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hobby shop employees

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  • Member since
    November 2005
hobby shop employees
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2003 4:33 PM
Hey Guys,
I'm at about witts end with this, and I decided to finally let the cat out of the bag.

First off I'm wondering if anybody else out there has problems with the employees at your hobby shops? Now I'm not talking about the Mom and Pop shops. I'm talking about the mega shops. the ones that cater mostly to R/C and railroading, but have enough plastic to just make us venture to them.

We have a mega shop in the south-western corner of the Twin Cities, Richfield to be exact. Now I'm not naming the shop but everyone in the TC knows what shop it is. They have these two employees that if you are a railroad guy, they will give you the shirt off their back. But if your into plastic they treat you like a common criminal. This place keep their aftermarket airplane decals behind the counter, if you want to see them, these two will watch you like a hawk and make you feel very uncomfortable. A year ago I helped this place bust some kids stealing glue. (I used to be a UC security guard in a mall, I busted kids all the time so I know what I was doing) Now they make me feel as if I'm going to rip them off.

Now the big problem. They got in a new shipment ofkits recently and I seen one that I really wanted. Problem is that whoever marked the price marked it wrong. A $26 Tamiya kit for $12.50. At first I went COOOOL!!!!! Then I kept looking at the box, I knew the kit was $26 but I also knew they get kits in at lower prices. So I thought I'm getting this kit cheap. Cool. I went up, paid for it, used my club card for my member discount, used my check card and thought nothing of it. Until two days later. One of my friends called me asking me what did I do. I asked him what happened and he told me that the hobby shop has me on camera what appears to be LOOKING at the pricetag of a kit, and these guys are showing the footage to all my club members asking if they know who I am. They think I switched the price tags between models and have my pic up at the counter. I told my fellow modelers that I didn't do anything and my clean record backs me up. So I've decided I'm not going in there again.

Sorry for the long rant but I have to get it off my chest. I just want to know is it just me, or are there other modelers out there who have been discriminated against?!
Bernie the K.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2003 4:49 PM
Tell your attorney to contact the hobby shop and tell them that if they are not going to charge you with a crime, then they must remove the picture of you unless they want to face libel charges.
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Sunday, March 30, 2003 4:56 PM
Hopefully you won't end up on America's Most Wanted for this Bernie, but if you do, make sure you show us which kit is was. My experiences with hobby shops doesn't include too many of these mega shops. But I have ran into one shop that treats plastic modellers as the ugly kid sister of the hobby. Don't bother asking any questions, they either don't know or couldn't care less what you are asking them about. Don't request a special order, if it doesn't fly or move, you're wasting their time. But I also have a couple of really good shops that I deal with where the good folks are very knowledgeable, very interested, and willing to hear, help, order and of course take my money from me all with a smile on their faces and one on mine to boot.

P.S. If you do make it onto America's Most Wanted.....can I have your autograph please?
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2003 5:35 PM
i hatem to say it, but this is why more and more people are shopping via the internet , my self included......... however, a lagre part of my problem is there aren'tany GOOD hobie shops in my area........

And i agree with D-Fens, sick your lawers on them ....... show them your not goiung to take there garbage......... Perhaps you can sue for pain and suffering..... show them they picked on the wrong PLASTIC MODELLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats what i would do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by weebles on Sunday, March 30, 2003 5:38 PM
Hi Bernie,
Sounds like a bunch of knuckleheads at this store. They've gone over the deep end by showing film of you to your club members. That really is silly.

I think what you should have done is to point out their error in pricing, or at least questioned them about it rather than take advantage of them.

Good luck and find a friendlier hobby store.
Dave
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2003 6:05 PM
Thanks guys. The kit was Tamiya's Dewontine 520, not one of thier popular 1/48 airplanes. As far as I know, the pic was taken down. (the incident happened at the end of last year) Some of my club members go there only as a last resort. Pretty good chance I could go in there and they probably wouldn't even remember me. What ticked me off about this was hearing people talk about their problems with these guys at another hobby shop.

