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I donít get it?


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#1 Dave Person

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 11:48 AM

Not naming names, city or manufacturer, just confused. Maybe it's always been this way but doesnt seem right.

There is a slot car business that went through all the proper channels, tax number, insurance, storefront, etc. Very nice place, clean, nice tracks, friendly.

Almost within walking distance is another place that is considered a club. No storefront, not a business.

Yet there is a major manufacturer of slot car parts selling to this club at 20% off which in turn sells to their "customers" or "club members" taking business away from the properly-established slot car business.

Is this a normal practice? Doesnt seem right. Doesn't seem fair to the business owner. Maybe I'm missing something. SMH.




#2 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 01:50 PM

I can't say for other manufacturers. We encourage our clubs to go through local stores to obtain a discount or we have a few stores around the country we will drop ship for if a local store isn't near the club. Logistically its a nightmare with a great amount of trust.

If the club chooses not to use drop shipments, they only receive a 10% discount after a $150.00 purchase. These numbers were worked out with advice from a few store owners as they could give a better discount to the club while maintaining a finger in the profits. Perhaps the club you speak of has done something similar with whoever is supplying their parts?

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#3 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 02:13 PM

Been that way for a long time.

 

Clubs have helped keep the hobby alive while the retail brick & mortars fight to survive. In my opinion you will never change the save a dollar mentality of some so it is what it is. Additionally I lived in Rockford for almost three decades and watched a few tracks come and go. In the '70s/early '80s the best place was located where the old Highlander was. My dad and I would go there on the weekends as well as Belvedere. Then in the '90s and early 2K some were going to Lucky Bob's as I did. Traveling to Chicagoland or Mid-America was always a pain simply due to traffic. 

 

Good luck, I believe Rockford still is a great area as rent is reasonable and the draw from South Beloit where there still are old racers with equipment as well as areas in the south should create a nice local base.


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#4 Phil Hackett

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 05:49 PM

Thunder Thumb Raceway was run by the Redondo Beach Recreation Department and had a 20% discount on everything, even special orders (imagine an order to Bill Stuebe/Checkpoint and getting a discount!). I never recall any other tracks complaining about them giving discounts to the customer.

 

I know the situation isn't exactly the same but it's very similar (and there was enough business to go around).


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#5 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 08:44 PM

Hi Dave,

 

Missed racing with you since McHenry Raceworld days.

 

I wonder if this 'club' is organized or not. My idea is that all raceways need to follow a 'Recreation Facility' concept with "501C7 IRS rules" instead of a for-profit business. This is the base model of all tennis and golf clubs as well as other 'sports' venues. The retail space is about <10% of the floor space and the tracks/fields/grounds are the 90+% of property use.

 

Otherwise it is two competing hamburger stands and sales and service.


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#6 Dave Person

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Posted 03 July 2019 - 09:23 PM

I guess I was surprised to hear that a club could get parts direct from a manufacturer when a raceway has to jump through hoops to get parts from distributors. It seems like the the distributors and manufacturers might tell the clubs where the nearest raceway is and have them buy from the raceway at a discounted price when purchasing in quantity. The old saying cut off your nose to spite your face comes to mind. If the manufacturer sells direct to a club then eventually there wont be legit raceway to buy those same parts from his distributor, effecting both the raceway(closing) and distributors(not selling parts). Maybe I can somewhat see it if the club was a 100 plus miles away but when there's a legit raceway just blocks away, not so much.

#7 jimht

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 12:14 AM

I don't know of any raceway that closed because of a club nearby... anyone?


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#8 chasbeeman

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 08:05 PM

Two active clubs here in St Louis, MGPMRC Monaco gran prix miniature racing club est 1962 and Gatewayslotracing est 1991 which spun off from the MGPMRC.

We have seen several commercial tracks come and go. If anything the club's helped promote the commercial shops and used the facilities for club events when allowed. The clubs have acquired just a handful of racers from the club events held at the various venues.

It seems like the core members were forced into basement racing due to the industry crash of the late 60's early 70's. Although club members would race at the commercial tracks, it was rare for the commercial racers to join the club's.

Currently today 2019 we have no commercial track close (closest is Route 66) and it seems strange that all the commercial racers just ceased to participate in the hobby due to tracks closing.

In summary the club's did get a few members through the commercial channels but certainly not enough to cause a track to close. One of our club racers who was a commercial shop owner still wonders what happened to the 500 plus RTR cars that were sold in his first year in business???
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#9 Pappy

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 08:17 PM

One of our club racers who was a commercial shop owner still wonders what happened to the 500 plus RTR cars that were sold in his first year in business???


They're on eBay.

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#10 n9949y

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:32 PM

Here in Eugene, OR, in the last 30 years or so about four-five commercial tracks have come and gone, each usually lasting for about three years. Meanwhile Pelican Park with a usual membership of 15 consumed a lot of slot car pieces and parts - much $$$ spent to build, maintain and repair our racing collections.
 
Astoundingly, at no time did any of the commercial track owners and managers ever reach out to us to sell and maintain a stream of needed equipment. We were ignored. Occasionally we would go to the commercial tracks to buy stuff, but the indifference commercial track owner managers presented to a thriving local club was such a put off we bought equipment online. We would have done what has been repeated on this thread and others ad nausea, “support your local track,” if only the local commercial track owners displayed a modicum of interest in our parts consumption. So, we've developed our own supply chain and occasionally buy from other commercial tracks and retailers. Thanks, Scott, at PCH parts Express, Ventura CA, 800 miles from Eugene. Not exactly supporting our local track!
 
By the way, our slot car interests are wide and varied. We have one member who races HO every week and another member who would again enjoy competing on commercial tracks, were they around.
 
Like what has happened in St. Louis, when the commercial tracks disappeared so did the commercial racers.


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