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 Post subject: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Oct Wed 30, 2019 7:59 pm 
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
Oh no!!! I stopped by today for a few capacitors, signs all over, everything must go! Ouch!

The crazy part about this, there was a rumor going around earlier this year that they were closing. I asked Heather (wife of the owner), she said the rumor is false and they have no intention of closing. Well guess what? Apparently they got a great offer on the building, so they're moving out. They live in North Port, and it's probable that they'll reopen a new store in that area.

While it's nice to run a business close to where you live, I just can't see a store like this locating in North Port. Sarasota is barely big enough, remembering we're close to Bradenton and Venice. No stores in Bradenton, no stores in Tampa or St. Petersburg, there's Skycraft in Orlando -- bigger store, but they cater to hobbyists but not businesses. The only other store is Ferguson which is barely there. I'm told the guy opens 9-noon, when he feels like opening that day.

I suppose I've been spoiled all these years, having such a store nearby when most of the country has no such thing, but the fact is, it's gonna hurt.

I can buy parts from Mouser. While those folks are wonderful, I can't get them that day, and I'll miss going in the door and looking over the bargain stuff on the counter. We no longer have swap meets around here; aside from a once-annual hamfest in February. Should I start hosting more meets? NO, after the debacle a couple years back, I'm done. BUT -- if others want to host something I'll happily participate.

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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Oct Wed 30, 2019 10:56 pm 
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Location: N. Palm Bch, Fl.
Say it isn't true. What's going to happen to all the old and new stock they have. You can't get by the cabinet on the left as you enter and you check it out once more as you leave. North Port won't work because it's in the middle of no where. To far for you to drive south and to far for me to go west. I hit that place when ever I was at my daughters in Tampa.

Gary. You need to reconsider. Put that last one behind you and move on. Your the only one with enough knowledge to bring it back. I'm 3 hrs away one way, but I can make phone calls. Talk to those guys that were at the last one. It was a small group, but they may want to help start another back up. There's quit a few members here that are within a 60-80 mile range.

Positive Gary. Think Positive. Nothing wrong with small at first.
Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Oct Thu 31, 2019 12:35 am 
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Parts retailers are closing up shop all over the country. Pretty soon you will have to deal with China on ebay for everything. At least Sal is sticking with us. Not enough hobbyists left I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Oct Thu 31, 2019 12:55 am 
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
Re the swap meets, (sigh) I really don't want to go over it again, but with the local meets I found myself doing 90% of the work. Some others helped the day of the show, but as for promotion, they acted as though it wasn't necessary -- and it's the MOST necessary! It was almost done when I stepped in -- and don't get me wrong, this isn't about me -- but I turned up the heat on promotion in a big way, and suddenly our meets began to grow -- got bigger and bigger, and it was nearing the point where I was looking to add spaces outside in the parking lot as well as inside. Then the comments flew -- "This is as big as it can get, we can stop promoting." So it began to shrink.

Then we had the debacle in Mt. Dora. The first show was promising, but the second -- hardly any promotion, no organization, pre-registrants were turned away, a hamfest took place on the same day (that I didn't know about till it was too late) and the entrance got blocked the day of the show! This was from the same people who run Kutztown, go figure. I spent a year beating the streets for a disaster. That also killed it for the local shows.

I'm running a business, and I need to put all my time and energy into THAT. So -- as I said, I'm finished with hosting shows, but if anyone else wants to jump in, I'm happy to advise and I'm happy to support it. Yes, I would love to see them come back.

Yes indeed, I'm scratching my head over North Port. There's a need in Tampa, there's a need in Sarasota/Bradenton/Venice, there mat be customers in Ft. Myers/Naples, but if these shops can't make it in the metro areas, I think it's gonna be pretty quiet in North Port. Now -- if some enterprising fellow wants to put some of this inventory in the back of a hardware store or something similar, it might have a chance. Radio Shack did this in many cases, and a large percentage of the Radio Shack locations still open are these types of stores. The Only Radio Shack left in our entire region is in Arcadia -- in the back of another store.

Ferguson's is in Venice, surprising that the store is still around, but they could benefit from this! If I find myself needing a capacitor to finish a job that has to go out today, This is a last resort. But I'll have to call first to (1) be sure the guy's there and will be open, and (2) ask if he has the part, which is iffy. The last time i was in that store, they still had tubes and TV antennas. Electrolytics, new on the shelf, have been there 40 years or more -- beware! I suppose the tubes are great for the collectors reading this, but that gives you an idea how slowly this stock turns over. How do they pay the light bill?

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Gary Tayman, Sarasota, Florida


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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Oct Thu 31, 2019 1:10 am 
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wazz wrote:
Parts retailers are closing up shop all over the country. Pretty soon you will have to deal with China on ebay for everything. At least Sal is sticking with us. Not enough hobbyists left I guess.


