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HOT TOPIC Agree? You can't build a top tier physical product without Money

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MTEE1985

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This thread had no intention of adding value. Just discussion. Wanted to discuss before I tried again. I have had numerous products in the past.

Let’s try this a different way as you say you would like discussion contrary to your actions which say you want people to agree with you and you are determined to fight back if they don’t.

Yes, I agree with you. To create a high end physical product will often be capital intensive. However, that does not translate into the entrepreneur needing the capital at hand to accomplish this. Now, you will probably ask for examples.

Apple and Tesla come to mind. These companies I think most would agree provide a “top tier product” but they did not require the founder to provide capital.

Have you ever heard of Mike Markkula? 99.9% of people have not which is how he prefers it. I have as I had the privilege to get to know him. He was the #3 Apple employee and the initial financial backer. He met with Jobs and decided to provide funding of $250,000 for 1/3 of Apple at the time. Needless to say it was a good bet.

Another person you should look up is Chris Sacca. Early investor in Uber, Twitter etc. He specifies that his biggest bets are on the founder and not the product itself. If the VC firms truly believe in the founder they will invest.

Now on to you and the better questions you should be asking this forum: Do you have a physical product that you want to create/bring to market but are concerned about a lack of capital? Because if that is the case then there are no less than 3 people I will tag in this thread that either have gone through this or are going through the process currently and they will be happy to offer advice.

Before you continue on disagreeing with everybody I’ll leave you with this quote by Aristotle: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”

Agree with us or don’t, but for Gods sake, try not to be so closed minded.
 

Ronak

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None, I mean who would invest in another private label brand? An investor for a better toaster oven?

Your mind is made up already-- as others have pointed out, you have solidified your beliefs and won't accept anything contrary.

Read @Kung Fu Steve 's posts on GOLD! - Why only certain people "enjoy" the process? (Or is it something else?)

For the record, yes, I have raised capital for multiple private label products.


The question is, would you rather be right, or would you rather be rich?
 

Ronak

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Thanks for input. I realized to really have control over product development, it needs to be in house. Because if you pay a 3rd party for each iteration (trial and error) paying a substantial markup. But with the in house, equipment and tooling is not cheap either...Higher quality materials usually require expensive equipment to work with. For example, English bridle leather needs the best tools. You can't take shortcuts with this. Even developing a product as small as a watch band can be expensive. think Hermes. But I guess they are a little over engineered kekeke

You are putting the cart before the horse.
You will absolutely have to iterate-- you can't look for perfection right out the gate, it's a process. Thinking you need to start in-house is an obstacle that will prevent you from moving forward. Have you completely exhausted all possibilities for outside manufacturing?
 

eliquid

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And this is why I push people to start businesses in areas they are an authority in.

I didn't say it was the only way, but it makes things so much simpler for the general lot of people. Especially those people new to business or those that have had several failed attempts.

BTW authority != smartest or best.

OP, what are you an authority in?

.
 

raad182

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" Can't build a top tier physical product without money "

This is a no brainer dude
Quality costs money in almost everything in life.
 

Thoelt53

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Thanks



This thread had no intention of adding value. Just discussion. Wanted to discuss before I tried again. I have had numerous products in the past.



My apologies



None, I mean who would invest in another private label brand? An investor for a better toaster oven?



I have actual done the leather belts and it is actually high capital. What you are missing is the equipment and tools to make the leather. High quality leather require high quality tools and equipment. They ain’t cheap at all. Good luck using regular tools to cut full grain or English bridle. It can get very expensive. Speaking from experience. Take a look at r/Leathercraft or maybe it’s called leatherworking. Ask if their hobby is cheap, you will get a resounding no.



Are you implying that these watches required no capital to get started? To get to Kickstarter point with marketing video, prototype, etc. is costly. Ask anyone that tried.
At what point did you get the idea that product development is cheap?

So you've discovered R&D can be expensive.

What are you going to do about it?
 

hectormendez

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I dont know what your product is but if you dont have money to manufacturing and marketing you can use crowfunding, or even licensing your product idea, depending on what it is.
 
D

DeletedUser0287

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This entire argument is nonsensical. I launched a VERY high quality hand crafted product on Amazon about 5 years ago. I did very well for a while. Then the Chinese items entered the market full force. It was impossible to compete with this high of quality. My costs were a little higher, but my item was way better. In photographs that is hard to differentiate. To the customers, you could get "more value" for less money with a competing product. Set them side by side and you would never buy the Chinese one.

