A sad day :

N-builder Mar 24, 2014

  1. N-builder

    N-builder TrainBoard Member

    I just found out that the LHS I've been shopping at for years is closing. I purchased my first RC car here in the late 80's and my first N scale loco a B-mann B&O Mikado that I still have. Now I have to go strictly internet since there are no more LHS's close to my home another closed up a few years ago. The closest one is one hour away and they have very limited N scale stock. This was the last LHS that stocked descent N scale stuff. I knew the owners for a very long time. I think the demise of the HS was that they never sold anything on the net. They where strictly old school. I tried to support them as much as possible I would run over there during my lunch break a lot of times and chat and end up buying something and I thank them for all they're years of good advice and hanging in there since I know how tough it is now a days. You guys will be missed.
  2. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

    I certainly feel your pain..I had four huge shops near me,and a half dozen others smaller ones.One,I was buying from since the early 60's with my father.I was playing as a kid with slotcars,Dad built balsa model airplanes.All closed in the past five years,I'm down to a hardware store run by a guy I can't stand.There was one ray of hope a few months ago,a guy opened a small shop in a flea market near me..Went there one day,he sold all the N stuff to one guy,not carrying it any more..
  3. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

    What is the name of the shop we are mourning here?
  4. casmmr

    casmmr TrainBoard Member

    While aqua walking this morning at the local Y, I was speaking with a couple of friends and we got on the topic of LHS. We remembered the same shops, but, never meet at any of them that we can recall. At one time there were at 4-5 LHS on the West side of Columbus, OH. Now 1, but, it only does RC cars. I think that Columbus, OH is lucky in that we have at least 6 LHS of varying specialties. 4 carry HO and N to a good selection, and 2 of the 4 will special order anything you need. Usual wait if suppliers have it in stock, 1 week.
  5. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

    You’re only an hour away from a hobby shop?
    Lucky you; I’m just under two hours away from my closet shop and they don’t have much I want.

    All of my hobby needs have been met by e-tail for the past 14 years and at times it gets weary. I just received some parts I desperately needed and they are the wrong item.

    Now I get to go through all the cra. . .hassle of return shipping and the long wait*time until it gets there are the correct item is shipped.

    *Patience may be a virtue but waiting sucks!!
    *Patience is not a virtue; Patience is the fifth Halliwell sister.
  6. thomas

    thomas TrainBoard Member

    Us train guys here in the Dallas area are very fortunate to have probably one the best train stores anywhere. They sell only trains and at a 20% discount on everything. They are the ones who have put some hobby shops out of business because of this. I also do a lot of shopping and selling of trains on e-bay. A few times I had to return items but on the whole the prices are pretty much worth the possible hassle should it come up. Hopefully the OP will have a better than expected shopping experience online.:)
  7. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    I live in NJ and travel the country, for work. I look for hobby shops everywhere i go. As my friend Rich told my wife "hey, he's not in bars..." to the point. There are shops that have been able to adjust to the new market. I found a shop near Atlanta, when I was looking at 44tonners. I asked the price... it was the same as the BEST price, I'd ever seen (50 on ebay). I said as much. His response? "Yep, thats me, and showed me his card". I now buy from him directly, at times. I won't name shops (ist verboten). Who among us is going to pay retail, for something around the house, if it can be there in a few days for 40% less? We dont support the gas station, with the highest price,... I do enjoy hobby shops and spend money, if the price is right, or something affordable strikes my eye, but i cant afford steamers at full price. I dont buy 450 eyeglasses, with insurance, when costco can do them for 140.... hobby shops are part of my hobby... i bought a vt railways box car, in Rutland last week. My first job was in a family owned drugstore.... times change.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
  8. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    I feel your pain. When I lived in Phoenix eons ago and I was doing HO...there where LHS's everywhere. Even specialty model train stores. I moved up here on 'The Mountain' in 1980. There where a couple of LHS's but they faded away rather quickly. Then came news of a NEW LHS setting up shop in town. Was chomping at the bit. When it opened...I went to check em out. They stocked lots of HO stuff...and a small section of N. All priced @ MSRP !!

