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Is Hobby King Liquidating?

Old 03-17-2017, 07:41 PM
  #1  
TopSpin
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Default Is Hobby King Liquidating?

I have noticed that the number of products on Hobby King's web page seems to be a lot less than in the past. They also have had ongoing problems with their website and don't seem to be in any hurry to fix it. Since Anthony Hand told the FCC that Hobby King might be closing down it makes me wonder if they are liquidating their stock?

I suppose time will tell but they certainly don't seem to be as big as they once were and their prices and shipping are quite a bit higher than a lot of the competition.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:46 PM
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I noticed last few days that Lipo's are reducing in range ... I like Rhinos - but the ones I want are no longer listed.

If HK does go ... I will have to revise my hobby as no-one competes as well on price for me ...

Nigel
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:10 PM
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I wonder if they might close their regional warehouses and go back to supplying only from Hong Kong? I always thought that once they had a presence in western countries they would sooner or later fall foul of western rules and regulations.
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:33 AM
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My opinion on this may be in the minority but good riddance.

They come in blow everyone down in the race to zero on pricing, running everyone else out of business, i.e. Local hobby shops, and then when the revenue stream dries up they pull up stakes and blow out of town. The stuff they sell is hit or miss on whether it is any good or not and good luck with customer service if it isn't. Yes I have shopped with them and yes they have great prices. So I am just as guilty as the next guy.

Not unlike Walmarts in small communities. They came in, shut down so many local grocers, hardware, auto parts, clothing, and other stores and now are pulling out of some of those small communities leaving them no where to shop. without driving miles and miles to do it.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:09 AM
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Hi FB .....

I agree about the business side - but that's modern shopping ... Mall / Supermarket / Hyoermarket .... small shops shut down.

But as to the gear sold -very few items sold by HK are actually HK manufactured - most are actually bought in from recognized factories. Agreed that some are end of line .... but still from recognized factories.
HK sold me a Hyperion Yak 55 at near half the price local shop.

Nigel
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:10 PM
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Just bought a wing jacket from their Oregon warehouse. While I was online, looked to see if they had anything new in planes. Eek ! The shelves are bare. A bunch of the same junk they've had for a long time. I do suspect they are in retreat mode here.

I think they have been "outsold" by the likes of Motion rc, RC Castle, Banggood and others in recent years. Folks like me who buy arf's look to find the best brands like Freewing , FMS, Hangar 9, and the like.

For lipos, there's many a new sheriff in town. CHL, Roaring Top, Pulse, Gens Ace and others all have a direct connection with their customers. Used to be able to find something unique from HK. They don't rule the roost anymore.

Just my 2 cents...

Hawk
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:35 PM
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Trouble is that's fine for you guys over in USA .... but for us guys in little ol'Latvia .... its the pits !!
Latvia population is less than 2 million ... so imagine with an average wage of about 500 Euros a month ... there is not a lot of business for a 'Local Model Shop' !!

HK was our lifeline in effect.

I tried to use UK and other EU sources ... WOW !! I could not believe the shipping charges they wanted .... honest - they were just unbelievable !!

I wanted a $30 fuselage jig mat and verticals ..... the mat rolls up as its a self-adhesive print ... the verticals are basically like small shelf brackets ... Note price is already a bit steep at $30 ......................... they wanted over $80 to post it to me from UK !!

Nigel
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:47 PM
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There is a similar discussion to this one over on the Hobby King forum at RC Groups. Since yesterday a lot of posts that discussed much of what is being discussed here simply vanished. The forum mods work for Hobby King and it looks like they don't want anyone to see bad news.

You know things must be bad when even the long time fan boyz start deserting them.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TopSpin View Post
I have noticed that the number of products on Hobby King's web page seems to be a lot less than in the past. They also have had ongoing problems with their website and don't seem to be in any hurry to fix it. Since Anthony Hand told the FCC that Hobby King might be closing down it makes me wonder if they are liquidating their stock?

I suppose time will tell but they certainly don't seem to be as big as they once were and their prices and shipping are quite a bit higher than a lot of the competition.
Really has had no effect on me or my RC buddies........we haven't given HK any business for years..........shipping has always been a problem, to slow and costly, battery selection was squat until US distrib's came into play and now fazing out many as we speak.

Just feel for the guys over seas who have relied on HK for product selection and low prices. Who really knows....?........maybe just the US distribution aspect has been effected and HK's global presence will still accommodate others in Euro, Mid-East and Asia........Don't suspect HK going out of business, they are co-joined with too many other Asian manufactures and distributors who continue to thrive in the RC techno world.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:23 AM
  #10  
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HK is one of the retail arms of Hextronic - and with that factory behind you - unlikely to fail.

