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Thread: Keeping tracks open

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    621
    If you carry every item you'd need a warehouse and one huge bank account!
    If you sell online to a slot racer you're taking sales away from the that slot racers local track which in turn closes and the slot racer quits the hobby and said hobby dies since the online buyer now has no track to race his online purchase at.
    You can or the slot racer can order anything online, the track owner can order from the distributor and provide to the racer whatever he wants at the set price the owner and the slot racer have come to establish. Once the loop is broken where the slot racer can obtain his wants from another source or the owner does not support or respond to the slot racers wants then the end begins.... lack of support will bring the end of the track, end of track will end the slot racers hobby.

    In other words those tracks that sell online are taking support from some other tracks customer base, maybe those that sell online can offer support or sell to the other track owners at a discount to increase customer base on a whole or to reduce their stagnant stock and afford to keep the doors open.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    220

    takes alot of time

    Quote Originally Posted by brassy View Post
    We let the commercial hobby morph into something that requires more time than many can devote to a leisure-time activity and until we address that issue, the numbers aren't going to go up very much.
    I think this is very well said. We need to keep it simple so regular people can enjoy it too, not just hardcore racers.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    109
    I dont fell the same as you fastvince the hardcore guys are the ones that want the newest parts so they can be ahead of the rest of the racer's thus having other go fast parts for the regular hobby racer, and if any shop owner chooses to not get a product in for his racer shame on them. Besides this was a thread to get different ideas to keep people in your shop, not online shopping.
    Last edited by balln68; 12-08-2010 at 04:09 PM. Reason: forgot a word

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    13
    Vince, Balln....why can't a store appeal to both? What I suggested at #14 was simply a way to draw in some regular casuals....but not at the expense of hard core racers

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    109
    The point i was getting at is if you have the parts for the hardcore guys then you will have the parts for the average joe. You have to cater to every racer, thats the only way you will stay open, and then hopefully you can stay open. I dont want to waste my hard earned money to open a slot car track, for it to fail and loose my money and to have the local people loose there money they have invested into the sport. Im looking for ideas to succeed running a buiness to bring extra income home.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Clitherall MN 56524
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by balln68 View Post
    I dont fell the same as you fastvince the hardcore guys are the ones that want the newest parts so they can be ahead of the rest of the racer's thus having other go fast parts for the regular hobby racer, and if any shop owner chooses to not get a product in for his racer shame on them. Besides this was a thread to get different ideas to keep people in your shop, not online shopping.
    this keep it positive... don't be that guy cause the the internet ruined the hobby.. if it wasn't for the internet the regular guy would never be able to afford a grp27 motor.. if you were considered a "regular" my local track after EVERY transaction no matter if you bought a single motor screw or a $350 motor he would stamp the entire length of the receipt with "1 free rental" which counted as 15 minutes track time... I still have tons of them to this day and started using them when I go down there

    also a easy and cheap way to get drag racers down to your track is a coin operated drag strip.. .25 and you had up to 6 passes

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Fulton, ny
    Posts
    100
    Awesome point Monty when is my stuff coming LOL I cant get it fast enough and this is no joke,Just look at how many people build and race thier own stuff,I guarantee not many and that in itself is another issue but the truth.Even though track owners should know how to build it gets back to what was stated earlier it takes TIME and that in our I want it now world is a precious commodity at the least,Very few slot car shops rely on the income solely to pay the bills personally and for the track,So they have other jobs,interests etc and that is time away from the track thats why I personally try my best to be there as much as possible.This is a great thread about KEEPING tracks open lets be positive there just might be something to learn here// Peace Fatboy
    TEAM B.O.W
    In memory of Gordy Root a great mentor and friend
    One time at Slotnerds camp

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    NorthWesterner now in Philippines
    Posts
    9,648
    How about starting a list of some POSITIVE suggestions for helping keep a raceway alive & thriving...

    - Make sure raceway is listed on LOCAL Google & Yahoo listings. It's great if you are listed or sponsor on OWH, but don't forget to submit your info so you are listed on local directories, so customers in your area will find you!