Good chance the tape's been erased. I still won't go back.
Thank you Rollmodels
Bernie the K.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2003 6:19 PM
Good hobby shop???..That almost seems to be an oxymoron anymore...at least where I live.
There is only ONE hobbyshop at all in the area that I live and you after you wade thru the r/c and railroad and paint by number stuff and finally get to the plastic you can just stand there and marvel at the disappointing and stale selection..
On the rare occasion when I do walk out with something, I feel like I've had more personal transactions with an ATM..
When I was a kid I can remember pedaling my bike to several hobbyshops in the area and even though I rarely had much money, I was always welcomed by the helpful and knowledgeable proprietors..It's just a darned shame that the hobbyshop industry wasn't the same then as it is now. I wouldn't have wasted all that time riding my bike around and talking to adults..I could have better invested that time sittin' in front of the tube stuffing my face with potato chips and cake and the like and scheming up all kinds of other activities to occupy my idle time..
Unfortunately from what i have been gathering from this forum, it seems my situation is not unique.
It really is sad isn't it?

Thank goodness for ebay and the Squadron and such...

Merlin
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2003 6:43 PM
I agree with the lawyer approach. I would have gotten the meanest lawyer I could find and end up owning that shop... I'm sure the law is the same in MN as it is in MI - they must charge the lowest marked price, or if it scans ar a lower price than marked, charge that. They did not see you switch price tags, only look. Yup, I'd own that shop.... As for any shop treating customers like second class class citizens, I'd surely go elsewhere. All I have here is a small mom-and-pop operation and I get friendly service from them. I rarely go in, however, because they don't carry what I need. I have to go mail order for that harder to find stuff. Remember when modeling magazines had a "support your local hobby shop" promotions?
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Central MI
Posted by therriman on Sunday, March 30, 2003 7:32 PM
I would have suied them too. Yes I have noticed some "non-preferantial" treatment by hobby shop people. Like I said in another post the other day, the local hobby shops seem to regard us plastic kit modelers as a necessary evil.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were at one and while waiting to get checked out (standing in front of the register with several items) the guys wouldn't ring me up. Instead they were waiting on some "kids" who wanted to inquire about (but not buy) some R/C stuff. I guess my money wasn't as good as somebody who MIGHT buy something in the future.

What do we have to do to get respect from the very people who rely on us for their livelyhood. Tim H.
Tim H. "If your alone and you meet a Zero, run like hell. Your outnumbered" Capt Joe Foss, Guadalcanal 1942 Real Trucks have 18 wheels. Anything less is just a Toy! I am in shape. Hey, Round is a shape! Reality is a concept not yet proven.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2003 7:45 PM
Same thing happens to me at Colonial Photo and Hobby. They ain't suspicious or nuthin, but ask the employees for anything besides a price and they look at you like you've just spoken in Russian! And then, the Railroad department knows its stuff for railroads, but say you want aircraft, and they get all huffy! They know nothing about the hobby, I don't even think they MAKE models, and then, they have RADIO CONTROLLED MODELS!! R/C! The abomination of our hobby! That, and they have trains! And models of civilian things! What has this world gone to?
That's why I go there only for the fact that they have 1/144 scale models! So usually, I go on down to JR Hobby, which is not only closer, but friendlier(except for their weekend employee, he's a total R/C model lover!), and the employees actually KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!!
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by naplak on Sunday, March 30, 2003 8:45 PM
Go back to the store in an oversized coat... all baggy like. And spend a while wondering around looking suspicious!
www.naplak.com/modeling ... a free site for modelers www.scalehobby.com/forum/index.php ... a nice Modeling Forum
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by weebles on Sunday, March 30, 2003 11:25 PM
I'm lucky to have a good hobby shop in my town. It is Colpar in Denver. They have good people working there and are very helpful. For all you that don't have a good one get to know some of these guys on the web. They know the hobby and are very helpful. They're filling a niche market and doing a fine job of it. They need our support as much as the local hobby shops do.

As far as lawyering up, take the high road guys. What's the point unless you're dying to land a spot on Judge Judy.

Dave
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Monday, March 31, 2003 1:44 AM
Indeed, good model shops are few and far apart. The stock is not my primary concern, but how I'm treated by the staff is (as it would be in any other store). Here where I live, we have 2 'train' hobby shops and they carry the odd plastic kit. Buying a plastic kit there (other than a train) is not asking for trouble, but you'll get the 'look', if you know what I mean. And the sneer...

