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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Bad experence at a LHS
02-28-2010 05:14 PM  10 years ago
broggyr

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Naugy, CT

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This is true. It's hard enough to run a shop without turning away potential customers - Brian
irony [ay-ruh-nee', ay-er-nee'] adj.: Like goldy or bronzy, but made of iron
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02-28-2010 07:29 PM  10 years ago
skidbender

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Morehead,KY

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It all came out even. Gentleman needed help, didn't get it.
lady needed a customer, didn't get it.
It don't matter how you get there, if you don't know where your going.
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02-28-2010 07:38 PM  10 years ago
Furious Predator

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Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

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i think for some people, like me, cost is not the issue. yeah its nice to save a few bucks here and there. but myself, and a number of locals i know, would gladly pay extra, ie, overhead costs, to get that part we need to continue a happy weekend of flying.

but...when your LHS basically refuses to stock any kind of parts for any heli....and i mean anything. like...not even carrying a damn header tank in stock for 3 or 4 years. then what are we left to do but to buy else where?
Example:
they always say, and i do mean always.... "well, we dont have it, but we can order it!, but since its teusday, the order wont go through till next monday, then it MIGHT be in for that friday"

so then i say.."no thanks, i'll order it now myself, and have it in a day or two."

I would absolutely love to support the local hobby shop. but the attitude not only towards customers, but to the hobby itself is very disappointing. Cost, completely out of the equation.
Shawn
Team Leisure-Tech
Team HelixRC
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02-28-2010 08:13 PM  10 years ago
dennis0262

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cedar springs mi u.s.a

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lhs
i have had many of these experience's this was twenty some years ago just getting in to boats. my brother in law and i spent alot of money between the two of us and not a bit of help . it was like you where pestering them
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02-28-2010 08:46 PM  10 years ago
helicopter nut

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pleasanton, ca usa

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We are lucky here because our LHS also runs a mail order...
They are not very helpful, but they are busy. Prices same for walk-in as internet. They do volume. I got my DX6 there. I got my heli kits elsewhere as they do not carry what I wanted. Should they help me???
Lord hear our silent prayers to Thee
For those who fly from ships at sea.
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03-01-2010 01:16 PM  10 years ago
quaid

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London, UK

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Charge customers for help!
I think this is a great thread about a discussion that I thought would have died a few years ago.

A little background, I started selling RC stuff on ebay around 9 years ago and then got myself a web site to sell RC goods. That time a GY401+S9253 was for $299 at tower. I was selling them for around $215 - and then this debate about supporting your LHS started. I made a point not to undercut the LHS, atleast until they got their act together, expecting it to happen relatively fast (hence the 'few years ago' comment). Didn't even upgrade my store for almost 5 years.

Here's my 2c on the issue. As pointed out by some of you, most LHS people are not businessmen, they are hobbyists/engineers (sorry!), who feel that this interests them and they can make it a profession. Unfortunately, thanks to the Internet (and lower cost models from China), prices/margins went down - and selling engines/kits/electronics became less profitable.

Digressing a little to make a point, after email, I am sure the postal service realized they weren't going to be making a lot of money from delivering letters. But they must have understood that they will see increased volumes of parcels. So they jacked up the prices of sending parcels and I have a strong feeling a bulk of their turnover comes from delivering parcels.

Coming back to the LHS vs. Internet shop discussion. New technology has always had a disruptive influence on the way business is done (rail-roads, TV, radio and now the Internet). The same happened to the LHS, they were comfortable with the high margin, low volume, low involvement setup. The Internet made possible for almost everyone to have access to high value items (at cheaper prices) and cheaper Chinese products lowered the entry barrier causing lots more people to be involved in and have access to the hobby (which yielded a great opportunity in the form of expertise being in short supply).

