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Old 03-01-2013, 05:00 PM #1
pacasowithagun
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Tip at starting an online store.

So I am looking at starting an online dropshipping store with paintball gear. Right now I am looking into finding suppliers and I have found a few. The only problem is that they all require proof that I have bought paintball items at wholesale pricing. Obviously, I have not done so and looking at manufacturer's website and dealer apps, I need trade references to even apply.

So my question is, how am I supposed to get trade references when I can't even apply to be a dealer without said trade references?
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:04 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacasowithagun View Post
So I am looking at starting an online dropshipping store with paintball gear. Right now I am looking into finding suppliers and I have found a few. The only problem is that they all require proof that I have bought paintball items at wholesale pricing. Obviously, I have not done so and looking at manufacturer's website and dealer apps, I need trade references to even apply.

So my question is, how am I supposed to get trade references when I can't even apply to be a dealer without said trade references?


You are about a decade or more too late to get into the online paintball business. Starting small and growing is no longer an option. You will need to have a ton of products in stock and ready to ship plus be excellent at internet sales with a top notch marketing plan in place from day one to have even a small chance of success.

If you really, really have nothing else to do with your money, I suggest you open a brick and mortar store. After you have purchased enough items from a manufacturer to stock the store they may allow you to do dropshipping through them. You still won't make any money this way but at least you could be the local "Paintball Guy" and struggle along for a little while until you sell everything at below cost and close up.

This post may seem like I'm just being negative but in reality I'm just telling you the truth.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:12 PM #3
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Originally Posted by Delmarva Paintball View Post
This post may seem like I'm just being negative but in reality I'm just telling you the truth.
He's not telling you the truth... He's sugar coating it... it's actually worse than he is making it out to be.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:51 PM #4
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Makes sense which is one of the reasons I was going for ANS as a supplier for dropshipping since they have a large product selection. None the less, good to know what I was about to get into.

Nonetheless, I am still curious about the trade referrals. It seems like a catch 22 since you need referrals to get referrals...
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:02 PM #5
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Originally Posted by pacasowithagun View Post
Makes sense which is one of the reasons I was going for ANS as a supplier for dropshipping since they have a large product selection. None the less, good to know what I was about to get into.

Nonetheless, I am still curious about the trade referrals. It seems like a catch 22 since you need referrals to get referrals...
It's pretty straight forward... None of the major manufacturers want to sell to internet only businesses. And they don't want to sell onses and twoses.... They want someone to call them up, place a $10,000 order and support their complete line.

In the old days (a few years ago) the paintball industry destroyed itself by selling to anyone, and having terrible margins. Real stores didn't want to even bother carry their products any more. Now the margins are still terrible, but at least they make sure they are not selling just to some kid that wants to buy some stuff cheap for him and his friends, undercutting the stores that are trying to make a living.

So just pull out the check book, place a big order, and it's not too hard to get set up. But calling up and wanting to set up so you can drop ship guns one at a time.. they have no interest.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:35 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacasowithagun View Post
Makes sense which is one of the reasons I was going for ANS as a supplier for dropshipping since they have a large product selection. None the less, good to know what I was about to get into.

Nonetheless, I am still curious about the trade referrals. It seems like a catch 22 since you need referrals to get referrals...
It's not easy to make it. If you can find the right mix of items to sell you can make a go at it, but all online... You will not make it. That's a totally different game.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:51 PM #7
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I think to get into the market you need to specialize in niche products or design/manufacture your own special items. To be an everything retailer isn't going to work unless, like gatsplat said, pull out your checkbook and start buying some products to get started.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:05 PM #8
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Originally Posted by pacasowithagun View Post
Makes sense which is one of the reasons I was going for ANS as a supplier for dropshipping since they have a large product selection. None the less, good to know what I was about to get into.

Nonetheless, I am still curious about the trade referrals. It seems like a catch 22 since you need referrals to get referrals...
if your going to ans for your supplies. And there is a minimum advertised pricing why would your customers go to you and not just go straight to ans and already established site. see what im getting at
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:02 PM #9
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When I started my PB business 1993 things were very different but still the industry was messed up. They would sell to anyone you didn't need a store front just money. Made money for the first 5 to 7 years but online cut sales and other store open in the area. Last 7 year we survived because we own the building the store was in. We closed store 5 years ago and field in 2010.
You must love the sport and not mind not making much money or don't bother. If your in the right area you can make it. But you better be in it for the long run. I had a full time job to support my family. So you will put in long hours and little to show for it. I tried online but prices were to low for me to make any money. I wish you luck but I think at this time most stores are closing then opening.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:22 AM #10
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If you plan on running an online only store, you will have a difficult time opening up a lot of dealer accounts with numerous companies. Most companies these day's require a store front before they'll even let you apply to be a dealer.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:20 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatSplat View Post
It's pretty straight forward... None of the major manufacturers want to sell to internet only businesses. And they don't want to sell onses and twoses.... They want someone to call them up, place a $10,000 order and support their complete line.

In the old days (a few years ago) the paintball industry destroyed itself by selling to anyone, and having terrible margins. Real stores didn't want to even bother carry their products any more. Now the margins are still terrible, but at least they make sure they are not selling just to some kid that wants to buy some stuff cheap for him and his friends, undercutting the stores that are trying to make a living.

So just pull out the check book, place a big order, and it's not too hard to get set up. But calling up and wanting to set up so you can drop ship guns one at a time.. they have no interest.
^ This.
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