Support your local hobby store...NOT!

I discovered to my delight that there was an independently owned hobby store
about 5 minutes from where I work, so I wandered along during my lunch hour
for a browse...
It was one of those places that doesn't seem to have been updated since it
opened 20 years ago, but to be honest, I didn't mind, as these tend to be
veritable treasure troves of faded and long forgotten OOP kits. The elderly
proprietor wasn't the most convivial of fellows, which was a bit of a
drawback given the chaotic lack of order. Boxes were piled in no particular
order, some behind others, others tucked away at obscure angles and in weird
places. But that was where the delight ended.
I decided to "support my local" by buying something. There were a few
candidates worthy of attention and in the end, I settled on an Italeri
Dornier D0-217 K-2 in 1:72 scale, which did not have a price on it. I know
from experience that these go for less than £8 all in on eBay, and had seen
it in another hobby shop selling for £9.99. So, after having a brief chat in
which we discussed the pro's and con's of internet vs face to face buying,
and after picking up a couple of small sheets of plastic card, I asked him
to price it all up.
He wanted £15.00 GBP for the Italeri kit. I was stunned. I asked him to
check, and he told me "it's all up here", tapping the side of his head. I
haggled to no avail, and as I had no small change for the plastic sheets
(and with a £10 miniumum on credit cards), I somewhat reluctantly paid up
and left. I could've just walked out, but for some reason, seeing the state
of the place, I figured "what the hell".
Now if the difference is between buying and paying instantly, or waiting a
week or so for an eBay kit or mail order from Hannants and such-like - then
I certainly will not pay an almost 50% premium for the privilege of being
ripped off face to face. I gave it a go, I did my bit to keep this old
geezer in clover, but never again! This is one little hobby shop that can
wither and die for all I care...
Reply to
Raffi Varoujian
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When he said, "It's all up here," what was mainly up there was a calculation on how deep he could get into your wallet. Now, maybe he was in the first stages of Alzheimers, which might explain the relative chaos and unconviviality, but more likely the fellow is suffering from terminal greed. I'd have walked out without the purchase, myself, just to see if he was bluffing, and if not, to make it clear I thought his business practices uncompetitive. Nor would I go back. But that, in and of itself, doesn't justify dumping on other retailers in favor of mail order (which I have also found to be unreliable or cost-ineffective in some cases). My own practice is to look in shops for what I want ( I can get to four different stores easily) and if the price is wrong or the stuff doesn't exist, that's what Hannants and NKR are for.
Mark Schynert
Reply to
Mark Schynert
I'm lucky. Hannants *is* my local hobby shop! :-)
Reply to
Enzo Matrix
Same for me but then local here in Suffolk is 60 miles - grin
David
Reply to
David Pennington
git! :) so you live in colindale or oulton broad then!? ;) incidentially whom or what is NKR? sometimes i think that the best model shop is often the box under the table of a modelling club or society at a show. prices are often quite reasonable too.
t.
Reply to
87015
NKR Models
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is an Australian vendor of mostly Eastern European air and armor kits and attendant aftermarket bits. I'm not certain how economical it is for UK-based modelers, but NKR is very competitive in price for the west coast of the U.S., and I've never seen a mail order establishment with better service.
Mark Schynert
Reply to
Mark Schynert
Lucky Bum!!
Bill Shuey (who is an Ocean away)
Reply to
William H. Shuey
I can certainly back that up. I obtain mail order delivery faster from NKR in Australia than I can from Vancouver ( 50 km away)! Derek Shaw
Mark Schynert wrote:
Reply to
Derek Shaw
As I live in sweden, my "local" shop is a shop in sweden. But the problem is, as mentioned before, the pricing. To pay $20-25 for a hasegawa kit, when I can buy it from japan, shipping included, for $8-10, well that's not going to happen. The future for small local dealers is aftermarket producs.
//André
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Reply to
André
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FWIW This sounds familiar. The Gent running this place probably is long past the age of retirement but he hasn't anything to retire to so he just keeps the old shop going.
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
For me it's 80...to Lancaster...er,..CA...
Reply to
Rufus
We used to have a shop owner hereabouts that had the same problem. He tried hard to convert a tank modeller to trucks. It didn't happen but the poor guy got a woman who converted him to a non-modeller. :(
You'd be happy as heck to live here as there are several model railroad shops to choose from. But it's all US prototype stuff. The only shop to sell European trains went out of business several years ago. I still have a couple of boxes of Lima catenary wire that I bought in the closing sale.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Reply to
Mad-Modeller
Shoot, I can get things from NKR faster than from Squadron and I've happily used them both.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Reply to
Mad-Modeller
We used to have a good shop over in Reading, Pa. like that. The owner really liked doing it and lived over the store. One could freely move boxes of kits about to see what was behind the front piles. I got many goodies from there over the years at reasonable prices. He eventually transferred the business to a niece and her husband. One day I was told not to ever move the piles around. Everything behind was the same thing. Well, yeah, the husband had taken all the goodies out to shows and sold them for collectors' prices. I haven't been there in 10 years and from what I hear the neighbourhood has gone downhill. It's not a safe place to go and there's no joy in it. Why bother.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Reply to
Mad-Modeller
When I was Railroad Modelling (I live in the Uk and have been a long term US Outline fan) I used to hunt down model shops whenever I went to the States. My wife will tell you about walking for miles in Honolulu just to find the model shop - with Waikiki Beach outside the hotel door! I drove miles in Austin to get to Kings and they were great! H0owever, the shop I do remember was in San Francisco - a long cab ride, let the cab go, found out that the shop was locked and barred but entry was allowed to modellers. Even that wasn't too bad as we got into the shop very quickly - it was waiting for a cab outside afterwards that was the problem - very scary!
BTW, my local model shop is Galaxy Models in Ipswich which is a great shop - if you are into RC. I don't think that their platic has changed in a year. I went in there in lat Feb to buy some Tamiya White paint and they told me they had been out of white since Xmas! Give me the drive from Ipswich to Oulton Broad any day!
David
Reply to
David Pennington
Well, it not here that the "missing" shops are a problem then, we do have toy stores selling an occational kit, some even stack as many as 50! and they do have Humbrol paints. So my Hobbyshop is 400 kilometers away, but luckily the owner often knows what I'm after so when he gets it in the shop he calls and ask if I'm interested. I normally only meet him two or three times a year. But he does get me some good stuff like two of the Rare old Revell kits in 1:32, the Jack and the Tony. And at resonable prizes too.
Reply to
Claus Gustafsen
Wow - any pictures!
Reply to
Martin
Sounds like Klein's in downtown Baltimore, Maryland!
Bill Shuey
Reply to
William H. Shuey
You were in town, and your did *not* give one of us Austin boys a call? We would have treated you to some scrumptious TexMex, Shiner Bock, and Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert!
:o)
Reply to
Greg Heilers
Bill, I was thinking of Kleins when I started reading this thread. Back in the 60s and 70s they were just up the street from where they are now and carried everything, not just trains. I'll never forget going in that ancient building and leaving with the 72 scale Airfix figure and aircraft and the ROCO armor kits that got me started so long ago. A musty, cluttered mess of kits to the ceiling! What a place. They don't make model stores like that anymore. And it's a shame. Gerry
Reply to
Gerry Gardiner

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