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Payin to much for rc stuff

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Robert Lawrence 429/04/2013 19:31:27
4 forum posts

Are we paying to much for rc stuff can weget better deals or is there a closed shop

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator29/04/2013 21:03:03
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Hello Robert,

welcome to the forum. You will find that you will get more response from forum members if perhaps you take the time to introduce yourself in the newbie area rather than launch straight into a debate. People like to know something about the person they are talking to! smile

BEB

Martin Harris29/04/2013 21:06:08
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Posted by Robert Lawrence 4 on 29/04/2013 19:31:27:

Are we paying to much for rc stuff can weget better deals or is there a closed shop

There are rather too many closed shops - mostly due to very competitive internet suppliers!

Robert Lawrence 429/04/2013 21:21:08
4 forum posts

Hi

I have been rc modelling most of my life I'm now 63,I mainly build but don't fly very often.so needles to say I have aloft full of completed planes,I bought two batteries from Rapid rc the weekend and went flying today the batteries worked fine so I phoned this afternoon to buy some more,no problem but when I said I will see them at at long marsdon they said sorry we have been baned as the organiser has had complaints that they were selling stuff to cheap so are traders controlling these events to rip of modlers.

Shaunie29/04/2013 21:23:30
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Are we paying too much? I don't think the stuff has ever been so cheap!

My first proportional set was £48 in 1974 for two channels of McGregor jitteriness, three years later my first weekly wage was £21. what could I get for two weeks pay now, top of the range Futaba or Spektrum set I should think! In 1988 I bought a Super Tigre 61 ABC £107, probably equivalent to £300 in todays money, you could get a 30cc petrol for that now. Futaba 148 servos were about £16 each, how much is a 3003 now?

I would be happy to pay more if it was possible to guarantee that the quality was better particularly on the chinese stuff.

Shaunie.

Simon B29/04/2013 21:26:16
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1936 forum posts
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I second what Shaunie says. We don't know how lucky we are now

Robert Lawrence 429/04/2013 21:32:34
4 forum posts

It's a pitty that the stuff we pay more money for still comes from china

Erfolg29/04/2013 22:10:57
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11373 forum posts
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Are RC items to expensive, is a much debated issue on this forum.

When RC sets are compared with many electrical items, they are possibly towards the middle of the upper quartile. Then when the total number of sets sold world wide, the numbers sold are probably very low say compared to a Wide Screen Tele.

We have discussed to death the pressures on High Street model retailers. The good news in our area, where the council assured all, that the business rates are both reasonable and were not the cause of 50% of empty shops, has suffered a reduction of business rates on a local restaurant, by 50%, on a rates appeal. Yet the rates are just one of a number of issues. It does seem that there are not large profits being made by many small retailers.

Yet the factory gate prices in China, are very low compared to UK retail pricing, particularly when Primark mark ups are used as a comparison.

In some respects this is a reflection on the relatively small number of UK modelling customers, and the level of competition. In clothing, the volumes may be high, so is the competition. Modelling is different in that total sales are relatively low, although there is competition. There are many who try to make a go of it, as small traders, many hang in there as a hobby, living the dream. There are a few professional businesses, the Ripmax, Perkins, etc.

There is a real threat to the slowly evolving UK business model, that is HK. There are signs that the established UK model trade is fighting back. Not by matching the HK offer, but seeking to discredit and limit advertising opportunities, if rumours are to be believed.

So are UK RC modelling goods to expensive. Arguably yes, is there the opportunity for significant price reductions, probably not in the LMS. I am guessing just like Jessops and HMV a different business model will evolve with those who hang about, yet I imagine many will fail. Model retailing is not an easy business in this era.

The issue of Chinese quality is an argument I have difficulty understanding. As far as I can see most goods consumed in the UK originate from Asia. Even some of the best UK brands and Italian brands are made in the region, such as Burberry handbags at +£200 a pop, not cheap. The same is true of brand name RC goods, including Futaba (China) along with many other brands. As for kits, they may have English sounding names, yet where do they originate, I will give all a guess.

