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Sales online vs. raceways


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#51 Mattb

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 09:00 AM

Greg,   

 

I should have clarified that my references were not  to 100% of the population, but definitely I think it's the majority. The  number of phone addicted people is only going to grow, online sales is going to follow and  economic realities mean buyers will look at price and convenience when buying.

 

Don't confuse politics and laws with rules trying to regulate marketing and business. My argument is that basic supply and demand will always determine how business works. Maybe not politics and laws, but business almost always comes down to  a free market. As long as we have an internet where products can be sold and people that want to do that there will be online sales. As long as people have online capability and want to buy online, they will. No self-imposed rules will stop that.

 

Gov't does regulate liquor and smokes, but that kind of stuff is the exception. Not sure why they waste time even doing that.  

 

Face it, commercial slot racing is such a teeny, tiny business it doesn't even show up on the business radar. As to having manufacturers who no longer have to worry about making a living,, tell that to all the little guys making products in the garage and hoping to pay the bills.   I don't think we have many Bill Gates running slot companies.

 

Our generation will just have to make the best of what we have today and ride this hobby down to where it ends up. If enough people continue to care, they will find a way to have 1/24 racing at home or in a club, or they will switch to 1/32 in some format.

 

I realize not all raceways, owners and business are the same and that there are some successful models in our hobby.


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#52 Cheater

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 10:45 AM

The only thing I buy from brick and mortar stores anymore is food. Groceries and meals. Everything else I mail order.


And significant efforts are being made to allow you to acquire your groceries and meals without leavng home, as I am sure you know. Curbside grocery delivery seems to be where that's going (Kroger and Walmart in my market) after most direct-to-home grocery delivery services stalled a few years ago in many places. The home-delivery meal kit thing is hot, hot, hot, right now and almost every major city has a stand-alone meal delivery service that will pick up your order from your favorite restaurant and bring it to you.
 

I'm sure there will always be brick and mortal stores, but they're never going to be what they once were.


A truism if there ever was one.

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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#53 Cheater

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 11:35 AM

But when the guy shows up a month later (pick one or all): the tires are dried out, the class has changed and the equipment is outdate, the track has odd hours, the track has closed.
 
A lot of these problems would take care of themselves if there were 40 people in the raceway every day they were open. Not 40 people a week or month. Simply need more racers and online gaming, etc., has them and we don't.


Rob, the first thing that I thought of after reading your post was a quote: "Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not." Do you know who said it?

In full agreement, as we've all said for years if not decades, that for raceways to achieve any sort of stability there has to be more people coming in the door. That's the first step.

The second step is the the activity being 'sold' has to be configured to be sufficiently attractive to those people so that some of them will want to become customers, i.e participants in the slot car hobby.

Basic product marketing, as I understand it. Make sure they know what you're selling and then get them to understand why they would want to buy it. Not much basic marketing being done in slot car racing these days, especially in the 1/24 segment.

So much of what is done by raceways and manufacturers in 1/24 is just preaching to the choir, i.e. those already involved. Or seems to come from the mindset that if just one or a couple of things are changed or corrected, the hobby will become 'visible' to new people who will then become addicted, i.e. new participants. Sure hasn't worked that way yet, has it?

What has to be done to reverse the negative trend for 1/24 is complex, with a multitude of issues that will have to be addressed to generate any truly significant progress.

But the prime directive has to be to make the hobby more visible to the average guy on the street. And then to "sell the sizzle rather than the steak," to relate the powerful emotional factors that make it so compelling an activity for so many (few?).

The quote? Robert F. Kennedy.


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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#54 kvanpelt

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:30 PM

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!
 
All of this mental masturbation will yield nothing but a headache. Nothing said so far will impact things one bit.
 
I for one will be at my local raceway tomorrow enjoying this hobby I have come to love. No guarantee I will be here next week to enjoy it again, and no guarantee my raceway will be there for me to enjoy it the next week either.
 
"Life is too short to worry about the things we cannot change. Go to work, love your family, worship your God and try to enjoy your damn life."

