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Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
Another LHS goes down
landshark4
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Alabama, United States
Member Since: June 04, 2012
entire network: 103 Posts
KitMaker Network: 14 Posts
Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 11:34 PM UTC
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/seattle-hobby-shop-landmark-closing-after-42-years/

In all these stories, I don't think they address the prices properly. Yes, the hobby has exploded with people who can afford it, but the hobby is or has exceeded the reach of a kids allowance or drug dealing or however kids these days earn a couple of bucks. I can't believe that Tamiya, Italeri, et al don't release their kits from the 70s at absolute dirt cheap prices, or even at the break even point to get kids into the hobby. Monogram did it with some of their 1/32 scale kits, but even then they were 20+ bucks. I think the companies need to cultivate the young'uns with the old, basic kits before they can even think of kids wanting to buy a 80USD kit with photoetch, working tracks, etc.

And the second point the article doesn't emphasize enough is the devastating effect the internet has had. Probably because everyone knows what its done to businesses, but it should be mentioned.
Mortifa
#464
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: December 02, 2016
entire network: 267 Posts
KitMaker Network: 45 Posts
Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 - 12:16 AM UTC
I do not think the internet is having as big an affect as people think. First my personal experience is that I am starting to buy less and less on-line because of the stupid shipping costs. Kits that I can buy here, in B.C. are more expensive than on-line, sometimes, but that becomes a non-factor thanks to shipping costs that are out of line. I have seen good retailers who charge a reasonable amount for their shipping and, generally, if the cost and shipping is cheaper than buying it local I may grab it, couple of factors do come into play, time, availability and such. But then I also have seen people who are just gouging the shipping costs and those I do not shop at.

What really upsets me is the lack of a web presence by my local retailers and part of that is old school thinking. One of them told me he could not be bothered to do all "that crap" and he loses a lot of my business because I do not know if he has what I am looking for, so why drive to his store for a possible item. Another of our local shops does have a online feature, but again that is a crap shoot if he actually has what I am after, it may show he does, but when I get there he is out, which is a bit upsetting as he is the further drive.

I do agree with your point about the cost though, up here in Canada we do not have a Dragon model distributor anymore because they cannot sell one hundred dollar kits, which is the average price of a Dragon kit up here.
mmeier
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Member Since: October 22, 2008
entire network: 1,280 Posts
KitMaker Network: 213 Posts
Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 - 01:11 AM UTC
Looking at it from my "main hobby" (Fotography):

The B&M stores that survive and prosper have all three components:

+ A web shop with up to date (actually: A bit conservative) inventory

+ A good selection of stuff in the store and good personal

+ Can be reached on the phone and give information


They are a bit costlier than Amazon but they are worth it since for "problematic" stuff I can check the camera-lens match in store, select a working one (or have one adjusted) etc. Smallish foto shops, even more so the "One brand wonders" OTOH die a lot. Because if I enter a store and ask for a "Tamron 24-70VC" chances are very good I am NOT interested in buying a "Canon 24-70/f2.8" for double the price (and without stabilisation). But since the shop "only could Canon", that was all they stocked(1)

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Some of that services can not be provided by modelling shops since there are no "misaligned kits" etc. But a decend web-shop or phone hotline and a good amount of kits in stock helps a lot. But that (like the foto stuff) needs relatively "big players". The foto shops are "small chains" with 3-5 stores and close links to some camera companies, the "big surviving" B&M model store around here (King Models) is a major importer (Academy at least)

Small "come back in three-seven days, I'll order that" stores OTOH die around here. They order the stuff from King or Knig and THAT I can do cheaper and just as fast (With delivery to my doorstep). Actually DRIVING to the King is almost as fast as driving to the next smallish B&M (35km vs. 20, Autobahn vs. Overland, Company owned parking spot vs. I'm Walking...) for me with a LOT better chance of getting the kit I want.

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Here in germany many shops have not realised what "Internet" and "Fernabsatzgesetz" (You can give stuff back within 14 days and the Online-Store MUST take it back unless damaged and refund you) mean for them. They SHOULD have learned it (Mail Order like Otto/Quelle or, for food, BoFrost and Eismann are around since my youth) but many are stuck in the "ah, the MUST buy here or drive 40+km to the next big town" mode of the 1950s/60s. Sorry guys, no longer needed. So unless you provide a service "online" can not provide - you die.


(1) Well, I did get a nice EF-S 10-20 at half price from them - on their closing sale...
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