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buying from china/japan

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Mike Gray09/11/2007 18:54:00
9 forum posts





BE WARNED!!!                 

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL DEALERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Mackey09/11/2007 19:24:00
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles

You are inviting a heap of discussion here my friend. Perhaps you would also suggest we stop buying any other goods from anywhere other than the UK? What happened to healthy competition and free choice. It is hardly the consumers fault if we are being asked to pay substantially more for the same product in the UK. The shopkeepers may well be struggling with high rates etc, but frankly, I can count on one hand those that deserve my custom, and that is for a variety of goods not just modelling. Service is poor, choice is limited, etc etc. Those that do get it right DO get my custom.

As an example ( or two ) ...

1) I chose a high end Hi Fi amplifier a few years back, after researching the options via the WWW. I visited my local dealer, and asked for the best price he could do. His answer ( with accompanying puzzled look as if to say how dare I ask ) was "we cannot discount it at all, the ticket price is what you pay" I said that I could buy it for approx 150 pounds less from the WWW, but would prefer to buy from a local, long established company. It made no difference at all. If he had been maybe 30 /40 pounds more, then I would probably have chosen him, but he would not budge an inch. I bought from the web, the product was delivered 2 days later, and I "saved" £150.

Incidentally the store has recently closed...... wonder why ??

2) My twister bell needed a new tailboom after an encounter with a tree and squirrel

Folowing a telephone call to confirm ( with the proprietors wife ) stock availibility, I set off to the "local" shop which is a round trip of 47 miles. They did not have one in stock! She gave me wrong info. So...patiently, I ask if they will order me one. Yes she says. I then have to suggest that perhaps they could ring me when it arrives to save another wasted journey, and reluctantly my name "goes in the book" - I felt I had asked for the crown jewels. How long do you expect I ask ? Oh I should think about a week says her and the boss, who has now appeared from the backroom.

A week passes, nothing. 2 weeks ...nothing. I go online and order from SMC, and the NEXT MORNING a tailboom is in my hand. I am still waiting for the telephone call from my "local shop".

It will never come, because the previous time a similar situation occured, they never rang then either. I ended up ringing them, to be told, oh we cant get it now. Hmm.

After 25 years+ in retailing, I can tell you, the service level and customer care of FAR TOO MANY Uk companies is a disgrace. And that is why I shall be taking no notice whatsoever of your OTT post.

scott cuppello09/11/2007 20:39:00
874 forum posts
82 photos
Me and Timbo are in agreement again......and....don't buy from China? It ALL comes from China my friend..........whom, it must be said, are far ahead of the foolish, dismissive stigma we keep labelling them with......I seem to remember an arrogant British motorcycle industry doing exactly the same thing some 30-40 years ago, with some bloke maing cheap little mopeds called.......HONDA.
Jacques09/11/2007 21:08:00
30 forum posts

I have to say I agree with the above.

I live in the Lake District and have self-catering cottages. We have built this business up from Zilch, zero, nothing. Why?? Because the people we took over from treated their customers like crap. We give a personal service, chat to the customers, do things they do not expect, like giving them home made bread and marmalade, the odd bottle of wine, and making sure the cottages are beyond reproach.We help them plan walking routes and days out. 

They come back, and back ,and become friends.

After 25 years in sales and maketing for an international corporation, I can tell you: the only way you can charge a premium is through service and more service; good quality product is a given. without it you die.  BUT the premium over the opposition is limited: you have to earn it.

The real Ron Truth09/11/2007 21:25:00
193 forum posts
9 photos


read my thread in the building section regarding ben buckle kits and the owners response.

See just exactly how a british business treats customers...

Erfolg09/11/2007 22:10:00
11799 forum posts
1346 photos

I have sympathy with Mikes general view, yet i know that we live in era where only those with imagination, providing the best service, at the keenest prices will survive.

In general Timbo, is describing the world as it is.

Mail order is becoming the norm. To survive in the UK you need to be as good as BRC, Robotbirds etc. As for foreign purchases, Hong Kong, Singapore all have excellent traders.

