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Thread: Parts distributor help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Lakeport ca.
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    Parts distributor help

    Hello, so my issue is I own a slot car track in Northern California that is open to the public, we have a weekly race program and have also recently been included in the 2018-19 NorCal Slot Car Racing Series as well as a AWRA Race. We have 2 tracks a 120' hill climb and a 60' bullring oval. I was recently told by a major parts supplier that I could not buy from them because I was too close to another track. We are 3 adresses away from each other but do not conflict schedule or work against each other. I'm a wrong to feel this is totally absurd? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Long Island,N.Y.
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    866
    Why in God's name would you open a raceway 3 #s down from an existing one????

    What type of tracks does the other raceway have? Do you talk to each other? If he/she doesn't have an issue with you, have them call the distributor and tell them so.
    Don't resist....VOTE !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Lakeport ca.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam pan View Post
    Why in God's name would you open a raceway 3 #s down from an existing one????

    What type of tracks does the other raceway have? Do you talk to each other? If he/she doesn't have an issue with you, have them call the distributor and tell them so.
    We started off with just the small oval and had the chance to get the hill climb so we did. The other track is currently in the process of putting a blue king track up and the have a MTT flat track. We constantly have more racers than the other track but that's besides the point. I've never heard of anybody complaining about having to many tracks to close to each other.😉👍🏻

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    St Charles, Illinois, USA
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    2,292
    I have always maintained accounts with more than one distributor for many reasons. You cannot rely on any one shelf to have all that you might need and many brands are not stocked by everyone. We are not locked into franchise warehousing either as many other commercial store can be.


    Another option is to do co-op buying with the other store. Since the tracks and race classes may not overlap too much, you might have a nice semi-partnership in the other store. Larger bulk buying may give bigger discounts per order, or at least free shipping.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    50 year pin 1959-2009
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2009 member 0028, 2017 #404
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 & 1/32
    retired raceway owner(for now)
    Omni/Cidex service center

  5. #5
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    Sep 2011
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    Long Island,N.Y.
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    866
    But why OH why did you open so close to the other track to begin with? I understand the different car classes but it still is a really bad business move. Larry's idea on a co-op arrangement sounds like a great idea if the two of you can come to the table.
    Don't resist....VOTE !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Lakeport ca.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam pan View Post
    But why OH why did you open so close to the other track to begin with? I understand the different car classes but it still is a really bad business move. Larry's idea on a co-op arrangement sounds like a great idea if the two of you can come to the table.

    The original shop opened up and had great success for about 3 months then the owner started to run everyone off so we found a small track that we could put on our shop so we can still play and then more people found out about it and we started to have a good crowd then the hill climb came available and more people started to show up. To be clear my slot car track is in a shared space with our tire and detail shop. It wasn't mean to become a business but it turned into one. Its been a great deal as well own the building and have basically zero overhead and get to enjoy some great racing. I still don't understand why a company who's only business is selling to tracks would decline a track the ability to buy based on location. Maybe I see things differently. 🤔

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    22
    It is more than likely the reason is because it sounds like a club track, not a commercial raceway. You have a slot car track in your other business, its not a raceway. I would call the distributors and explain the situation and see what they can do. Have you submitted the application that most distributors require? Usually they want references as well that you are actually a commercial raceway, and not a backyard raceway.

    The other guy has overheads etc, the distributors will most likely only sell to him as his sole purpose is running a commercial raceway, and help keep his doors open.

    Sorry to be harsh, but sounds like more of a backyard raceway than a commercial. I support the distributors decision. The other guy relays on racers to keep his doors open, he doesn't have a back-fall if it doesn't work.

    I wish you luck with your raceway adventure

    Keep us updated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Lakeport ca.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slotracer1 View Post
    It is more than likely the reason is because it sounds like a club track, not a commercial raceway. You have a slot car track in your other business, its not a raceway. I would call the distributors and explain the situation and see what they can do. Have you submitted the application that most distributors require? Usually they want references as well that you are actually a commercial raceway, and not a backyard raceway.

    The other guy has overheads etc, the distributors will most likely only sell to him as his sole purpose is running a commercial raceway, and help keep his doors open.

    Sorry to be harsh, but sounds like more of a backyard raceway than a commercial. I support the distributors decision. The other guy relays on racers to keep his doors open, he doesn't have a back-fall if it doesn't work.

    I wish you luck with your raceway adventure

    Keep us updated.

