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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: WA4D on January 23, 2012, 03:31:46 PM



Title: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: WA4D on January 23, 2012, 03:31:46 PM
Recently, I  was in a Ham Store and an employee confided that he  worries that, "Some hams come in to look at expensive radios and then go home and purchase online saving the taxes".  There is no doubt some do that (perhaps  most  in California when it comes to a $1000+ rig and the sales taxes are just shy of 10%).

The Wall Street Journal picked up on this ham's concern today in a story about TARGET.

"Target is asking suppliers for help in thwarting "showrooming"—that is, when shoppers come into a store to see a product in person, only to buy it from a rival online, frequently at a lower price."

I haven't bought a radio in excess of $1000+ in years. That said, I'm looking at a package north of $5K. Am I ethically bound to buy locally and pay the taxes?


With the nation in constant  debate turmoil over budgets, who pays what taxes, a transitioning economy where the uneducated have a bleak  future, what is a Ham's responsibility?  Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO "bricks and mortar" style businesses healthy? Or is the state's 10% penalty just too harsh for most? Is it an ethical issue? Some  political leaders think so. Or is buying via the best price  just a reflection of  the free market?

I'm some months off from my $5K purchase.  Yet it's difficult to rationalize paying an additional $500 for products that can be purchased online and be delivered to my door.  Comments?

mike/ wa4d.net


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: AL7MM on January 23, 2012, 03:40:07 PM
Mike -
How much do you value having a ham store to shop in?  We don't have a ham store in town, but when I want to buy tools or hardware I prefer to shop at a locally owned hardware store rather than go to one of the two mega stores. I want to support my local economy, even though the price may be a little higher.  I think the same thing goes for the few ham stores left in the U.S.

73,
Mike, KL7MJ


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: WA4D on January 23, 2012, 03:49:48 PM
Well you cut right to it Mike [KL7MJ].  I do value having a Ham store(s) near.  Here in Southern California there are many. And I  do think that under the $500 threshold, most hams who can, do buy locally. But  as the item price rises, the pain increases.  And we are left with an easy way out.  That of the  Online/Tax Free merchant.  

regards from LA,

mike/wa4d


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: W2NAP on January 23, 2012, 05:48:20 PM
sales taxes need to be done away with period.

if i have to buy something, instead of getting taxed to death. ill just buy online and not get taxed to death.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: AA4PB on January 23, 2012, 06:26:20 PM
Both AES and HRO have on-line ordering as well but I think they are supposed to charge sales tax on-line to customers who are located in a state where they have a brick and mortar store. They are playing the same game however. The VA store ships stuff to CA customers and the CA store ships stuff to VA customers. The winners are always lawyers and UPS  ;D

In some states you are "supposed" to report out of state orders with your state income tax and pay any uncollected sales tax - as long as we are talking about "ethical"  ;D

When making a big purchase I generally consider a number of things - one of which is overall cost. Sometimes the cost of the tax is offset by no shipping charges when purchasing locally.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KE3WD on January 23, 2012, 07:48:17 PM
I would calculate the full price of the item to me using an online store and then take that, on paper, to the brick and mortar store and show the salesperson, asking them to equal or even better it. 


73


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K3WEC on January 23, 2012, 08:25:43 PM
I wouldn't think it would be a matter of ethics.  The market determines price.   For some, though, it is worth paying more to support a small business.  For others these days, it isn't....particularly on large purchases when you get tagged on local and state tax levels.  A $500 difference is a big deal to a lot of people.

Maybe AES, HRO, and independents should charge a fee for playing with their radios which in turn could be deducted from the sales price if you purchased there.   Might encourage the tire-kickers to buy.  

I only know of one ham store in my metroplex of 4 million people.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on January 24, 2012, 01:14:33 AM
This is the same question no matter what item you are looking at buying.
If a business is run well, and builds a loyal clientelle, people are willing to pay a premium for good service, after sales advice and personally bringing the baby home in the car.
But if businesses give the customer a bad experience, treat them like potential shoplifters, are surly and unfriendly, then what is one to do?

