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Website for Car Enthusiasts - Anyone do similar?

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Roughneck

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Morning (Well, is here is Australia!),

Over the past few months, I have found the need for a website providing car parts for a particular model car that has experienced a steady increase in value due to popularity over the last couple of years. There is a lack of supply here in Australia for a multitude of parts and a lot of people buying their bits from overseas because of this.

I have sourced multiple suppliers who are willing to work with me, one that has agreed to give me sole rights to sell their product line in Australia / New Zealand. I have obtained my necessary shipping costs and working through developing a price and exact product lists of what i will supply initially. I have thought that I will supply the market with another companies products, then down the track - I will start to create my own brand of products for the market where a higher profit margin can be had.

I have plenty of questions I am trying to find the answers to but thought I would ask on here if anyone else has experience in starting up and building a successful business based around the car scene?

Cheers.
 

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Kid

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It looks like good opportunity.
I'm not in this market so if no one here has experience with car parts sites then you might
look through top 5 US websites and see what they do.
Do they have forum, blog,articles or Instagram maybe?

Anyway, good luck with site!
 

James90

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Perhaps begin building a brand and presence in the "scene"?

I recently purchased my first street bike. Entirely new to the scene, I began youtubing potential mods for my bike. I came across a video showcasing a sick a$$ project bike build by a parts distributor brand.

What I thought was cool was, they basically did an Instagram build, where they allowed everybody that followed them choose the parts that went on to it. Thy were all top of the line parts from various suppliers.

So of course, I decided to check out their website linked in the video and behold the extensive collection of top tier motorcycle parts I could get my hands on!:)
 
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ants

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Is this replacement parts or aftermarket 'enhanced' or tuning parts for a particular cult (example, VW scene etc)?

First thought on producing your own parts is the sheer amount of safety and standards thats involved with pretty much any replacement part thats not OEM. Starting small you would only focus on 1 or 2 parts and how much quantity would you be able to push into sales if it's just parts that are wearing and breaking over time?
 

Roughneck

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Is this replacement parts or aftermarket 'enhanced' or tuning parts for a particular cult (example, VW scene etc)?

First thought on producing your own parts is the sheer amount of safety and standards thats involved with pretty much any replacement part thats not OEM. Starting small you would only focus on 1 or 2 parts and how much quantity would you be able to push into sales if it's just parts that are wearing and breaking over time?

It is replacement and tuning parts for a particular car scene.

I think you are definitely right that developing my own products will require stringent quality standards. Initially I plan to purchase through a supplier located in USA, initial wholesaling discount is around 25% for this supplier but I have asked for larger with larger purchases. With most having to pay quite high postage costs, I can inflate the price and still work out reasonably cheaper - it works out to be around 30-40% dependant on the product.
 

Roughneck

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This sounds cool but I don't get one thing though. How are planning to create your own brand of parts without being affiliated to any of the major ones?

What Kid has said... Probably even develop my own parts in the background, when I have enough - I'll probably cut my ties with the supplier and introduce my own product. Long term goal.
Sell others' parts -> Sell combination of others' and introduce own -> Sell only own.

Perhaps begin building a brand and presence in the "scene"?

I recently purchased my first street bike. Entirely new to the scene, I began youtubing potential mods for my bike. I came across a video showcasing a sick a$$ project bike build by a parts distributor brand.

What I thought was cool was, they basically did an Instagram build, where they allowed everybody that followed them choose the parts that went on to it. Thy were all top of the line parts from various suppliers.

So of course, I decided to check out their website linked in the video and behold the extensive collection of top tier motorcycle parts I could get my hands on!:)

I think a presence in the scene is definitely important. I currently have one of the model cars I am targeting, although rust and lots of work is stopping my progress. In fact, I just come across a bargain which leads me to 2 more of these cars (missus is going to flip! lol) which one is completely rust free. I figure for the small cost of only 2k, worst case I will make money selling the parts off or two - it will get me into the scene sooner.

I am definitely interested in doing a build funded by the company and used to attract more buyers. I need to bankroll some money to get it started.

Sell others' parts -> Sell combination of others' and introduce own -> Sell only own.

100%
 

ants

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A lot of aftermarket stuff here in the UK is usually just white labelled Chinese parts. If you brand yourself well and build some trust in the scene community then you can start selling your own brand parts without all the headache of manufacturing.
 

Bruno11

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Morning (Well, is here is Australia!),

Over the past few months, I have found the need for a website providing car parts for a particular model car that has experienced a steady increase in value due to popularity over the last couple of years. There is a lack of supply here in Australia for a multitude of parts and a lot of people buying their bits from overseas because of this.

I have sourced multiple suppliers who are willing to work with me, one that has agreed to give me sole rights to sell their product line in Australia / New Zealand. I have obtained my necessary shipping costs and working through developing a price and exact product lists of what i will supply initially. I have thought that I will supply the market with another companies products, then down the track - I will start to create my own brand of products for the market where a higher profit margin can be had.

I have plenty of questions I am trying to find the answers to but thought I would ask on here if anyone else has experience in starting up and building a successful business based around the car scene?

Cheers.
If it’s in the jdm scene, the bar isn’t set very high for parts, if the offer is compeling enough and delivers results/looks it doesn’t take much for people to switch

The standards for being competetive are a lot different depending on product line.
If it’s bodykits, all it takes is for it to be a good fit/made out of high quality fibreglass or half plastic and the scene will go absolutely insane over it(speaking from experience of dealing with off-the shelf expensive bodykits that cost more in labour prep than the kit itself)

I’ve been out of the car scene for a while, but i always think of one maker.
Just food for thought, Look at hypergear(if you’re aware of them)
best turbo makers imo for the price,
For at least jap cars, they time and time again beat every other turbo makers on response+ power + price and local servicing + customer service( obviously a 8k garret will beat their turbo but 8k vs 1-2k) the value skew is insane in comparison.

