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Author Topic: Experiences of Model Shops  (Read 4572 times)

Tug-Kenny

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Experiences of Model Shops
« on: October 16, 2011, 09:37:50 PM »


We all go to model shops searching for 'that elusive part' and sometimes come away disappointed.

Has anyone any has such an occasion ?


ken
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Peter Fitness

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 09:48:08 PM »

Frequently, given that there is only one model shop anywhere near me, and it specialises in RC aircraft. Thank heavens for the internet.

Peter.
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barryfoote

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 10:00:02 PM »

Peter, You are lucky. The nearest model shop to me is about 500kilometers away. I would be lost without the internet.....Oh by the way....roll on the next Ashes!!
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Tug-Kenny

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 10:24:24 PM »


I passed by my newest one on the outskirts of Newport today (Mad on Models) and found them closed down  !!  They haven't been there very long either.

ken

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brianB6

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 01:39:54 AM »

I am glad to say we still have a few in Melbourne.   O0
Most of them are 'specialist' shops, planes, cars and trains and I am very thankfull that Float a Boat are just up the Tollway.
Mind you, with the current exchange rate and no import duty under $1000 the UK shops on line are tempting.   %%
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Tug-Kenny

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 10:05:44 AM »


Following letter from  IrishCarGuy reposted here.



Hi guys, I went to my local model shop the other day looking for a multi plug & some other bits & pieces, they seemed too busy to help. when I told them what I was looking for they suggested the electronics shop across the street. I left & crossed the street, it was a revelation. I got what I wanted with help from the staff. I found shrink wrap of multi colours @ 1/6 the price of the model shop. They had a terrific selection of tools & most any kind of wire & connectors you could imagine, many were useful for our hobby, so it pays to look around. Needless to say the model shop has lost a customer.

IrishCarGuy


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fatcat123

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 10:40:23 AM »

My 'local' one is around 35 miles away. its quite frankly useless, too expensive and never has anything i want.

Just the other week, i bought a bound lot of triangle balsa for my barge and when i got home, found that some of them were not equilateral and therefore useless. There has been countless times when i've needed something and have went, burning quite a lot of diesel in the process (I have a 3 litre), and low and behold, they don't have what i'm after... 

No names mentioned but its a model shop in stockton...

My next gripe with model shops is the online kind.

Now cornwall model boats and westbourne are probably in my opinion two of the largest going, but while i find them extremely useful in some circumstances, most of the time i don't. This is mainly due to the very poor item descriptions and photos on the sites. These are more often than not, just copy and pasted from the robbe site or whatever. Now while i appreciate its time consuming to catalogue items, take measurements and get decent large photos, but when its done, its done and your giving the customer a much better experience and information. Lets face it, most fittings are not cheap in general and i find myself looking at something, needing more information before i buy and in the end, i just don't bother.

Dan  <*<
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JB

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 11:17:19 AM »

I could tell more than a few stories about looking for the elusive item needed for a model I was making, too many when I think about it, one shop was famous for ‘no, none in stock but we can get one for you’, I learnt never to hold my breath!

Here’s my latest experience which happened only yesterday, I’m planning to build an R/C aircraft for next spring and I need some foam board called Depron, I decided to visit one of the few shops left reasonably close to home (40 mile round trip)

I also needed a coupling insert for a ship I’m building plus some epoxy, cyano and a few other small bit's so its worth the trip and I can see what other modellers have put up for sale in the shop, its like a bring and buy! left the credit card at home though.

Shop door is open, that's a relief...it has odd opening times and you usually have to ring the bell to get in!
Any Depron I ask? Nope…! ‘were looking for a supplier’ was the answer…well I can give you an address but its buy in bulk of course… I said!…no response to that one…

OK are you keeping boat stuff?..yes we have prop shafts and couplings…Oh good! I need one to fit this motor shaft and a 385 comes out of my pocket, out comes a box and bingo here’s one that is just right, do you have any rudder assemblies? Nope…

Now then, I say, will you start keeping more for boats? I know quite a few who are struggling to find what they need…  ‘we don’t have the room for more’…..
I nearly said…well you have the boat magazines… but thought no I don’t want to push it!

Back to the internet and the occasional model  show..Ho hum…

JB.

