My son had been saving up for a really good R/C car for a long time. He had read a lot on the internet and had some idea what he was looking for. But nothing beats expert advice, so we went into the Boise Hobbytown. Forget expert advice, the best the local Hobbytown could do was tell us to go talk to the people at the local race track.
Our experience in R/C Hobbies was exactly the opposite. The staff was immediately helpful. The man who helped us got several different types of cars out of their boxes and showed us the difference between cars that were rugged and easy to use and cars that were meant for racing, light and adjustable. When we asked about batteries he told us about the different types of batteries and the different ratings. He even told us about replacement parts--all of which he had in-stock.
When he was done, we purchased a short-course stadium truck that we're very happy with. When we read the reviews online later, they agreed completely with what we had been told.
He even followed up our visit the next day with a call to let us know that the battery we had asked about was now in stock.
I prefer to support the local economy with my purchases--but only if the service and selection supports it. When I purchase a car myself later there is only one place I'll go--R/C Hobbies!