Here is a list of all the postings Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.
|Thread: What Traders are still offering Mail Order? Services?|
Ron and Mike - Thanks for posting.
DB Sport & Scale.Strangely i've been chatting with members of the Tornado's blog recently and some details came up about the DB range. From what I hear many of the kits are modernised and using modern manufacturing Techniques. Very impressive.
As mentioned Jon at Micro Traders has been 14 days poorly and is returning to work. Like all traders advise, wipe down deliveries and leave for 72 hours if possible. He has some problems with his RC packages as that's still messed up from the problems in China. If you have never visited his website. Treat your self. I've made a couple of his models and they are interesting to build. I've just finished a Scrappee - His only Sports Model. The rest are all scale.
I had a news letter for Microaces, it sounds like Jon's getting back to work after being ill.
On his news letter he advises to wipe kits down and leave in quarantine for 72 hours. I've been doing that with my own deliveries to home. I had a delivery from Free Flight Supplies - Mike Woodhouse and an engine from Peter Tarn. An SS 40 converted to diesel. Its lovely an the Mavic Fly More Combo I have been waiting for - at least 5 months! I missed the first ones. Its a Mavic at 249 g - under the registration weight. My big Mavic comes under my registration. I am not a quad person. But I do like the DJI flying cameras. Some call them Quads. But I think of the them as a sophisticated flying camera.
All had to sit in quarantine for 72 hours. I was like a Kid asking the wife...is it time yet... is it time yet?
Excellent kits they are too. Totally retro. Hope you are well
if you get another good electronics manufacturer making the 9g servos, it would be difficult to tell the difference. In China that might not be seen as as a copy or counterfeit - if selling at a similar price to Tower they could even be quite good. I always think they don't have the dedication Tower Servos have as their clones or copies are just a small part of their business which might be Motors or Batteries or something related.
But the Fake Fakes - The ones made by one time unemployed labour that had never put a servo together you could be buying a heap of trouble. Poor quality components leading to failures. Tower must get fed up of thinking failed servo's are seen as TP when they are fake.
The MG servos you mention at £2.99 were probably fake. The price is not always the way to spot a fake as fakes can sell for high prices. But if you see 20 servos for £10 I can Guarantee they are not Original Tower Pro Manufacture. So price can often determine a fake, but not always. Back in the 90's my first delivery I was told they were Tower and they were not. But they were a reliable manufacturer. Better than some. When we discovered the REAL Tower Pro, the return rates are virtually zero. Fantastic for a servo in the budget price range.
I have toyed with the idea of a servoshop own brand of servos. I think I would ask Tower Pro to manufacture the smaller and micro servos if I did.
Its as always Buyer Beware when dealing direct with China. Mind you that's probably the same for everywhere!
Interesting Nigel , I’d need to look into it more. Recently didn’t it get quoted that Amazon were 57% of all on line sales.
Last year at the SWM end of year company meeting which was about 6 months late . I was chatting to our accountant and he has a number of Power Sellers on eBay with Turnovers of over the 1 to 3 million size. SME Small to Medium Enterprise now a days. One seller had large turnover but high costs because his items were not high value. I’m not sure how it was costed but he said they had costed this sellers listings and he had to sell an item for £2.58 to make a profit . But that was if the item was free to him. So an item that cost him nothing needed to be £2.58 to break even. I’m not sure if it was a costing that took in further costs than just pay pal , listing fees or if it could be taking in average ad word or free post or subsidised post or what ever.
it made me look at some listings !
SWM - Yes - very let down 2007 to recent times regard fair trading / cheap Vat Free imports from China. It does seem to be changing. Goodness knows what the retail landscape will look like after all this.
I made comment elsewhere that a company (Amazon) that has to advertise on TV and hold public education tours to show how happy it’s staff are probably has problems with how happy it’s staff are. Propaganda comes to mind.
Craig - Thanks for the support for traders in this thread . Thanks.
Chris Foss stuff is selling well. By that I mean the kits. The ARTF stuff sells well. But doesn’t it say something when other kit manufacturers closed as ARTF took hold and yet Chris faced with ARTF of the same designs he kits and yet the kits still sell.
I think that says loads for how well thought Chris’s Kits are.
Chris has put his time in supporting the UK model trade. I used to tell him ARTF would sell. Let’s just say Chris came around to ARTF idea very slowly! I still wonder how Nick Moss at Ripmax persuaded him?
But there’s a place for ARTF and kits and the popularity of the ranges prove it time and time again.
Thanks - interesting posts
There is moral problems with The Royal Mail , The NHS ( although they don’t deliver ) . I mean parcels , we can all see the service they deliver. Will it be remembered ??. I’ve seen the low moral at first hand in the NHS. The PO has some similarities regard the happiness of staff. Something that comes with the sheer size of the organisation? I think large organisations feature some unaccountability , which can cause problems.
