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Posted: 9/30/2011 7:16:05 PM EDT
I stepped in one earlier today while waiting for it to stop raining, and couldn't help but think that for a store which is so common, they carry very little.

IPod and MP3 accessories seem about the bulk of it. Most of their cables and wiring is far overpriced, and their selection is limited. Had a service person tell me that they didn't make a female to female USB cord (They do and I got one, although not at radioshack), and then tried to sell me some Ipod cable that I had no use for at an obscene price.

They have cell phones, but so do walmart/target/service providers (and at better prices). They don't seem to sell computers any more, and surely the stereo market isn't booming.

I simply can't figure out their angle, or why there are so many of the places around. They must be turning a profit or at least enough to stay afloat, because I haven't seen one go out of business in a while, but you barely see anyone shopping in one.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:18:24 PM EDT
cell phone activation bounties and stupid people who need a gold plated cable.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:19:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 7:20:16 PM EDT by raysheen]
I ask myself the same question everytime I walk by.

ETA: I wish you could still walk in, buy a package of resistors, a 555 timer, and some LEDs for a fun project with the kids.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:20:05 PM EDT
Someone needs to page Swingset and Subnet in here.

I don't even think they carry radios anymore. My family did buy a TV from them a few years ago.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:21:13 PM EDT
I went into shock last time I went into their lousy store when I couldn't find any discreet components, etc. Not one resistor or any electronic part in the store.
Cheap ass audio gear, overpriced cables and the guy trying to sell me a cell plan. Crap.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:21:42 PM EDT
I remember as a kid buying the parts to build a model rocket launcher from RS. Probably couldn't do the same today.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:22:03 PM EDT
The last decent sized purchase I remember at a radio shack was picking up a stereo system for my mother for christmas probably 8-9 years ago.

Since then I suppose technology has rendered all but high grade audio technology exceedingly cheap, cause I didn't see many of them on the shelves either.
To be fair I don't know when the last time I saw someone with a large, 90s esque CD player/ stereo was that wasn't quite old.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:26:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raysheen:
I ask myself the same question everytime I walk by.

ETA: I wish you could still walk in, buy a package of resistors, a 555 timer, and some LEDs for a fun project with the kids.


I went to a Radioshack a few days ago looking for a 1000uf 16v capacitor. The woman behind the counter looked at me like I was speaking German or something. I ended up ordering them online.








Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:29:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rcsguns:
I went into shock last time I went into their lousy store when I couldn't find any discreet components, etc. Not one resistor or any electronic part in the store.
Cheap ass audio gear, overpriced cables and the guy trying to sell me a cell plan. Crap.

This is the 'radio shack' for my town

Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:32:54 PM EDT
A buddy that used to work at one a said each employee had to sell a certian number of cell phone contracts a month or they got fired. So my guess is cell phone money keeps them floating.

In 15+ years I've bought exactly one item from Radio Shack, a battery for my ADT system. Only because I needed one fast and no one else local had it.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:36:10 PM EDT
Tiny stores packed with Chinese dollar-store shit marked up 6417%, staffed with stupid minimum wage motherfuckers who couldn't even get a job at Sears. Could I interest you in a new cell phone? I see you have one and would probably have to pay a $250 cancellation fee to change but you really need a new cell phone. LOL your phone doesn't even have a blender attachment. I know our phones are at full MSRP and you could upgrade for free with just a phone call, but you need to buy ours. Don't go, let me show you our service plans, surely someone in your family needs a new cell phone. Buy a cell phone. Yeah, I just came to buy a universal remote control. I don't think we carry that brand, look at this cell phone. Buy a cell phone.

The "new" Radio Shack is just a shitty mall kiosk with doors.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:36:19 PM EDT
No idea. I've thought the same thing many times. I don't know how they've stayed in business for the last decade.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:36:24 PM EDT
I'll really be surprised if RS still exists in five more years.


And kind of surprised if they make it just three more.


