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Author Topic: Do we not have a stake in keeping AES/HRO healthy?  (Read 8662 times)
N8DV
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Posts: 60




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« Reply #30 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.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 859




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« Reply #31 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
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K3TE
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #32 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!
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K1CJS
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« Reply #33 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.
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AG6WT
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« Reply #34 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.
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K7MH
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Posts: 334




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« Reply #35 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%.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 859




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« Reply #36 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

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K0JJM
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #37 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!
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KR4BD
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Posts: 219




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« Reply #38 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!
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #39 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
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #40 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!  Shocked  

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.  Wink

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!  Grin    

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
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 02:22:56 PM by N2EY » Logged
N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #41 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
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KA5ROW
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Posts: 500


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« Reply #42 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
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