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Local shop closing - Sad days indeed.


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I needed some paints today so I went to the big hobby shop down the street from Riverside, RC Hobby. It's just not the same. They don't even carry the model car magazines. They had a nice selection of kits but I couldn't even find any Testors Metalizer paints. :angry:

You can ask everyone in my family, I'm very sad that Riverside is shutting down.

Consider Viking Hobby near the corner of El Camino and Mission Ave. They carry the Metalizer paints, and have made it clear to me that they will stock or special-order whatever items local modelers need. I believe Bruce's Train shop near Marconi and Fulton also carry the Metalizer line.

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Well i have been going to Riverside Hobbies for about 4 yrs...and have became close friends with the Family...Good People.

In the last 2+yrs i have Bought / Sold /Traded Model Kits with Doug for a total of 357 model kits that i have just Traded or Sold to him...I was always on the look out for model Kits...Yard Sales....Flea Markets... Posting on Craig's List... And I Always made $$$ selling them to Riverside Hobbies that was my Goal....I would split the difference...make a few $$$ and then Doug would give me Store Credit for Always a Good Fair Amount.:)

The point of my story is that i have 56 models in my Personal Stash, i always went for the Tamiya Kits on store credit, for as we all know they are pricey

I have the Tamiya Lexus LFA $80.00 / Honda RC 166 GP Racer / Lotus Type 79 "1978" $70.00 / Ferrari FXX / even found my grail kit there one day..A Gunze Sangyo "High Tech Model" of the Ferrari 250 GTO Competion :) along with many other kits...and the point is i Paid Nothing for my Model Kits.. not to mention all the Paints...Detail Parts... and Materials...why i even got my Passche VL Air Brush & Compressor from Riverside Hobbies for free!!...Like i say I Buy....Sell to Riverside...Make $$$ and use my store credit....I lost Nothing....and gained alot

SAD....I am very saddend over the fact they are closing...For I am going to miss the hobby friendship i have had with them all...but also for the FACT that i just no longer have a interest to buy model kits from my sources....i was just at the fleamarket yesterday (Saturday) and a guy had about a dozen kits for sale...i stop and look and just kept on walking....Bummer I Can't do anything with them anymore.....I won't buy kits unless i make something in return....For i have just the ones i want....oh i am sure i will always see something i must have..

The impact affects all ......and i mean Everybody....The internet...I will not Buy From....E-BAY No...i don't like Meg Whitman anyhow....I agree with Mike..Support your LHS....

Cheers to all....Happy Holidays....

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I needed some paints today so I went to the big hobby shop down the street from Riverside, RC Hobby. It's just not the same. They don't even carry the model car magazines. They had a nice selection of kits but I couldn't even find any Testors Metalizer paints. :angry:

You can ask everyone in my family, I'm very sad that Riverside is shutting down.

Hey nice to see again at the Model Club....I know what you mean R/C country..is nothing like Good Ol'e Riverside Hobbys...Go in to R/C country and buy a plastic model kit...and they frown...yet go in there and spend $180.00 or more for some Part for a R/C car and you have a friend for life...I stay away from there the best i can....They do carry metalizers in the little bottles for the air brush anyhow...

Cheers and Happy Holidays.... :)

Edited by XJ6
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yep i have been a happy customer of riverside hobbies for 20 years or so and am very disheartened to see them close up. its gonna be university hardware in berzerkley or the interwebs from now on and unfortunately that requires planning. cant just pop into riverside hobbies for the great selection of supplies and paints not to mention a whole boatload of car kits. very sorry to see them close.

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Hey nice to see again at the Model Club....I know what you mean R/C country..is nothing like Good Ol'e Riverside Hobbys...Go in to R/C country and buy a plastic model kit...and they frown...yet go in there and spend $180.00 or more for some Part for a R/C car and you have a friend for life...I stay away from there the best i can....They do carry metalizers in the little bottles for the air brush anyhow...

Cheers and Happy Holidays.... :)

RC Country....that's right. See? I even screwed up their name. :lol:

It was good seeing you too Don.

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It's a tough call. I can see the argument for supporting a local business over buying online, but the reality is that most people look out for themselves first, and that means buying at the lowest possible price. I sympathize with hobby shop owners who find that they just can't compete on price with online stores... but that's how a consumer-driven capitalistic economy works. Either you can compete and make a profit and stay in business, or you can't compete and you're driven out of business. It's survival of the fittest. It's always worked that way. Yeah, it sucks for those who can't compete, but the system is what it is.

When I ran the Hobbytown USA in Columbia SC years agao I had no trouble competing with the lower priced online stores. Those who cannot compete, can't for two main reasons;

1. They put all their eggs in one basket, such as the Hobby shops that are all plastic or all trains or all RC. When you cater to only one segment, when that segment takes a hit, so does your business. (ie. plastics don't sell well in summer, RC not so well in winter etc. ) Added to that, you have to make 100% of your profit from that segment. because I carried full lines in every segment from model kits to telescopes and even wooden trains for the kids, I could be more flexible on my kit prices, knowing that I would make up for it in a more profitable segment like warhammer and breyer horses. The trick is getting people in the door.

