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I'm trying to start a small business in video game retailing. Any insight or suggestions?
Here's an outline of my plan: 1) Invest in building an inventory of used games. Buy off of friends and store deals/discounts. 1.5) Start a website and sell used games online. 2) Continue building the inventory and running the online store. 3) (Distant future) Open physical store in high traffic location. 3.5) Start accepting trade-ins, renting out games, selling new games. 4) Expand store locations, each store with a unique theme and set up (to attract new and repeat customers).
Budget to start: $500-1000
Any suggestions, tips, advice on any aspect of the business?
Starting online is definitely the best way to go. Yard sales and ebay could be a good spot to get some cheap games. Try putting up flyers at community notice boards and local schools.
Good luck with it.
Mate, go for it... its worth a shot! Bear in mind though, DO YOUR HOMEWORK before u start buying. Competition, target population, shipping & handling, which consoles (chose a niche with long term viability), check what is popular (and what can u actually get your hands on).... these may sound like common sense things but trust me, its best to know exactly what u're about to do b4 u start doing it... spending a couple of weeks reading up might end up saving u a lot of dough and potential disappointments down the road.
The only statement I can make is not to forget funding and support available via the US Small Business Association. SBA.org you can acquire free tools, resources and attend classes that might help: advertising, financing, marketing, and more. Click on "Counseling and Training."
With numerous online venues for used games and "brick and mortar" stores like GameStop, be sure you can compete. You need to consider the cost of games purchsed versus market value for sales, customer service, including selection and delivery, and convienence. It may be better to find a fairly underserved niche and focus on that. Be sure that the niche is big enough to sustain your business model and that you can effectively reach your target demographic.
I don't know a thing about video games but have you tried buying and selling on eBay? I know that it takes time to build business when you start an on-line store just like when you open a retail shop. You can interconnect your eBay store with your own ecommerce site but will have the advantage of traffic immediately from eBay. I sell a little on eBay and its not a bad place to make a couple of bucks but it also might help you in the long run. Also, make sure to really do your market research when ever you decide to rent space and branch out commercially. Have a good capital reserve to carry the business until it gets going. Best of Luck!
First of all, congrats on your question, it's very well detailed
I think you should go slowly on this, or change a few things, here's why:
1 - Game companies are adopting the "online distribution" system for their games, so the "physical support" for games will end on a near future...
2 - Consoles are also betting on online game distribution...
3 - There's a strong competition for used and new games online, for example http://www.game-hub.co.uk/, which offer free shipping and other things...
So, I think it's a very tough market for new players... Before you start investing in creating a stock, try to think on creating new value! For example:
- instead of selling games, why don't you bet on game related stuff? You could sell game merchandise, online workshops for games like Diablo 3 or others (to teach people how to play, how to score higher, and other), tips, "level completion guides", and others...
And instead of creating your own stock, join the affiliate programs of some game shops or companies (eg: http://affiliate.gamesrocket.com/), these way you can also sell games without having to invest first...
Then create a good website (you could start with a wordpress or joomla template), work on your SEO and promotion, attach a Ebay and Facebook account, and keep testing... Testing is very important! Keep measuring the feedback from your clients!
And start searching for possible sponsors for your site. Of course they won't invest now, at the beginning, but you should start looking so you can contact them as soon as you get some traffic!
Good luck on your new project!
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