Jump to content


Hobby Shops... Are They Viable Today?


  • You cannot reply to this topic
141 replies to this topic

#41 High octane

High octane

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,659 posts
  • Location:Midwest
  • Full Name:Nick

Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:22 PM

I hafta agree with lordairguitar as I know and frequent the same hobbyshops that he talks about. Because of the high price of gas, I don't visit those hobby shops as much as I like to, but they are my FAVE shops with great selections, staff, and prices.



#42 Greg Cullinan

Greg Cullinan

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,306 posts
  • Location:Abington,PA.
  • Full Name:GREG

Posted 17 December 2013 - 03:28 PM

We have a couple that have been in business for a long time and still hanging. Of course I am in a big city so I'm sure that makes a huge didference. And one does stamps/coins and the other is big with dungeons and dragons or something similar. I don't think models is eithers life blood.

#43 Jordan White

Jordan White

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,756 posts
  • Location:Anoka, MN
  • Full Name:Name Full

Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:31 PM

Where I am, there is a small selection of good hobby shops left. When I was younger, I knew of 2 that I always wanted to visit when we were in the area. One was a Hobbytown, the other I can't recall the name. They both had excellent kit selections, though I believe maybe the HT more so.

 

A little later on, the one closed leaving HT as the only one I knew. Soon after that, the HT closed and I found another one closer to where we lived. That one also had a great selection of kits, so I would go quite a bit. Then a few years back I found a store even closer to me (King Kong Hobbies) that has an okay selection (much better than the Micheal's in the area, Walmart has no kits, and there are no Hobby Lobbys here (though the one I've been to in Michigan had the same selection as Micheal's)), but still not as good as the HT. Of course, just recently, that HT closed (or moved, I'm not positive on that) and another opened in the same town, but down the road and in a smaller shop. This shop has a small selection similar to King Kong, albeit with a few more options.

 

Luckily for me though, I found two other places in the Cities that have good reviews, Hub Hobby and Scale Model Supplies (the latter of which has the largest kit selection in a store that I've ever seen). They are both a bit of a drive, a little over a half hour, but I do enjoy going to them from time to time.

 

The thing is though, they don't usually have the kits I want to build, unless it's a newer kit or perhaps one I didn't know about. Most of the time I'm finding kits online that appeal to me (mostly Japanese kits and older AMT kits). It's really a draw as to where I get kits from, since on the one hand local stores allow you to see the kit in person and take it home right away, while on the other hand online purchases allow you maybe a better selection, lower costs (especially with eBay), and the ability to purchase in the comfort of your own home.

 

Just my observations.



#44 Metalmad

Metalmad

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 475 posts
  • Location:Chatsworth, Ca
  • Full Name:Seth Gee

Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:34 PM

Since moving to So Ca 20 years ago I found one LHS in the Valley that does carry a lot of kits and new release kits & they have special ordered kits for me also. They also have a good supply of paints , glues and scratch building materials and tools. They have always been very helpful with any questions about model kits etc but one thing that they do not carry much of or if any are the aftermarket parts like Detail master etc. But all and all this shop stays busy and they also carry a lot of RC cars and Airplanes and Trains which they are always busy with. Me personally I like the LHS since I like to see what I'm buying even if it is a few dollars more but I still do buy from Wal mart once in awhile when I do see a kit I like or need it to rob parts from for a build.


Edited by Metalmad, 09 January 2014 - 05:28 PM.


#45 ToyLvr

ToyLvr

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 541 posts
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Full Name:Mike Adams

Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:45 PM

Seems like this topic keeps coming up frequently here on the Forum, only under different titles.

Same ol' discussion; Internet fans think that's the only way to go, whilst a lot of folks still like the brick-n-mortar shops("support your local business, etc etc).

Reminds me of an article that appeared in a major 1:1 car magazine many years ago where the topic was whether we should all be buying American cars (and thus supporting American jobs) vs. buying foreign cars. As you can imagine, it resulted in a lot of heated comments in "Letters-To-The-Editor" on both sides of the issue.

The best response that I saw, and remember to this day, is "Real Americans buy what they *WANT* "

Same thing here. Doesn't matter who manufactured the kits or supplies, or what the retail source is, if we WANT it, we're gonna get it.

It's great that we live in a country, and in this particular period of time, where we have a choice, and we're free to exercise that choice.

Let's go build something....

#46 martinfan5

martinfan5

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,188 posts
  • Location:Los Santos, San Andreas
  • Full Name:Jonathan Stephens

Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:52 PM

Seems like this topic keeps coming up frequently here on the Forum, only under different titles.

Same ol' discussion; Internet fans think that's the only way to go, whilst a lot of folks still like the brick-n-mortar shops("support your local business, etc etc).

Reminds me of an article that appeared in a major 1:1 car magazine many years ago where the topic was whether we should all be buying American cars (and thus supporting American jobs) vs. buying foreign cars. As you can imagine, it resulted in a lot of heated comments in "Letters-To-The-Editor" on both sides of the issue.

The best response that I saw, and remember to this day, is "Real Americans buy what they *WANT* "

Same thing here. Doesn't matter who manufactured the kits or supplies, or what the retail source is, if we WANT it, we're gonna get it.

