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Yakfishingfool 10-18-2012 04:41 PM

Hobby King
 
Safe to order from? Are there any other sites that are good for ordering from, aware of tower hobbies but they seem fairly limited in their supplies. Thanks. Scott

JetPlaneFlyer 10-18-2012 05:06 PM

You might get some strong opinions on Hobbyking!..
Basically, yes they are safe to order from. Quality of their products ranges from excellent to awful and all points in-between so do a little research by reading user feedback and on-line reviews/build threads before making any major purchase.
If you buy from the international (China) warehouse pretty much forget any after sales service as return postage costs makes it uneconomical to return anything. Spares availability for some of their planes is also non-existent so bear that in mind too.

Even taking these factors into consideration some of their stuff is great value and the range they carry is vast.

solentlife 10-18-2012 05:25 PM

Lets put it this way ............ you do not become one of the worlds biggest Hobby suppliers by being totally crap.

People remark on Customer Service ... but recently I needed CS and they performed well.

Without such as HK ... they are actually only one of various "Chinese" suppliers ..... many people would not be able to afford the hobby.

I have to use them - not much else where I live.

Nigel

Yakfishingfool 10-18-2012 05:31 PM

Thanks Guys, was not trying to open worms, only see that they were legit, prices our all over the place between companies and wondered how they did it. So my order is going to come from China?? That'll be a couple of weeks? Oh well. Does anyone else recommend state side shops? No hobby stores anywhere near me.

Murocflyer 10-18-2012 05:42 PM

I always wonder the need from ordering from china. What can't be ordered from here in the USA? Our economy is in the crapper and yet we still want to send our money directly to a foriegn country? I don't get it.

What item cannot be ordered from a company here in the USA? Lord knows we have plenty of them. The only items that comes to are the techology rip offs that are not allowed to be sold here.

I don't want to sound offensive, but I really don't see the need to order anything from china. Buy it here in the USA.

Frank

Yakfishingfool 10-18-2012 05:56 PM

Tell me the us shops to use. Please

Murocflyer 10-18-2012 05:59 PM


Originally Posted by Yakfishingfool (Post 886131)
Tell me the us shops to use. Please

I sure can. Click on the below:

Your "No Kidding" Go To Source For RC Products

JetPlaneFlyer 10-18-2012 06:36 PM


Originally Posted by Murocflyer (Post 886127)
I don't want to sound offensive, but I really don't see the need to order anything from china. Buy it here in the USA.

Frank

I've nothing against supporting your local retailer, but bear in mind that 99% of the stuff is made in China regardless of where the retailer happens to be based, so most of what you spend ends up in China anyway:(
That just seems to be the way it is these days.

Obviously buying from local retailers does mean quicker delivery and better access to customer support. Hobbyking do have their own US warehouse by the way....

Steve

slipstick 10-18-2012 06:36 PM

But note that a lot of the time when you buy "locally" you're buying exactly the same goods, you're just paying more for them. Almost all the manufacturing is still in China, it's just that someone bought the stuff from China and added his profit onto the price he paid. If you're happy with that go ahead....but don't imagine you're doing a great deal for the local economy :(.

Steve

crxmanpat 10-18-2012 07:30 PM

There are several US-based retailers that carry some of the same stuff available on Hobby King. Sure, prices are higher, but shipping is typically cheaper and delivery time is MUCH faster.

For example, I carry both the HXT500 and HXT900 servos, plus the XT connectors (Deans knock-offs). Other US vendors carry other things, and then there's always the USA Warehouse for Hobby King. Look on the bottom right of the front page of HK for a link to the US Warehouse. It will show you everything you can order from the US.

Yakfishingfool 10-18-2012 08:15 PM

Thanks everyone the list is great. And yes, most products do come from china and most monies end up back in china but I try to support local when I can. The nearest LHS to me is nearly and hour away....and rather pricey.

The list is da Bomb!!!

