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Old 12-11-2010, 07:15 PM #1
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Question New store any advice?

I am planning on opening a store you guys have any advice or thing to look for?
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:37 PM #2
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kind of a broad question.

are you going to be tied to a field? A stand alone store is going to be a very hard venture to make profitable.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:53 PM #3
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I suspect most store owners who have been there and done that are going to give "quit while you're ahead" as advice, and "another investment" as something to look out for.

Very difficult path for stores these days. I see them in droves around here closing up, even when attached to fields. One in particular tells people just to get their gear online now, rather than carrying the inventory. If it's small consumables (o-rings, batteries, and spares that fit his rentals), he'll have it. Otherwise, he'd rather not mess with it.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:04 PM #4
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A relatively small market, many of whom shop online, low markups, high inventory cost on top of the other overhead associated with running a brick & mortar store make it really easy to say, "no thanks". I'd suggest trying a shoe store or something along that line.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:10 PM #5
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Hate to echo the same thing... but I have an indoor field, have a retail scuba shop, with several million dollars in inventory... had the paintball shop in the scuba shop, then moved into the 26000 square foot indoor field - so really, no rent or overhead - payed by the field. Had zero debt, and had about 300,000 in inventory at the height. Giving you all that info so you know I'm not new to business, sales, or this industry...

But over the last year, I decided it just was not worth it. Even internet stuff, even though I rated near the top in google, I stopped selling, and instead just put amazon and google links on our pages, and blew out the rest of the retail gear at cost. do a google search for Halo V35 and check out the ScubaToys link (should be number 1) to see what I'm talking about.

I'd tell you, it is not the best investment with the present state of the industry.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:47 AM #6
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I would make it a secondary type of inventory. Having just paintball is very difficult. If there are other things you could sell in conjunction with paintball that will sell in your area try to have them as well. Do some research into what is out there and what other outlets for those sales are.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:46 AM #7
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Like they say " if you want to make a small fortune in paintball, start with a big one". Sorry but right about now that`s the way it is.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:38 PM #8
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Like they say " if you want to make a small fortune in paintball, start with a big one". Sorry but right about now that`s the way it is.
Shouldn't it be "If you want to have a small fortune in paintball, start with a big one."
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:30 PM #9
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I don't know much on business seeing how I'm only 15 but i have played for a while.you should have the latest gear, good and nice technicians that are certified to work on all types of guns, sell just ninja and cp tanks and be able to fill them, have special deals, have i4s and events in stock, offer a lifetime warranty on all markers purchased from ur store, maybe have a field that would really help ur sales, try and get sponsored by brands, use one company for paint, have a good location and business hours.

Hope this helps you out
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:56 PM #10
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Unfortunately, that's exactly the kind of direction that causes stores troubles. The latest gear is expensive. Carrying an Ego11? Which color? Whichever one you get in, it won't be the one the guy who wants an Ego11 wants. Or they'll want an NT11. Or a Victory. I can pretty much guarantee that whichever guns are on the wall, the customers coming in will want other ones, with other options, and you'll have to order it in.
Technicians are employees. You're looking at training (which likely means sending someone to wherever the manufacturer wants to certify a tech), wages, unemployment insurance, FICA matching, and other costs. And God help the store if the tech screws up someone's gun.
Carrying a couple types of tanks? Great. The ones the customers want will be the other sizes, or the other brands. Oh, and as soon as they're in stock, the clock is ticking on the hydro.
Special deals are special because the store takes a hit on their profit margin.
Having I4's and Events in stock is great. Again, going to carry all the colors? All the various lenses? What happens when the customer comes in and wants Profits or Grills? Yep, back to ordering, and the inventory in stock sits on the shelf.
Lifetime warranty is a money pit. Plus, unless it's going to extend to second/third/twelfth owner, it's kind of pointless.

I know of one particular store (attached to a field) that picked up a Spyder Shutter when those retailed for $300. Several years later, it still sat on the shelf. The owner couldn't mark it down far enough to keep up with the depreciation on the inventory. I think he still has it today.

Get the idea on carrying inventory? It's unfortunate, but it's a fact of paintball business.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:07 AM #11
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Now I'll deviate from the beaten path here, and say stocking a few inventory items, even mid-range to high-end stuff, can still turn a profit, but yes you do have to order in. It IS rather annoying have to order stuff in 3 days a week, and shipping does eat into profits, but making the sale helps to build a store loyalty in our experience. Our typical policy is "if we don't stock it, we'll order" and we've done a good job in selling gear that way. Handful of Geo2's, couple NT's, couple DM10's, masks, tanks, etc. Even pump gear- we just sold a T2.

Now, it would never be enough to keep my place afloat, even with expensive teching ($60/hour), but we also have a field. We see our inventory not so much as something to profit off of, but to provide convenience to the customer. The more they are in the shop, the more chances to make money off them.

