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UK Model shops. Grrrr

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  • Member since
    May, 2008
UK Model shops. Grrrr
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 3:51 AM
Well, this isn't an incessently negative thread hopefully, but i was wondering what other members experiences are with UK model shops.

I thought my local shop in S****horpe was rude, dissmissive and darn well unpleasent place to go, but recent vists to shops in Lincoln, Bedford, Oxford and York all resulted in a similar experience.

Customer service was pretty much non existant, basically i was ignored in preference to the owner's mates who treat these shops as their own little clubs. Requests for information would be futile, espeically as these owners tend to assume that as a young bloke i'm a rubbish modeller.

High pricing is inevitable cos of the nature of selling stuff like this in shops, and i won't compain, but with such rubbish attitude, do these people realise that modellers like me, a 21 year old who wears converse trainers rather than sandals and socks would avoid local hobby shops like the plague. What possible reason would I have to go there instead of shopping on the internet? Any feedback, ideas, some ‘hope’ even appreciated.

interestingly i once found myself in a dolls house shop in York, for some flocking, and the service was a revelation. 'we always try and help, not just dolls house modellers. I got three members of staff discussing what could be useful for carpeting a car model. They treated everyone like this and probably secured a lot of sales as a result. Is this attitude problem exclusively with train/plane/airfix hobby shops??

Will
  • Member since
    July, 2005
  • From: UK
Posted by theflame on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 12:18 PM
i get the same poor service in the shops round here. when i asked in my local Hobbystore if they planned to get any plastic kits in anytime soon the manager said 'whats the matter, arent you man enough for a MOVING car?'

?!?

again, theres a dolls house shop near me that has started branching out into scale model kits and theyre SO helpful you wouldnt believe it. the woman there even took a picture of a sprue in a particular kit and emailed it to me, to save wasting a journey.

im sure theyre not all bad, but the ones around here are.

ps: did you get my PM from last month Will? It mighta got junk-foldered

  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: nottingham,england
Posted by arcturus on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 1:55 PM
WILL.....Just avoid S****horpe in general.You know how close it is to Hull,so you didn't think you was going to be made to feel THAT welcome.??LOL!!!!
I love it how this website automatically edits the word.For any Americans reading this, it's S..C...U..N...T...H...O...R...P...E.... Hopefully the computer won't edit that.

Anyway,my local hobby shops know me,so I don't have a problem apart from lack of US car kits,but I don't buy them from hobbyshops anyway.
Because unlike some Robin hoods,I can speak with an english accent...
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 2:28 PM
Well, this may be a bit out of date, but back in 94 I spent a week in London, and my very first stop was Hannants. Now, I was building airplanes then, but they were more than helpful and friendly. In fact, my poor wife who was four months pregnant was allowed to sit behind the counter and they even got her a drink. She needed it too since our next stop was up the road to the Royal AF Museum.
  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • From: Midlands, UK
Posted by Happy Martian on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 3:40 PM
Hannants are very good at what they do and unfortunately that's to have very little to do with cars. Tamiya or Revell best sellers if you're lucky. Planes and tanks aplenty though.

I use Antics in Coventry for my quick sundries (paints, glue, plasticard) and the guys behind the counter build kits themselves so they are talkative and helpful. I even got a mince pie and a tea off them on Xmas Eve. The problem they and other LHS have is that very few customers are ever in the shop, partly because of the prices but also because the hobby is fighting so many others. This leads to the clubhouse scenario Will described as regulars know they can go in and chat at length. This hasn't happened at Antics that I have seen but I only go infrequently now, I too choose to buy the big stuff cheaper online.
My post count moves like a glacial drift.....
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 4:12 PM
I have to disagree about hannants, well the Lowestoft warehouseanyway , tons of car and truck kits there. But then its a lot bigger than the London shop I think.

lowestoft has some polar lights cars, monogram 1:12 camaro and revell ford high boy in 1:8, even found some old amt kits recently.Full heller line up and hasegawa.