When I worked in the computer industry it was routine to have people ask for engineers who were technically weaker than others, soley for interpersonal reasons, even if it was going to take longer and cost more, the customer made the decision because they liked some guys better.

Admittedly, some stores have better staff than others, but if I wanted to crap shoot I would go to Vegas, not my local ham radio store.

This is why I buy online - I have gotten tired of the frustrating experience, and am both saving money, and having a much better shopping experience.

I can't save ham stores by myself any more than the passengers of the Titanic could bail out the water entering the vessel.

73s



Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: AC4RD on January 24, 2012, 04:05:15 AM
We don't have a ham store in town, but when I want to buy tools or hardware I prefer to shop at a locally owned hardware store rather than go to one of the two mega stores. I want to support my local economy, even though the price may be a little higher.  I think the same thing goes for the few ham stores left in the U.S.

 [sound of AC4RD applauding and saying, "You NAILED it, AL7MM!"]

I always used to buy from CHQ in Wilmington NC, when they were still around.  For the same reason I buy my books and my hardware/home needs at locally owned non-big-chain stores.  The prices aren't usually that different, but they're easier and more convenient to shop at, the folks at the stores know more about their merchandise than the big-chain people, and I'd rather a family business get my couple of dollars and re-spend them in the community. 


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: AA4PB on January 24, 2012, 05:00:25 AM
I would calculate the full price of the item to me using an online store and then take that, on paper, to the brick and mortar store and show the salesperson, asking them to equal or even better it. 
73

I did that a few years ago. I brought the AES on-line price into a local store. The manager came out and showed me an invoice where his wholesale cost for the radio was more than AES was selling it to me for. He claimed that the mfgs final price depends on the store's sales volume over a year so he couldn't compete on price. He told me that given the circumstances he would purchase on line too.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K1CJS on January 24, 2012, 05:58:43 AM
...If a business is run well, and builds a loyal clientelle, people are willing to pay a premium for good service, after sales advice and personally bringing the baby home in the car.
But if businesses give the customer a bad experience, treat them like potential shoplifters, are surly and unfriendly, then what is one to do?...


This sums it up--or it used to.  These days, people are looking to save money like never before in this country's history.  It just makes sense to them to save since they may well have to scrimp and save in order to get that radio to begin with.

In my case, even though I'm seventy miles away from New Hampshire which is a sales tax free state, I go there to look AND to buy.  If I'm unable to get there, I take my best shot and order online.  Either way I pay the same price, excepting the cost of travel, that is.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: W5DQ on January 24, 2012, 07:06:16 AM
I would calculate the full price of the item to me using an online store and then take that, on paper, to the brick and mortar store and show the salesperson, asking them to equal or even better it. 


73

So they beat the online price......in the end you're going to pay taxes on that lower price if your buying from a brick'n'mortar store. The store doesn't care about the sales tax. That isn't figured into their competitiveness on pricing. It just a cost they are required by law to collect for the gov't and they see no % of it. You'll be extremely lucky to find a store that will beat a online price INCLUDING their required sales tax. Some stores, not any hams store that I have seen, raise their % markup across the board and then offer NO SALES TAX. You're not paying it .... EVERYONE is paying it in those cases.

So far as window shopping. If it is to my benefit, then I'll do it. If not, there isn't much sense in messing with it as the margin of savings from one ham store to another is trivial and shop at your favorite or local and get your toys and be happy.

I'm in SoCal and my local ham store (HRO) is almost 3 hours away in the LA area. Not sure where the lucky poster in SoCal lives that has many local stores but he/she don't live out here close to me :)

Gene W5DQ


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: WE1X on January 24, 2012, 09:48:21 AM
Truth be told the most successful retailers are those that (a) operate both brick & mortar stores and online stores and (b) make every effort to keep their online store content (products and information) current, and have a site that's easy to navigate and even easier to make a purchase. Given that ham radio is a niche market one cannot expect ham retailers to stay in operation without an online presence (think of the benefit of a store open 24/7).

