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Old 01-22-2007, 08:32 AM   #1
Art Vandelay
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Buying parts, how to

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Hey there everyone,

I am looking to purchase some parts for the upcoming year. I've selected some options with regard to batteries, charger, power supply, tires, body, motors, and a few replacement spares.

So far I have visited 2 local hobby stores, and I have also done some online searching.

From my experience so far I have come to understand 2 things:

1) ordering online is going to mostly involve Canada Customs, and can result in a customer-service hassle (if you have to return or exchange parts) or issues can arise from USD exchange rates.

2) the local hobby stores really don't want my money. I say this because both of the hobby stores I have visited (and which will remain nameless for the simple sake of privacy) had staff that did not seem concerned with the fact that I was a customer wanting to spend money. It is my understanding that these stores have what amounts to a monopoly on distribution, but I literally had to ask how I could buy parts because nobody even tried to entice me to spend. Now I have never worked retail, but I can tell you that as a customer, I prefer someone to at least appear helpful or interested in their work. From my experience visiting these two stores (each on two seperate occassions), you literally have to give them a list with part numbers, and they order for you. I've had more help buying pants from the Gap, and I wasn't spending 500$.

I am leaning towards purchasing online.

Can anyone persuade me to buy at a local hobby store, or point me to a local hobby store that prides itself on customer service? Or can anyone give me tips on which online entity is the best?

Where do you shop, and what are your tips?
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:41 AM   #2
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ok if the hobby shop was rc sports i no i have the same problem when i 1st started going there they wouldnt really pay attion to me just cause im 15 and they didnt think i have alot of money that i spend but now that i go there alot more offten i am 1 of there good omustemers so ya just wondering if we r talking about the same shop

a reall good shop would either be or it might be .com
orr or it might b .ca i dont remember
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:48 AM   #3
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I'm 33, dress professionally and have money.

Still, aesthetics (how we look) shouldn't be a problem for you or I.

The stores which I am referring to do not include the one you mentioned, though I will refrain from narrowing it down by excluding which ones it was (further) ha. That would be unfair to the stores in question. I respect their need for business income and hope the can improve. I just don't understand how they can just sit there and stare off in to space, especially when there is nothing to do but to sell me stuff. I could better understand if the employee was in the midst of some work-related function and was busy, but it as more of a sit-and-stare type of thing, and when prodded, the employee helped just enough to get me prices on what I specified, and there was little help with regards to getting me value for my money, or choice and selection for my contemplation.

They might as well just open a Consumer Distributing style of self-serve store, and the employees just grab what you tell them to.

(for those that remember what Consumers Distributing is haha).

Thanks for your recommendations.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:51 AM   #4
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I would go about asking the guys on the forum if they know where to get certain parts or items first. I've been to most hobby shops from London to Scarborough in the past 20+ years in this hobby. This way I know who has what and how much they cost. Plus some stores offer a slight discount if you pay cash, not interac or credit card.

If you are buying through the web see if they place can ship as samples or lower the limit. I've bought from RCMart and never paid duty or taxes and they have lots of cool stuff for various scales.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:28 AM   #5
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:29 AM   #6
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I've been to a few stores in the GTA and I've seen good and bad service. I think there are so many types of cars and literally 1,000,000s of part options that unless you're buying a new kit and radio...well they seem to figure whats the chances of having the one little peice you need for 3 dollars anyways?! Their eyes glaze over and they just say whats the part number we can order it...Then 20 mins of searching the store I find it under a pile of stuff LOL...A few stores don't know what they even have anymore?! Unless you've been a 5 yr employee or something.

Is there a way to get a list of hobby stores in the GTA with locations and what they specialize in? I like to support the LHS and I bought a Kit about 6 months ago that i paid too much for at one, but I'm starting to enjoy ebay and internet shopping way too much!? Anyone have a list? Or could type one out...That would be good
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:21 AM   #7
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This works for me.....

My strategy for spare parts buying is to use the US mail order sites as a reference to compile a list of what I need. I then take this into my LHS and ask them to either just order the stuff (if only small $$$ value) or get back to me with a quote.

This way they don't have to look up pn#'s (a pain in the butt for them) and they can price/order everything when they are slow.

I find this works great and I have never had a problem.

Of course this assumes some planning on the part of the hobbyist.

Unless you are running the very latest version of a popular kit, you should be keeping your own inventory of spare parts on hand, IMHO.

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Old 01-22-2007, 10:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice and information.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:12 PM   #9
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Galaxy Hobby in Mississauga is pretty good for a Canadian shop. is a great shop in the USA that has almost everything and ships to Canada all the time.
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