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ElGuapo

New Business Idea: Used Fishing Gear Store

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Let me know what you guys think of this business idea: a store that sells just clean, used fishing tackle and accessories.

I deal in used/vintage guitars and see many similarities between the super-stores for musical instruments (Guitar Center, Sam Ash) and fishing gear (Bass Pro, Sports Authority, etc). Both markets have huge catalog/online sales too. But only the musical instrument market has a strong USED market. Why is that?

Is there not a ton of quality gear pouring out of Bass Pro Shop stores everyday?  Not all of it is kept. Most of it will be upgraded upon, lots of it will just collect dust, and millions of lures will not be used even if the fisherman keeps fishing regularly.

How about a small/medium sized store location that's loaded with clean used rods, reels, lures, tackle boxes/bags, fish finders/electronics, boat accessories, trolling motors, etc?

Some new product lines would be needed to complete the store's selection, like line, hooks, etc. But everything else could be sold used if presented properly. Wouldn't you like to be able to sell or trade in your dud lures or older gear and walk out with clean used gear for 30-70% off of its new price?

Going by Ebay prices I see a ton of depreciation in rods and reels especially. The difficult shipping has to be a factor in getting a good Ebay price for a used rod. I know I feel like a sucker everytime I buy a new expensive rod or reel at a super-store. I wish there was the equivalent of a used guitar shop that had rows and rows of used rods and reels. If it feels strong and the guides are good, I'd buy it for any amount of savings I could get.

Cheap or semi-outdated gear could be set-up for beginners to use. For the price of a new rod and reel, even from Wal-Mart, a kid could walk out of this shop with a better rod and reel, MUCH better line on the spool, and a tackle box loaded some essential lures. And no beginner would leave without knowing how to tie a good knot and set their drag.

A store like this would have the feel of an old school mom and pop bait shop with the inventory of Ebay! Employees would all be experts in their fields. Customer service would have to be top-notch. Maybe gear could even be rented out by the day, weekend, or week. Need an extra shiner rod for the day? No problem, just $6 if you bring it back in one piece. Always wanted to try out one of those underwater fish finding cameras? $20 for the weekend.

This idea would work in many markets but I'm in central Florida so I'm thinking Orlando. It would be great for locals and tourists alike. Even the well-to-do would be drawn in by the used high-end gear like saltwater gear and snobby fly rods/reels.

Sorry for rambling on, just trying to convince myself this is a good idea. What do YOU all think?  

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low-mid end stuff is affordable already and the people who buy high end stuff can afford to buy it new

also, one point of cost justification when making the decision to spend on the higher end stuff is the fact that you plan on having it for a loooong time.  Low turnover

In music, lots of people "try" it.  Great market for turnover.  With fishing, they buy the gear because someone got them addicted and if anything, when upgrading, they will use the former set up as their 2nd set up or give it to someone else who is just learning.  Again, very low turnover

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low-mid end stuff is affordable already and the people who buy high end stuff can afford to buy it new

also, one point of cost justification when making the decision to spend on the higher end stuff is the fact that you plan on having it for a loooong time. Low turnover

In music, lots of people "try" it. Great market for turnover. With fishing, they buy the gear because someone got them addicted and if anything, when upgrading, they will use the former set up as their 2nd set up or give it to someone else who is just learning. Again, very low turnover

    Agreed.  People who have been fishing for awhile would like new not used fishing gear that THEY KNOW is not going to let them down in the long run.

    As for beginning fishermen or women your business idea MIGHT work for them.  I think that is the only group of people it might work for because the don't want to go out and spend $200.00 dollars on a new rod and reel combo just when they are starting out.  But then again, those beggining fishermen or women could have a close friend or relative that will let them borrow or have some of their fishing gear; thus resulting in a complete failure for your used fishing gear store.

    I could be wrong though you never know.  If you do start one let us know how it goes.

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Another reason those stores fail is the markdown from MSRP is so small that one could never justify buying used if brand new is only slightly higher and comes with a warranty.

Most used fishing gear is like said given away, sold to friends, sold on forums like this one, or put on Ebay/craigslist. The internet works great for most people because the price is usually low enough to justify the risk of buying something used, possibly without warranty, since there is no store to recoup operations costs.

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I know of a place and it did not fail but is going strong. The problem is that they also fix things like blenders and stuff which I think gives them a majority of their business.

If your going to do somthing like this your going to have to have another source of income to keep it going.

Just my $0.02

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The right person would make it work, however there are strong valid reasons against success mentioned.

Has anyone heard of "Second Swing'?

Second swing, out of Minnesota I think, starting buying and selling used golf clubs about 15 years ago. They found the right business model as they have locations all over the midwest. Nowadays they are selling many lines of new clubs as well. Golfers are every bit as fanatical as fisherman. Most serious golfers have 3-4 sets of irons, untold numbers of drivers,wedges and putters.

Personally I think it would be a difficult task. Getting your inventory is the problem, not the sale of the used equipment. Used rods and reels are would have to be bought for next to nothing to sell them cheap enough and yet still make a profit. Terminal tackle and lures are cheap enough new, stocking them would be a waste of floor space.

Internet is the only way to go (shipping always a headache and expense) done p/t to see if it flies. Start up cost would be minimal as no lease contract is needed for a location and no employees.

