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Bernie Jones

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Shedofdread

20 - 25 years ago, people BUILT things so everyone needed glue, wood clevises etc.

 

I blame foamies... ;)

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isoaritfirst

RCRCM are announcing a new RETAIL price list in March and Telling their distributors to stick with it.. 

o Discounting...

 

Supermarkets are starting to sell just British meat.

 

It maybe that although these solutions will mean higher costs for consumers, that a sustainable business model in the end will equal better products and better value. 

 

Or maybe that these actions have just as many problems as they have solutions..

Too big a question that perhaps only time knows the answer to.

 

Q. Why shouldn't the fit survive?

A. perhaps because they destroy the weak before they can flourish.

 

Society should perhaps nurture and grow future business not stomp on it at every chance. If it doesn't is it really a society? or a bull-pit.

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Woodstock

20 - 25 years ago, people BUILT things so everyone needed glue, wood clevises etc.

 

I blame foamies... ;)

That reminds me, I must re-stock up on wood clevises...

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Shedofdread

A few facts -

1 We live in globalised world

2 MOST consumers in MOST marketplaces buy on cost not on performance / service

3 Many people demand instant gratification

4 Rates on retail space are higher than industrial space and a LOT ;) higher than one's garage

5 Town centres are expensive places to visit (parking charges)

 

How to square this particular circle and render hobby shops more profitable?

 

Clearly, without significant political changes, #1 has to be lived with and #4 and #5 are domestic, political issues.

 

This leaves us with #2 and #3 which WE (as active members of the aeromodelling community) CAN do something about. Instead of buying product X (a decent thing but no great shakes) why not wait a while, save a little more and buy product Y (the posh version you know you really want). Also, think about where you buy from. Yes, MegaDelear Inc may be 20p cheaper than 'Dave' at the shop but when that shop's gone, you'll miss it. Also, some of these dealers are UK arms of foreign companies. Whose exchequer would you rather your money went to? UK's or China's?

 

Also, why not try building your next aeroplane rather than buying it? I fully appreciate not everyone has the background to do this but there's lots of help / advice out there. You need advice re composites? ASK ME it's only what my company has been doing for 19 years... Trust me when I say that whilst it takes longer, the pay-back is far, far higher. 

 

As for the domestic political issues, make a noise - if enough people become excited about an issue even politicians will listen (http://www.38degrees.org.uk/ and all that). If you don't like what's happening to your town - stand for councillor (if you don't like something, chances are LOTS of people will agree with you). Don't complain if you don't do anything to help.... 

 

I'm aware some of the above may touch on the political so if neccessary please moderate. However, I believe I've kept it it entirely neutral and the issues are IMO pertinent.

 

Regards,

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Pete Burgess

Shedofdread raise some interesting points, build a model - hmmm....

As an aeromodeller of about 50 years I have been there, but:-

With gliders if you want high performance it usually means a composite/moulded construction (fibreglass, carbon etc...) Now a few people can build their own composite models but most cannot. And even if you can do composite construction where do you get the original design from? As to Balsa/ply models this usually means going back to the performance levels of 20-30 years ago which I suspect that not many really want to do! Added to which, except for the P6 there are very few glider kits available to builders. (It is a shame that the P6 was never upgraded to a P7 !?!)

 

With power I/C models things are a bit different, most commercial models are balsa & ply built but CAD design and production have had a large effect, again, finding kits to build of models that I want to fly is very difficult.

 

It would be very nice if there were as many kits to build as there are almost ready built models but the world has moved on!

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Shedofdread

Shedofdread raise some interesting points, build a model - hmmm....

 

As an aeromodeller of about 50 years I have been there, but:-

 

With gliders if you want high performance it usually means a composite/moulded construction (fibreglass, carbon etc...) Now a few people can build their own composite models but most cannot. And even if you can do composite construction where do you get the original design from? As to Balsa/ply models this usually means going back to the performance levels of 20-30 years ago which I suspect that not many really want to do! Added to which, except for the P6 there are very few glider kits available to builders. (It is a shame that the P6 was never upgraded to a P7 !?!)

 

With power I/C models things are a bit different, most commercial models are balsa & ply built but CAD design and production have had a large effect, again, finding kits to build of models that I want to fly is very difficult.

 

It would be very nice if there were as many kits to build as there are almost ready built models but the world has moved on!

 

As do you too! I appreciate what you say re designs etc but a solution to this is to look to the German (and Austrian, Swiss etc.) model of the group build.

 

On a general note, it's never a solution to say 'nothing can be done'. Companies only sell what WE buy...

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pete beadle

Hi all

 

I'm not really of a mind to contribute anything further BUT can I say I WILL be putting some of MY ideas on what individual model shops should do in the next issue of "R/C Model Flyer" in the bi-monthly Slope column I write

- now I'll get it in the ear about advertising probably.......