Murocflyer 10-19-2012 01:17 AM


Originally Posted by Yakfishingfool (Post 886144)
Thanks everyone the list is great. And yes, most products do come from china and most monies end up back in china but I try to support local when I can. The nearest LHS to me is nearly and hour away....and rather pricey.

The list is da Bomb!!!

Thanks! Glad you like it.

Here is an interesting note I saw today as a matter of fact.

Shopping "locally" has a mulitplier effect. One dollar spent at locally owned business returns FIVE TIMES that amount within the community through city taxes, employee's wages and purchase of materials and supplies at other independent buisinesses. So you see, that $9 servo is more than simply a $9 servo in the big picture.
And as I noted, in today's economy, we need to do all we can to help support America's economy when we can.

Frank

solentlife 10-22-2012 08:06 AM


Originally Posted by Murocflyer (Post 886186)
......
Shopping "locally" has a mulitplier effect. One dollar spent at locally owned business returns FIVE TIMES that amount within the community through city taxes, employee's wages and purchase of materials and supplies at other independent buisinesses. So you see, that $9 servo is more than simply a $9 servo in the big picture.
And as I noted, in today's economy, we need to do all we can to help support America's economy when we can.

Frank

And as we all know - Statistics can be manipulated to produce whatever numbers you want ...

:eek::confused: ;);)

Nigel

Murocflyer 10-22-2012 08:24 AM


Originally Posted by solentlife (Post 886700)
And as we all know - Statistics can be manipulated to produce whatever numbers you want ...

:eek::confused: ;);)

Nigel

I'm real sorry you don't have any great RC stores like we have here. Don't balme me for that. And there is no shame in having pride in your country or wanting to see it improve. I'm not sure why you seem to have a problem with those folks that do.

solentlife 10-22-2012 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by Murocflyer (Post 886705)
I'm real sorry you don't have any great RC stores like we have here. Don't balme me for that. And there is no shame in having pride in your country or wanting to see it improve. I'm not sure why you seem to have a problem with those folks that do.

You read me wrong ... I'm first to say to people be proud of your country ...

My post was simply to say that statistics can be manipulated any way you want ... and judging by the long thread running elsewhere - you are fighting a cause that many agree with but also wish to inform you of their understanding / their views etc.

And to be honest - as I do not wish to see that thread develop here ... I shall now retreat and cry into my beer the lack of LHS in Latvia ...

FYI - I actually applied to HK to set-up an outlet in Latvia ... they ignored it ... later affilliated a shop in Lithuania which is not eaxctly much use to us !

Frank - lighten up mate ... I'm not so bad .. and you're not either !

Nigel

TopSpin 10-23-2012 05:49 AM


Originally Posted by Yakfishingfool (Post 886144)
Thanks everyone the list is great. And yes, most products do come from china and most monies end up back in china but I try to support local when I can. The nearest LHS to me is nearly and hour away....and rather pricey.

The list is da Bomb!!!

Heads Up RC is a really good mail order company here in the US. They sell mostly Chinese stuff but at comparable prices and they will actually answer the phone if you call them. They have great service and none of the risk that you have with Hobby King. You also don't have to pay huge shipping wait two to three weeks for overseas post.

If you really feel the need to buy from Hong Kong let me suggest Leaders Hobby. They don't have quite the selection that Hobby King has but they have a lot and they also will communicate with you if you have an issue or question. They are honest and will ship your stuff out immediately instead of waiting three or four days.

dahawk 10-23-2012 11:48 AM

Frank,

You're a great American !

Great list.I've bought from many of them. I'm a big fan of Value Hobby(Illinois), Headsuprc(Florida) Niko(Arizona) Leaders Hobby now has a Warehouse in Miami- limited stock. Grayson (Georgia) is a great source for motor/esc combos for pusher park jets. So is Donsrc in Ohio for edf motors/fans. If HK knew much about Distribution Logistics, they could dominate.

What will happen soon is the collection of state sales tax for internet sales. This will help the LHS and other brick and mortar stores. So, local pick-up(no shipping) and the sales tax advantage will be neutralized. Amazon, for example, has now agreed to start collecting state sales tax. This is a game changer. Most LHS's operate on very low margins. Horizon Hobby has many of them locked up with their product lines(e-flight, parkzone, hangar 9, etc.)