It's great that we live in a country, and in this particular period of time, where we have a choice, and we're free to exercise that choice.

Let's go build something....


You sir have won the interent
imagesqtbnANd9GcS5ZiBuqmArbPHKxoPiN_zps0


Edited by martinfan5, 17 December 2013 - 09:28 PM.


#47 charlie8575

charlie8575

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,612 posts
  • Location:Marlborough, Ma.
  • Full Name:Charlie

Posted 17 December 2013 - 09:20 PM

On my last visit to Spare Time Shop...

 

I got to visit with my friend Andrew (someone I now consider a friend) who's the manager.

 

Picked up a Moebius Chrysler 300B.

 

Checked out some paint because I could see the actual color, not rely on computer resolution that's frequently waaay off.

 

And had a fellow wander in that taught both of us all about 3-cylinder 2-stroke Saab engines and how to prep them for racing and then have fun blowing the doors off of everything in sight, including the cops. Did you know those things could rev to 15,000 RPM? Talk about a chorus of angry chainsaws!

 

You can't do that online.

 

Sure, I'll buy stuff online if I can't obtain it easily locally, but where all the shops near me offer a club discount, I don't really need to shop online for a better deal, unless I might say, purchase an extra item to make the shipping costs hurt less.

 

What's really neat about hobby shops, and I've seen this all my life is you'll have some absolutely fascinating people walk in and talk about all kinds of neat stuff, like the guy above to war stories, work stories that relate to modeling, and all sorts of other discussion.

 

The boards are nice, but it doesn't replace human interaction.

 

Neither does online shopping.

 

Charlie Larkin



#48 Dr. Cranky

Dr. Cranky

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15,414 posts
  • Location:Transylvania, Florida
  • Full Name:Virgil "Doctor Cranky" Suarez

Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:15 AM

I think it's a combination of a lot of factors, which is why HOBBY LOBBY (it's really not a hobby store, it's more of a crafts store) decided to thrown in everything, including cheap furnishing, under the same roof.  Between the crafts and the art supplies and jewelry, they get lots of traffic.  Most mom and pop hobby shops have catered to the RC car, plane, and boat markets.  It's also a bad economy getting worse every year as jobs dry up and we keep allowing companies to go abroad to set up shop.



#49 kataranga

kataranga

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,295 posts
  • Location:Saint John, NB
  • Full Name:Chris Martin

Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:43 AM

On my last visit to Spare Time Shop...

 

Hey, I've been there! :D



#50 Art Anderson

Art Anderson

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,900 posts

Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:13 AM

Brick and Mortar hobby shops will continue to survive as well as thrive as long as they are well-capitalized (meaning they are able to have and maintain a well-stocked, comprehensive inventory), understand, live and breath merchandising, and pay attention to their bottom line.

 

It's pretty much always been thus.

 

Art



#51 Danno

Danno

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,547 posts
  • Location:Okay. By now you all know ~ Aridzona.
  • Full Name:Nameless Natural Luminary

Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:43 AM

The best way to make a small fortune in the brick-and-mortar hobby store biz, is to start out with a large fortune.  B)



#52 jrherald420

jrherald420

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,051 posts
  • Location:Lavergne,TN
  • Full Name:James Herald

Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:12 AM

lol



#53 Greg Cullinan

Greg Cullinan

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,306 posts
  • Location:Abington,PA.
  • Full Name:GREG

Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:31 AM

I went today to lhs. Ive known about this one for 30 years. I asked how long they've been in business. 60 years.
I purchased Badman,Police interceptor, model master ford & Chevy engine paint and a cool fluorescent testors that is new to me. $63. But I was able to walk around for a hour(killing time while at work) and scope out O scale trains which I think I am interested in.
Btw if anyone is in Philadelphia area,Roosevelt Boulevard and Grant Avenue, check out Allied Hobbies.


B7BE2052-C77F-418A-B465-199C9A9633E8_1.j

#54 uncle potts

uncle potts

    MCM Avid Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 453 posts
  • Location:sioux city
  • Full Name:paul cowell

Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:48 PM

Our Lhs here caters to trains, military, and static models They have stayed away from the r/c products, and are doing quite well. I like my LHS, its a place where guys who build a wide genre of models can get togeather swap stories and talk models. Some are into cars\trucks like I am, soma e are into military, some trains  And I've personally learned something from all of them. The one thing that worries me is that this is a father son operation. The father is 80 and the son is in his late 40's. He's also single, so has no kids of his own. Someday I expect that the dad will retire completely, and what happens when the son decides to retire? Hobby Lobby and Michaels, the only other two options we have here, just won't cut it. yeh I can shop online, its just not the same.