I feel this was/is prime-time for the LHS to make money through hi-volume items (consumables/parts, fuel etc.), and providing charged expertise/advice/fixing/repair services. I understand that its a difficult change, and some have pointed out, those LHSs' that have embraced this change may be prospering.

jimlizzard saw a prime example of not adapting to change. Having a price sheet around and flashing it to him, would have made the LHS a few bucks and a customer happy. I frequently talk to my LHS guy and he agrees, and now a bulk of his revenues come from training people - but has some peeves. For example, it was difficult to convince him to lower the prices of glow plugs (was $10/plug, for example) as people were buying it online, but increase the price of fuel (was $4/gallon, for example), which is slightly more difficult to buy online.

I can understand the LHSs' frustration, but helping out if you have bought from them and not helping if one hasn't may make emotional sense, but no business sense. 'Free service if you buy from them, charged if you have bought elsewhere' - is one option.

Unfortunately, this thinking is not settling in. I recently moved, and talked to LHSs' (those who do not have web sites - but do mail order), if they would be willing to cooperate by means of me operating a web store for them - however, I was turned away being told that I was competition.

I dont know when this debate would subside, but I am sure it will Of course all of the above is just my opinion..
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03-01-2010 03:41 PM  10 years ago
bkervaski

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Birmingham, AL, USA

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The only thing I go to the LHS for is fuel. I would order that online if it wasn't for Hazmat fees.

I get *much* better customer service from my online shops. I generally get things in 1-2 days, free shipping, no tax, no brainer.
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03-01-2010 03:51 PM  10 years ago
BoeingGuy

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None of your damn business,Texas

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Jamlizzard, If she spoke to you in that manner, it is simply bad business. Now, if you need a new heli, parts, or anything, you will take your business elsewhere. I would think. People sometimes forget that you should be nice to others, because you never know exactly who that someone may be. I believe in bad carma. It will most likely come back and bite her in the butt. Just my opinion.... It is just the way I was raised up......Kindness goes an awful long ways....
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03-02-2010 04:29 AM  10 years ago
broggyr

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Naugy, CT

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When I was a young kid, I was in a airplane shop when I was amazed how tight the covering was on the wing. When I asked him how it was done, he *yelled* "You buy the book and you do it that way!"

I turned right around and walked out, I didn't need to be talked to that way. Other must have thought the same way, because he was gone shortly thereafter...
- Brian
irony [ay-ruh-nee', ay-er-nee'] adj.: Like goldy or bronzy, but made of iron
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03-02-2010 04:06 PM  10 years ago
neilg.

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north of borston

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another post from a whiner. 3 years ago when i did not know anything (and i still do not) i asked for a motor at a LHS in new hampshire. all this ding dong did was drink his coffee, he was still anebriated from the night before or the morning.

last time i went to a LHS! online is the only way i buy and i fix it myself.

i would consider myself a 10 on the mechanical and a 4 on the electronics, but i get-her-done.

you can't depend on anyone else to hold your hand. what if they tell you you need this and that and you really do not. your wallet takes a beating.

post your problems, plenty of people in here wait to give their opinions and most of them are spot on.

IMHO
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04-20-2010 07:30 PM  10 years ago
BoeingGuy

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None of your damn business,Texas

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If I fly it, I will crash it!
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04-20-2010 10:00 PM  10 years ago
Lupus23

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Quad Cities, USA

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LHS's not modernizing business model with the times
You can blame the customer, you can blame the internet. But why should I the consumer have to pay the price because business owners are too naive to keep their business model up with the times.

Hobby shop owners complain overhead is high and you can buy parts off the internet for less than what they can buy them for. How is this my problem? If the internet shops can buy parts and make a profit on them what are you doing wrong that you can't do the same.

Business is competitive, if you can't keep up with the market and times you are going to go out of business. End of story. LHS's need to learn that if they intend to stay in business they either need to be able to match internet prices or provide enough value added service (that customers actually value) that will continue to bring customers in the door.

Now, in my area, most of the LHS's have gone out of business. We have one that I know of and they carry nothing in stock at all. So I don't go there. Why would I? No value added service, nothing in stock, I might as well order from the net. Honestly, I don't really miss them very much. Grumpy owners with overprice goods, and never with the stuff I need in stock.

