SlotForum banner

1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now, there will be those that will say I am posting this for my own ends, but this is not strictly true - however, and even though it is an old chestnut I thought it time it was brought up again.

Whilst I appreciate that the Slotforum is an international thing, I do tend to get somewhat frustrated when I see posts from Europe telling us of new product. The problem here is that most slotcars are made in Spain, and so countries like Spain, Belgium, Holland, Italy etc will receive their deliveries long before poor old us in the UK.

However, my main worry is that many readers of this forum that are in the UK will whiz off and promptly buy their new slotcar from a European retailer instead of waiting a week or so and buying them from a retailer in the UK. I have mentioned before on this forum that unless we support the UK dealers there will be a time when you will have no choice but to go abroad. I know shopping on the internet or (heaven forbid) ebay is nice and easy, but they will not help you when you get home and the wheel falls off, or the rear wing snaps and you need a new one.

I have been involved with slotcars for Gaugemaster now for 5 years - if I told you how many retailers had gone out of business in that time it would frighten you. There are some new ones of course, and over the last 12 months some new dealers have started up and are doing quite well, but it is only a few and the majority are still struggling in what has become a very competitive market place. There are so many models available, and you would need a shop the size of a warehouse to keep them all, and so the local shopkeeper can only keep in stock a certain number of items. However, if he has not got the one you want, do you ask him if he may have it in the stockroom or if he can get it for you? If you don't, you should!! If he is £1 dearer than an internet site in Billericky, do you buy it from him anyway because you know that if you get any problems he can help? If not, then you should!!

We are very fortunate in the UK to have such a wide range of models available to us. However, if we do not start supporting the UK dealers then their days are severely numbered, and then you will have no choice where to buy - you will not be able to view the cars before buying, or ask advice from an experienced retailer 'cos they won't exist.

This is, of course, all IMHO and I could be wrong, perhaps all UK slot buyers buy from UK dealers. However, experience tells me that is far from the truth.

Support your local dealer!!


Aaron
 

·
DT
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
I was in town today on business and popped into my local hobby shop. This guy sells die-cast, slots, trains and war gaming kit.

I looked at the Revell Monogram Greenwood #76 Sebring Vette. A stunning car that I wouldn't mind getting. The Hobby shop was asking 56.50 euros.

Now my favourite on-line shop sells this for 44.17 euros and if you take off my discount and add transport it comes to about 46 euros.

I don't need after sales service; I know more about slot cars than the hobby shop guy; If it breaks, I'll repair it or order replacement parts; I don't have allot of cash to spend right now.

Which one should I go for


Oops, nearly forgot, the on-line shop is in the UK, yet I am in continental Europe. Does that or should that make a difference
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,634 Posts
I prefer to buy from local hobby shops - because I like to see and hold a slot car or diecast to assess it. (I am one of the people to whome the accuracy and finish of the model is important - you can't tell how fast it will be!). If I think it is well done, and also, if the manufacturer's QC is variable, if this particular example of the model is good, I can buy it!

This facility is a million times better than looking at a web photo, and only through supporting the local shops will they continue to be there and be well stocked.

However...

I am also lazy and impatient, so I buy most of my stuff from Pendle and Get Slotted! But at least I know that they have shops and are doing good work to promote the hobby!
 

·
Matt Tucker
Joined
·
3,549 Posts
I buy some stuff from my local model shop, I walk past it on my way home and sometimes the urge is too great. 85% of stuff I buy from GS and about 5% of stuff I buy from abroad because either i can't get it here or prices are very significantly different. If its a matter of timing I wait and get from the UK.

I noted that the latest Team Slot Stratos was available from UK retailers before the main Spanish ones.

I have to say it is more of an issue for USA buyers where time delays can be very significant.

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
Ah ! Very interesting topic !