The consumers are ABSOLUTELY moving to the lowest cost, shit quality end of the spectrum. Look up any item on amazon. The number #1 result will be within 10% of the lowest price for that item. The first second and third best selling wrist watch on amazon are under $15. They are ALL rated 4 stars or better. You need to go 7 items back to even get to $30. There isn't a watch on the first page under $100... Tell me again why TOP QUALITY is the paramount ingredient to a successful business?

You are staying within the Amazon ecosystem only which is why this happens. Depending your entire business on the Amazon Algos. Sales platforms have commoditizing effects. Look at any top tier brand with quality, most aren't even on any 3rd party sales platform. Get off Amazon and market outside.
 
D

DeletedUser0287

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I just met a guy a few days ago. He makes high quality leather belts from his home. Sells them for alot of money online. Is there alot of capital needed? Not that much. Go buy good quality leather. Have good skills in cutting, hole punching and stitching. Buy high quality buckles. Put them together. Most of the quality comes from the labor, not that actual cost of materials.

So I just looked on my desk and I see my wallet. Nothing special, a nice leather wallet. I don't know much about wallets, but I'm going to imagine that a top tier wallet uses nicer leather and stitching. How much product development would go into this?

BTW, just a coincidence that both my examples happen to use leather. I have at least 10 other examples that I can think of... but I can't divulge the products.

Your problem is that you think that just because you can't do it, that it is impossible. Then your mindset reinforces the thought and it eventually becomes a fact in your brain and out pops a thread titled... "Agree? You can't build a top tier physical product without Money" or "Agree or Disagree: Entrepreneurship is a privilege". You hope that people agree because then it means that you were right and the failures were not your fault.

I can't dunk, I tried to alot when I was younger so... Agree? You can't dunk unless you are over 6' tall

What type of leather? Full Grain at least? English Bridle? Look at Sedgwick leather.

Leather Belt Materials
1) High Quality Leather (English Bridle)
2) Stainless Steel or Brass Buckle
3) Attaching the buckle, either rivets or Stitching (Waxed Linen is good)
4) Edge Finish: Either Burnishing or Edge Paint
5) Labels/Packaging

Tools
1) Leather Round Hole Punches (C.S. Osborne)
2) Belt End Punch (C.S. Osborne)
3) Edge Paint Roller
4) Leather Maul/Hammer
5) Healing Cutting Mat
6) Rotary Cutter
7) Skiver - thins out leather at bend
9) Pricking Iron - to make holes for leather thread
10) Leather Needles
11) Fileteuse (if edge painting) and for edge creasing
12) Leather Strap Cutter
13) Brass Logo Stamp
14) Brass Number Stamp Sizing
15) Heat Gun - to warm up Brass stamp
16) Leather Hole Template
17) Arbor Press
18) Stitching Pony

When using high quality leather, cheap tools are unable to even cut high quality leather. A better way for consistency is a clicker die press with a custom die made.
 

klix

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What type of leather? Full Grain at least? English Bridle? Look at Sedgwick leather.

Leather Belt Materials
1) High Quality Leather (English Bridle)
2) Stainless Steel or Brass Buckle
3) Attaching the buckle, either rivets or Stitching (Waxed Linen is good)
4) Edge Finish: Either Burnishing or Edge Paint
5) Labels/Packaging

Tools
1) Leather Round Hole Punches (C.S. Osborne)
2) Belt End Punch (C.S. Osborne)
3) Edge Paint Roller
4) Leather Maul/Hammer
5) Healing Cutting Mat
6) Rotary Cutter
7) Skiver - thins out leather at bend
9) Pricking Iron - to make holes for leather thread
10) Leather Needles
11) Fileteuse (if edge painting) and for edge creasing
12) Leather Strap Cutter
13) Brass Logo Stamp
14) Brass Number Stamp Sizing
15) Heat Gun - to warm up Brass stamp
16) Leather Hole Template
17) Arbor Press
18) Stitching Pony

When using high quality leather, cheap tools are unable to even cut high quality leather. A better way for consistency is a clicker die press with a custom die made.

I think leather is a perfect example that shows your thread is wrong. You can get everything you need to make awesome premium leather products for $200-$300, excluding the cost of the hide. All that will be missing is skill - which leather working requires a good amount of for good results.