Your second post , I live in Helsby now a days , but I read that and I want to move back to Frodsham !
I had some happy times living in Frodsham . The Helter Skelter Pub had something to do with that
Yes it’s a great place to visit, but to remind all at the moment the store is closed to visitors / callers and is trading via web site and phone . I mention it as people reading need to know not to turn up. I know it should be obvious , but with some that’s obviously not the case
Cracking company Gliders , Brian and John . When they were Graupner Distributors , we used to get our Graupner from them. They were always very good , totally professional .
Thanks Robin, very useful info. I might get a handful of those for building planes with my Grandson Logan . We have model building sessions. Foam, balsa , paper , boats and planes currently . Usually from the scrap box or using spare bits from broken kits or what ever . Unfortunately I can’t see him at the moment and I’m missing our sessions!
Peter - That is good news. For a while it looked like we’d all be closing , but mail order is holding up for us. It’s not as straightforward there’s delays getting stuff, delays sending stuff. Hopefully you will find most customers sympathetic to the current issues. We are finding 99% to have some idea of what is happening.
Not sure if you have an eBay presence . We have a small one . My Mrs often takes care of cobbewebb on eBay and we have SWM on eBay also . I mention it as it’s incredibly busy compared to normal times. I think lots of people in lock down are browsing eBay. The downside - the fees , costs but it is a platform that seems to be benefiting from the lock down
good luck Peter
Thanks for the support / order. I could write a book on the subject of fake and how to some Chinese companies what we see as Fake is just another producer in China manufacturing the same product. But there’s also Fake - Fakes. As I call them. I’m conscious of writing too much but if I use 9g Tower Pro as an example . The most popular servo in the World. Many years ago I asked a reputable company about Tower Pro and to my surprise they could supply them. So orders went in , they were delivered and the servos worked -a few returns but not unexpected for cheap servos etc
It was a while later when I found the REAL Tower Pro and the servos I’d had before ( from a named Chinese Company) were not Manufactured by Tower Pro . But were they fakes? To a Chinese manufacture Probably not as many Chinese companies have to share designs and manufacture . The first company even though not Tower would consider their versions as just different versions.
But on dealing with the REAL Tower Pro we found returns are virtually none existence . They have been without doubt one of the best ranges of servos we’ve ever sold. Our orders have increased and increased . The real Tower Pro are proud of their manufacture and have their name to protect - It reflects in the reliability .
So by buying the 9g servo cheaper from BG or eBay are you saving money ? Possibly not as those of other Manufacture do not care about the reputation of the real Tower Pro and in my experience are more likely to have failures. And then there’s Fake Fake as I call them , the ones manufactured by companies totally unrelated to servo manufacture . The Fake Fakes can have huge failure rates. Unfortunately the 9g Servo is probably the most copied ( re produced) Faked servo there is.
It might surprise you to know that on occasions in the past we’ve had Tower Pro Servos purchases and the purchaser has almost by return of Post claimed 4 or 5 or 10 servos to be faulty . Very unusual as they really are incredibly reliable . They are returned to us and found to be fakes . The resulting conversation with the customer follows the same pattern . How they have accidentally returned the 10 servos they bought elsewhere . Of course it’s not a mix up - it’s when someone buys eBay fakes from China and they come up with an idea of how to not loose money. Buy the same servos from servoshop and return the fakes! To us. What’s hilarious is they think they are the first person to try this. Most apologise for the ‘mistake’ . Some backed in a corner continue to claim the fake ones are ours, Not possible we deal with the REAL Tower Pro.
Toward Pro. Some Tower servos have been labelled Toward Pro . They are in fact REAL as Tower Pro were prevented the use of the name Tower in the USA resulting in the Tward or Toward labels.
Tower also make servos for many companies . So some of the 9 g servos out there are Tower .
How to avoid being ‘ got’ ? Deal with a reputable dealer is one way, but you mentioned a very good way. If the price looks to good to be true. It probably is.
I knew a chap that got 4 Futaba 3003 servos from eBay for £4.99 post free from China . To good to be true and they were . They were the worse fakes I’ve seen . Apart from burning out his aileron channel on his genuine Futaba RX ( the RX was being returned and we asked for the servos to come with it) . The burnt electrical smell was because the polarity was wrong on the fake aileron servo. The labels looked to be almost hand drawn!
Futaba RX £50 + ruined . Yep not such a good buy. Not all servos on eBay are fake , but caution should be taken .
i have an email which states balsa is fragile and no point sending a replacement as it would only break again.
thanks for the posting Steve
Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 07/04/2020 14:19:27
Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 07/04/2020 14:20:59
Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 07/04/2020 14:26:21
Lovely memories Peter. If I could have got the prop and wing fixing that would have done me. I used to replace wings and rubber on later models. I’ve had over a minute modded.