Lee
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 08, 2007 2:09 AM
My LHS guy is great.
  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 08, 2007 3:24 AM
interesting points. I reckon the 'clubhouse' thing, although frustrating to outsiders is probably a boon to the regulars. Just it's a pity that many owners seem to neglect the sporadic customers like me (and really, i'm only sporadic in the sense i would go about 2wice a month.).

I've found the bigger lhs's like Hannants very good. i have done business with the larger shops which run mail order services, and have experienced great custmoer service. More to lose??? or simply they're become successful cos of the service they provided??

I'd like to support the lhs, convenience would be great. but increasingly i feel less and less bothered about them losing my custom. can't think of any other stores/ resteraunts, services i'd support even if service was rubbish.

Problem is, mass desertion will never solve the problem *** even if a lhs makes a concerted effort to improve its service, no one will ever 'come back' to the fold after been treated badly. Sure don't think i will.

Will

theflame- funny story. Sc-u-n-thorpe council spent thousands of pounds sorting out their computer system, and after weeks it appeared that the email service wasn't working. Alas it trasnpired that every email was been blocked because of the sc-u-nthorpe in the address. Local government ground to a halt because of it.I found it terribly funny, i was temping that summer in their offices.

Will
  • Member since
    July, 2005
  • From: UK
Posted by theflame on Thursday, February 08, 2007 6:10 AM
haha, swear filter doing its job huh? ill send it again, it was just a link i wanted to share

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posted by Cycolac Fan on Thursday, February 08, 2007 8:49 AM
My local ones are pretty good, Bath Model Centre and Frome Model Centre, the latter is now stocking Bare metal Foil!!! Of course that's not a lot of use unless you're in Somerset...

I have certainly been to model shops where it seemed more like someone else's living room, especially the radio control guys. Nothing against them they seem to have a good 'let's have fun together in a club' mentality.

Course I only tend to go to model shops for paint and glue as few have the up to date or very old car kits I want, but that's another moan for another time...
Mike
Mike "Good hands, bad taste in cars." Yes I'm a grown up 'playing' with toys but a lot of adults my age drink beer or play computer games - and I've got something to show for the time and money I've spent...
  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Thursday, February 08, 2007 9:25 AM
I've been reading this thread with interest. In 2000 I lived in the UK for 6 months, and made it my mission to visit as many hobby shops as I could reasonably manage in that time. Though I found the UK to be a very friendly place, I too noticed the 'cold' reception from many hobby shop proprieters. The worst was a shop in Bristol, in which they were downright rude, despite the fact that I showed up there at least three times in a ten day period. I assumed at the time that this had something to do with being a foriegner, but perhaps this was not actually the case.

I would like to say that there were exceptions though. A shop in a mall in Chester was very accomodating, as were the people in a shop in Inverness, Scotland. I also met a vendor selling kits at the Classic Motor Show in Birmingham who was very friendly (likely a builder himself) and was keen to continue doing business via internet and post. Alas, I lost his contact information.

My tour of UK hobby shops was very interesting, with exposure to kits that are uncommon at home (such as the complete line of Fujimi GT-40s), or that I simply didn't know existed (such as the 1/24 Mk II Escort, wohooo!). All in all it was a great experiance, and I lugged home a lot of cool kits.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

Trevor

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Wolverhampton, England
Posted by jwhalen on Friday, February 09, 2007 7:08 AM
I live in Wolverhampton and we used to have a good hobby shop near us in Dudley (Ace Models) but unfortunately it closed recently. A newspaper article about the shop mentioned all the usual things (lack of interest, internet, etc.) and it was a shame to see it go. I think there's a decent shop in Birmingham (Mr Models, Bearwood (I think)) and I have got some stuff from them at shows. There are a couple of new shops in Wolverhampton so I'll have to have a look - it'd be great to have a local shop that hits all the right buttons. However, with the ease and convenience of the internet I feel that unless a shop has something special to offer, or indeed does a fair amount of show or internet business, it will struggle.