Oh and we stock a lot of impulse buys. Fill nipple protectors, DVD's, headbands, etc. Those move pretty well.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:36 PM #12
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nah it reads just fine but thanks
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:18 PM #13
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A couple more years in the Army and I’ll be done and with a pension. I will still open a field with a small store on it but I cannot see being profitable by just doing a high end pro shop. It’s really too bad but I have see it over and over again with friends stores. Store owners would stop playing and get out of touch with the market and then listens to a 16 year old kid on what he should stock his store with. Then 5 months later and 3K spent on “new” guns the field owner has dust on most of the guns. And what makes things worse, your supplier for example “American Nation Suppliers of paintball” has secret websites selling things for 1195 that they sold you for 1175 just 5 weeks ago. Now if you try to sell this gun for 1200 bucks that same 16 year old punk is telling people that you are expensive and they should shop on line. Now two months after that the same guns are selling everywhere for $1095 and you still have 2 on your wall for 1200 bucks. So you end up giving them away for tourneys and raffles. The paintball industry does not make it easy for store owners to stay in business. It’s a dog eat dog paintball world out there.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:52 PM #14
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A couple more years in the Army and I’ll be done and with a pension. I will still open a field with a small store on it but I cannot see being profitable by just doing a high end pro shop. It’s really too bad but I have see it over and over again with friends stores. Store owners would stop playing and get out of touch with the market and then listens to a 16 year old kid on what he should stock his store with. Then 5 months later and 3K spent on “new” guns the field owner has dust on most of the guns. And what makes things worse, your supplier for example “American Nation Suppliers of paintball” has secret websites selling things for 1195 that they sold you for 1175 just 5 weeks ago. Now if you try to sell this gun for 1200 bucks that same 16 year old punk is telling people that you are expensive and they should shop on line. Now two months after that the same guns are selling everywhere for $1095 and you still have 2 on your wall for 1200 bucks. So you end up giving them away for tourneys and raffles. The paintball industry does not make it easy for store owners to stay in business. It’s a dog eat dog paintball world out there.
The base of the problem is that the manufacturers don't follow the "golden rule" of retail: everything should sell for twice what you pay for it. They think making 20% on a product (before shipping!) is an adequate markup. Even then they sell the same product through one of their favorite websites for 10-25% over the cost, if not below your cost.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:40 PM #15
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in regards to the original question....wait!
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:48 PM #16
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:11 PM #17
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Originally Posted by Auctionjunkie! View Post
The base of the problem is that the manufacturers don't follow the "golden rule" of retail: everything should sell for twice what you pay for it. They think making 20% on a product (before shipping!) is an adequate markup. Even then they sell the same product through one of their favorite websites for 10-25% over the cost, if not below your cost.
Dan
Best is when you try to or people want you to match the olnine price and eat the tax amount, now that marginal 20% is 6-9% lower !
In order for stores/fields to survive, companies need to work with small store instead of screwing us over with 10+ quantity pricing and even with that "price break" barely enough percentage to scrape by. last i check it called a sale not a giveaway
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:19 PM #18
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Depends on where you are and what other competition you have around you. I know in Richmond we have 4-6 fields and only 1 store. So a lot of people order online just cause they don't have a lot of choice. I would love to order through a store and be able to get the marker or whatever repaired for a decent price without having to send it back to the online store or even the marker company.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:39 PM #19
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Location is a big factor, don't open too close to a walmart or Sporting goods store that sells paintball items. Don't open a store in a richy little town, people in these towns do not spend money on paintball they buy big houses and fancy cars and go on expensive vacations. Outskirts of a small city is better. Being exclusive is better.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:40 AM #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auctionjunkie! View Post
The base of the problem is that the manufacturers don't follow the "golden rule" of retail: everything should sell for twice what you pay for it. They think making 20% on a product (before shipping!) is an adequate markup. Even then they sell the same product through one of their favorite websites for 10-25% over the cost, if not below your cost.
Dan
why is this? ie why does paintball only have a 20% profit margin where other industries have greater ones.

ie how/ why does k2 sell a 1000$ pair of skis to a ski store at 500$ when a a 1200$ paintball gun only has a 20% profit margin?
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:52 AM #21
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why is this? ie why does paintball only have a 20% profit margin where other industries have greater ones.

ie how/ why does k2 sell a 1000$ pair of skis to a ski store at 500$ when a a 1200$ paintball gun only has a 20% profit margin?

Because so many kids think they want to open a paintball shop, that they will just borrow the money from dad and pay it... they don't have the business experience or knowledge to know that there is little chance for good profit. And I love how when you call them on it, they do the "Well the margins are even worse on computers...." Yea, but in case you haven't noticed, there are a few more people buying computers than $1200 paintball guns!

And the manufacturer has huge margins built in, and if they don't sell them to stores, they will just drop the price, and blow them out through other markets, websites they have an interest in, etc.

It's the reason we stopped carrying gear for sale. One day, if margins get in line with other industries, maybe we'll be interested again.
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