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Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

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FLandOBX
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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby FLandOBX » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:28 pm

laz wrote:I did a somewhat useless major communications/minor econ from a state school so I pretty much have to stay self employed, which is what I enjoy the most and the ability to grow outside a set salary/hours doing things I am passionate about. If I could go back would of never gone to college and would of invested it in concerts, it honestly seems like an expensive waste of time but I am still going to finish the degree this year, excited to be finished and really start my life!
Dude, don't sell yourself short! Communications/economics??!!! I can't really think of a better combination! Sounds to me like it's already paying off for you. College isn't necessarily a ticket to immediate employment, but a communications/economics degree will pay big returns for you in years to come, whether you're making the big bucks in your own enterprise or working for someone else. Good luck and stay passionate about what you do! (Also, +1 for surf expo in Orlando!) :wink:

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby GraemeF » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:53 pm

You are doing the most profitable part of a kite business already, selling your time, which costs you nothing. The problem with being a dealer, you first have to buy the stock, then hope you can sell it. So, given you are teaching and effectively creating your customer base, you do have an edge in that you can mentor your clients into the products you wish to carry, providing you operate in a territory un cluttered by other accounts.

I'm assuming you're in the states, so likely you'll have some room about you, so it will be about generating your client base, you should also consider something else like SUP or Wake if you have a cable nearby to supplement those periods when the wind lets you down. Also in the future, de seasonalise the business with snow products, but again be careful not to load yourself up with crap you can't sell.

Margins, generally they suck, until you have the turnover and volume with which to negotiate better deals you'll be looking at best at a 50% mark up, thirty to thirty three percent gros. There are brands who offer more, but generally they are the weak brands that don't sell, so they try to shoe their kit in with tempting 40 - 41% margins but you soon find them all over the net with 20 to 30% off.

The net is your biggest enemy, tossers coming in trying your kit and asking for you to price match some lame deal on this or that site, trying on wetsuits then disappearing, so a good exercise is for you to ask about see what 'deals' you can get on the brands in your territory then steer clear of them.

Try and buy close out end of season stuff, don't engage in 'percent' deals, quote discounts in cash, saying 'Dude I'll give you 100 bucks off, sounds better than saying I'll give you ten per cent for example. Buy kit to chuck in with a deal, its a sad fact that kite and windsurfers are wise asses that always want a deal, they'll wander into walmart or apple store and pay the going rate but they'll try and shaft the very hands that are trying to exist off servicing their every needs every time, in short better do something else, but if you must, you need to become what you yanks refer to as a bit of a 'wise guy'.

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby Do-it » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:31 am

You should pm ktb find out what he did, and do the exact opposite!

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby KiteboardingTampaBay » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:42 pm

Great idea.:thumb:
Last edited by KiteboardingTampaBay on Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby Anabatic_co_nz » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:18 pm

@GraemeF is bang on.
I hope you understand the maths.
Get another 10% kick back man...that is safe no risk money for Jam!

I have been a retailer of Kiteboarding brands since ages ago then moved to importing for many years.

Stock sales is a mix of...
X% of stock sells at a profit
Y% Sell at cost
Z% Sell at a loss or a big loss
While outgoing costs e.g. Lease Wages Merchant fees Freight and Taxes only increase and are year round, not seasonal like your sales.

Run a slick lean operation what ever you do.

Good Luck.

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby pmaggie » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:21 pm

IMO a good idea is to work only with used gear. You buy nothing, you just keep someone else's stuff for sale. If you sell, you gain your %, if you don't sell it's not your problem. Also, teaching to beginners, it's easier to sell them a budget kit than an expensive brand new one. Last but not least, no taxes in this case... :D

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby Coloradokiter » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:58 pm

I too will agree that Graeme is spot on. I teach AND work for a shop and the retail side does not do much for us. The internet sales kill us, especially the closeout sales. Someone/Shop will pony up a lot of money to buy out the season end deals from the importer and then turn around and sell them for a great deal on the internet. Customers want to know why he/she should spend another $500+ on gear that changed color. Our other big issue is that we have a store in a tax State so even if we match an internet price for a walk in customer we have to add tax back on which becomes a deal buster. If we suck up the tax then we loose money. This past year we saw more kites shipped to our area than what we sell out of the store. I can't really blame the customers since their attitudes have drastically changed over the years to save a buck rather than support a local dealer. So now we have come up with programs to help sell some gear but it has barely any if any at all profit. We do this only to help the teaching side of the business.

If you are doing well with teaching then keep doing that. The industry really needs good instructors more than more retailers. The investment in retail gear will not do much more for you other than give you headaches. I can also understand how your old 10% deal fell thru because there is not 10% left to give you after a customer has chewed down your retailer with all the internet offers.

The other thing that has become a thorn in the US retailers side is a new group called The USKiteboarder Assoc. They grabbed every email for every kite dealer in the US and Canada and they now spam us for the best deal to give their members. So we get regular emails to blind bid against every other dealer in the US. We just ignore them but this was another stab to local dealers who try to support their local market.

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby paulie » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:52 pm

The guy I bought all my gear from has now moved into selling light bulbs and is making a killing...

Should tell you all you need to know...

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby William Munney » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:49 am

[quote="Coloradokiter"]I too will agree that Graeme is spot on. I teach AND work for a shop and the retail side does not do much for us. The internet sales kill us, especially the closeout sales. Someone/Shop will pony up a lot of money to buy out the season end deals from the importer and then turn around and sell them for a great deal on the internet.]

But it seems like some closeout deals are drop shipped from a manufacturer's warehouse or distribution center and available to multiple dealers. You see the same "inventory" on different websites. Also when your order arrives it was not shipped from the dealer.

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Re: Advice on being kiteboard gear dealer?

Postby KiteboardingTampaBay » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:45 pm

On the surface, that looks like huge problem for established brick and mortar shops.
Van brands can already smash them on price, even on brand new models, and never touch the kite.
That's a problem that could only be addressed by B&M shops uniting to address the van brand problem that is killing their business. If I had a shop, I'd be raising hell and refusing to order anything until the mfgs. run them off. :thumb:

My problem with this "association" is the name. They try to appear as a US Association, and it's nothing more than a guy with a website site trying to be the middleman on gear. Any association needs to be by kiters, for kiters or nothing at all.


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