opening a bow shop?


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  1. #1

    opening a bow shop?

    I am considering opening a bow shop and was looking for information on how to acquire products? Do you have to have a dealers liscense? If so how do you get one? Feel free to add any other information pertinent opening a shop.

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  3. #2
    Bad move unless you are wealthy.

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  5. #3
    Its kinda like aboutsocks said, You need to make sure you have enough money to order lots of products, and enough money to live off of for a little while during slow times. And also remember, people want to buy now, not wait until orders come in.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Boise, Idaho, USA!
    Open a "garage shop" at first and slowly grow it. Archery shops are a really good way to lose everything!

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Nashville area

    bow shop

    I agree with the above. If you decide to do it then go for it but start out slow and don't go into great debt. Let the shop pay its own way. Like Bowd said, starts a garage shop. There is a place close to me that does very well from his own home. He has a mini 3d cours in his back yard and some kind of electronic indoor range. I have never shot it but he does make money from it as well.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Pacific Junction, Iowa, U

    Registered: Mar 2004
    Posts: 16

    More info is needed, like your profile
    I'm convinced that you can't make everyone happy.

    So I'll just have to be content to confuse, annoy, and offend all of you.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Jacksonville, Arkansas

    Temper action with wisdom.....

    Greetings... Just my thoughts..... if you really, really want to open a shop start out of your garage or something.... There are archery pro shops going out of business every day. The reason for this you might ask...... The main problem... Cost of the initial product, I just spent over 1 grand for my new bow, great bow but sorry there is not that much materials that actually go into making a bow.... and once the equipment is set up it is ready to go. another is the markup for profit...usually (1.25) the proshop guy has to eat to you know. and now the equipment companies are making such demands like you have to preorder and commit to selling 200 bows before they will ship to you. And that is a lot of risk.... Usually no shipping break, High over head of keeping items in stock, lights, heat, materials, equipment, tools, etc. Mail order companies and large chain stores like WalMart take their part as well... Most people are not smart enough to tell the difference in equipment sold at wal mart compaired to a pro shop.... they see a name like martin and do not realize it is not actually the same thing but usually a brand mass produced for that company and the only service they will get from wal mart is for them to send it back for repairs. The same with mail order.... people will buy a bow there then send it back have a month of down time waiting when if they had spent a few dollars more they could take it to the local shop and had repairs done much faster....or even worse... buy it online, then take it to the proshop guy to fix on warranty so he even loses his time.... hmmmm bette think about it hard.... Ok, I am off my soap box for the night.... I have just seen to many of my friends lose their business because someone wants to save $0.25 after shipping....

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Poulsbo, Wa

    archery shop

    Amen.... ArkansasArcher.

    I sold my shop a couple of years ago, and have been through everything you brought up. The biggest thing I see that people don't realize, is the amount of TIME, that operating a archery shop properly takes. Time away from your family, time away from your shooting, time away from your hunting, and time away from anything else you would like to do.........I would suggest that anyone thinking about starting a shop ask themselves this question......Why? If it's because you love the sport and would like to see it grow, are willing to go to the ends of the earth for your customers, and are willing to put up with all of the things ArckansasArcher pointed out, great go for it...... If it's that you like to shoot ( I promise you that you'll be doing less, if any at all sometimes!!!!!), want to buy your gear at a cheaper price, get to try all the new stuff that comes out every year and think it would just be "neat" to be a shop owner.... PLEASE DON'T DO IT. Not only will you not enjoy running the shop, you will be doing a great disservice to the sport we all enjoy so much....... With that being said, if you still want to try I will give you this piece of advice. Always remember, it is a business, TREAT IT AS ONE. Run it tight and run it right!!!!! I enjoyed my time in the retail end of the industry, and it can be rewarding. Just make sure you understand what your getting into. Good luck and shoot straight.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Washington DC
    Arkansas archer yes, some bow companies are WAY overpriced for thier products. It is all about what bow can the dealer sell you to get the most profit. You think bows are bad? do you not know the markup on cars???

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    central new york state
    I have had a basement archery shop for 12 years now. I started first by making custom arrows and it went from there. I see lots start and go out of business in about 2 years, why, they get to much stock and buy on credit. Find a good distributor and buy smart. Yes you will have to pay more for items than if you direct buy, but at the same time you can order 1 and not a doz....If you plan on making a living out of the business you have to go the whole route and that is shop, outside range, inside range and have a traveling rig to go the the local shoots.... so lots of time away from family. By the way, also when your buddies are out scouting, you will be in the shop making arrows, or putting strings on old bows...
    SOB (Sweet Old Bill) Bill Olmesdahl
    Sand Dune archery club MB SC,
    Gibertville rod and Gun NY,
    Seniors archery 3D/ hunt Oneonta NY

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Alot of great advice. But if you decide to go that route with a shop. There are a couple other things to remember. #1 the customer is your bread and butter treat them well, no matter what a pain they can be. #2 There are no friends you do favors for or give them a break, it is a bussines and your there to make money, just treat EVERYONE the same.
    Took my boss over 20 yrs to get where he is today. Busy season in his shop for me, and I'm partime, is anywhere from 60 to 70 hours a week.
    Have a good day and a better hunt

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bethlehem, Kentucky USA

    Lightbulb Not just a shop a BUSINESS

    You may find when you look at alot of these posts that we are shop owners.

