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Hobby Shop owners...

There aren't that many hobby shops around these days. But I think the pandemic at least reignited a lot of people's interest in hobbies. Which is a great thing! I try to support hobby shops whenever I can, and it's always (or usually) fun to visit them...

However, sometimes you still visit a hobby store and just think 🙄 because of the attitude of the owner... So here is a quick little story...

This week I visited a hobby store, and noticed they had a few vintage RC models on display (not for sale). Which is very unusual to see, but was pretty cool. I asked about them anyway, not saying anything about my own collecting. Just to make chit-chat.

The store owner was immediately quite dismissive though, and not very friendly. He talked about how vintage RC models (e.g., Tamiya) weren't worth as much now, because the reissues were "identical". He went on about how totally identical they were. Clearly thinking I was just some clueless customer. He said "nobody can tell the difference between them, even the parts aren't stamped or anything".

I started to push back on this, saying old Tamiya parts are stamped differently, and the decals are different, and the plastics are different etc. After all - a new in box vintage Tamiya is still worth 3-4 times more than it's reissued counterpart.

But he was still dismissive...

I really didn't want to say much more, and normally I never do. But he kept on about his opinions so much.... that in the end I just said "Well I disagree. I've been collecting for some 30 years and have hundreds of cars, and have written a website for 10 years that devotes a lot of space to documenting the differences...". He went silent for a bit, and said "Oh right".

Shortly thereafter, he started to say that he had a friend who has "all the first 100 Tamiyas new in box" and so forth. I guess, to one-up me again.

So... 🤷🏻‍♂️ It was a weird conversation. I said I also collected a lot of vintage toy-grade RC models as well. He then asked me if I had a Jet Hopper. And said he saw someone recently who had one, but it was beat up and the owner couldn't get it working. But again, dismissive of it's value, and suggested it wasn't worthwhile to restore it.

I said I had many Jet Hoppers, and that some mint examples I have seen over the years can fetch $1000 (depending on the condition and which type it is). He was pretty shocked by that. 😉

Anyway, I didn't wish to "show off" at all whatsoever. But the dude was so infuriatingly dismissive of vintage RC value, so world-weary from running a hobby shop, and seemed to think he knew everything.... that he seemed to have no appreciation about why collectors... collect. Really tiresome. And to be honest, hearing all his opinionated (but baseless) bullshit just kinda pissed me off. 😄

So, how was your last hobby shop experience? 😐

It seems the attitude that the customer is an inconvenient necessity has spread BAD in retail.  This owner obviously has personal self-worth issues, and though no one does it for obvious reasons, once you're burnt on your chosen vocation, you should GET ANOTHER JOB.

If ya can't do that, at least feign enthusiasm that I want to give you my money.  Then, don't make it hard to do so.  Sadly, the trajectory of the world is to remove the human from the equation, but guys like this make it less of a tragedy.  I personally am a misanthropic sonofa....from way back, and do all my RC shopping online (Plus, no hobby shops in Pueblo, and they wouldn't have what I want anyway.)  So I minimize contact with others whenever possible- Guess why this is.

You show great restraint!  I could not have been so charitable, and like to be very direct with such chaps.  Tidbits like "You're not very smart, are you?" or "Just stop talking to me"  are common utterances, as I am not averse to confrontation with mental defectives, morons and patronizing individuals.  I'm an old-school biker & look it so rarely get a retort but don't mind if they try it:  These types are easy to shut down with plain logic without raising your voice.  My Wife & my cat are all I need and it allows me to override the troublesome gregarious instinct we are all burdened with.

The fact that the functionality of any business, system, program, or endeavor all boils down to its people has escaped many.  If his business is suffering, as it sounds like, I'm sure he has not considered his own off-putting demeanor as a factor:  He needs to acquaint himself with the principals of Root Cause Analysis.

Really chaps my arse to read this Mate. Guys like us do what we do for passion, and he has none if he ever did,  a horrible fate.  So, did ya spend any money at this place?   Chris  REC

Yes, you've expressed quite a few similar feelings, to how I feel!

I guess the RC hobby is different for everyone. And this hobby shop owner just didn't have any kind of polite manner about him. Very presumptuous about what a customer might know about the vintage collecting side of the hobby... and I guess he got a surprise.

And no - I didn't spend any money there at all. In the end I said "Anyway, sorry for wasting your time", and then I left as he was saying "Oh no, it's fine..." But I suspect he wouldn't want me to go back anyway. I had the feeling that unless I was buying something, he didn't have any time for me, and was butthurt that I corrected him.

All a bit of a shame really, as the shop is near where I work!