Trouble is with the global shipping problem of lipo's ..... EU warehouse was a lifeline for myself and others who cannot get them from global ....
If EU warehouse does continue to reduce lipo range - then we are forced to pay exorbitant high prices from EU sources.

Nigel
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:22 PM
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Some clubs are banning the use of Lemon or Orange receivers at their fields, because they are not FCC approved:

http://www.sjrc-society.com/radio-eq...oval-required/

I had read somewhere that HK was closing their US warehouse, because if they sold the unapproved products in the US from a US source, the FCC could fine the company. They can still send in their junk from overseas.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
HK is one of the retail arms of Hextronic - and with that factory behind you - unlikely to fail.

Trouble is with the global shipping problem of lipo's ..... EU warehouse was a lifeline for myself and others who cannot get them from global ....
If EU warehouse does continue to reduce lipo range - then we are forced to pay exorbitant high prices from EU sources.

Nigel
I don't know how they do it at the EU warehouse but for a long time Lipos have been sent to the US warehouse from China via ship. Sent to a port on the West Coast and then by truck to the warehouse. It is perfectly acceptable to move them on ships and overland by truck or train.

There is still a decent supply of batteries in the US warehouse but there are far fewer products in general. Of course they no longer stock any receivers or transmitters that have not been FCC approved. We don't know if they had to pay any FCC fines or not but it is possible.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:20 PM
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Obviously its shipped to EU warehouse but we can actually have delivered within 3 - 4 days in Latvia from Dutch EU warehouse .... they are couriered.

Trouble is now the range is so reduced that I am reluctant to buy ! I like the Rhino label LiPo's they did ... but they've reduced internationally and gone from EU W/H ...

We cannot buy from International anyway ... shipping rules stop LiPo's to us. We cannot even buy from UK W/H .... even though UK is part of EU (today !!) .... they block any sales from UK ...

Nigel
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:11 PM
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Did HK close the Arkansas Warehouse ? Seems like the West Coast warehouse pops up on anything and everything.

Isn't HK at least partially owned by the Chinese Gov? I had heard that somewhere. Could be: " Fake News" for which there seems to be a lot of these days.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Did HK close the Arkansas Warehouse ? Seems like the West Coast warehouse pops up on anything and everything.

Isn't HK at least partially owned by the Chinese Gov? I had heard that somewhere. Could be: " Fake News" for which there seems to be a lot of these days.
There are NO truly private Companies in China ... they ALL have Chinese Govt involvement even if only a very small holding.

The question is how much of Hobby King is because of change of status of Hong Kong ? Hong Kong had many private companies established under British 'Rule' .... and Chinese Govt said they would not interfere with Hong Kong business. It has become a serious revenue source for them. But companies have had changes from previous status ... how much effect on HK ??


Fake News !! Love it !!

Nigel
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:36 PM
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As far as Lipo batteries........here's a few references that outline the pain staking hoops that must be jumped through shipping air, land & sea. It's no wonder the cost of such (additional packaging, labeling, testing oversight) has reduced the global and US trade inventory, handling and selection available at reduced prices........:

http://www.energy-assurance.com/PDFs/Transport_FAQ.pdf

http://www.dhl.com/content/dam/downl...egulations.pdf

http://www.dhl.com/en/express/shippi...ides_materials

http://www.manufacturing.net/article...owered-devices

https://www.transportation.gov/brief...ithium-battery

https://www.ups.com/media/news/en/us...egulations.pdf

It would appear (based on current availability and reliable retail source inventory), due to less profitable gains/increased costs and possible legal ramifications, the over-seas distributors/manufactures (China) have decided to for-go pushing electronics (at least in the US) that, due to (non-conformance), do not meet specific guidelines here in the US or Euro, the likes of radio receivers, transmitters, batteries and FPV equipment will continue to be diminished.

Although, Japan's hand holding through Korean sub-lets via China, have managed to meet many of the "guidelines" being established through the past "terror" stricken environments.......at a very high level of performance and increased retail price to the consumer....Even Futaba (who's R&D is in bed with China think tanks and distribution) has managed to thrive through all of this adversity.......!

Last edited by pizzano; 03-20-2017 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
As far as Lipo batteries........here's a few references that outline the pain staking hoops that must be jumped through shipping air, land & sea. It's no wonder the cost of such (additional packaging, labeling, testing oversight) has reduced the global and US trade inventory, handling and selection available at reduced prices........:

http://www.energy-assurance.com/PDFs/Transport_FAQ.pdf

http://www.dhl.com/content/dam/downl...egulations.pdf

http://www.dhl.com/en/express/shippi...ides_materials

http://www.manufacturing.net/article...owered-devices

https://www.transportation.gov/brief...ithium-battery

https://www.ups.com/media/news/en/us...egulations.pdf

It would appear (based on current availability and reliable retail source inventory), due to less profitable gains/increased costs and possible legal ramifications, the over-seas distributors/manufactures (China) have decided to for-go pushing electronics (at least in the US) that, due to (non-conformance), do not meet specific guidelines here in the US or Euro, the likes of radio receivers, transmitters, batteries and FPV equipment will continue to be diminished.