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#55 Cheater

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:58 PM

From the "Terms of the Thread" post #6:

"Please don't post along the lines of "enjoy it while you can."

At least two posters have forgotten or ignored this restriction.

If you think this discussion is all blather, please don't follow the thread.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#56 kvanpelt

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 02:47 PM

Duly noted, Greg. Unfollowing the blather!
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#57 jimht

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 03:45 PM

Rob Voska said:

 

"But when the guy shows up a month later (pick one or all): the tires are dried out, the class has changed and the equipment is outdate,  the track has odd hours, the track has closed."

 

Aucontraire... solutions:

 

Silicone tires, capped foam or regular.

 

Race class? We aren't talking about race cars, beginners/players/non-racers shouldn't be buying race cars.

 

Outdated? No such thing: I've had people walking in with cars older than they are for forever, they're still fun to play with.

 

Odd hours, huh? As long as they're posted on the door and online and on an answering machine, no problem.

 

The closing of tracks would be alleviated by more customers playing and not just involved in organised/regimented/king of the hill racing.

 

The most fun had in my raceway regardless of the age of the driver is with rental cars, that's the one thing we've got that we haven't priced ourselves out of the toy market with.

 

Kids don't buy into hobbies; they buy toys. To get kids back we have to offer toys, fun and inexpensive.

It doesn't matter if they're junk. The surviving collectible stuff from the '60s is toy junk... all the rest was gleefully destroyed before the players moved on.


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#58 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 12:49 PM

I have to agree with Jim. 
 
Some of my most lucrative customers are in fact folks who show up with Dad's/Grandpa's/Uncle's/Cousin's/Yard Sale's Parma Starter set Flexi-2, complete with its pink endbell 16D, 1/8 inch axle, mile-thick stock car body, and dried -out orange tires. They "heard slot cars were back" from in the neighborhood, dig that starter set up, come in and ask "Is this any good?" and I smile, pull the body off, hose out the motor with some cleaner, add some oil, and hook it up to the power supply and watch their faces light up when that big ol' 16D buzzes to life. 
 
Then I sell them some tires and braids and listen to them laugh and knock down my walls for an hour or so before they're over looking at bodies and and decals and talking about how much faster their car can go. Sometimes they buy a new RTR or the parts to build a new car. Most times not. I do often end up selling them new 48p gears when all those wall hits move the motor, and even sometimes that old 16D gives up the ghost and I drop in a new one from Pro Slot ($17 and it bolts in like the old one in a few minutes, no worries Sir, I can get you back up and running in a few minutes).
 
They have fun, I sell some parts and some track time, and the whole intensely valuable cycle repeats on down the line.
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#59 havlicek

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 06:17 AM

So, while some may see online sales as a "bogeyman" and others see it as just "a way of doing business." the reality probably lies somewhere in between the two positions. These conversations seem to pretty much always go from the "negative impact" of online sales on the hobby, to how can commercial raceways improve their bottom line?.. .or even just stay open? It's way past the point of considering how to not have people buying online (an odd sentence structure used as a nicer way of saying "make it illegal for slot enthusisasts to buy online"... which just sounds ridiculous). The internet and internet sales is/are here, and isn't/aren't going anywhere, but at least some raceways do online sales. 

In the end, the affect of online sales (whether by a raceway or just an online seller with no raceway) and how commercial raceways can remain viable, are... and should be two separate issues in my mind. 

Again, I buy from Professor Motor and DMW, as well as from some raceways that sell online. Like pretty much any consumer, I look at two big things... price and selection, and like some others, I don't really have the option of physically going to a track to buy. I wish I did, because I enjoy the interaction with an actual breathing human being.  


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#60 Samiam

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 02:03 PM

I had a similar experience to Matt's. Wanted a R-Geo chassis jig from my local track. Waited, waited... no joke, I waited over a year. I PM'd Rick here and had it in less than a week. 


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#61 pmwslots

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 04:38 PM

All i can say is this, raceway owners! If your customers come to you with a order and you bring them stuff they did not ask for because those are not the items you sell because you get a special deal for another item, well, all I can say is you will lose business doing that because racers want what they asked for, not what you wanna sell them...

