eHam

eHam Forums => Elmers => Topic started by: W0BTU on May 21, 2011, 10:33:59 AM



Title: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: W0BTU on May 21, 2011, 10:33:59 AM
Radio Shack is asking the "DIY community" what they would like to see in Radio Shack stores. Click the link below to learn more and leave your input.

http://blog.radioshack.com/post/2011/05/19/RadioShack-And-The-DIY-Community-You-Talked-Were-Listening.aspx



From http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?297853-Radio-Shack-ask-the-quot-DIY-Community-quot-for-Input


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: AD6KA on May 21, 2011, 12:26:51 PM
Well I am glad they appreciate the feedback as they are handy,
very close and open evenings and weekends. Yeah, they're OK
if you need an LED, switching transistor, or 555 but not
much else.

They want the "Top 3 items you as a DIY would like
Radio Shack to carry".
Top THREE?. I could name about 15,
real quick, THEN start in on "customer service".

I'm just lucky I have an "All Electronics" store 20 minutes away.
Last week spent $8 in there for parts that would have cost me $20-$25
at RS, and are higher quality.....
Ken  AD6KA


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: N8YX on May 22, 2011, 03:19:06 PM
1) Fewer cellphones.

2) Fewer cellphones.

3) Fewer cellphones.

That would be a good start.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: K9WJL on May 22, 2011, 03:33:06 PM
1) Fewer cellphones.

2) Fewer cellphones.

3) Fewer cellphones.

That would be a good start.

Agreed. How about employees there that actually know what component Im talking about?
Most are just computer/phone literate and have no idea what im talking about when I say I need a PL-259.

 Didn't used to be that way....


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: AC5UP on May 22, 2011, 08:02:01 PM
1) Fewer cellphones.

It takes about the same amount of time to do the basic pitch on a cellphone as it does to explain which switch you should buy for the fog lamps you want to install on the ol' Taurus... But the store and sales geek make a whole lot more money on the cell phone and service plan than they ever will on a DPST toggle switch.

The nature of the beast is to pay the bare minimum base salary then spiff and bonus the sales crew into turning service and extended warranty plans whenever possible. That's what pays the bills. If anyone ever asks you what the difference is between an extra large pizza and the OM who just bought a new soldering iron...

The pizza can feed a family of four.  ;)


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: K8AXW on May 22, 2011, 08:58:42 PM
Most of the time I know where items are when the clerks don't!  What really frosts my behind is when I have them order something, it comes in, I'm notified that it is in, drive 20 miles (one way) only to have the clerk say "I can't find it.  You'll have to come back."

While I continue to use their components they are JUNK and I filed a comment telling them that.  This will have the same effect as yelling up a dead man's ass!


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: AD4U on May 23, 2011, 05:29:09 AM
I agree and would like to see some more parts and pieces, but the profit made by selling one cell phone and a "plan" is more than selling 1000 2N2222 transistors or 1000 555 timers.

Dick  AD4U


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: KE3WD on May 23, 2011, 05:57:19 AM
Easy to say, but bear in mind that it was the sale of those parts that helped old man Tandy turn the enterprise into what it is today. 

Times change, but if this endeavor can show the new owner's of the name that there is indeed support in the way of increased sales and traffic, it would be a good thing for us. 


73


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: K8AXW on May 23, 2011, 08:40:04 AM
3WD:  I sure hope so..... that's why I filed my comment.  I recall several years ago, Newark Electronics started to increase their minimum order requirement until it finally reached $50.00.  I stopped ordering from them at that time.

Fast forward and we now have Newark selling with no minimum.  I can only believe they lost a lot of pennyante business that Mouser and Digikey picked up and are now booming businesses.

Perhaps Radio Shack is starting to realize this very thing and the cell phone business has become saturated and such a cut throat business that makes them hard to compete.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: KC9QQM on May 23, 2011, 10:36:45 AM
I have to agree to the points in this thread so far!

After high school I worked at a local Radio Shack ('79-80) and back then it really was a "radio" shack and have a nice variety of parts, kits, etc. They had just started with the TRS-80 model 1-3 series when I was there. But even back then the average employee didn't know much. I became a ham in high school so I was called on alot for real hobbiests that wanted to do things.

There were times when I have visited a Shack and was just looking around where I just had to jump in and correct the load of crap that the salesperson was trying to push on the customer!

I went in a week or 2 ago to buy some contact cleaner which I had read somewhere was a good product and found this little 4 oz can cost $13! And it didn't even have the little plastic straw with it!!

For the most part I go with Mouser or Digi-Key. Used to use Jameco too.

Jeff
KC9QQM


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: N4NYY on May 23, 2011, 11:05:33 AM
Quote
1) Fewer cellphones.

2) Fewer cellphones.

3) Fewer cellphones.

That would be a good start.

