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Old 05-19-2006, 01:57 PM #1
aimeagle21
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Thinking of opening a store but need input

Alright, I am not a kid looking for cheap guns and gear. I have been thinking of opening a store or just online/ebay to start with. I am thinking of just doing the online thing to start with for obvious overhead reasons. I don't want to sink a bunch of money into an actual store to only find out the market I am in will not support it. I am in a rural area but there seems to be a good amount of people who peintball in the local area. There is one field in the area but no real store to speak of. He sells 95% of the business on ebay. I dont want to move in on his business because he is a friend of mine but the equipment he sells is 90% tippman and the rest are spyder type markers and some small gear like masks and that is about it. Now for my questions:

1. How can I find out if my local area would support opening a store short of going door to door and asking people if they would shop at a paintball store? Is there any other way?

2. Do you think that an online/ebay store is a good way to start?

3. I would also like to offer marker repair. Do I need to be a certified marker tech to do this? I pretty much know all types of markers inside and out but have no formal training on them.

4. I am not going to have a field for people to play on so that is not an issue. If things go the way I hope they will that may come along in the future.

5. Is there any more of a profit margin in selling gear vs. the markers themselves?

Lastly I am not in this to just make a quick buck. I stay at home with my kids and my wife works. All the profit from this business would be extra money coming in I don't need to make enough money to support my family with this. So I don't need to worry to much about having a bad month or two to start out with. Any other suggestions or hep would be appreciated. If it matters I have about 12k I can use to buy stock with. If you have any suggestions on this I would also appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:19 PM #2
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look at m thread a couple below you (need help (satrt up cost)


lots of great info
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:20 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimeagle21
Alright, I am not a kid looking for cheap guns and gear. I have been thinking of opening a store or just online/ebay to start with. I am thinking of just doing the online thing to start with for obvious overhead reasons.
With the number of Ebay paintball operations already, how will yours be different? You need to identify yourself with local players somehow to have them come to you instead of someone else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimeagle21
There is one field in the area but no real store to speak of. He sells 95% of the business on ebay. I dont want to move in on his business because he is a friend of mine but the equipment he sells is 90% tippman and the rest are spyder type markers and some small gear like masks and that is about it
So, if he’s already on Ebay, how will you be different? And, no matter how you look at it, you’re going into competition with him. The small gear and entry level markers is where the bulk of the business is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimeagle21
3. I would also like to offer marker repair. Do I need to be a certified marker tech to do this? I pretty much know all types of markers inside and out but have no formal training on them.
Just put up posters, spread word of mouth, and offer good rates and good warrenties. The only issue I would think you have to worry about is liability insurance. If you work on a marker and it causes damage or injury, your homeowners insurance probably wouldn’t payout.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimeagle21
5. Is there any more of a profit margin in selling gear vs. the markers themselves?
Paint and Air. That’s where the most money is. Perhaps sell paint to locals or provide CO2 and HPA fills from your garage. Check the local bylaws...
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimeagle21
If it matters I have about 12k I can use to buy stock with.
Best invested with a medium performing mutual fund. lol.
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:36 PM #4
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slarty- nice thought on the liability issue thank you. I will look into that part of it. As for being different on the net, I really can't make myself any different on ebay. As for the local customers I can repair their markers and I play tournies myself so a lot of them already know who I am. I know I may step on the other stoers toes if I do this. I tohught about going to him and asking about investing in his place and seeing what I can bring to help grow the business. I would rather partner with him rather than be competition. I really need to find out what he would like out of his business before I could even ask if he would like my partnership. I really did think about other things to invest some of my money but I love everything about paintball. I play small tournies locally, work on every marker I get a chance to also, my son is 13 and is really good at paintball and may have a future with it. I would love to give him a job doing this with me so he can see that everything paintball is not free and this way he could see all sides to the sport.

Chi- I checked your thread out before I made this one but I noticed a lot of people bashing the whole opening a pb store idea.
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:37 PM #5
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It sounds like you have things pretty well thought out.

Markup is pretty low on guns. You won't make much and it's hard to get an edge on Ebay. Before you do this, go to the local field and look at the number of players shooting high end guns and the number of players who seriously plan on getting a new gun in the near future. Talk to some of the guys about your business and see how interested they get.

Selling paint and air for outlaw games may also be effective. Some people just hate ordering paint over the Internet and must buy it in person to assure there are no broken balls in the bags.

Teching markers for idiots is a great way to help your business. Not only can you make a little extra money off that, but the new parts they will need they can get from you. While they are at it, they might even have you install some upgrades. I don's see liability being a big issue. Paintball guns are made as idiot proof as possible for when little Billy tries to fix his new gun. If you know how to fix Egos, DM's, Timmys, Ions, Shockers, and Angels you should be good.

This probably isn't the most wise investment but if it is something you like you have a smaller chance of failing. The worst that could happen is you get a bunch of stuff that you can't sell so you liquidate it on Ebay or locally and make half your money back.
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:06 PM #6
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personally its a 50/50 chance if u ask me kinda one you life in rural area wich dosent make a huge differnce but id rather go into a store then ebay! for one ebay is online and u cant trust online much anymore or the people on it 2 it would be alot of boring work unless u like comps and so on ebay requires fees for listing wich would take from your pay as well as you need to do alot of packaging depending on wat you sell how much blah blah basicly i think online isnt worth all the risks and hassles also u can interact with your customers get them coming back and spreading the work if your an only shop in a rural area everyone turns to you wich makes ya more profit an popularity and so on i think you need to check you store opions and how you think your community will react 50/50 toss up good luck with that!
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:28 PM #7
JcKa
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This is just my 2 cents:

To find out if there is a demand in your area for a local paintball store, walk around the local fields and talk to people. Most people I'm sure order online, but a local store that wouldn't require them to give out their credit card and wait 10 days for stuff would probobly make them very interested.

Also, since the guy already has a field, you could always talk to him about opening up a proshop in the name of the field. He could help pay for the overhead and you could pay for the stock-up price or something. If he is your friend and since he has an established field then you should definitely consider teaming up with him, because then those that play at his field will definitely hear about the field's proshop and look for their gear there.
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