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Colin Bishop

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 11:23:45 AM »

Quote
Now cornwall model boats and westbourne are probably in my opinion two of the largest going, but while i find them extremely useful in some circumstances, most of the time i don't. This is mainly due to the very poor item descriptions and photos on the sites. These are more often than not, just copy and pasted from the robbe site or whatever. Now while i appreciate its time consuming to catalogue items, take measurements and get decent large photos, but when its done, its done and your giving the customer a much better experience and information. Lets face it, most fittings are not cheap in general and I find myself looking at something, needing more information before i buy and in the end, i just don't bother.

This is totally unrealistic I'm afraid. These businesses are small family ones with maybe one or two people managing them and simply do not have the resources to  put together their own detailed catalogues . Of course they cut and paste from manufacturer's material - that's what all retailers do. In my experience both shops go out of their way to be as helpful as possible. If you've seen something you think might be OK for your needs on their website but aren't too sure of the dimensions/suitability then you only have to ask, by phone/email and you will almost certainly get the information you need.

As someone who has visited Westbourne on a number of occasions, the sheer amount of stock they have would literally take years to document individually in the way you suggest - and just because someone, occasionally, might want a bit of extra info than is already there.

Most of the time I find that the online information is quite adequate, sometimes you can get extra information from visiting a manufacturer's website. If you want more details then I'm afraid you have to make a little effort yourself and ask - they won't mind, really they wont!


Colin
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DickyD

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 11:34:00 AM »

Have they no phones in Yorkshire Colin.

As you know I have used both the named suppliers and have found them both very helpful with the information they give.

Cornwall model Boats has even sent me several different types of the article I have wanted so I could choose one and send the others back.
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pugwash

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 11:51:43 AM »

Must agree Dicky both Cornwall and Westbourne give a great service and usually quick delivery, though personally I prefer Cornwall.
My nearest model shop is Phills at North Shields who specialise more in cars and planes but they always seem to have what I want
but its cheaper to pay the postage for Cornwalls than to use 2 gallons of petrol to get to Phills
Geoff
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Circlip

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2011, 11:53:40 AM »

Lucky to find a Model shop that actually sells Balsa nowadays.

  We were warned "Use it or loose it" back in the seventies, but the need to buy cheaper from the conglomerates killed off the local shops. One or two who think the "Local" model shop has nothing to do all day but sit waiting for someone to come in an buy the Flonglebat that's been sitting on their shelves for the past five years (If they're still in business), need to take a serious economy check.

   Now if you go down to the local shopping mall and can't buy ANY specific X-Box or Playstation game I would be highly surprised. Wonder how many Wimming start to bake a cake and when the bits go in the bowl for mixing have to dash out and buy another bag of flour before they can carry on???? In't trade (Or non trade) it's called forward planning.

  One of the advantages of being able to select items in the flesh is to be able to check them before buying, Last triangular stock I bought was from a Model shop in Plymouth, no complaints when I stood selecting it, didn't have to take it back either and that was a 365 mile one way trip.

  Regards  Ian.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2011, 11:57:16 AM »

I think that there is also the issue of how do you define a 'Model Shop'. Some are little more than glorified toy shops and don't go much beyond plastic kits, diecast cars and trains etc. Others might be more in the line of traditional model shops but if they cover a wide range of modelling types then they won't stock in depth. People tend to want to buy things rather than make them these days and the shops are businesses so they will stock those lines with a reasonable turnover which might not include rudder assemblies which they might only sell two or three a year of and which are much more readily available on the internet anyway.

When you complain about model shop service you do also have to ask yourself what sort of a customer you are and therefore what value you are to them. I am a poor customer as I usually just buy low value raw materials and not the high ticket items they need to sell to make a living. So I accept that I have to try a bit harder to get what I want. I am always very impressed with the online shops such as Westbourne and Cornwall (and of course there are many others) which offer a vast range of specialist items that no one local general purpose model shop could ever match.

Colin
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pugwash

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2011, 12:02:48 PM »

Colin I suppose it is a bit like flyfishing shops there are three main on-line suppliers who do 90% of the business and all  the
little independant shops have to make do on the remaining 10%.  Must make for a precarious existence.

Geoff
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2011, 12:53:24 PM »

I don't think that is quite the right analogy Geoff. Westbourne and Cornwall are not large businesses, they are just specialised in a small market unlike something like fly fishing which must be vast by comparison.

Colin
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Xtian29

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2011, 01:22:41 PM »

Hello

Same for me as Fatcat
Quote
My 'local' one is around 35 miles away. its quite frankly useless, too expensive and never has anything i want.
I'm now using online suppliers, some of them are also "street" modelshop some are only online.

