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Author Topic: Internet or Shop  (Read 4420 times)

steve*mac

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Internet or Shop
« on: December 21, 2008, 06:42:28 pm »

How much are you willing to spend extra on an model related Part/kit from a shop just to give him the business.
I'm asking as I'm noticing a fair few of my local modellers are buying online, to save at times pennies, rather than buy from their local model shop. When I've raised this Pondside I've been met with a lack of interest and a general P### Off, these same guys are then happy to go to the shop for advice on how to build/fix problems with their model.

I do buy on-line but only if.
a. The shop can't get it.
b. the shop can get it but not for weeks or only at a significantly higher cost.

Personally if a kit cost upto 10 more then thats fine, at the end of the day the guy is running a shop and the ebuisiness could be just warehouse with no interest in modelling. And tbh this hobby isn't cheap, if you can spend hundreds on models does a Tenner really matter?


(I'm not a shop owner, nor have any interests in one, just an observation)
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chingdevil

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 08:27:54 pm »

I buy from either the internet or shows, where I live there are two "model shops" both selling RTR cars and planes they have no interest in getting hold of parts for boats for me. I would love to be able to go into a model shop and drool over the items in it, but alas I can not.


Brian
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DickyD

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 08:37:56 pm »

Only model shop near me specializes in RC cars and carries no boat stock whatsoever, therefore I use the internet, as being disabled travelling is to much hassle.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 09:09:21 pm »

I must be very,very lucky indeed then. I have 4 model shops within easily reachable distance. I only use one of them. A recent change of owner of the nearest (1 mile) has become a sort of Mecca for the aviation fraternity to the detriment of all things maritime. Another is only interested in boxed plastic kits....but he makes a living out of it. The 3rd I wouldn't touch with a barge pole as I personally do not care for the owners methods. And the last one is a 100ft x 20ft cornucopia of modelling for all interests. Plus an extra 100ft x 20ft area in the loft for extra storage viewable by "insiders". Well trained staff (5) all modellers and willing to help. What more could a guy wish for? BY
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GG

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 09:12:07 pm »

I doubt if all the blame for the closure of model shops can be placed on people who order modelling items from the Internet.  Even so, local model shops must now be firmly in the "use it or lose it" category.
Despite losing three good local model shops in the past 15 years, my preference is still to buy as much as I can from my "not quite so local model shops".  Unless you know exactly what you want, can trust the website to supply exactly what it claims, willing to accept possible loss or damage in transit and be home when delivery is attempted, then it's hard not to prefer to handle goods before purchase.
GG
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Reade Models

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2008, 09:44:24 pm »

The decline of model shops has nothing (or very little) to do with the rise of the internet.  To dispel one myth from an earlier post, there are also very few internet businesses in the model trade that have the luxury of a warehouse.  Most of them are one-man bands working from home, or at best out of a small workshop.

The model trade in 2008 in the UK is currently only 20% of the size that it was at the end of the 2nd world war.  Firstly, the advent of television saw square-eyed youngsters, glued to the TV instead of model aeroplanes and boats.  Much later came Atari computers, Nintendo, and ultimately the personal computer. The truth is that the majority of kids these days couldn't  be bothered to build models, even if they had the basic skills to do so.

How many granddad's on this Forum have tried to get the little darlings interested and failed?

The end result?  Just take a look at the age profile of the people involved in the hobby these days.  Most are retired.  We never get youngsters turning up at our stand at the shows saying "I'm new to the hobby."

Carol and I attend model boat shows all over the place, and frankly, we're terrified to go to most of them because normally we learn that one or other of our customers has popped his clogs.  It happens all to frequently.

There have been a combination of reasons for the decline of the model shops: 1) a shrinking market (see above), 2) the high cost of stock, 3) cheap RTR's from China (why bother building?) 4) Exorbitant high street rentals.

I have to confess that I always wanted a model shop, I still look at empty high street shops sometimes, but I am also a realist, and to take one on these days would be financial suicide.