They used to have a good business in the electronics hobby/DIY electronics market. That's close to being gone. Being into electronics as a hobby
is ALMOST gone. People who make technical things (or even work on them) is just a lot more rare these days than in past decades.


The other product families that were significant at one time are now on the ropes, too. Too much competition among the
ones anybody wants. Not much business in the speciality markets, either.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:36:33 PM EDT
They're so far off base now.

I used to go to Radio Shack for electronic components, I don't think I've actually enjoyed spending a dime there.

If the trend continues they will be selling air fresheners and dog toys.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:38:20 PM EDT
Ham radio stuff...not no more.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:38:58 PM EDT
My local Shack has mostly had knowledgable staff. Other day I went searching for a 10A/250V fast-blow fuse. Not in stock, but took my name and # and offered to shop other locations to find one.

First question out of the clerks mouth was "Ceramic?"

I said No.

Then asked was I "sure it was 10 AMP, and not 1.0 AMP?" and handed me a magnifying glass to read my blown fuse.

You dont find that attention to detail at most other places like auto parts or Home Depot stores.


Oh, and this clerk was a woman, about 40 years old, sporting a buzz cut.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:39:02 PM EDT
I asked for a magnetic reed switch about two weeks ago at my local radio shack. The guy stared at me and said to check the bins. I asked him, hoping to avoid checking the bins - so.... i go back and start checking them, and no dice. As i'm walking out he asks if i found everything i needed. really dumbass? I'm walking out the door without making a purchase after asking if you had something...... i'm going to vote "no, i didn't find what i needed"

So.... now i have to find the motivation to order the switches online. Or go over to a place called URS and see if they have 'em.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:43:03 PM EDT
Just a lot of cheap shit that is packaged to sell for exorbitant prices. Ones around here are usually in conjunction with other stores like ACE the Helpful Place that also is mostly exorbitantly priced.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:43:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:47:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 7:49:00 PM EDT by edb66]
Lets see 25' HDMI cable for $99.99. I said no, I can get it on Amazon for less than $20 with free shipping. RS sales guy tells me that their cable has higher bandwidth and I'll get a better picture.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:51:55 PM EDT
RS' original biz model is broken. They have not found a plan to replace it that is sustainable. Hate to say it, but they are living on borrowed time. On top of that, you won't find the tech guy you want waiting on you in the local RS store. He isn't working there for min wage... he works at Dell making $40K a year in assembly/shipping.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:53:55 PM EDT
I remember buying Heathkits at Radio Shack and building Crystal Radios when I was 13
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:56:25 PM EDT
I'm with y'all. That place blows; but, what do you expect when your President is named James F. Gooch.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:00:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:01:10 PM EDT
Even radio shack doesn't know.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:05:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Fnkystuf:
The Onion article on Radio Shack


I completely forgot about the 200 in 1 kits. I better buy a couple before the place finally goes under.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:05:57 PM EDT
Barely is your answer. Barely.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:10:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
Originally Posted By Fnkystuf:
The Onion article on Radio Shack


I completely forgot about the 200 in 1 kits. I better buy a couple before the place finally goes under.

I used to have one of those. Didn't know they still had them. Are they behind the cell phone display or the overpriced home theater stuff?
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:11:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 8:14:57 PM EDT by Chaingun]
They carry cell phones an a few TVs and some batteries.

Just think of them as a giant kiosk
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:13:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MACD:
Tiny stores packed with Chinese dollar-store shit marked up 6417%, staffed with stupid minimum wage motherfuckers who couldn't even get a job at Sears. Could I interest you in a new cell phone? I see you have one and would probably have to pay a $250 cancellation fee to change but you really need a new cell phone. LOL your phone doesn't even have a blender attachment. I know our phones are at full MSRP and you could upgrade for free with just a phone call, but you need to buy ours. Don't go, let me show you our service plans, surely someone in your family needs a new cell phone. Buy a cell phone. Yeah, I just came to buy a universal remote control. I don't think we carry that brand, look at this cell phone. Buy a cell phone.

