LHS Customer Review

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Mountain Man, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    And here is exactly that opposite opinion of that same store in Phoenix you were just talking about Ezdays. I love that place. They know me by name, always take the time to answer my questions, and have a well stocked store. I have learned however that the man behind the register is the weakest link and when possible, I avoid him. The two that work in the back room are far friendlier and knowledgable. I'm guessing that your bad experience probably was due to the man that sits at the front register. If that's the case, I can totally understand your desire to not return.
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    No, we're not talking about the same store. I'm referring to the one on 43rd Ave. and Bell Rd. And yes, at the store you're talking about, the guy at the front register isn't Mr. Friendly, but at least he isn't rude.

    One time I bough some Life Like turnouts at the one on 43rd Ave., only because they were closer than anyone else. When I got them home, they were falling apart so I took them back. They accused me of breaking them, even though some of the packages were still sealed. That was a different incident than the other one I described. BTW, I changed all my turnouts to Atlas after that.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    the closest all-around train store to me has been out of HO scale 4x10 lumber for at least a year. Oh, and out of micro-sol and micro-set. Their inventory is not what it used to be. But, the staff compliments my car every time I walk in there. I enjoy going in there, but being a narrow gauger, frankly there aint much in there that I need to buy. There is a narrow gauge only store closer to my house, but I avoid that place because I am on a very limited budget, and worry about my self-control!!! :D

  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Good observations above. It's hard to believe that a business could be that off putting but, as noted, it could be just one staff person or just one person's bad impression.

    I usually go to two LHS's. One is 5 minutes from my house and the other is a 3-5 minute walk from my work -- this is hard on my pocket book! :eek: The one near my office is a new branch of George's Trains and the staff are friendly and helpful. Their prices are also pretty good. It's a well-stocked, cleanly-run operation.

    The one near my home is a hobby shop and it sells train items as well as catering to other hobbies. It also buys and sells used stock so the place isn't as polished as George's. The staff there are very friendly and helpful but their prices, unfortunately, seem a little high. I've seen some products 20-30% lower at other shops. I guess the positive side is that this shop makes up (for their higher prices on some things) through the advice they offer as well as the convenience of having it just up the road from me. They also do excellent repair work and this benefits me as I have several older locos that often need servicing. They also sell a few British items, which is also great for me.

    I also visit a few other LHS's in Ontario -- some of these I frequently see at model train shows which is where I buy stuff from them. Honestly, I've never been rudely or badly treated by any LHS's. Rarely, 1-2 staff might appear a little distracted or rushed, but then we all have our "off" days!

    Just some thoughts!
  5. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Don't even get me started on that place. They're just down right rude. I only shop there when the other places are closed or do not have what I need.
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Here in Cincinnati we have Dumb & Dumber hobbies. Or at least I know several people that call them that. They actually have a lot of good stuff, including the only decent narrow gauge selection in the area, but their prices are always full list. Further, they are not friendly and they act like vultures.

    One time I stopped by looking specifically for the classic trains calender to give my dad for Christmas. They didn't have it, but instead tried to sell me some other calender with the line "see, it has trains too". They tried to convince me that the calenders they had were better until I stormed out of the store.

    Yet, they have a loyal following...including a retired lawyer I know whom collects high end brass...purchasing everything from Dumb & Dumber hobbies. I suspect that it is because of the elderly father whom started the store and their loyalty to him. Further, the elderly father is an absolute specialist at tracking down obscure items/parts. Many other hobby shops hire him to find parts for them. It is a shame that his staff, I think they are his sons, are not close to being on par with him.

    Btw, Dumb and Dumber hobbies calls its self Gulf Manor Hobbies and has advertised in MR for decades.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I took your comments to heart and returned to the store. The store was considerably busier due to the Christmas season and the very nice Christmas children's railroad they had set up, so I allowed for the staff being busy. I simply hung around the N-ascale srectin looking baffled and waited to see what would happen, no request for assistance or anything.

    After about ten minutes an employee asked me if I needed help with anything. I replied that I needed to talk to someone seriously about the various pros and cons of N-scale vs HO-scale. He told me it wasn't his section - the employees are assigned to various sections by gauge in this store, but he offered to go and find the N-scale guy, and he did. When that individual arrived, I told him about my prior experience and he was baffled. He told me it was bad Page Ranking for the store to leave an impression like that, and said he would try to make up for it, He also said that after being the resident "expert" in a particularfor many years, some folks became ubncomfortable with anyone who wasn't equally knowledgable and got to thinking they were above answering simplistic questions from newbies, forgetting that everyone had to start from the ground up and learn as they went.

    So thanks to him, and to you, I will return from time to time. Unfortunately, I tend to judge stores by my experience in Colorado Springs, where the owner is warm and personable, and usually has a number of people hanging around just shooting the breeze at the register.

    One memorable day I commented on purchasing a particular book from his store, and the man next to me, a total stranger, asked me what I thought of it. I found it interesting and informative and I liked the style in which it was written, and upon hearing that the guy nodded and said he was very glad to hear it. He then introduced himself and told me he was the author of the book, which he proceeded to sign for me! According to the owner, he stops by quite often to talk trains.

    That's my kind of store, and I will pay extra to do business there.

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