Look. They sell these because they make money. They are a high volume product. They would go bankrupt if they sold just radios or TV and such. Saying that, there is no reason why they cannot have a combination of the way they used to be, as well as modern products like cell phones.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: AD6KA on May 23, 2011, 02:26:04 PM
Quote
I went in a week or 2 ago to buy some contact cleaner which I had read somewhere was a good product and found this little 4 oz can cost $13! And it didn't even have the little plastic straw with it!!
Good point!   They can be really pricey.
Radio Shack sells a 12 VDC 70mm plastic fan for $17.99, (Model: 273-243)
which you can get at All Electronics or MPJA for $3.00 or $4.00
....and they aren't pulls.

And a 40mm 12v "mini fan" at RS sells for $12.95 (Model: 273-240)
but for $2.00 at All Electronics and other places.
Ridiculous......


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: N8TNJ on May 23, 2011, 06:13:45 PM
Just hiring somebody that knows a little about electronics instead of the cell phone pushing kids. Most of them don't know or even care about anything else.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: W0BTU on May 23, 2011, 07:01:09 PM
Just hiring somebody that knows a little about electronics ... Most of them don't know or even care about anything else.

This has been said over and over and over, and it's true.

To some extent, the right software would help that. For example, people often (VERY often!) complain that when they ask for something as simple as a "PL-259" coax plug, they get a blank look. If Radio Shack had at least one microgram of brains, they would enable their employees to search for "PL-259" (and variations thereof) in catalog software.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: N4CR on May 23, 2011, 08:44:34 PM
Unless they are in it for the long game I'm afraid it's too late for them to get all their electronic parts customers back. If they had well stocked stores, we would eventually write Radio Shack back into our shopping patterns. But my fear is that even if they start stocking like a real parts store, that we have already changed our habits they will give up before put them back in our habitual lineup.

Habits die hard.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: AE4RV on May 23, 2011, 11:15:19 PM
Unless they are in it for the long game I'm afraid it's too late for them to get all their electronic parts customers back. If they had well stocked stores, we would eventually write Radio Shack back into our shopping patterns. But my fear is that even if they start stocking like a real parts store, that we have already changed our habits they will give up before put them back in our habitual lineup.

Habits die hard.

It sounds like they are going for a relatively new, emerging demographic: the "makers".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maker_subculture

Some of the makers are in to ham radio, too:
http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/05/collapsible-fabric-yagi-antenna.html
http://makeprojects.com/Topic/Ham_Radio




Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: KG6BRG on May 24, 2011, 05:47:43 AM
I think the problem is that R/S is just reflecting the society that we have become.  That is a "throw away-plug and play" world.  Other than a few guys / gals that still like to build and fix things, I'm afraid they (R/S) couldn't survive on profits from electronics bits and pieces.
I just stock up on small components from All Electronics or similar and have a pretty good stock of commonly used things, since they (All Electronics) are a couple of hours away form my current QTH.  I used to live just a few miles away and that was handy, and I remember that HRO was close to them too, on Oxnard St, and I could peruse the ham gear too.   I find with my local R/S I have to have the cell phone kid look up the specific part # and ask him to search their inventory.  It's no use to ask them if they have a specific part, they have no clue.  cheers.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: N3OX on May 24, 2011, 06:38:08 AM
It sounds like they are going for a relatively new, emerging demographic: the "makers".

That's my interpretation too.  There's a pretty good hobby market for do it yourself projects.  Electronics are just part of it. 

I think that Radio Shack will probably just start stocking more microcontroller project boards and that kind of stuff.  Probably won't help much with the much-lamented "PL-259 problem."    I can solve that, though.  Write down 278-205 on a piece of paper and carry it in your wallet.  Or go into the store and ask where the "connectors for ham and CB coax" are.   Better yet buy your PL-259s on the internet twenty at a time so you don't have to use ones from Radio Shack ;D


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: CLEBOT on May 25, 2011, 11:53:09 AM
I like the idea of Radio Shack asking what people are looking for.  It’s great to know that there are still people who build and tinker, and that Radio Shack is asking for their opinion.  They don’t make much money off of it, which makes it that much more impressive.
I am very fortunate that my local RS has a ham working there who knows his stuff.  The sales staff isn’t pushy, and the employees really know their stuff.  If they don’t know what or where something is, I help them out by showing them.  No need to be rude or condescending toward them (unless the obviously do not care a lick and are just waiting for you to buy some batteries and then leave).  Those employees don’t last long, anyway.
As far as other stores with sales staff who aren’t familiar with every single semiconductor they sell, how about providing a little gentle guidance?  People generally want to do a good job at what they do and if approached the right way can benefit from our shared knowledge.  It’s about building relationships.  Soon enough, just like walking into your favorite coffee shop where they know how to make your coffee just the way you like it, the RS guys will remember you and know where you’re heading.
I, too, worked at Radio Shack during the mid-90’s.  While sales were important, people were what really mattered.  Customer service was always above profit.
Additionally, it was my employment at Radio Shack, which led me to get my license.  I got my first start looking through the “Passport to World-Band Radio”, “Antennas”, and Gordon West books we used to sell while at work.  I also enjoyed talking to other hams that would come in to buy odds and ends.  It was through these “Regulars” that I learned a lot about what we sold and about ham radio.
Anyway, just sharing my experiences, which have all been very positive.

