Tank Buisness Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Tank Buisness Question

Since I've been drooling over some guy's mini ADA tank, i had planned to be a businessman when i finish high school and go to college, (I'm sophomore), I planned along time ago to be an Aquarium businessman selling tanks, fauna aquarium supplies and other aquarium stuff, but until i saw some guy's mini ADA tank, it gave me the fact, since i posted another thread about how business is selling fauna and other aquarium stuff, i found out that it is complicated and the overhead is high. I decided to be a Tank Businessman, selling 100% glass, trimmed, no rims, and sell other accessories for the tank such as light, co2 and other necessities for the tank. What do you think of it guys? should I be a Tank Businessman? Or is to hard? Tell me your experiences selling tanks and tank part necessities.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 12:33 AM
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are you going to make tanks or resell ADA tanks & products?

If you sell tanks it's best see what the demand is locally.. Tank over 10G don't ship very well or it'll cost a lot to ship.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 12:38 AM
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I can tell you as a consumer, trying to find a custom glass tank has been a PITA. If you can overcome the hurdle of shipping such a large, delicate item, along with building a HIGH quality (many tank builders are very shoddy with their work, especially for what they charge.) tank, I think there would definitely be a market. You would probably need to market heavily to the reef and SW community, as planted tanks are the redheaded midget step-cousin of the hobby.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:34 AM
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Listening to that advice, let me toss out that you might want to consider the relative scarcity of quality custom tanks into any business plan. What if your business were designed to allow delivery of your custom tanks. You could take orders and build as many tanks as would fit in your delivery vehicle. Then, plan a huge trip around the country (or area you define) delivering all of your product. There would be a large lead time for the customer, but if your product is good and hard to find, you may find that they would wait. You could then offer additional set-up and leveling services.

Just something to noodle around...
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:04 AM
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For one, continuation of your other thread may have been more appropriate.

2, you need to understand that to do any business right, the philosophy is the same. Identify a niche that NEEDS you, that you are ABLE to fill, and that you have the FUNDS to do so--for a long time without making money. Expecting to survive on a business like this is out there.

Honestly, at your age, focus on having fun. You will change your mind several times before you ever decide on a final path. Enjoy it while you can. Life gets a hell of a lot more serious rather quickly.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indignation View Post
as planted tanks are the redheaded midget step-cousin of the hobby.
I like that line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
Honestly, at your age, focus on having fun.
maybe this is fun for him.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 06:04 PM
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Do NOT become an itinerent tank salesman

Someone suggested loading up your truck with custom tanks and hitting the road. That's a great way to burn fuel, but not to sell custom tanks. I wholesaled pet supplies for a while. Small. I only averaged 50,000 miles a year. I owned one of the ten largest (numbers of feeders - not dollars) bird feeder manufacturing operations in the country until the Chinese supplied shelf ready product for less than my labor costs alone. I sold a million bird feeders in nine years. I was my own boss for twenty five years and got a mortgage on our house based solely on my income tax returns. Currently I have a nice safe job working at a university. Not cushy - safe. We live in an international world these days. Your competition isn't just Walmart and Petco, or Joe Blows pet shop. It's anyone in the world who can get their product in front of the customer first or cheapest or soonest.

Custom anything is a niche. Why should a LFS carry any of your product when they won't sell it very often and the customer wanted a different size anyway? Turn over of product using your suppliers lines of credit is the secret to retailing. If a store can't sell an item several times a year then that product doesn't belong in their inventory. It's a dust collector.

Wangle an invitation to the yearly industry trade show outside Chicago. Heres a link. http://www.hhbacker.com/hhbacker/x08tradeshow.asp and check out the number of tank manufacturers. Any friendly pet store owner or manager can get you in. Make friends. Analyze and consider what is available to retailers verses the number of custom tanks on the shelves in your nearest greater metropolitain area. Why is that?

Other people have given you good advice about getting a job in the industry to test the waters. Yes, I am trying to discourage you. If you get dispirited now what will you do on those days your net is negative?
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 09:06 PM
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I say go for it dude!

And yes most here are correct about what they say. I would do more research in your area and the demand for tanks. Also since your almost 16 probably try getting a job at a Pet Shop! Then from there maybe you can start creating small tanks all the way to 40 gallon tanks. And with that you can ask your Boss if you can sell your product in the store and see how your product sells.

Although they are right above there no point if you don't try.

I hope to maybe create my own Nature Aquarium pet store after college! And I'm a sophomore too!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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I say go for it dude!

And yes most here are correct about what they say. I would do more research in your area and the demand for tanks. Also since your almost 16 probably try getting a job at a Pet Shop! Then from there maybe you can start creating small tanks all the way to 40 gallon tanks. And with that you can ask your Boss if you can sell your product in the store and see how your product sells.

Although they are right above there no point if you don't try.

I hope to maybe create my own Nature Aquarium pet store after college! And I'm a sophomore too!
LOL, that's the kind of talk I like bro! maybe i could meet you sometime and we could work together! And I'm serious about it!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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I say go for it dude!

Since your almost 16 probably try getting a job at a Pet Shop! Then from there maybe you can start creating small tanks all the way to 40 gallon tanks. And with that you can ask your Boss if you can sell your product in the store and see how your product sells.
I edited your comment a little in the quote, Sorry. But, I like that idea! I could give it a shot! make small tanks all the way to 40galls and sell it in the store! Now you're talkin' real bro!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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are you going to make tanks or resell ADA tanks & products?

If you sell tanks it's best see what the demand is locally.. Tank over 10G don't ship very well or it'll cost a lot to ship.
I am going to make 100% glass tanks and sell it and sell products for the tank such as lighting, stands, co2, and other stuff.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TANKd View Post
I am going to make 100% glass tanks and sell it and sell products for the tank such as lighting, stands, co2, and other stuff.
make sure you live in a big city so you can have lots of business. You might even offer delivery, installation and maintenance services.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 01:44 PM
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Hate to burst your bubble but a custom tank business dealing exclusively in small glass tanks for planted setups would be difficult to keep afloat. You'd have stiff competition with a brand like ADA. Plus shipping small glass tanks is very hard and costly. At one custom tank builder I got a quote for something like $390 shipping for a 10g while it's only $400 to ship a 55 gallon glass tank.

The best glass tank builders like Aquarium Obsessed & Miracles Aquariums make the bulk of their profits off very large tanks (180g plus) and make relatively little off of smaller custom jobs.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 06:56 PM
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The easiest way to make a million dollars is to start with two million dollars. Essentially you are gambling on yourself, the profitability of the kind of enterprise you suggest is based entirely upon your own effort. You have to ask yourself what is your time worth, you may end up spending 60 hours labor in one week procuring materials, building a tank, searching for a buyer and negotiating the sell for a single $60 tank, that's $1/hr before you pay any overhead. You could go get a job that pays minimum wage and make about 8 times that much and only work 40 hours, but you may be miserable. You have to decide what you really like best, do you like security and wealth or do you like adventrue and the satisfaction that comes from accomplishment?

Honestly I'd get some experiance in a bigger industry to start out, learn sound business practices and figure out how cash flow works then make the transition to something you'll love.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 10:02 PM
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CO2 and lights would be difficult to sell unless you are also setting the tank up. Otherwise the person could just purchase them online for less then you would likely be selling them for.
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