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Three Money Saving RC Tips

Article by Hunter Wick

Now as many of you fellow RC and model kit addicts out there likely know all too well, this hobby can be expensive. Regardless of whether it is RC planes, helis, cars, or boats (or anything in-between) they can all become immensely costly very quickly. But wait! Don't break the news to your wallet that there's no relief in sight just yet, because there are quite a few ways to save you (and your wallet) quite a bit of cash down the road. Through the many years I have been into this hobby, I have picked up a few money-saving tips, for those of us who just don't seem to have a money tree growing in the backyard.

Tip One: Be Price Conscious

First off, the most obvious in my opinion: buy from the place with the best prices. While this may mean not buying from your local hobby shop and getting to un-box your new toy that day, it can save you a decent amount of money. While we all wish we could simply stroll down to our local hobby store and pick up whatever we've been saving up for, it can be cheaper to order from an online source. For example, your local hobby shop may only want $20 more for a particular item than an online hobby store. Now, you may be thinking that it will even out in the end due to shipping fees from the online store. However, some online hobby retailers have clubs and newsletters you can join that will give you points or other rewards that you can use to save on future purchases. This can bring your costs down considerably.

So in the end, buying online from the same retailer repeatedly can potentially earn you discounts on future purchases, ultimately saving you money. This also means waiting for sales. Yes, everyone hates the "waiting" part of it, but it can save you money. Typically, there are not many sales associated with RC for several reasons, but there will be some occasionally at most retailers and it's always a good idea to keep an eye out for one. Many sales can be found around well-known holidays such as Christmas or Halloween as retailers try to spur more sales during these busy seasons.

Tip Two: Know Exactly What You Want

Know what you want before going to buy. This simply means to research the RC product you are interested in before pulling out your wallet. Far too many times I have heard people on forums complaining about the item they got pulled into buying by a convincing salesman or by the pure adrenaline rush that looking at a new item can give you. Yes, it's almost fact that all RC products look appealing sitting on the shelf at your local store or at your favorite online retailer, but that is exactly what you as a buyer must resist. Don't just buy what looks the coolest on the shelf or what is in stock. Talk to some people who have owned what you are looking into purchasing, and ask what their opinions are on it. Also, see if there are better options suited for your application. After all, no one wants to spend their hard earned cash on something they really aren't even going to enjoy. As some may say, don't put the cart before the horse. By this I mean to make smart decisions when looking to buy, something that can be applied not just to RC, but when buying anything.

tips to help you save money on your hobby

Tip Three: Look For Off-Brand

Lastly, don't be afraid to buy from those slightly less well known manufacturers that offer much cheaper priced products. By this, I do not mean buying a cheaply made RC vehicle you can't get parts for, but to at least consider places like Hobbypartz or Hobbyking, just to name a few. For accessories such as brushless motors, batteries, chargers, and radios, you can often save yourself some cash by buying off-brand. Many people are scared away to buy off-brand products because they're not considered "name brand". The actual reality to this is that some lesser-known off-brand products may be just as high quality as their larger name-brand competition, which will likely be much more expensive. Yes, when the funds are available, buy name-brand RC products. Generally, these more well-known brands will provide better warranties and easy-to-contact product support. However, it's not accurate to say that the lesser name brands won't provide support or warranties, but it does vary greatly by manufacturer so make sure to check on their website to see what their repair and exchange policies are before buying. Look for a toll-free support number on their website as well. This is usually a good sign that they care about their products and customers.

The bottom line in my opinion is to at least take a gander at these cheaper products before spending much more just because it's considered to be made by a "name brand" company.

No matter how you look at it, the RC hobby is costly. Your dollar will stretch far if you use some of these quick money saving tips when buying yourself that new RC gear, and you'll have some leftover cash to start your next RC adventure with!

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