I don't mind paying a slight premium for good service. I do not like getting ripped-off on shipping. With some of the Chinese operators, the shipping cost exceeds the item cost. At Headsup and Value, the average shipping cost in less than $5.00 for most things.

-Hawk

Murocflyer 10-23-2012 05:20 PM

Thanks Hawk, I appreciate that. You should have seen the grief I got when I posted that poll from a guy over on RCG.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1755423

You would have thought I stole his first born from his reactions.

Frank

earthsciteach 10-24-2012 02:16 AM

Second HeadsUpRC. Sure you can buy the same products elsewhere. But, Jeff is a wealth of knowledge on power set ups. Not sure what to use? Send him an email of what you have in mind and he will give you a great combo to make it fly. Has not failed me - ever.

There are plenty of others, too. Muroc's list is great! Plenty on there I was not aware of. I LOVE finding new suppliers, particularly at home.

But, ultimately, it seems everything is built in China. And, HK offers such a multitude of airplanes for low prices, they are hard to ignore. They do have a US warehouse, which is where I purchase from, given the choice. That is not really out of a patriotic sense, it is all about receiving in a timely manner.

Online vendors, such as Hobbyzone, are higher priced than the "discount" vendors. But, along with the extra cost comes a certain degree of confidence in their product. If its broke, they tend to fix it quickly and without you laying out an unjustifiable expense.

In the end, the choice is yours. See something you like on HK that you can't find elsewhere AND have the confidence to overcome design/production/shipping problems, then they are a good source. Order from HK and expect perfection for your dollar and you may be disappointed.

I order from HK with confidence. I've also ordered from the much maligned Banana Hobby and Nitroplanes with satisfaction. But, if something happens to go wrong and you can't or don't want to fix it yourself, you may be in for a very frustrating experience.

TopSpin 10-25-2012 07:31 PM


Originally Posted by Murocflyer (Post 886898)
Thanks Hawk, I appreciate that. You should have seen the grief I got when I posted that poll from a guy over on RCG.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1755423

You would have thought I stole his first born from his reactions.

Frank

I saw that Frank. It makes me wonder why someone would care so much about such a minor detail?

hangingon 01-16-2013 04:35 AM

I placed an order with Hobby Kings USA warehouse for 2 instock batteries and had them in 3 days. All so great service from heads up rc low shipping cost and fast shipping. Also an ebay seller happydeal hobby has good service I had a problem with an esc that came in my brushless combo and a few days later I had a new replacement esc.

hangingon 01-16-2013 05:15 AM

Yakfishingfool don't feel bad my lhs is 45mins. and the owner doesn't seem helpful since my plane was not bought from him. I ask for servo horns I told him the servos came out of a blade 400 heli so he looks up the e-flite part # and said I don't have them instock for that heli. I tried to tell him the servos are going in a slow stick and I don't need what came on the servos with the heli. Then I ask about connectors for my Hobby wing esc he said he couldn't help me that he has never heard of Hobby Wing and knows nothing about them in a rude way. So I'm back to buying from the web. I as well posted about Heads up rc their my (#1 pick) great cs. I feel hobby king gets you on shipping cost My 2 batteries cost more to ship from HK USA than the slow stick plane from Heads up rc. Do your homework if you use heads up and hobby king compare parts + shipping cost. I was looking at a plane that was 19.00 but shipping was 35.00 at HK.

mattman0182 01-16-2013 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by TopSpin (Post 887132)
I saw that Frank. It makes me wonder why someone would care so much about such a minor detail?

I just read that entire thread!! lol

To me, the simple fact that they have zero parts for any plane they sell is reason enough for me not to buy from them.

And most comments are people saying they had to make major changes to get the product to work correctly.

I am brand new to the hobby and already wont buy from HK lol.

JetPlaneFlyer 01-16-2013 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by mattman0182 (Post 896612)
I am brand new to the hobby and already wont buy from HK lol.