Even the megakits on amazon that will suppy everything you need you can get for $120 will not hold you back, it just makes the job harder for you. If you want to upgrade from those kits, just get some japanese pricking irons which cost $20-$40 each (though you have to pay a good amount for shipping.)

If you want to include the cost of the hide, you can go for exotic hides like ostrich or alligator or snake for pretty cheap, and of course you can just get a quarter hide, sell your product, then use the proceeds to buy more hide.

"When using high quality leather, cheap tools are unable to even cut high quality leather" Really buddy? get a razor blade for 25 cents, get a razor blade skiver for a couple dollars. I guarantee you it can cut anything, including shell cordovan. Here's a video of it being done with a $10 X-Acto knife
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j9TAB66t8I
 

B. Cole

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I’m bringing a product to market with no outside capital, just my weekly paycheck.

You don’t need money. You need to work. Money just makes you start some shit you don’t understand, and weakens your commitment to it because you didn’t struggle through the inception. 99% of startups, if given enough capital to build an idea to a finished, sellable state, would blow it because they aren’t entrenched enough to know what the product actually needs.

Grow it from a seed, you’ll understand it way better than if you bought it as a full grown tree.
 

Fastlane Liam

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I don't owe you an explanation. You are wrong in several ways.

First of all you don't need to self finance every business you start. That notion alone is ridiculous.

Second of all, it does not need to be top tier quality to be a thriving business with happy customers.

Which company would you rather own Rolls Royce or Kia? Citizen or Patek Philippe? Walmart or Bergdorf Goodman? Amazon or James Edition?

This entire argument is nonsensical. I launched a VERY high quality hand crafted product on Amazon about 5 years ago. I did very well for a while. Then the Chinese items entered the market full force. It was impossible to compete with this high of quality. My costs were a little higher, but my item was way better. In photographs that is hard to differentiate. To the customers, you could get "more value" for less money with a competing product. Set them side by side and you would never buy the Chinese one.

The consumers are ABSOLUTELY moving to the lowest cost, shit quality end of the spectrum. Look up any item on amazon. The number #1 result will be within 10% of the lowest price for that item. The first second and third best selling wrist watch on amazon are under $15. They are ALL rated 4 stars or better. You need to go 7 items back to even get to $30. There isn't a watch on the first page under $100... Tell me again why TOP QUALITY is the paramount ingredient to a successful business?
Agree with this exactly. People buy different products for different reasons, quality, price, marketing, photos, branding are all value skews and reasons someone picks a product to buy
 

Rabby

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I would contribute something meaningful here, but I can't because I'm laughing too hard. :rofl:

The OP needs a $2,000+ die press before he can start making leather belts, or whatever. That and custom dies... wonder what those cost. I guess you have your excuse not to make "high quality products."

If you want to make things, you'll find a way. If you want to whine about being locked out of the making-things market because you don't have machines that approximate skilled labor, you're always welcome to do that.
 

Kak

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You are staying within the Amazon ecosystem only which is why this happens. Depending your entire business on the Amazon Algos. Sales platforms have commoditizing effects. Look at any top tier brand with quality, most aren't even on any 3rd party sales platform. Get off Amazon and market outside.

What came first the chicken or the egg? The answer: Who gives a shit?
 
Last edited:

MJ DeMarco

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FYI: The OP only visits here when he needs to prove his excuses.
 

rpeck90

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What you're talking about are barriers to entry. This is business 101 so won't go into it.

The point is that you're complicating things. Yes, top tier products typically cost a lot to produce (compared to their cheaper alternatives), but that's not entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is about making something out of nothing. Faster/Cheaper; Sexier; Easier; More Convenient; Catered to [women/babies/dogs/cats/Spanish-speakers]; Comes in all Colours. Quality generally isn't one (it's normally the realm of established businesses who already have marketshare -- the two examples posted in the thread already allude to this).

A "secret" is that entrepreneurs sell results. Employees sell time; entrepreneurs sell results. If you're worrying about the cost of the materials - are you really focused on results? Probably not.

From what I've read - and I'm not qualified to give "advice", so please consider this an observation - if you're asking questions like this, you haven't identified a "need" yet. To identify a need, get to work on getting paid. Find people who have cash in hand and need someone to do something... shovel snow, walk their dog, program a website, wipe their a$$... whatever.

Do this and stack paper until you find something that sticks out. Maybe your dog pooper scooper doesn't pick up the whole package. Maybe there's a better way to make a bag that you can put it into. Maybe you see women wearing shitty Ugg boots and think you can make a better alternative. Whatever it is - you use the paper you just stacked to get a shitty prototype sorted.