 

TWO important things highlighted there though - DON'T try to compete for sales with "stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap" online businesses they are already too big to beat on price, but DO use the internet for what it's best at/for - advertising, marketing and getting people interested in finding out more about what you are selling - in this case the provision of good honest hard earned advice  at point of sale (the model shop) on what is best for each individual customer who is confused and wants to be guided through the conflicting advice available by a knowledgeable, interested human being face to face (or if that's not possible, personally, on the 'phone)

 

It's called "adding value" to explain why your price is slightly higher than the SEHASTC stockist but better VALUE as distinct from COST of their products they are offering

 

So, let the floodgates of incorrect and unwanted personal comments open........

 

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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Austin

Edited and removed inflammatory comments from this topic.

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Dave Elam

20 - 25 years ago, people BUILT things so everyone needed glue, wood clevises etc.

 

I blame foamies... ;)

You may well blame them but many of us actually 'build' from foam. It's a totally different construction technique but still just as rewarding as constructing from traditional materials.

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thermaldoctor

Unfortunately what high street model shops are facing is a combination of hurdles. An ever diverse and specialised market place combined with an emerging new online and overseas ordering culture and then to top it off a nasty recession to boot.

 

It isn't just model shops being affected, it's the High Street itself as a concept. 

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Shedofdread

You may well blame them but many of us actually 'build' from foam. It's a totally different construction technique but still just as rewarding as constructing from traditional materials.

 

Yes, I know - the 'I blame foamies' was a [partly] light-hearted, mock 'moany' comment in the "eeeeeh young people" (remember the Harry Enfield character?) mould. However, after posting it and whilst searching for my pipe, slippers and packet of Werthers Originals, I thought about the points I put in my later post.

 

Thermaldoctor - Yes, you're quite right; it is the high street in general hence why I was 'banging on' so much in post #24.

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Phil.Taylor

Something about supply & demand...

 

FWIW - I went in 308 models last week (used to be the famous H.J.Nichols)

I found what I wanted - last rolls of red & white profilm on the stand - but totally covered in dust & gunge - probably not been touched in years - will they be replaced? I doubt it.

Meanwhile, over at the counter, the shopkeeper is teaching some guys how to get their RC car fired up - cos it doesnt work proper like - wonder if they bought it there (hopes)

Had a chat to the shopkeeper - nope - folks dont build stuff now, and they dont know how to fix broken ARTFs either

 

Phil.

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f3fman

How about model shops have a few comfy chairs, and coffee and cake for sale ?

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enricop

First post from a newbie, so don't be to hard on me please :-).I'l start with a little background to hopefully help you understand where i am coming from.

just started flying a year or so ago with RTF foamies crashed a few times and lost the will, a few months ago i started flying simulators and finally got the hung of it a bit, found an amazing bunch of guys here http://flitetest.com and convinced myself that perhaps it really is a hobby i do not need thousand to get in to so i downloaded some beginners plans and started scratch building with foam as more crash resistant (i have not forgot my lesson) and more forgiving in building, then it was time to buy the electronics i didn't want to wait 3 days for my servos too arrive via HK, so i went crazy :-) , found a shop an hour away (on the tube) that seemed "proper" .  went there and did my shopping. Before even knowing why i spent £150 (even had to pay half in cash to have some discount).

The same evening went on the interweb and filled my HK cart with the same stuff and it came to £50 (plus postage from uk warehouse). I was so mad at myself because i thought i found the worst rc shop in Britain.

Then yesterday, i drove to another shop hidden away in an industrial block in east London had a nice chat with the owner and family and decided to go fly with them at their field next week end, and my faith in the shops was reestablished,or at least i thought as just a few minutes later i found out that HK sells 2£ 9g servos that everyone uses (so no comments about unreliability please) the ones i bought were £6.50 and this last nice guy shop had them for £12 (all plastic gear and comparable).

I think the problem with "old style" shops going bust is mainly a problem of business attitude, i manage restaurants for a living and i have seen the same thing happen in my sector where many "old timers" just try to screw more money out of the few customers they have rather than increasing turnover and lower the crazy margins they have....yes it'd mean working harder than 10 years ago to make the same money and being forced to bring some new blood in...but really....would you rather go bust?!

I do NOT mean this as a rant. I'd really like to have a shop where i can go pick up stuff at a premium price (say twice the price i can get it online) with 48h ordering time for example or even 3 days like if i was ordering from the virtual shops as it'd same me a trip to the post office anyway  and a chance for a chat with a fellow pilot. But until shop owners do not understand that nowadays there is more knowledge that there used to be and it is not possible to charge someone £12 for a 800mAh 2s battery when a comparable product on line is £3.80, i am saing that they cannot do it anymore just because now the customer will find out he is been thoroughly screwed and they loose the chance for him to become loyal and probably bring a friend around next time...i do buy that SOMETIMES you get a better product when you pay more (not as often as you think when electronics are involved) therefore they should start offering a "cheap" line that u need to order perhaps with a few days notice therefore avoiding to alienate the new blood of the hobby hey I'd like a Futaba too but right now a Turningy is what i can afford and more than my skills deserve probably,problem is whoever sells those over here in shops (under 3 or more different brand names) tries to charge £100 rather than £41(added vat included)... now again sell them for £60 and they'll fly...try to sell them for £100 and all the youngsters will think you are just trying to screw them and they'll pay 80 with postage and 3 weeks wait rather than be raped by a shop...i know i did that too...and even when they do buy from a shop under those circumstances they'll always do it unhappily and will never promote your business to others.

i do apologise for the length of this post but i do hope i helped some of the older generation to understand WHY things are changed/are changing for the worst with less human and more royal mail shopping.Talk to your local store that is full of dusty old bits and see if you can help save them by opening their eyes.

