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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:23 am
Posts: 1623
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:37 am 

An approach that comes to mind I could see is if he had an online presence and developed market that made enough money to open his little storefront space. Develop a business that way first and if making enough to subsidize the store it could work that way. Then, all the planning and most of the business strategies can be put in place in advance w/out the realities of overhead and sunk costs involved with opening a physical store and 'going from there' which sounds like the current idea.
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:55 am
Posts: 1462
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:49 am 


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/your- ... share&_r=0
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Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:55 am
Posts: 21
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:18 pm 

I love that you have this dream for yourself. I've been very fortunate to own three businesses over the years, and many of my friends are business owners. Here is something that I've noticed: you either own a business to make as much money as you can; or you do it because you just love the fact that you own a business complete with its own storefront, t-shirts, and business cards. Call it the money men vs. the romantics.

If you take the money men approach: I just have to believe that you make more money catering to your niche at record shows and on the internet. It seems like it would be tough to make an argument that a physical location and all the costs entailed would be recouped. Your marginal costs would almost surely exceed your marginal gains.

If you're a romantic, that's fine too. But your expectations need to be a lot lower. I would just shoot for breaking even and know that you'll get a lot of satisfaction in having a place where like-minded fringe intellectuals can hang out. And there is something to be said for having your own storefront, t-shirt design, and cool business cards. As a matter of fact, even if you lose a modest amount, that might be okay if you can absorb it. As a romantic you're basically spending money on a hobby; we don't expect our hobbies to pay us back.

So, sit down and think about why you're toying with a physical location. Does it put more money in your pocket, or does it make an existing hobby even cooler? There's no right or wrong answer but your choice should be a conscious decision, and I wish you all the success on earth with whichever direction you go. Good luck!

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Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:55 pm
Posts: 1261
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:44 pm 

I tried it a few years ago, and actually lost thousands of dollars. Just from personal experience something like an eBay store would be better. You don't have to pay rent, and can do it on your time. Meaning you can work a regular job to provide a steady income to yourself. Put up listings and ship orders on your off time from your regular job. Do the eBay thing, and if it is a big success open a store. I don't like it, but even stores that sell "popular" music can't stay afloat.

The Last Old Schooler in Town

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 1083
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:34 pm 

My Manville, NJ store, Screams from the Gutter Records, was alive from 11/02 'til 2/06 (so basically a little over three years) and every single solitary day was a struggle. I had loads of vinyl from all your basic genres - rock, metal, blues, jazz, pop, and a few others - plus a smaller amount of new and used cds from said genres. I sold lots of stuff on-line (Ebay mostly, and if it weren't for that source I wouldn't have lasted a year). Also some misc. stuff walked out the door (record/cd supplies, stickers, buttons, shirts). I resurfaced cds (with a $1000 dual cd refinisher) for like $2 a piece. I transferred albums onto cd for $10-$12 a pop. I allowed consignments, but that was mostly for local bands trying to get their material out into the world (of a $5 demo, I only wanted a buck...hey, they're struggling local bands, y'know).

It just wasn't nearly enough to pay for rent, electricity, water, cable, phone, insurance, and other misc. stuff. That's not even including your own personal bills (I mean, running a business is a job no matter which way you look at it, and if your business is breaking even at best, then you're basically working for free). The only good thing about it is that you're spending 8-10 or more hours doing what you want to do and not working for someone else.

You're also a slave to your store.

I wouldn't recommend opening a store, especially if you're planning on catering to a very small group of people (let's face it, metal isn't the most popular of genres and was never really meant for mass consumption) who may never know you exist 'cause you can't afford, oh yeah, advertising. I'd come and see ya, but I'm not enough. Vintage Vinyl and Princeton Record Exchange still exist 'cause they've been around for over thirty years ('79 for VV, '80 for PRE) and have customers who'll travel two hours to get there.

And since there are already two other stores located around you, you've got competition that's not going to help your sales.
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Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:52 pm
Posts: 308
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:56 pm 

I agree with Mr. Gutterscream. Do the e-bay thing. Make it a hobby. Don't open a physical store, you may find yourself hating the very thing that you opened the store for in the first place.

Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 9:12 am
Posts: 72
Location: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:56 am 

My recomendation is. Go to local scene shows and bring the merchandise and put it on a table and wait for the magic to happen. Anyways a local store would be cool.


Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:48 pm
Posts: 431
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:56 am 

chugging_pus wrote:
Was interested on what the board's thoughts are on the viability of a store such as this.

Not to be unorthodox, but I think "metal only" stores are very hard to do. What do you think about doing a vinyl-only shop that covers music in general? This gives cross-exposure, and allows the more mainstream stuff to subsidize the more evil stuff.

For a working example of this kind of store, try Vinal Edge in the Heights.
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:54 pm
Posts: 698
Location: WA
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:42 pm 

I say if you're 100% dedicated to this and realize the risks, go for it. If you have a good business model, done your research and think you can turn a profit, more power to you. Could be a tough road ahead though.
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:35 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:09 pm 

your niche is already something, vinyl, i wouldn't suggest further pigeon-holing yourself by JUST selling Metal....that's setting yourself up for failure far beyond the usual reasons for failure for businesses like this (reasons probably already mentioned)

beyond that i got nothing but an observation from reading this and that's that record stores are still pretty popular in Canada, at least compared to you guys down south or across the pond apparently cause i know from friends there's some on the east coast, forsure a decent amount in Ontario/Quebec, heard of a good ones in Winnipeg, Edmonton has a couple, Calgary has at least 4, Vancouver's got a couple and so does Victoria (much love to Black Raven Records, owned by Iskra)

maybe it's cause we're a nation stuck in the past? ionno, and while i ain't much for national pride i think it's pretty cool we're still rockin that shit pretty hard


Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:55 am
Posts: 675
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:20 pm 

I'd listen to Gutterscream, do it as an online venture. It's not that there aren't any people who would be interested. It's more that a local store needs to have enough of a concentration of those people in reasonable driving distance.

By going online, you are effectively casting a much wider net and you're keeping costs much lower.

Also, being a "slave to the store" resonates with me. Do you really want to always need to keep an eye out for the store front? I know store owners who never do anything, pretty much ever. If you leave, the store either closes or you put it in the hands of someone you have to pay, and trust. If you already have someone like that, it's a big bonus. BUt if you don't, then think about what that would mean for your life.

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