About 2 months ago I had a couple good drag customers reach out to me about getting a Castle 4 pole motor. They tipped me that some of the ‘top’ drag racers in the country were testing them and running fast laps. About the same time my 2 pole drag motor sales all but stopped. It was clear to me that something was changing. I ordered 24 of the Castle motors and they sold out in less than 16 hours. Sadly this is typical of RC Drag Racing right now. Its become “motor of the week”, “chassis of the week”, “Tire and wheel of the week” and there seems to be a couple people that have become the face of the hobby that drive those sales. Loyalty is out the window. Its whoever has the latest greatest product they are quick to jump ship rather than staying with that company and continuing to improve.
This week I got another shipment of those motors in, all the while in the past 3 weeks I can count on 2 hands how many 2 pole drag motors I have sold. So I decided to put them up for $159.99 on my website, $199.99 on ebay. (eBay takes over 12% on fees and I always want my website buyers to get a good deal vs the hustlers on ebay). They sold out in less than 3 hours! Nobody said a word, my price was fair. Yesterday 3 more showed up and I know I will not get anymore for a while. I put $189.99 on website and $249.99 on eBay and I did it for 2 reasons. First, I have a business, I have to make profits to eat and pay health insurance. The other reason I wanted to see how long it would take for the Facebook warriors to make a fuss over it. These motors to me right now are the devil, they have killed my 2 pole motor sales. The first 2 sold fast then today 6/11/22 someone in a Facebook group called me out for “scalping motors” along with a screen shot (I love it when a plan comes together!). Keep in mind, nobody on Earth needs these motors…NOBODY. As of when I am writing this that post has over 90 comments (within 3 hours), and I have sold out of these motors since the post was made (thanks Facebook!). Others say I am price gouging. Gouging by definition and an example is when there is a natural disaster and say your hardware store doubles the price of necessities, a Castle motor is NOT a necessity! I have a supply and there is a demand, and NOBODY else on the interwebs has the product. If you are going to race a toy car for $20,000 to win I think my prices are still very fair.
Keep in mind the same racers that are trying to throw me under the bus have no issue paying upwards of $300 for a 2s battery, or the same price for those gotta have it Voodoo tires! Or wait, I bet those same racers have no issue paying close to a grand for drag chassis as well.
Its also funny all these racers have no issues with all these ‘waffles’ that go on in RC Drag Racing. They use the word waffle because the real word being raffle is basically illegal gambling. They seem to think if they say waffle vs raffle that they will fly under Zuckerburg’s radar …. Take a look at how much profit some of those guys are making. Raffling off a $120 item they are paying retail for then selling it for close to double the price. All these raffles hurt all RC businesses just like mine. We all have rent, insurance, employees, inventory, utilities and so on. These raffle guys have none of that. Most of the time they dont even have the product in hand, they just drop ship it from whatever retailer and make huge profits by doing so. But me asking 50 bucks over retail on something nobody has is all of sudden a tragedy.
The comment that made me laugh the most was a guy that said I quote “why on earth would you want one of his motors, anything that comes from his shop is junk and takes a million years to get said junk”. Funny, I checked my database and I show no sales in almost 6 years to that person. Isn’t social media great? You can say anything you want with no real repercussions. Think about this for a minute, if all my motors were junk please explain how I am still in business all these years later. Explain to me why I have over 15,000 positive feedbacks on eBay, 100s of recommendations on my Facebook page and 1000’s of awesome reviews on my website? Not to even mention all the winner or podium pics and thank you’s I get all the time thanking me for building them a good motor or shipping their product fast so they have it for their race. Hell, I even have a couple Nascar Cup drivers running my products. I wonder if that poster ever took a chance in his life. Does he put his livelihood on the line every day of his life making sure he ships all his orders out by 2pm everyday and noon on Saturday or does he just go to his 8hr a day job punch the clock and go home without a care in the world. Does he put in 14 or 16 hour days to make sure he has all the best products in stock ready to ship. I know its impossible to please everyone but some people just seem to have to be heard.
If you are still reading this let me say this. The worst thing that could have ever happened to this segment of the hobby is races that pay 4 to 5 figures to win. Money is the root of all evil. All of a sudden it goes from a hobby to a potential job mindset. Everyone wants a discount or to be ‘sponsored’, guys get big heads and post GNSS numbers like they would big fish catches. Competition is good but it can also breed some bad behavior. The rules are they are no rules…ITS OUTLAW! I have learned the hard way on this as I am sitting on 100’s of plastic drag wheels, 100s of non belted tires, 100s of DR10 parts (because now the DR10M is out) and now 100’s of 2 pole drag motors. If you want any of these items or 20 of them lol, please DM me and I will make you a deal! I have always tried to have the best products in stock ready to ship same day, but going forward I will be cutting back on how much drag product I buy, if I sell out great, and if it does not sell it will not hit the cash-flow so hard. If my motor sales have all but slowed I can only imagine what its like for the big motor manufacturers. Again, they are businesses too with a lot on the line.
Part of the reason I started Rotor Ron (long before drag racing was a thing) was to help grow and make this hobby I love thrive. I wanted to take my over 2 decades of e-commerce experience and make a fun business. I wanted to make sure that what you were buying got shipped fast and I wanted to put customer service first above everything. It is just really hard for me or any business to run a business when what racers want change almost weekly.