Canadian Distributor question - Page 3 - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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View Poll Results: How do I feel about a permanent facility, and about timing?
I would be willing to participate in a club with a yearly fee and voting rights? 14 82.35%
I would like to have inexpensive timing at races. 3 17.65%
I like things the way they are. 1 5.88%
I am not willing to travel to 9th line area of Mississauga to race 1 5.88%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-12-2006, 04:57 PM   #21
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I was hoping it was going to the new Gaupner turbine
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Old 11-12-2006, 05:01 PM   #22
Gary Maker
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Pauld wrote: What I can't stand is walking into a shop and getting, no, I don't have it but I can get it for you.

How much do you actually know what goes on behind the scene at a hobby store my friend? Its a very risky business to own and operate a store these days....OR to be a distributor! The costs are fanominal - rent, heat, hydro, phone and net, employee's pay, insurances, mail, shipping, couriour service, vehicle operation, and 10 other things I can't even think of!

Just try and imagine how much it would cost to have every piece of hobby equipment in stock so that an owner wouldn't have to say: Sorry I don't have it at the moment but I can get it for you? An owner might try to keep the more popular items in stock but then with todays market fluctuations and the unstable dollar, prices drop rapidly or products change and the old stock become outdated and he may get stuck with a dozen nonselling items because its sold for a dollar less at a store in another town or on the net!

Then some yahoo comes in pulls a gun and without a word, shoots him in the sholder and demands all his money. Less than two months later he comes into work to find that another useless waste of skin has thrown a brick through the glass doors and stolen upwards of 7K worth of inventory. Sure the insurance covers it less 1K deductable but then the insurance rates go up and he has to spend another 5 to 10K making the building more secure so that he can get insurance at all! He has now also lost time and money dealing with this. No insurance company will reemburse his lost revenue because his product was stolen.

People like the convenience of having a store close so that when they need something NOW its available and their precious time is not wasted having to wait for mail delivery. But again if its a dollar more, then comes the complaints or your resolve to never go there again! No thought at all that maybe its cheeper on the net cause that person has no overhead to speak of and he can afford to buy a 1000 pieces at a time to get the better discounts. SO don't support your LHS and sit back and see how fast it dissappears.

Sorry for the rant but I have for the past while been helping out at a hobby store and these things actually happened during my time there. IF I've learned anything at all its that dispite the fact that this owner has just about the best friendly service available and he goes out of his way to help all that he can.....there is no such thing as customer Loyalty when it comes to a few cents savings, with no consideration as to what it takes to make this service available to the customers.

Chris, I do sincerely hope you all the best in your endevour. You have your work cut out for you so I also hope your one of the lucky ones who makes a good go of things.
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Current builds: 1/4 scale J3 Cub & Neiuport 17 and KMP B-25.
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Old 11-12-2006, 05:33 PM   #23
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I think he was planning to open a website for that 1 glue, rather than opening a whole physical store for that 1 glue.
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Old 11-12-2006, 05:50 PM   #24
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And a unique product gives you that edge.

Best of luck Chris, let us know when you're ready to go ahead with the order. Like has been said, you'll probably get at least a start, letting folks here know about it.

Bob D.
Ajax RC Club
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Member of MAAC since I joined

Lighten Up, Life is waaaaaayyyy too short
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:04 PM   #25
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Like many things these days, to really turn a profit you either need to sell something locally that's in high demand, or cater to wider markets by selling online. I chose the latter personally, and it's working alright. I won't lie and say I'm making huge profits (since my business as well is fairly new) but I AM breaking even, which most small business (such as stores) don't do in their first year. And, of course, the only costs associated with operating my online store is the web server and transaction fees, theres almost 0 overhead, which lets you not only keep prices low but also turn a good profit.

In a way, it's sad that so much business is going online, because it's true that hobby shops CAN'T compete with the prices of online stores and they lose out big time, but that's just how it is. The market and how we buy things is changing. Money talks, as they say, and if you want the green stuff, you'll go where it is, which is online business.