2. The second reason is the mindset that you need to make the maximum profit from everything in the store. I'd rather trim a few dollars off the Model kit, and make it up with nearly 7 dollars profit I made when you bought two cans of spray paint and a package of #11 blades.

How many times have you gone to a hobby shop only to find they had shelves of plastic kits, but no evergreen, plastrct, or a decent selection of paint? I kept a large selection of plastic in the store, to bring in the customers, and sold them at just a couple of dollars above break even, because I knew that the 4.99 bottle of CA glue you bought with them was mostly profit. In the RC dept it was the repair parts that carried the segment, but it was the package deals I offered that included assembly, that brought people through the doors. I made them a great deal on the RC Car knowing that in a week they would be in looking for repair parts or upgrades. people who play with RC break their toys. I traced one kit I sold just to see if my theory was correct and in that instace I only made $25 profit off the original sale, but over the next three months of selling this same person Fuel, rapair parts, upgrades and accesories, I made another $125 in profit. Had I tried to get top dollar off the initial sale he may have gone elsewhere, and becuse that initial experience made the impression, that "his prices are too high" he would have gone elsewhere for everything else too.

Most mom and pop hobbyshops go under because they have a lack of understanding of retail marketing and merchandising.

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I don't know about that. It very well may be the case with a lot of the shops out there but I think Doug had things pretty well under control. His prices were reasonable, he had a great selection of kits and aftermarket accessories, and he sold planes, trains, automobiles and even sports cards. The man was in business for 30 years! I think he had a good idea of what he was doing. It just came down to the economy, the lack of interest these days in our hobby and the fact that he was 69 years old. He's at that age when it's time to retire. He also recently had a stroke. It was time to hang it up. I'm very saddened by this but I wish him the best and I also want to thank him for running the place the way he did for as long as he did.

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I don't know about that. It very well may be the case with a lot of the shops out there but I think Doug had things pretty well under control. His prices were reasonable, he had a great selection of kits and aftermarket accessories, and he sold planes, trains, automobiles and even sports cards. The man was in business for 30 years! I think he had a good idea of what he was doing. It just came down to the economy, the lack of interest these days in our hobby and the fact that he was 69 years old. He's at that age when it's time to retire. He also recently had a stroke. It was time to hang it up. I'm very saddened by this but I wish him the best and I also want to thank him for running the place the way he did for as long as he did.

I wasn't speaking specifically about his shop, as I've never been there. He obviously had a clue as he made it 30 years. Perhaps if the economy was better he could have found someone to take it over though.

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Most here deserted the modeler for the high priced RC and Train customers. Eventually selling off what plastic yhey had was on ebay. (even deserted the Military builders, BIG mistake!)Then the local "fad" RC racing took a dump and they had lost the core of their original business!

train stuff is high and hit and miss.(feast or famine)

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My local shop here in Baltimore Overlea Hobbies will also be closing first of the year. The factors are too numerous to mention but Bob is getting up there and the Landlord is pushing for a lease agreement on his store. I was just there today and spent what will probably be the last i ever spend there. It's a shame because like the shop mentioned by the OP, this one has been in business for many years and I can shoot the poop there and get the things I need.

Sad days indeed. Be glad you can say there were hobby shops and enjoyed them. Future generations will not know what you're talking about.

Bob

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Mike I'm sorry to hear of your hobby shop close its doors as it is a rough business to be into these days with all the other electronic devices that are available to kids these days as well as the tough economy. Where in Milwaukee or what hobby shop did your dad take you to, do you remember?

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We had a nice hobby shop not too far down the road from where I am staying now, called Racin' Fools.

I was too young to really remember all the details nowadays, and even later on, right before it closed, I was still in my oblivious teenage years so it didn't hit me as hard... but my dad used to go there a lot. I realize now how much of a convenience it would have been to still have Racin' Fools right down the way, instead of 45 minutes away across the river to the nearest Hobbytown USA.

It's sad how the economy can really mess with small businesses like that. It's almost as if we're becoming a dying breed- but if we keep up our support and fight the onslaught of impersonal online hobby stores, we can possibly make it through and still keep our beloved LHS's. I've never been one to lie down and take a beating (a trait that's gotten me in some ruts of trouble in my past years), and it's that mindset that keeps me going day to day.

It all boils down to this, and it's probably been said a few times in the replies on this thread so far(but, I will say it again)-

Without patronage and support, LHS's(heck, ANY small business) will eventually fall out of the race so to speak. If I had a better means of transportation, I'd make the 45 minute drive to Hobbytown for a good deal of my purchases. As it stands, though, I'm stuck doing things on the cheap with scrap plastic and donations.

On a related note, I don't trust online purchases. Most of the time, if I can't lay hands on the product and get a feel for it before I buy, I won't buy it. I don't trust online stores.

Online trades and whatnot however, I do trust. Mainly because there's communication with a real person, I can ask questions, and I don't feel like I'm feeding my money or trades into a faceless machine.