 

p.s.

I am sure  many of you know the FT guys already but i'd like to invite everyone else to go have a peek at theyr website (link in the post)  and videos and try to see that there is a way forward for this great hobby, it's just about embracing it rather than "*****" about it.

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enricop

just an apologetic  note before somebody thinks i used offensive vording in my post...."******" in the previous post  stands for "AGGRESSIVELY MOANING"....i used another word that involves a lady being paid for sex but the meaning is close enough :-) and was not meant to be offensive to anyone in that paricoular trade or not.Just my english is somewhat limited is some areas.

ciao

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satinet

I would imagine that a lot of the prices in the shops are governed by what the owners can buy stuff for from the major suppliers.

hobby king's supply chain is completely different, never mind they are trading in a cheaper business environment.

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Rob Thomson

Agreed.

We all love to complain about the cost of goods.

Before doing that. Sit down and calculate out what you need to seel things at, in order to pay rent, tax etc...

Then taken a wage. Then take a percentage to cover lost goods, returns etc.

I don't think any uk model shop rips us off.

On the other hand.... What is a rip off.

Book a car in Ireland on budget .Co. UK.

Book the same car on budget. Ie

About 20 percent cheaper from the irish site!

Wtf?

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9zapman

I try to support my local model shop when ever I can,usually for glue/grp board/carbon bits and bobs etc..but cannot find anything else of use there unless I like model cars ,toy foamies  or anything spektrum.I also support UK shops on the net too when possible(especially specialist mouldie shops) but my beef is this...

We are told to buy local/uk and save the shops..I agree where possible but what I am seeing recently are shops/retailers just buying stock from HK that I can buy and charging a premium "UK" price for them here with no real concern that we all know the real price they paid for them.Now I know we all have to make a living but a company buying  a $10 item from hk then charging £15 here seems like they are taking the mick and being a bit greedy.This is what upsets me and thus I buy direct from HK in certain cases.Now a little thought on their behalf ,and a calculation to cover overheads would produce a closer price for us all to buy from the uk most of the goods we desire.

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Bear

I was just chatting to my local model shop owner whilst we sipped champagne by his swimming pool. He was bemoaning the fact he can't get his new 1/4 scale glider in his Ferrari. However he has solved this by getting his butler to follow in the Range Rover. He was explaining how his life had changed since he registered his company abroad and calls his shop a warehouse. You cannot actually buy stuff from the warehouse you have to pay in dollars to his business account in the cayman islands or somewhere. This neatly avoids having to pay VAT and gets around pesky UK consumer law. He has opened a warehouse in bongo bongo land so he can copy other peoples design's without the ridiculous copy write laws we have in the UK. And can offer products even cheaper because he can be sure that his UK customers will try to defraud the rest of us out of import duty. He was quite shocked at the idea of paying  tax his accountant insures that the UK part of his business pays next to nothing to the uk government. He is looking forward to the time that the UK economy has collapsed enough so he can open a manufacturing business here, paying his staff 2 dollars a day, but see's 0 hours contracts as the way forward!. I am really pleased to see he has adopted a modern business model even though it means I have to order on the internet, and beginners turn up at the slope with no idea how to use the gear they have bought. But as he said "hey Rog you do not mind teaching them otherwise I couldn't afford the butler, and anyway they can always get help from the poor sap in St Austell who still has a high street shop laugh laugh"

We then went out to a local restaurant but won't be going there again since they would not allow us discount even though we offered to pay in cash for the full amount.

 

Roger

in a slightly cynical mood!

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pete beadle

Hi Rog

SLIGHTLY cynical!!!!!!

Don't worry mate, it'll all be the same in 100 years

What worries me is the people who point out child exploitation (in the production of trainers and throwaway clothing with big brand names sewn on) and employees of Amazon (did you see Panorama t'other day?) are accused(!) of not being realists in a global economy, not seeing the sense in giving global conglomerates tax breaks to come to the UK, and I know not what else....

I'm sorry lads but it was ever thus

The thing to do is to plough your own furrow, live by your own standards and not worry about things that annoy you and that you cannot control - recent studies assure us you'll live longer.... whether you'll want to is a different thing......

Seeing as my local supermarket is wishing me a Merry Christmas already, can I pass on these sentiments to my BARCS colleagues

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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