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Posted: 1/20/2006 9:20:47 PM EDT
Well........... how do I do it?
No firearms, just parts. Los angeles based.

Any help is appreciated.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 9:32:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/20/2006 9:34:11 PM EDT by Dace]

Originally Posted By sysops666:
Well........... how do I do it?
No firearms, just parts. Los angeles based.

Any help is appreciated.



$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
­

Buy in large quantities at discount prices and sell high.

Thats all it takes.

Oh and you have to have the least bit of intelligence
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 9:38:55 PM EDT
I believe you have to get a retailers license and tax number. After that you can either buy into a companies products, or more easily just contact a warehouse distributor.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 9:58:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By olds442tyguy:
I believe you have to get a retailers license and tax number. After that you can either buy into a companies products, or more easily just contact a warehouse distributor.



lets just say i got the cash. how much of the actual buisness practice can i outsource?

making sure stuff thats ordered actually gets there, i mean i have to have some accountability don't I?
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 8:54:31 AM EDT
Incorporate (secretary of state) or become a sole proprieter. Get a sales tax and use permit from the State Comptroller.

Go to shot show, Feb 9-13th. Talk to the manufacturers of the parts you wish to sell. Each has different requirements. Some just discount parts on quantities. Some require a minimum initial order and a yearly min to get dealer pricing. Some require lengthy applications and agreements on what you will charge for the products. Shot show is an opportunity you do not want to miss as you can get months of work done in 3 days, and put a face to your name with the manufacturers and volume dealers.

As said before the hardest thing is having the money to buy parts in the required quantities. You will also start off as the lowest guy on the totem pole, the established folks will get their stuff before you do, and dending on their relationships may not be paying as much as you do. To attract folks you really need to be a one stop shop with excellent customer service. It will take a while and alot of business to even get on the radar of most of the major manufacturers or resellers. You will be sitting on alot of product. Also, California is not the best market in the world for in state sales.

Alot of OEM AR parts are sourced by one or two manufacturers. Most dealers still buy from a middleman on these parts as the manufacturers are in the business of manufacturing and selling major orders. An example is Microbest. They make bolt carriers and alot of the small parts for the AR. Their min order is 1000 parts on small parts with a new guy, a thousand of each part.

Not trying to discourage you, but it is money intensive and alot of the bigger dealers here have spent many years, and lots of money making their business profitable, and getting the prices they get from their vendors. Even at that, I don't believe many of them are millionaires.

Good luck and good hunting!
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 2:13:39 PM EDT
Hey wait a minute!........................
Thats the smartest thing ive ever heard anyone say about anything!



But seriously I really didn't think I would get any help at all.

Now if i start stocking up to get ready for a grand opening, where would i keep all the stuff? Is it possible to rent space at a warehouse? Do I come to some sort of agreement with UPS so they come buy and make pick ups?
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 2:32:25 PM EDT
+1 on everything 48thHighlander said expect the part about sole proprietor being an option. Don't even consider it. A sole proprietor has unlimited liability. Your company gets sued for a million dollars, you owe a million dollars. LLC or sub chapter S is the way to go. Your company gets sued for a million dollars, you loose all company assets and need to find a new job. But you keep your house, car, guns, etc. Yes it's more red tape and cost up front, but it covers your ass.

And I'm sure I can speak for 48thHighlander and say neither one of us wants to see your ass uncovered.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 5:16:05 PM EDT
I should have noted my experience is in the automotive business.

48th just gave you probably the best run down anyone could. I do partially agree with gks452 as well, but if you're smart about it you probably won't end up getting sued.

However, we started off easy by just ordering from a wholesaler. As we sold more and more parts, we ended up jumping from wholesaler to wholesaler based on our parts sales and the requirements to get into their programs.

Usually you can buy into a whole mess of companies products through a wholesaler for the same price of the buy in for one particular company direct. The cheaper the wholesaler sells for, the more parts you typically have to order per year. Now we buy about 40% of our parts direct and the rest from a wholesaler. We're very careful about it as the wholesaler can get alot of parts cheaper then we could get them direct even after the buy in.

