Opening a hobby shop?

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by ZeroEdge, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. ZeroEdge

    ZeroEdge Geass'd

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    I kinda have this idea of opening up a hobby shop...basically selling Japanese imports and model kits, but I have no idea where to do begin...
     
  2. lordtigerhawk

    lordtigerhawk Well-Known Member

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    A business Plan.....:gen069: 
     
  3. deceptifocus

    deceptifocus *Supercharged*

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    i would also consider broadening your product. there was a place that sold that here and that alone, and even in a decent market it didnt do too well, but online business helped.
     
  4. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    Money lots of it.... but seriously, a good business plan is vital and doing a bit of leg work to gauge the local demand for items such as your proposing to sell would be of immense use to you.
     
  5. Omega Jolt

    Omega Jolt Hunter

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    One of the most important things to keep in mind is to sell more than just the products you like or are looking for.

    I live in an area without any hobby shops (that aren't national chains >_>) and it's because most of the ones that started up around here were to specialized (much like what deceptifocus said). One guy opened a comic shop because he was really into comics, but that was ALL he sold and it TANKED. Another guy opened up a place that touted itself as a store that sold many different kinds of figures, and they did, if you like nothing but Warhammer, D&D, and WWII minis. That one lasted longer than I expected but it also TANKED (again selling only things he had interest in).

    The other thing is that depending on your area it might benefit you to move to a more promising market before you start up. Make sure there is little to no established competition if at all possible (and more importantly, demand going un-supplied).

    TL;DR
    Sell a large variety of things and do local market research.
     
  6. Soging

    Soging Well-Known Member

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    Give people a reason to buy stuff at your store, don't use eBay as a price guide and charge $20 more.
     
  7. Dremare

    Dremare Had an Epiphany

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    Have a broad range. Also you can start on eBay, which might be a good idea. And make the prices fair.
     
  8. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    I would start by taking some sort of business class.
     
  9. Aptom

    Aptom Well-Known Member

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    agree with all above. think what do you look for when going to the same kind of shop but have trouble finding. if you can provide customers with something they cant get elsewhere youll have a good start. i know its stating the obvious but its one of the most important things.
     
  10. rizuan76

    rizuan76 Banned

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    ....& a bank loan too. :wink: 
     
  11. Treadshot A1

    Treadshot A1 Or just 'A1' for short...

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    Going back to my 3 classes on business, i'd agree with everyone about the Business plan, but a survey to sart would be nice, if only to gauge interest. Or, if not how much interest, at least what interested.

    There is the chance of, y'know, interest but not in the lines you were thinking. Good luck though.

    BTW, Price, Product, Promotion, Place, People. Figure out each one before you do anything else. What are you selling, to whom, at what price? Where are you? How do people know you're there?

    You get the idea.
     
  12. QuinJester

    QuinJester T. Bison

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    Print out your bankruptcy papers in advance.

    Put yourself in horrific debt taking out all the various loans you need for retail space, inventory, business licenses, taxes.

    Realize that your overhead costs with a retail outlet mean that you can't compete in price with online basement operators.

    File aforementioned bankruptcy papers.

    ...

    Profit?
     
  13. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, don't approach it solely as a "fan/collector". You need to consider a wider business model, marketplace, target customer, and of course, a business plan, forecasts etc are musts.

    A business course would be a good place to start.
     
  14. teruo kaiba

    teruo kaiba Made In Japan

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    As others have mentioned already, a business plan is a must. You have to do the proper research, look into a distributor, SWAT analysis, etc etc to atleast get a very rough idea of if the business is even worth opening to begin with.

    Some things to consider:
    1. Are there any competitors in your immediate area, if yes then you have to research and determine based on sound judgement if there is room for another. If no, then you have to ask yourself why hasn't a hobby store opened up before, or if there was one and they went out of business.

    2. How large is your potential customer base. What will you do that could attract customers and get them to buy from you instead of online?

    3. Pricing is always an issue. Can you compete with online retailers given your costs associated with operating a brick and mortar store?

    I live in an area that has a few hobby stores. Some have been around for a few years now and seem to do alright (not great business, mind you) but enough to stay open. Price wise, they always seem more than online, however they seem to derive sales from either 1. customer loyalty to the store (willing to support local business) or 2. customers are impatient and want their toy now.

    Personally I wouldn't open a hobby store (atleast in my area) as there just doesn't seem to be enough potential profit in it to make it worth while when you compare the amount of risk associated with such a venture.
     
  15. Prozak

    Prozak Well-Known Member

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    I think you should try selling stuff on eBay for a start. Find out how you can buy direct from suppliers and offer people the chance to pick up merchandise locally.

    By selling on eBay first you'll get your feet wet. It'll give you a better idea if you really want to open up a hobby store without spending a ton of time and money doing market research.

    Finding out how to buy direct from suppliers is another step in the right direction, and by offering people to pick it up locally you'll give people around you more incentive to buy from you since you'll save them on shipping costs and it'll give you "some" idea about local demand.

    If you don't have any idea about what you are doing, I say take baby steps. Slowly you'll find out if you do enjoy selling collectibles and you'll start building relationships with vendors. Try and become friends with them if possible and gleen some inside information.

    If you start by selling something that's popular you're unlikely to lose any money, and if you do, it won't be a six figure loan you defaulted on.

    Maybe even start selling here on tfw before you graduate to an eBay store, and then your very own website and who knows, maybe even a local brick and mortar store.
     
  16. Plastic Man

    Plastic Man The Man in Black

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    The only retail spots I see that actually profit are the ones that host MTG friday night tourneys, ect. This brings people in the door. They all offer comics and collectibles, as well as sports cards and tcg's. Then you could afford to have Japanese imports and models and diversify your customer base, but not put all your eggs in one basket.

    I do have a model shop near me that specializes in trains and planes, but I don't know how profitable they are. It's a mom and pop shop, and I rarely go in there unless I need painting supplies.
     
  17. Dr Wheeljack

    Dr Wheeljack 3DS

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    Good luck man you will need it.
     

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