Although, Japan's hand holding through Korean sub-lets via China, have managed to meet many of the "guidelines" being established through the past "terror" stricken environments.......at a very high level of performance and increased retail price to the consumer....Even Futaba (who's R&D is in bed with China think tanks and distribution) has managed to thrive through all of this adversity.......!
Nothing we didn't already know about shipping Lithium Ion batteries by air. Futaba, and nearly all of the other RC radio manufacturers have gone through the process of FCC approval for years to insure their place in the US market. My guess is that R&D is still done in Japan with manufacturing done in China. The Chinese then rip off the designs, make one or two small changes and undercut the guys they are working for.

Since Spektrum had the largest share of the US market that was the primary target for the counterfeiters.

If a hobby company has enough clientele it is economical to ship batteries along with other stock to the United States by sea. After all, there are a lot of companies selling Lipo batteries in the US at really good prices and they offer low cost shipping. I think HK my be victim of several market factors besides their own greed.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:11 AM
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I agree.

CHL, Roaring Top, Pulse, Gens Ace and others all have warehouses mainly near port of entry. I think most employ the service of 3PL's who handle customs brokerage and Drey from port. Then local facility for order processing. Then pack and ship out from there. Truck to Local USPS P&DC then line haul to nearest destination USPS P&DC then out to local USPS DDU. USPS has not banned the shipment of Li-Poly's. Sea containers are fine. Rail and Truck is fine. Air is not fine.

Hawk
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:58 AM
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Just checked the site. Bought a pair of wing jackets from US warehouse. West Coast. I think Arkansas is closed.

In searching their site for edf's the cupboards are bare. Bunch of the same old way over priced stuff they've had on there for over a year.

Really disappointing as I could count on them to bring out something interesting once in a while.

Sure looks like a company going downhill fast.

Last edited by dahawk; 03-22-2017 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:48 AM
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I know that Chinese Govt recently added 15% to taxes on exports - my company deals a lot with Chinese petroleum additives and we were advised of this a few months back. I don't know if it affects any other products - but it sure made a difference on ours !!

Nigel
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:14 PM
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Well, The HK East warehouse (Arkansas) has closed. Now they call the West warehouse (Oregon) their "primary" U.S. warehouse...........:

http://news.hobbyking.com/category/warehouse/

Looks like the Oregon location is the only U.S. distribution point.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:47 PM
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Funny in that announcement how they slam the workers. Did they train ?

Do they have a real warehouse management system?(WMS).

They should pay Motion RC to give them a crash course on order fulfillment and shipping logistics.

They should be ashamed of themselves for making an announcement like that.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:29 PM
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It's probably more of a Fill Rate issue, which is a part of the Supply Chain Management.....Which measures depth of demand that was satisfied by inventory on hand.......without Stock Outs.

More than likely, Mother Ship China was not able to keep up with supply demand....... by not providing Arkansas with inventory, be it high volume moving product, specialty item order or any number of products that kept the dust off the shelves.

Since HK Management stated it had not fulfilled it's target order goals, it could point back to the lack of Mother Ship oversight, unrealistic goals due to Marketing metrics they screwed-up.........just like their web-site over stating product availability and ability to supply U.S. distributors with inventory seamlessly.......lol. We all know that has been BS from the get go....!.......Even at their Oregon facility.

A very similar problem had existed at the California GWS distribution facility........and we now know how that has turned out......!
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:36 PM
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They probably did not prepare enough for CNY and are trying to catch back up.

About all I buy from there now is Graphene batteries and small odds and ends. I've never purchased a plane from HK (I get all my planes from Motion RC). But I do love the Graphene lipos!
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dahawk View Post
Just checked the site. Bought a pair of wing jackets from US warehouse. West Coast. I think Arkansas is closed.

In searching their site for edf's the cupboards are bare. Bunch of the same old way over priced stuff they've had on there for over a year.

Really disappointing as I could count on them to bring out something interesting once in a while.

Sure looks like a company going downhill fast.
Those warehouses are really fulfillment centers that work on contract. The one in Arkansas does fulfilment orders for half a dozen different companies and they all have problems. It boils down to poor management and useless employees who sit on their thumbs all day.

It is far more cost effective for Hobby King to use contract fulfilment centers than to run their own warehouses and lots of companies do this.

There is no overhead or storage cost since the fulfillment center takes care of all of that for a fixed price. There are also legal advantages to not actually owning or leasing anything in this country under the name of Hobby King or Hextronix. That also means no quarterly taxes on unsold inventory since there is officially no store in this country.
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