    First of all every post above is true.

    Second look what I put in the SUBJECT LINE and ICON with it.

    Third and last because this is never ending , You will read these post and think guys just dont want competition well if they are really successful shops that is not true because they will probably be in bussiness until they want to get out of it.


    I wish you the BEST of Luck and if you have a successful shop
    someday down the road we can dig up this post and I will tell you hats off to you you have done a great job


  16. #13
    I find it interesting that so many of you recommend starting in the "garage". That is a big part of what puts the squeeze on actual retail shops.

    The garage doesn't have the overhead, most "garage" shop owners have a job with a paycheck and benefits and as a result they can sell for less than if they were operating a full time business. For many of these folks it's more of a hobby.

    And then we wonder why so many archery shops have to close their doors?

  17. #14
    Thanks for all the input. I'm definitely going to to start small probably out of my basement. I would be open evenings after work etc. I have accumulated shop tools over time and just wanted to try and make some residual cash with my experience and love for bowhunting. To get specific I would really like to know how to go about getting products and contacting distributors.
    Thanks for the help.

  18. #15

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Central California
    I have been contemplating the same thing for the last several months. Mainly for the guys like me around that are sick of not having anything around here in the local area.

    Here is what I am coming to realize.

    Archers are a bunch of cheap *******s!

    Many will mail order something to save themselves a buck, and until you can establish yourself well...(read years of service)...they will continue to mail order stuff.

    If there was a place around here that had an indoor range, then...maybe could make enough to at least cover the rent, but I am not sure about that.

    I love the sport, and would love to be able to provide excellent service to those around my area, as well as start a JOAD program in the area. is all about MONEY! Which I dont have what I would more than likely need to get going. Me and another guy who has worked in the business have discussed it many times and have come to the conclusion that in order to start a storefront archery business, it would take close to $50,000 to do it right....I don't know about you, but it ain't growin on no trees in my backyard.

    So I may still try like others have said and start something out of the house, but I am still debating on that, because I am not very good at "half-assing" anything. It would not be long and I would be TRYING to compete with big companies to keep everyone happy, and then I would be broke!

    So where am I at....still thinking, wondering if I have any rich uncles about to die!

    Takes money and you have to give up all your free time....then again you would be working for yourself, even if it is half days....8am to 8pm

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do, as far as getting in touch with distributors, first you better check with your local governments office and find out if you need a special use permit to run the business out of your houe, then contact the business office to get a business license, then the state for a resale license, then when you get all that done....Get a phone number listed in the yellow pages in order....then you can contact the places like Jake's and Lancaster, and fill out a dealer application to get started. All the above listed items are requirements from these people to get started....Yes, I have checked on this stuff

  20. #17
    I would do it only as a hobby because there is not a lot of money in it you need to sell more than just archery equipment you would be better off opening a bait and tackle shop and sell archery equipment on the side.

  21. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Mid West
    I think that the problem with some shops is that they have some that have no idea as sales people... Years ago when I was just getting started I had a Darton and the arrows had all kinds of flight issues. I would take it in and have it tuned up each time I would ask what they found and what they did. each and everytime the tech that worked on it was never there so no answers. Bought a Martin same thing each time I would go in a different guy would sell me something first it was the rest I was sold with the bow then it was the arrows then the release then still had the problem and they would but the rest on the bow still the arrow would propoise and/or fishtail. After trying four different rests, 6 or 7 different arrow sizes, two different releases andhaving them set up and tune it still the same never got better I realized that t is how they get you never saw the same person working there, never a tech to get info from and yet they sure knew how to sell me stuff that I have piled up in a box... So now I research what is out there... find out what it costs and ask many if they have had many issues since the two pro shops took my money i won't gpo back but they are still in business I can only imagine that there make up is up there.

    The good ones shops that is give you a quality set up and know just how to set it up to get you good performance and thus you don't need to keep going back for service or help thus they put themselves out of business by doing good service. The poor or average shops have a high turn over in staff, sell everything they can get you to buy and then never get a straight answer about what's wrong with your set up and now with territories and how far you have to be from other dealers you are lucky to get a deal on the bows that you sell unless you are X number of miles away from your competition It is tough with all the overhead costs for any business and keeping and paying good help is just another thing to keep your doors open these days...

    Best of Luck but I prefer to learn on my own and if something works ordering online is just a way for some like myself to get an item for a good price and since I know what I want I don't need anyone to tell me just how good something is just to get me to buy it . Maybe that is why the internet is so hot for most you get input and try and make better decisions from those that have tried it instead of a shop that just sells you stuff that does not work...

    Just my two cents...

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