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HelicopterCentury Radikal G20-30 N640 Hawk Predator › Question for Century Heli and/or the field Reps
09-06-2003 12:53 PM  14 years agoPost 1
choppengruven

rrKey Veteran

Flagler County, FL USA

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There are two LHS that carry Century Helis (at least that's what they claim), but the only heli they stock is the Hawk Sport. One shop doesn't even stock parts, while the other stocks Hawk and a few Falcon parts and nothing else.

My question is this....If these two shops are listed as being Century Dealers, why aren't they required to carry a good representation of the line? When I called the shop (a huge R/C shop in Orlando) that stocks the parts to see if they had a Predator in stock, I got a 15 minute sales pitch on MA stuff. To top that, the sales guy told me that the Predator is "unproven" and they don't want to carry a heli that's going to be a headache to their customers.

I know that distribution policies on different items varies greatly, but I was very dissappointed to see that a "Century Dealer" doesn't stock more than what amounts to a beginners heli and badmouths Century's flagship heli.

Still a proud member of the Dark Side, but somewhat disallusioned at this point.

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09-06-2003 01:14 PM  14 years agoPost 2
z11355

rrMaster

New England

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it's a free market. the store stocks what
it thinks it can sell. it's not the best use
of capital to have a $600+ machine
sitting on the shelf. My LHS stocks
Hirobo & MA but they dont have a
Freya or Fury on display. They can
order one for you though.

And you should realize that Orlando, FL
was the longtime home to MinAir so
it's not really suprising.

Was this Grave's RC ?

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09-06-2003 01:26 PM  14 years agoPost 3
choppengruven

rrKey Veteran

Flagler County, FL USA

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I understand the free market thing. It's just that with a lot of products (audio, for example), you are generally required by the manufacturer to carry at least 60% of the product line. As I don't have much experience with retail in the hobby industry, I am not sure how the dealer and distribution networks are handled. However, usually when any retailer is listed as a dealer for a particular product line, you would expect that they would carry a good part of the line. After all, could you imagine going to a Ford dealership and not able to find a F-150? To be honest I am just gald I didn't make the 2 hour drive over there.

Yes. I have a love/hate relationship with that place. If they carry a line, it is great. If they don't, it usually isn't.

My point is that this whole "dealer" thing is misleading. And the fact that they bad mouthed a heli that they told me they hadn't even seen or flown is just downright wrong.

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09-06-2003 05:51 PM  14 years agoPost 4
nheather

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Horsham, West Sussex, UK

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I bought my heli whilst on holiday in Florida.

I agree with the dealer list being inaccurate but my gripe isn't about Graves.

I bought my heli from Graves and was amazed at the level of stock (both kits and spares) they carried. I agree that they were a bit blunt in doing business but not in a rude way - just not particularly chatty.

Before, I visited Graves I stopped at Central Florida Hobbies, listed by Century as a dealer.

They had no Century stock at all. They weren't overly friendly but did say that they could order one in from California. However, because I needed it within the remainder of my holiday (10 days) they wanted me to pay $35 to get it shipped from California to their shop.

30 minutes later I was leaving Graves, a very satisfied customer.

Cheers,

Nigel

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09-06-2003 06:28 PM  14 years agoPost 5
Lift

rrElite Veteran

Houston, TX

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Chop,
Century doesn't require their dealers to stock a set amount of products. Besides, who is going to tell a hobby shop how much of their capital they have to tied up in THEIR line to carry it. That discourages dealer arrangements.

If they dont' stock Century it's generally because the owner or locals are not flying it. That will change over the next few seasons for sure because I can tell you that Century has been getting ALOT of inquiries into the line and there have been quite a few signing up. Business is up.

So, just tell them what you want and that if they stock the parts you will buy them from them. If they don't want your business then they won't stock the parts. Century has one of the best margins in the business and that is why it's becoming so hot to become a Century dealer now that the Predator and Hummingbird is out. All they need is a customer base and it will take off. Here in Houston I have helped one shop build up his Century business and this year we have added 7 new comers to the hobby with all flying Century. So, that part of this guys inventory is moving. If only I could get him to stock some kits!

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09-06-2003 07:12 PM  14 years agoPost 6
choppengruven

rrKey Veteran

Flagler County, FL USA

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Lift,
That's what I wasn't sure of. I know with a lot of items, retailers are required to stock at least a minimum of the line before they can be called a "Dealer". While I l've the service from Rick's and have had no problems with Heli-World, it would be nice to have a LHS that stocks the line and supports it.....not to mention being able to get parts without doing the mail order thing.

Going to try making some phone calls this coming week and see if I can't find another shop that may carry more Century stuff that is within the same distance.

Thanks for the info,

Harold

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09-06-2003 11:01 PM  14 years agoPost 7
beavis1

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New York state

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one example helis cnange !

