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No wonder model shops are closing down.

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Paul Marsh21/02/2015 12:47:08
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I went to a model shop today, won't say which one, but been many times before, although not bought anything big/substantial for a while was met with seemingly cold turkey.

I bought some items, but felt awkward, even though not put anything derogatory on any forums or word of mouth, but it seemed that way.

I asked why the silence, but said it was a sore throat. More than that, I reckon, but anyway I don't feel I want to go there again. It felt as if I stole something from the shop before and that's how it felt...

...No wonder model shops are closing down! disgust

ben goodfellow 121/02/2015 12:55:01
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1069 forum posts
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i had a similar experience with my localish . model shop... i once asked how much a scroll saw in the window was, and was told "its very expensive ".i now laugh to my self now about how much that comment has cost them.. fly low

Cuban821/02/2015 13:42:47
2809 forum posts
1 photos

This is true, I kid you not.......................

Some years ago (when I lived in London) a new model shop opened nearby so I thought I'd go and get some servos from them to complete a model.

Conversation went something like...........

" Four Futaba 128s please"

"No mate, never get any call for Futaba gear, don't stock it"

Shop lasted a year and reopened as a dog grooming parlour!

leccyflyer21/02/2015 13:59:28
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1290 forum posts
302 photos
Posted by Paul Marsh on 21/02/2015 12:47:08:

I went to a model shop today, won't say which one, but been many times before, although not bought anything big/substantial for a while was met with seemingly cold turkey.

I bought some items, but felt awkward, even though not put anything derogatory on any forums or word of mouth, but it seemed that way.

I asked why the silence, but said it was a sore throat. More than that, I reckon, but anyway I don't feel I want to go there again. It felt as if I stole something from the shop before and that's how it felt...

...No wonder model shops are closing down! disgust

It wasn't either ot these shops was it?

"Steve Webb, is 30 miles away. Barnstormers is 16 miles, but is closing down sometime this year, so SWM would be the better one after Barnstormers closes."

Steve T21/02/2015 14:16:23
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488 forum posts
74 photos

My local was a haven for years, I used any feeble excuse to go there and buy something I was not desperate for and sometimes never used. Bought quite a few kits and balsa bundles etc. over the years. Now the pile of warped balsa in a large box that you have to sort through yourself, at the back of the room, is more than a little discouraging. No control horns or prop spinners, no ic engines at all, one or two leccys. Piles of starter level quads and ARTF as far as you can reach up. What ever you do, do not ask for advice! as you will get 'no sorry, we haven't got one, but I can order one for next month, or, don't know mate, I'm strictly helicopters'. More than happy to sell to a father and young son something they have no chance on earth of flying for more than a few seconds. Pays the shop bills though doesn't it. Oh dear, no wonder model shops are closing down. I get excellent service from Steve Webb and Kings Lynn when I phone them, so not all shops are the same, but neither of them are anywhere near 'local'.

Stevo21/02/2015 14:51:19
2699 forum posts
419 photos

I sympathise. I won't mention who my LMS is, but had mixed experiences.

I only ever go there if I need anything immediately. Of course they are guilty of the flood of quadies... They need to follow market trends and make a profit.

I have very little banter with the chaps behind the counter. I've never asked for any advice from them, as I feel I'm quite experienced and of course I have you lot to fall back on. Sometimes they are chatty... sometimes it's more than thier life's worth to sell you some linkages, a packet of horns and some epoxy.

When I have spoken to them, they seemed to be torn between an LMS - offereing help advice and guidance, or just becoming a trade counter, shifting boxes etc, with reduced overheads of knowledgeable staff.

I steer clear of the balsa as it's either split, twisted or warped. I have to say though, thier prices of ARTFs are more than comparable with anything on the WWW.

It's such a shame, I expect high standards of Customer Service, ( I assess the NVQ!) - is that too much? Or is the level on offer directly proportional to the potential amount spent on a 'Nitro' buggy with all the support gear?

Of course market and financial trends are a significant factor here, but in many cases they do not help themselves.

I remember when I kickstarted myself back to this hobby around 2001, there was a small LMS I visted. The owner and his son ran it. I could pop down there and they fell over themslves to be friendly. It was a small place so stock was limited, but they would always get it in for you. Free advice & coffee readily available.Kits were always opened for youto rummage around in. Two years later they closed.

I wish my LMS well, and respect thier decision either way, but really no loss to me should they become a trade counter or move on.

Do we expect too much?

..21/02/2015 14:51:46
974 forum posts
1 photos

I've had two cases of this "apathy" at a large model shop in Sussex over the last month or so. First off during the Christmas break a friend and I decided on a little road trip as we both had cash burning a hole in the pocket and he had some vouchers for said model centre. After a good look around he had selected an airframe some bits and also got some fuel, when it came time to pay the guy at the counter said nothing other than to request the total.

Ok we didn't want the in's & out's of the chaps new year plans but a little communication would have been nice. We chuckled about it on the way home but not as much as my chuckle when he realised he'd forgotten to redeem his vouchers.

The next occasion was only a week or so ago this time on the phone. We were due to spend the night at some friends house and the shop is sort of on the way, I had decided I wanted a kit so as it was on their website I phoned ahead to check it was in stock. When the phone was answered I said hello & asked about the availability of the plane. "nah" was the response, then silence.......... No we can get it in by **** or sorry this kit is now out of production just silence. Ok said I and that was the end of the conversation. Back on to the internet it is then and after these two experiences I won't be heading down the A27 anytime soon.