Not so much the China thing as the fact that it's all going mail-order -- and has been for a couple decades. The China thing -- I can't go too far without being political -- but parts are made here, and if China is restricted, we still have parts but the factories aren't used to that much production. It'll eventually even out. The real question is whether these parts, whatever the source, are in enough demand to support a brick-and-mortar store. In the case of Sarasota Electronics, business was good -- Larry ran a great store. But he got a good deal on the building itself.

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Gary Tayman, Sarasota, Florida


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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Oct Thu 31, 2019 1:44 am 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
The local hamfests never promote beyond ham circles. So with the internet, it's way easier to find details, since I know they are coming.

They seem to do okay, though one downsized about twenty years ago, so it's a small affair.

But promotion isn't just about filling seats. Having an event is an excuse to be visible, to reach out to people not involved in the hobby. A hamfest might be a way to find out about ham radio, but there are other hobby interests who might find things at hamfests, like parts and tools and books for peoole interested in electronics.

A broader promotion brings them in, increasing attendance and hopefully sales. And maybe satisfy some curiosity.

We know about antique radios, but many outside haven't given it thought. Some may climb aboard, once they know about it.

Michael


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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Oct Thu 31, 2019 2:18 am 
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By the way, if anyone ever doubts that Florida can be laid-back, the comments I made about Ferguson are real -- and common, although not as common as it used to be. Business hours in Florida are -- whenever the owner feels like showing up. If someone wants to spend the day fishing, that's what happens. In my own case, I have hours, but often have to run errands, so I'm not always there to answer the phone. I work evenings and weekends but DON'T answer the phone; otherwise they'll get used to it and I'll get calls at 3 in the morning. But -- if I take a day off I just do it. It's less so now for the simple reason that we have bankers, lawyers, and other professionals that moved here from New York, and have the same business practices. But I also know a lot of professionals who also do the "flexible hours" thing. In spite of all the transplants and snowbirds, customs of Old Florida still remain.

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Gary Tayman, Sarasota, Florida


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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Nov Fri 01, 2019 2:55 am 
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Location: Freehold NJ 07728
wazz wrote:
Parts retailers are closing up shop all over the country. Pretty soon you will have to deal with China on ebay for everything. At least Sal is sticking with us. Not enough hobbyists left I guess.


I'm not going anytime soon. I'm slowly expanding my stock tying to cater to the Antique Radio community. There are others out there like Mark Oppat who carries a pretty good stock of parts. I'm 60 years old so I have a few good years left... :wink:

Sal

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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Nov Mon 04, 2019 1:15 am 
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
And now for the NEXT big surprise:

In the "Who died and left you in charge" department . . .

Someone had sent me a radio with Stereo-8 player in it. Realizing I'll need belts, I removed the originals and trotted over to Sarasota Electronics, who has faithfully supplied me with drive belts for many years. While there I bought a few others I know I'll use, then asked Larry -- who's your supplier for these? He gave me a name, mentioned that these belts are getting increasingly hard to find, and said that a google search might give me a clue as to who might supply me via mail-order.

So I found their number and called them on the phone. They put me right through to an agent. A short time later, shazaam! I'm a DEALER! Within hours, I received no less than 15 e-mails from this fellow, every one of which contained 4-5 catalogs of not only belts, but rollers of all types, information on re-rubbering services for idlers, phono cartridges and needles, capacitors, antennas, hardware, and I'm just scratching the surface!

Now, this is NOT an ad, and please don't inundate me with your wish lists. I've got a lot to digest here, and I never said I want to be your go-to mega-store for record player parts. It DOES sound interesting though, and it's probable that I may start offering a few consumer parts for car radios, tape players, and such. No decisions made yet.

In addition, out of the blue a car audio (modern) wholesaler called me as well. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something. Times are a-changing, for sure!

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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 10:23 am 
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
Reality has set in. My bench antenna crapped out. Yes, after only 22 years of plugging and unplugging, I guess the lead-in has seen its better days. So I went to Sarasota Electronics to buy a couple new ones, and also see if there are any last-minute deals around. The building had a termite tent over it; it's a safe bet to say they're finished. Got the antennas (for more than one bench) at O'Reilly's around the corner.

Actually, I think I could have ORDERED antennas through my "supplier." Gee, after all, I'm a dealer. But I needed this right away. Also there are minimum orders. This is going to take some getting used to.

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 Post subject: Re: Sarasota Electronics closing!
PostPosted: Nov Sun 17, 2019 6:35 pm 
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Location: North Port Florida
Gary

Maybe they heard I moved to North Port so they decided to move here.

:)

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