May be worth a shot, could advertise here on Bass Resource and there are dozens of other forums as well.

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low-mid end stuff is affordable already and the people who buy high end stuff can afford to buy it new

also, one point of cost justification when making the decision to spend on the higher end stuff is the fact that you plan on having it for a loooong time. Low turnover

In music, lots of people "try" it. Great market for turnover. With fishing, they buy the gear because someone got them addicted and if anything, when upgrading, they will use the former set up as their 2nd set up or give it to someone else who is just learning. Again, very low turnover

exactly. I also think it is an issue of durability. Fishing reels will last a relatively long time if you take care of them, but they can seriously depreciate in value after even five years. A guitar, on the other hand, will last a very long time if you take care of it and it will not depreciate as much. Also, when buying a used guitar, for the most part, I'm not worried about it falling apart in a year or two. With a real, I would be worried. The biggest thing I think though, is what are LBH said. Usually, when you buy new reel, you don't sell your older reel, you use it for another setup. I'm not a golfer but selling an older reel because you bought a new one would be like selling a putter because you bought a new driver. Unless you have a lot of others lying around, you are going to use them both.

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Not sure if you could  make much money from used tackle to make it profitable, but I would definitely check out a store like that just to see what's available.  Good luck if you decide to go that route.

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As someone who's sold hundreds of used rods and reels there is no way you could keep a brick and mortar operation going on the margins you could get selling used rods and reels.  You'd have to have something else to offer.  Not only is the markup poor but just finding enough inventory at prices you could turn a profit on would be nearly impossible.

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Yes, especially if you take some items on consignment.

Good idea.  :)

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It can be done if you own the building ,My buddy opened a guns and ammo place right up the street he is open 12 to 5 weekly and closed the rest of the time .Hows he do it he owns the building and land no overhead

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A real store would have to beat Ebay and that is hard to do. Probably the best way to do it is through Ebay. Put out ads that you buy used gear and then you clean it up and you sell it on ebay.

A very wise and RICH man once told me that anytime you talk about an idea or a buisiness you will get everybody telling you why it wont work. The smart and RICH ones think of ways TO make it work.

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A real store would have to beat Ebay and that is hard to do. Probably the best way to do it is through Ebay. Put out ads that you buy used gear and then you clean it up and you sell it on ebay.

A very wise and RICH man once told me that anytime you talk about an idea or a buisiness you will get everybody telling you why it wont work. The smart and RICH ones think of ways TO make it work.

Spot on there.

Ebay may suck (with all the stores on there now) but they would be the prime reason why I wouldn't bother trying what you're talking about. To make a reasonable profit on your idea you'd have to lowball the people looking to sell. Most anyone selling anything you could sell to someone else would know that you were lowballing them and would just sell it on Ebay/Craigslist.

But then again, I'm doing exactly what Mattlures said; telling how it couldn't work. ;)

**Edit: Come to think of it, YOU open up a store to sell their stuff on Ebay with them asorbing the listing/selling fees + 10% fee for you. The buyer pays the shipping which would limit your exposure/investment. You're just selling your time for 10% of their profits and they're buying the convenience of not having to deal with it.

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I would love to shop at a used fishing gear store personally. I would think that location would be key - close to a major body of water, or a marina.

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I think you'd be better off opening a store selling new tackle and accessories with a section of the store dedicated to used gear, and hire a full-time online salesperson to handle Ebay auctions and customer emails.

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That's probably the best idea. Not committing to all new or all used. Go used on electronics, trolling motors, quality rods and reels, and pricier lures. Go new on most rods, reels, lures, line, accessories, etc. Rent out anything that isn't nailed down. Sell boats on consignment maybe. Sub out a couple guide services, etc.

The beauty of having a small business is being able to offer all of the things that a super-store can't. And contrary to popular belief, super-stores do not have lower prices across the board. Under-cutting them would be easy enough. This could be a lot of fun.

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I would seek the advice of someone that has been in business, many fail the first couple of times, failure is knowledge well worth knowing for future use.

Whether this business would make it or not, I don't know, but what I do know is how to start a business as I have done a number of times.

#1 biggest mistake is under capitalisation.  Set up costs a buck or 2,  rental lease, showcases and other fixtures, liability insurance ( never know if someone gets hurt in your place of business and sues).  Taxes, state and federal, Social sec 14% and 7% for employees, not sure but maybe unemployment compensation and workman's comp.  The tax aspect is different if you are a dba vs being incorporated.

Enough cash to carry business until it starts to turning a profit, not to mention personal living expenses.  Do you need a vending license?

We have just scratched the surface, incidental repairs, cash to buy inventory etc., exactly why big box stores will beat mom & pops heads in, they have deep pockets.  You may need credit, I understand it is loosening, but I'm no pro in that field,especially being retired.  Maybe run it by Road Warrior he would know, he's an expert in that area.

Just opening the front door does not mean you will do business, now you have to advertise and that isn't free.

Not to belittle any advice you have gotten, but free advice is worth exactly what you have paid for it...........NOTHING!!

Find yourself and mentor and never discuss any business idea on line, if it's good it will be stolen in a New York minute.

Only advice I would give ( probably worth nothing ) is be prepared to live a life of stress 24/7, that's what's takes.

I don't want to discourage, only make you better prepared.

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