Getting to know the people you're buying from is a good idea to. If you can't have a good conversation with the guy who handles orders at the place you buy from, chances are you're not going to move up as fast (meaning better pricing, treatment, and such). It is about the money, but having friends in the industry doesn't hurt.

Don't try to compete with other vendors, just be as honest as possible and help people out as much as you can. Also remember that if a person has a good dealing with you, he probably only tells two people. If he has a bad dealing with you, he's going to tell everyone he can. You also get to know alot of people through the business. As I said earlier, if you have repeat customers get to know them. If you aren't a people person, you shouldn't be in the business.

I know this probably sounds super cheesy, but alot of customers aren't really customers at all. They're just friends that buy stuff from you.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 6:57:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sysops666:
Hey wait a minute!........................
Thats the smartest thing ive ever heard anyone say about anything!
i35.photobucket.com/albums/d168/sysops666/untitled.jpg


But seriously I really didn't think I would get any help at all.

Now if i start stocking up to get ready for a grand opening, where would i keep all the stuff?Mini storage Is it possible to rent space at a warehouse? Do I come to some sort of agreement with UPS so they come buy and make pick ups?UPS.com, print labels at home, select wether you want a truck to come to your house/business, drop off at autherized pickup place or UPS facility.


I'm trying to do the same thing right now, I'm running into a brick wall with most manufacturers and distributers. Most of them think I'm just some dude trying to get something for personal use cheap.
Good luck.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 7:10:55 PM EDT
I wouldn't reccomend the mini storage area. You could get robbed, not to mention the publicity involved when someone has what the media would consider to be a "cache of assault weapons" in a storage garage. Not only that, it's best to have your products close so you can tell what you have in stock with out having to leave your home. (Assuming you're going the kitchen table route.) It will also save you alot of time running back and forth. Shipping will be alot easier as well.

I say if you're going to sell from your home, to keep the products in your home. A business front is always good, but you have to start some where. Having your products by the phone you sell them through is highly reccomended. Nothing beats looking across the room to see what you have in stock.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 7:15:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dace:

Buy in large quantities at discount prices and sell high.

Thats all it takes.



Do you have any idea at all on what the markup is in the AR15 market? You can try to sell high, but you will find yourself sitting on a bin full of parts. The AR15 market is high volume, not high prices.

You also need to figure if it is something you want to go into full time, or if you want to keep it as a part time gig on the side.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 7:26:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Originally Posted By Dace:

Buy in large quantities at discount prices and sell high.

Thats all it takes.



Do you have any idea at all on what the markup is in the AR15 market? You can try to sell high, but you will find yourself sitting on a bin full of parts. The AR15 market is high volume, not high prices.

You also need to figure if it is something you want to go into full time, or if you want to keep it as a part time gig on the side.



and if the latter, you can do that without brick and mortar operations.

Many, if not most are now Online parts dealers, and without the overhead of space/extra employee related costs, can either make a better margin or are better able to compete.

I'd look long and hard at those dealers who are already doing it, and mirror the success stories, and avoid the obvious disasters.

Good luck,.........seriously
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 8:13:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 48thHighlander:
Incorporate (secretary of state) or become a sole proprieter. Get a sales tax and use permit from the State Comptroller.

Go to shot show, Feb 9-13th. Talk to the manufacturers of the parts you wish to sell. Each has different requirements. Some just discount parts on quantities. Some require a minimum initial order and a yearly min to get dealer pricing. Some require lengthy applications and agreements on what you will charge for the products. Shot show is an opportunity you do not want to miss as you can get months of work done in 3 days, and put a face to your name with the manufacturers and volume dealers.

As said before the hardest thing is having the money to buy parts in the required quantities. You will also start off as the lowest guy on the totem pole, the established folks will get their stuff before you do, and dending on their relationships may not be paying as much as you do. To attract folks you really need to be a one stop shop with excellent customer service. It will take a while and alot of business to even get on the radar of most of the major manufacturers or resellers. You will be sitting on alot of product. Also, California is not the best market in the world for in state sales.