    Years later...the LHS is still there. NO TRAIN stuff at all now. But lots of telescopes...pinewood derby stuff. AND 90 % of the store is now RC !! Helicopters...planes...cars...trucks...parts...accessories.

    I only go there to pick up some "maxi-cure" AC now and then. Straight in the door...grab a bottle...check out...and I'm gone. If the LHS closed its doors it wouldnt bother me a bit...sad to say.

    All my railroading needs are done online now. It works for me 95% of the time. ;-)
  9. Allamuchy Joe

    Allamuchy Joe TrainBoard Member

    My LHS is a little higher price than online, but I really enjoy visiting the store. It is nice to browse all the N scale items. I have also become good friends with the owner. He sells also RC stuff, and I think that keeps the doors open.

    What I really can't stand are the folks who use his store to "shop" for online items. Some of the RC folks ask his advice, pick his brain, then just rudely leave. A few months later, some of them come back with a broken RC car they purchased online looking to return it or get his advice to get it running correctly. Some people have tons of nerve.
  10. N-builder

    N-builder TrainBoard Member

    Wings Hobby shop.
  11. sillystringtheory

    sillystringtheory TrainBoard Member

    Man, I've got some history at that place.
    Back when I was in my late teens/early twenties I used to haunt Wings just about every Friday night. I used to go out to North Olmsted to see my uncle who was also an avid model railroader on Friday evenings. We always went to Wings in Lakewood and then to a donut shop before retiring to his house to run trains on his huge basement layout.
    Bought a lot of stuff there before the internet. He usually sold for full retail or just under.So many other places offer discounts, I just quit going there.
    The place I really miss went out years ago. It was a train store in Lorain on Colorado Ave.
  12. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member

    "Bought a lot of stuff there before the internet"

    Probably a different (and oft discussed) topic, but I wonder why the hobby just doesn't accept the fact that the lowest cost way to distribute model railroad supplies was mail order, now updated to the internet? Some say they are interested in protecting the supply chain, but obviously, the customers are protecting themselves, and I wonder how the MRR industry will react? Stick their head in the sand? Go to the Horizon model and sell more direct?

    Obviously, we would need some face to face contact, and whether that would come via clubs, perhaps encouraged to do more "how to" weekends by mfg discounts to club members, I just don't know.

    A buddy of mine wonders why the Hobby Lobby, Hobby Town and even Michaels just don't designate one store in each big city with multiple outlets as their "train store" which would stock most, and ship to other stores if needed from their stock?

    If I owned an LHS, I would be sure to have an online presence. Why go for maybe 500 customers when you can go for 500,000?
  13. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

    Back when I was in high school near Galveston in the 1960s I bought most of my N scale via mail order. Between Charles Merzbach in New York and Con Cor in Chicago, I received a lot of stuff in the mail. I did not have a car and it was almost an hour drive to the closest shop in Houston that had much selection of N scale. There were a few others but they only carried train sets and a few extra cars and locomotives.
  14. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member


    Nice trip down memory lane. I love looking at old ads if for no other reason to see how far we have come.
  15. N-builder

    N-builder TrainBoard Member

    In the 80's when I was a teen I would go there with a friend who's parent would always give him a huge allowance and he would buy tons of HO stuff I didn't really have a lot of money back then. And back then they sold RC and trains stuff also. I got my first RC car there a Tamiya Grasshopper. Then I saw that they carried N scale and that's what got me started in modeling N scale. I liked N scale because it was space efficient.
  16. Mike Kmetz

    Mike Kmetz TrainBoard Member

    Every time I returned to visit my parents in Fairview Park, I would be sure to stop by Wings. They always had a great selection of model railroad supplies and books. Sorry to hear they are closing.

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