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Old 10-14-09, 04:00 PM   #1
shamblinator
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opening a japan imported bike store or shop

Day by day i keep getting more interested in japanese folders and im come across many folders that look like they're built amazing and alot of them are coming up to be only from 150 usd to 400 usd at the most. So i was thinking, that alot of people here are starting to get into folders and there aren't that many companies here. But if i could figure out a way to import some from japan and sell them or open a shop i think it would be successful.

what do you guys think or what do you think would be a good idea or plan?

fly there bring them back?

try to reach companies?

try to ship them for 270$?

give up?
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Old 10-14-09, 04:05 PM   #2
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you can make a million dollars







































if you start with 2

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Old 10-14-09, 04:07 PM   #3
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haha what do you mean?
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Old 10-14-09, 04:49 PM   #4
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I think you got the best, meaning most honest and straight forward, answer from one of the best possible sources!

As someone who likes folders and would like to see more folders in the U.S. I say GO FOR IT! But, beware, bikes are a fairly tough sell and folders are strange. It will be a labor of love.

Speedo
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Old 10-14-09, 07:12 PM   #5
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He means "if you want to make a million dollars in the bike biz, start with 2 million...." (and then lose the 1st million.)

Have you ever run a store? Managed a business? Worked in a bike shop? Can you survive for 6 months without earning any income? How about 12 months? Are you ready to work 12 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, because you think Japanese folding bikes are neat?

Overhead is expensive. You'll have to buy bikes -- lots of them, in lots of different sizes -- and pay for it up front (or take out a loan, which is very hard to get nowadays). Customers will wonder why you don't have cheap mountain bikes like Wal-Mart. Mechanics are expensive and, like all employees, difficult to manage. Taxes will eat into your profits.

Mind you, it is possible to open and run a bike shop and succeed, but it's extremely difficult. If you are even remotely serious about it, a) build up a huge pile of cash to live off of for the first 12+ months, when you likely won't make money and b) work in a bike shop for at least 6 months to at least get some idea of how it actually works.
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Old 10-14-09, 07:34 PM   #6
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how much is your profit of a bike which is shipped 270 dlr ?
customs clearing and inland freight included ?
how long does it take to make said bike roadworthy and safe to ride ?

and and and lots of questions.I am the first to applaud everybody who wants to get involved in the bike biz..the more the merrier ... but its not that esay

fun yes
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Old 10-15-09, 01:52 AM   #7
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If you did open a store selling Japanese bikes the first question Id be asking was are these genuinely made in Japan? if so Id be interested...... but if I thought for one second they were made in China, Korea or Taiwan, well that would really put me right off making a purchase.
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Old 10-15-09, 02:36 AM   #8
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Make sure you do the research first, posting here is a good way forward, if you can go to a few forums, start earning their trust, get their insight into what to import etc, I say you can make a lot of money, not from random people seen your shop in the street, thats worthless now a days, but by doing intelligent marketing, going on facebook and twitter, having a easy to follow website, give awesome customer support and make the customer feel like they are awesome and you are there to help.

From my experience trying to get a bike here, people take ages to reply to emails, they have rubbish customer support phone numbers, their websites are rubbish..

There is an opening in the market, but you need to have your marketing strategy right.

Books you can read: http://www.trustagent.com/ it gives you a sort of idea of the sort of thing that needs to be done.

Awesome start posting here though! great "Step 1"
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Old 10-15-09, 04:06 AM   #9
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The worst thing will be your customers...
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Old 10-15-09, 06:44 AM   #10
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For a country so dependent on exports why is it so difficult to get japanese retail products in the west?
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Old 10-15-09, 07:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky View Post
For a country so dependent on exports why is it so difficult to get japanese retail products in the west?
Probably the exchange rate.
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Old 10-15-09, 07:51 AM   #12
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From my experience trying to get a bike here, people take ages to reply to emails, they have rubbish customer support phone numbers, their websites are rubbish..


ahem .... :-)
---------------------------

japanese bikes ? do they still exist ? I mean even Shimano has all kinds of satelite production facilities and more or less only a very small percent of production in Japan. If said bikes shipped for 270 dlr are truly made in Japan, than they must be recycled ones ...lol

But dont fret it .... there are many many experts around who still believe that their complete bike is made in their homecountry or made in the US by that matter when looking in from Europe. Easy example are Specialized Schwinn Trek Cannondale ...... all of them are no longer made in the US but in TAiwan and China amongst other places.
Than there was this brand which is called Scott USA sold in Germany like hotcakes. Even a BIG USA flag on the bikes ... everybody thought American company ... but not so , they didnt even have an office over here.
Dahon doesnt call themselves DAHON USA on the bikes, they do have their corporate office in the US, they are a US company , but I still not like their rather liberal use of US flags on their bikes either.( They are clearly also stickered where they are made ) CAll me old fashioned. I am an American by choice ( not by birth ) and I might be a little more sensitive than most in that respect...


but back to Japanese folders
do you like to elaborate a little further and have us enjoy a picture maybe ?
Thanks Thor
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Old 10-15-09, 07:38 PM   #13
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Yeah, BrakeMeister Thor is correct. The cheap bikes you see here in Japan are almost all made in Taiwan/China. Not 100% certain, but I believe Miyata, Panasonic and Bridgestone do make their bikes in Japan and the folders from those companies are really overpriced for what you get. I think Tyrell makes their bikes in Japan, but these are high quality and expensive minivelos not folders.

The deceptive marketing practice of applying a USA (or whichever) country's flag to a bike, when it's manufactured in another country, is really annoying. KHS is another company that does it. Illusion/perception is everything I guess. I know amongst the Japanese folder otaku they too have their prejudices and think a bike from certain foreign countries is better. They long for Birdys and Bromptons, and try to figure out why a Bike Friday is so hard to get in this country.

If I was the OP I'd abandon the idea of finding low priced Japanese folders to sell and just accept that Taiwan is now the center of bicycle manufacturing in the world now. The quality of the bikes varies enormously and with some careful research you might find some decent folding bikes that you can offer to Americans at a good price.

A better idea, perhaps, is to make Tikits available to Japanese folder otaku and try to import some Tyrells
for the niche US minivelo fanatic who might be willing to pay through the nose for the idea of riding a high quality Japanese bike and everything that is supposed to entail.

Could use an update (no Swift for one)but, this list of Bike manufacturing companies is helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ring_companies
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