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Old 10-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #21
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

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At one hobby shop the owner and I discuss our challenges of running small busineses. To put his situation in context he pointed to two walls of his well stocked shelves and said: "I have to sell everything on that wall and that wall just to pay my city business taxes".

Until you have depended on the uncertainty of running your own business to pay you a living wage, fund your retirement and raise & educate your kids all while putting up with the frustration of "tire kickers" you cannot begin to understand.

So I'm not knocking what others have said; your experience may vary. And some hobby shops in Canada are extremely successful financially. But many are in it for the love of the hobby so please cut them a bit of slack.

PS: The money is in cars and helis, don't look for much in the way of RC aircraft and even less for scratch building. That's the reality
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:49 PM   #22
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

I know it's more of a drive than you would want to do but I would check Norburn Hobbies in Burnaby. They are one of the "old school" hobby shops that still stocks all the basic stuff like control rods, clevises, lots of Du-Bro, etc.


Dean is a long time modeller who knows his stuff and I have seen him do stuff like open kits to get guys parts. He will also ship to you in Williams Lake no problem.

The on criticism I would have of them is I noticed the other day that where there used to be a shelf of Saitos and OS engines, there is now a bunch of e-flite electric motors. When asked he just said - sign of the times....


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Old 10-07-2013, 09:50 PM   #23
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

LHS - when they're good they're good. When they're bad they're bad.

Here in Victoria that are generally 'bad.' I sometimes order from other town's LHS (Vancouver, Toronto) where the good ones are.

Main problem is: they may be a 'hobby shop' but pretty much never have a single item I am shopping to buy - and I mean not even close to a remote substitute for it either. Things like: a mini size brushles gimbal kit I bought today. A 2.5m epo pusher prop plane it, a 360 degree servo, a 6S 5AH battery, a video transmitter a UHF receiver ... hobby shops in general do not stock this stuff for which I seek. I do not fault them for it, just can't give them any business - though I would if they had it to sell. I would imagine if you live in a large city and you choose to fly conventional RC planes by line of sight they could serve you quite adequately or better.

So spent abut 17k last year on RC, and maybe only half of that at Hobby king
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:58 AM   #24
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

In Winnipeg we have two LHSs. I go to Cellar Dweller but there's nothing wrong with EliminatorRC from what I hear. I also buy some things online from Great Hobbies or Hobby Wholesale, and occasionally from sites in the US. I don't like doing business with any vendor who doesn't stand behind what they sell, either locally or online.

What I have noticed is that the prices on major items are not all that different between the LHS and online if you include shipping costs. So if the LHS has it or can get it, I usually will buy from them. The LHS guys know what the business environment is, and that they have to earn our business so the good ones deliver product and service at a fair price. If they don't, they don't stay in business. That's how it always has been, nothing new there.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:29 PM   #25
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

From my point of view...
of my experience with LHS

when i started i used to shop only online until i came to forums such as RCC and started encouraging my LHS!! big time!

I was there every friday from 6-11 pm sometimes getting crazy prices!.....

Until..... they began having more and more customers.... more and more buyers from outside.... bulk sales.... less space in the shop they couldn't follow up. Yet they refuse to hire more staff or ask for help.

I would get there and get silly excuses of why my order wasn't there.... lack of email communication , phone lines always busy or didn't even care about what i was telling him no after sale support....like 0 nada
This is after spending more than 10k at 1 place..... kind of suck if you ask me.

Also he started to change prices.... 1 week a certain thing was this price , the other a other price.... then a other...
it was never fixed , and always prone to change.

