Dear hobby shop owners and employees,
This is a plea, asking you to get to know your competition. If you don’t know what a Turnigy 9x or an XT60 is, you’ve become a slave to your distributors, and your customers are likely going to leave you behind. There is an enterprising young man named Anthony Hand who moved to China and started a company called HobbyKing. You should pay attention to what they (and others) are doing as they’re rewriting the rules of radio control hobbies.
They’re creating (or sometimes rebranding existing) hobby products that sell for half the price or less than the “value priced” equipment your local hobby shop probably carries from their mega-conglomerate distributor companies such as Hobbico (Futaba, Novak, HPI, Duratrax, GreatPlanes, Estes, etc.)*, or Horizon Hobby (Spektrum, E-flite, Blade, Losi, Vaterra, etc.).
Whether you like HobbyKing or hate them, you should know them and their brands (Hextronic, Turnigy, TrackStar, MultiStar, OrangeRx, Basher/BSR, Quanum – just to name a few). Yes, HobbyKing sometimes has issues with quality and customer service, but given their prices, many people (including myself) don’t mind.
As for the grumpy guy at the local hobby shop where I’m paying full price – that’s two things working against you. I’m willing to take a chance with the other guys for half the price.
I walk into the store and ask about using my radio with the RealFlight simulator you sell. You ask what sort of radio I have and when I answer “9x” you look at me like you’ve never heard of it. I don’t want to buy a Spektrum DX6 for three times the cost with half of the features from you. You can keep trying to sell them, but you should know what options are out there.
When I ask about XT60 connectors or charge leads (which you don’t carry), you should realize you lost a sale and you should probably carry them. They are becoming the standard in the hobby. I was there in-person and surely would have purchased that day – why else would I drive out to your store, it certainly wasn’t for the conversation or customer service.