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What do you look for in an online airsoft store?

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Old November 20th, 2015, 17:11   #1
GD90
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
What do you look for in an online airsoft store?

Hello members of AirSoft Canada,

I am looking to create an online airsoft store sometime in the near future, I am looking for peoples views to as what they look for in an online store. Anywhere from the guns, parts, accessories, etc... I am thinking of starting as a parts store and then eventually adding guns and other components into the inventory later on. Thank you for reading and any feedback is welcomed .
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Old November 20th, 2015, 17:29   #2
waylander
 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
There are already quite a few good stores out there but keeping in mind the economy isn't great right now....

Stock, if it's listed on your site then stock it. If it's discontinued or you're not bringing it in any more then for gods sake take it off the site. Too many places leave old products up on their site even though they have no intention of restocking that item.

Prices, with the number of online stores we have a large variety to choose from so in many cases price is the deciding factor.

Shipping, free or low shipping costs affect the total cost of course so always a factor. Also, ship out as quickly as possible.

Customer service, I've generally had good experiences but there have been a few times where the owner/worker has been an ass and they lose my business forever. I'm not saying the customer is always right but at least try to come to some sort of compromise/agreement. Don't blow the customer off and say it's automatically their fault. I'll pay more at a store with good customer service.
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Old November 20th, 2015, 18:01   #3
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A good search/NAVIGATION menu is a must as well.
Not too much clutter/publicity
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Old November 20th, 2015, 19:30   #4
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for me it's internal/external parts & ship rate
gun prices would never be great, if you can somehow make them lower, then well, great for customers...

all it comes down to is prices..because I swear sometimes even with the exchange rate right now, still cheaper to buy in the states. (cheaper same brand parts, super cheap shipping[free-$5] and I can pick it up and throw it into my tool box..) Only so far one Canadian store I know who does flat $10 or free orders over $200 for shipping, and I love that..

customer support is important too...i had many times where I asked for a part if they carry or order just to get no replies...only if i'm lucky, so off to states I go...again..
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Old November 20th, 2015, 20:14   #5
AnthonyG
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Inexpensive/competitive shipping rate, stocks a specific brand or product not found elsewhere, and prices that are fairly priced.

As Slodin has said, it is annoying as heck to find something in a Canadian store only to realize the price is 50% more expensive than in a US store, even after the exchange rate.



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Old November 20th, 2015, 20:27   #6
8bitninja
 
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Specialize in a brand or category. For example, hey you want WE guns go to ABC shop. Hey you want CQB gear, go to XYZ shop. Don't be all things to all people as it spreads yourself too thin unless you're huge like TowerHobbies.
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Old November 20th, 2015, 21:19   #7
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Best bang for buck & customer service. With the peso is the crapper as it is, buying anything in or out of country right now blows
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Old November 20th, 2015, 22:09   #8
GD90
 
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Thank you for the responses. Customer service is defiantly something that would be on top of my priority list as well as having a clean, up to date website. I am liking the idea of specializing in a certain brand of guns and gear. I am also considering just selling the cqb components, such as pistols. The only thing that I am unsure of is how and where I am going to import the actual guns. As far as I am aware, airsoft rifles and pistols are not able to be imported from major manufacturers, Taiwan for example, for a whole sale price. Are Canadian airsoft retailers only able to buy wholesale airsoft merchandise from within the country due to the importation laws?
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Old November 21st, 2015, 00:12   #9
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I'll play devils advocate and say this is not a good idea.

You don't know how to obtain a major portion of the merchandise - this is a problem.

The airsoft parts market is already pretty well served, considering I can think of 10 Canadian websites off the top of my head where I can get parts if needed.

The only way I could see a parts store being viable is if you get stuff that is hard to find in Canada... Race gun frames and quality slides come to mind and other such jazz which is tough to come by outside of Asia (and have it be cheaper than simply ordering from overseas).
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Old November 21st, 2015, 00:26   #10
8bitninja
 
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Originally Posted by brock0 View Post
I'll play devils advocate and say this is not a good idea.

You don't know how to obtain a major portion of the merchandise - this is a problem.

The airsoft parts market is already pretty well served, considering I can think of 10 Canadian websites off the top of my head where I can get parts if needed.

The only way I could see a parts store being viable is if you get stuff that is hard to find in Canada... Race gun frames and quality slides come to mind and other such jazz which is tough to come by outside of Asia (and have it be cheaper than simply ordering from overseas).
You hit the nail on the head. You'll do fine if you can cater to boutique and those with money to spend.
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Old November 21st, 2015, 00:51   #11
GD90
 
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I see your point, but just because I dont know all the details on how I am going to start a buisness at this particular moment in time does not make it a bad idea.
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Old December 16th, 2015, 22:00   #12
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one that doesnt put up wanted ads in the local newspaper for YOUNG WOMEN ONLY for front desk. christ on a cross that's illegal and disgusting. i dont shop there anyway.

no disclosing, you can do your research
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Old January 11th, 2016, 16:00   #13
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Lowest prices + good reputation = win.
Get the reputation first and foremost. Doesn't matter how good their prices are if they're dishonest or provide bad customer service.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 18:04   #14
Brian McIlmoyle
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What I want to see in an online store .. not a flash in the pan..

how?

1st- market research. what you are doing is not market research.

Define all the competitors in the marketplace ( on line that is effectively THE WORLD)

Determine the niche you will fill ( the market is saturated with generic parts providers, another one is not needed )

Research the competitors in that niche, What do they do well, what do they do poorly

Determine if your business model will provide a competitive advantage.

Write a business plan with goals and landmarks.

finally decide if you are willing to put a lot of extra hours in for little to no money.

Realize 80% of such businesses fail

then do it
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Old January 11th, 2016, 20:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle View Post
Realize 80% of such businesses fail
I've seen very few stores stay up float, many shutting down too.

I can tell you a specific example of why a store did not stay up afloat, but will refrain from mentioning the store unless asked because of reasons.

1. Online presence; what is your store front like? This particular store was selling their shit on facebook and advertising everything almost exclusively until they decided to buy a domain and set up an online store. The website and store failed the subsequent year.

2. What do you sell? The store I was at sold a lot of random shit that had too much variety.

3. Gun docs should be looking forward to a sale. I wanted to ask the tech for a spring change but told me it would cost $40 dollars and told me to do it myself. I'm not a technical person, why are you shooing away customers!?

4. Free shipping over x dollars. I mean this in general, not just the store that failed. Paying a flat shipping rate doesn't seem worth it to me unless i'm making a small order from a wholesaler.
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