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Mike I'm sorry to hear of your hobby shop close its doors as it is a rough business to be into these days with all the other electronic devices that are available to kids these days as well as the tough economy. Where in Milwaukee or what hobby shop did your dad take you to, do you remember?

Nick, I wish I could remember. I feel certain it was on the North side. I know that the selection of models and supplies had to be good or my dad wouldn't have gone there. I do remember that they had a slot car track that seemed to be very popular at the time - even straight-line, wheel-stander, slot cars - Very cool!! Now I always make sure to hit Model Empire when I come home to visit.

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It sad to hear about another LHS closing its doors, I know alot of people are against buying online, I want to try and point out a few things that a lot people may not be thinking about .

1. Not everyone has a LHS that is within a reasonable distance to them, so that leaves online the only other way to buy kits.

2. A lot of people dont have a lot money to spend on this hobby, or have to make their hobby money go a little further then others, and when most hobby stores are selling kits at or above MSRP, that makes it hard on some of us.

3. We are in a new era of how products are sold, like it or not, its not going anywhere, in some ways it good, and then on the other side its bad.

I do support my LHS, but not for kits, I like to save money if I can, so I find the best deal for the kit I want, who ever is selling it the lowest gets my money. I do buy everything else for my LHS or hobby lobby.

I dont always have the time to make a trip to the LHS, so buying online is my other and only option. I think the LHS need to find ways to stay competitive right now, think out side the box maybe, I mean maybe the LHS should offer a online store, or find ways to offer better prices. I dont know the answer, but if the LHS dont find ways to stay competitive, then I think we are going to see alot more LHS closing their doors.

Edited by martinfan5
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Nick, I wish I could remember. I feel certain it was on the North side. I know that the selection of models and supplies had to be good or my dad wouldn't have gone there. I do remember that they had a slot car track that seemed to be very popular at the time - even straight-line, wheel-stander, slot cars - Very cool!! Now I always make sure to hit Model Empire when I come home to visit.

The "Empire" is my FAVE hobby shop and I get over there a few times a year and also stop at Greenfield News & Hobby which is only 15 minutes away and has 12,000 square feet which is the biggest hobby shop I've ever seen. I need to get over there in the very near future.
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Sales tax was mentioned in regards to shipping costs eating up online savings. I just pointed out on a larger purchase ($100 with California's 7-8% tax) the shipping is often offset by what you would have paid in sales tax. Some of you seem to have taken that as I shop online to avoid the sales tax.

I shop online because it is easier than driving 4-8 hours (there and back) to buy a kit from my "local" hobby shops that may or may not even have what I want. While I see much hand wringing over online hobby shops killing the brick & mortar shops, I don't see a lot of these failed shops embrasing the new technology. There is no downside to expanding to online sales except for many more sales, yet there seems to be a real reluctance on the part of many owners. One of my regular sources, Megahobby apparently did start as a LHS and still does have some physical shops you can walk in to buy stuff (maybe some of the New York members can verify that). I know another guy I have bought a few things from also has a regular hobbyshop but does a good chunk of his business online and at local shows. Many ebay sellers seem to be tied to hobby shops, so some obviously recognize the change in technology can help them.

Riverside seemed to be doing things right, people get older and it is understandable that they would want to retire. It is too bad that they could not find anyone to take over the business, but not unexpected. Sacramento has what 3 or 4 hobbyshops? I know they don't focus on the plastic like Riverside did, but that certainly played into the lack of buyers for the business. The building doesn't seem to be in the best shape either so a new owner would have had to deal with an old building or move and lose a lot of the name recognition.

I hope the business treated them well enough over the years to allow them to enjoy retired life.

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I support my local hobby shop for supplies and some kits...but it's hard to beat the point-and-click convenience of buying kits online from reputable kit retailers...been doing it for over a decade now, nothing new...I remember back in the day mail ordering kits from 'paper' catalogs, same thing but online is easier and more efficient.

Edited by Rob Hall
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What a History lesson going here! I kind of support all of what Art is saying. Most or the guys I meet with at our local hobby store are either unemployed or retired (sometimes forced early retirement like me), which gives them more time to build models. If the current economy was good some of us wouldn't have as much time to build. You can always scrape together enough for a new model or work from your current stash. Seems this should be a thriving time for our hobby. Just look at all the new kits available lately. My stash still seems to be growing even though I keep saying I am trying to cut back. Just wish the kits were still $1.29 like they were when I would find enough pop bottles to buy one.

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The "Empire" is my FAVE hobby shop and I get over there a few times a year and also stop at Greenfield News & Hobby which is only 15 minutes away and has 12,000 square feet which is the biggest hobby shop I've ever seen. I need to get over there in the very near future.

Forgot to mention Greenfield News & Hobby, I, too, enjoy that shop on my return visits. Modelers in the Milwaukee area are blessed to have such great local hobby shops right nearby.

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To bad you couldn't buy it out and keep a hobby shop alive .

I agree that would be awesome, someone in my town did just that with a local hobby shop of 25 years, this guy bought it lock stock and barrel for $225,000.00 and started running it himself 10 months ago. still running strong.
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