If it were not for the Chancellor and HM Customs, many of our Big Mail Order companies would disapear (including model shops). Having minimised their overheads many UK mail order traders still charge a premium for the products up for sale. I feel that they will need to mimic USA traders and pass on some of the savings ( as BRC), in discounted prices (keen pricing realy), or the Far Eastern and USA traders will get a bigger share of the UK market.


flytilbroke09/11/2007 22:44:00
2083 forum posts
5 photos

I f it were not for the Chancelor and hm Customs and of course the high local tax called rates our wholesale/retail would be able to compete on the proverbial "Level Playing" field. Of course that would also need a massive rethink on the rules and regs which the traders also have to pay through the nose to comply with.

The small trader also has a needless burden, they don't get the discount for bulk buy which often isn't, when the items are bought to order from British wholesale. The true cost per item is exactly the same, the smaller trader and therefore the end customer,, us, are being ripped off. So, I do not always blame the small trader.

I have seen the invoice/s to a local business (not models) they have to pay more from the wholesaler than the big National stores are selling the goods at and they, the Nationals, make good profit.

 The point I agree with, is that bad customer relations are all too common.

Erfolg10/11/2007 11:08:00
11799 forum posts
1346 photos

Part of our problem is our Island Mentality, the channel can be as an effective barrier as the Atlantic Ocean.

I buy building materials, the cost of which can be extortionate. Particularly if you purchase from two of the national builders merchants. However it is possible to get 50% discount by negotiation for a large order (very large customers can get the unbelievable 80%). Joe public gets zilch. The very large margins do provide excellent proffits, yet encourage the setting up of aggresive pricing local companies, and in some instances foreign competition.

The moral is if you want to avoid the the situation where many of the suppliers are foreign (Lafarge, Mannersmann etc. in the building game), get your prices down provide the best service. Get the Government and local authorities to recognise that  not all types of shops can afford top rates and rents.  As our island Barriers are starting to collapse.

We need the UK model trade not just for materials, but to support our model publications (advertising revenue, products to review etc.). A lot could be at stake.


scott cuppello10/11/2007 11:16:00
874 forum posts
82 photos
Global trade is becoming the norm, and I have to say, I agree that importers, not traders are generally the problem. After doing my research, we decided not to deal with any UK simply isn't worth it.
Doug Ireland10/11/2007 13:03:00
2088 forum posts
42 photos
I live in the North East of Scotland and model shops are a bit thin on the ground. There was one a few minutes walk from the house but the owner retired some years ago. Other than a trip to Edin Berg or Weegie Land I have to buy everything online. I do miss not being able to fondle things before I buy them though!
cyprus steve10/11/2007 14:24:00
32 forum posts
Have any of you flown with a J.B.A engine.Chinese with no complaints.Lighter ,better power to weight ratio I must admit it does have a rather large exhust.Has anybody heard the joke about the japanese camera.
Handyman10/11/2007 16:05:00
218 forum posts
1 photos

I have said for years that the aeromedilling fraternity amongst us are being ripped off, and have been for a good many years now.

Do you all remember when Al's Hobbies first came on the scene, "wow" when I saw their first advert. I thought,"here's a breath of fresh air in the modelling scene" very reasonable prices and very well stocked shops with a good mail order service. Sad to say that did not last long. Prices soon climbed to match the rest.

Far be it for me to suggest "Price fixing" in the model trade, but scan through the RCM&E mag and see how closely the prices of things seem to reflect each other.

I had a friend who went out to the United States last year and I asked him to price me an OS 91 FS Surpass, and compare it to the price asked for it at my local model shop. He went into a store named "Hobbystore" and the price over the counter came to £160.00 pounds converted from dollars. That was the average selling price for that particular engine all over the states, and they were still making a profit and were doing quite well.

This friend is a shooter, a hunter, and he aquired a catalogue showing a complete range of hunting and shooting gear, and it so happened that he had the same catalogue from an English supplier at home. When he checked them side by side, the prices were the same, except that the dollar sign had been changed to a pound sign.

I rest my case.

I have set up a friendly rapport with a supplier in Hong Kong, and I have been getting some of my modelling goods from him, with an excellent after sales service.

Tentpeg11/11/2007 17:10:00
70 forum posts

Hobby Stores have a captive audience in Reading and the only other alternative nearby is in Slough. They all seem to be owned by the same mob anyway so it doesn't make much difference. Slough have more for the aeromodeller if you can be bothered to drive all the way over there.

Reading seems to lean in the direction of RC cars because they sell a lot more of those than aircraft. The local staff seem to try very hard to please, but have one hand tied behind their backs by the incompetent upper management who are in the habit of conducting stock-takes at the drop of a hat with very little warning to the customers. Why don't they invest in a CCTV system. it would be a lot cheaper than losing customers at the present rate? Ripmax certainly know how to throw money away.

