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Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)02/04/2020 21:07:26
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Posted by Bruce Collinson on 02/04/2020 20:03:08:

Use them or lose them.

Yes Bruce well said. Could I add that patience might be required regard some deliveries , there’s an unprecedented amount of staff off work not just at the shops , but also with all the connecting functions - post , carriers , phones , IPs

We are operating with reduced staff , trying to stay 2 mtrs apart ! If a phone needs passing to a college it’s wiped first. The staff are wiping surfaces and hand sanitising. It must be similar elsewhere so if calling a supplier and getting no answer - Try again a few minutes later . They maybe wiping the phone down ! These are strange times

Steve

Barrie Lever02/04/2020 21:10:58
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Alan

Yes you are sounding grumpy, he is just passionate about the hobby and business, no harm done.

Best Regards

Barrie

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)02/04/2020 21:13:06
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Posted by Alan Gorham_ on 02/04/2020 21:05:11:

I'm probably going to sound grumpy here but how many times is Steve Webb going to tell us in this thread that Steve Webb Models is open?

Sorry I’m prone to repeating myself . I guess I’m saying it for myself as well. The situation feels like a disaster movie.
I meant no offence , I would like to see more stores post and wholesalers. We could really make this count .

Steve

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)02/04/2020 21:20:57
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Posted by Barrie Lever on 02/04/2020 21:10:58

, he is just passionate about the hobby and business, no harm done.

Best Regards

Barrie

Hi Barrie ,

Thanks for the kind support , it’s ok I can come over intense. I think you hit the nail on the head . I love the model trade . It feels like I’ve given my life to it. Peter at Airtek said he wasn’t going to let this beat him. A point I would like make is that I’d like SWM to survive , but I’m totally aware for SWM to survive , many other stores have to survive , wholesalers have to survive . It’s not about one store besting another , it’s about everyone in the trade getting through this awful unprecedented event . I think you realise it, as do others - but not everyone will get it. But believe me when it’s gone they would .

thanks again for the support

Stevec

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)02/04/2020 21:35:32
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Thanks for posting everyone

I shall get out of everyone’s hair for tonight and get back to trying to plan away forward among the chaos.

I had a look through eBay and Amazon before and quite a few sellers are suspending their trade. I expect if they are a sole trader and staying home they can’t post ? Such a shame as these guys for the most part add the ‘special’ and hard to get interesting stuff!! I’m a sucker for it . The cottage industry has always been important . I’ve always tried to support it.

An example - Currently we sell indoor EDF kits a local modeller puts together. We sell one or two now and then. Why? Because they are cool , different - They will never make a good profit . But it’s not always about profit.
Profit - In the uk a necessary but dirty word. It is not the only factor that drives business. Every aspect of the uk trade needs supporting. For the hobby. For the builders , flyers , thinkers , readers .

Stay Safe and keep healthy . I’ll look back when I can

Steve

Robin Colbourne02/04/2020 23:54:28
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This thread is a fascinating insight into the model trade, and I find its really interesting to read what those of you who actually run model shops, kit manufacturers and mail order suppliers in the UK have to say; not only about the current situation, but the historical bits and snippets of everyday life too.

For those of us who have been modellers since we first threw a North Pacific Stratoglider out of a pram, its a microcosm of our lives, just seen from the other side of the counter. Please keep it coming!

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 02/04/2020 23:58:21

Barrie Lever03/04/2020 09:22:10
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Robin

I could not agree more with what you have said and I would say that this is a classic case for allowing thread drift, I left the Barton Control Line forum because of Jim Hatch's repressive policy on thread drift.

Talking of thread drift - North Pacific gliders, superb introduction to aeromodelling attached are some copies I made last year, laser cut and 3D printed.

Regards

Barrie

dsc_0587.jpgdsc_0582.jpg

Edited By Barrie Lever on 03/04/2020 09:22:51

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)03/04/2020 18:11:06
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Robin and Barrie , for me it was the Sleek Streak Rubber Power ROG sheet balsa . Most News Agents and the Post Office sold them . Love the gliders , I also had those.

Without the Sleek Streak they might not have been a SWM. They got me into my own models and not just flying Dads at 8 or 9 years old.

I came across one ( Sleek Streak) in Doctors Surgery a few years back and while discussing the health problems found my self starring at it. I pluck up the courage to ask about it. Was it one of his kids ? I think that’s what I lead with. He said no it was his and added it didn’t fly .

it didn’t fly!!! Rubbish

I showed him where it needed the tweeks and breathed on a bent the appropriate bits. I think he thought me mad . I said try that , it stalls take the wing back a touch or it dives push it forward . Next time I saw him he said it flew .
it was management solving problems course he’d been on and the Sleek Streak was his problem to solve . Build and fly it and time it. I made a joke about did it qualify me as a doctor ?

I asked him where he got it and it was on the course . It was a counter display pack of 24 by the sound of it. I think they were briefly released again end of the 90s and since.

i have an unopened kit somewhere . I’d like to RC one one day . It was a child hood dream and it’s now possible . Rudder Actuator , throttle of Del Tang RX

Dreams....

