Auto Parts store

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Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 13:41 PM

Hi all, I am thinking about opening up a small auto parts store. My aunt who will be co owner lives in PA and she has this nice large barn with heat and electric which we thought we would have the shop. I figured out I need an tax ID number but ive been looking around for a supplier. But i really can not find any? Because I found out I can get discount parts and sell them at retail price for a profit like I plan on doing. Do I have to go to each manufactur and buy the parts off of them? I found one site called dollardays.com that seems to be a supplier but does not have many auto parts. Buy a lot of different kinds of things.
Anyone own a small store that could help me out?
Any responses will be greatly appreaciated!
Have a good one.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Polish Eagle » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 16:11 PM

Most parts manufacturers do not sell directly to smaller retail businesses. You will need to research auto parts distributors that carry the brands you are looking for. You can write (or e-mail) the manufacturers you are interested in and ask them which distributors in your area carry their product. In the auto parts industry you have distributors, wholesalers, jobbers and retailers. Each provides a service to a different client. A little homework and you will find your way...

Good luck....I worked in that industry more than 25 years ago...sorry no contacts I can remember. There is an organization called MEMA (motor and equipment manufacturers association) that just may be able to help you if you ask nicely!!


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by drdx » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 16:38 PM

My work is tied to the automotive industry, and I deal with parts departments every day. It is really hard for a small parts business to succeed unless you're out and away from the giant part chains like hi-lo, autozone, carquest, etc., as they have buying power, brand recognition, advertising, and deep pockets. Heck, Walmart has more automotive stock in a single store than most can affort to start with. If you're not already experienced in the business, get a job at a parts store or a dealership parts department so you can learn inventory theory, how to stock, bin locate for efficiency, pricing curves and escalators, etc. There, you'll learn about the various suppliers and sources. Some are major and supply certain items or groups of items while some are more specific. I assure you that if you open a parts store before too long the sales reps from them will be knocking on your door if they know you're there. They usually have territories. The business is a very small world. Word will get out fast if you're serious.

There are other concerns as well, like local licenses to sell and dispose of waste(you're not going to let autozone out do you and not offer free disposal, are you?), and even spray paint has its laws. Will you do wholesale and retail? Will you offer credit? You have to these days if you sell to jobbers/businesses that repair. Are you prepared to have a few grand out for 30 days at a time? Find out what type of parts you'll need to carry. Will you do agricultural too? Small engine? Auto only? Truck related? There are all sorts of niche markets within the market. Carve out your own and take care of your customers.

That said, I'm not a dream killer. If you have a dream, follow it. That's the only way you'll ever know if it will pan out. I'd rather have tried and failed than just been a lifelong dreamer. Those are some things to think about though.

-drdx


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 18:18 PM

Im trying my hardest not be a dreamer. But I think I have a lot of good things going for it. Im not looking to get very rich. I will be retail. The good part is their is not as much competition around and the nearest auto parts store is about 30 miles away (around 45-50 minutes because of winding roads). I will not sell agriculture because their is a store nearby who has been their for many many years, so their is now way I could make a profit off of it. Ill keep doing my homework and I will see how it pans out. Ill try to keep it small and grow if it seems to do well so if it doesn't turn out good from the start I won't be in the hole to much.
Thanks for your input! But it will be awhile.
Have a good one.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by drdx » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 18:38 PM

That sounds like a plan, especially if the competition is far away.

Dreaming sure doesn't pay much, that's for sure. My dream is an ice cream truck. I've got a real job but I'm putting one together for the summer if everything comes together. I'll have a friend drive it part time and if it works out I'll be happy. I'd be ecstatic if I could profit $100 a day from it after expenses and my preliminary math tells me that's possible. I'm going to utilize Twitter and facebook to have a bunch of followers and post and tweet my locations, like the trucks do in NYC and in LA that offer tacos and stuff. I hope it flies. If not, I'll have one heck of a radio vehicle. Mine is a small scale dream, 5 grand or so and a summer to find out, but come labor day if it flops, I'll be able to say I tried. I'm funding it with my ebay/dumpster diving craigslist money so nothing from the house will suffer financially. I'm over half way there so it is looking good so far.

Follow that dream. You may just launch something that is a total life changer. Put yourself together a plan on paper. I finally did that this year, with deadlines on when I want to have certain things accomplished. It sure makes you think about a lot and makes you feel like you're getting somewhere. Crunch numbers all the time, calculating different scenarios, so you know what to expect.

-drdx


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 20:06 PM

Yep no doubt. Sounds like the ice cream truck would be a lot of fun. I know by me though they really do not get a lot of customers. I feel bad for the guy. I have one more question, say I wanted to sell some cb equipment. I found a website which sells some radios, antennas, mics, etc. in bulk. Would i need to be an authorized dealer to sell the equipment? If so, would it be hard to become "authorized". If you have no idea thats fine I just thought I would ask. And since the nearest radio supplier is about an hour away in another state lol, and its a radio shack... Seems pretty popular too in the area.
Have a good one and thanks for the input again!


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by jessejamesdallas » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 20:16 PM

"Auto-Parts- Ice Cream Truck- CB Equipment?"

Sounds like you don't know the first thing about running or starting a small business... Maybe you should look into taking a Business Class at a local Jr. Collage or other school in your area first before waisting your money and time on something you have no idea about what your getting into...

-just my 2 cents...


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 20:19 PM

jessejamesdallas wrote:Sounds like you don't know the first thing about running or starting a small business... Maybe you should look into taking a Business Class at a local Jr. Collage or other school in your area first before waisting your money and time on something you have no idea about what your getting into...

