Yesterday, I got an e-mail from the Amateur Radio Store. I’d never heard of this place before, so I clicked on the link in the e-mail to check it out. As I was surfing their site, it occurred to me that there are now a number of websites like this that sell amateur radio products.
I attribute this to the ease with which proprietors can set up shop. It’s relatively easy to register a domain name, download something like OSCommerce or an e-commerce plug for WordPress, and start selling stuff. In addition to the Amateur Radio Store, I’ve recently come across:
I’ve purposely left the major vendors off this list, such as HRO, AES, and Universal, because they maintain full-service, brick-and-mortar stores as well as having an online presence.
It will be interesting to see how many of these stores make a go of it. They are at somewhat of a disadvantage because the Big Three (ICOM, Yaesu, and Kenwood) generally won’t sell to them.
I’m really hoping, though, that they can stick it out. It’s great to have choices when it comes to buying ham gear. The key is going to be being able to provide both the selection and the service that the more established vendors can. Good service will build the solid customer base that these stores need.