Your Local Hobby Shop

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by hooknlad, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Jan 22, 2006
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    I'm from Columbus, Ohio and I mainly frequent two stores: The Train Station and Strete Hobbies.

    The former is, as you'd guess, all trains, well stocked, and for the most part has good prices. There is also plenty of help that like to talk and mostly know what they're talking about. Even if they don't, they're still enthusiasitic about it.

    Strete's is a classic shop - car, plane, military, etc. models, as well as trains. The owner has been in the same location since the 50's as far as I know. I'd guess his operational style hasn't changed since then either - he hates computers, does everything on paper:D. He's not the greatest conversationalist (then neither am I) until you get to know him, but he knows what he is talking about from a huge depth of experience, and is the place to go to get that hard to find part - if he doesn't have it, he knows where to get it (or can tell you when the hard to get part maker died :D). Expensive though. Oh, and he is also a fantastic structure builder / detailer. It's inspiring to see a serious artists work!

    No one in my area is strong in DCC, unfortunately.
  2. ScottyB

    ScottyB Member

    Dec 12, 2004
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    I've been disappointed with my LHS, so I buy on eBay or online merchants. My LHS sells mostly at or above retail price, and I have found that it is cheaper to just buy anything online and pay the shipping.

    Recently I went to my LHS to get a small, $20 item. When they didn't have it in stock (or ever heard of it) they offered to order it from Walthers for me. That was very nice, so I took them up on the offer. They called after they received it, then they charged me $2 over retail price for it. So $22 for a $20 item. This same item goes for $13 online with $3 shipping. I questioned them and they said that $22 was the retail price! Not on the manufacturer's website it wasn't! So no more LHS for me.

    I would like to support them, but in today's world, every LHS has global competition. Unfortunately, mine is stubborn enough to not know this, and it will only be a matter of time until they are out of business.

    On eBay you just have to be sure you know what you are buying. I only purchase items in their original packaging. Avoid those guys who offer "new" items that have been "taken out of the box for pictures." BULL! There are plenty of pictures of every item somewhere online, no need to open the box.

    And most online retailers I have used offer great service, prices, and fast shipping.

  3. pennman

    pennman Member

    Jul 2, 2006
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    Just a little cuddous for FIFER Hobbies,
    I just ordered some switches from them and Mike replied to my emails right away helped me out, got my order to me and recieved it in 2 days no problems and when he didnt stock an item I wanted he recommended a hobby shop to me.
    Now thats what a good shop is all about and he has won my buis.Next time I'm in New Mexico I'll be stopping in.