My LHS

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Joe Daddy

C & SF, my obsession
In this past week, I've been to my LHS twice. How about you? When was the last time you went to the Hobby shop more than once in a week?

Joe
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
This past week, I went to my LHS on Saturday to pickup a few 8-pin decoders. I discovered later that one of my locos was not equipped with a NMRA plug so I went back on Tuesday for a plain-jane decoder.
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
I was just talking about the same subject with some model railroad friends recently. I hardly ever go to our LHS. It's in the 'burbs, about a 15-20 minute highway drive from here. I don't need or want anything as I have quite a stash of supplies of my own.

I normally drop in every three weeks when I attend an operating session on a friend's layout, he lives not far from the LHS. But he doesn't have sessions in the summer, so I don't visit the shop.

I did actually drive out there about a month ago, looked around, wasn't anything I needed or wanted, so I didn't buy anything. He has a fairly decent supply of stuff, brings in new stuff too. Nice to look at, but I don't have any needs. I want to support him, he's a model railroader too, but don't want to buy something just for the sake of helping him.

Quite the dilemma!
 

Trucula

Drum Driver
Only time I stop is when my better half says, "Aren't you going to stop??...Don't you feel good???"....That's my "pre-approval"...LOL...I always jokingly fight the steering wheel when we go by like its pulling me in...LOL...(that's just to get her to notice we're there)....The owner is in our club and we get things 10% over his cost so I sneak my orders in over the phone and pick them up at the meetings..(Don't tell her!! ;))...Actually his shop is smaller and he doesn't have a full line of details....just kinda basic kits and a few sets...mostly for new people just starting, or people that don't know what they are looking for...But he can get Walthers item in a couple days....I enjoy stopping at new shops...and a couple bigger shops that are further away. I could spend hours in a well stocked shop, but taking her there is like taking me to a clothing store. :( I love finding stuff that's different ,old, or no longer made.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I frequent one shop, as well, they're only 2 blocks away, and on my way to work too. I'm there AT LEAST once every other week, if not once to twice a week. I also go to two of my local "Train" LHS's about once every other month. Usually when I win an auction at one, I check out both. After all the closer of the two is practically on the way to that farthest (and best) one. The left over shop (that I know of) usually has crap, so I go once every 6-8 months just to check out his LBF (Now Hubert's) stuff. Kinda hard to shop there when he wants $149 for an undec Genesis SD75M & SD75I, and I pick the same thing up on eBay for $50. I keep telling him, if he'd come down to $80 I'd take them.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
I only wish for a decent shop to stop by and drool all over the place.
My LHS is heavy on R/C gizmo's that have engines the size of a Harley...but Christmas type junk in the model trains area. (Oh well, I probably wouldn't pay the inflated prices, even if he had a good stock.)
 
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IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I only wish for a decent shop to stop by and drool all over the place...
Rex, when we visited my sister-in-law and her family in Pelham ~5 years ago, I remember there was an OK hobbyshop within a 20-minute drive from their house. Had an in-store layout with sound-equipped engines on it. I bought some Plastruct stuff from there. Can't remember the name of it for the life of me, though...:rolleyes:
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Yeah Ken, that is Oak Mountain Hobbies. He has a very good stock of Model Railroading. That train layout you mentioned is ran automatically by Railroad & Company software; really a neat setup.

BUT!...he is high and only gives discounts of 10% to members of the local club (that he and Carey are in) BUT!... he is 60 miles away from me and when you tag on the price of gas...well:eek: Still real good for window shopping and drooling every now and then:D :D .
 
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Bread&steel

Member
There's a great Hobby shop in Branford Connecticut. I love the place and it's owner is the greatest. Problem is, I used to live 15 minutes away, but I've moved and now I live almost an hour away. But still I take the trip at least once a month........my wife comes with me and reads in the car
 
The LHS in my home town is pretty lame - just a general crafts/hobby place - so there isn't really much there of interest.

Surprisingly there is as decent one in an even smaller town 30 minutes north. Otherwise, it's almost 2 hours to George's in Toronto. :eek:

That's OK - just promotes scratchbuilding!

Mark
 
Ya'll with the stores that are close... are lucky!! This crappy town I live in, doesnt have any kinda hobby shop.. its a 20 minute drive to the next town to get to one, and they carry crap..more into the R/C thing than MR related. Stinks actually.

The Hobby Shop I most frequent is in Cincinnati Ohio... about 70 miles one way for me.. but I try to get up there at least once a month.. pick up a few cars if nothin else.. They Have really good prices, the train Dept Mgr gives me REALLY good deals cause he knows how far I drive..Cant beat that.

By Far the best hobbyshop Ive seen was in Kirkwood Missouri.. Im gonna have to make a trip back to St Louis just to go there!!
 

joem5127

Member
Our LHS is closing. :( I was in yesterday and what is left is 40% off. I hope the wife doesn't kill me. I talked to the manager and he said sales are good he just didn't want to do it anymore.
 