Malc


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andygh

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2008, 09:53:31 pm »

I'd love to have a model shop within an economic driving distance but i don't, in fact if it wasn't for the availability of model boat "stuff" on-line I would have to take up knitting or something  O0
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 10:07:23 pm »

I think in all fairness we haven't actually adressed the original posters question namely how much are you willing to spend extra?  

I think it's a good point and I am certainly preopared to pay more for things from a local model shop.  I am lucky enough to have at least a plastic model shop in my home town, which I use before looking on line.  I believe very strongly in supporting all local businesses which is why I avoid Tesco's at all costs and any other mega business who are trying to relieve me of my hard earned to support thier empires and continue to pay out to thier shareholders, most of whom don't even live in the UK.

I would say I am happy to pay up to say 10% for the sake of supporting a local shop.  Above that and I have to be more realistic but I also have to take into account P&P so that gives me a bit of extra to play with.
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steve*mac

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2008, 10:46:08 pm »

I wasn't intending to criticise anyone, I appreciate some people can't get to a decent shop to get "hands on" so they have to buy online.
I have the Dockyard Model Shop only a few miles away and a Model World a bit further (who are the absoloute last resort) I OP was prompted by a conversation "pond side" regarding the closure of model shops and I suggested that maybe if people tried to put a bit more business their way rather than buying online the outlook might not look so bleak. the reply was very negative and lots of talk about saving a fiver online etc..



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Stavros

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2008, 10:58:29 pm »

I buy from all places,shows,shops and the internet.I would dearly  love to support a LOCAL shop and I would pay the little bit extra just to get the personal service,but alas the nearest local shop to me is 40mile away and I tends top buy what i need when i am away like this weekend I was in ramsgate and Maidstone and spent too much as usual but hey what do you do.



Stavros
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nhp651

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2008, 11:27:03 pm »

Hand on heart and in all honesty, I never buy supplies ( consumables or kits) on line, but always buy from either shows(the usual model suppliers) or my local Redbank Models.
There I can see what I'm buying, I don't have a hassle of returning if wrong ( because I can view before buying) and I don't have to pay the hyped up postage charges.
Very occasionally I buy from advertisements in MB and MMI.
At least I can have a clear conscience about helping those in the trade who help me. :-))
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RickF

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2008, 11:38:26 pm »

Steve,

I always buy locally - not just for modelling bits but for everything else that's available. However....

We have a "model" shop in town that I can walk to which sells railways, plastic kits and toys. It carries a little bit of materials - balsa, styrene brass, paint  etc, but all priced very high. And it has no RC stuff. I use it as and when necessary.

Twelve miles away is a much better model shop, which 18 months or more ago stopped keeping any marine fittings, but still carries a good range of almost everything else. Close by is a "wholesale" balsa supplier. If I have a "bulk buy" I drive over. For everything else - fittings, BA screws and decent model engineering supplies I use the internet.

It may be a vicious circle  - "nobody asks for it, so we don't keep it, so nobody comes in for it" - but my local shops seem to be making a go of things stocking what they can sell. It was great 50 years ago when you could pop into your local model shop and find just about anything tucked away on a shelf out the back but times have changed and we all - shopkeepers and customers  - have to move with the times.

Rick
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Damien

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 11:46:11 pm »

My nearest Ship hobby shop is a $60 round trip in a taxi at disabled pensioner rates i get some stuff by mail order from them but only fittings & plans are on their online catalogue, the internet is faster as is paypal and bank transfer payments and so much easier for the disabled.
I scratch build because of the freight cost of kits.
To answer the original question 5% because i'll be paying postage for shop or online purchase, if i wanted a kit definately on-line as much as 50% cheaper than local, that said i'd never have the gaul to ask advice from a shop i didn't patronise, been there suffered that. In the early '70's i worked at a hobby shop as manager, every Christmas a Myers a major department store in Aust, sold Cox .049 powered aircraft by the thousands if customers had trouble starting them, guess where they were sent. Yup i started hundreds of the bl**dy things.
Interesting to note many shops in US & UK now sell on-line using ebay or own online site and I have only had trouble with one site of 15 i use world wide.
One member of this forum uses 3  ebay, online shop and store front and i have used 2
Damien.
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Shipmate60