Actually they do carry quite comprehensive spares for their Durafly foamy models and quite a few other foamies. It's the balsa models that dont have any spares. This isnt unique to HK, most of the other dealers selling budget priced models and parts dont carry much in the way of spares.

The quality of HK stuff is variable but if you do your research you can avoid the poor stuff. Much of the stuff they sell is the very same as what you would find being sold elswhere for much higher prices. Even in the HK product line there is a quite wide range of price and you do get what you pay for, their top of the range offerings rival the quality of premium manufacturers.

Personally I use HK quite a bit but to avoid dissapointment you really do need to do your homework, be sure it's what you want (you cant return it), read the reviews, check the specs very carefully etc. You also have to accept that you probably wont get the same level of customer support that you would hope to get from a local dealer, especially if buying from the international warehouse.
But often the fact that the stuff is about half the price makes taking a small risk worthwhile, so I'd not be so hasty in writing them off.

Steve

TopSpin 01-16-2013 05:40 PM


Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer (Post 896636)
Actually they do carry quite comprehensive spares for their Durafly foamy models and quite a few other foamies. It's the balsa models that dont have any spares. This isnt unique to HK, most of the other dealers selling budget priced models and parts dont carry much in the way of spares.

The quality of HK stuff is variable but if you do your research you can avoid the poor stuff. Much of the stuff they sell is the very same as what you would find being sold elswhere for much higher prices. Even in the HK product line there is a quite wide range of price and you do get what you pay for, their top of the range offerings rival the quality of premium manufacturers.

Personally I use HK quite a bit but to avoid dissapointment you really do need to do your homework, be sure it's what you want (you cant return it), read the reviews, check the specs very carefully etc. You also have to accept that you probably wont get the same level of customer support that you would hope to get from a local dealer, especially if buying from the international warehouse.
But often the fact that the stuff is about half the price makes taking a small risk worthwhile, so I'd not be so hasty in writing them off.

Steve



I have seen a dozen threads started by customers complaining that they can't get parts for Durafly planes. Some of them eventually get a replacement but it takes six months or more.

Now their shipping prices even from the US warehouse are so high they are no longer a good deal anymore.

hayofstacks 01-16-2013 06:11 PM

I don't understand why people still order from hobby king. Sure you can save $2-3 a battery, but then you end up paying more when you go to hit checkout.

My first motor/battery combo, I was dead set on ordering through hobby king. I was getting servo's, batteries, an esc, and motor. Pulled my creditcard out hit checkout and I was sitting at almost $30 more then my initial budget.

After doing the exact same objects, with a better motor, esc and batteries through headsup, it was actuall $2 less, and got here in 2 days from flordia. Considering I ordered at 10pm on a Sunday, and I had the parts in my hand Tuesday was enough to win me over.

We still did order some batteries from hobby king at the same time. I honestly have no recolection if they ever made it here. I know we were still waiting 3 weeks later though, and they still hadn't shipped.

BBCorvette18 01-16-2013 06:38 PM

I've never had an issue with Hobby king but I try to only order from the USA warehouse and mostly just been Batt's, motors, esc's, servos, and miscellaneous other stuff. we will be making an order from the HK warehouse to get some monocoat to cover 2 planes and when we do we understand that it can be here in 7 days or 30. Yes the first order we did through hobbyKing years ago was in our hand 7 days later from HongKong

TopSpin 01-16-2013 06:47 PM


Originally Posted by BBCorvette18 (Post 896677)
I've never had an issue with Hobby king but I try to only order from the USA warehouse and mostly just been Batt's, motors, esc's, servos, and miscellaneous other stuff. we will be making an order from the HK warehouse to get some monocoat to cover 2 planes and when we do we understand that it can be here in 7 days or 30. Yes the first order we did through hobbyKing years ago was in our hand 7 days later from HongKong

Just for fun tally up the cost of your purchase from 2 or three other vendors then do Hobby King. Include the price of shipping in all of you calculations and see who comes out the cheapest for the same order and by how much. If the difference is less than 5 bucks I would order elsewher just for the peace of mind knowing that at least I will get what I ordered and in a week not a month.

dahawk 01-16-2013 07:03 PM

I really haven't had any issues with HK though when I first started ordering from them, I went in with very low expectations. Lesson #1 Never have a multi-item order with something on backorder. Lesson #2- Be aware of Chinese New Year. Order delivery slows down tremendously during this period. Lesson #3 Use Paypal versus giving them your CC. I can say their signature Durafly line up is pretty solid.

