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Thread: Small Retail Questionss

  1. #1

    Default Small Retail Questionss

    Collectible trading cards and tabletop RPGs seem all the rage nowadays. Unfortunately I cannot start a business up without a brick and motar store for the inventory to be stored so a wholesaler will sell to me.

    I was thinking of merging with an existing store at first. Or maybe I can get stuff from BJ's?

    I heard there's programs that let you sell items and keep your inventory remotely in some other storage place. You just create a website online and have the supplier send to the custtomer. How does this work?
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  2. #2

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    I ran a business out of my house until the mid-1990's years or so with inventory stocked in the garage. I got all my inventory from wholesalers and never had any problems getting a resale account with any of them. I used to have the occasional Yellow Freight semi back up to my garage door delivering pallets

    I never got any flak from any neighbors, and I didn't have any walk-in trade. Did not have any problem with my city business license, but I would have if I was trying to do walk-in retail customers, regulations are pretty strict in my town about residential area traffic. All my sales were UPS'd to the final destination.

    Many wholesalers offered "drop ship" service, but remember then you're at their mercy with what your customer may see on a shipping label.

    You could always rent a storage shed near your home.

  3. #3

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    OH well. I dn't have a house.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
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    Amazon will do this. Your inventory stays in their warehouse until it sells on the Amazon website. They take a chunk of the profits, though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Central VA
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    I've heard of people using the Amazon warehousing/fulfillment successfully, but the people I know personally who have tried it found out that they weren't doing enough volume to make it worth their time/money. You could probably look at subletting from a business near you -- I was getting set up to do that with a previous employer but the deal on the inventory I was going to sell fell through. (Note: I wouldn't recommend entering into such an agreement with most employers, if you end up leaving your job for whatever reason, it might mess up your side business).

    Part of the supplies of vintage components I've got is currently under such an arrangement: a guy who did hamfests rented out an unused warehouse section of a business I'd worked for in the past. He eventually stopped paying his rent so the business owner ended up with the components, which were then sold to me. They stay in the warehouse (it's many times more than what I could put in the shop!) in exchange for me sourcing parts and transporting large equipment for him now and then.

  6. #6

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    The trouble with these kinds of ventures is that if you have to ask, and you wonder if you could make it, you are almost certainly going to lose your butt.

    If it's a sure thing that you could make thousands, you'll make hundreds.

    The guys that I've known who really pulled this stuff off were really, really lucky, AND, they worked their, and their wives, and children, half to death for the first fifteen years.

  7. #7

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    I run a retail Vape Shop. I'm the only shop in a 60 mile radius. Vaping is all the rage right now. I did all the research, I made a solid business plan. I expected 120k a year in sales. I invested 30 grand into fixtures and inventory. It brings in around 90k gross a year, which just barely pays the bills (45k for me, 45k reinvested into the business). I could cash out at any time, but I'm enjoying the "work for myself" thing, even if I'm stretching the financial limits sometimes.

    If you're thinking of doing it for a "side venture" and have a day job, I'd say have fun with it. I'd caution going into it as your "primary" job unless you have a solid plan, a good investment, and padding to fall back on in case you fall on your face out of the gate.

    Look for a small local business storefront, and ask if you can colocate with them for address purposes, and maybe rent some back room storage. Many small shops have more space than they know what to do with.

    Or, just get a climate controlled storage unit. As for wholesalers, if you have your EIN/TIN, a business license and/or LLC, most of them will ship anywhere. You don't have to have a brick and mortar business address.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by zombienerd View Post

    Or, just get a climate controlled storage unit.
    And try not to read that other thread.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    And try not to read that other thread.
    +1 on never putting anything valuable in a storage unit for any real length of time. I've seen too many first-hand disasters. Even worse when your product is largely cardboard/cardstock.

  10. #10

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    Wutabout "affiliate" programs?
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