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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Opening a hobby shop
06-02-2015 07:52 AM  4 years ago
dilberteinstein

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texas - USA

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I know zippo about the hobby business. I bought my latest at the grocery store (drone with camera)...doesn't matter, trees are plotting against everything I fly.

Anyway, check out this link:

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#...en+a+hobby+shop
90% of life is "showing up"
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06-03-2015 03:51 PM  4 years ago
jbiter

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Sebring, FL

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I worked in a local hobby shop for a while.

The profit margin on kits was typically low. The real money was in selling parts and accessories. I tried to get the owner to sell online at the time but he didn't want to try it. I figured we needed to broaden our exposure to a wider customer base if we were to survive. The shop is long since been closed.

Plan on Internet sales as a large portion of your revenue if you wish to survive.

Jeff
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06-03-2015 04:18 PM  4 years ago
Rototerrier

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Fayetteville, GA - USA

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Plan on Internet sales as a large portion of your revenue if you wish to survive.
Already saturated. We've all seen many of these go belly up as well.

If a LHS has to complete with Online shops that can't even survive competing against themselves, the LHS is going to be tough.

99% of the time my LHS doesn't have what I need and jumps right to the "We can order it for you" bit. I can order it for me, and don't have to waste the gas to drive to pick it up.

I try to frequent the LHS to keep him in business for the occasion he does have what I need...but he honestly NEVER does. So it really sucks.
Gassers Rule, Nitros Drool, Electrics...uhhh...Joule?
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06-03-2015 04:33 PM  4 years ago
Dr.Ben

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Richmond, VA, USA

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For brick and mortar stores, the only business model that seems to works is a store large enough that they can stock about everything you'd ever need in one stop. Those stores can still discount big ticket items and make a modest profit on support stuff. People are willing to pay a bit more if they can touch and see and feel AND get it ALL at one time, but the MINUTE a store says, "we'll order it," they will often lose the whole sale. Examples of these larger stores that survive today include Hobby Hanger in Chantilly, VA, Graves RC in Orlando, Bob's Hobbies in Orlando, Debbie's RC in Tidewater, among others in the US. For everyone else, the best way to lose $250,000 in the hobby is to invest $500,000 trying to open a small brick and mortar store. It's almost programmed for failure.

Ben Minor
Peak Aircraft/Team Minicopter Team Futaba Team Kontronik USA
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06-03-2015 06:08 PM  4 years ago
YankieSole

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Lynchburg, virginia

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Dr. Ben do you have a local hobby shop that has the parts and supply's that you need at a decent deal?Robert
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06-03-2015 06:40 PM  4 years ago
fmrsdtr

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Oakville, Indiana

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To add to Dr. Ben's last comment, many of the distributors require dealers to have a brick-and-mortar store; you can't just have an online/E-bay store and expect to start selling new items. They also require a minimum amount for orders and the dealer has to maintain that each month, as well as adhere to MAP pricing.~Jenni Alderman, AMA # 640475
Associate Editor, Model Aviation
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06-03-2015 07:24 PM  4 years ago
Rick_H

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Boulder City, Nevada

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"They also require a minimum amount for orders and the dealer has to maintain that each month"

This is a big part of the problem, I tried to support my local hobby store but when I would place the order for the part or parts it could be a month or more because the hobby store did not have enough sale orders to be able to place the order with the vendor. I could get the parts online much faster and cheaper than the hobby store could. The hobby store ended up closing down.
Rick
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06-03-2015 07:47 PM  4 years ago
carcrasher

rrElite Veteran

east coast

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The problem with online shopping is, try getting someone on the phone to help out with a question or a problem that you might have. I like being able to walk into a LHS and ask questions if I have any. I don't mind paying a little more for something if I can get some advice with it or a question answered. But I've had cases were the person that owns or works at the shop doesn't fly helis, planes, or race Rc cars or even deals with boats. Yet they sell them.
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06-04-2015 01:32 AM  4 years ago
Heli_Splatter

rrElite Veteran

USA

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I think that the long and short of things is that if you are interested in opening a hobby shop, you need to copy a successful business model.

You have to know and love the hobby business. You have to have the products people want when they want them. Hobby Hangar in Chantilly is fantastic. They usually have something that will work if they don't have exactly what you want.

It is just such a hike and gas and time are not cheap to get over there. Many times we have a friend pick up something for us while they are there.

You cannot say enough about Bob and Kwang at the Hangar!
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