I’ve seen the same listing . It’s an asking price, it would surprise me if it sold. But then being EBay stranger things have happened
Thanks for the kind Words Nigel. I thought there was a connection because the designs are Traplet. The Sarik stuff is very interesting and an excellent edition to traders in the model trade. All those designs needs servos , glues etc .
|Thread: Cox 0,49 vs PAW 80|
PAW 80 for me. Why? It’s a diesel, smells nice , sounds good, needs no starting equipment other than a prime and a good diesel flick. It should best most 049 cox engines except for ‘competition’ types. The Tee Dee range are powerful . The PAW 80 I’d also the same size physically as the 100 so there’s always that should the 80 not be enough.
All that put to one side , the smell of the PAW wins!!
|Thread: What Traders are still offering Mail Order? Services?|
The Vintage Model Company - My sister was speaking to them and found they are still in work. Not only that but they were very busy, I’m presuming people buying kits to make while on lockdown. They don’t trade their entire inventory. They supply the Magnificent Flying Machine range to model shops through out the UK , they also supply direct. They also got the MFM range into John Lewis and Not on the High-street plus some other outlets that were not model shops. I think that is amazing and makes me recall how News Agents, Sweet Shops, some chain stores sold Keil Kraft & Veron back in the 50s, 60.s and 70s . We mentioned North Pacific Sleek Streek Sheet Balsa models. I can’t help thinking such a type with counter dispenser could be a success again for a company like the VMC. Placing the products outside the model trade is genius.
Some lines they carry such as replica kits of old aeromodelling kits they do not sell to stores. I was chatting with them before this happened and we were hoping to stock the new RC Simple Cub they have released and Minimoa Glider . We were about to order and the ‘Crisis’ hapjpened . We’ve been stocking the MFM range and along with KK And.Dumas and Guilows means there’s quite a selection of Free Flight kits available to UK stores now a days. Try your local model store or UK supplier! Most are easy to convert to RC.
Vintage Model Company Direct and All good Model Shops (MFM range only)
Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 05/04/2020 01:19:10
Thanks for your concern and rallying cry!
if some of my friends in China are correct, there’s very little being sent from China. HK & Bang Good are very different regard how they are structured . Bang Good - I suppose is like an amazon website . There’s loads of different sellers . We discovered Tony Rays kits on Bang Good , it’s a long story but because of a case of bad packing I contacted Tony and after lots of mails chatting became friends with him and we are now his UK distributor and it was going well until the Virus hit China and no one was returning to work after the Lunar New Year. Now he’s returning to work and there’s a couple of projects he’s working on I’m excited about . One is Bush Plane around 700 mm span , really light weight . It should be under 250 g by a long way. Nice big floater for indoor. I can’t give exact pricing range but the Bush Plane £40 to £50 I hope and all laser cut . Of course now he can’t send items as he’s been warned they will be returned only essential exports are allowed. He brought out 3 designs quite quickly at the end of 2019 and there was a 4th ready . An SE5A and I persuaded him to release it in the New Year instead of it becoming lost with everything else at Christmas . The DH Humming Bird was late 2019 and the DR 1. Of course I had no idea this would happen and now we can’t get them! Worse is that the Bleriot that was reviewed in Aeromodeller is almost out of stock. Again Tony has stock but he can’t send them. Tony’s in his early 20s . He’s designing amazing for his age. He’s a good modeller & flyer. It’s been fun helping him expand . I expect we’ll be able to pick up where we left it. Fingers Crossed .
Tony’s latest designs didn’t get put on Banggood . He has a UK agent (us) , a German distributor and an American dealer might be very soon.
Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 05/04/2020 00:53:12
You’ll have to excuse my lack of knowledge on this one but is Sarik the old Traplet designs and plan packs? I get emails from them and have a quick speed read and have seen some adverts , but I’ve not looked into everything they do. Great to know they are another company battling on.
Thanks Shaun, For the kind words and support.
I think I’ve had a good ramble in this thread - it’s been emotional as Viney Jones said. 34 years SWM and it would be no surprise that trading through the limbo of Brexit uncertainty was hard . I don’t think any retail in the UK would be in a very strong position before this unprecedented health disaster . Fortunately we own our own building and unlike some stores paying incredible rents. I mean retail in general. The team are certainly planning to be opening into what ever it will be like after this. I think some folk have been buying kits to build across the whole trade . I hope this doesn’t break any rules but it interested me that we have a 2nd delivery of Chris Foss Kits on the way and we had stocks before the crisis . Not ARTF but the almost ready to build type as Chris calls them . So now we know what people want in a crisis! I don’t mean it as an advert - it’s just an interesting fact. That Wot 4 design continues to sell as a kit when there’s ARTF cheaper. I know the kit is far more robust.
i know we’ve all been venting off about the state of trade and the changing times in retail. I think we all need to spare a thought for the front line NHS workers and those that have lost loved ones. The news that 4 Doctors had died and 2 Nurses was incredibly sad.
