Author Topic: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(  (Read 1213 times)

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djconway

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Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« on: April 10, 2021, 04:50:16 PM »
Went to one of my (local? 35+ miles) hobby shops today, what a disappointment. 
The shop has quite a selection of N and HO scale stock BUT there is no way to see most of what he has.  Since I am in N scale I was hoping to find things of interest. There were 5 large boxes of rolling stock (100+ per box), several piles, and drawers full of stuff from 1990 on, literally hundreds of pieces of rolling stock.  It was so frustrating to see all of this stock in piles that were like a giant jenga puzzle, with no place to move things to, to try and explore what he had.  It literally looked like he just returned from a show and dumped all the transport boxes in what ever space he had available in the shop.  HO scale was no better, move a box and a dozen or more will fall.

When I go to a model railroad shop, I am looking to buy, when I drive 35 to get to the shop I get really frustrated if there is no order to the stock and everything is in random piles or hidden under boxes and boxes random model railroad items.

One of the most frustrating things about this store is that the isles, counter top, and display cases are stacked with so much stuff you can not move around without tripping or knocking things over.

I like the idea that there seems to be a lot of stuff in this shop, but I will not be making a trip there in the near furture just because it is just too hard to find anything.

So -- shop owners a few things to get me to visit your store
--> get things organized, get stuff out of the shipping boxes and put it on display.
--> do not display a stack of 10 -15 items so all you can see is the end of the box. Yes you can fit 242 N scale cars in a Xerox paper box but I have no idea what an Atlas 43651 looks like without looking it up on line.   
--> clear the isles (I don't want to buy something because I stepped on it and crushed it.)
--> I won't buy what I can not see, and I'm not going to dig through 100+ boxes to find the thing that I want.

There I've vented enough steam for one day. I won't mention the name of the shop -- it could be yours.

CRL

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 06:55:34 PM »
But if hobby shops get all organized, how are us gophers going to dig through all those piles to find those rare items that nobody has in stock?

What a killjoy!  :D

learmoia

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2021, 07:12:44 PM »
Organization costs time and time costs money.. and costing money increases prices.....  :trollface:

We use Pizza boxes  to store stuff for sale...

What Hobby shop..?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 07:15:53 PM by learmoia »
“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” ~Homer Simpson

CBQ Fan

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 09:33:36 PM »
Organization costs time and time costs money.. and costing money increases prices.....  :trollface:

We use Pizza boxes  to store stuff for sale...

What Hobby shop..?

I would argue disorganization costs more than the expense of being organized.
Brian

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nkalanaga

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2021, 12:32:06 AM »
"do not display a stack of 10 -15 items so all you can see is the end of the box. Yes you can fit 242 N scale cars in a Xerox paper box but I have no idea what an Atlas 43651 looks like without looking it up on line.   "

I went to one of the local train shows a couple years back.  One vendor had two tables of N scale, displayed just like that, no way to see what something was without taking it out.  Maybe they assume true collectors know the numbers, and non-collectors don't want to pay enough to be worth selling too.
N Kalanaga
Be well

learmoia

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2021, 06:44:39 AM »
I find that style of display annoying sometimes.. but I can scan through Roadnames and car types and see if there is anything worth pulling out..

N scale is tough to display/store... especially if you have a large volume of stuff that you want people to see.

~Ian
“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” ~Homer Simpson

Lenny53

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2021, 08:59:15 AM »
But if hobby shops get all organized, how are us gophers going to dig through all those piles to find those rare items that nobody has in stock?

What a killjoy!  :D

This!  When I was the manager of the Photo Lab at Walmart it was discovered that sales of CDs from the bargain bin where higher when the bin was in disarray than when time and effort was spent keeping the bin organized.

learmoia

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2021, 10:46:52 AM »
About cost of organization...
There is a difference between the merchandise being organized and the 'Business' being organized.
The business not being organized costs money..  The merchandise not being organized.. (or at least neatly organized).. doesn't cost a dime...and at least in this market..  it keeps customers in the store longer, and encourages them to look through more stuff in hopes to find what they are looking for.. and they tend to find things they didn't know they needed..

Most shops I visit (with enough N scale that the shop is worth visiting) have all the N scale in glass cases.. (and the cases are covered in flyers or other stuff on top..) and you have to bend down and squint to try to see the N scale which is either stacked on shelves with end labels out.. or cars are laid out on shelves so deep that you can't see the cars in the back.

Given the option of that.. vs Having to dig through paper ream boxes.. or cars picked in boxes label end out... I'd prefer the latter..

However... With the local shop that I sort of work at.. when we started laying out product to do virtual visit videos.. it would sell to walk in customers before we ever did the video.. and we have to continually feed the table with more stuff to do the video.

But the best solution for volume storage and keeping the product easily viewable (for those who want to look) is Pizza Boxes.. Those 10 drawer craft carts work great too.. The only problem is we have several thousand cars in 50 drawers and 50+ pizza boxes full of N scale that we need to sell!..... (and our primary business is HO and O)..

