Dont you hate being ignored?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gil Finn, May 26, 2006.

  1. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    My local hobby shop is bad about that.
    Two guys working, one doing some piddly litte task and the other hunched over the end of the counter talking on a cell phone to his girl fried. This guy lives on the phone.
    If you take a step in his direction it slides further away, it is some sort of dance.
    His budy is making deperate efforts not to make eye contact with you. I have never seen him wait on a model train customer and he has trains at home, in fact he avoids almost any customer who isnt a hot looking socker mom.
    This was, note "WAS "the place I was about to spend $700 on a Lionel engine.
    I found it on line for $540 and shipping.

    You know what I am going to say next.... SHIP THAT SUCKER TODAY sign1
  2. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Customer service just ain't what it used to be. I'm only 31, and I remember when shop owners knew you by name and what you needed before you even asked. Now everyone is asked for account numbers and all kinds of crap. You're not a face anymore, just pixels on a computer screen.

    Fortunately for me, my LHS (which isn't really local, it's 30 min away) is still pretty old fashioned. They greet you when you walk in, and offer assistance. The owner knows I'm a Nickel Plate N scaler, and shows me new things that come in.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Gil: are these guys English? I thought that was the only place where restaurants "closed for lunch".
    I went to a shop in London once, looking for a particular kit. The (very) young man behind the counter pointed to a box on the bottom shelf and said "All their kits are in there."
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    At me local hobby shop they know me by name, and greet me by name when I enter. The guys in the train dept are very helpful; and if there are a couple of customers there, we have a railfan/model railroader meet. The biggist problem I have, is we spend so much time visiting when I go, that not a lot gets done.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I know of a hobby shop where a horse-dog greets you by jumping on your chest and looking you in the eye..The hobby shop owner is watching TV-usually some type of sport show or game and when you ask him where he keeps this or that he mumbles some thing about over there and points..Now some times his over there point is aim directly at you since he doesn't bother to look up..:eek: Prices? Thats where he shines the most and makes everybody smile and what keeps his store open and busy.20-30% off.:D
    But,you are your own store clerk.:D
  6. Agamemnon

    Agamemnon Member

    I've seen that phenomenon, yes. About the the only place you get enthusiastic service is Games Workshop... and well, there you don't want any.
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I think that TrainNut and a few others can back me up on this, but our LHS, "Hobby Bench" is divided in half, 50% is crafts, 50% other hobbies. On our side of the store, it's also divided, about 40% RC planes, 40% RC cars, and what's left is trains. Years ago I started a conversation with one of the RC guys and he walked away in what I thought was the middle of the converstation. I guess he didn't think I'd be buying much that day, and I didn't. They have a full-time staff that works on the RC stuff, they do in-store repairs, but as far as trains go, you're on your own. They seem to have the same inventory they had six years ago so I don't go there anymore since I know they won't have what I'm looking for.

    Brakie mentioned a horse-dog that greets you at his LHS.:wave: We have a train shop in nearby Mesa. Lots of product there, they spend time with you, answer questions an all around nice place, well, this is if you like cats.:rolleyes: They've got several cats that walk and sleep on the merchandise. I had to run out of there one time before I got sick since someone hadn't changed the litter box in a long, long time.peasoup They are 50 miles away, so we don't go there much anyway.:D
  8. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    Thats the situation that has been created for the consumer now no matter where you shop, people hired for minimum wages, part time, don't know anything about the products that the company sells and not interested in learning, all they want to do is do as little as possible and getting paid. At my LHS it is run by a family, friendly enough, says hi to you when you come in and knows most of us by first names and what we are interested in, and has a good knowledge of railroading as well as other products they sell (rc cars and planes etc). Lets you spend time looking around and through boxes without pestering you or hovering around you (don't like that). Only problem with LHS is that is small and understandabaly their stock is limited. Go to the big city and it is a different story, may say hi if not to proccupied, gives you that feeling of hurry up and buy something and quit wasting my time, thats why I only go there if we have to go to the city for something else and have to drive by there other wise avoid the store. With the internet system you can browse and shop where you want and don't have to put up with rudeness. Ron..
  9. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I guess that I'm very lucky. Even though I'm way out in the sticks I have access to two very fine hobby shops. The closest one to me is about thirty miles away. It is The Silver Spike in Denton TX. I drive past Denton every day on the way home from work so it is actually convenient. It's a one-man shop and the owner knows most customers by name. He knows what RR and era I model and he points out new merchandise that I might be interested in. I think he steers me on purpose LOL. We can talk modeling or the real thing. Everything is 20% off list all the time. The other shop I patronize is 50 miles away in Addison TX. It is Discount Model Railroads. It's only seven miles from where I work so it is convenient as well. Much bigger shop but friendly as well. If I went more often they would probably know my name...they do recognize my face. They are also a discounter. Sorry to read about gil, brakie and ezdays less than positive experiences. I have no need to even consider Internet buying.
  10. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    I have run into a couple of shops that were just a place to store someone's collection. It had grown to an amazing size and so they opened a store. Of course they don't want to part with any of their wonderful things and anyone who comes sniffing around should be discouraged from buying anything!

    I have also foud that once you get to know those guys, they are more than willing to let you store some of their collection at your house because they know you will treat it kindly and enjoy it. I often make large purchases at a LHS, there is a good one about 20 miles from my house. I usually make small purchases on e-bay.

    Never trust a hobby shop owner under 50, they are probably only doing it for the money.
  11. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Where I am, I have a local HobbytownUSA, which I intend to eventually work for when summer comes...I have great asperations to take advantage of their wonderful amount of space (second largest train section next to Chattanooga, TN) here in the one in Fremont, CA.