The prototype doesn't need to change the world, but does need to be of an acceptable quality. Sell the prototype as "version 1". If you can find people give you money for it, get a batch made. Put it on Amazon and call it some name + "version 2". At this point, you may start to look at quality. As mentioned, the quality side of things mainly comes in as a defense against the swarms of Chinese ripoffs and little dropship kids who "finally" want to start a real business, but is not a prerequisite unless you're going after someone else's marketshare... which is 99% not going to end well for you.
 

MTEE1985

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Example: I am building a watch brand. I want to build the best offering for customers.

Oh a watch company? Yeah, give up, need cash in hand for that. Huh? MVMT watches crowdfunded to get their capital?! Ok, but it’ll go nowhere. Huh?? Movado bought them for $100 million 4 years after launch??

Well shit. What’s your next excuse?

It’s a shame that you have to come in here with your skpeticism and closed mind because had you started a thread about starting a watch company and asking advice about raising capital it could’ve been really informational.
 

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What type of leather? Full Grain at least? English Bridle? Look at Sedgwick leather.

Leather Belt Materials
1) High Quality Leather (English Bridle)
2) Stainless Steel or Brass Buckle
3) Attaching the buckle, either rivets or Stitching (Waxed Linen is good)
4) Edge Finish: Either Burnishing or Edge Paint
5) Labels/Packaging

Tools
1) Leather Round Hole Punches (C.S. Osborne)
2) Belt End Punch (C.S. Osborne)
3) Edge Paint Roller
4) Leather Maul/Hammer
5) Healing Cutting Mat
6) Rotary Cutter
7) Skiver - thins out leather at bend
9) Pricking Iron - to make holes for leather thread
10) Leather Needles
11) Fileteuse (if edge painting) and for edge creasing
12) Leather Strap Cutter
13) Brass Logo Stamp
14) Brass Number Stamp Sizing
15) Heat Gun - to warm up Brass stamp
16) Leather Hole Template
17) Arbor Press
18) Stitching Pony

When using high quality leather, cheap tools are unable to even cut high quality leather. A better way for consistency is a clicker die press with a custom die made.

LOL, so you come back with a list of things you need to make a product? I don't even know what to say.
 

NMdad

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OK, gotta say I actually LIKE this thread, because it demonstrates the mindset that any entrepreneur needs to have: instead of excuses, figure the sh*t out--there's always a way.

If someone held a gun to your head & you had to figure out how to solve your business problem, wouldn't you figure it out? Or would you complain that the gunmetal is too cold, could they maybe warm it up a little before they pressed it to your temple?
 

Longinus

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What type of leather? Full Grain at least? English Bridle? Look at Sedgwick leather.

Leather Belt Materials
1) High Quality Leather (English Bridle)
2) Stainless Steel or Brass Buckle
3) Attaching the buckle, either rivets or Stitching (Waxed Linen is good)
4) Edge Finish: Either Burnishing or Edge Paint
5) Labels/Packaging

Tools
1) Leather Round Hole Punches (C.S. Osborne)
2) Belt End Punch (C.S. Osborne)
3) Edge Paint Roller
4) Leather Maul/Hammer
5) Healing Cutting Mat
6) Rotary Cutter
7) Skiver - thins out leather at bend
9) Pricking Iron - to make holes for leather thread
10) Leather Needles
11) Fileteuse (if edge painting) and for edge creasing
12) Leather Strap Cutter
13) Brass Logo Stamp
14) Brass Number Stamp Sizing
15) Heat Gun - to warm up Brass stamp
16) Leather Hole Template
17) Arbor Press
18) Stitching Pony

When using high quality leather, cheap tools are unable to even cut high quality leather. A better way for consistency is a clicker die press with a custom die made.

THINGS I'VE DONE TODAY:
- Researching and listing all the tools I can't afford for the business I won't start.
- Watching list and feeling sad about how unfair everything is.
- Finding other examples of companies I can't start because no money to prove my point.
 

ManlyMansNegator

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Building a physical product is quiet difficult and from my experience it takes around 2-20k for most products.

A digital product takes less than 500 max. That said you could build any product from scratch it is just massively harder.
 

ManlyMansNegator

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Thanks



This thread had no intention of adding value. Just discussion. Wanted to discuss before I tried again. I have had numerous products in the past.



