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  1. #1
    Its got what plants crave
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    Do you think there's enough of a market for DX/Taiwanese lighting products..

    It seems like there is a slew of new product coming into DX or other similar sites on an hourly basis, and it's tough to sort through them all. Do you guys think that a small time guy could order in some of these torches and light setups and warehouse a small quantity of them at a small markup to the end user? I could even bundle some of the setups with bar mounts, batteries, and chargers and sell package deals and that sort of thing. Or do you think that virtually everyone will just go direct through DX and not pay a markup? Are there already plenty of other people doing exactly this around here?
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  2. #2
    Its got what plants crave
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    25 views but no opinions?



    Are you all jumping online to steal my weak ass business plan?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    25 views but no opinions?



    Are you all jumping online to steal my weak ass business plan?

    Hah! That's exactly what everyone is doing Jim311...or maybe not.

    My personal opinion, and this is just my opinion, is that there are approximately 3.7 million places to get torches like that. Heck we (Baja Designs) even have a re-branded "900" lumen P7 torch (more like 550-600ish lumens like MS stuff), for the money the thing is awesome. I have used one a few times for bike riding and it is fully functional - far better than the old NiteRider HID's that I once thought were just the bees knees. But strangely enough, despite the fact that they are inexpensive (compared to full-on dedicated bicycle lights) we don't sell too many of them, I keep one in my Camelback as a loaner.

    It may work though, you'd just have to be real close to the pricing people can find overseas (challenging), have quite a selection in stock (challenging), and you'd probably need to have a great warranty policy (that might prove to be a big challenge).

    On the positive side...I think it would be great to have a retailer here in the States that would have a bunch of those lights/mounts in stock, that would have an easy warranty/replacement policy, and quick turn around/customer service. The key would be to look at the weaknesses of the overseas competition and then improve upon those and come up with your own reasons people should purchase your products.

    Those are my thoughts, I'm not sure I was too helpful but having been in the bicycle lighting industry (is that really an industry?) for quite a long time, I have seen quite a few businesses and business models come and go, I wish you the best though if you go that route! Those little torches sure are cool...

    Shannon

  4. #4
    what a joke
    Reputation: ozlongboarder's Avatar
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    Buy in bulk quantity from Alibaba.com, minimum 50 or 100 units to get the price down. But then you have to hope none of the cheap batteries/chargers burn any of your customers houses down.

    Most guys would just buy from DX or Kaidomain or if they want better quality batteries and customer service buy from Geoman gear.
    blah blah blah

  5. #5
    Its got what plants crave
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    As far as pricing I guess I'd have to see what kind of bulk discounts I could get. At first I would have to start out small especially considering how quickly this technology advances. I can't exactly be having thousands in inventory only for it to become obsolete you know?
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  6. #6
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    i think many people would pay a few extra bucks knowing that you have the item in stock and it would ship locally, its always a bit risky dealing with an overseas company -of course you would then be taking that risk on your self....
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    25 views but no opinions?



    Are you all jumping online to steal my weak ass business plan?
    Actually I thought of doing the same thing at one time but the way I figure, It really isn't worth going through all the trouble. Lots of people already do what you have suggested. Just look on E-bay and you'll see what I mean. Besides, the real money is in Custom Torch set-ups. If you have the machining skills and can get custom drivers made you could make some bucks.

    The real problem with trying to re-sell products made in China is that sometimes the quality is not so great. Dealing with the returns could be a real PITA, especially when you start factoring in shipping charges.

  8. #8
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    Theres a whole heap of people doing just this in NZ. Lots of people don't know about DX/Kai.
    Theres fly-by-nighters and reputable sellers.

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Sports/Cycl...0596-3983-.htm
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  9. #9
    Its got what plants crave
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Actually I thought of doing the same thing at one time but the way I figure, It really isn't worth going through all the trouble. Lots of people already do what you have suggested. Just look on E-bay and you'll see what I mean. Besides, the real money is in Custom Torch set-ups. If you have the machining skills and can get custom drivers made you could make some bucks.

    The real problem with trying to re-sell products made in China is that sometimes the quality is not so great. Dealing with the returns could be a real PITA, especially when you start factoring in shipping charges.