Any modern hobby store should update them selves and setup an online store front as a compliment to their existing business. Perhaps not as easy as I make it sound, but if they want to survive they're going to have to.
True Northern Hobbies, Inc.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:11 PM   #26
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Here's my 2 cents worth. I have been involved with Zurich Sunglasses for just over a year now. I started out thinking that I would venture down this road with a reasonable investment and see what happens. I do make some profit of course but to date most of it is folded back into increasing my stock and other business building expenses. I don't think for one minute that I will ever be able to retire with this business but I do think it will start to supplement my hobby expenses. My supplier is in the states as well and ships with DHL. They have proven to be extremely fast and reliable however, my last shipment was my biggest yet and arrived with no fees attached. Then some weeks later I received a brokerage fee invoice from DHL for approximately 10% of the value of my order. This is a lot of money for a business of my size and cuts quite heavily into my profit margins. I have considered changing my pricing to allow for such fees but have decided to stay at my current price for the rest of this year and see what the new year brings.

Something else to consider, I don't know how you plan to market your product but here is how I have been doing it so far. I travel to the local meets within 3 hours drive and set up a booth with some signage and sell at the meet. I also have my name listed on the manufacturers website as a dealer in Canada. This is working to some extent, however a website would be of great advantage. I have inquired with some web folks about getting a site of my own but have found the costs to be substantial and so I have not done this just yet. Being able to accept credit cards would also help improve sales I think. I have yet to go this route as I can go months with no sales at all and the fees for accepting credit cards is prohibitive at this time for me. One thing to mention about marketing as I do at local events is that flying at these events becomes quite difficult sometimes as you now have a booth with stock and cash to mind after. You can't just up and walk away to go fly for half an hour. So you need to bring/meet someone there that is capable and trust worthy enough to look after things for you, but then you wonder if you miss out on a sale because you weren't the one manning the booth when the next customer walked up. Now if your like me, I never have to wonder about that as almost anyone is a better salesman than Just ask my As for the times you are not flying you are at your booth selling/manning it and that means no socializing, which for me is a big part of this hobby.

As for your product, I know my father would jump at the opportunity to try a bottle as he has quite a reaction to CA and Kicker of any brand and would love to have a reasonable replacement. Things to consider with this product as I see it are:

-A lot of RC pilots are not neccessarily builders and although they need to use glue sometimes, they will not consume the amounts needed to create a steady product flow.

-Glue is a habit forming skill, in use, not sniffing. What I mean by that is you use what you are used to using, you know how it works and what it will do and won't do. To offer a new glue is great to modelers but some just won't venture away from what they are used to, for a long time or until they have been shown how good it really is.

-There is a shelf life for your product, I don't know how long it is but the last thing you want is a bunch of stock that didn't sell and has expired in your storage area.

There is something to be said about the people you are about to be dealing with, they are the customer and they think they are always right but I will have to say that there are times when they will expect you to give in or compromise even though they don't have a leg to stand on. They will expect this of you and if you don't comply you will find yourself on the receiving end of some sharp criticism. This criticism can be hard to take with your mouth closed, but that is the only way to deal with the problem. I had 2 instances of this, this year and more to come as long as I continue to be a small business selling something. Its just the nature of being in business. I went into this business with the mind set that if it takes off great but if it doesn't then I still have my fulltime job. It has so far been good and frankly makes me feel good when I sell a pair of Zurich's to someone as I truly believe in the product and I know I have just saved the wearer some potentially serious eye problems. It actually makes me feel good.

I have some other ideas for you but I will PM them to you as they are perhaps something you haven't thought of or wouldn't like revealed in a public forum as they may give ideas to others reading this.

Good luck and I hope this will make enough money for you to venture down the RC dream road and build/fly whatever you like.
Ted LeBlanc
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