~Ian






“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” ~Homer Simpson

StarCruiser

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2021, 11:46:26 AM »
We had a shop in the Houston area (Spring Crossing) that was the very model of disorganization. I really like the owner (curmudgeon that he was) but, when you went through the front door and looked to your right, just a massive pile of stuff lying on the floor. Couldn't tell what half of it was with rummaging through the mess.

Most of the rest of the store was...okay...not a complete mess but, that pile was terrible.

Place has been closed for a while, since he finally retired.

learmoia

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2021, 11:56:40 AM »
We had a shop in the Houston area (Spring Crossing) that was the very model of disorganization. I really like the owner (curmudgeon that he was) but, when you went through the front door and looked to your right, just a massive pile of stuff lying on the floor. Couldn't tell what half of it was with rummaging through the mess.

Most of the rest of the store was...okay...not a complete mess but, that pile was terrible.

Place has been closed for a while, since he finally retired.

I visited that store... and that takes disorganization to an extreme.. to where it's a turn off.. (more of a turnoff was he was a smoker and you can apparently smoke inside buildings in Texas ?.. or you could several years ago when I stopped...)

I looked at the 'piles' of stuff  that was and saw some things I might have wanted but he didn't seem like the kind of guy who wanted you rummaging through his stuff.
It was trains mixed with papers mixed with junk..

But I DID find some things I could use..

The most annoying thing.. was half the store was EMPTY.. so there was plenty of room to layout all of the stuff he had and make it easy to see.. (or maybe I caught him as he was closing down)..
“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” ~Homer Simpson

CBQ Fan

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2021, 12:40:42 PM »
About cost of organization...
There is a difference between the merchandise being organized and the 'Business' being organized.
The business not being organized costs money..  The merchandise not being organized.. (or at least neatly organized).. doesn't cost a dime...and at least in this market..  it keeps customers in the store longer, and encourages them to look through more stuff in hopes to find what they are looking for..
~Ian

An organized business is going to have organized merchandise. Having disorganized merchandise is going to discourage more customers from buying. I can think of a number of hobby shops over the years that had their hoards of boxes locked up in a showcase without an employee in sight to help.  Lost sales is a cost, inventory costs money, taxes on inventory costs money, the inability to user cash from sales to purchase more inventory to sell cost money. So on and so forth.
Brian

Way of the Zephyr

samusi01

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2021, 01:38:16 PM »
I visited that store... and that takes disorganization to an extreme.. to where it's a turn off.. (more of a turnoff was he was a smoker and you can apparently smoke inside buildings in Texas ?.. or you could several years ago when I stopped...)

I looked at the 'piles' of stuff  that was and saw some things I might have wanted but he didn't seem like the kind of guy who wanted you rummaging through his stuff.
It was trains mixed with papers mixed with junk..

But I DID find some things I could use..

The most annoying thing.. was half the store was EMPTY.. so there was plenty of room to layout all of the stuff he had and make it easy to see.. (or maybe I caught him as he was closing down)..

I don't recall the smoke from my single visit a couple years ago but the impression left by having to walk across piles of trash - I was going to be polite but whatever - in a partially illuminated, mostly disused space has stayed with me. Worst I've been in yet, and I've been in stores across the country.

Lenny53

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2021, 04:53:12 PM »
I remember a shop in Florida, think it was House of Hobbies in Clearwater, that was just so overloaded with merchandise.

Rossford Yard

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2021, 10:45:12 AM »
Have been to most shops mentioned above in my travels, and they all rank in my hall of shame - the one in Clearwater, which was also unairconditioned, so you were always hot in there, Houston Spring Creek (although I did find a large styrene sheet I had been looking for to make parking lots, etc.) and a few others.  Hiawatha in Milwaukee is guilty of hiding N scale under a ton of flyers.  I have tripped and almost fallen at Grayland Station, and of course, there are probably more I can't recall now.

Like a lot of you, I do enjoy the LHS experience, but it shouldn't be hazardous or too terribly frustrating.  What's funny is, in a place like that, I more readily appreciate the owner asking if I need help finding anything, but they seem the least likely to offer, while the poorly stocked store will go out of their way to ask. 

Kalmbach used to have a hobby shop owner's manual, and while it was probably too generic to give any real advice to a modeler with no retail experience trying to open a shop, I bet it did say that proper presentation was the key to sales.  Probably won't buy it if they can't see it, and to some, probably won't buy it if they can't touch it.  I feel sorry for the LHS, but with theft, they probably do have to keep the easy to hide in a jacket N scale stuff under a case, which hurts the rest of us honest modelers.

About ten years ago, my LHS moved most N scale stuff under counters (locos and hottest rolling stock) explaining there had been a rash of thefts, and it was not just kids.  He was surprised that his camera caught middle aged men who could presumably afford stuff just stealing little stuff, as if they felt they were entitled to a discount on the 20% discount the store already offered.  No exact number, but the proprietor said it was about the cost of his luxury SUV each year walking out the door.

I gather the unorganized shops with floor to ceiling (almost typed floor to stealing) shelves probably don't even know what they are having stolen from them.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2021, 12:10:14 PM »
I think this is really worth thinking about for store owners.

What are other places that sell similarly priced luxury goods to (primarily) men? What are they like?









Why are model train stores, comparatively, more like used porn shops?