We used to have a decent model shop, unfortunately doubling as a craft shop. The staff were awful, unless you were buying artist oils or expensive sewing kits. Their range was OK, but ordering something else was like asking for the moon. And their prices sucked. Now, two towns down the road, we have a real model shop, owned by a modeler who knows his business, his stock, his customers, and who will do everything to get you the stuff you want. Not just kits, but the weirdest tool, the tinyest tin of paint you might need. And books and mags. Although I buy a lot from the net and at shows, I pay him a courtesy visit on and off, and buy stuff from him (most of it ending up keeping the house warmer, rather than in my display cabinet). It's just good to know there's someone out there who understand you! Smile [:)] Hats off to you, Kevin, if you ever read this! Smile [:)]
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Monday, March 31, 2003 2:00 AM
We have several hobby shops in our area, at least 5, and there's only one that I go to on a regular basis.

The "big" shop in our area is more concerned with what they take out of the cash register each night than they are with customer service. There's really nothing wrong with the $$$ thing, that's what they're in business for, to make money. But I used to work at this place many years ago and we were told NOT to talk to customers and only to try to sell as much as we could. Unfortunately, they don't understand that customer interaction is as important as, if not moreso than, anything else in running a business.

Also, the majority of folks who worked there in the past and those who work there now just plain DO NOT know what it is that they are selling. Granted, they sell plastic, RR stuff, diecast, RC, slot cars, D&D and much more. That's alotta stuff to learn about and to remember, even the basics. But most of these people are clueless. When I was there, I was the only one who knew plastic. There were two guys who kinda knew RR, one who knew RC cars and the rest had NO CLUE about much of anything in the store. (Total of 12-15 people!)

Talking about prices... This place always has a better price than most other shops 'cuz they can afford the larger orders. (They also used to be a distributor before opening the retail store, and were supposed to cease distributor ops upon opening the store. Well, guess what? They're still buying as a distributor.) It's hilarious, though, because pricing mistakes are made all the time in this joint. You can walk into the place, to this day, and find three of the same model on the shelf and each one will have a different price. Having worked there, I know why this is but it still looks silly or even bad to the customer that bothers to pay attention.

Also, recently they got a new armor kit in and over-priced it by almost 75%!!! Angry [:(!] And when they were told by SEVERAL people, various reactions were noted including a lack thereof! Most of them said that it should be brought up with a manager and that they couldn't do anything about it. At the least they themselves could have brought it to the attention of a manager, especially with the number of complaints/comments that they were getting. Sad situation. People can't think for themselves anymore.

This particular shop is the closest to me of all the local shops. However, for one reason or another, usually customer service (or lack thereof), I pass up all the closer shops and wind up frequenting the one that's the farthest away. That place has more to offer than more square footage than any other shop in the USA, or a connection with a Nationwide chain. It has what I want (too much!), it's not a discount place, but the prices are fair and I get a discount based on my club membership as well as for being a regular and, most importantly, it has ambience. A friendly atmosphere, a knowledgable staff who are courteous and helpful (and interested in your needs) go a long way to attracting repeat customers. (Actually, this guy isn't always "courteous". Matter of fact, if you're a regular, you're bound to meet with some friendly insults when you walk in. But that's the FUN of this joint! Tongue [:P]) The big boys would do well to learn from the little guys sometimes.

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Zanesville, OH USA
Posted by coldwar68 on Monday, March 31, 2003 2:24 PM
I myself have run into this problem. It is hard to spend your money at a place that treats you like a stray dog. Unfortunately, this trend also goes at many of the businesses where I live. I was trying to buy a military article from a store here and they were acting like I was an alien or something. This article costs almost 200 dollars here in many places that I saw, because of the way they treated me I began looking online and found it at a store in Sydney, Australia. They responded promptly...considering the time diff...and I bought from them at a cheaper cost ...including shipping. I am beginning to think that common courtesies are not so common anymore.

Jerry

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy

  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by garyfo on Monday, March 31, 2003 2:59 PM
I know EXACTLY the store you're talking about...as it's the store I've been going to for over 20 years.

Not once has anyone asked me if I wanted help.

I've worked a ton of retail in my HS and college years, and work for a fortune 500 company that prides itself on customer service.

These guys don't get it.