Regarding sales taxes, it is inevitable that state sales taxes on Internet purchases through e-tailers are going to happen. One can argue (mostly for the sake of arguing) an ideological position on taxes, but it really doesn't matter.  With more and more sales shifting from brick & mortar retail to online some of those tax dollars have to be recouped.  The hope is if a retailer runs an efficient online store (including backoffice operations such as inventory management and order fulfillment) then maybe those savings can be plowed back into the company creating jobs, new products, etc.

Harry WE1X


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KE3WD on January 24, 2012, 10:22:54 AM
1)  Anyone in sales who told you that the mfrs set the selling price is full of it.  If that is truly what the brick 'n mortar salesperson tried to pull, maybe they deserve to go out of bidness.  I'm willing to bet that the salesperson was laying out the BS simply because they did not want any lower negotiated price to cut back on their percentage.  Sticky situation when there is not enough volume to allow for making up the difference of deep discounting, though. 

2)  As for the idea that the negotiated price would not include the sales tax, someone isn't getting the full picture here.  Quite obviously, the settled upon final price would have to include all taxes.  I negotiate at that level.  Full final price to me. 

This is called, "price negotiation" and *should* be a part aof any purchase.  However, many have accepted the peculiarly American notion that the ticket price is somehow etched in stone and therefore apparently don't or won't attempt negotiations. 

Bottom line, if the brick and mortar shops wish to remain in business, they are going to have to respond to changes that may impact their sales. 

That said, please also try to understand that I'm not the kind of guy who would be ruthless in such negotiations.  For example, I might choose to spend a little more at the brick and mortar store than the online purchase would cost me, simply to support the idea of having the brick and mortar store around.  This too, is often a matter of the kind of impression the salesperson makes on me, though.  Willingness to try to work it out an strike a deal is going to make a difference as versus a blanket denial, or, as in number 1 above, simply attempting to stonewall the deal with BS. 


73


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KE4YOG on January 24, 2012, 11:57:44 AM
When I first got my ticket I ought from CHQ in Wilmington. I bought 2 HT and other odds and ends. Wilmington is about 2 hours drive for me. About every 6 months or so I would go down to Wilmington for a day get away. Right now I know of no ham stores in the eastern part of NC. I like to buy local for support and other issues but since I dont where I can do that I shop online. AES has been my main store because I have gotten very good service. I place and order and get it 2 days max. I might could do better with other stores as far as price but the customer service I have gotten from them is great!

If any one knows of a ham store in North Carolina east of Durham please let me know.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: WA4D on January 24, 2012, 12:09:58 PM
W5DQ  Gene....

To your point on stores in S. Calif area.  (Perhaps not "many" but several... which may be the highest geographic concentration of  "bricks & mortar" Ham stores in the nation (world?)

HamCity.Com   / Juns Ham City  5563 Sepulveda Blvd., Ste D in Culver City, CA
 
HRO  Burbank  1525 W Magnolia Blvd    Burbank, CA 91506

HRO Anaheim, ca. 933 N. Euclid St. in Anaheim

HRO
San Diego 5375 Kearny Villa Road #113 San Diego, CA 92123

As well as HRO in Sunnyvale and Oakland. And AES in Las Vegas.

So the Southern California Ham has multiple choices. Some close, some a drive and depending on your lifestyle, all reachable.

Mike





Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: W7ETA on January 24, 2012, 04:27:02 PM
The last new stuff I bought was from AES, "mail order".

He is what you can do, reward the place with the lowest total cost, then give your local store the difference between what they sell the items for and what you paid the other place for the items.

73
Bob



Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K3WEC on January 24, 2012, 09:14:33 PM
He is what you can do, reward the place with the lowest total cost, then give your local store the difference between what they sell the items for and what you paid the other place for the items.

If all hams in N. Texas agree to this in writing, I'll set up a local store myself.   No inventory, of course...