Thread Avalanche , in my case . Back to who’s open ? Closed and news?

Steve

Barrie Lever03/04/2020 18:19:51
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Steve

Jump over to the North Pacific thread I started and let us know your thoughts on props?

Back to building the next pulse jet speed model now !!

Regards

Barrie

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)03/04/2020 21:20:00
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Will do Barry

wingcoax03/04/2020 21:44:38
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Question for Barrie, Are you Roy´s lad? I bought my first model from him when he was in Bury and the Lanc was hanging in the workshop.

Barrie Lever03/04/2020 23:21:23
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175 forum posts
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Wingcoax

I am no relation to Roy, although I did know him.

Best

Barrie

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 02:15:21
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Posted by wingcoax on 03/04/2020 21:44:38:

Question for Barrie, Are you Roy´s lad? I bought my first model from him when he was in Bury and the Lanc was hanging in the workshop.

Thread drifting again - Roy Lever’s lad was Ryan Lever I believe . Roy was a larger than life character. He bought an Enya V Twin of me in the 90s . There’s lots of stories regard Roy but none of them really do his larger than life character justice. He was a committed vegetarian and member of the magic circle . Two facts that tend to surprise folk . A showman. Who remembers him flying a model from an open top Jaguar while he drove up and down the flight Line . Some said the car was required to put him behind the model as he couldn’t fly toward himself or right hand circuits. I’m not sure I’d believe that , but at the Woodvale show possibly 1986 I did see him turn right into the crowd on a dead stick . A local photographer caught it for the Liverpool Echo and the front page read Spitfire Death Plunge into crowd or death dive - something like that. We were on the corner of the photo getting out of the way! 
 

Steve 

Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 04/04/2020 02:21:08

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 02:23:10
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291 forum posts
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Posted by Barrie Lever on 03/04/2020 23:21:23:

Wingcoax

I am no relation to Roy, although I did know him.

Best

Barrie

Something tells me you’ve been asked that before.

Steve

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 03:01:54
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Inwood are still open for business . The store is closed but the company are still processing web orders / mail orders 4 I think they have an eBay store as well. Long standing model trader .
I used to buy wood from Inwood before SWM opened thumbs up via the Club I was in

Steve

Erfolg04/04/2020 12:39:49
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I have followed this thread with some interest. In my mind it is reflective not just of the present pandemic, but to some degree reflective of the changing times, economic conditions (taxes, rents, amenities and so on) and a hobby that is redefining itself (technological changes).

For some time I have felt that there has been misunderstandings of us punters, the ordinary Joe, and the retailer.

IMO there will not be many Model Shops in the future, indeed there are very few now, compared with my youth. However there will be some, from my limited experience, the "Steve Webbs" and Leeds Model Shop" are of the format that will continue, being special. What makes them special, again IMO, it is the enthusiasm of the staff, in SW's, it went further, it was the father, a great guy, to pass the time of day in his company. Also recognising that the counter is not the only way to serve the public, Mail Order, Internet sales. moving with the times being an agent, never forgetting the shop window that is not only on the street, extending and drawing you into the shop and finally the sales counter. The traditional model shop has often lacked so much that makes those that stand out special.

I did think that the model that both Hobby King and the long departed Giant Cod, was the way forward for a massive fraction of the trade, for both the retailer and shopper. The shop window being almost 100% Internet related. Making two offers, a massive range of items stretching from bits and bobs, to RTF models, all at very competitive prices. To make it work, large volumes of sales were and are required, as even warehousing is not cost free, nor do things pack themselves. As with all UK postal services, compared to many other countries the traditional Post Office type service is expensive. No one seems to trust the likes of Hermes in the model trade, although I have had increasing amounts of my larger items coming via these logistic companies.

I understand why the LMS has seen these people as unfair. Although it was the same when Tesco arrived in my then suburban township. The cosy world was shattered, when Tesco then others unfairly undercut them, provided much more choice, in their opinion. Although now a version is coming=ing back as convenance stores, although the owners have to work much harder to get their Renault car, rather than their Mercedes of the past.

I see that the Inwoods, BillsKits and many of the others will continue, as they deserve to. From this thread, they continue to serve us well, keep it up.

Perhaps what has not been mentioned, is how the Wholesaler or Distributing businesses will adapt. If they do not adapt, they will also face problems, or perhaps they already transition with the changing sales patterns, the Perkins, Rip Max and others.

When you consider that there may be only 100, 000 modelers of all hues out there, many of us, perhaps the majority confined to our homes, it is not an overly big pool of people. That is as distinct from 20,000,000 people that shop in the likes of Ada, other retailers are available.

You guys are doing a great job under the circumstances, stay open and keep trading as long as possible. You are essential to live, as one who is now awaiting an item for a model, having now been informed that the retailer is in lock down, for the time being.

Kevin 21604/04/2020 13:18:46
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223 forum posts

Wireless Madness still taking orders by phone or online. Placed my order yesterday (fri) arrived within 24 hours.