Okay, let's put some things straight for a start :

You don't always get your cars later in the UK. The latest Fly releases (BMW Coca Cola, Ferrari Daytona, Saleen Vitaphone and Zwaan Viper) were dispatched to the UK well before Spain ! It is true that Spain usually gets the first batch.

In Belgium, we usually get the cars at the same time as Britain when it comes to Fly cars and much later if we talk about Scalextric.

I think SCX is more critical, since the delay is not counted in days but weeks or months (witness the latest 206).

I wouldn't say a delay of a week or two is a real problem, I can wait. The big problem is the asking price.

The Greenwood Revell Nuro is refering to can be found at 35 euros on the net. How can you justify such a difference ?

I know that Ninco is especially expensive in Belgium due to the margin of the dutch importer. I simply don't buy any Ninco car in Belgium. I guess I'm not the kind of customer the importer is targeting ...

I understand that everyone must live, but I sense that several importers are charging too much. BTW, prices in Germany are almost the same as in Spain.

It's true that bying online has its own downfalls, generally if the car isn't perfect. It remains a seldom thing.

What do I do ? I agree to pay to my local dealer up to 5 euros more for each car, beyond that point I go online or find myself busy on Ebay.

I've already talked to my dealer about it. He knows I never buy any SCX or Ninco car through him. Our understanding is that competition is quite fierce in several countries where margins are sometimes very thin (Germany is especially pointed), some importers have daft prices which makes the retailer unable to have competitive prices and he pointed the delay as well (though I don't see that point as critical).

I think the manufacturer have their own responsibility as well, witness the price difference between Superslot and Scalextric (Hornby) cars ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,457 Posts
I'm a poor student. I will generally buy from Pendle or Slot32, but if it is cheaper by more than a fiver, then I will buy elsewhere. If anyone would like to send me a fiver (or more) everytime this happens then I will buy British. Otherwise, sorry, but I'll buy elsewhere.

However, Pendle and Slot32 is far more convenient, and almost always at the right price, so 99% of the time, it's from them.

I agree with Nuro about being more competant than the hobby man, but replacement parts are invaluble. However, you can usually get these direct from the manufacturers if there is a genuine fault.

Sorry Aaron, but I can't always afford to do 'the right thing'.

McLaren
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,634 Posts
I guess in the long time - buying from elsewhere may force governments to change whatever tax laws seem to result in the huge differences in price from country to country; however that process is not going to happen quick enough to keep my local hobby shops afloat!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
800 Posts
Buying locally really isn't an option for me. I feel fortunate to just be able to buy brass stock and piano wire about 45 minutes away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
I see the point of supporting the local dealers, but I rarely buy cars in local shops.
The most obvious reason for this is the price difference; in the shops here a standard Scalextric and Ninco car cost about £40 and most Fly cars are around £45.
In addition to this the stock in most shops is very poor, new cars have to be ordered in, so I have to buy them without seeing the model anyway. On top of this the delivery time to the shops is often longer than the time it takes for me to get the car from a foreign on-line shop!
Spare parts are quite scarce, and the delivery time is the same on them...

None of the hobby shops here have their primary focus on slotcars, and the knowledge they have is more about RC cars and planes or model railroads. Even I know more about slotcars than the people in those shops.
An e-mail to the on-line shops has always been sufficient if I need any advice before ordering. If there are any problems with the cars I get them sorted, if not alone then with the help of fellow members at the club.

I probably would have bought more at a local shop that focused mainly on slotcars. As long as the hobby shops here concentrate primarily on RC stuff and model railways I leave the "local support" responsibility to the enthusiasts of those hobbies.

I live in Norway, and most of my online purchases have been made from UK shops. I have only looked at a couple of Spanish and German shops, and the price difference hasn't been enough to bother with...