Stevo21/02/2015 14:54:50
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Well Justin, I almost rest my case. Perhaps the art of customer service is dead.

 

"Sorry mate we don't have that one - do youneed it urgently?... shall I see when I can get it in by? ... is there anything else you would need for that such as (Glues/engine/servosRadio) and perhas we could put it together as a package.."

Edited By Stevo on 21/02/2015 14:57:10

Steve T21/02/2015 15:02:45
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488 forum posts
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I came back to the hobby about 4 years ago after 30 years away, there is some wonderful gear out there, but I miss the real LMS terribly, it was part of the whole deal. Things change, not always for the better.

..21/02/2015 15:05:20
974 forum posts
1 photos

Indeed Stevo and with a wife who is a manager for a major retailer who sees such bad customer service as the work of the devil I don't think they will ever see any of my hard earned cash.

denis parkinson21/02/2015 15:08:24
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145 forum posts
66 photos

I have been using my LMS since 1976, and the staff in there have only just in the last couple of months, started to say good morning when I enter the shop. (even though I'm usually in there twice a week buying bits and bobs)

Any sort of conversation is still out of the question ..That may take another 39 years laugh

Nigel Day21/02/2015 15:10:11
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1158 forum posts
213 photos

Totem Hobbies in Plymouth are usually quite helpful. I'm lucky though that Phoenix Models in Newton Abbott is on my way, and near, to Exmouth where I'll be living later this year (hopefully).

Stan isn't open for doorstop callers but will go out of his way to be available if you phone in advance. He's got great stock, charges near Interweb prices and no postage of course. Anything he hasn't got he'll happily and speedily get.

He also is an advocate of very good customer service. yes

..21/02/2015 15:17:32
974 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Nigel Day on 21/02/2015 15:10:11:

Totem Hobbies in Plymouth are usually quite helpful. I'm lucky though that Phoenix Models in Newton Abbott is on my way, and near, to Exmouth where I'll be living later this year (hopefully).

Stan isn't open for doorstop callers but will go out of his way to be available if you phone in advance. He's got great stock, charges near Interweb prices and no postage of course. Anything he hasn't got he'll happily and speedily get.

He also is an advocate of very good customer service. yes

Yes Nigel I used Phoenix last month for three receivers via the internet and indeed Stan is a nice guy.

Dave Hopkin21/02/2015 15:37:12
3672 forum posts
294 photos

I find quite the opposite..... but then I am in the North - so perhaps the old adage about Northerners being more friendly holds some truth..... Leeds MS. BalsaMart, Steve Webbs, Nitroflight all happy to let you browse and mooch (never managed a coffee - yet hint hint!!) yet alwatys ready to answer questions and queries

Yes of course they have to stock the ARTF toys - sad fact of life that they are someones livelyhood and they have to make a profit - I actually dont mind paying a little over the web price to keep them open - I like to see and touch bits before buying and that great benefit you get there.. That "Ahhh yes I could use that bit for that" moment

David Tayler21/02/2015 15:46:10
96 forum posts

I must also be lucky ,living in the north,but I must say that the service I have had from Nitroflight-my nearest model shop- has been exceptional. Lots of friendly advice,especially on how to use Depron. No sense of being hurried out of the shop, a good range of goods to tempt me to spend my cash. and Depron at very reasonable prices with no P&P charges.Well worth a visit(or two).

scott finnie21/02/2015 15:53:49
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756 forum posts
95 photos
I'd love to name and shame my lhs but I still have fond memories of sitting amongst kits and aircraft hanging around drinking tea and chatting away. They would go out there way to source parts of course if they didn't already have it. Now sadly its like Toyz r Us. They've even got a toy specialist who will try offer you a Hubsan x4 fpv when you went looking for a Precision Aerobatics aircraft they had listed on there website. I to like to open boxes and check before buying but those days are long gone. So has the nice cuppa and chat....
ken anderson.21/02/2015 16:06:20
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8480 forum posts
773 photos

oh no another model shop bashing thread-its all been done to death many times ....I rest my case..

ken Anderson...ne....1.... LMS dept.

Alan Jarvis21/02/2015 16:37:24
168 forum posts
28 photos

OK Ken here is a good report.

Lancaster Model Shop which is a good distance from were I live. Excellent service and attention. The shop is always busy but they have time to talk and give advice and I always get a coffee. I don't go often but I do spend a bit of money. They have excellent stock with prices that are reasonable. If you add postage to an internet buy then their prices are not far out.

I also go to BRC in Gateshead with good service, stock and prices. Again I have to travel a good distance but well worth it especially when you need to see and check out what you are wanting.

Stevo21/02/2015 16:42:37
2699 forum posts
419 photos

I really don't wish to bash, Ken!

I'm pleased to see some great reports - but none of them from round here though! Alan, I firmly believe, that if you pay a little extra from a friendly LMS you will return, against saving £1.50 over the WWW.

Edited By Stevo on 21/02/2015 16:43:01

James Thomas 221/02/2015 16:57:45
20 forum posts

I am rarely in the UK but I have found a model shop with helpful and knowlegable People. Where? Well it is Ashford Models, it is in a Trading estate just outside Ashford in Kent.On the London side. Not easy to find but worth a visit. Plenty of parking outside the door, and as I said a cheery positive experience.

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