    I'm aware that a lot of people already do what I'm suggesting, but a friend of mine said something to me once that I thought was interesting. He basically told me that even if you get a small piece of a very large market, it's worthwhile. I think this is a big market. I know quality isn't great on some of these items, but lets face it, we are talking about 20 dollar items. Even if one in 10 fails, I'm not out a ton of money even if I just tell the customer to keep the broken one and I'll send a new one.
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  10. #10
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    I'd look at all the hassles Geoman has gone through with Magicshine lights, the constant harping on by BikerayUSA and the multiple spats between Gemini and other brands about who got there first, who's design was the original etc etc before thinking about dipping your toe into the murky dangerous waters of Chinese commerce.

    Another point to consider is that DX/KD is so cheap because a) they essentially don't offer a warranty and b) they have a massively state subsidised postage system which costs them cents per package. A great example of that is the 1m MS extension cable I use for my DIY lights - from Geoman it's $10 ($6+$4 postage) and from DX it's $3.12 inc. postage. 1/3 the price is worth 3x the wait for me as it is for an awful lot of people at this end of the market.
    So, people generally won't care enough about a $20 item to want to pay the extra for a warranty and postage charges will start pushing your $20 item closer towards better quality items.

    Like Cat-man-do (who really knows his torches) said - if you can offer something unique enough to command a premium over DX/KD, it'll be worth a shot, otherwise I wouldn't bother.

  11. #11
    my body breaks the falls
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    Don't underestimate the pain in the rear Customs and taxes will play in your business plan. Some friends and I had pursued this over a year ago and found it to be too inconsistent to have any kind of predictable margin until we were willing to stock units in the thousands. Otherwise the Customs inspections and taxes are subject to the interpretation of the Customs agent(s) inspecting your package(s), pallet(s) or container(s). Many would use an import agent to handle all the legal details. This helps mitigate the risk of items being stuck in transit, egregious taxes, misclassified items, etc., but also erodes margins. We opted to focus on items available domestically only. Not only is it less complex, but it also feels better.
    $500 million for more irresponsible EBRPD land management? No thanks.
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  12. #12
    Its got what plants crave
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    As far as the hassles Geoman Gear has gone through, he's still in business isn't he? As for as the postage, there are also manufacturers who can drop ship, or I can take advantage of our own state subsidized postal service. I'm not looking to make a million dollars here. If anything I think it would be cool to support local events and shops and keep it small time.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  13. #13
    Its got what plants crave
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    Quote Originally Posted by twindaddy
    Don't underestimate the pain in the rear Customs and taxes will play in your business plan. Some friends and I had pursued this over a year ago and found it to be too inconsistent to have any kind of predictable margin until we were willing to stock units in the thousands. Otherwise the Customs inspections and taxes are subject to the interpretation of the Customs agent(s) inspecting your package(s), pallet(s) or container(s). Many would use an import agent to handle all the legal details. This helps mitigate the risk of items being stuck in transit, egregious taxes, misclassified items, etc., but also erodes margins. We opted to focus on items available domestically only. Not only is it less complex, but it also feels better.

    That is something I hadn't considered, as I've never had problems with customs in the past on any of the stuff I've ordered from overseas.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    As far as the hassles Geoman Gear has gone through, he's still in business isn't he? As for as the postage, there are also manufacturers who can drop ship, or I can take advantage of our own state subsidized postal service. I'm not looking to make a million dollars here. If anything I think it would be cool to support local events and shops and keep it small time.
    an old adage springs to mind "you can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink".

    Go for it, don't bother with any of the advice on here, none of these guys know what they're talking about, just buy yourself a few 100 chinese torches and set up a business. It'll either work or it won't.

  15. #15
    Its got what plants crave
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    an old adage springs to mind "you can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink".

    Go for it, don't bother with any of the advice on here, none of these guys know what they're talking about, just buy yourself a few 100 chinese torches and set up a business. It'll either work or it won't.

    By the way, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I'm just playing devils advocate and exploring all of the options. I like options.
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  16. #16
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    I think Cat's idea of doing something super cool and custom would be the way to go. Do something different so that it gives people a reason to make a purchase with you rather than straight from Chinese companies. Good luck with whatever you do!

    Shannon

  17. #17
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    One other quick side note I'll mention before going off to work. Sometimes when you turn your hobby or passion for something into a money making operation, you will find you will lose some of that passion for it once it becomes a "part time job". I think that would hold true in most cases unless you are really, really dedicated and successful at what you do.
    I guess that makes me a pessimist. What the hell, if you really want to do it, go for it.

  18. #18
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    With Catman on that, did it with programming, guess I didn't really have another career path lined up though, so needs must.

    People keep going on about making money from MTB's, but nah would ruin it.

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