And actually, I've seen the same thing on their RC side. I really feel like plastic kits are just sort of an extra...I really don't get it. I can never find any of the aftermarket stuff you see in the magazines. Never any of the putties...paints..etc..

It is so frustrating.

And in our little neck of the woods...that's about it. I went out to Brooklyn Park to the 'HObby world' or whatever it is and got more of the same. RC RC RC.

I'd love to open my own shop, but the times aren't right. Or maybe they are..I don't know.

I tell you though, first thing every customer would hear through the door would be at least a 'HI, how's it going?'

It's tough...because I really want them to stay open, but at the same time...I'm leaning more and more towards the net for all my purchases.
Gary
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 31, 2003 3:27 PM
I hear ya Gary.
Funny thing is when you go to their sister store in Little Canada, except for the one teenager behind the register that thinks she's black, I have great service there. The R/C and the train guys stay in the back. And except for the person mentioned above, there's only Ron, Dave, and Li working up front. And I get great service from them. And a lot of times when I'm hanging out there, I'll help customers out while they work the register.
And I do it because I love it. Because I am trying to keep this hobby alive. And I believe my help is keeping these idiots employed. (that drives me up a wall)
Well the wife's calling me for dinner, I'll check back later.
Bernie the K.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 31, 2003 6:09 PM
Hey Gary, how close do you live to Florida? My stepdad and I are thinking about opening up a massive hobby/Bonsai/video games/ PC games/ RPG shop called "GamerVille". If you live close enough, maybe we could hire you as staff!
Of course, I still am trying to convince him that my idea of a Bonsai/Plastic Model shop has no place in being in the same building as a RPG shop! Those gamers are nuts!(Believe me! I know! I am one!)
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Third rock from the sun.
Posted by Woody on Monday, March 31, 2003 10:21 PM
Hobby shops are a victim of the times we live in. You'll get the same crappy treatment at most retail shops! The bigger the store/chain the more impersonal the treatment. I don't know what's changed, but people don't seem to take pride in their work anymore.

" I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way." --John Paul Jones
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, April 1, 2003 12:03 AM
That's a shame that you were treated like that. I personally wouldn't return to a store that did that to me.

Posting your picture like that and making false accusations like that to other people -- something isn't right about that. If you used your check card and a club card, I would think they would have had the transaction on file and be able to look up your information instead of resorting to a form of character assasination -- okay maybe a bit harsh, but they've made accusations against you to your peers without any representation on your part, no chance for defense, etc.

Anyways...

Are hobby shops going the way of the dinosaurs? I don't know, but there aren't too many I go out of my way to visit. Even as a gamer, doing the RPG, CCG, miniatures, etc., I find even the gaming stores people can be rude. At one store, the guys would sit there and chat about anything with some of the "regulars" but when myself or others I knew would ask a question, it was like we had interrupted them from some major world summit.

On the other hand, there are a couple of stores that are in my area where the owners are great. They greet everyone who walks into the store. They clearly are sincere and make themselves available for their customers. They are very approachable to put it simply. However at one of the stores, the atmosphere changes when the store owner is away. The staff becomes slightly less "interested" in the customers.
  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by garyfo on Tuesday, April 1, 2003 11:32 AM
TenchiMuyo81, I live in Minnesota..that would be quite a commute!

I recently picked up a holiday job at Toys'R'Us of all places this past year. I was really, really surprised at how they get some good service out of their employees.

Now, they take pretty good care of their employees too, probably a lot better than a local hobby store could or does. They get health benefits, dental, and paid vacation and 401k if they stick around long enough. I was impressed.

I've worked for other smaller game stores (Games by James up here for one) that in the past 10 years started offering SEP IRA plans to their employees, as well as health insurance. They retain some really good employees that way.

It takes money to make money. And yah, for some places it's not economically feasable, but it's not impossible either.

I think hobby stores can make it, but they have to try. And also, they maybe need to reinvent themselves a little.