Alot of OEM AR parts are sourced by one or two manufacturers. Most dealers still buy from a middleman on these parts as the manufacturers are in the business of manufacturing and selling major orders. An example is Microbest. They make bolt carriers and alot of the small parts for the AR. Their min order is 1000 parts on small parts with a new guy, a thousand of each part.

Not trying to discourage you, but it is money intensive and alot of the bigger dealers here have spent many years, and lots of money making their business profitable, and getting the prices they get from their vendors. Even at that, I don't believe many of them are millionaires.

Good luck and good hunting!


And I can vouch for what Darren is saying. We've all been watching Grenadier Precision grow and develop over the last year+. Still patiently (and sometimes not ) for the FAL COPs and ARM-R.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 10:46:15 PM EDT
Agreed on the sole proprieter not being a real option. LLC or SUB-S corp. Don't pay a lawyer to do it. It is easy and takes a day.

Something that has kicked me in the ass is letting the accounting and expense filing pile up.

I thought this was gonna be fun and games........it has been until now! Sales Tax, local tax, federal tax....

One last thing. Buy Quickbooks pro. Best money you ever spent. Even the largest of companies use it.

FAL COPS on Monday!
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 10:53:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Originally Posted By Dace:

Buy in large quantities at discount prices and sell high.

Thats all it takes.



Do you have any idea at all on what the markup is in the AR15 market? You can try to sell high, but you will find yourself sitting on a bin full of parts. The AR15 market is high volume, not high prices.

You also need to figure if it is something you want to go into full time, or if you want to keep it as a part time gig on the side.


An internet based company has to be low pricing but an actual brick and mortar store can be more. Today for example I visited several pawn shops and a local dealer. They all had $1000+ Oly ARs and other not so good named ARs for over $1000. An A2 stock was $90 and uppers ran in the $600 range. Complete lowers were $400 for RRA w/4 pos stocks. It could easily be undercut and still make good profit just by buying off of our own EE. Imagine buying direct from the supplier.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 10:58:30 PM EDT
On UPS, you just open an account. You can schedule daily pick ups. However, if your volume is not high at first, you can simply schedule a pickup when you print the shipping label the day before.

Manage your time on the phone. I tend to treat every customer like a long lost pal. The end result is you are on the phone ALL DAY AND EVE. Try and steer people to email if you can. Then you can check and respond to emails at 1 am all at the same time.

Ever wonder why when you email Adco, MSTN, G&R tac, Denny you get very brief responses? Its because you can get hundreds of emails a day, and most of the folks emailing are tire kickers. Most customers know what they want, know what market value is and don't need to chat it up on the email or phone. Some people still are not comfortable using online ordering, or if they do, it is not until they validate your existence by talking to you on the phone.

Automate your website ordering system. It should be linked to your payment processor service so all you need to do is print out the days receipts and packing lists. Most will automatically calculate, charge and print a UPS label. Most calculate and collect sales tax. Make sure your web store is downloadable or synchronizes with Quickbooks.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 11:00:39 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 11:58:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 48thHighlander:
On UPS, you just open an account. You can schedule daily pick ups. However, if your volume is not high at first, you can simply schedule a pickup when you print the shipping label the day before.

Manage your time on the phone. I tend to treat every customer like a long lost pal. The end result is you are on the phone ALL DAY AND EVE. Try and steer people to email if you can. Then you can check and respond to emails at 1 am all at the same time.

Ever wonder why when you email Adco, MSTN, G&R tac, Denny you get very brief responses? Its because you can get hundreds of emails a day, and most of the folks emailing are tire kickers. Most customers know what they want, know what market value is and don't need to chat it up on the email or phone. Some people still are not comfortable using online ordering, or if they do, it is not until they validate your existence by talking to you on the phone.

Automate your website ordering system. It should be linked to your payment processor service so all you need to do is print out the days receipts and packing lists. Most will automatically calculate, charge and print a UPS label. Most calculate and collect sales tax. Make sure your web store is downloadable or synchronizes with Quickbooks.



got any applications that do all that?

and if i start small, can this be done out of my house? by that i mean in terms of storage for merchandise.