-just my 2 cents...
Yeah that is true. I really do not, my aunt knows a lot more than me. I was looking into some classes today to take and understand more about it.
Have a good one.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 20:29 PM

Oh and the ice cream truck idea was drdx's idea. I have no intention in having an ice cream truck lol.
Its not going to be a walmart, just a small shop next to the house open a few days a week trying to make a few bucks.
That is all.
Have a good one.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by jessejamesdallas » Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 20:38 PM

Hondarider wrote:Oh and the ice cream truck idea was drdx's idea. I have no intention in having an ice cream truck lol.
Its not going to be a walmart, just a small shop next to the house open a few days a week trying to make a few bucks.
That is all.
Have a good one.
Take a course in "Small Engine Repair" and learn how to re-build lawnmower engines! Their not to complicated to rebuild, and there's not allot of major investment in tools required...And this is also something you could do at home out of your garage so there would be no "Over-Head" expense...


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by 721HACKSAW » Thursday, 24 February 2011, 7:11 AM

This Internet has opened up many small business opportunities, Ebay, Craigslist, ect... and you avoid paying taxes. No law breaking advice intended there! The cost of having an actual business location isn't needed if you are only going to supply parts.
People sell everything you can imagine these days, flea market type sales are especially good if you have a product that appeals to a large majority. Do some research as Jesse suggested. Good luck.



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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Thursday, 24 February 2011, 11:13 AM

Hmm. Sounds good.
Jesse James, the problem about doing lawnmower repair is the repair shop a block down the road. So that would be rough.
Ill keep thinking of things, nothing is set in stone yet.
Have a good one.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by jessejamesdallas » Thursday, 24 February 2011, 19:56 PM

Hondarider wrote:Hmm. Sounds good.
Jesse James, the problem about doing lawnmower repair is the repair shop a block down the road. So that would be rough.
Ill keep thinking of things, nothing is set in stone yet.
Have a good one.
Just because theres a shop down the street...Doesn't mean the guy is any good! You maybe able to under-cut his prices and steal some of his customers! :mrgreen:


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Friday, 25 February 2011, 12:07 PM

He is very good. And been their for many many years. Their could be an oppourtunity soon though, because the man is in his late sixties and told me about a few minor health issues he has been dealing with. I did not ask how much longer he might be in business. It would be cool because im defiently a motor head, rebuilding my motocross bikes all the time. I'll keep thinking of things, make a list and do some process of elmination, then its just homework time.
Thanks again for your input and have a good day.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by drdx » Friday, 25 February 2011, 13:48 PM

See if the guy needs some help, maybe you could apprentice under him and when he rolls out, you'd be in the area with a connection to him if he has a good reputation, and inherit some of the business. You do need to get into a unique market even if it is you being the only guy that carries certain things, like cb's and ham accessories, nothing high end that changes, just staple items like antennas, coax, odds and ends, espeically if the truck traffic is thick and parking is available. Worst case it could fuel your hobby. You certainly couldn't rely on cb for your sole income unless you went whole hog like our sponsors have but a store with diversity can't be a bad thing. Heck, you could open a fishing store or carry stuff like that too if it is popular in the area. That, maybe hunting stuff, nothing major, just kind of a convenience store for folks that forget to buy stuff on the way to the lake or the hunt.

-drdx


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Friday, 25 February 2011, 14:05 PM

drdx wrote:See if the guy needs some help, maybe you could apprentice under him and when he rolls out, you'd be in the area with a connection to him if he has a good reputation, and inherit some of the business. You do need to get into a unique market even if it is you being the only guy that carries certain things, like cb's and ham accessories, nothing high end that changes, just staple items like antennas, coax, odds and ends, espeically if the truck traffic is thick and parking is available. Worst case it could fuel your hobby. You certainly couldn't rely on cb for your sole income unless you went whole hog like our sponsors have but a store with diversity can't be a bad thing. Heck, you could open a fishing store or carry stuff like that too if it is popular in the area. That, maybe hunting stuff, nothing major, just kind of a convenience store for folks that forget to buy stuff on the way to the lake or the hunt.

-drdx
Yeah i couldn't rely on cb parts for all my business. But good idea about helping the man out. Their is a lot of truck traffic in the area because of two quarrys within 5 miles. Also, I'm not sure if you have read or heard about the natural gas drilling in PA but those companies are really going 24/7. And their are always trucking passing by the house because of the drilling.
Have a good one.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Windwalker 1 » Monday, 28 February 2011, 7:06 AM

IMHO The auto parts business is Very Tough !
To provide a service like that you will need a substantial investement !
Computer system to look up Parts ETC
here in Ohio I bought Drums Rotors Pads and Shoes for my car Totaling 89 Dollars !
I dont think Any Small auto parts store will ever beat that !
If there are a Lot of Trucks passing by then Open a Deli type thing !
Use the CB to tell the drivers what is on special and so on !
Meatloaf is Popular if it is Good !
Anyway if you Must go with the Auto Parts be prepared to have peopls wanting to Repair the Vehicle right there and
The Cars and Trucks will Definately leak Automotive Fluids all over !
Most auto parts stores have a pressure washer with Strong Soap the Clean the parking lot a Few times a Year !
just my thoughts
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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Hondarider » Monday, 28 February 2011, 11:00 AM

Thanks for the input Windwalker!
I'll keep looking into it and see what I can do.
Have a good one.


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Re: Auto Parts store

Post by Windwalker 1 » Monday, 28 February 2011, 16:40 PM

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