They didn’t need insane marketing , they simply built and priced well.
Stao, the owner used to i think reassmble/fix expensive turbos with his own parts to start off with and then started making custom mods to the turbos to make them better?

All it takes sometimes is just the right approach to customer service, especially when every car part requires freight and expensive costs to send off to get replaced.
 

Alleghenyman

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I used to dabble in the VW scene and I think it’s definitely possible to build great brands because gearheads really strongly identify with brands to the point that it gets weird. There always seems to be a market for cheap crap (“Chinesium”) but I would focus on quality - I recall a few instances in the VW scene where word got out that a part like a chassis brace for a Mk I Rabbit that was in high demand had manufacturing flaws and it put the company out of business virtually overnight, because the car scene really loves gossiping on Internet forums as much or more than wrenching on cars.

I’ve noticed that the successful companies plan around the eventual obsolescence of their products as most fad cars eventually wind up in junkyards because they aren’t worth repairing anymore. Honda’s and VWs are a bit of an exception because there are so many compatibilities in engine and chassis components between different generations.
 

Roughneck

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I have been putting together spreadsheets and gathering information from other competitor store over the last couple of weeks.

I have found that after shipping, taxes and so forth - I am on average, looking at a 20% profit margin. What are peoples thoughts on this? I was expecting it to be a little higher than this but moving the profit margin up, the pricing starts looking too expensive. The only thing I can do is try and negotiate a better wholesale rate, not sure how willing the supplier will be on this.

One of the popular products that I am looking at selling is also available by one business here in Australia. The product is metal reinforcement pieces that are made to be welded on weak subframes etc. Once the product is landed, it's costing me $185 without making a profit. The competitor company is selling these for $150. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a differentiation between the products due to it's simplicity.

Do I bring the product in, charge a higher rate to make it profitable (probably around $229 for a 11% profit) or do I exclude this product from my product list?
 

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Alleghenyman

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One of the popular products that I am looking at selling is also available by one business here in Australia. The product is metal reinforcement pieces that are made to be welded on weak subframes etc. Once the product is landed, it's costing me $185 without making a profit. The competitor company is selling these for $150. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a differentiation between the products due to it's simplicity.

Do I bring the product in, charge a higher rate to make it profitable (probably around $229 for a 11% profit) or do I exclude this product from my product list?

Would it be a sufficiently popular item to generate interest for your other products?

Also is there a way to charge more for something that’s visually more appealing or higher in quality? Your target market may decide this. As an example I have a BMW that’s old enough to be in high school but I wouldn’t put cheap crap on it like I would a throwaway car. If I had something like a new Miata or Camaro I’d look to spend more money on parts rather than less because otherwise what’s the point on a car that’s so good from the factory?
 

Bruno11

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May 18, 2020
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I have been putting together spreadsheets and gathering information from other competitor store over the last couple of weeks.

I have found that after shipping, taxes and so forth - I am on average, looking at a 20% profit margin. What are peoples thoughts on this? I was expecting it to be a little higher than this but moving the profit margin up, the pricing starts looking too expensive. The only thing I can do is try and negotiate a better wholesale rate, not sure how willing the supplier will be on this.

One of the popular products that I am looking at selling is also available by one business here in Australia. The product is metal reinforcement pieces that are made to be welded on weak subframes etc. Once the product is landed, it's costing me $185 without making a profit. The competitor company is selling these for $150. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a differentiation between the products due to it's simplicity.

Do I bring the product in, charge a higher rate to make it profitable (probably around $229 for a 11% profit) or do I exclude this product from my product list?
Is it possible to make locally ?
(Maybe that’s what the competition is doing)
A lot of fabricators do one off jobs, if you spoke to one who’s interested in an on-going product they might be able to bang out stuff like that at a way better profit margin.

even going one step further, what do you HAVE to import?

And what can you get locally, might be more effort but in the end you are the one with full control.

focus on 1 product first cause that’s what majority will know you for

e.g. gktech had their spacers/low ramps
they got known for

what is your one product that will draw them in ?
 
Last edited:

Roughneck

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Is it possible to make locally ?
(Maybe that’s what the competition is doing)
A lot of fabricators do one off jobs, if you spoke to one who’s interested in an on-going product they might be able to bang out stuff like that at a way better profit margin.

even going one step further, what do you HAVE to import?

And what can you get locally, might be more effort but in the end you are the one with full control.

focus on 1 product first cause that’s what majority will know you for

e.g. gktech had their spacers/low ramps
they got known for

what is your one product that will draw them in ?

It is possible to get these made locally. At the moment though, the minimum order size would be the most prohibitive factor due to funding.

I decided to call the supplier directly and have a good conversation with their team about my situation in regards to a couple of products. They are very keen to get their product to the Australian market - in fact, Australia ranks as the 3rd highest customer putting products in their carts and leaving the page upon finding out postage rates.

We negotiated 50% off for these particular parts with the prospect of further discounts down the track if we can make larger purchases of this particular product. I think this is a big win. I can put a small profit margin on this product and I think since the supplier has such a good name here, an extra $10-20 won't be a make or break situation for more buyers.

The one product that I think will draw buyers in is complete bushing kits for all suspension components. Seems to be a very popular upgrade these days, confirmed by supplier as their No.1 best selling product.
 

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