Increase in Internet sources for ham radio gear

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.

Comments

  1. I will vouch for K1CRA, I have purchased some mobile antennas and mounts from their store and have been impressed. Sure, the Workman/Tram names can scare some off, but I’ll say that the little Tram dual bnad mobile whip I got 3 years ago is still holding strong and working great on the roof of my Blazer.

  2. Charlie, WA2ONH says:

    Watching Ham Nation Video #74, I saw this firm noted that I didn’t know of before:

    http://www.radioinc.com/
    Radio City
    2663 County Road I
    Mounds View, MN 55112

    Good small local stores always need our business!

  3. I try and support the little guys whenever I can. It’s easy in Australia; we don’t have any big chains that sell ham gear, they are all either small bricks and mortar or online stores (which I prefer).

  4. In 1979 we started building the antennas we now sell. We were formerly established and started paying taxes in 2005. I own Alpha Antenna, located on the web at http://www.AlphaAntenna.com, and provide our products online with the E-Commerce web site http://AmateurRadioStore.com. We have a manufacturing facility that serves as the distribution warehouse in Greenwood, MO. There I employee 3 individuals full-time and 2 part-time. We take great pride in what we produce and in the support we provide. Another one of our missions is to design and build antenna systems that are very unique. We have also been at the Dayton Hamvention each year, and hope that if you can make it there, you look us up!

  5. Hello, I was presently surprised to see that you listed my Ham Radio Store. It’s now in its 5th year of operation and has become quite successful. Again, thanks much for the mention. Regards, Gary ke2yk

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