My apologies



None, I mean who would invest in another private label brand? An investor for a better toaster oven?



I have actual done the leather belts and it is actually high capital. What you are missing is the equipment and tools to make the leather. High quality leather require high quality tools and equipment. They ain’t cheap at all. Good luck using regular tools to cut full grain or English bridle. It can get very expensive. Speaking from experience. Take a look at r/Leathercraft or maybe it’s called leatherworking. Ask if their hobby is cheap, you will get a resounding no.



Are you implying that these watches required no capital to get started? To get to Kickstarter point with marketing video, prototype, etc. is costly. Ask anyone that tried.
How long did you do the leather belt stuff??

I think you also suffer from shiny object syndrome, spend at least 6 months on one job.
 

Kevin88660

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I don't owe you an explanation. You are wrong in several ways.

First of all you don't need to self finance every business you start. That notion alone is ridiculous.

Second of all, it does not need to be top tier quality to be a thriving business with happy customers.

Which company would you rather own Rolls Royce or Kia? Citizen or Patek Philippe? Walmart or Bergdorf Goodman? Amazon or James Edition?

This entire argument is nonsensical. I launched a VERY high quality hand crafted product on Amazon about 5 years ago. I did very well for a while. Then the Chinese items entered the market full force. It was impossible to compete with this high of quality. My costs were a little higher, but my item was way better. In photographs that is hard to differentiate. To the customers, you could get "more value" for less money with a competing product. Set them side by side and you would never buy the Chinese one.

The consumers are ABSOLUTELY moving to the lowest cost, shit quality end of the spectrum. Look up any item on amazon. The number #1 result will be within 10% of the lowest price for that item. The first second and third best selling wrist watch on amazon are under $15. They are ALL rated 4 stars or better. You need to go 7 items back to even get to $30. There isn't a watch on the first over $100... Tell me again why TOP QUALITY is the paramount ingredient to a successful business?
I had exact the same experience.

My friend and I were doing the wholesale business with his uncles’s contact. His uncle owns a sourvenir manufacturing business in Malaysia. Fridge magnets and keychains. His products are better than those lower priced made in China gifts. He has a few loyal business customers in Singapore. They are zoos, museum and entertainment parks where high-end souvenirs are sold.

We tried to pitch his products to the mass market souvenir shops and it was a total failure. These are places where tourists buy food, drinks and trinkets. We tried to get into consignment deals but the sales were very poor.

Most average people are not just not willing to spend money on quality sourvenir. It is not that they do not see the quality. It is more of they do not see the need to pay for the quality premium when there is a cheaper alternatives.

We saw things like two dollar T shirts in the souvernir shops. Two dollar T shirts? Is that a T shirt or a piece of rag? The shop owners told me that they were one of the best selling items! Crazy!

I just conclude that this is the wrong market to get into. Fierce competition with very low margin in the mass market products. Very small demand for quality products.
 

NMdad

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I had exact the same experience.

My friend and I were doing the wholesale business with his uncles’s contact. His uncle owns a sourvenir manufacturing business in Malaysia. Fridge magnets and keychains. His products are better than those lower priced made in China gifts. He has a few loyal business customers in Singapore. They are zoos, museum and entertainment parks where high-end souvenirs are sold.

We tried to pitch his products to the mass market souvenir shops and it was a total failure. These are places where tourists buy food, drinks and trinkets. We tried to get into consignment deals but the sales were very poor.

Most average people are not just not willing to spend money on quality sourvenir. It is not that they do not see the quality. It is more of they do not see the need to pay for the quality premium when there is a cheaper alternatives.

We saw things like two dollar T shirts in the souvernir shops. Two dollar T shirts? Is that a T shirt or a piece of rag? The shop owners told me that they were one of the best selling items! Crazy!

I just conclude that this is the wrong market to get into. Fierce competition with very low margin in the mass market products. Very small demand for quality products.
I think by definition keychains & fridge magnets--and most mass-market souvenirs--aren't something where people care about high quality. They just want a simple trinket.
 

Kevin88660

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What I have noticed about the best physical products, is simple. It is mainly just a money pump. Physical products quality is solely limited, by how much money a person has. My unpopular opinion.

Example: I am building a watch brand. I want to build the best offering for customers.

The crystal of a watch can be made of different materials. I will just go over two materials to demonstrate the point. Mineral and Sapphire. Just a basic search, and sapphire is clearly superior. With that in mind, sapphire is more expensive.