    - while you're at it, make sure you are listed in online directories - like the OWH Raceway Directory

    - Race Series - run monthly or weekly race series'. These can encourage regular participation. My preference is a 5 or 6 race series, with 1 "throwout". If you keep it short enough (5-6) and toss the lowest points, then it keeps it close so people don't give up and drop out.

    - Variety of classes & cars. Different strokes for different folks! If you have a variety of types of racing classes, and on different days, then chances are you'll get more racers with different interests. If you can offer different types and even different scales (HO, 1/32, 1/24, Drag, wings, scale, etc...) More customers with the same overhead is a good thing. Don't expect the same 6 customers to race a different class every day, however.

    - Promote locally. Bulletin boards, fliers, coupons, signs, newspapers, etc... there are many free or inexpensive ways to advertise.

    - Parties. Offer birthday parties, as well as corporate or company "team building" events. These can not only help pay the rent, but can also result in getting new regular racers as well. Groups like Cub Scouts, church groups & other orgs are great prospects.

    - "IROC" Type races. Have a set of nice equal cars, painted to match the lane colors, and hold "IROC" style races - or "No Car Needed". You can even hook up "house" controllers, so nobody needs to unhook & hookup. Just rotate the drivers and line up the cars after each 1 minute heat. If you have more then 8, run a round robin and rotate the drivers & turn marshals... or split them up in 2 groups (kids & adults?) if needed for turn marshals. This is a great way to recruit new racers... they can try out racing without first having to shell out for a car & controller. Chances are that some of them will get hooked and become regular racers!

    - Special "FUN" race events. Be creative... enduros, weird car classes, black light or headlight races, team races for parents & kids, etc...

    - Barbecue, pot luck, or catered event. Nothing beats a nice barbecue lunch or dinner in the middle of a long race day! Everybody loves to eat, and it's also a great chance to take a break & sit around and socialize with friends while eating.

    - Prizes. prizes don't have to cost much! "Win" stickers to stick on slot car box are great, plaques for series championships, etc. Sometimes even simple or gag prizes can be a lot of fun. I've seen races where all the prizes are laid out after the race, and racers come up (in order of finish usually) and pick out a prize. Even the obsolete stuff can be fun to win... & gag prizes are always fun.

    OK.... that's a start... I'll post more if I think of some later... anyone else have some POSITIVE ideas to add to the list????
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    NEW LOCATION COMING SOON
    Posts
    248
    Ed I think for many it boils down to if other tracks can do it so can they all. You dont carry every single little product, but carry decent amounts of stuff and as monty said it will sell if you know how to sell on true value. MSRP pricing is there for a reason so people dont low ball everyone all over the net. It also show at what price you should be purchasing. I to have looked alot and been to about every manufactures website. I know what about everything should be sold for.

    10 hours a day is spent sitting around. Uline is great, I know a great web developer, and fedex, USPS, and UPS will all setup an account and pickup at a place of business. marketing this time of year should be #1 priority. If your not doing BTB marketing tracks are losing out.
    Gilbert, AZ
    Falcon Wing/G12/Flexi/Nascar/Drag Race

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NH.
    Posts
    1,289
    Happy hour ?? sorry, I had to !!!

    No really, food is a great idea. Even if it's just something like hot dogs on a Sat afternoon. I like Paul's idea of pot luck. Everyone brings in a little something and it makes for a great get together after some racing or before racing. Everyone likes food !!
    Keep your finger on the trigger ,and your eye on the slot