The "new" Radio Shack is just a shitty mall kiosk with doors.
In August I went to buy some Time Cards for my cousin's (Not the one whose son just got married) and my cell phones. When the phones were purchased there was a coupon book with codes that added extra bonus time to the purchase.

Now, there was to be purchased, a 120 and 200 minute cards for both of us. 4 cards were to be purchased in total. Normally there are cards that get scanned by the register and later a narrow strip would be scatted away revealing a 15 digit code. After the original code us entered a 5 digit bonus code would then be entered.

There were no cards in sight. Everything had to be done right at the register. Then the people there refused to acknowledge that the bonus minute codes were valid. Now the code on the receipt is a one-time usage, OK there, but the coupon codes could be used on anybody's cell phone at any time for the printed dates. They utterly refused to believe it. They created such a fuss that we left. Then I noticed that they only rang up one set of minutes. Instead of two 120 minutes and two 200 minutes purchased, they only did single 120 & 200 set. We went to the nearest convince store where I bought the second set of cards.

I was more than a little ticked off. It isn't healthy to make me angry.

Because this was was done during a weekend I had to wait until Monday morning to make a complaint by phone. Before I went to work I went to the Shack's home page and Meticulously explained in detail what happened Saturday afternoon. Later that afternoon I received phone call from, I think, the regional Radio Shack office. I went over the entire incident, point by point: I asked for two sets of time codes and only got one set; not knowing the difference between codes on the receipt and the bonus codes; We need customers more than they need us overruled by their collective attitude. I mentioned there was possibility they didn't know the differences between the Original time codes and the bonus codes, but they should have known. The attitude of We Are Right And You Ain't really got me steamed. Off hand I believe the fact they missed a sale was more important than anything else, but I'm glad that Radio Shack HQ bothered to listen to me.

Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:13:24 PM EDT
I have not been one in probably 8 or 9 years
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:33:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Redarts:
I stepped in one earlier today while waiting for it to stop raining, and couldn't help but think that for a store which is so common, they carry very little.

IPod and MP3 accessories seem about the bulk of it. Most of their cables and wiring is far overpriced, and their selection is limited. Had a service person tell me that they didn't make a female to female USB cord (They do and I got one, although not at radioshack), and then tried to sell me some Ipod cable that I had no use for at an obscene price.

They have cell phones, but so do walmart/target/service providers (and at better prices). They don't seem to sell computers any more, and surely the stereo market isn't booming.

I simply can't figure out their angle, or why there are so many of the places around. They must be turning a profit or at least enough to stay afloat, because I haven't seen one go out of business in a while, but you barely see anyone shopping in one.


I remember back in the day you could go to radio shack and get just about anything to make anything electronic, and the stuff was mad in the USA
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:38:16 PM EDT
Is anything there a good* deal?

(*By that I mean comparable to online with free shipping.)
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:46:43 PM EDT
Couldn't tell you. They used to have really good employees and lots of shit for building your own circuit boards or electrical shit. Not so much any more.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:50:27 PM EDT
Bailouts
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 8:58:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 8:59:22 PM EDT by jrollins]
The only time the local Rat Shack was ANY good at all was when the manager was a ham. He made sure he had components and scanner/sw/ham radios(if they were in the system) in stock. Before that it was shit, after he left it was shit. They don't even carry anything useful anymore. The few useful things they carried a few years ago aren't there anymore. I can't imagine they will last much longer, but it's amazing they've lasted this long. They have been in a heavy decline for many many years.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:02:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wilNva:
A buddy that used to work at one a said each employee had to sell a certian number of cell phone contracts a month or they got fired. So my guess is cell phone money keeps them floating.


This is why I got canned. Manager at a Sam Goody for roughly a year, 4 months at RS, 5 years full time and still doing part time work at a book store. I've never been so glad to leave a job as I was RS. Hired at the bookstore in less than a week.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:04:01 PM EDT
I still buy the perforated PC boards, solder, and little boxes for my electronics projects there. I don't buy the components there as those are much cheaper online and the selection at RS is very poor and they don't carry microcontrollers. All the other stuff they sell I pretty much avoid as you can get better deals/quality other places on those items.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:04:22 PM EDT
All the ones around here are on the bus line and near check cashing shops.

