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More answers from retailers

For May's What Selling survey, we asked you how much time do they spend learning about the products in your stores, and where do you get your information? The response was tremendous and we wanted to share some of the answers that didn't make it into the print issue.

By Jenny Maaske
Published: April 15, 2010
Not much. I think I am old enough to be able to tell if a certain manufacturer is up to it or not. I carry all different model-related magazines, so I have a good idea what is next and what quality I will get. I will build a new release in about a week, and that usually gets customers to buy the kit.
--Rick Chin, Uncle Bill’s Hobby Calgary, Alta.

I usually get all my information from customers who come in and inform me of stuff that I don’t know. I also learn a lot at the NRHSA show in Las Vegas.
--Dean Hicks, Interior Crafts Kamloops, B.C.

Four to five hours a week through Model Retailer and other trade magazines, FineScale Modeler, RC Car Action, Model Railroader, and various manufacturer Web sites.
-- William Romanowski, AAA Hobbies and Crafts Magnolia, N.J.

Probably about 10 to 12 hours of our day are spent learning about the products we sell, either in-store from customers, online though various Web sites, or through magazines and advertisements. We get a lot of information from local clubs that use the products.

Occasionally, we’ll break open a kit for a demo model. The best information comes from our customers with their hands-on knowledge. When it’s the customer who needs to know and we can’t give them an honest answer, we’ll call the manufacturer/distributor tech support hotline directly, sometimes while they are standing at our counter. When it’s outside normal business hours and we can’t reach the business, we’ll attempt to get the information online while the customer is still with us. If that is not possible, we’ll take their contact information and call them back with an answer.
-- Kimberly Miller, Turn 4 Hobbies West Boylston, Mass.

I spend as much time as I can learning about our products; mostly by “hands on,” the Internet, customers, and people who just hang out at the store. Whenever I’m not at our store learning ... I spend my time with my kids attending R/C racing events, local air shows and rock crawling events.

R&R Racing is a community-oriented business, and we participate in local events all the time. We sponsor our local youth in all sporting events, keeping their interest in their future. We are also in the process of putting a race track and rock crawling course in the back of our store for families to enjoy.

In other words, every waking moment is spent learning about our products and my resources are everywhere.
-- Thaddeus Cason, R&R Racing Hobbies, Oroville, Calif.
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MODEL RETAILER WEBSITE said:
Like most people I skim most magazines and manufactureres info and then read those that relate or are of interest. Some of my knowledge comes from past experiance as a kid, most though comes from my customers. They are the most knowledgeable about what they want in a product, what they'll accept and what makes them choose a manufacturer or retailer outlet.
Jerry Anderson
jass collectibles
Red deer Ab. Canada
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