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2008, 12:35:52 am »

I must be lucky then. 15 Min's down the Motorway I have Frattons Models.
2 of the lads that work there are mainstays of the Portsmouth Display Team, they know their stuff.
Also, serious modellers get a discount.
If I want say a kit ordered that isn't in stock we negotiate a price and I prefer to buy from them.
There is 1 downside though they do have an eBay box, mention it and it will cost you 20p.
Cant praise them highly enough.
They wont always try and sell the dearest but the most suitable.
Just one point, have any of you tried to negotiate a discount, as I find when the owner knows you are a serious modeller they are amenable to this.

Bob
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Roger in France

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2008, 06:57:56 am »

I am fortunate in having an excellent model shop 20 minutes drive away. The stock is not vast but they can obtain most things in a couple of days. I can also telephone in advance and they will order in things for me to look at. A visit to the shop can be like a club meeting as there are often other modellers about and we have a chat. The shop keeper is usually building a boat or an aeroplane on the counter.

Yes, I get a discount....the more I can make them laugh with my terrible French or the more British boat magazines I take in the bigger the discount!

Roger in France
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gingyer

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2008, 08:46:09 am »

Just one point, have any of you tried to negotiate a discount, as I find when the owner knows you are a serious modeller they are amenable to this.

Yes the model shop I use give me a discount...........he lets me go back   :D

My local model shop is about 10minutes from my house. He is a boat person but due to the area he is in he stocks
mostly cars and planes as this is what the majority of people want but he will get stuff for me and is a good family
friend so I would give him my money where possible  O0 O0
Where he can he will get stuff for the local clubs also
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adiefallguy

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2008, 09:19:00 am »

i have 3 model shops near me, and would pay upto 10% more to go into the shops and check the stuff out first, also there are some youngsters getting into the hobby slowly but it does take some work to get them away from computers and the telly, just for the record though im only 27 so still a youngster myself really.

thanks
adie
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steve*mac

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2008, 09:38:05 am »

When I visit my local shop I tend not to ask for discount unless I'm buying a kit/radio kit.. but at the big model world I'll ask for discount on a bit of balsa.. ok2
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grasshopper

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2008, 09:53:59 am »

Wherever possible I use my local model shop - I pay the price he asks, but as I've been supporting him for so long there's always a discounted price. I have compared on occasion, his prices against the internet and they're close enough not to worry about - and then I get discount so more than happy.

More often than not, if it's something that's a bit special or very costly - it won't be in stock so he'll have to order it, and sometimes that can be a while as he'll save up my order to make a bigger one to reduce his delivery charges.

I find that as this is a hobby - I'm never in that much of a rush so am usually willing to wait. When I drive around different areas I always look out for other model shops and pop in to see if there's anything I might want either now or possibly in the future. If it's there and I can afford it I buy it for 'stock'

What I think is a real cheek is those that go to the local model shop, take advantage of the owner for 'touch and feel' of a product, free advice and then go home and purchase off the internet....
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Mankster

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2008, 10:02:19 am »

Not too bothered about the price. I cant imagine that they are too far off internet prices once you take p&p into account, for anything but the most expensive of kits. I'd pay 10% for an item costing 100 and more for smaller bits and bobs.
Convenience is far more important to me, shop needs to be on my way back from from work and open later after work for me to pop in. I only get chance to think about model stuff these days in the evenings when everyone else is in bed, unfortunately there is only one thing open then  :((

Colin Bishop

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2008, 11:28:08 am »

Whether or not you can buy significantly cheaper over the net does depend on what you are buying I think. R/C gear is the obvious example. Also, many established model shops do have online shops and make most of their money via internet and mail order sales. I've been happy to order online from Westborne's rather than drive 200 miles there and back and the price is the same so nothing wrong with that I guess.

As some of you may have noticed, I have recently been doing a series of Trader Reports for Model Boats magazine and I have had some very interesting chats with business owners about the state of the trade, not all of which gets into print! I have found that the manufacturers I have visited to date, although they have an online shop, do not give discounts and positively encourage customers to buy from retail outlets to support the trade. They would much rather that people have a chance to inspect the product or look inside the box before buying and have (relatively) local backup if they have questions such as choice of running gear, motors, radio etc. The manufacturers realise that the reduced margin they make this way is in their long term interests.