I've thought a lot about this, and keep terrifying my wife with the thought of opening my own business some day. I think it can be done, and here are some of the ideas I had around it, let me know if I'm insane or not:

1. Get people into your store any way possible to start. Have a grand opening sale. Have doughnuts!
2. Hook your regulars in. Discount cards for local clubs. Contact you local CubScouts/BoyScouts/Brownies/GirlScouts troop and offer up either some kind of small sponsership or do a 'make and take' kind of deal like Revell used to have (do they still do that?).
3. Also have an internet site that you can sell from. This is one thing ToysRUs does that works pretty well for them. You can place your orders online and pick them up at a local store if you want, or have them shipped. It might make your inventory a little tough at xmas, but nobody said it was going to be easy.
4. Keep it Simple Stupid. Don't over extend yourself and realize that according to statistics, many businesses fail.
5. Listen to your customers. If they want something you don't carry, offer to find it for them or special order it.
6. Have quality products, at reasonable prices.
7. Treat your regulars well. More than once I've gotten a 'freebie' from my local Comic Book store as I probably spend a couple of grand a year there. Do they have to do that? Nope. But do I feel like I matter to the owner? yep.

That's just off the top of my head...

It's not easy, but it's not rocket science either.
Gary
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by fussionboy on Tuesday, April 1, 2003 2:07 PM
Hi Bernie, I know wich mega-store you are talking about, they used to be pretty freindly a few years ago, but have turned into old grouches. I know that plastic is probley not their money maker, but i took my dad into the store as he just got into the r/c cars and he won't go back because of the way they treated him. now tis isn''t some kid with his lunch money this is a middle aged proffesional with mad money to spend on his hobby but this store will never get another dime of it. I also will not buy anymore R/C parts there but I am limited by the lack of good hobby shops in the area for buying plastic, wich is my main addiction. It is sad that people act this way, how are you going to get a kid to buy a kit if the employee's scare the crap out of them? Well hang in there and keep building, it's your right to be mad especialy with the price of plastic nowadays and the lack of service.
  • Member since
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  • From: United Kingdom
Posted by cmtaylor on Tuesday, April 1, 2003 3:25 PM
And I thought we had it bad in SE England. In the part of Kent where I live, GOOD Model shops seem to have a life expectancy of about 5 years.
As for the staff...
I think, that had I been treated as badly as the first poster, my comment would have been:
I think you misunderstand our relationship; YOU are overhead, I am profit.
Of course, we SF modellers are also at the mercy of the shysters who inflate prices because of the subject matter. SF Fans seem to be considered 'Fair Game' for every backstreet conman with access to cheap (and brittle) polyester Resin. The only solution is to vote with our wallets and take our custom elsewhere.
Colin
Gentlemen! You can't fight in here; this is the WAR ROOM!
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Newport News VA
Posted by Buddho on Tuesday, April 1, 2003 8:42 PM
I get most of my stuff of the internet these days, but I have a hobby shop called Hungate's that I go to for emergencies. I deal with only one person; he's retired Air Force and is just one heck of a guy. The manager is a crabby woman who picks on him constantly, and I am not sure how he stays so calm...I wouldn't!

Regards, Dan

  • Member since
    March 2003
Posted by elfkin on Wednesday, April 2, 2003 10:59 AM
I hear what you saying Bern...as I live in the same area and semi-frequent the same shop in Richfield. One would think in these times customers would be treated as honored guests. I work in retail management and really try to instill this to our sales associates, but it is a DAILY thing as some "get it" and some have a slower learning curve. What I cannot understand is that with all the difficulties the retail side of the hobby has had, why hobby retailers do not make more of an effort...but maybe they do not want to stay in business. Take care of the customer and they take care of you!!!!
  • Member since
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  • From: Canada / Czech Republic
Posted by upnorth on Wednesday, April 2, 2003 11:36 AM
True specialist hobby shops seem to be an endangered species these days, at least as endangered as good customer service.

Ther used to be a few really good hobby shops specifically for the plastic modeler around where I live, but they've all shut down, pushed out by undercutting by larger more generalized hobby stores with staff that range from very knowlegeable people from your hobby that don't ever seem to be on shift when you go in, very knowlegeable people that are there but aren't involved in YOUR hobby and a bunch of high school kids who may have no intrest in anything the store caters to, they just want the paycheque.

Getting shoved aside like a second class citizen because you don't build "real" models as defined by the staff of a hobby shop (that is to say you don't do R/C or railroad) is also something I've experienced.