Here is one example,

10 years ago contepts were the ship. we had about 10 guys wacking them in frequently. we started carrying more and more parts. A year goes by and wham the shuttle is the top dog and its nothing but shuttle parts. a few years latter rappys rule. Well I have about 5000 in parts inventory for helis people are not even flying. The heli parts add up and inventory that does not turn over usually means the store is not long for this world ! End result I really just about broke even on all the parts we sold campaired to the inventory we liquidated in the end below cost.

Heres another thought try one brand. stock the helis and the parts. Ok that works but guess what unless you have a loyal customer base everybody wants somthing different. Can you carry it all. Yes if the customer base is strong but up here in the north east with 3-4 months of flying the inventory sits all winter.

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09-07-2003 12:33 AM  14 years agoPost 8
choppengruven

rrKey Veteran

Flagler County, FL USA

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beavis1,
I can understand that. I owned a car audio shop about 12 years ago. While you could buy Pioneer and Sony through a distributor, it was about 30% cheaper to buy direct. But, in order to become a dealer (buy direct from the manufacturer) you had to buy in for at least 60% of the line and you had to buy in case lots (6 pieces of any given tape or CD/tuner, amplifiers and speakers). The initial order for Sony alone was over $10,000. At the end of the season (new model time) I was stuck with $6,000 in "old" inventory that all the major guys (Circuit City, etc) were blowing out at below my cost.

At the same time, I was listed as a Sony and Pioneer authorized dealer and anyone who called looking for a dealer in their area got my phone number, which made me a lot of other sales that were not necc. Sony or Pioneer. BUT, at that same time, I never badmouthed the Sony or Pioneer products that I didn't have in stock. Basically, that is wrong.

As a side note, I went to the hobby shop today with a friend of mine and while I was talking to the guy who works the heli area, all he could do is try to sell me a MA heli for $870 w/o blades while having nothing good to say about the Pred. That's just not right.

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09-07-2003 12:37 AM  14 years agoPost 9
choppengruven

rrKey Veteran

Flagler County, FL USA

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Lift? MG?

Maybe an idea here. Is there anyway that Century could differentiate between dealers who carry whole line and those who don't? That could help those who are looking for a complete line of Century stuff. I know that some manufacturers will give some designation in their dealer list if a dealer doesn't carry the complete line. That could help some.

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09-07-2003 02:27 AM  14 years agoPost 10
beavis1

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New York state

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First off it was silly on his part as he would make more $$ on the century sale. He does however support a very strong product line for sure it is hard to argue that. The predator is really now a proven machine. It does however have it's little things that are well documented here on runryder but none are really major and century has addressed them one at a time fairly well so far !! A dealer stating the predator is not proven is a little behind the times on info chain HAHA.

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09-07-2003 04:13 AM  14 years agoPost 11
Lift

rrElite Veteran

Houston, TX

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When I called the shop (a huge R/C shop in Orlando) that stocks the parts to see if they had a Predator in stock, I got a 15 minute sales pitch on MA stuff. To top that, the sales guy told me that the Predator is "unproven"
I'll bet you anything that when MA released the Fury that he was all over that "unproven" machine back then if he is as loyal to MA as you say. What a double standard if it's true.

The Predator has been on the market for 4 months now. For a first time 60 AND a new release at that, I don't know of another heli that has started out of the gates this well.

Some people..... Just take your business elsewhere!

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09-07-2003 12:28 PM  14 years agoPost 12
SteveH

rrProfessor

Texas

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Just A Comment

Just had to comment on the sales guy at the LHS pushing the Fury. Have you ever been to a hobby shop that pushed ANYTHING they did not have in stock? Of course not, they are going to push what they have IN STOCK.

As Beavis1 stated, the last thing a hobby shop wants is to have left over stock later on that won't move. They very well may be afraid the Predator will take off in popularity in their area, and there they will be stuck with the MA inventory.

And besides, do you know how to tell when a salesman is lieing to you?..... When his lips are moving!

The government cannot give you anything without first taking it from someone else.

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09-07-2003 03:06 PM  14 years agoPost 13
MG

rrKey Veteran

California

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Choppengruven,

As many of the guys have stated earlier it all comes down to dollars and cents. Currently the hot sellers are the Hirobo and MA line and that is what most will carry. You have to remember a hobby shop owner is in the business of selling and moving items not collecting dead weight.

I can almost guarantee that once the Predator gains a little more popularity and the customer base grows you will see more parts and kits in your LHS. I personally don’t worry too much about my local shop carrying the parts I need since the internet has made ordering parts so easy and convenient, but I do understand that it is nice to walk into a local store and pick up what you need.

I will discuss your suggestion of listing or “highlighting” the dealers that carry the full line or at least 60% or more of Century parts in stock.