André
 

·
DT
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
I've said this before, I can't remember where... I was chased out of my local hobby shop in Wimbledon Broadway when I was 11 years old. I used to do allot of window shopping and 'only looking' in those days. I think it was called LR Richards. Shame on you and no wonder you're out of business today. Look after the youth! In general, hobby shops are good places, but please don't knock the online people. GetSlotted, Pendles, Slot City and Slot32, to name a few in the UK are dedicated slot shops that are able to advise people and offer a realy good prices over a large and ever-changing range of products. These guys are, in my opinion, are the backbone of the hobby today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE Oops, nearly forgot, the on-line shop is in the UK, yet I am in continental Europe. Does that or should that make a difference
I guess that depends if you feel any need to supprt your local stores or not.

QUOTE shops are good places, but please don't knock the online people
I am not knocking the online dealers - many online dealers in the UK also have shops but whether they do or not, by buying from them you are supporting UK dealers, which is exactly what I said in my first post and the title of this thread


If you are not in the UK then if you follow my logic you should buy from dealers - whether they be online or not - in your own country. Whether you do or not is up to you.

My concern is for the UK, not because I work for Gaugemaster - hey I can just as easy sell model railways - but because I see slot car retailers going out of business because their customers can buy cheaper from abroad. Dealers like Sean at Pendle and Gary at MRE have far more knowledge on the subject than probably all of the SF members put together, and they are amongst a dying breed of very few people in the country now.

So, as I said in my first post, my grudge is not with internet shopping, it is with UK enthusiasts internet shopping from dealers outside of the UK. Anyone who assumed I would knock UK dealers needs to stop and think for a minute what I do for a living!


Just one more thing - if you have ever seen a model at your local shop than from abroad, have you ever asked the model shop if he can match the price? Just a thought....

Thanks for your comments guys, all valuable market research!!


Aaron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
cant buy at arts and crafts... it's pains me to see over rrp on everything

dont bother with hobby corner cos it's miles away

and cant get fly from my really good local, but can get scx but it's expensive he's good for other stuff tho.

Fly cars , £10/£15 each + P&P! cheap as chips! - if there scalex ones quite litrally!
 

·
Scott Brownlee
Joined
·
4,275 Posts
Aaron, I'm not having a dig at UK retaillers, but I wonder what your and others' views on the swap meet situation is. There are more and more of them and the retailers go head to head with traders, often selling product at prices lower than you can buy from them on line or in store.

Then there is eBay and the traders and retaillers doing buisness on their.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,634 Posts
Nuros post about his local shop in wimbledon brought to mind the promotional window shopping effect of real hobby shops - people are more likely to see a slot car in a shop by accident than to find one on the net by accident

also - the thought that internet slot shops are the backbone - the view of forum members on internet shopping may not be representative of all slot enthusiasts; how many SF members have computer access? oh - every-single-one-of-us?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
I'm not in the UK but there's an adage I've been carrying about for a while. Where possible I buy things locally 'cause if the people that live near you have jobs they're not going to come around to your house & steal all your stuff!

Cheers
 

·
Simon Moss (Undisputed #1 Racer Fan)
Joined
·
553 Posts
I think supporting your local hobby shop depends on how many cars you purchase and what you purchase. For example, I must buy 50++ cars a year (and it will be a big plus), of which 95% are Fly. None of my local shops sell the brand, so I am forced to purchase from on-line UK dealers or toy fair/NSCC swapmeets etc. Also buying that many cars does burden your pocket, so saving a £1 here or there does go a long way.

M
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
GetSlotted or Pendle everytime - why ?
Cause I don't have the time or want to go into town just to find out something
is out of stock or they don't stock it.
Its purely a convience thing , but has the added bonus of being cheaper alot
of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I'm glad that my local stockists are a waste of space - it saves me a fortune!! When I lived close to the Scaley concession in Croydon I'd buy everytime I went in (even if I didn't intend to).

I generally prefer to see the product in the flesh before buying, but due to the lack of available selection for me I am starting to buy more online. Which is dangerous, coe it doesn't feel like I'm spending money!!!
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top