Here's the deal.
Its not that hard to make a functioning web site. By "functioning" I mean, all items have pictures, all your items are on the site, and your search engine is actually worth using. I could have made a site like that when I was ten years old. It doesn't cost anything to learn and do it yourself. Part of a functioning web site also includes being honest about what's in stock and what's not - if you have to lie about that and order stuff from your supplier when a customer orders - then I don't like you. I will find out that you do that very quickly and stop ordering from you in the future. Find another way to make money. If a store charged higher prices and actually had a FUNCTIONING web site and didn't lie about order status or when they will ship or what items are in stock, I would pay the extra.
Do you hear me? I'm telling people they can raise their prices and I will still pay, if they adhere to the guidelines above.
Recently I ordered a whole bunch of stuff from a pretty popular heli company who will remain nameless. They shipped everything except a bottle of NitroClean, which according to their web site is in stock. Box got here, the item wasn't there. I call them up, they said it'll be in in a week. Its a month later now, and I have heard nothing from them, not even a letter saying "sorry we know its longer, its still not here yet".
If you claim the cost of making a functioning web site is prohibitive - then learn to do it yourself. Like I said, its not hard, and I really could have done it when I was just ten years old. I'm not a genius. ITS NOT HARD.
Here's another blanket statement: not a single r/c helicopter web site I've been to has completely met the definition of "functional". Every single one has major flaws. The biggest flaw is not having all their items on the site. The second biggest flaw is lack of pictures. Take a look at Amazon.com. They have a picture for everything, they tell you what's in stock and what isn't, and they also have a search engine that is worthy of the name. Sure, they're bigger than a hobby shop, but again, I've made sites like that before, and its *not hard*. The hard part is advertising
Now how about this for honesty: I call up MTA Hobbies, "Hey Nadir, do you have this?" he replies with "Yes I do" or "No I don't, it will be in ". He tells me when it will come in without me even asking him about it. And guess what, things come in when he says they do. If the item is in stock, he ships *the same day* and I actually get it the very next day because I live so close to his location.
The sad part of all of this is that I am able to feel impressed because a company is being honest to me. That just isn't right.
lie about stock status and i will hate you
get a real web site, hobby shops. its not hard and it doesn't cost much money. my company would gladly help any hobby site out for much less than they are expecting (http://nyip.net/)