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New wholesaler/graff supply hopefully


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i like this dude, got a sense of humor.

so here's a lot of free advice:

 

Anyways, after lurking and searching old threads I found a post that listed the wholesale on Montana gold at 4.79 but you must sell it at 7.20. I was wondering if thats still the case or has it changed, increased, decreased?

 

whew

let's back up to the beginning here. you seem to be getting ahead of yourself.

also keep in mind a bank is probably not going to say "oh, he's got some posts from a graffiti forum, this sounds legit." :lol: :lol: :lol: riiiiiight. take it from the top:

 

I would really like some input from the graff community to see what THEY want in a supply store? What would really make you want to shop at my joint as opposed to another?

 

congrats, youre asking the right question. the answer to this should be what drives your entire business model. some retailers spend millions of dollars trying to answer this question, some don't realize they should be asking it in the first place (they fail). so you're starting in the right place. consider this:

 

Im currently in the process of opening up an art supply aimed at urban/street artists, writers, students, and everyone in between.

 

segment these small audiences and target them individually. figure out what's important to them and what they'll spend, it's different for a graffntagger vs. a street artist vs. a student, and since you want to sell online you ought to plan to account for the brick-and-mortar versions and the cyber versions of each of these audiences. exhausted yet?

 

graffiti writers - generally don't have a lot of money and don't like to spend their own on paint. i hate to walk into a hardware store and pay retail, but i dont steal anymore so sometimes i have to. i do, however, look for bargains like a fucking fiend and generally do well from it.

 

street artists/students - in my experience have more money, usually not theirs. less likely to be repeat customers but more likely to buy fancy paint. a university will breed these people in way higher numbers than graffiti artists. you should be aiming to make as much money off the university as you possibly can, though. get tight with that art department, donate stuff, give dry HJs, whatever it takes - because they can be a source of a LOT of business every year. work your ass off to get them to send art students there. i knew of an art supply store that would prepackage every item needed for art courses and sell it all in a handy paint bag on the first day of school. they made BANK. how? catering to the needs around them. you must do the same.

 

this kind of thinking ("figuring") will put you out of business:

 

Since Im next to some universities I figure Ill be getting most of my business from the art students and Im next to a shitload of art galleries that feature writers so I figure Ill get some business from full time artists as well.

 

i've figured a lot of things in my decades of life. figured i wouldn't get arrested - that didn't work. figured i wouldn't get caught cheating - that didn't work. don't figure, think and know.

 

getting back to your original questions:

 

Im trying to get the ball rolling and come up with a business plan to get a loan but so far am running into a road block with the American distributor of Montana gold Macphersons. They wont give me the wholesale prices until I have a storefront and I cant have a storefront until I get the loan and to complicate it even further, I cant get the loan until I get the prices from distributors. See the catch 22 Im in?

 

Fuck german mtn. just don't sell it. i don't know a single writer that uses it without someone else paying for it. that's your only hangup? christ. think this through some more.

 

it sounds like your lender is a little apprehensive, and probably rightly. flesh out a better business plan before you re-approach them. and consider stocking inventory before you take the loan - don't rely on the loan to solve all your problems. this isn't perishable product, so if you can make a big buy and shelve it, do it. that way your loan can go towards other things.

 

i believe that in general, you should consider carrying 2 lines of paint:

 

1. cheaper-than-hardware-store paint for writers. most writers looking for stuff to spray under a bridge or in an alley or on a freight are going to hesitate at $5/can (let alone $9-$12/CAN for german mtn). this is why fresh paint has taken off - there's a whole market of kids that want cheap paint, don't really care about toxins and fading that much, and want something with more control than hardware store shit. oink cornered this fucking market. ive never bought it but at nearly a dollar less than pt2 from home depot it's tempting. the margins on this paint will be tiny.

 

2. fancy paint. don't go too fancy on this - pick up something like spanish montana or ironlak, or something like that - it will still appeal to writers who might want to spend a little to get a nice can or a nice color now and then. no plutonium g or german mtn or any bullshit like that. consider that if you want students and street artistz to buy this shit go for something that smells less harsh and is slightly better quality, but still won't rape pockets (cause they're students or starving artists ... there's not a lot of money there). decent margins here.

 

(extra credit) (bonus) 3. old discontinued crates of paint, like ollies does. as a store you could probably find hardware stores shutting down and looking to sell off inventory at wholesale rates or something like that. i will pay $2/can for cans of rusto from 2006 with a fucked up cap ALL DAY. this is where you could generate a LOT of repeat traffic from writers who know what's good. a paint store that gets bargain-priced, changing inventory is an intriguing thing. the margins for this category will be small too.

 

you MUST carry a big inventory to balance out the low margin products! Not sure what else you've got up your sleeve but you gotta carry a lot of things. If there's little competition in town consider being a bigger paint shop - mixing custom colors, selling house paint, all that. That's reliable and honest business. if there's no family hardware stores in town you could conceivably do very well there, people buy a lot more house paint at once than spray paint.

 

this is the "go legit, then graffiti" approach. it's safe. it builds capital and establishes a public reputation before inviting a bunch of thug rap letter artists around.

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oh and things that are valuable to me:

 

carry closeout/discontinued/wholesale cans at great prices, especially old valve rusto and krylon if you can get it. oddball cans are awesome.

 

sell ink, but the traditionals: garvey, pilot, etc. a lot of these ink companies come and fucking go. If you're a smart businessman you would buy it in bulk and repackage it, marking it up along the way. don't sell paint for mops, fuck that.

 

offer bags, inconspicuous ones. corner store bags are great.

offer promotions and incentives. loyalty rewards. repeat business and moving inventory is king if your margins are slim.

gamify things - tweet out "the next person to come in and spend $___ gets 2 cans of montana gold!"

 

don't be corny. i don't need to buy paint in a place that blasts illmatic out front. having a more respectable profile will also come in handy when some kid is drunk with an ultra fat and your midwestern college town newspaper is bewildered how and where they bought a can/cap combo that was so destructive.

 

to survive you'll need to consider how to sell online, effectively. that's gonna be fucking difficult. but that's later on.

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oh and things that are valuable to me:

 

carry closeout/discontinued/wholesale cans at great prices, especially old valve rusto and krylon if you can get it. oddball cans are awesome.

 

sell ink, but the traditionals: garvey, pilot, etc. a lot of these ink companies come and fucking go. If you're a smart businessman you would buy it in bulk and repackage it, marking it up along the way. don't sell paint for mops, fuck that.

 

offer bags, inconspicuous ones. corner store bags are great.

offer promotions and incentives. loyalty rewards. repeat business and moving inventory is king if your margins are slim.

gamify things - tweet out "the next person to come in and spend $___ gets 2 cans of montana gold!"

 

don't be corny. i don't need to buy paint in a place that blasts illmatic out front. having a more respectable profile will also come in handy when some kid is drunk with an ultra fat and your midwestern college town newspaper is bewildered how and where they bought a can/cap combo that was so destructive.

 

to survive you'll need to consider how to sell online, effectively. that's gonna be fucking difficult. but that's later on.

 

Wow, thank you very much, all of you have given some very great info I plan to use. I will make sure to repay the favor somehow. Keep those ideas comin :D

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  • 11 months later...

Do some work. Getting a business licenses is not hard at all. You do not need a store front to deal with wholesalers, You need to be a business.

 

By getting a business licenses, you will get a tax exemption ID also. Macphearsons or any wholesaler will definitely work with you.

 

You should be on a business start up forum looking into how to do things legally (like you say you want to do) instead of on a graffiti forum asking people what you should stock. Sounds like your running for the fences before you started to crawl.

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