Bill_B29/04/2013 22:34:45
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Hobbyking charges more for it's kits from the UK warehouse than direct from China. In my experience, nine times out of ten it's still cheaper to order from the international depot including EMS postal charges, than it is from the UK depot. Consequently I still order kits from China and put up with the two week waiting time. Another place to save money on selected kits is direct from Germany. As an example, Staufenbiel, who advertise on this site, sell the Tomahawk Designs EPO Viperjet cheaper than from the UK. €119 for the basic kit (black or white version) with free P&P from Stuafenbiel as opposed to £132 (white kit only with P&P at about £9) from a very well known UK model shop. Even with the Euro at nearly 1:1 with the pound, it's still a nice saving of about £22 to spend on other goodies.

Edited By Bill_B on 29/04/2013 22:36:47

SkippyUK29/04/2013 22:41:04
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Very well discussed Erfolg, as usual. A question to you as someone who obviously thinks a lot about what's happening;- If HK and others like them are supplying the need for ARTF's etc. and taking a sales steam away from the traditional UK sellers, will there be a space left for a supplier of modelling supplies and plans for those who enjoy building. Are there enough 'real' modellers left for a supplier (internet probably) to supply the building materials not currently covered well by HK. {Sorry for no line breaks - [RET] is doing nothing tonight!!} Skippy

Glyn R29/04/2013 22:47:21
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Posted by Bill_B on 29/04/2013 22:34:45:

Hobbyking charges more for it's kits from the UK warehouse than direct from China. In my experience, nine times out of ten it's still cheaper to order from the international depot including EMS postal charges, than it is from the UK depot. Consequently I still order kits from China and put up with the two week waiting time. Another place to save money on selected kits is direct from Germany. As an example, Staufenbiel, who advertise on this site, sell the Tomahawk Designs EPO Viperjet cheaper than from the UK. €119 for the basic kit (black or white version) with free P&P from Stuafenbiel as opposed to £132 (white kit only with P&P at about £9) from a very well known UK model shop. Even with the Euro at nearly 1:1 with the pound, it's still a nice saving of about £22 to spend on other goodies.

Edited By Bill_B on 29/04/2013 22:36:47


My experience is just the opposite. I always buy my HK purchases from the UK warehouse now. Postage with big items is such a factor, some small items may be cheaper from HK but I only buy if its not in stock in UK

Greybeard30/04/2013 07:56:50
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When I ran a model shop 30 years ago it was the distributors that were making the money rather than the LMS, and since they are still in business today I guess that they still are. Few of the LMS have the purchasing power to be able to demand the discounts on trade prices that they maust have to prosper. Those that are prospering seem to be importing their own lines direct from overseas suppliers wherever they can.

Masher30/04/2013 08:39:49
1103 forum posts
79 photos

Like everyone, I like a bargain and always do my homework before purchasing the best deal I can find - this includes the reputation, quality and postage factors.

However, I believe we are very fortunate in this hobby as prices are so good - just compare anything you buy to a tank of fuel for the car! With ARTF's (especially foamie's) you could say that you pay a lot for a bit of wood, plastic or foam - but it's the added value you pay for. Having now made a few planes from plans, I can better appreciate how good the ARTF deals acutally are - unless you have a workshop full of left overs.

Where I think the value is particularly good is in the radio and electronic stuff. You can buy a decent Tx/Rx combo for less than 2 tanks of petrol - brilliant! Having come from a high tech electronics background working mainly in the defence industry, I am amazed at how manufacturers can mass produce relaible, "idiot proof`", repeatable, software progarammable........etc.... kit at such keen prices.

Erfolg30/04/2013 09:36:22
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The question posed was, are we paying to much for modelling goods.

As with many aspects of life, it all depends on your perspective and sometimes political viewpoint.

A comparison has been made with a tankful of petrol. Is it a reasonable comparison? In some ways it represents a lot of the issues facing the UK. The cost of the oil, refining and distribution is half the total tax take, that is 2/3 rds is various UK taxes. Our governments have come to see fuel as a tax cow, the Labour fuel escalator being the extreme example. Yet fuel is not the only tax issue

There has been a comparison of RC hardware and comparisons made with UK defence industry charges. The view being what good value our sets represent, which they are comparatively. Using my TV, and all domestic consumer items as the basis, not that great. Yet look at some far eastern branded radios, now they are exceedingly good value. It perhaps says more about the defence industry than it does about RC equipment. Also being one who has worked on defence projects, you quickly come to accept, that the secrecy environment increases cost and reduces productivity greatly, plus the unique aspect to the product and low volumes also has a major impact.

