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JK Products major update


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#1 JK Products

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 11:25 AM

JK Products® is committed to the future of the slot car industry and we will do everything possible to help the raceways and racers that define it. The first major steps in this goal are being taken now.

 

1. JK Products will no longer sell to US distributors. We believe distributors are seriously harming the industry, US raceways in particular. Please click here to see the presentation.

 

a. The distributors are selling to many people they should not, taking those sales and profits directly from raceways. Now those JK sales and profits will go to raceways!

 

b. They increase delivery times and increase shipping costs because distributors do not stock most of our products. A racer orders from his raceway, the raceway then orders from the distributor (delay), and the distributor orders from us (delay). We then ship to the distributor (delay + shipping), who receives it, repackages it, and ships it out to the raceway (delay + shipping). Finally, the raceway gets the product and notifies the racer his order is in. This is a slow, costly and inefficient process.

 

c. The distributors act as a barrier between JK Products and our real customers; raceways and racers. We want to dramatically improve communications and relationships with raceways and racers to better support both parties, as well as to increase customer service, product feedback, new product ideas, etc.

 

d. The raceways will enjoy higher discounts purchasing directly than they received from the distributors. This means more money in the pockets of raceways. Furthermore, we have reduced the prices on hundreds of products, benefiting both the raceways and racers.

 

2. We have created a new website at jkproducts.com. This new website not only features an easy to use design with high quality photography, but will include much more valuable product information. It also will bring some unique capabilities as described later in this document.

 

3. While we wouldn’t prefer to do so in an ideal world, we will sell direct to racers for a number of reasons, but only with a special condition:

a. It is not possible for raceways to stock our full product line, to have an informative and up-to-date website including all our products, and to be fully knowledgeable regarding all our products.

            b. Some racers might be located far from their raceway, not like their nearest raceway, etc.

 

When we sell directly to racers (at full retail price of course) we will pay their designated raceway a 15% commission:

 

Any US racer who buys from us will have to register on our website. When they register, they have to select a US raceway. This raceway will receive a 15% commission on product sales automatically; we will handle the entire process and ship directly.

 

The raceway the racer has chosen will be kept confidential and the raceways won’t know which racers have selected them. Every time a racer places an order, their raceway will get an email saying they earned a commission. Again, it will not have the racers name attached, but this makes the purchasing process transparent while protecting the racer’s choice.

 

Next Steps:

 

Raceways:

Please register as soon as possible. If you do not register, racers cannot select you as their raceway and you won’t get any commissions.

How do we define a raceway?

#1. a dedicated space (not your house or garage)

#2 open to the public

#3. regular hours

#4 an active slot car program (you can’t just own a track to do online sales)

 

Once we have approved your registration as a raceway, you will be listed in “registered raceways” at the bottom of our homepage and you will start receiving commissions. Whenever one of your racers places an order with us, you will immediately receive an anonymous email showing the commission you earned.

 

Shipping is free with just a minimum $15 order. We want you to be able to get products to your racers as quickly as possible.

 

Clubs:

Please register for your club discount. Once we have approved your registration as a club, you will be listed in “registered clubs” on the bottom of our homepage.

 

Racers:

Please order from raceways whenever possible. Please do not purchase from non-raceways. The future of the industry depends upon this.

Please do not register for a few days until raceways have had a chance to register first.

Shipping will be free with a $75 order.

If you want to change your designated raceway, please email us with the change. Again, this is confidential. When you place an order, we show you the commission we will be crediting to your chosen raceway.

 

JK Products:

Once we get these changes all ironed out and any improvements we find, we will be focusing on more fair and fun racing, new products, and getting more racers into raceways!


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Tim Homola
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#2 JK Products

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 11:33 AM

To make sure everyone sees this presentation (linked to in post 1), let me post it here in the clear.

ss1.jpg

ss2.jpg

ss3.jpg

ss4.jpg

ss5.jpg

ss6.jpg


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Tim Homola
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#3 Phil Hackett

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 11:47 AM

Interesting.


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#4 Half Fast

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 12:24 PM

It is clear that Tim has given this approach considerable thought. It also good that clubs are included in the plan as this may be the future of the hobby.

 

This will shake things up for sure. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

 

Cheers,


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#5 RodneyZ

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 12:53 PM

More companies, from insurance to trucking, anything with middle men for nothing involved should start operating the same way. Would save a lot of money for everybody.
 


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#6 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 12:58 PM

Whoever makes the best quality parts that are fast will receive my hard-earned racer dollar.  
 
It is 2017. If the raceway does not have it and another is out there, I will find it before my next testing session.
 
I always spend plenty when I visit slot car tracks... would spend more if they could fill my shopping list.
 
If raceways don't stock it, how are folks supposed to buy from them?
 
BTW USA Today reports on Sears, Kmart, Macy's, JC Penney, HH Gregg, Gander Mountain - all closing stores in 2017...


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#7 Don Weaver

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:14 PM

All the nearby raceways have closed and the nearest one is 125 miles away and I've never been there and it's doubtful I ever will.