Printer

Member
Ya'll with the stores that are close... are lucky!! This crappy town I live in, doesnt have any kinda hobby shop.. its a 20 minute drive to the next town to get to one, and they carry crap..more into the R/C thing than MR related. Stinks actually.

The Hobby Shop I most frequent is in Cincinnati Ohio... about 70 miles one way for me..
I'm in that boat myself. 65 miles one way to Jacksonville and then they are more interested in RC. The other "not so L"HS is in Ormond Beach, 50 miles South. I've not ventured down that far yet. Hobo's Hobby in St. Augustine closed a couple years ago and the K-B Toys is gone from the one and only dying Mall there. *Wally-World kills everything* But even St. Augustine is a 30 mile drive.

I used to frequent the Shops in Jax about once or twice a month when I had to drive up to the Paper Mill Houses for materials. Now that my health has taken a turn for the worse, I haven't been up there in 6 months. Besides they will deliver to me for a fee and with fuel prices what they are, finally the fee is cheaper than driving all that way for 10 or 12 cases of paper.
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
My hobby shop is 60 miles away in Sarasota & he is real high on prices. He has stuff in there w/lots of dust. I bought 12 Con-Cor amtrak pass. cars from him about 6 yrs. ago that had been used very little. I didn't pay him much because they were on consignment. The last time I was there, about 6 months ago, I asked him if he had anymore deals like I bought from him before. He said I didn't sell you those cars, U musta got them from someone else. I said, I got them from you. He said, I wouldn't sell anything at a low price like that. He said your wrong. I left, won't stop there again.
Over the past 10 years there have been about 8 large train shops close up.
One in Ft.Myers, 1 in Bradenton, 1 in Sebring & 2 in Port Charlotte.
I buy everything now by mailorder or wait for the train shows to start in the season. I hate retail & bad store owners. I always said if I ever won the lottery I would open up a real nice train store in my small town & would compete w/walmart. LOL

Larry
 

Printer

Member
My hobby shop is 60 miles away in Sarasota & he is real high on prices.
...
I always said if I ever won the lottery I would open up a real nice train store in my small town & would compete w/walmart. LOL

Larry
You're across the state from me Larry but it sounds like we share some of the same frustrations
Must be something to do with Florida? You would think that with all the old folks here that hobby shops would boom.
(i better get my mirror fixed, some old sickly guy is staring back at me lately)

As for competing with Wally-World? I would rather pay a few extra cents to be able to talk with someone who knows what they're talking about. The Nose-Pickers at WM don't have a clue about anything they sell. Ask a question about something/anything and they panic and look around for someone to unload you onto. "I'm sorry sir, this isn't my department". or "If it's not on the shelf, we don't carry it."
"Customer Service will help you, in the front of the store."
Customer Service. That's all any of us want. I have/had a sign on the wqall of my shop,
Rule #1: The Customer Is Always Right.
Rule #2: IF the customer is wrong, See Rule #1
Kept me in business for the best part of 3 decades with LOYAL customers. I wasn't the cheapest but I bent over backwards to provide Service.
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
Printer,
Have you ever been to Dan's Train store in Ocala? I haven't been there since he moved. He has a store on EBay too & I'm sure that's where he sells most of his real expensive stuff. He had real good prices the last time I was there(about 10 yrs. ago) on HO scale. He is a liqidator & he bought a lot of stuff from me once when I had a spot at the Plant City train show.
Over the years I have made some great deals on hobby shops that went out of business, by buying everything all at once. Then I would go to the train show/swap meets & sell off the stuff I couldn't use. I never lost money on anything & that was before EBay got so popular. I also get some good deals on advertising for HO Train stuff wanted in the local shopping guide.

Larry
 

Printer

Member
Printer,
Have you ever been to Dan's Train store in Ocala?

Larry
As much as this may sound odd, I've never been to Ocala. :eek:

I've seen Dan's eBay store, but only browsed.
Most of my travel has been business related. I haven't taken a real vacation since the late 70's. Always a working vacation. You know, some convention here or there that I turned into a write-off.:D
Then, even at that, I rushed back to my Shop to take care of my customers. If I went out of town, the doors were locked and I fretted missing business.
Besides, I really, really liked what I do/did. Running my print shop was a blast. It made me feel good doing it. That's one of the secrets to it, Having FUN. Even after doing the same old thing over and over for almost 30 years I couldn't wait to get to work in the mornings. I never had to put on a fake smile for the customers because the smile was natural.

But I've run off topic with this so I'll stop here.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Printer,
Have you ever been to Dan's Train store in Ocala? I haven't been there since he moved. He has a store on EBay too & I'm sure that's where he sells most of his real expensive stuff[...]
Larry
Larry, I buy from him at least once every 2 months. Just got myself a craftsman wood, waffle side box car for $10. Very nice seller, not as convenient as eBay buying from my LHS though (just because I just drive down there and talk to Charles, which is odd, its a 15 mile drive, and he lives a block from me).
 




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