My time in UK plastic moulding industry, has re-enforced my view that the added value achieved with todays moulded models, is quite an accomplishment although not unique. I recollect that the prices we received for car rear light mouldings, was extremely low, yet had a value of many pounds when purchased from motor factors. At the same time, the company was almost giving away the expanded polystyrene mouldings used as packaging by customers.

In many ways it is difficult to make any sense when comparisons are being made.

There is one over riding feature of trading in the UK. That is taxes are very high, starting with VAT, the same ethos is a vein running through everything you look at. The causes are highly political and would ruffle many feathers if examined to deeply, that probably includes my own.

So do we pay more than is necessary?

To some extent, we have to pay more than an item costs, otherwise no one would trade, nothing would happen, profit drives business. Is the profit to much, for some yes, for others no. We need real competition to arrive at fair prices.

There does seem to another issue and that is disposable income. There does seem to be a strong relationship between a big state and how much money we all have to spend as we wish.

bouncebounce crunch30/04/2013 10:09:50
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Not that long ago I complained about the price of a proper cut,glue and sand kit, but i will never do that again after stocking up on some balsa and piano wire for a plan build.

Radio gear, engines and electric motors not to mention servos are more affordable than ever, my only real gripe is covering film.

Erfolg30/04/2013 10:53:27
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BBC

The aspect of prices of modelling goods are now on a comparative basis lower now than previous eras, is not really surprising. Looking at most consumer items, they are comparatively lower , than earlier. Just consider cars, far more, for comparatively less, the same is true of televisions, what bargains, the more you look, the more favourable are the comparisons that can be found.

i think that the film situation is another example of an area, of low demand, and little competition. Yet again it is an area, where I have some peripheral experience. Having left the plastics industry, i went to a wall paper manufacturing machinery company and then onto food packaging and printing industry. Both industries using printing techniques, onto papers and films. There is also some overlap with our beloved films, both covered in inks, waxes etc. Again, no food company would entertain the prices we pay for films, which they use vast quantities of preprinted and overprinted coverings and shrink wraps in many formats. So why do we pay so much, again comparatively? There is not much competition, the usage is low, comparatively. Then there is the issue of machinery, I suspect much is not new, but cannibalised machines from the food and paper industries, adapted to a specific use, being bought second hand. Getting your hands on the machines is dependant on others selling, when you want it and then assembling for your single product type. Quite simple compared to what the food industry wants and expects.

As a small hobby sector, we probably do not do to badly, from a cost viewpoint. Although there is always the threat from various vested interests, who seek to limit competition. Some times breaking EU laws and regulations, proving it, is yet another matter.

bouncebounce crunch30/04/2013 11:20:33
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Erfolg I Fully agree with all your points.

There is only one person in my house that thinks modelling gear is expensive and it is not me. Newcomers sure are lucky, they can get started in the rc part of our hobby fairly cheaply with the likes of a parkzone rtf package or HKing products or for the more experienced really indulge in the exotic stuff if you can afford it or are happy to pay for it. I could never have imagined the progress of the micro stuff or the 80" plus arf models available today, cheap man hours for sure.

Percy Verance19/05/2013 10:10:14
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8108 forum posts
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In October 1975 I decided to buy a new 4ch radio. I opted to go the quality route, and so bought a Flight Link Sovereign set at a cost of £175. I wonder what the equivalent in cost would be now?

Carl Muff19/05/2013 11:01:36
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350 forum posts
212 photos

things are cheaper but we are be chargered too much as in the cost of making some thing is alot cheaper as it nearly all made in china now ??

Paul Marsh19/05/2013 11:28:45
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3708 forum posts
1053 photos

All hobbies cost money. A local Golf course charges a four figure sum your yearly membership and £75 for a round of 18 holes. Added to that cost of other stuff, is more expensive than rc.

Also, I bought a 28inch telly in the 90's for £1000, now you can get a 50 inch plasma for £500 or less, and old TV's were not very good...

Modeling may cost a higher % than some hobbies, due to the niche market, but even football matches cost £100 for a two hour "entertainment" slot. Someone at work paid £800 for a Chelsea v Everton match. Silly money. (he said it was good value!)

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