 

Do I register as a racer and choose any raceway I want to support?

 

Don


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#8 Racer36

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:18 PM

I certainly respect that Tim is wanting to fix what he perceives to be a broken business model, but when I look at the list of registered raceways (3), one of them is defunct. Probably a small oversight, but the optics are not good.


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#9 Half Fast

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:25 PM

 A valid point, considering how many raceway owners are barely computer literate this may cause considerable difficulty and lost revenue.
 
Cheers.

Bill Botjer

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#10 MSwiss

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:26 PM

Dennis,
 
If you are talking about Rt. 66, are you talking about the same one?
 
This one in Illinois appears to be open:
 
Rt. 66 Raceway


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#11 JK Products

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:32 PM

Hi Don,

 

You can pick whatever raceway you wish, and that choice will remain private.

 

Dennis, the whole reason to list "registered raceways" is to make it public and be corrected if I've made a mistake. Which raceway should not be listed as a raceway?


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#12 Racer36

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:34 PM

I am referring to Route 66. I assumed, perhaps in error, that it is the one in New Bethlehem, PA. My apologies if it is another raceway.


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#13 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:43 PM

The industry just may have died enough finally to start to extinguish the need for a distributor where commercial 1/24 slot car is concerned. However with or without a distributor with relevance to the flow chart, there is a flawed mentality within them. Raceways being "crushed" by distributors is excessive for sure. While I will not argue that the rules are not being broken, the consumers are the larger issue without a doubt. But are they truly to blame?

 

I find it funny when PCH and Professor Motor are listed negatively as both sell to raceways as well. Scott also is an advertiser here on the blog! Not sure about currently, but both also had active tracks as well at one point or another. I bet Scott has come to the rescue more times than not by putting parts in a racers hands before a race so that racer can participate at their local raceway than not. You cannot hang the noose around a reseller's neck for taking an opportunity due to some tracks shortcomings.

 

So if I don't have a local raceway I can just name random registered raceways and kick the 15% to them? Do they receive their 15% via cash from JK or in consumable credit? Surely this business model is not how it will be handled internationally; what is the plan for international customers needs?


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#14 Cheater

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:58 PM

So if I don't have a local raceway I can just name random registered raceways and kick the 15% to them? Do they receive their 15% via cash from JK or in consumable credit?


To your first question, as I understand the scenario, yes, any raceway you wish to select.

To your second question, either in credit for future purchases from JK or as a check, again as I understand it.

I can't address your international situation question.

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#15 JK Products

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 02:04 PM

Hi Dennis, no problem. If THIS is not a raceway; please let me know. 
 
Hi Matt, I do not find it funny at all that PCH and Professor Motor are taking sales and profits away from raceways. 
 
"So if I don't have a local raceway I can just name random registered raceways and kick the 15% to them?" Yes.
 
"Do they receive their 15% via cash from JK or in consumable credit?" A direct credit on their account that they can apply as they please.
 
"Surely this business model is not how it will be handled internationally, what is the plan for international customers needs?" We will sell direct overseas at higher discounts than they used to receive from distributors, in the event they don't choose to purchase from an international distributor.


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#16 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 02:23 PM

I do not find it funny at all that PCH and Professor Motor are taking sales and profits away from raceways.


They are not taking profits if the raceway is not stocking it to begin with or it takes four weeks to place an order for it. The product was never in their business plan to start.
 
At the end of the day nothing changes except the distributor is not in the mix.


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#17 Mattb

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 02:49 PM

I understand the thoughts behind this and the logic of no distributors to make money and add to final cost and putting that profit back in the raceway. There are a lot of factors at work and one mentioned is you can go online and order some parts your raceway may not even be aware exists. You will have them at your door in 2-3 days. I can only speak of personal exp with Prof and PCH. Both get high marks from me for their service and large inventory they have. Surely better than any raceway I have been in.   

 

Maybe if those guys set up a commercial track and opened for two hours on Friday night it would meet requirements.   

 

Supporting your raceway... I am all for that, at almost any cost you can afford. I've made my opinion known many times. The future is really bleak for most commercial tracks. Guys better get to any track they can and spend their money and support any way you can.   Does that mean restrictive trade rules and false markets? I'm not sure that is part of a free economy.   

 

Who says that if Hobby Lobby stocked 1/24 slot cars and parts it wouldn't help grow the hobby??? It is a plus that somebody is taking action to try and help the future of our hobby. Many sides to this.


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#18 JK Products

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 02:49 PM

Hopefully with the strong support we are showing, and the larger margins they will now be getting selling JK Products, raceways will stock/carry more of our products. In the event they don't have our products in stock, with a mere $15 minimum order for Raceways to receive free shipping, they will no longer have to "wait" to save up for a large enough order to get free shipping. Racers will get their products faster than ever.

 

Wow, Matt S, "At the end of the day nothing changes except the distributor is not in the mix." Nothing except more sales for raceways, more profit for raceways, automatic commissions, faster service, better communications, more manufacturer support, more sponsorship, ... 