By showing my loyalty in the past I have been made to wait for three months for 10 gauge piano wire ( a basic stock item) and almost the same period for a roll of red solartex, then two arrived at once. The second one is still on their shelf two years later. Someone at HQ had forgotten to tell the store that we were using the American system instead of the Standard Wire Gauge so my order was just forgotten.

I'm sorry, but I use them only as a last resort because I can get most things, cheaper and quicker elsewhere. I'm afraid they don't deserve loyalty until they can prove their worth to the humble customer.



Handyman12/11/2007 23:05:00
218 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Tentpeg, I wasn't advocating Hobbystores as " the be all and end all " of stores, I was just trying to make a point about how much mark up the English model shops seem to put on every item they sell.

As another example, about two years ago, in an elec***c magazine, I saw an article about a "Simprop" synthesised Rx that did'nt need a crystal, it just tuned itself to the strongest/closest  signal. I aquired one from a shop in Germany, and the cost was around £45.00, which was roughly 66 euros.

A couple of months later, my local model shop had two of them in their showcase, cost to the english, £66.00s. Another case of converting euros straight to pounds.

I spoke to the german proprieters on the phone about the cost to me. and they openly admitted that they had made a respectable profit on the price that I bought it at, so what was my model shops markup.?????

Tentpeg13/11/2007 06:38:00
70 forum posts

You talk of price mark-up, I will give my own example.

Hong-Kong were offering two Tower Pro metal geared digital servos at a starting price of 99 pence plus £10 postage. I placed a maximum bid of £4 through the last minute system of Esnipe, calculating I would get them for £7 each if, in the unlikely event that my bid was succesful.

I was succesful, at 99 pence so I ended up with two digital servos costing £5.50 each.

I did it again, about a week later and in both cases the items were delivered within a week and they were not both from the same source.

Perhaps someone can tell me the cost over here?



Handyman13/11/2007 08:42:00
218 forum posts
1 photos

Tentpeg,  I would be very careful when buying servos from Towerpro labelled "Digital" or " Digi". I have taken to task several suppliers in Hong Kong about this subject, and have had an apology in every case.

I have brought several Towerpro MG 995 servo's, that were being traded as Digital servo's. They are not Digital servo's, as I found out, but they are a very good bullet proof standard servo with bags of torque. I am using one on the rudder of my Discus glider.  But I have found Futaba digital servo's for sale on the web, that I have checked out in my Ripmax catalogue, and they have been as low as half the Ripmax price, but the post and packing does tend to bring the price back up to almost the same price as the UK.

I think the answer is to surf the sites in HK, compare the different postal rates, compare the savings that you could make, and then make a couple of test buy's.

That is what I did, when I decided to dabble in this electrickery flying.

Regards..... Handyman

Tentpeg13/11/2007 10:12:00
70 forum posts

OK mate, thanks for the advice, but I must say that I'm perfectly happy with the price and performance of the servos that I mentioned, also they do make that rather annoying sound that digitals make when they are trying to constantly centre themselves so I think they might be the genuine article.

Maybe those damned clever orientals have put that fake sound in there to fool us all?

Best regards,


Handyman13/11/2007 10:46:00
218 forum posts
1 photos

Do your servo's tend to overshoot the neutral position when they return back from full deflection, mine tend to, but they are still a good buy as far as I am concerned.

As you say, "Damned clever these orientals" .

Tentpeg13/11/2007 12:56:00
70 forum posts

I have noticed that tendency but it don't bovver me neither.

At £5.50 each they are a real bargain, strong too!

Just goes to show what a whopping profit 'Uncle Ripmax' is making and he still can't afford to buy a CCTV system for his stores. False economy and discouraging customers with his constant closure for stock taking. 

Here we go, off at a tangent...

If that whining noise that these servos make is an artificial oriental addition and, once quiet electric powered craft now have the artificial ability to sound like a 'Merlin' , I see the next logical step will be to market electric motors with the 'Scratch & Sniff' property of smelling like Castor Oil????? Any entrepreneurs out there?

Happy landings (arrivals),


Tentpeg. (CAMRE.....Campaign for More Real Engines)

Tom Sharp13/11/2007 18:44:00
387 forum posts
Ripmax aint Ripmax anymore its Hobico,

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