Cheers,

Jim

Cheap sunglasses - so dark they don't even know your name

Current projects = VW Golf GTI, '49 Mercury, '70 Hemi Cuda

  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • From: Midlands, UK
Posted by Happy Martian on Friday, February 09, 2007 9:59 AM
Jim,

Have you been over to the Merry Hill centre ? There's supposed to be a good model shop there.



Andy
My post count moves like a glacial drift.....
  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Wolverhampton, England
Posted by jwhalen on Friday, February 09, 2007 11:28 AM
Andy,

Yeah, I know the one you're referrring to at Merry Hill. I think it may be part of a chain but they do stock a good range of stuff - I sometimes get some of my paints etc. from there. No need to buy kits though, I've got a good stash of interesting stuff in the loft!

Cheers,

Jim

Cheap sunglasses - so dark they don't even know your name

Current projects = VW Golf GTI, '49 Mercury, '70 Hemi Cuda

  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: nottingham,england
Posted by arcturus on Friday, February 09, 2007 12:25 PM
My local is one of those shops that cater for every building hobby.Some of the stuff is new,some of its so old its faded.Alot of his kits are secondhand,and range from dinky toys,model railways,diorama stuff,to even fishing tackle and old radios etc.He's a barter shop too.He has a great selection of scratch building stuff.He knows me by name now so I never get a cold reception.
BAINFORD......They are tough people in Bristol.Bloody dockers!!!! LOL
Because unlike some Robin hoods,I can speak with an english accent...
  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Ct.
Posted by cadillac on Monday, October 07, 2019 9:21 PM

If these Hobby Shops don't want your business... Well, the answer is clear. Take it elsewhere. The Hobby Shop will end up closing, and good riddence. Their Mates aren't going to support them finacially.

It happened here when a well known Chain opened near me. The Owner(?) was only interested in Radio Control. Didn't give a hoot about the rest. They closed less than a year later. The Owner (Most likely) blaimed it on anything other than his lack of Customer Service to non R/C Hobbiest.

Customer Service... Rather the lack there of is a real problem today. Not many have it. Or they do and it doesn't work.

Cheers.

I'm a bad monkey.

Aaaaaaaahhhhh insanity, It's not just for the insane anymore.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: Central U.K.
Posted by hayes on Tuesday, October 08, 2019 6:12 AM

Hi James (jwhalen), if you ever need to find a model shop in the UK near where you are, or where you are going, have a look at the Model shop Directory (http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/). It is intended for model railway types but model shops are listed by county/name/model type, just click on an icon. Having said it is for model railways almost all the shops sell plastic kits & modelling materials. Icons on the listing often give links to things like the shop web-site, if it has one. You can sign up to a weekly newsletter that lists any changes to the list of shops & it also lists model railway shows for the weeks ahead - don't laugh - it is surprising how much useful modelling materials & tools I have picked up at a model railway show that you don't see at a plastic model show - like a spray booth, filters & face mask, plus saws, drill bits, needle files, etc..

Another source of model shop locations is the on-line BT Phone Book (https://www.thephonebook.bt.com/) just type in "model shop" & a location & you get a list, given by distance from the location. Often it has a link to the shop's web-site. Even some Hobbycraft shops can be useful.

Using the above I have found a model shop in almost every place I have been to, like York, Bridlington, Scarborough, Salisbury, Weymouth, Frome, Gloucester, Norwich, Porthmadog, etc., etc.

Don't forget the IPMS shows (http://ipmsuk.org/calendar/category/uk-model-shows/), many model shops also have stalls at shows. Especially don't forget what is touted as the biggest plastic model show in the world IPMS ScaleModelWorld, Telford International Centre November 9th-10th.

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: CA Gold Country foothills.
Posted by mishalah on Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:39 PM

We get that in the U.S., too. Mostly because they want to deal with the RC buyers who spend way more money.

"Help me....I've fallen and I can't get up."...my models are crushing me. my pics: https://public.fotki.com/dallas916/

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