 

Outside of that ... not much at all. ;)

 

Matt B, "Maybe if those guys set up a commercial track and opened for two hours on Friday night it would meet requirements."

Raceway requirement #4

 

#4. an active slot car program (you can’t just own a track to do online sales)

 

Pretty clearly covered. 


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#19 havlicek

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:04 PM

I for one think it's all good. Certainly if I were a distributor, I might not be thrilled with all this, but I'm neither a racer or a distributor or a track either. Now that you mention it, I don't know exactly what I am! Anywho, existential considerations aside (I'll have to check with Descartes and get back later on all this), I can't see anything but a good thing here. Personally, I buy from both Scott and PCH all the time for very simple reasons:

1) They have the stuff I need
2) Their prices are fair

3) Their service is consistently good

Look, in the interests of full disclosure, I've been a "fan" of what JK has been doing since before Tim took the reins. I have no dog in this fight (*not that there's a fight actually going on), but moving the hobby forward is something I'm always going to support. JK products' business model seems to me to dovetail nicely with all that. Add to that the simple-but-painful reality that slots is an ever-decreasing "pool,",\ and anything that aims to serve the slotter directly ought to be seen as a positive.  

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! I haven't been into a raceway in decades, so you may very well choose to completely discount what I just said. I'll still think you're cool.   :D


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#20 kvanpelt

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:18 PM

Is there a place that lists the criteria for registering as a club or did I miss that?

 

What is the club discount? Type of track required? Number of members? That sort of info!



#21 John Streisguth

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 04:07 PM

I like this business model. My "home" track is a bit over an hour away. If I need something, I would have to call to check if they have it. Then if not, have them order it and "hope" the distributor has it (and the last order I had them place, 3/4 of the stuff was unavailable).  Then drive down to get the parts. I could order from another raceway that I go to in the series I race, but I prefer to give the profit to the one I would most likely go to on a weekly basis. With this new business model, I can get the parts I need pretty quickly, and my "home" track has a better chance of staying in business. Just the price of gas is worth the shipping costs, not to mention the time.  


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#22 olescratch

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 04:09 PM

If the old way of doing business has proven to be a disaster, then any effort to improve or change it can only be given a chance! I'm not a racer, I only like to build. 

 

You only seem to be concerned with the "racers," this is what I've determined to be the "killer" of this hobby! Just like with anything else, when only one group of people are taken into consideration, the others move on!! 

 

I agree that something needs to be done to improve the amount of people coming into this hobby and thus increase the profits of the commercial raceways, but if you are only concerned with the racers, I think I've already stated what I see as your future! 

 

In regards to PCH and similar businesses, guys like me looking for that old part not commonly used in racing any longer would just be SOL without them. 

 

BTW, what are the qualifications to be listed as a "club"? I have a home track that I enjoy with my grandkids (four-lane routed). I do all the building of the cars, etc. Is it a club worthy of a discount in your eyes?


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#23 Tim Wilkins

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 05:27 PM

My two cents.  

 

First, I believe in supporting your local track whenever possible.  

 

That said, PCH, though smaller than it was, is a raceway. They are a commercial establishment and pay rent. They have customers come in and pay track time to race on their swoopy-eight track. Commercial rent is very expensive in Southern California and PCH had to downsize when the store they occupied in a strip mall was demolished for other commercial use. A track owner trying to survive by establishing a successful online business is not a bad thing.  

 

Also, since I can buy all my products directly from JK Products and have my car set up prior to arriving at the raceway, why bother buying these products at my local raceway? Simply put: it seems like JK Products wants you to substitute PCH online sales for theirs.


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#24 Samiam

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 06:10 PM

Tim,

 

I'm only going to ask, if a guy named Ken from Lucas, TX, seeks discounted pricing, please advise him to go Turbo-Blast it out his azz.


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#25 crazyphysicsteacher

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 06:18 PM

I have a question. I understand the costs and the discount in items given at each step. The local raceway buys my products and I give them a 50% discount on retail cost to provide a profit margin. If I wanted to go to a distributor, I would need to give another 50% off to allow them to make a profit. I personally cannot make money at that range so I did not go that way and do not have the exposure I could have gotten.

 

This seems odd in that unless all of the products that JK sells are immediately discounted by 50%, JK has just upped their profit margin by 80-100%. JK can make this move because they are a keystone source of product like Parma once was. They control the direction of the market because they have the ability to supply materials. This method does shut down smaller sources from being able to expand, since the distributors allow raceways to see products that they may never see otherwise. 

 

The distributor allows for a new source to get their product to a larger audience without having to go to each and every track to sell the product. The end of distributors will mean only the way to push a product is to go to every track and make your sales. Even the internet won't help because not all track owners spend their day surfing the internet or even list an email address.

 

I am willing to now sit back and watch the end result, what ever may come. Remember, we are not hobbyists, we are racers who will do what it takes to win.    


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