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: ND6P on January 24, 2012, 09:22:20 PM
I would find the best deal and go with it. 

It's up to the state to adapt to the advancement of technology.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KI4SDY on January 24, 2012, 09:57:48 PM
To answer the original posters question, we are a Republic fueled by Capitolism. We are not obligated to "save" any kind of private enterprise. The false notion of the opposite is how our nation got into the financial mess we face today!  :o   

Businesses live or die on their own financial merit. The local stores will stay solvent by keeping  smaller numerous items in stock that are repeatedly needed by hams on a daily basis, in addition to some big ticket items. That, along with providing good advise and service, will ensure a constant flow of purchasers.  ;)

To these comments I would add a final thought for our financial recovery. Buy American!  ;D   


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KA5IPF on January 24, 2012, 11:33:45 PM
Sounds to me like the current business model for ham radio stores is a very active internet presence and a minimal "brick & mortar" store for accessories. No showroom, no display radios (you're not going to buy here and pay taxes). If you want to try a radio, buy it, and we'll take it out of the box for you. If you don't like it there is a 15% restocking fee and your money is refunded.

I don't know the answer, without changing the laws, in this current enlightened society where price shopping on the internet is prevalent. It sounds to me like before long it you want to buy something there is will be no way to physically see it first, order it and pray.

I know the solution but NO-ONE wants it, me included, a national sales tax on all purchases. End of problem, no matter where you buy it you pay sales tax. As long as the FED gets nothing, it all goes to the states.

Clif


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: G3RZP on January 25, 2012, 01:47:48 AM
Is there no state without a sales tax?


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: W4AMP on January 25, 2012, 02:21:19 AM
15 or 20 years ago I would pay the state tax because the local dealer would honor the warranty. They would either repair or replace the rig on site. Now when you get a bad rig you have to deal with the manufacturer. Not worth it to pay the tax on the item in that case. Sales tax on a 5K rig is pretty steep. I take the best deal online.

Get the FTDX5000MP Dog. You will like it. ;D


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KK4GER on January 25, 2012, 06:39:21 AM
Is there no state without a sales tax?


I lived in New Hampshire for many years, where there is no sales tax, but they make it up in real estate and personal property taxes.  In Virginia, we have reasonably low real estate / personal property taxes and a 5% sales tax.  Add it all up, and it comes to about the same thing.

I agree with KA5IPF, Clif, that a flat national sales tax is really the only fair tax and it doesn't have to be high either.

Last comment: KI4SDY, you hit the nail right on the head, IMO!


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: WA4D on January 25, 2012, 09:25:02 AM
Jim....

Yes the FT 5000 is my choice. The only caveat is that if Kenwood releases the long rumoured Full Boat HF Radio at Dayton.  Patience is a virtue our Mothers taught us!

Cheers from LA
mike/ wa4d


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: WN2C on January 25, 2012, 09:49:18 AM
Well let's see...
to pay the tax or not pay the tax  >:( ... that is the question...
wether it is nobler to pay the tax and support your local economy and local ham supplier or keep your hard earned dollars in your pocket, I would keep the money in my pocket. 
Considering that this Country was founded on the notion of taxes are a bad thing, I really don't know why you would even ask this question.  As the commercial says it's your money... not the Government's so  KEEP THE MONEY

You could also if feeling guilty for saving $500, spend it on some more goodies.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K1MMI on January 25, 2012, 01:51:57 PM
Mike,
Altadena, CA has a use tax of 8.75%.

I would think if you bought a radio online and saved the sales tax you would owe the use tax from a legal standpoint. But that is more of a moral or ethical issue. I suspect at least 95% of people would choose not to pay the use tax.

In Massachusetts we had a few nice Ham Radio stores but most customers in Massachusetts did their window shopping in Massachusetts and spent their money in tax free New Hampshire. So now we do our window shopping in New Hampshire since there are no Ham Radio stores in Massachusetts.