I'm really satisfied with this system. I order when I want (even in the middle of the night) from my house in Germany, UK, Singapore - some time I'm looking for good quality like ESC (electronize) , some time I'm looking for low price, some time I'm looking for rare material not available at all in France.  Anyway I'm always satisfied if I compare 20 years back with only the material from my local shop, some time bad quality, some time too expensive and some time not available !  Hopefully some time I was happy ... Now I'm always happy !

Xtian

    
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irishcarguy

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2011, 07:25:10 PM »

We now live in an instantaneous society that nearly always want it yesterday. I feel sometimes I too am like that. What we don't seem to realise is that the on line shop do not have stock either when we order. We owe it to the local shop if they generally do a good job to give them as much support as possible. How many times we  have walked in with a query & took a substantial amount of their time without buying a single item ?. What has bothered me at my local shop ( it is very large, in excess of $1000.000.00in stock ) is the lack of help & expertise. Also the prices are often way out of line, 4 to 5 times the on line price. Having had to make 3 separate trips before I could get the information on parts etc. required to build the boats they were selling, & then told to go to the internet to find the motors & other bits needed to build the model, I just gave up & went to the net. I am now glad I did, as I found ACTion, Cornwall, & Westbourne, & in the near future I will be dealing with Model Slipway. I have also through the forum discovered which kits NOT to buy. I have found that Hardware & Electronic Stores have a lot of items that we can make use of in our hobby @ very good prices, all it takes is a little bit of searching. Service goes a long way in retaining a customer, the first time they come to your store price can be very important, but after that first time service becomes more important & price less so. I would say to our suppliers who ever they may be, first & foremost DON'T make promises you can't keep, Mick B. 
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Mick B.

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2011, 07:59:09 AM »

Where I live near Stoke-on-Trent there's a shop that does a lot of r/c car stuff but it's a case of "I can order it for you no problem, be here in a few days". I'm still waiting for stuff I ordered over a year ago, hopeless. Even other club members have ordered stuff and it arrives too late or is totally wrong or just doesn't appear at all. They also sell related stuff for people who don't like ebay etc. I was interested in an unstarted kit he was selling, as were a few other club members. I was told the asking price and made a fair offer, I was refused. I subsequently found out another club member was told a different price and that he could have it for £50 less than I had offered. I went back with this knowledge and made another offer, point blank refused again even when confronted with what I'd been told. Needless to say I'll never be going back in that shop again, and they're wondering why business is slack? Thank goodness for the internet, I get most of my bits and bobs from Cornwall Model Boats or Westbourne Model Centre or shows, roll on Warwick, Dave.
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Xtian29

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2011, 01:16:57 PM »

Hello

I was surprised with the word "pilote" in french on the Dave drawing but ... the french flag is red-white-blue   >>:-( 

There is a lot of bad weather pics here ! 

http://www.safehavenmarine.com/CORK%20PILOT.htm

http://www.safehavenmarine.com/BEST%20OF%20THE%20BEST%20PHOTOS.htm

Nice idea for a model indeed !

Xtian
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tobyker

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2011, 06:39:34 PM »

I do wonder what sort of service model shops get from their suppliers. Shops have in the past offered to get things for me and I do prefer to use the local Model shop if at all possible, but after a couple of weeks one does get impatient. Do the web shops get the first crack at supplier's stocks?
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hopeitfloats

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2011, 07:32:03 AM »

Peter, You are lucky. The nearest model shop to me is about 500kilometers away. I would be lost without the internet.....Oh by the way....roll on the next Ashes!!

in aussie a shop near him could well be 500km away anyway. :-)
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Peter Fitness

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2011, 09:12:37 PM »

in aussie a shop near him could well be 500km away anyway. :-)

No, not quite, only 40km O0

Peter.
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Spook

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2011, 01:37:49 PM »

I buy virtually all of my modelling bits & bobs from either Westbourne or Cornwall Model Boats. About the only things I buy 'locally' (nowhere in Barry) are paints and glue from Hobbycraft in Cardiff.
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irishcarguy

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2011, 09:55:02 PM »

My nearest model shop in this city is 16km one way. It may not be the largest city (Calgary) in North America but it is over 500 sq. miles in area, very spread out. Mick B.
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Tug-Kenny

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Re: Experiences of Model Shops
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2011, 10:35:35 PM »

 
Went to my local model shop today  (10 miles)  for Humbrol Silk White and of all the tins they had there, Not one was white.   {:-{

What a disappointment. There was I, willing to spend on other items but needed the white the most, so I walked out.

ken

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