Maybe LHS's should try more to break into the internet market. But, the internet age is here to stay you will have to deal with it if you wish to remain in business.
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04-20-2010 10:17 PM  10 years ago
Ghia

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Abq, NM

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sounds like the original poster expected free service if the 1st words out of his mouth wasnt "I know I bought this item off the internet, but I am now in a jam. Could you look at this if I paid for your shop time? thanks."

If they happened to be gracious and not charged, I bet neither the LHS or us would have heard from this guy again.

I really dont see how LHS survive in such a hostile market environment.
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04-20-2010 11:21 PM  10 years ago
trickytiker

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england

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i own a small watchmakers and jewelers shop we do a lot of small jobs for customers if the time spent is only a few minuets we do not charge
most will usual offer to pay as we are never short of work i think our
good will to customers pays off
only yesterday i repaired a sharp claw on a ring that was catching the ladies
clothes it took me about a minuet to do no charge sir the husband
insisted i took £5.00 ps the staff get all the tips
i have problems with spelling
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04-21-2010 02:31 AM  10 years ago
Fnity

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Denver, CO

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LOL! LHS's a a dead industry with the internet, and flying clubs around.
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04-21-2010 03:36 AM  10 years ago
Ace Dude

rrProfessor

USA

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LHS's not modernizing business model with the times

You can blame the customer, you can blame the internet. But why should I the consumer have to pay the price because business owners are too naive to keep their business model up with the times.

Hobby shop owners complain overhead is high and you can buy parts off the internet for less than what they can buy them for. How is this my problem? If the internet shops can buy parts and make a profit on them what are you doing wrong that you can't do the same.

Business is competitive, if you can't keep up with the market and times you are going to go out of business. End of story. LHS's need to learn that if they intend to stay in business they either need to be able to match internet prices or provide enough value added service (that customers actually value) that will continue to bring customers in the door.
Sounds like you're ready to open your own hobby shop and show'em how it's done.

Look out Don Anderson and Warren Buffet!
  
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04-21-2010 04:07 AM  10 years ago
skytrekin

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Anchorage, AK

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The hobby shop here in Anchorage usually turns out to be a meeting place for flying buddies, and setting flying times and discussing new and old news. They have been nice, helpfull and allways going the extra mile to make you happy. I do a bit of shopping online as well, but usually get all the extras locally. Gotta support them as they support me.
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04-21-2010 04:26 AM  10 years ago
Rob43

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Midland, MI USA

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I have never been to a LHS that would refuse to help. This is how repeat business is developed, new business or old. Most of us know that the heli's are a parts money pit. I didn't buy my first few helis from the nearest LHS, because I got a deal from my family's nearest LHS. I bought way more in parts from my nearest LHS. In my case, I'd have never depended on them for much help as helis aren't much of a focus for them, but I did my research and when I could, bought the parts from them - at least until they began forgetting to place my order for a week or two. That said, I get what I can from my LHS, and get my help from here. We can't often get our parts from here, but can get knowledge solutions here. That too is how the internet works. It's unfortunate for our LHS's but the world has changed a great deal since our fathers could only get their hobby items from the LHS. Sad, but it's true. I gave my LHS an opportunity to sell me a recent heli they don't stock just to keep some business with them. I then ordered my engine, and receiver from them too. They know they can't likely advise me much on the finer points, but that's okay. No longer is there much of a true one stop shop. Most solutions have several aspects - some knowledge-based and some are materials. I doubt we'll get much of either from the LHS in the future. Sad but true. I for one do not believe the post was in the least offensive. Just because you have owned a business does not give you the sole right to belittle the person.

That said, why did he not try getting the same help where he bought the heli? Was it too far away, or for some other reason not practical? Ultimately it doesn't matter. That LHS still lost the chance to convert the opportunity into business. And that is a fact. Not an opinion. Overhead or not!
Rob
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04-21-2010 06:12 AM  10 years ago
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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old saying...

Make one customer mad... he will go tell a million people.
Make one customer happy, he will go tell a few people...

Whatever the case, It sure gets people talking!
sheesh.
Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx
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04-21-2010 10:05 AM  10 years ago
RadioFlyerMk

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Trenton, Ohio,

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Sorry for the long post here.....
I will start supporting the LHS when they realize they need to have better attitudes and more competitive pricing and they actually carry an inventory worthy of a visit. Of course it is nice to put hands on something before you buy it and I understand they may not be able to meet internet prices and thats OK, if it is within reason.