Time wasted = Life not lived to the fullest.

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09-07-2003 11:55 PM  14 years agoPost 14
choppengruven

rrKey Veteran

Flagler County, FL USA

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I will discuss your suggestion of listing or “highlighting” the dealers that carry the full line or at least 60% or more of Century parts in stock.

Thanks. I was really thinking about this last night a lot. I know that when I was shopping for different products for my house, a lot of the manufacturer's websites had different listings for dealers who were carrying the complete line, some of the line or only did special orders.

I know that I call any retailer quite frequently before I go to make sure they have an item in stock. But this might not be the case for a 'newbie'. It would also help those of us who have been around the hobby for a while and reward those dealers who are putting out the big bucks to carry the full line. Then we can vote with our dollars as to which LHS will get our business.


Oh, and yes it is nice to have LHS that stocks parts. Its noce to talk with others in the hobby face to face....not to mention its really convenient in case of a Friday evening crash.

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09-08-2003 07:51 PM  14 years agoPost 15
TroyE

rrApprentice

Orlando, FL.

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I agree with Chop.
AND (here comes my female dog) if a manufacturer can force a "dealer" to sell at MAP pricing why can't they force them to carry a certain amount of product in return for being listed as a "dealer" thusly providing better coustomer service. (cust service whats that??)
I had a long conversation with my LHS about MAP pricing and it's basicly pricing fixing. I feel that dealer should be able to sell at any price they want to especially if the other guy WILL and obviously can sell the same item for less.
I am loyal to my LHS but, I should be rewarded not have to pay them for my loyalty. my next big purchase will go to the guy with the best price.
just my .02 worth.

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09-08-2003 09:26 PM  14 years agoPost 16
Lift

rrElite Veteran

Houston, TX

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Troye,
MAP pricing means "Minimum Advertised Price" and that's it! If you are a dealer for Great Planes or Horizon you CANNOT advertise below the published MAP.

But......................................................................................you sure as heck can sell it for whatever you want! Your customer just have to call or e-mail for the "best" price. That is why you see it all over Heliproz and other websites. They can't advertise their price if it's below MAP. But again, they can sell it for less. Just have to call. They can't tell you what to sell it for but they CAN restrict what you are allowed to advertise.

So, I wonder if your LHS was telling you the whole scoop!

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09-08-2003 09:45 PM  14 years agoPost 17
choppengruven

rrKey Veteran

Flagler County, FL USA

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Price fixing

It isn't as rampant in R/C stuff as it is in other items, but it is trying to creep into the picture. While no one can blame any LHS for trying to make a buck, you can blame manufacturers and distributors that pressure stores to sell at MAP. Up until a couple of years ago I knew a couple of LHS owners really well down in South Florida, and they would likely paint a different picture than the MAP being only the advertised price. While neither got their dealerships pulled for selling well under the MAP, both started having problems getting their full shipments after Reps from the companies showed up in their stores. In one of the cases, the owner seldom got the radios that he ordered, and when he did it was less than what he ordered.

It seems more and more that shopping around for R/C stuff doesn't get you as far as it used to. You may find a $5-10 difference in price on a $400 item, but you likely burned more time than the savings were worth. The only exception may be the Gray Market stuff, and that is really a whole different ball of wax.

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09-08-2003 10:19 PM  14 years agoPost 18
TroyE

rrApprentice

Orlando, FL.

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thx Lift

My LHS then just plain out flat lyed to me. now im really pissed. "Thanks wally".
He claimed he would his ability to sell JR if he sold it for the same price as heliproz.

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09-10-2003 03:30 AM  14 years agoPost 19
beavis1

rrKey Veteran

New York state

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LHS will loose

MAP is like lift stated lowest advertised not what he can sell it at.

No little local hobby shop can compair to heliproz on price 80% of the time. If the LHS orders a heli for stock he sure will not get the same cost price as heliproz buying 3 dozen. They get a better discount and can turn them around at a lower price. If the LHS ordered 3 dozen they could match. It is just simple economics. Not blaming anyone for wanting to buy the cheaper heli proz heli. But backing a LHS into a corner anking for the heliproz price that he really can't match and make any money on comes down to why so many little guys are simply gone or just resent rc heli and plane customers. I know this is the case locally as 2 of the 4 shops are gone and the others are RC car shops where the money is. Not stating good or bad it is just simple facts of the game. Every shop is different as well as every owner but I know from working at a shop mail order competition has never been stronger and MAP was a way distributors were trying to help the LHS out but mail order houses just state call for lowest price defeating the purpose.

It's all good. I do 1/2 mail and what I can local. I too can not resist lower price but I know not to beat the LHS up.

Be good dark siders !

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HelicopterCentury Radikal G20-30 N640 Hawk Predator › Question for Century Heli and/or the field Reps
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