Metro Red Line
Jan 4, 2007
See! That part of the statement is true!:thumbs_up: I'm going to remember that one.
Well, it is true. But sounds like this is about all that was accurate...
Check your PM box.
HAHAHAHAHAHA i read this post then looked up at the top and i seen this.
Problem is, it isn't just the hobby industry. Customer service, good selection and knowledgeable, helpful staffing are on the decline in every industry. I don't know, I guess it just used to be that businesses were grateful for your patronage and took pride in providing good sales, service and support. Now, it seems like most of them think you should be grateful to them for being there, and if you don't want what they have at their price, well then you must want the wrong thing, so too bad. :thumbs_down:
Observations on society aside, there are only three hobby shops within driving distance of me. Two of them are "general" hobby shops with a few trains here and there. Nice folks at both, but small selection. The other is Esther's Hobby in Pittsburgh, a wonderful little N-centered store. Problem is, they're two hours away and I have to fight city traffic to get there. :sad:
I like supporting brick-and-mortar retailers when I can, but for my money, online retailers like Fifer Hobby and the others frequently discussed here are definitely the way to go.
In the hobby business, discount pricing is one of the things that most LHS's just don't understand. They price items at retail then wonder why they don't sell. To stay competitive, they need to discount pricing of all but the smallest of items. In our store, any hobby item with a retail price of over $25 is automatically discounted. For the most part, all of our Model RR inventory is priced the same as my online pricing, and all items are priced below retail. This keeps the local customers happy, and with the online sales it keeps the inventory moving and fresh.
Incidentally, this problem store with the condescending train guy *does* discount, which was the reason why I went to the store in the first place!
Kinda curious- did you ever try to contact the store manager? If he isn't aware of this jerk's rudeness, he may be interested to learn about it. Personally, I wouldn't want anybody working for me who was costing me business (read: money).
If, however, the manager doesn't think there's a problem, "shake the dust" and move on.
BTW- I'm an avid HO scaler, but I like what you N guys are getting these days. Then again, my philosophy is this- if it's about flanged wheels, it's all good.
Being in bussiness myself I can tell you with out a doubt that finding good people is nearly impossibable. And one not so good employee can run you out of bussiness in a hart beat. As to your experence (and you have already heard this) Talk to the manager or even better the owner, I am sure he would be very intrested. I guess I am blessed, I have a very good LHS to deal with in Blue Ridge Summit, PA. I know the owners and they know me. Now my nitch is Proto 48 and they don't cover all of that, And no hobby shop can cover all the bases but they try to have a good selection, service and knolage for all that come thru the door. And the employees are of a like mind, That's why they are sucessfull. It is sad that this person showed little or no respect for you or what you wanted for that is the hallmark of any relationship bussiness or otherwise. Had he worked for me I would have called him on the carpet, and enlightened his thinking. From what I am hearing the offending shop is perty good so if I were you I would not let one bad experence deter you from trying them again, Just don't deal with the same person.
This exists everywhere in the business world. It's called competition. Some folks would have us think that's not how it works. Well, it is how things work. You don't just throw doors open, say "here we are," and expect to start raking in cash. You must offer something. A reason to shop at your store. You have two tools available for use. Pricing, and customer service.
Ever notice how many people flock to Wally World, Costco, Home Depot, Lowes, etc? It's not just their in depth assortment of merchandise. It's also that you can usually get decent quality stuff. And stretch your ever diminishing discretionary dollar.
Hobbies being last on the household list of money to disburse, what you have available for fun, after paying for the true necessities of life, must be made to go as far as possible. That's just how it is. That's what too many hobby shops, and other business owners just cannot fathom.
Yes. I know all about the expenses of a business. I am an experienced manager, and owner. I've signed those checks. You won't pay any bills, if people aren't coming in the door, or spending their hard earned cash. Give them a good reason to do so. At your store. You have no choice.