I study retailers for a living. Trust me. RS is living entirely off ghetto goblins taking out cell phone plans under their dead grandmother's name and RS knows it.

RS is retardville.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:06:01 PM EDT
Try asking them to explain why 2 identical 30 watt soldering irons are packaged as "different" .Both of the irons say 30 watt on them.With one having a higher watt on the package has a 10 dollar higher price... WATT THE FUCK, OH THE IRONY
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:08:33 PM EDT
I bought a scanner ( the police listening kind) online. I went to the local RS to get the programming cable. I asked the girl for it. She had a blank look on her face and said" we don't sell scanners". I said yes you do, I just bought one.
I had to go find it myself. On the way home I realized she thought I meant a scanner for documents. *Sigh* They used to just sell radios and related stuff.
That was probably the last time I will enter a brick and mortar Radio Shack.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:14:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By edb66:
Lets see 25' HDMI cable for $99.99. I said no, I can get it on Amazon for less than $20 with free shipping. RS sales guy tells me that their cable has higher bandwidth and I'll get a better picture.

Same here. I needed one for a customer. 10 feet or so. I recall it was damn near $90.00!!!
I went to a local TV repair shop thats been around forever and know the owner, fellow ham in the local club.
Exactly what I needed, $14.00 !!!!
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:17:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 9:17:34 PM EDT by ARDestructo]
Bought a few electronics components there testerday. They're still the only viable small electronics store in my area. It was a bit overpriced, but the total was still like $4 for the two packages. Not enough to worry about.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:23:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 9:24:54 PM EDT by RED_5]
Radio Shack Employee: "welcome to radio shack, can I help you?"

me: " I doubt it, but dare ya to try! "




I''ve educated more RS employees over the years.....


eta:
RS is to electronics what Walgreens is to supermarkets.... convenience stores.. which you will pay for.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:27:42 PM EDT
They were the absolute shit back in the 70s-80s. I remember digesting their catalog. The parts they had you couldn't find anywhere else. Now they are completely irrelevant.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:32:14 PM EDT
Satan
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:44:46 PM EDT
I needed some AAAA batteries for a Streamlight flashlight and the only place that had'em was Radio Shack. The doofus clerk would not take NO for answer when he asked for telephone number and email address- he actually told me I HAD to provide it!- so I told him No, I don't and you can just keep your fuckin' batteries.

Ended up ordering them online and saved 35% even with the shipping cost.

That was the last straw for me and RS- they can roll over and die anytime.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 9:56:21 PM EDT
Dunno, but ours sells ammo.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 10:09:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2011 10:10:35 PM EDT by -RotorDemon-]
I went into one while the GF was at the mall. I was just burning time and was asked what cell phone I have. I said "Faster than anything you have in your store". So he busts out the EVO 3D and starts praising it saying it's the fastest phone on the market. I smirked and said "Ok it's a bet. I win you buy me that cell phone case over there. I lose I buy your phone"

The guy was ear to ear shitfaced smile. I pulled out my HTC G2 (Desire Z) single core 800MHz scorpion and his grin went from ear to ear to face to ass like he is going to make some commission.

Downloaded Quadrant on both phones. Let the leash off mine and at the end I scored three times higher in every benchmark. He actually bought the case for my phone and I bought a garage door remote battery.

I could have pushed it to 2.6GHz but 1.9 was more than enough to give the new phones a slap in the face while being stable.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 10:11:32 PM EDT
almost 20$ for 2 cr2032s. Last time I go there.
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 10:18:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Greggy_D:
They were the absolute shit back in the 70s-80s. I remember digesting their catalog. The parts they had you couldn't find anywhere else. Now they are completely irrelevant.


This, in the 80s and early 90s for me.

I remember when going to Radio Shack was the equivalent of going to Best Buy. Now, they don't have anything in there except cell phones and expensive cables/wiring.
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