Link Posted: 1/22/2006 12:24:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2006 12:42:00 AM EDT by ogcujo]

Originally Posted By sysops666:
Hey wait a minute!........................
Thats the smartest thing ive ever heard anyone say about anything!
i35.photobucket.com/albums/d168/sysops666/untitled.jpg


But seriously I really didn't think I would get any help at all.

Now if i start stocking up to get ready for a grand opening, where would i keep all the stuff? Is it possible to rent space at a warehouse? Do I come to some sort of agreement with UPS so they come buy and make pick ups?



I have my own business, (its not AR's) I have constant runs for UPS pick ups. In the beginning I never sold that much, and I didn't have a UPS account, but they still came out to pick up when I needed them, and they charged the average price which my customers paid. If you have multiple runs, or just one sale a week UPS is good to work with. If your going to make multiple runs get a UPS account.

They come to you, I also hear USPS is making pick ups but I don't trust them with a $3,000.00 item. The hardest thing for me is ordering the special shipping supply's (Not from UPS) The plastic inserts from UPS are free and you can order as much as you need, the labels print from your computer for free as well.

And to answer the above question, Yes you can have all your merchandise in your home, like they said above "its easier to do it that way". Hope this helped. Good luck buddy, and if your honest and at least have average prices you can count on a number of us to buy at least once from you.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 3:00:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Originally Posted By Dace:

Buy in large quantities at discount prices and sell high.

Thats all it takes.



Do you have any idea at all on what the markup is in the AR15 market? You can try to sell high, but you will find yourself sitting on a bin full of parts. The AR15 market is high volume, not high prices.

You also need to figure if it is something you want to go into full time, or if you want to keep it as a part time gig on the side.



+1

parts for popular items, like groceries, lies in profiting only by selling massive VOLUME and a steady market--not high prices
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 7:26:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Originally Posted By Dace:

Buy in large quantities at discount prices and sell high.

Thats all it takes.



Do you have any idea at all on what the markup is in the AR15 market? You can try to sell high, but you will find yourself sitting on a bin full of parts. The AR15 market is high volume, not high prices.

You also need to figure if it is something you want to go into full time, or if you want to keep it as a part time gig on the side.



+1

parts for popular items, like groceries, lies in profiting only by selling massive VOLUME and a steady market--not high prices



You guys are missing the point completely.

You buy items for cheaper then you sell them. Buy low sell high. It doesnt men buy cheap then sell for tons of money. It means you buy the product for less then you sell it and still have some kind fo margin.

Its how all business works.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:18:33 AM EDT
Ask the vendors, believe me, there isn`t a lot of profit selling ar parts unless you have a lot of volume.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:45:14 AM EDT
[flame on]

first, lowball everything you see in the EE. Then, try to buy stuff out from under other people. then resell it for twice you paid. Also, NEVER EVER buy a membership.


Oh.....typing in all caps, and using lame phrases like " i shoot guns, not pics" seems to work too.

[/end flame]


Nothing personal sysops. That was aimed at someone else.

I don't know abotu cali laws when it comes to setting up a business. but when it comes to selling stuff, my best suggestion is good communcation. If you're honest and comunicate well with your customers, they'll come back.

Link Posted: 1/28/2006 5:58:21 PM EDT
is consigning a large amount of "product" possible if i have no prior experience. does any manufacturer trust anyone like that on their first time out?
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:24:09 PM EDT
No most manufacturers require you arrange terms with them. With the turn over in the gun biz, it may or may not be easy to get terms. Nothing is as easy as it seems or everyone would do it.

As far as applications for computer to manage sales. Yes there are. You can go 2 routes. Buy shopping cart software (google it) or go with a Internet Web Page provider that supplies this as a package. A good example is homestead.com. They offer complete packages for ecommerce including ready made websites that you can either customize or build from scratch yourself (with no experience) and a store manager, lots of payment processor options (authorize.net is popular). All your store info and orders are stored on the server so if you have a computer meltdown all is safe.

Setting up a website and online store is pretty easy. Its selecting inventory, negotiating terms, and buying the stuff that takes the leg work. That is why you must go to shot show. You can get in. All you need is a state sales tax ID, a business card, or hell ask someone who is going to get you a badge under their company.

And get quickbooks!
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