'm in the  model kit aisle I don't get the  time of day..... they are too busy taking all kinds of money from people wanting to spend the big bucks on r.c. vehicles of varios types and  things,  if I ask  questions about  model kits I don't get answsers,  or look like i'm a  bother..... this makes me  mad  but the  l.h.s does have things that hobby lobby do not offer anda large selection of kits (especially model king)     they have a display cabinet with  buildups I once asked if anyone can display their  work and I was told yes so I  brought some of my many  buildups and was looked at like I was stupid when I asked to display my workings...... geesh  double edged sword I say

#126 Taxdude


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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:06 PM

I live just outside of Ann Arbor Mi and we used to have a LHS that due to various reasons went out of business.  Then almost 2 years ago we had a new shop open, The Model Cave. This  is an old timey shop.  They only sell models, no RC, trains, games or crafty things.  John and Melissa are the best, very friendly and they always go the extra mile to get you want.  You just don't find that level of customer service at any big box store.  

Edited by Taxdude, 12 May 2013 - 12:07 PM.

#127 southpier


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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:11 PM

...instead of ripping off magazine covers and  throwing them in the dumpster the drastically reduce the  prices  shrink wrap them up and throw em in a clearance bin!   I constantly get mcm mags and  scale auto for a couple bucks    ....


odd way to handle it. years ago a merchant was only  required to send the title block back to the publisher for credit due on unsold magazines. I would hate to think someone is getting credit from the publisher and making money on the magazine, too. doesn't quite seem fair.