One thing that happened to me, thankfully only once, was a few years back when I went into a hobby shop while visiting another city. I was treated well enough at first, was asked if I needed help and so forth... all of a sudden I became totally invisible when the clerk's best friend walked in. After having a question of mine waved off by the clerk a few times in preference to talking with his buddy, I decided to leave. I understand everyone has friends, but when you're at work, whatever you do, you're there to work and if customer service is the name of the game and your buddy comes in to shoot the breeze and not shop, make arangements to meet up with them outside work time. The Customer is everything in customer service, without him or her, your shop is meaningless.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, April 3, 2003 3:10 PM
gotta make a plug here for a grrrrrrreat!! hobby store (too big to be called a shop): Venture Hobbies http://www.venturehobbies.com in Wheeling, Illinois NW of Chicago. they have a mind boggling stock of plastic that'll have you hyperventilating the first time you see it (so bring a paper bag to breathe into), including the Great Wall of Hasegawa. knowledgable staff, too. if the guy you ask a question can't help you, he'll get somebody who can. btw, if you call them, they'll check to see if they have something in stock and they'll pull it and hold it for you at the front counter. they also have a lot of R/C stuff, a decent selection (ie more than a place like Hobby Lobby) of model rockets, trains, tools & supplies, too.

i used to work near there & a big Friday evening for me was to go to Venture and drool for an hour or two. okay, maybe I need to get out more, but it was fun!!!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:03 PM
Whoo...talk about a moral dilema. When morality and idealism head butt with economics, the previous usually loses.

I gotta tell ya Bernie, I'm kind of torn about your windfall. On one hand, you knew you had the deal of a lifetime there with a half price kit. But even in retail, thats a pretty good bargain and if you knew then they probobly knew. Now don't get me wrong, I am a firm beliver in buyer and seller beware. If a retail outlet misprices something, the burden in my opinion is on them. They could have recognized it, explained that the kit was obviously mismarked and they could have, a) given it to you at that price and then fixed any remainders. Or b) Admit the mistake and ask if you still wanted the kit for the actual price. What they did was clearly wrong. But I also feel you were wrong to take advantage of it. If a deal seems to good to be true, it usually is. Isn't it the same as if they overcharged you?

The mega stores (of any kind) are the death of small enterprise. You(the collective) like them because you can get a better selection (in some cases) for lower prices. Thats the beauty of power buying. Mom and Pop shops don't have that kind of oomph so they don't get the wholesale deals that the retail chains do. Therefore the prices are higher to them, and ultimately you. The only way they will stay "specailty shops" is if you continue to patronize them and pay what they are willing to charge. Your (again the collective) loyalty keeps them in business. Those that feel they have alternative sources for product. Namely the internet. Feed into the same loop. These again are nothing more than clearing houses for mom and pop stores gone out of business or large retail chains with little or no overhead because they have to deal with the public even less via the internet. (Print the e-mail order, mail the e-mail order).

The success or failure of small business over big business is clearly based upon customer service and in return customer loyalty. We have very few hobby shops in this area and for me to patronize those that I like (the small mom & pop) I have to travel. Sure its inconvenient, but the small guys benefit over the giants. And for me I get to spend some time on the road looking for new places or thinking about some new projects.

I'm not trying to flame any of you guys, just playing devils advocate and looking at the whole. I own a small business myself and I rely on both customer loyalty and service.

Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, April 5, 2003 10:33 PM
I am willing to pay a little more at a shop with helpful employees.

I try not to go back (if i can help it) to a shop with unhelpful employees.

If hobby shops want to stay in business and compete with online shops, they'll have to go the extra distance for the customer. Changes will be needed.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, April 5, 2003 10:57 PM
Hey Guys,
It's been about a week since I started this post. And now I have a follow-up. I decided to take a chance today. I WENT BACK TO THE STORE. I wasn't going to buy anything, I just wanted to see what would happen. NOTHING! The two idiots were there, I looked straight at them, I said hello. And nothing, they didn't even recognize me. I looked at their models, I even asked to see the decals from behind the counter, (I looked to see if my pic was there, it was gone) Then I walked out. I've made my peace, I'll shop at their sister store, but not at this one.

Mike,
I liked your response. I like to put myself in their shoes to make my opinion. If it was a small store, or a store that treated customers kindly, I would have and I have been fair. But this is a mega-store with crappy employees, TO HELL WITH THEM!!!!
Bernie the K.
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