I had a chance to visit the rustic style ham radio outlet store. Lots of pegboard but the radios on display are all working.
Too bad they are more like Ham Rip Off as they tried to overcharge me $5 on one item I caught while they rang it up but missed the other item until I got home. Sorry no refund. Be careful and double check all items and pricing before paying. Not sure why the do that to “tourist” hams but not even sure why they don’t acknowledge that they overcharged. I am sure the ham radio industry is suffering due to the Chinese syndrome but if you offer a high level of service, competitive pricing and fair trade practices then you will prosper. If you try to make it up trying to over charge on any item over $20 by $5 to earn an extra 25% revenue (actually pure profit) then you will wither away and sales will go to the ham radio store the next state over that offers fast and cheap delivery.
Why the sad face…its only $5 you ask? well if you got over charged at McDonalds you would demand that the whole order be free. If you got over charged on a box of cereal at Safeway the scanning code of ethics says its free. But hobbyists get most annoyed when they feel cheated from their hobby store. So why should HRO feel that they can get away with it?
As I made my way back to the city, I was chatting up on the local repeater and I mentioned I was at HRO and Marine West and the guy said “i avoid those guys like the plague and just buy from MTC”. MTC? yeah they are the ham store that is out of state. Sad news for a local ham shop that serves a population of 4-5 million residents in the bay area cannot garner a “good guys” from the local hams.
It is not just ham radio but other retailers. Take good notice of those that are growing and you will understand why others are shrinking.