Lets face it, in the EPP/EPO foamy airplane world and for Lipos and such , it's all Chinese made wherever you buy from. So, for me, it comes down to good service and reasonable shipping costs. I've had great luck with Headsuprc(Florida) , Value Hobby(Chicago), Grayson Hobby( Georgia) , Nicco Hobby( Arizona) , Toysonics(California) and Leaders Hobby( Miami Warehouse) to name a few of my favs. I've even had no issues with Banana Hobby though they get bashed on the forums quite a lot. Can't say much for Nitroplanes because everytime I go to their site , they're always out of stock. Like Jetplaneflyer mentioned: " Do your homework !"

-Hawk

JetPlaneFlyer 01-16-2013 07:55 PM


Originally Posted by TopSpin (Post 896665)
Now their shipping prices even from the US warehouse are so high they are no longer a good deal anymore.

I cant speak about the US warehouse but I know for sure that the shipping cost from the international warehouse and from the new UK warehouse are actual cost, they don't mark it up at all. 'actual cost' shipping is HK's stated policy. Assuming the US warehouse uses the same policy i cant see how other dealers could be so much cheaper unless they are putting shipping charges onto the price of the goods?

Here's a couple of actual examples from my recent purchases:
  1. Flybarless rotor head assembly from China to the UK: shipping $3.99
  2. T-rex 450 clone heli plus motor from UK warehouse: shipping $7.05
Maybe it's just me but those prices seem entirely reasonable:confused:

dahawk 01-16-2013 08:01 PM

Jet,

I think the USPS has much cheaper rates than other Postal operators throughout the world. I know they are far cheaper than Royal Mail.

JetPlaneFlyer 01-16-2013 08:02 PM


Originally Posted by TopSpin (Post 896665)
I have seen a dozen threads started by customers complaining that they can't get parts for Durafly planes. Some of them eventually get a replacement but it takes six months or more.

I'm the first one to complain that HK don't carry enough spares, check my first post in this thread.. but I was replying to this statement:

To me, the simple fact that they have zero parts for any plane they sell is reason enough for me not to buy from them.
That's factually incorrect, they do carry spares for many of their foamies. Here is 10 pages worth of spare parts: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...ent_Parts.html

hayofstacks 01-16-2013 08:02 PM

Yet heads up only charger $2 and readical rc only charges $3, almost reguardless of size or weight.

Why does it cost hobby king $20-30 to send me some batteries?

JetPlaneFlyer 01-16-2013 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by hayofstacks (Post 896693)
Yet heads up only charger $2 and readical rc only charges $3, almost reguardless of size or weight.

Why does it cost hobby king $20-30 to send me some batteries?

I guess it may costs $20-30 because it's a heavy package and they are coming half way around the world:;) Like i said, some dealers offset shipping cost against the price of their goods, obviously Heads-Up do just that because you couldn't ship much more than a sheet of paper for $2.

Some stuff does make more sense buying locally, I've got no argument on that point at all. Just compare cost and service and make your choice. I dont buy any LiPos from HK international because
a) I've not had good luck with HK LiPos
b) They are heavy so cost a lot to ship international

CNY_Dave 01-16-2013 08:12 PM

I am a vocal hobby-king critic, but order selective items that are in stock in the US warehouse and that have a proven track record.

For example, I use the turnigy 90/100 ESC and the turnigy uBECs, they are cheap, tough, and they work but I know full well god help me if I need detailed info, actual specs, or customer support.