#55 lordairgtar

lordairgtar

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,761 posts
  • Location:Muskego Wisconsin

Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:09 PM

Sometimes the brick and mortar can augment the internet and vice a versa. I went to a newer LHS in Oak Creek near Milwaukee to check it out. Basically an armor, military, aircraft store; they had a limited selection of kits for cars. They did have some 1/32nd scale Airfix kits that one does not see much of. I saw some 1/35th scale ICM kits of cars! I knew they also are marketing 1/24th scale autos from the WWII era. I took this opportunity to order an Opel Admiral kit in 1/24th as he did not have it in stock...so I let him do the ordering and also reaped the black Friday discount which got me this kit for $50. It normally is going at $59 or thereabouts. Yes, I could have gone on line and did it myself, but would not have seen this discount and still would have to come up with shipping costs. If a LHS does not offer to order things for you that do not stock, then those are the ones who will not do well. I know my tastes are obscure. I had one other place order my Trumpeter Hong Qi limousine Car Of State for me. They did. They would have never stocked this car because of the limited appeal.



#56 Harry P.

Harry P.

    MCM Ohana

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,804 posts
  • Location:NW suburban Chicago
  • Full Name:A mere layman...

Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:17 PM

I took this opportunity to order an Opel Admiral kit in 1/24th as he did not have it in stock...so I let him do the ordering and also reaped the black Friday discount which got me this kit for $50. It normally is going at $59 or thereabouts.

 

http://hobbyterra.co...m-scale-24.html



#57 lordairgtar

lordairgtar

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,761 posts
  • Location:Muskego Wisconsin

Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:05 PM

But what is shipping cost. I couldn't determine that.



#58 niteowl7710

niteowl7710

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,632 posts
  • Location:FayCoPA
  • Full Name:Daddy Day Care Now Open!

Posted 18 December 2013 - 08:04 PM

But what is shipping cost. I couldn't determine that.

 

Looks like it's based on weight, and given that most model kits around a pound or so with the kit, packing materials and box it's $10.80 to ship it, and it'll take 1-3 weeks.  So I guess technically you could have gotten the kit for $45.80, the trade off of saving $4.20 is not receiving your purchase for nearly a month.

 

In the broader discussion I dismiss this notion of a brick and mortar store being a waste of "gas" & "time" to shop there.  I'm sure there are some diehard glueheads here who really do go out the day a kit drops specifically to purchase that kit, but I'd bet by-and-large the majority of modelers (to say nothing of the casual builder that really pays the bills) doesn't hit their LHS unless their in the neighborhood.

 

I was having the discussion recently with friends and the topic of a recently issued Revell kit came up, and that I know from the last time I was at the LHS getting supplies the kit on the shelf is nearly the same price it would be online, BUT I'd have to pay for shipping, which makes the cost higher.  Then the gas & time factor was brought in, and I pointed out that I'm not going 11 miles to the LHS JUST for that kit, BUT I do have to get milk, butter, eggs, diapers, formula and juice.  Low and behold there's a grocery store 2 blocks away that has a "make it & take it" salad bar I love, and has good donuts to boot.  Am I REALLY wasting gas and time if I have to go out shopping in the first place?  I hazard to guess most LHS shopping tends to happen under the same scenario...



#59 johnbuzzed

johnbuzzed

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,064 posts
  • Location:Indian Land, SC
  • Full Name:John "the Buzzard" Buzzerio

Posted 19 December 2013 - 04:22 AM

In my opinion, brick and mortar hobby shops will always be around.  Their survival depends on proprietor savvy and three important points:location, location, location. 

 

I know of one hobby shop in my hometown on Long Island that has been in existence since... golly, probably the mid or late '60's, in three locations, through two owners (that I know of).  It survived a fire and lack of utilities, and this is on Long Island, replete with exorbitant property taxes, ultra high utility bills and NYS taxes on top of that.  Other hobby shops have come and gone on LI but, as of this past October, this shop is still there and it is busy.  The place has all kinds of kits, die casts out the wazoo, trains, R/C stuff of all kinds, supplies, aftermarket stuff, magazines... they keep getting more inventory and it can be difficult to navigate the aisles but they keep selling.  I will bring my sons and grandson there when we're on the Island for Christmas.

 

On line shopping is good sometimes, especially for more experienced modelers.  You can take your time and check multiple sites for exactly what you seek.  This is OK for that certain, special projects that are planned in advance.  But for paints, glue, other general supplies and necessities, ordinary kits and such, I'll do the hobby shop every time.  Their main disadvantage is that each one can't have EVERYTHING in stock, unlike your computer.  Plus, as we get older, we become- well, lazier.  Face it, it's easier to point-and-click than to actually locomote and exert one's self. 

 

But I think there is something in our hunter-gatherer ancestry that drives the hobby shops (or, for that matter, any brick-and-mortar store).  You need something.  You leave your abode and look for whatever that might be.  Then you find it, get it and return with it to your abode, to enjoy the fruits of your hunt, or what you have reaped via gathering.  Plus, it is an opportunity to socialize, meet people face-to-face, ask questions and learn- to experience life and humanity in person, the way it has been for thousands of years.  It's in our genes and instincts.


Edited by johnbuzzed, 19 December 2013 - 04:43 AM.


#60 kataranga

kataranga

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,295 posts
  • Location:Saint John, NB
  • Full Name:Chris Martin

Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:36 AM

Most of the time when I visit my LHS it is a combination club meeting/LHS visit/company head office visit. Because I spend the day working out of my regional head office, my employer reimburses my travel expenses!  B)