    I guess to understand the whole situation there are some things you need to know, the owner of the other track has zero interest in slot cars or racing them, he owns several businesses that are successful, he owns the building the track is located in so his overhead is minimal, for reasons unknown to most of us racers he chose to open a slot car track as a business that seems to be nothing more than a way to show a loss for tax write offs. He has run off so many people its insane. That's the reasons we bought our own track, as to our facility, our tracks are in a completely separate area with its own entrance and such. We are not a club race track in my opinion as we are open normal business hours and hold races weekly, open to the public. The reason that was given to me was solely based on geographical location alone. We met all other requirements. I guess I'm just not used to a company that says its only business is supporting tracks but is excluding a customer due to something like that. The more tracks that buy from them helps everyone. I have many other accounts from supplies that I'm sure sell to him as well, no issues have ever been raised before this. I was told if I moved my tracks to another location they would be happy to reevaluate my application. I've moved on to another supplier who gladly welcomed us.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    St Charles, Illinois, USA
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    2,292
    Slotracer1,
    "Sorry to be harsh, but sounds like more of a backyard raceway than a commercial. I support the distributors decision. The other guy relays on racers to keep his doors open, he doesn't have a back-fall if it doesn't work. "

    I have no clue as to how you decided that Thunderdome is a club track. A few years ago the Hobbytown franchise put several 4 -6 lane tracks in their retail hobby stores in order to stock Parma parts and I know of several other mainline hobby shops that added a track to their floorspace. Of course, they did not follow though with the support activities that make a 'raceway' work and promote the sport.


    If you are a legal business with a Federal Tax ID and a state sales tax ID, you can buy from ALL distributors you like. Only with the commercial slot distributors do you need to verify the storefront and existance of a commercial track in order to buy their parts - in addition to the aforementioned tax IDs.

    What state is the distributor in? Call their Better Business Bureau and the States Attorney to complain.
    Last edited by Ramcatlarry; 09-07-2018 at 09:30 PM.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    50 year pin 1959-2009
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2009 member 0028, 2017 #404
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 & 1/32
    retired raceway owner(for now)
    Omni/Cidex service center

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    151
    We need all locations of slot car tracks for racers to exist or this hobby ceases to be viable. Same with the distributors, YOU need all locations to sell parts for the companies. NOT your responsibility to "protect" a location. Do you think a food distributor won't sell to different restaurants located in the same shopping center or a few blocks down the street? Or any supplier cares whether two similar businesses are located a few blocks or a few hundred feet away from each other. That is the business problem for their owners.

    The business will succeed or fail on its own. Correct?

    So everyone play nice and support the raceways.

    Remember, without them........
    CK DaBoer

    Knocked you out of the slot!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    NorthWesterner now in Philippines
    Posts
    9,169
    OK gang.... I had to put on my "mom" apron and do some cleanup on aisle 4 here.

    Can we please have a healthy discussion here by offering positive suggestions...
    and without the negative snarky remarks or personal attacks?

    Or as I often quote the infamous Rodney King: "Can't we all just get along?"

    Let's all try to stick to the topic, and keep it civel... okie dokie?

    Thaaaaanks...

    Paul K @ OWH (aka "mom")
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    151
    Just a thought:

    Since the situation that started this is two tracks within a few streets or miles from each other competing for the same customers. Since one owner has a shop. how about a cooperative effort by combining the two locations into one? Now this might not work in this instance but a cooperative effort with another business has worked in the past. Again, just a suggestion so take it as a discussion issue and nothing more.
    CK DaBoer

    Knocked you out of the slot!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    St Charles, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    2,292
    Reread the first post. They are both storefronts within a block of each other and they are not competing for the same racers. They do not even have race dates overlapping.

    In the mid 1960s, Aurora, Il had more than SEVEN raceways on public streets, all with no more than two tracks.
    l.d. kelley, M.A. Ramcatlarry@aol.com

    50 year pin 1959-2009
    Racing slot cars in America
    USRA 2009 member 0028, 2017 #404
    IRRA, ISRA/USA, Hardbodies 1/24 & 1/32
    retired raceway owner(for now)
    Omni/Cidex service center

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    151
    So what is the issue then with parts distributors?

    I remember where I grew up we had 18 slot car raceways. And some within a few blocks of each other and some miles apart.

    So the issue is with the distributor or the ????
    CK DaBoer

    Knocked you out of the slot!

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