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 13:55:00
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291 forum posts
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Posted by Erfolg on 04/04/2020 12

When you consider that there may be only 100, 000 modelers of all hues out there, many of us, perhaps the majority confined to our homes, it is not an overly big pool of people. That is as distinct from 20,000,000 people that shop in the likes of Ada, other retailers are available.

You guys are doing a great job under the circumstances, stay open and keep trading as long as possible. You are essential to live, as one who is now awaiting an item for a model, having now been informed that the retailer is in lock down, for the time being

A very well thought out post. - thanks for the kind words of support.

The only problems I ever had with Giant Cod and Hobby King or other direct Chinese sellers was Tax evasion and product compliance. Vat and import tax was avoided. From what I understand the ROC authorities encouraged companies to export claiming lower values so that the West did not benefit from earning via taxes on Chinese goods.
companies that did that would get Tax relief from the Chinese system , being charged 15% tax if they exported at values that would trigger Vat and import duties.

Both Cod and HK sites had originally featured drop downs that asked customers what value they wanted to claim their parcel was. There was even a note explaining if a low amount was selected tax would not need to be paid. It was smuggling.

I think for the most part with companies like HK they are now having tax paid on imports . It took far too long for this to happen and I think it killed some of Europe’s wholesalers and made others struggle . It was a very unfair playing field . The drop downs went some years ago.

Then there’s the various rules and regulations regard product safety. We tried to sell Robbo Phillo , we brought 6 in , we had the product investigated and it wasn’t RHOS compliant or it was but the paper work was incorrect . We couldn’t sell it and so TWM sell it direct from China and in greater numbers than we did. For almost 2 years Tamiya paints could not be sold in the Uk , but they could be imported by individuals . Heat Irons , soldering Irons, Hot Air Guns - loads imported by individuals that UK stores cannot sell. Regulation and safety make European Product more expensive .

Other than those two areas I’m not that worried or haven’t been that worried . Often cheap product has people looking for better product when it fails. But others are lost to the hobby when sold items that don’t work.

In-fact of late I’ve begun to think that the likes of Flite Test & HK have been introducing people to the Hobby and when they do it’s only a matter of time before we have them as customers .

I miss all the model stores that have closed - more shop windows or more ways of introduction to the hobby are needed as we’d get trade from those introduced to the hobby eventually , so would Slough,Leeds, Inwood, SMC etc .

Maybe now HK is going to provide us with more customers?

Distributors ? That’s more difficult - They are suffering and have suffered because of the problem areas I’ve highlighted . To survive ? Probably selling direct is how they’ll achieve survival. The Horizon model , they sell direct and they sell to stores. A few years ago Horizon dropped all its good accounts believing that when they did they would get the trade direct . They’d built a customer base on the hard work of model stores and decided they wanted double margins. It failed and stores like ourselves were invited back to be dealers again. They caused a lot of business failures with their ‘plan’ and I don’t think trade fully recovered.

Logic RC now distribute Horizon and they are doing a great Job. But the pressure to go direct must be there. J Perkins one time anti direct sakes now have an eBay store. Can’t say I blame them? How else do they get rid of SC engine spares ? Discontinued lines or damaged stocks!

eBay - That’s had an incredible influence / affect on the model trade . Years ago beginners would buy a starter kit at a model shop and often it would end up inbuilt and under the bed. Now a days that gets resold on eBay and resold and resold .... taking those sales away from shops.

Theres something wrong with retail , not just model shops , all retail .

I think Amazon have helped kill the high street , but so do 1000s of others . We are all hypocrites because we use Amazon. What with Prime , next day delivery etc

A company that needs to advertise how it treats its staff and arrange tours to show what a good employer they are is not without its problems.

Food for thought.

Lastly - unfortunately Slough RC are closed , including mail order. They are part of the Ripmax group and I heard there’s a possibility Ripmax might re open with reduced staff , so that might change. It’s not news I’ve got from Ripmax so it might be a model trade rumour. I hope not. We need stock from Ripmax!

thanks again Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 04/04/2020 13:57:28

john stones 104/04/2020 13:58:37
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Interesting thread. yes

Erfolg04/04/2020 15:55:01
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What ever our personal views might be, it appears that Internet trading is now a fact of life, and is here to stay, for sometime. Although I sense that UK Governments will want to tax the traders more, in part to fill the revenue stream that councils have in the past received from Business Rates and Business waste.

I sympathise with the CE regulation aspect of sourcing goods. The concept of single set of regulations and standards within a common market is sensible. Yet much of the CE regulations was as and is much about the so called "non tariff barriers" than either product safety, or the need for a regulation.

I have never been convinced about the argument with respect to poor Chinese or general Far Eastern products, as much of the premium brands sold in the UK originate from China or the Far East.

My own father-in-law sourced his own products from China, as both the quality and cost were lower than his factory could manufacture to. It appears our internal infrastructure costs are on a world level basis, uncompetitive, unless we can add a lot of added value. The problem with many small accessories for model aircraft, there is in reality no real added value, there are very high incidental costs.

In a changed world and changing world, we all adapt, or become the modern day dinosaurs. Thankfully all or at least most who have signaled they are open for business are those who are fleet of foot and I believe part of the future, whatever it looks like, when society returns to the new normality.

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