Author Topic: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(  (Read 1502 times)

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jpec

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2021, 12:12:05 PM »
Because we're in that demographic...with more money...
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2021, 12:56:02 PM »
In the spirit of bi-partisanship, I want to say that my favorite shops are a bit of both.  Nice, clean, well displayed merchandise.  The latest MTL and other new releases out front where I can find them.  Etc.

But then, when you ask the question along the lines of "Do you have any old stock buried somewhere?  I am looking for a couple of Atlas/Rivarossi composite boxcars..." they take you to a storage room or an old filing cabinet crammed full of stuff from a bygone era.  And they let you rummage through that stuff until you find what you want, or closing time, whichever comes first.

A couple of my favorite shops have taken a slightly different tack- almost everything is neatly organized, but in every area of the shop, there will be a box that will be left-overs and one-offs and the super-specials and the oddball parts that somebody ordered 20 years ago and never picked up.  Over the years, this is where I found Digi-frames for my old Kato Fs, MTL conversion kits at 1/3 the price of eBay, JnJ heavyweight baggage sides.  And, in one case, several packages of the brick columns for Walthers modulars, marked down 25% from their original package price of 15 or 20 years ago, which made all of the Walthers close out modulars I bought worthwhile.
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CBQ Fan

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2021, 06:29:18 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?

Look at all that disorder and chaos. Lol
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DKS

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2021, 10:26:08 PM »
Why are model train stores, comparatively, more like used porn shops?

Don't know for sure, but my guess would be much smaller margins.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2021, 01:01:10 PM »
Last night I went to go pickup a book with my wife.

Here's The Ivy, an independent bookstore in northern Baltimore.

The interior.
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And their outdoor seating area.
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Not a litter box or pile of garbage to be seen.

peteski

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2021, 04:10:31 PM »
While I do prefer a clean, brightly-lit, well-organized model train shop, I also enjoy browsing an occasional box of odds-and-ends if there is one. There is some satisfaction to be had rummaging through that box of goodies, trying to discover some item I can't live without.

I even don't mind those not-so-brightly-lit shops, as long as the clutter is not overwhelming, and the staff is friendly.
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Rossford Yard

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2021, 10:26:35 AM »
Who doesn't love the hard to find found item?  I recall needing a capacitor for my old Peco switch machines.  So, I was in Carr's hobbies in Duluth, MN where most things are stacked and hard to see.  Spying some electronics in a corner way in back, I found just what I needed.

I have other examples, although most of our purchasing joy probably comes from unexpectedly seeing a long sought loco or rolling stock piece we never thought we would see, and seeing that in the open.

Either way, I doubt any retailer should set up his store to appeal first and foremost to pack rats, bargain hunters, etc.

Sokramiketes

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2021, 10:35:11 AM »
Clean and organized has a better chance at attracting new customers.  Friendly staff willing to take 30 minutes to pull together a starter set and explain Kato Unitrak is a second component.

Having been raised in model trains, I'm comfortable in the nostalgia and disorganization of a place like Grayland Station, because it feels like my favorite shop growing up, Bill's Hobby Shop.  Treasures stacked in carboard flats, that need to be pulled out and inspected.  Tight spaces.  A never ending mix of used and new on the same shelves, with no clear delineator. 

But I don't know how anyone new to the hobby wouldn't immediately feel uncomfortable and high tail it out of that atmosphere. 

Rossford Yard

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2021, 10:49:32 AM »
I agree with Sokramiketes.  When we have actual LHS owners on here, we are often surprised to find that what sells best is not what we presumably long time modelers might buy.  I recall one saying he sold lots of grass mats, whereas the experienced modeler would use ground foam or better.  Most probably sell Kato Unitrak as much as they sell Atlas C55 Flex, probably more.  Agree on the Kato or similar beginner sets.  If the argument for buying at the LHS is the help you get, presumably the store would attract more newbs than experienced modelers.

I have never thought about it, but I wonder what the MRR "drop out" rate is?  Dad buys his kids a starter set and that's it.  How many go on to a simple 4x8 (or smaller in N)?  What % goes on to a larger and then lifetime railroad?  We know very few actually get to the scenery stage from anecdotal evidence.

BTW, regarding my post above and Carr's Hobbies, they are proud of the fact that their ad in the back of MR dates to 1948.  I'm pretty sure some of their original stock is somewhere in those stacks, LOL.  At least, the capacitor was something from earlier than the 1990's when I bought it.  Carr's is not anywhere near the messiest stores I have been in.  Overall, it has organization, but it does have merchandise stuffed from floor to ceiling and with narrow aisles.  But, given the shop opened in 1948, I would bet the standards for aisle widths were a bit narrower than now, and modelers now are a bit wider than then......


Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Attention Hobby Shop Owners. :(
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2021, 11:37:34 AM »
Record stores have the "rummage bins" too. There really IS something to be said for that type of marketing.

I love digging for treasure at shops too, but I don't want to do it to find new releases or a pack of spikes.