Ed - K1MMI


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K0JEG on January 25, 2012, 04:08:01 PM
I got back into ham radio because of a local store. I'll never forgive them!

Seriously though. Mix it up. Big ticket items don't have the same margin as the small stuff. Buy the big stuff online, but get the coax, DC cable, and some other accessories at the local store. After all, I'm sure you forgot something when you were setting up the shack.

And BTW, most states have an online sales tax form that you are supposed to fill out (and pay) when you do your state income taxes.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: WB4LCN on January 25, 2012, 04:37:04 PM
I would find the best deal and go with it.  

It's up to the state to adapt to the advancement of technology.

I'll agree. If the State has not kept up with the technology and has threatened the livelihood of the brick and mortar stores, it would seem that the citizens should vote out the money grabbers and vote in some new blood that will be resposive.

I feel their pain (brick and mortar stores), but it's the fault of their elected officials. If those officials are slow on the uptake or thieves, then vote them out. Be the change that the politicians only talk about.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KD6KWZ on January 25, 2012, 04:43:20 PM
Quote
So the Southern California Ham has multiple choices. Some close, some a drive and depending on your lifestyle, all reachable.

Umm, Sunnyvale & Oakland are over 400 miles from So. California.

I do feel a little guilty of this, a group of us caught HK0NA on 12 meters yesterday (and also QSO'd them) at HRO, though one of the sales clerks also joined in on the QSO. But, most of the time I buy something when I'm there. I would have bought a torroid there, if they had them.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: N8DV on January 25, 2012, 06:30:04 PM
Yes we do have a responsibility to support AES or HRO. I do. I have not purchased any piece of equipment from such sites as eBAY, etc. The ham's in California especially are very lucky to have so many stores close by. Here in Michigan, we don't have a decent radio store. The nearest one to me is in Cleveland, Ohio the AES store. That's a good two to three hour drive from me and with the cost of fuel, it's cheaper to have it shipped. The only issue that concerns me is the tax issue. In Michigan, we are "supposed" to declare all our online or out of state purchases in our yearly state income taxes called a use tax. Unfortunately, most Michiganders don't do it. I am guilty of that. Although in years past I have stated what the tax would be at 6% sales tax.
Many of my purchases where at the Hamvention from either AES or HRO. I did pay Ohio state sales tax on that purchase. If attendance at local swap and shops is declining and a person doesn't attend the Hamvention, where else would a ham purchase new or used gear? HRO will ship it for free if the purchase is over $100.  Even the mighty Hamvention's attendance is dropping over the years.
Granted some of the newest and greatest radio equipment is out of most ham's financial reach. Would anyone really pay $15,000 for a Yaesu FT DX 9000MP? I sure couldn't afford that pricey rig.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on January 25, 2012, 07:56:44 PM
Actually permanent taxes are a recent innovation.
Income tax did not exist until the early 1900's and it started with a "tax the rich" platform ... sound familiar.
Naturally, once introduced, the taxes did not stay with the rich, since they knew how to avoid them and the poor could not pay taxes, so the hammer fell on the middle class - just like today.
Before permanent taxes, they were levied as the need arose, such as to finance a war or some such national emergency.
Of course in those days you also did not have welfare, unemployment assistance or medicare.

Many asian countries still have that system - very low taxes such as 5 percent, and you are expected to look after yourself and your family without going to the government.

Then you have countries such as Germany where the taxes/retirement-contributions are fantastically high - up to 60 to 70 percent, but you are looked after cradle to grave - the socialist lite model.

What is consistent about the western models USA/UK/GERMANY is that they all rely on endless growth of their economies.

What is apparent, from the fate of ham radio and many other stores (Sears for example) is that these days are gone.
This is why many countries are introducing sales/VAT type taxes - they know that income tax revenue will decline as their economies contract and those employed and earning income drops steadily.
By using sales taxes, they are ensuring that they keep gathering taxes because they know that people have to eat and live.