The famous ''back order reason'' '
I got this way too many times , when i got home finally ordered the part and got it within 1 week...
after that i decided to go online retailer ONLY as i get better deals , wait times are greater.... but i think theres no turning back for me as i was spending time money gas

-------DOWN SIDE OF BUYING ONLINE!----------
What i miss the most is the talking , sharing , and exchanging but in the end ..... it's $ we are talking about too... it makes a big difference this hobby can be very costly and i decided to slack on my LHS
but i don'T say i will never buy again from them it's just i buy 98% online from now and im happy with that

----my 10 Reasons why internet is winning---------

1.prices seem better
2.shipping most part getting free in brackets
3.less back order
4.less mess up orders
5.more choice
6.get everything in 1 package
7.don't take customers for granted
8.don't see you as a $ sign
9.Save time
10.get running faster

Last edited by hayabusafmw; 10-08-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:47 PM   #26
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

Not all local hobby shops are created equall.The one i have been dealing with the past 20yrs is about an hrs drive from my home.I will even mention their name AVF hobbies in london ontario.These guy's have a clean well stocked shop you can go in take your time browse around check out the goods.If they don"t have it in stock they order it in, 99% of the time it arrives in a week or at times earlier.When it comes in they give me a call your part or parts are in pick them up at your convenience.The key is sevice and that's what i get from their shop.I continue to purchase all my goods from them unless they can't get from their distributor which is rare occurence.I will support my LHS as much as possible.I consider myself very lucky to have this shop close by.These fellas are flyers as well.
Keep Smilin Keep Flyin
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:27 PM   #27
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

I'm fortunate to have two excellent hobby shops within 20 minutes of me. Great Hobbies is closer and I know them well... and vice versa! Excellent staff and the plane guys are very knowledgeable. Orleans Hobbies is a little further but they're also excellent. Going to the hobby store always about a purchase but usually a social occasion as well.

I've ordered plenty of stuff online too, usually when it's out of stock or not carried locally and I don't want to wait. But I'll go my LHS if I can.

So, in answer to the OP's subject line question: Yes! Mine are!
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:08 PM   #28
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

The worse thing a store can say to me these days , hobby store or other is " we can order it". My answer is always " so can i, goodbye ". The Internet has put huge pressure on retailers and lhs can only survive in very large markets. My lhs is 1.5 hours round trip and they're useless.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:48 PM   #29
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

I'm posting this as a future hobby shop owner/my father owns the LHS I have grown up in. We're quite certain that we're the oldest hobby shop in the country. est 1946. And we're very fortunate and thankful to our customers.

Now let me say this. Mainly regarding the R/C industry. It's damn near impossible to compete with online sellers. Mainly HK these days. And it's especially hard for Canadian sellers. Reason being, the 2 major wholesalers, horizon and great planes, don't do much in the way of discounts for the LHS. And on top of a normal mark up to pay staff, rent, taxes and misc govt fees, etc, we have to pay shipping and broker fee's to get stuff to Canada. And don't forget exchange rates, which changes daily. Last couple months has been between 3 and 10%.

What I try my hardest to do to set us apart is to give exceptional customer service. I repair everything I can, keep parts on hand, and do what I can to keep the customer driving/flying/sailing or whatever. And really that's what has to set the LHS apart these days or really whats the point? The other thing we try to do to set us apart is keep scratch building stuff in stock. We try to have a full rack of balsa, evergreen styrene, glues etc, and we boast the most complete stock of K&S metal in eastern Canada. We're also not just R/C, we do everything, trains, plastics, die cast, crafts and so on, so we can't stock everything either.

I'm not sure the point of this but I hope it gives some people a little different look of the hobby industry, and shows that its difficult especially for Canadian retailers. It's rewarding for me to go to the field or shows and contests and see your customers at play whatever their hobby may be.

Anyhow i'll end my rant. Happy flying everyone, and if your in Halifax please stop by and say hello!
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:31 PM   #30
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Re: LHS - are they really that good?

If all hobby stores where like this then ya... I would shop at home alot more.. but as homerx said... I can order it to.. I might have to wait a week or so more but then look at the value.. I ordered some covering.. for the price of one roll of white here.. I got about 32 feet in one continuous roll.. hard to beat.. and it is of the same quality as ultrakote.. buddy and I call it China-kote..

Now if I was a hobby store.. I would be ordering the stuff from china and passing the savings onto the customer.. even with a markup.. ultrakote is about 2.82 a foot when you break it down.. and china-kote is about .88 cents a foot for me to have it shipped to my door.. so would I pay say 1.20 a foot if all I had to do was drive a couple of miles and get it today.. You bet your ass I would.. and at that price it would still price the american competitors out of business.. they would have to stop the gouging and get their prices in line or go out of business

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