 

What do you all think? Am i off track?


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#62 Don Weaver

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 05:54 PM

Another point to consider is that raceways have to order small items six at a time. If you are asking for just one piece and the raceway doesn't see much chance of selling the other five then he can't afford to supply the part. 

 

In this case it is in the best interest of both the racer and raceway to have the racer go somewhere else.

 

Don


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#63 Justin A. Porter

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 04:41 PM

I've long had a great solution for oddball items that aren't my usual stock that would be "high risk" for whether or not I'd sell them to someone else: "I'd be happy to get that ordered for you, let me work out your total with tax."

Special orders and pre-orders of upcoming hot releases are one of the lifebloods of the hobby side of my business. If 1/24th scale commercial slot car manufacturers (as I don't especially have this problem with my HO scale Auto World stock) did more promoting of upcoming items I'd love to do more sales of that nature on the slot car side.


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#64 Bernard Powell

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 07:24 AM

Wow I just stumbled across this article and postings it's a very good idea that the people have this conversation, hopefully some new ideas to promote the sport and the hobby will come of it!!
As I see it slot car Raceway owners have to change their mindset have to come up with new ways to introduce business into their Raceway and new ways to stem the tide of mail order,
But I think the real answer to this is that the Raceway owners and the manufacturers get together and do like any other business would do and do a mass marketing approach!! This is a very expensive task but if everyone got together who's interested in progressing the sport it would probably be pretty reasonable,
Look at major corporations they have a so-so product and they want to get it out there they give it a large advertising budget and guess what its sells!! I think slot car racing is a very viable product to offer to the people in these days, slot car racing promotes hands on working, thinking, and planning something our youth need to get involved with!! And most of our grown ups also LOL. This is just me posting in with an idea maybe it's too far-fetched but, think about it I'll wait LOL
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#65 Bernard Powell

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 07:26 AM

One more point raceway owners and manufacturers cannot survive without each other!!!
Think about it I'll wait LOL

#66 Bernard Powell

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 07:39 AM

Oh yes also I think we're at a time that this needs to be implemented,
How many times have you heard somebody stumble into a Raceway and says wow I never knew this was here, or I used to do this when I was younger, that let you know that people who live in the neighborhood of a Raceway do not know about a Raceway in there area, bad advertising.
As real fact is it will be getting to the point that the racer that used to race in the 60s are dying off and they're the ones to fuel the sport if they get back in or bring someone in in with them!!
Now this is the premium time for manufactures and Raceway owners to get together and come up with a advertising scheme to keep them both in business cuz truly the manufacturers who would they sell to and Raceway owners who would they buy from, manufacturers will only get so many club events, and so on the thing that started slot car racing was the commercial Raceway the thing that started the club Raceway was the lack of commercial Raceway, I think I will get off my soapbox now

#67 Bernard Powell

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Posted 08 April 2018 - 07:53 AM

One more point I'm in Chicago and in Chicago there to RaceWay competing for business, but they're not competing against each other they're competing for a park in the worldwide Market of slot car racing they both have their own Niche and their own group of walk-in racer, but they are become manufacturers and wholesalers of Their Own product. Similar to how JK products started. JK open a Raceway going weekly events and Catering to the walk-in customers, he evolved into manufacturing small parts that he couldn't get on a timely fashion to make his customers happy
Is business plan is to offer customers a product to keep his Raceway going which evolve into a manufacturing Network that now is being wholesale around the world, the American dream, but I know most people know of the JK history, I'm just saying let this hobby Survive by everyone getting together and figuring out what's best
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#68 mark1

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 05:37 PM

A short story. a guy came into downriver speedway a while back. He had a car that  he bought on-line. He needed tires and a body. I mounted the body. Cut into my race prep, but hey, help a brother out. His car was fast . He was having a great time. He wanted upgrades. Kept saying I'll order that online. I told him to get on his phone, go to eri's website, pick out his stuff. Go to the counter and order the stuff. Joe (track owner) will give you a deal. You will have a place to run your car, that way.  The guy has an online mentality. Product of modern times, I guess??!!


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