Of course if the country goes below a certain level of wealth the barter system will be adopted naturally and taxes will be gone for good.

The message for ham radio retailers is to cut costs, improve service and get on the internet with an effective presence.
DX engineering is one company still doing well, mainly because they have adopted those three values.

73s


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K3TE on January 26, 2012, 06:44:11 AM
If the brick and mortar stores offered expert advice or a more friendly atmosphere (AES Cleveland) - I would certainly frequent the stores for supplies.  But a box is a box, whether I carry home or UPS delivers it!


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K1CJS on January 27, 2012, 04:52:53 AM
....In Massachusetts we had a few nice Ham Radio stores but most customers in Massachusetts did their window shopping in Massachusetts and spent their money in tax free New Hampshire. So now we do our window shopping in New Hampshire since there are no Ham Radio stores in Massachusetts.

The real reason that ham radio stores disappeared in Massachusetts is the state itself.  The laws that levy an inventory tax on every single piece of equipment for sale that sees the inside of such stores spelled the end of many electronics stores in Mass.  The stores just couldn't sell on a level that could compete profitably with stores in other states.  With the opening of the internet and mail order, those stores were either driven out of business or their owners saw the writing on the wall and closed down first.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: AG6WT on January 27, 2012, 09:19:37 PM
I live near and frequent the HRO in Sunnyvale and chat with the manager from time to time. He told me once that they don't make much on the transceivers. Most of their profit comes from accessories. So, as I buy most of my radios used from Craigslist, qth.com, and eHam.net, I make a point of buying my coax, powerpoles, copperweld, mobile antennas, books, etc. from the local store.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K7MH on January 29, 2012, 06:45:17 PM
Quote
He told me once that they don't make much on the transceivers.
They don't. I worked at a local ham store years ago and the profit margin was very narrow, around 15% as I recall.
The cost of the rigs are high so it can be difficult or completely impractical to stock some models. Often they (manufacturers) want a minimum order before they will fill it. Pretty tough to stock very many $3000 radios for a local store. Of course the more the rig costs, the more likely it will be bought via mail order to escape a lot of tax $$ and not from the local guy.

It is a natural evolution of of business models which are changing faster than ever these days.

If you really want to make money, selling beer on tap at a tavern is a good bet, it costs almost nothing to pour a beer. Tap soda is more expensive to pour. Jewelry has a huge markup as much as 700-900%.


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on January 30, 2012, 10:14:04 PM
Quote
He told me once that they don't make much on the transceivers.
They don't. I worked at a local ham store years ago and the profit margin was very narrow, around 15% as I recall.
The cost of the rigs are high so it can be difficult or completely impractical to stock some models. Often they (manufacturers) want a minimum order before they will fill it. Pretty tough to stock very many $3000 radios for a local store. Of course the more the rig costs, the more likely it will be bought via mail order to escape a lot of tax $$ and not from the local guy.

It is a natural evolution of of business models which are changing faster than ever these days.

If you really want to make money, selling beer on tap at a tavern is a good bet, it costs almost nothing to pour a beer. Tap soda is more expensive to pour. Jewelry has a huge markup as much as 700-900%.

Or the rag trade ... the smaller the garment, the higher the price.

73s



Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: K0JJM on February 01, 2012, 09:59:08 AM
I personally don't shop at AES/HRO but I do shop at Associated Radio in Kansas City, Kansas.  If they have what I want, I buy it from them.  That pretty much sums it up.  Any problems at all and they have fixed it or helped me to do so.  I can talk to live people at any time during the day and get there in-person myself in about an hour.  That is worth a lot to me.  I also like the fact that I can pick up equipment, twiddle with it , and than ask all the questions I want to sales people (all hams) who KNOW what they are talking about.  Sales tax is (unfortunately) almost unavoidable.  It won't be long before you WILL be taxed on any outside of your state purchases as everything is getting inter-connected.  To wrap it up, personal service is more important than final price to me.  I have not seen that final prices on expensive pieces of equipment vary that much: maybe a few percent at best.  If we don't support local ham shops, no one will!