Some smaller suppliers do not have retail outlets and only trade by mail order, over the Net or at shows although some may supply their local models shops. There is only one price however, unless they give a show discount or, in one instance, you are a member of Mayhem!

If you are lucky to have a local model shop which stocks the sort of things you want then it certainly makes sense to use and support it but the days of everyone having their local outlet are gone forever as there are simply not enough modellers to sustain this level of service. Being a scratch builder, I'm not usually a very good customer as I don't buy high ticket items very often. But I do usually visit Squires (1 hour drive) once a month or so just for a look round and rarely come away with spending less than 20 on items I didn't know I needed, and probably don't anyway! I usually combine this with lunch on the harbour front at Littlehampton plus a walk along the prom followed by the weekend shopping so it makes a nice short day out for someone who is retired like me.

Colin
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steve*mac

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2008, 11:37:02 am »

one thing I learned recently is the high percentages that the shop has to pay for transactions using Visa.. as well as the usual VAT and Business rates.

At one time I did toy with the idea of buying an existing model shop as a going concern, but to be honest I don't think I could cope with the stress.. %% will stick to being in the Forces.
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Guy Bagley

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2008, 11:55:32 am »

i am generally of the view of 'use it or loose it...'

i try where ever possible to support my local modelshop.... the shop is a 35 mile round trip,  it covers all aspects of RC modelling, aircraft, boats, plastic kits.....

however it quite often does not stock the fittings/ items accessories i need, so i usually pop in and ask if these can be ordered,  usually i get these at similar prices to those i can find on the net....

but i wish to give my business to the local shop........ to hopefully keep them going ( 3 other shops in the area have all closed over the last 5 years.......)

 i do however buy from both the net and from traders at shows aswell - these usually are the parts my local shop cannot order, and i also wish to support these traders/ manufacturers who may one day grow their business to the point where they will have a retail outlet of their own...so good luck to them too......



 
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Seaspray

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2008, 12:53:58 pm »

I do try and use the local model shop.  We are lucky as we have a model (boats) shop in the naval yard at Chatham, although at times I am forced to go internet or phone as a last resort.

The model shop usually wins on prices, as the post and packing can be a rip off at times from the net. Yet some of the model items bought from overseas get be really competitive.


Seaspray
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Richdef

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Re: Internet or Shop
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2008, 04:45:45 pm »

I live in Northen Ireland near Belfast and there is a model shop nearby where i got alot of stuff for my current model.  my philosophy was to buy in the shop and support it.  However, i now refuse to use said shop because the customer services was appalling and i was accused of being a thief by one of the shops staff after getting a replacement battery for a dud they sold me (im not going into details but to say i was less than impressed was and understatement).  The shop was also appalling at keeping stock 'in stock' and would regularly blame the supply chain for there own poor stockeeping as well as saying it takes weeks to get things when actually they are waiting on general stock for the shop to be added to and order a customer has already paid for!  I would think the model supplier, who is a member of this forum and i will therefore not name, would be devastated if they know how one of there sales agents was treating customers over here particularly when the same item can be got directly from said supplier.  Since my misfortune i have heard other horror stories about the same shop and now wish i had not given them the money instead giving it to more worthy shops / webshops.

As a result of this i now use online shops and other local shops because the is no other local model shops supplying boat items. this can be an inconvenience due to royal mail and couriers not classing N. Ireland as part of the UK (perhaps they should look it up and check the definition of UK) and therefore charging international postage i do however get excellent customer services and faster delivery not to mention usually the items are often cheaper.  A number of sites i use are well known to this forum and are excellent

  >>:-( >>:-( >:-o........deep breath.......!

Anyway, rant over my opinion support GOOD local model shops and let the rest rot in H**l becasue if they cant be bothered with customers they they are no better then a computer screen.  would be nice if all the good model shops had decent websites too would make it easier for us over the water to use them and support them. 
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