I’m not my usual ‘happy’ self, but looking forward rather than backwards. It’s what we need to do
I’m past my sell by date that’s a fact, but my staff are very serious about pushing forward . Today marks second Saturday closed to callers , open for mail order. Still people banging on the shutters having no idea why we are shut. I kid you not. It’s incredible really.
Phoning from outside the store needing something for a birthday or urgent for a competition. Doesn’t matter we can’t sell face to face . Mail Order only.
Its surprising how many items are needed for birthdays and competitions . Warning if using the ‘ I’m in a competition’
ploy to try and get something faster or the shop open the staff love to ask what competition it is and why is it still on with the restrictions . Priceless trade sometimes .
have a good weekend lock downers !
Again well thought out - Perhaps the regulations that restrict competition in the World Market are what need overhauling. It’s just the annoyance of not being to sell a perfectly good product unless it’s got all the relevant badges . Many are to do with quality and testing and I always think the very laws of retail in the UK are there to protect the customer and he’s protected as he can’t buy items without the relevant European marks, tests - But the same customer buys direct himself , not protected in any way , so maybe that aspect of world trade needs a re think?
My main gripe was the Tax evasion , always as it put us at at least a 27% disadvantage . Depending on how it’s costed . If you cost wages and corporation tax it’s over a 50% disadvantage . Like I said that seems resolved where hobby king are concerned and not sure if you have noticed but eBay have a taxed at point of sale thing going on.
Recently Americans buying of us on eBay have had their taxes deducted by eBay . It stops those willing to write a lower value to avoid US customs. I think Australia and NZ also have the same thing going on.
I’m fine with that
Addmission time - I have ordered from HK and it’s been mainly for an occasional customer or some thing unavailable from anywhere else . Always paid the appropriate tax! Once when getting a lead for a customer I saw an offer on soldering irons. I think they were 200 watt. They were so cheap £3 each . You know if something looks too good it usually is. I ordered a few . They said 240 volt but came with European plug . The handle was metal , the electric wire passed through the handle . It would never have passed for selling in the UK . On getting the item I couldn’t sell it, I remember thinking how stupid I was . Still we could use them. I gave a couple to each of the staff. Then back to front tried one. It got hot quickly , in fact soon it was glowing red all the way up the handle . Obviously faulty , I tried another and another . I went and took them all back from the staff and destroyed them. My own fault .
Other-time’s I’ve ordered the packing has not been of a good standard sometimes. I had a set of electric retracts from HK that were unavailable any where else’s and some EDF motor / fans . I’ve never used the fans yet, but they look quite good. They were not cheap though. The retracts I paid for and they never arrived - I didn’t get much satisfaction chasing them and ended up going to the credit card company via pay pal for a refund.
i have had other items that have been ok , I’m not a regular customer , but have some experience . Regard items like the Irons and behaviour over the retract order. I don’t think there’s too much to fear . As HK get more mainstream the prices seem to be climbing .
it must be fantastic fun to work in R&D there , I wonder what things they don’t pass to sell?
Anyway - UK stores , they need a website - they need to stay competitive , they need to keep up the good service and the customers will come - if SWM survives this crisis and it is an uncertain crisis , we need others stores and UK distributors to survive. Without that no one will.
Locally we are among the last shops standing - There is a model store at WIDNES and there’s another in Chester. That used to be a model zone . It’s not a specialist store and I think it’s closed . Correct me if I’m wrong.
As more shops vanish I have seen clubs in decline . My old Northwich Eagles were once over 60 members I think , but were always a strong club over 40 in the normal times. Less than 15 members now. There’s a list of clubs similar
Less stores seem to equate to less in clubs?
Is that bad? I think so. Clubs can certainly help a beginner become one with the Force. Sorry - their chosen hobby.
In these days of self righting , self returning GPS fencing , have we reached the point where clubs are Dinosaurs and Club Tutors are no longer required?
Another Club local to me is the Tornados and they are strong still , but unusually have lots of builders and a very good contact / discussion thing going on where they encourage each other to help each other or just offer an opinion of how something looks or just chat . I’ve been privileged to be part of their Blog. It’s old fashioned email circ. a lot of the time just banter. They do patronise various Uk model business’s including their local store ( us). They are all on lock down and I have to say being at home on lock down it’s nice to chat to them .
That’s excellent , especially at the moment
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