    There's an infinitely better store called "The Train Shop" in Santa Clara, Ca which is about 20 (sometimes torturous miles on the 880 freeway) miles away, Always 20miles away, WONDERFUL (almost ungodly selection of HO stuff!!! :thumb: ) selection of train stuff from Z to G. :D I'm so lucky, but unfortnately, It takes nearly an act of god to get dad to go there with me! :rolleyes:
  12. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Best of luck this summer miles and God Bless
  13. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Try this on for size

    Just a month or so ago my model railroad was nothing more than a thought. Everywhere I turned for information, I was either told the wrong thing, or two pieces of information contradicted eachother.

    Im 24 years old, and sadly did not have ANYONE in my family or friends who knew the first thing about this hobby. So, bravely I walked into a place called "Whistle Stop" which does nothing but trains, thinking this would be the right place.

    I walk in, ready to buy, money in pocket. But apparently in the mind of the store worker, this kid had nothing more than a beat up copy of MR tucked into his back pocket. I asked very simple questions, and I was ready to buy and engine. I told him the specifics I was looking for. Finally, after alot of convincing, I get them to actually test an engine which does not even meet my needs. It derails and I tell them im not interested. They then proceed to try and sell me one of the most expensive engines in the place and tell me I "Need to put it on layaway cause you wont get another chance to own this one for YEARS" and im thinking, "Well, I wont, Cuase I dont want to buy it at all." Then the phone rings, and he walks away and ignores me for ten minutes jabbering to some guy on the phone instead of a paying customer. Seeing how annoyed I was, he takes the phone away from his mouth long enough to tell me to buy the engine, and that they didnt carry anything else....apprently Steam engines are hard to come buy for em.

    Now, if I were the worker, I would have thought, "Hey, here is a kid who is just getting into the hobby. He is probably full of questions, but if I treat him right, he will be a customer for life." But no, he is more interested in his phone call.

    Needless to say, I will not do business with them anymore. I found a hobbystore where the guy answers all my questions...and even asked me my name. He has earned my business for a long time...and I have only spoken with him on the PHONE!

    But even more than that, you folks here on the forum have helped wonderfully!

  14. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    for me the closest hobby shop is a 150 mile trip:( so if the owner/sales person is not friendly i simply leave and never go back.
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The store that I shop at is about 15-20 minutes away. This is a pretty big store, with model cars, boats, r/c stuff, some planes, a large craft department and lots of trains. The staff in the various areas is interested in what they sell and in their customers. The people in the train section know all of us regulars by name and there's often a good exchange of ideas and information going on. The selection is good, the prices fair, and they stand behind what they sell. If they don't have what you want, they'll order it for you. The store is Niagara Central Hobbies, in St. Catharines, Ontario.

  16. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Howdy, I had no idea anyone was this close to. I live in Denton and I have to agree with you 100% Chuck at Silver Spike is a great guy, always ready with a friendly word and any help he can offer; a nice little shop. In fact when I first started even thinking of starting modeling it was Chuck that gave me my first advice and information. Discount Model Railroads in Addison is also an excellent shop. They don’t me by name yet but they remember that I’m a Santa Fe modeler and that I model the 50’s – always helpful and pleasant.

    It’s sad to hear how badly our friends here have been treated by various merchants, if you all ever get a chance drop down, up, left, or right to Texas – we have some great shops from Papa Ben’s in Houston on up to our area here in North Texas.

    Anyway it sure is nice to see a gentleman from the area here on the forums. If you ever want to Willie feel free to drop me a line.

  17. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Yep, I'll back you up on that. We have at least 3 Hobby Benches in the valley and I will not go to two of them anymore. I'm tired of being treated rudely. I guess that is why I am so hopeful that the Freight Yard takes off and can establish themselves.
    What'sa matta Don? You don't like the cats? Me neither. My wife is allergic to 'em and will not go in that store with me and I agree, sometimes the smell is a bit strong. No matter though as they are a bit away and so I don't frequent there very often.
  18. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yeah, the smell is overwhelming sometimes, as is the annoyance of having to fight an animal before you can look at something. Why anyone things that this is good business practices is beyond my thinking. They have some really good deals from time to time if there's something on their "prior experience" counter. I got a bunch of MicroTrain and Atlas cars with MT couplers for $2.95 each a few years ago. Like you said, it is a ways away though. I hope The Freight Yard takes off, and I haven't been down to An Affair with Trains since they changed hands. I didn't like going there because it was so cluttered and they didn't have that much N scale, at least I couldn't find much going through all the clutter.:rolleyes:
  19. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    I should consider myself lucky because my LHS is only halfway across town, five minutes away. The owner is a friendly chap who knows me by name and he is always willing for a little chat. So are other customers - a really familiar atmosphere in there.:thumb:

    Now where's the snag? Since we are in Europe, he practically doesn't carry anything American. Ok, there's the ubiquitous Rivarossi Big Boy or Challenger - but since I mainly model H0n3 that doesn't help me much. And I understand perfectly that he can't stock American stuff just for one customer. :cry:

    But luckily there's other stuff like DCC elements, landscaping materials and several brands of track (PECO, Atlas) in his shop. So I still find a reason to drop in from time to time, buying something and have a friendly chat with him.

    For rolling stock there's still the internet. There are some Swiss importers of American model RR material. But (apart from one, who is retiring now) they are charging absolute moon prices :curse: , so I just ignore them. Having an engine sent from an US mail order shop to Switzerland is still 1/3 cheaper for me than buying it here in our country! :rolleyes:)

  20. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer New Member

    Perhaps the most enjoyment I get while visiting the hobby shops in my area is the discussions I have, not necessarily with the hobby shop owner, rather with the other customers in the store at the time. Saturday mornings seem to be a great time to visit the LHS as you will surely meet a "Gaggle" of modellers then! :)

Share This Page