I still can't believe that HK doesn't know, and never knew, what size bearings their turnigy motors take, and has no idea what prop adapters will fit...

JetPlaneFlyer 01-16-2013 08:27 PM


Originally Posted by hayofstacks (Post 896693)
Yet heads up only charger $2 and readical rc only charges $3, almost reguardless of size or weight.

Why does it cost hobby king $20-30 to send me some batteries?

ok, rhetoric aside lets look at some real factual examples.

Say you want two 4s 3300mAh 35c LiPos (a purely random example)

Heads-up: DBY Power LiPo $43.95 each plus $2 shipping = $95.90
HK US warehouse: Zippy compact $32.58 each plus $9.71 shipping = $74.87

QED...........

hayofstacks 01-16-2013 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer (Post 896698)
ok, rhetoric aside lets look at some real factual examples.

Say you want two 4s 3300mAh 35c LiPos (a purely random example)

Heads-up: DBY Power LiPo $43.95 each plus $2 shipping = $95.90
HK US warehouse: Zippy compact $32.58 each plus $9.71 shipping = $74.87

QED...........

Good thing you got two batteries, otherwise it would have cost you almost the exact the same for a lower quality battery, and it wouldn't have made it to you in two days. How does it cost $9.71 to ship if heads up does it for $2?

I started doing a combo on both heads up and hobby king one year ago. And it was litterly $2 cheaper to order through heads up for equivilent parts. Everything I needed for my slow stick, including 3 $18 batteries. And like I said, in my mail box in 2 days.

JetPlaneFlyer 01-16-2013 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by hayofstacks (Post 896701)
Good thing you got two batteries, otherwise it would have cost you almost the exact the same for a lower quality battery, and it wouldn't have made it to you in two days. How does it cost $9.71 to ship if heads up does it for $2?

I started doing a combo on both heads up and hobby king one year ago. And it was litterly $2 cheaper to order through heads up for equivilent parts. Everything I needed for my slow stick, including 3 $18 batteries. And like I said, in my mail box in 2 days.

Nope, shipping for only one battery drops to $6.27 from HK so:

heads up: $45.95
HK: $38.85

So you still save over $7 which is a 15% saving.

Possibly you didn't read my previous two posts:confused: Heads-up do the shipping for $2 because they build some of the shipping cost into their product pricing. How could it be any other way? The actual cost of shipping is far more than $2 and Heads-up are not a charity.

This is not unique, some places do 'free' shipping but if you think it's really 'free' you must have been born yesterday, it's simply 'included in the price'.

Go to the USPS web site and work the shipping cost out for yourself. Shipping will come out to between $5.50 and $7.50 for a package of the weight of that LiPo, so HK are indeed doing it for actual cost, which I'm not sure how anyone can really complain about?

Personally I don't really care how much I pay for shipping providing the bottom line price is cheaper.

Steve


PS... there is a good argument that it's worth paying a bit more because you get excellent customer service from heads-Up.. I've no argument at all with that, we all decide how much we want to pay for the 'added value' that the likes of heads-up offer.

hayofstacks 01-16-2013 09:43 PM

Order $3 servo's from each. See how many you have to order until you start saving money?

When you start getting into the larger power systems and batteries, hobby king is cheaper. Especially when you factor in that they are THE cheapest place to buy batteries. A lot of hobby shops rebrand/resell hobby king batteries at a profit and are still cheaper.

Even with all of that aside, I have still averaged the same or cheaper through heads up for the same items. If I start getting into really large planes and big batteries, maybe my mind will change.

What won me over on heads up to begin with was the quick and cheap shipping and customer service. My dad ordered a motor from them that showed in stock that wasn't, and they automatically upgraded him to better motor after waiting to see if he would respond to an email. As far as customer service goes, hobby king has NONE and shipping times are horrible. Could be a week, could be a month.

JetPlaneFlyer 01-16-2013 10:05 PM

Yep, the US warehouse seems to have an (approx) $6 minimum shipping charge which I think probably reflects USPS priority mail rates... This makes it uneconomic for low value orders, no argument.


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