Thursday, May 30, 2024

Support the shop that supports you!

There is a new track opening near the RC Driver offices and I’ve been there quite often helping the facility with everything from advice to manual labor painting walls, building pit tables, track design and soon. We’re pretty excited that yet another track is opening where we will be able to test products for the magazine. While I’ve been there, I’ve heard a number of conversations from excited customers waiting for the grand opening. This perhaps makes me even more excited to be a part of the track too, because I will be able to use first hand experiences with the track’s customers to help create topics and articles for RC Driver.

One weekend at the track, a man came in with his young son and his friend. They didn’t own an RC car, but they were researching them since they’d heard on the radio of the track’s opening. The father showed a link on his phone to the buggy they were interested in purchasing because it looked cool. The man was speaking with the track management and they agreed the buggy looked cool, but then gave him information to truly help him determine whether the RC car they thought looked cool was the right car for them. Where did they plan on racing it? What were the son’s interests? What did he think he was going to do with it? Imagine that, they spoke with the young man about what he liked and how interested he thought he would be and not just to the father.


Those places and people that take the time to speak to you and find out what your intentions are in the hobby in order to help you make the right purchase seem to be a dying breed. Too many times, customers go to the internet and have uneducated people on forums or marketing text lure them in and dictate what they purchase. This sometimes leaves them with less than desirable purchases that they may become frustrated with and that will eventually deter them from the hobby.

At the track the family determined that buying the buggy they saw online would be fine if they were backyard bashing, but since they wanted to race, they felt it was better to concentrate on a racing machine. They didn’t bother to go back online either to find a car that fit their need. They spent some more time talking in the shop and ultimately waiting for the next shipment of supplies to come in to decide between two different kits, right there, right in front of them—again with someone who is knowledgeable enough to help them. They understood that the pricing would be slightly higher at the shop, but then I heard something from the father that made me smile. He said, “Yeah, it might be a little more expensive, but you guys are supporting me and my son before we even bought something, so I’m happy to buy it here to support you.” Don’t get me wrong, buying online is good, but buying in a shop is better, especially if you think you will need one on one help or want to have a cool place to race and hang out.

So much information is available online, but not all of it is good, helpful information. You need to know whether it’s the right information for what you need and many times it’s not. Go to the people that have the experience, whether it’s a tried and true website run by professionals like RC Driver or a local hobby shop with experienced staff to guide you to what you need. Support a professional RC business and it will support you.

One comment

  1. I support my local hobby shop exclusively ,because when I need a part I want it today not in two weeks and when they know that, they will go out of their way to help me because I’am a returning customer who has supported them. I have purchased online when I find a deal that is drastically reduced and can wait two weeks for it and the LHS does not carry the item. And it is something that I don’t really need but would be nice to have. I would say I spent 98% in the local store

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