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KR4BD on February 01, 2012, 11:15:14 AM
IF I could buy locally, I would....unless the local outlet had a lot of customer relations issues.

Here in KY, there are no ham radio outlets, so it's usually R&L or AES when I buy new equipment...  only because I have no local option.

Here's why I like to buy locally. 

Years ago, i did a lot of professional photography work and certainly was attracted to the lower prices of name brand lenses, camera bodies, etc., offered by the "Big Boys" in New York City.  I even ordered from them a few times, but if I had any problems with the product, it was a nightmare trying to get service out of them. 

My local camera store was always friendly and I got to really know the owner, who really worked hard to make a sale.  I once bought a very expensive lens ($1,000+++) which had all sorts of problems from the get-go.  My local guy sent it back two or three times, without ever getting the problem resolved by the (very well-known) manufacturer.  So, what did he do?  He pulled another one off the shelf and exchanged it for me many months down the road after trying to get the first one fixed!!!  I never forgot that and as a result, he got all my business even though I had to pay a few dollars more and pay the tax, too!


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: N2EY on February 02, 2012, 02:09:18 PM
Is there no state without a sales tax?

Delaware has no sales tax. It is common for folks from nearby PA, NJ and MD to go across the line for big purchases if the gas/tolls is less than the tax.

With online buying, you have to consider the cost of shipping, insurance, etc. Depending on weight and distance, there may not be much of a difference.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: N2EY on February 02, 2012, 02:18:16 PM
To answer the original posters question, we are a Republic fueled by Capitolism. We are not obligated to "save" any kind of private enterprise. The false notion of the opposite is how our nation got into the financial mess we face today!  :o  

How so?

From what I read, the mess we're in today came from deregulation of lending, which caused a housing bubble that finally burst - and took a lot of things with it.

Businesses live or die on their own financial merit. The local stores will stay solvent by keeping  smaller numerous items in stock that are repeatedly needed by hams on a daily basis, in addition to some big ticket items. That, along with providing good advise and service, will ensure a constant flow of purchasers.  ;)

Hold that thought - particularly the part about "their own financial merit"....

To these comments I would add a final thought for our financial recovery. Buy American!  ;D    

I agree!

But isn't "buying American" just another form of "saving a private enterprise" rather than letting it "live or die on its own financial merit"?

And how is one to know how to "buy American"? Many cars with Japanese company names are actually Made In USA. My Honda Odyssey was built in Alabama - did I "buy American"?

----

One more thing.....

Whenever an appliance breaks down in my house, I try to fix it myself. So far the washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator and microwave have all been fixed by me at relatively low cost.

After spending considerable time, fuel and phone calls chasing parts, I learned to buy them online. I get the exact part I need in a short time, without leaving the house. So far, never a miss.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: N2EY on February 02, 2012, 02:28:24 PM
If you really want to make money, selling beer on tap at a tavern is a good bet, it costs almost nothing to pour a beer.

Reminds me of a story - don't know if it's true, but it makes sense.

A woman got tired of her husband spending lots of time and money down at the taproom, coming home late with a load on, etc. Arguing, pleading, crying and such had no effect.

So she fixed up a bar in the basement, with his favorite booze. She served him what he would normally drink at the tavern, with no comment, at prices less than they charged.

Over time, she was able to fix up the place just like a tavern, complete with a color TV for him to watch. And a nice savings account.

Worked for them.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?
Post by: KA5ROW on February 05, 2012, 07:16:12 AM
I would think that 75% of the sales of Texas towers, AES, HRO are on line sales. So saving tax on; on line sales should not affect them at all.  No harm to the store. Most hams live more than a few 100 miles or more from the nearest ham retailor, For me:

Texas Towers: 220 miles
Associated radio: 321 miles
Austin Radio Supply: 438 miles
The Ham Station: 623 miles
AES: 825 miles
Universal Radio: 878 miles