View Full Version : Muse help please
08-01-2007, 02:51 PM
I already have a muse, I sell to a niche market in mountain bike community. My problem is my muse is a bit too much work and my packaging is pretty unproffesional. I sell bearing kits for full suspension mountain bikes. This means I have to package a variety of different bearings together for different bikes. What I really want is a company that will package and ship all my kits for me. My kits are very customized and there are a lot of them. I want to avoid the overhead of carrying tons of bearings, the hassle of making the kits myself and the time consuming shipping. I have no problem finding bearing suppliers but they usually only want to sell me 1000s of each bearing. Can anyone point me to a good source where they will package and ship custom products? I know there is a market for these as I have been selling them on Ebay for a while now.
I would also appreciate any help with approaching larger online stores about carrying my product. How-tos or lessons learned. I don't want to sell to the online giants until I have a supplier and packaging sorted out though.
Thanks very much for any help,
08-01-2007, 03:03 PM
It's a cool idea. I like the niche! Deep and narrow. I'm sorry I can't help more.
But I have questions. Can you let me know how much time you spend assembling the shipments and arranging the business? How much time would you save per week, if you could outsource that? And for how much overall profit? I'm interested in something similar, although I haven't yet figured out quite what. I've been an avid bicyclist before (though I'm a roadie not a mountie).
08-01-2007, 03:14 PM
Well right now it doesn't really take a lot of time to package things because all I am doing is dropping some bearings into a ziplock bag and sticking them into an envelope. The real time killer is labelling (my label maker broke) and taking them to the post office. Both tasks though would be huge time killers if I start moving more product. Right now hardly anyone finds my website and I sell 3-5 kits a week on Ebay. I really want to get the big online bike shops to carry my product but I need product packaging. I also want to get in with the big guys who supply bike shops. My other problem is I am in Canada and most of my customers are from the USA or Europe and my bearings come from China, to the USA, to me. I want to cut out the middle man if possible. I have a drop shipper for the USA now but there is no packaging (ziplock bag and envelope), I keep bearings in stock at my home to ship to Europe and Canada. I think I am close but I need to take the next step to start making some real money. I just haven't had any luck finding a bearing company that will package and ship my product. I also find you have to order huge quantities before they will ship to you and have pay to register has a customer and pay huge shipping costs. I am just hopping there is a beter way.
08-01-2007, 04:02 PM
MrFurly, have you tried looking a level up at a drop shipper that deals in mountain bike supplies? Buying from a secondary source may eat into your margins a bit, but if you expect to be growing your volume that may be acceptable.
08-01-2007, 04:26 PM
Try opening a yahoo shop, or starting a small website and try some PPC test runs to see if you can increase traffic and sell more kits per week.
(if you sell to a supplier you will make less than selling directly to the consumer)
After you are selling 10+ kits a week look up a fullfilment center. The orders from your website can be forwarded directly to them. They can keep all the bearings in stock. They can package them professional and ship them out. All you have to do is watch a weekly/monthly report from the center.
Also maybe consider a test run in some moutain bike magazines highlighting your product and website.
Hope this helps!
08-01-2007, 04:57 PM
Sounds to me like you ARE looking for a fulfillment center but just haven't FOUND one yet. One good thing is, your product has an almost infinite shelf-life (like, how often do metal parts go stale or lose their potency over time?). So your middle-man (in the USA?) simply needs to be willing to (a) stock a pile of various bearings; (b) recombine that inventory into whatever configuration a customer has ordered; (c) ship it out (and perhaps handle international orders too?). Sounds to me like a LOT of organizations would be willing to take on those responsibilities. Google for "fulfillment" and for "drop ship" and similar terms.
08-01-2007, 05:17 PM
Thanks everyone! I knew there had to be a solution I just didnt know what it was called. I will definately look into FullFillment Centers! Thanks so much!
Edit: Does anyone have any experience with fulfillment centers? There are tons of them out there. I was wondering what kind of costs I could expect. Thanks in advance.
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