Why does everyone think an online dealer has no overhead? I think they have just realized they can make more money by selling more items rather than selling fewer higher priced items. They have to have storage, insurance, and vehicles, someone has to do the order pulling and packaging and shipping, and the shipping supplies, ...and deal with damaged or DOA items, etc. They have phones, web sites, employee's and so on.
This problem is not only related to this hobby, it is many things in general. And for some of those that complain about customers that come in looking for free advice...how many of us have been stuck on a home remodeling issue and visited lowe's to get some input? Same thing isnt it, and Im sure we have all done it. So what if lowes said well, I will explain how to wire up your breaker box but it is going to cost you for us to talk, you would walk out just like I would.

There are many great hobby shops and owners out there. (Ive visited some when traveling, I know they exist) I have to wonder if some have tunnel vision with: I have to make rent this month and why are people coming in here wanting something for nothing, I cant afford that and it is frustrating. But that shop cannot stop with good customer service because things are tight this week. How about....I lower my prices (to some degree if need be) and maintain a friendly, customer oriented atmosphere and maybe I can sell double or triple what I normally do and increase my profits that way. If not, I do not see how shops will survive. Im obviously not alone in my thinking as many people I know, deal with this and many people here have talked about it too.
I would love to be able to go to a LHS and just be greeted in a friendly manner and find at least some of what I need on the shelf at a reasonable price. If this would happen, I would never buy online.
For instance, I just re-started in this hobby and it is terrible that I have to say that I did not buy one thing locally, NOT ONE. You know what it costs to get started in heli's and someone could have made some dough on me. Do you honestly think I want to wait a week or longer to get all my heli stuff?
So, to the customer oriented shops with the old school mindset, who has made the difficult adjustments to technology, I commend you. If you fall into this catagory you will not be offended by this post. You should be proud as you know what it takes to run a successful shop. To the others, I hope something said here helps you make a great hobby shop that will attract all kinds of customers.
And as far as helping someone out with an issue, like others said, your going to gain a new customer, and if you don't, you won't lose any from him or her bashing the bad customer service. You have to understand that rather the shop thinks it is bad customer service or not, if it is perceived as bad then the word WILL travel.
I guess the LHS around me can maintain their bad service, rude attitudes and bad prices if they want to. Thing is, RC was here before they were and it will be here when they close. They need their customers and if they dont care to keep them, then they shouldnt mind when they close the doors.
As for helping someone out, many of us have spent a whole day here and there helping new people out. Ive personally been at the field with the intentions of flying all day and then I did not get to fly at all, but thats OK, it comes with promoting the hobby. A hobby shop is a great place to set that example and I bet you gain a great new customer, and more, by doing so. Of course we are not talking about stripping down a machine and starting from scratch but some help here and there, free of charge, may do a shop some good.
This post is not meant to offend anyone or any shop as I have named none. This is simply based on my experiences and my will to see shops prosper in the future. And maybe the shops closer to me will come around some day. But it does prove that one will get what they need or want, and if the local shop doesn't provide it, there are alternatives.
Here is another example: A gun store sells their guns litterally 100 bucks + over many other shops. Their outlook is, we have an indoor range and it costs big money for the insurance. So they pass that cost onto the customer? Now, do you honestly want to go buy a gun from them knowing you can drive 20 minutes in any direction and buy the same gun for $100 less? This is a true example that is going on right now.
Lets face it, price may not be everything, but in todays world, it is very important, especially in a hobby that can be expensive. Something else I wonder about is, the hobby shop already has inventory and a building. So why dont they sell online too and open up their customer base instead of trying to make a living selling airplanes and helicopters to the same few people.
I dont have all the answers, but it's my money to spend and I dont need red carpet treatment by any means, but dont be rude and price me to death, that what we have the government for. I wish everyone the best of luck
-----------------------
"I'd rather hover a Heli......than fly a plane"
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