When there is a bad product on the market, it is just because the entrepreneur didn't have enough money to build a solid offering. I can have the intention to develop the best product, but the follow through is by having capital. I am just speaking about the product building step. No way around it. Normally, these products have to be built in house as well.

This is probably why you see businesses that max out of product development, but then have no cash to do marketing. Or the other type of business where they max marketing and have a poor product. Most people don't have money to max both. If you do max both, you are most likely a powerhouse/monopoly in your industry.

I totally see the need of money in running a business. You need money to build the product to test the market. If it works you need money to grow and scale it. Just watch shark tanks, how many of them did not spend a lot of money?

Ideally you save the money on your own to test the idea, once it works you pitch to an investor to grow it.

Near zero cost business? Yes there are. But honestly how attractive they are?

They are either
1)self employment instead of a business that can scale
2) Internet business in a very brutally competative space, for instance weight loss guru and countless other ebooks sellers.

I am not a business owner now. I am a financial consultant tied to an insurance company. Even for that I need budget for on demand taxi to travel and starbucks coffee for my clients.
 

Kevin88660

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I think by definition keychains & fridge magnets--and most mass-market souvenirs--aren't something where people care about high quality. They just want a simple trinket.
Yes. Simple lesson but it took me a few months of huslting to figure that out.

There are also things like bookmarks and photoframes, basically everything that a tourist could buy.

The manufacturer need to discuss with the business client to custom make for them. The clients are likely to be libraries, zoos and entertainment parks. This is a small niche market. We gave up in the end as we think it is too small for the distributor to have a meaningful cut in the business.
 

Rabby

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Related to the keychain and souvenir discussion above. It's worth noting that the product is not the market. The same category of thing in a different market might be better appreciated, and there might be more room for quality.

At a souvenir shop, people buy cheap stuff to give to their 20 friends and family members who didn't go on the trip. The friends and family then put that cheap stuff in the house so that they don't have to explain to their friend why they threw away the memento. Nobody really wants it. Ok, maybe I'm generalizing, but the reality is souvenir shops are not set up to attract people who spend big on a single item. They're set up as cheap trinket shops with lots of variations on the theme of "this city's logo on a <thing>."

Now, take the same category of <thing> and sell it to someone else. Real example. We made logo coffee cups for a trade show. There is a "cheapest" coffee cup which is similar to the glossy white ones in souvenir shops. That is not the one we used. Not that we would pay $100 per cup or anything, but if the cheapest one is $1 per cup, we might pay $5 or $6 per cup. Why? Because instead of fulfilling an empty obligation to "bring me back something from Timbuktu Ok?", we were trying to show appreciation to customers and give them something interesting, useable, and something they will actually keep. And it worked.

Same thing with keychains. As a souvenir, maybe they max out at $2 retail. At a trade show, we might pay $2 or more for them in bulk (you can see why that's more money to the manufacturer or distributor right?) if keychains are capable of conveying our message. A Dodge dealer once gave me a very nice keychain. If we're giving them to our top 10 employees as thanks for their years of loyalty? Or to any employee who sticks with us for 10 years? I wonder how much we would pay for that keychain, if a keychain was what we used. More than $2. You could make them out of .999 silver, or gold, with real enameling. I mean, maybe... that's for someone who's selling keychains to find out ;)

Point is, it depends on the market, and how they value the product. What are they using it for, what's its utility value?
 

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Side thought: if you have a segmented market for physical products, maybe it is sensible to consider more than just your "favorite" segment.

So if we went back to watches, is it really necessary to prove that we can make the best watch when we've never made even a working watch? I would be tempted to start with the basics, and then build from there. Once I had a reputation with a watch that actually works, I could then make watches that were a cut above, for my upper market. They could be two brands even, but the second brand would be easier to finance and build because of my experience with the first.

With a simpler and different product, maybe I would do it differently. Artisan made knives are an example. I could try to mass produce commodity knives, but maybe I don't have to in that market. I can build a furnace, buy a piece of railroad track and some files or leaf spring from the flea market, make a belt sander from an old motor, pulley, and tension spring, and I'm in business for a reasonable cost (if I'm handy enough with metal that I don't have to buy some luxury grinder and sander... and a CNC mill or, you know, crazy stuff). Maybe the market for outdoor knives already wants interesting knife-makers, and they see the hand-made variety as being of higher value than the industrial variety.
 

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