Honestly, I felt guilty ordering from that seller after thinking about all the local sellers I could have gone to first. And I should have, because guess who came through and saved my sorry butt, yep, good ol’ Mike Morgan of DW Foamies! He had the exact ESCs I needed and sent them to me pronto. My friend’s project is now complete and flies like a champ. See TNBT series.
This makes me feel a little ashamed I did not ask Mike first. Along with DW Foamies, we have many great local hobby merchants that have taken huge personal and financial risks to bring the world of RC hobby practically to your door. No need to buy from overseas when you can support the local folks who have been supplying the parts you need for years. Sure, I know we all have a Pavlovian response to cheap cheap cheap. I get it. But I see more to the picture than just low prices. I try to look at value: what you get for the money you shell out. When you buy direct from cheap Chinese distributors you get a box of cheap goods. When you buy from local folks, you know you are helping support the local hobby community. Yes, the cost is sometimes higher but think about all the things these owners have done for the community. For example: John Weaver has supplied ARFs, motors, batteries, etc for the Mini-Ultra Stick pylon racing series, I’m guessing, at or near his cost. John has been doing this sort of thing for the decades he has been running Discount Hobby Warehouse. John and the other local shops have donated to innumerable club raffles for meetings and other events. Other great local folks include:
North to South
Lucien Miller of Innovative Designs, importer of Scorpion and Cobra motors. Customer service like no other!
Bill Woodfine of Hobby Town USA in Vista has a great selection of pretty much everything.
Steve Neu of NeuMotors, Manufactures the most technologically superior and powerful RC motors in the country.
Hobby Central in Mira Mesa/Miramar, great folks with a wide offering of just about everything RC and more.
Discount Hobby Warehouse as mentioned above, really well stocked and helpful folks.
Pandi of Sure Flight, specializes in electric helis and planes.
Hobby People has a general selection of everything hobby.
Mike Morgan of DW Foamies is probably the premier manufacturer and supplier of Depron foamies in the country, and one heck of a good guy.
Please email me if I have left anyone off this list and I will add them to it.
So go ahead and send your hard earned cash directly to the Chinese. Those suppliers will gradually get larger and control more of the market. Eventually none of the local folks will be able to compete, they’ll dry up and blow away thanks in part to all who decided to buy direct from China and not locally. Then all we are left with is a box of cheap, cheap, cheap.
I mentioned “value” above. Think about the value you get from the local folks compared to a box of cheap parts from China. The local guys are here when you need them. They are all modelers and consistently interact with the local modeling community. Most of us know them by name. They are our friends. When we support them we are really helping ourselves and other modelers by ensuring their continued existence and well being. When you get a box of cheap parts direct from China, ask yourself “what has this guy ever done for me or the modeling community?”