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    137
    thanx fatboy this has been on my mind for 40 years when there were tracks everywhere ,and packed to the lips! the only place you could buy stuff was frekin there!monty's idea is great stock a large variety of stuff but 2or3 of each. if i had to deal with1/32 scale i guess i would.but everytime i go full scale into the hobby again my track goes belly up!also i thought about all the locals pitchin in and pay the lease and power. stuff the sales money in an account put it back into the business and take it from there.i would actually be willing to pay $200 a month to do my favorite hobby,a customer owned kinda gig,like a gym membership?wow!every newbie i've ever taken to a track has bought a starter kit,it's truly a bitchen hobby and i'm 50+ in fact it's more of an adult hobby i can work on those damn things all night!gym membership type deal????
    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy View Post
    Awesome point Monty when is my stuff coming LOL I cant get it fast enough and this is no joke,Just look at how many people build and race thier own stuff,I guarantee not many and that in itself is another issue but the truth.Even though track owners should know how to build it gets back to what was stated earlier it takes TIME and that in our I want it now world is a precious commodity at the least,Very few slot car shops rely on the income solely to pay the bills personally and for the track,So they have other jobs,interests etc and that is time away from the track thats why I personally try my best to be there as much as possible.This is a great thread about KEEPING tracks open lets be positive there just might be something to learn here// Peace Fatboy

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    137
    i would rather go to a real raceway instead of a cheesy plastic home track,and thats another thing that has turned people away is they buy there kid a little home track they saw at k-mart not knowing that big ones exist. dad tries it for a little while and gets bored with it and so does junior.dad goes to a big track that he saw through advertisement or a drive-by and tries it out .junior gets bored .dad thows junior in the car with some candy and dad starts buyin stuff hiding his spending from his old lady ,soon dad is not home on saturday nites dad is hooked on slotcars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yeah baby!!!! wifey gets mad,so dad stays home on saturday nites but works on his cars on the kitchen table,tiny balls of solder,burn marks,soon momma says get the hell out of the house!!!!slot-cars??

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    NEW LOCATION COMING SOON
    Posts
    248
    LOL Fester I love it.

    The membership Idea I feel is great, but hard also. There are alot of hidden cost that go into owning a shop that these memberships would have to pay for. Sure take how much yearly you pay just to race and track time and probably your a grand into just that portion. If you get 50 guys pitching in 75.00 a month and you make parts on an on order basis you could operate like this and likely make it a go. Even matching PCH prices for members. Then of course there are the normal fees for non members. This way you dont have to be open 7 days a week burning electricity ECT. Some racers race 2-3 classes that 75.00 would be a bargain for that month in my eyes
    Gilbert, AZ
    Falcon Wing/G12/Flexi/Nascar/Drag Race

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fall City, WA
    Posts
    1,364
    One of my pet peeves about MOST tracks I have ever been at is that they put ill handling cars in customers hands for rentals! I mean, how do you expect people to enjoy renting cars that handle so bad you don't want to drive them? And then expect them to pony up and purchase cars? If your entry level class is a Falcon Flexi LMP, use that for your rentals! Yes, you need to spend time fixing them, and bulletproofing them. But when the customer looks at the bottom of the car and see's it is the very same thing you are selling for your racing program, the cars will almost sell themselves. Sure, you need to gear them lower, and use 10 thou bodies, but if you keep them up and give them something fun to run, then you will see better sales as a result.

    Secondly, take the time to see if the person is actually running laps, or just crashing the cars on purpose. If they are running laps, make sure to spend time with them talking about coming in to the races. Give them tips on how to get better laps times by hitting their braking points. Granted, you can't do this if you are super busy, but being observant of the customers while they are in the shop will go a long ways towards getting them to come back IMHO.

    Another thing I have thought about (and actually suggested to Rob at PSCR) is to have clinics on things like assembling chassis, rebuilding motors, mounting bodies, and even painting bodies. I'm fairly certain we will have the motor building and chassis assembly clinics after the first of the year. What better way to getting new racers started than having a class on how to solder the various pieces into a competitive car, paint a new body and then learn how to mount it? The racers learn new skills, the track sells parts for everyone in the class, and they all get to race their new cars when they are done!
    Gary Johnson

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Pine, AZ
    Posts
    651
    GearBear,
    the clinics are always a great idea. Uncle Kals in Monrovia, Ca used to do something similar for the kids. They has what they called a Summer SlotCar Camp. I think it was a week long. I think it was like $100 but it included all the parts for the kids to build their car and included track time to use them. It was a great way to get kids into the track and learn the hobby.

    If Greg Gilbert reads this maybe he can elaborate more, as I beleive this was his brainchild.

    Jonathan

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