Near me is a large hobby shop that basically only stocks trains. I was waited on an a salesperson who only wanted to make a quick sale and get onto the next customer, he didn't even want to go into the stock room to see if there were more items that I needed on my list, that hadn't restocked on the shelves. I told him I'll just wait for the next salesperson. The 2nd salesperson was helpful and filled out my entire list. Afterwards I went up to the owner and complimented the service I got from the 2nd salesperson, but told him that he almost lost the sale because of the 1st employee. The owner told me that the 1st employee's main job is fixing all the trains that are brought into the store and he is excellent at it and he needs him, but on the negative side, what I witnessed is his personality. The sad thing is the possiblity that 1st employee, who can also fix trains would be kept on and the 2nd employee, because he didn't have the same specialized skill, could be let go.
Someone on this forum PM'ed me and told me that they formerly worked at this particular hobby shop, in fact he knew who that person was. He told me the names of the owners so I'll be writing them a letter. I'm not looking for him to be fired as much as I want them to set him straight.
Send Constructive Feedback - It has greater effect!
:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Hobbiest don't always make good hobby shop owners or salespeople. Why? Because they sometimes have a bias to certain scales or types. What you encountered was a biased person who felt it better to beat his scale into you rather than make a sale.
I am fortunate to have found a guy in the Rockford area who mainly has experience in HO but with a hobby shop dedicated to all scales. He stated to me the other day that he is selling a lot more N lately, so he boosted his stock on N scale. As a result, he the smallest hobby shop in Rockford, has the largest selection of N scale locomotives, cars and structures.
First of all, I hope this matter gets straightened out, Metro Red Line. :embarassed:
Secondly, I can see why you don't want to go back to that store. Service is most definitely the biggest item in making a sale, besides low, discount prices. And by the way, I don't know what he was talking about in regards to N-scale; at least, at my LHS, you have to buy what you want within a month or it won't be there anymore, they'll have to order another.
Good Local Hobby Stores are not impossible to find, and are essential to the hobby, providing a central point for local modelers to gather, and share ideas, etc.
Just a fun observation: it's10:22 PM EST. N forum - 44 viewing. HO forum - 5 viewing. Pretty typical of the interest here of N vs HO.
Not random at all, Tim. :angel:
Always sort've threw me. The HO board is always sort've vacant, dare I say catatonic??? :teeth:
Maybe that's why all of the HO-scalers post here? Or Inspection Pit?
Or maybe because there so much more area to detail they dont have time to post here .
I am only kidding. I dont think one scale is better than another scale. I happen to like HO scale very much. Infact, I had a very difficult time deciding to ditch my HO stuff and migrate to N scale in 1999. There are still times when I realize I have not adjusted to N scale. This happens to me with detail items such as crossing gates, people, and things of that nature. My brain is still stuck in HO for these areas. I assume this is because I have not detailed anything in N Scale as of yet.
There are pros and cons associated with all of the scales. One just has to figure out which one is the best fit for them. . Who knows.....maybe someday my eyesight will crap out on me and I will start looking at the larger scales again.
Don't let one idiot ruin your relationship with a store.We had a local hobby shop who had a "train guy" in their model railroading department.He had similar "opinions" until the management heard enough complaints about his attitude,they fired him.While this is a great place to vent your frustrations,letting the owners know about this customer "service" can only improve their business,and therefore their sales,which trust me,the bottom line is huge in any business venture.
The "Flying Yankee" in Roslindale (25 minute walk from me), closed last year. Reason: "The Internet" I liked to buy tools, power supplies and the occasional impulse Atlas car. Always had friendly helpful advice.
The other LHS, (Hanson Hobby in Hanson MA), that I have visited is run by the brother in law of my high school sweet heart who is now my best friend. He has less than 20 square feet of N scale space and won't give me a discount but I still visit him for the little things when I visit her.
While I am there he always has positive upbeat friendly conversations / assistance with his customers. Always first class treat ment. I was not surprised to find out business is growing.