All the best,
Gerrit, KE5HVM


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: KC9HOZ on June 01, 2011, 06:40:21 AM
Just a local observation:  I visited my local RS over the weekend to return a switch I purchased 3 weeks ago (which didn't work  ::) , but at lease they happily exchanged it, no questions asked).  In those 3 weeks their selection of perfboard and project boxes has about quadrupled!  They had a new large breadboard (new to my store anyway) and some copper clad board, which I haven't seen at any RS I've been in in years.  They also had Mims Engineer's Notebooks back in stock.  They had some new kits which looked to be geared toward kids (LED blinky things and little "robots") and some other stuff that escapes me just now.

Their parts drawers were still a mess... and the same--generally clueless--employees were still employed there.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed and also hoping they can bring their prices down a bit.  $1.49 for a single capacitor? Come on...

Scott
kc9hoz


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: N3OX on June 01, 2011, 07:50:55 AM
I'm keeping my fingers crossed and also hoping they can bring their prices down a bit.  $1.49 for a single capacitor? Come on...

Scott, they're not going to bring the prices down much if at all.  You're paying for convenience.

A retail storefront would have to charge much more than a big electronics supplier anyway, and RS is going to charge WAY WAY more to make it highly profitable to keep stuff in stock.

If you're really interested in homebrewing, you'll need to build some stock using one of the online suppliers.  I like Mouser.  The parts at RS will, for an established ham homebrewer, always be "emergency" items and it would cost way too much to get started with them for any substantial project.  For minimal entry-level hacking around it's good to be able to run out and grab a part, but the prices aren't going to come down much.

Think of the new electronics stock at Radio Shack as a way for Dad to buy an interesting Christmas present for little nerdy Susie who likes to tinker, and a place where Susie can go because she needs a couple of LEDs and resistors or ONE small motor and a MOSFET  to go with her new microcontroller board.

It's not somewhere you'll ever be able to go to buy all the parts for a QRP transceiver and walk out for less than the cost of a FT-817 ;D


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: K1CJS on June 01, 2011, 09:07:36 AM
If you're looking for price, the internet suppliers will beat RS hands down.  If you're stuck for a part on a weekwnd and just have to have it, RS may--MAY--fill the bill.

Anyway, they've asked this of their customers before, and they've changed a little--and went right back to the same old.  I don't think you'll see much, if any, more new/restocking of parts being done.  It's just a marketing ploy.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: KC9TNH on June 02, 2011, 06:11:00 AM
There are RS who are "corporate" - quite often the ones with some decent parts bins who have a larger footprint in terms of sq. footage, maybe in a mall - and there are the old smaller town RS who are indiv franchises and have near-zero latitude in what they order. They sell qty=1 of an item per year they will be lucky to replenish that one unless they can call to the big-city-Corp RS 60 miles away and inquire if that store has it in-stock. The play nice guy & the other store gets the sale. The indiv franchise guy has to eat so sells & deals with what moves. The rule of the self-licking ice cream cone.

Awhile back lots of gun owners started shopping online to save a couple of bucks (false economy after transfer fees etc.), only to wake up one day and ask "hey, where are all the brick & mortar gunshops?" RS is already there and too late for them in my view; hobbyists have reaped what they've sown.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: KC9HOZ on June 02, 2011, 02:01:36 PM
Well, OK a price decrease was pretty much wishful thinking!  ;D  I was surprised to see so sudden a change, especially in a small town store.

Scott
kc9hoz


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: K1CJS on June 03, 2011, 05:04:24 AM
I have to disagree with one point made here.  Most of the franchise RS stores are the ones that carry more in the parts department than the corporate stores do.  The corporate stores are after the cash--they carry the things that move, as has been said.  The franchisees, however, look to what the people in their community want, and are NOT controlled by RS to the point the corporate stores are.  If their customers want parts, the store owners are going to carry those parts--even if they only have one or two of a specific piece on hand.

I've been in a franchise store in a small local plaza where the owner also carried parts and materials that Radio Shack did NOT supply.  That store has since closed, but it was--for the community--THE place to go for electronic repair and DIY parts, not the RS store a mall about a mile away.


Title: RE: Radio Shack asks the "DIY Community" for Input
Post by: N8CMQ on June 03, 2011, 08:43:09 AM
I have only been to the shack in emergencies, I needed UG-179s for a jumper.
I asked for RG-58 coax, but they only knew RG-6, till I said CB...
Otherwise I buy through the internet, Allied, Richardson and so on...
Looks like they carry a lot of toys and cell phone stuff, that is what keeps them open...