View Full Version : question about http://www.billiardwarehouse.com
04-03-2002, 01:17 PM
Does anyone know how a cuemaker would go about getting his or her cues on the http://www.billiardwarehouse.com website, or any others like that? as I really want to start selling my sneaky petes when I finish them, maybe I could make a lot and sell them to those types of companies, as I want to save up for a taper machine.
04-03-2002, 04:04 PM
Establishing a solid reputation for a quality product and quality service is essential. No business, or consumer for that matter, wants to do business with unknowns. In my opinion, start by soliciting local billiard clubs, supply stores and retailers. All of which will eventually require you to have INSURANCE for product liability. Once established locally, with a solid track record, it will be easier to more beyond your local market. If you would like to discuss this further, please E-Mail me directly.
04-03-2002, 04:36 PM
They usually need to make around 100% mark up on cues. That means you would get $50. for a $100. cue. If all you want for the cue is half of it's value, you can sell them to anyone with no problem. In sneaky petes the market is tough. I can buy very salable import sneaky pete cues for less then it may be costing you to make them, assuming you are buying one piece cues, are cutting them and adding a shaft. I suggest you sell your cues for the top dollar you can get in your area. Take a look at ebay to see the market for sneaky petes. The biggest value of your cues is you can make them to the customers specifications. That is why they are willing to pay a good price, the cue is custom.
04-03-2002, 04:42 PM
I bet there are not to many cuemakers that even have an occupational license or pay any taxes much less have liability insurance. You should see peoples faces when I add sales tax. I don't know what they think, I guess they assume I don't even keep records.
04-03-2002, 04:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Q-guy:</font><hr> I bet there are not to many cuemakers that even have an occupational license or pay any taxes much less have liability insurance. <hr></blockquote>...........
I would bet. I'd classify it as a "hobby". A hobby that pays for itself.
04-03-2002, 05:03 PM
A hobby which pays for itself is awesome. However, in todays society where product liability law suits make headline news, anything dealing with manufacturing is a risk which needs to be addessed in one form or another.
04-03-2002, 10:02 PM
I pay federal, & state income tax, plus Illinois sales tax. Qguy you are right about people being surprised when I charge them sales tax. Since I work a regular 40 hour week at my regular job, people seem to think I should charge LESS for my Qs since this is "a part time job". I tell them that when they work, they expect to get paid for their work & so do I. I used to sell my Qs through a distributor, like you said for 1/2 of their retail value. With my output of 30-50 Qs a year it wasn't worth the trouble...JER ...P.S. I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT,BUT IF YOU JUMP INTO THIS & START MAKING Qs BEFORE YOU CAN ESTABLISH A REPUTATION YOU WILL HURT YOUR ONLY CHANCE AT BECOMING A CUE MAKER. You will be known as that "KID" who thought he could make money by making Qs. Instead of "THAT KID" who makes a good Q.
04-04-2002, 05:14 AM
There is some good advice here already but I would add to what blackheart said and try to go for a quality product to a smaller audience. These days trying to do cheaper is very difficult, especially to wholesalers. As mentioned here you will need to look at giving the retailer around 100% margin and remember that he will already be buying a lot of cheap imported cues already.
I would suggest starting small and really concentrating on quality. Just sell them local to begin with. You can then expand to a larger market using the Internet but still selling directly to the end buyer. The keyword here is quality (both quality of product and of your service), get known for both.
04-04-2002, 05:47 AM
Good morning Jordan:
Picture a triangle with a "Q" at the top, a "P" at the lower left point and an "S" at the lower right point.
The "Q" stands for Quality; the "P" stands for Price; and the "S" stands for Service. All Three (3) can not exist together. If you deliver a Quality Product with excellent Service you can not have a cheap price. If you are going to deliver a low Priced product and deliver Service you will not be delivering Quality.
Every new business I work with needs to determine which segment of the market they are seeking to reach and how they are going to reach that market segment. I have one client, a telecommunications company, where the product is drive by price with a high level of service. As such the quality of the product, VOIP voice traffic, is average. I have another client, a custom awards manufacturer, which has a product which is driven by Quality and Service. As such the customers are less concerned about price then they are the Quality of the Product and the Service required to deliver the product to their specifications.
So, with all that having been said, you need to determine where you WANT to be in Three (3) to Five (5) years. Is this a Hobby or an emerging business? Do I want customers who are only interested in a low priced product? Do I want customers who desire a quality product with a high level of service to support their purchase? Do I want to be an also ran or an individual who is a trailblaser with a reputation for quality craftsmanship. The quick buck is easy. Good businesses, like IBM and Hilton, take time to nurture and develop.
We are here to assist you Jordan in order to help you do it right the first time.
I took Q-Guy's advise and looked at Ebay. I purchased a sneaky pete for $24.99 including shipping. I don't see a lot of profit in this business. All I wanted is something I can carry to a local bar that has a predictable tip on it. I'm not worried about quality. I'm pretty sure it will be better than anything there is in the bar now. For that money I don't expect any service either. It looks like it would make a pretty effective club also.
Most of the Dufferin cut offs seem to be around $30-$40.
04-04-2002, 08:41 AM
One other thing about trying to establish your business by being the cheapest. You WILL attract cheap customers. You could practically give stuff away to them and they will still complain. JMO I made the transition from cheapest to the best quality and service and it was the best thing I ever did. Being the cheapest is tempting, because when you first start, you don't think you have any other means to attract customers. The higher my prices got the better customers I attracted. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
04-04-2002, 08:47 AM
Words to live and prosper by. Trying to get my clients to adopt that philosophy is a very difficult challenge more frequently then not.
04-04-2002, 08:55 AM
Jordan, your getting a lot of very valuable advice here. PLEASE pay attention and digest what Dr. D, Q-guy, Blackheart and all the others are telling you hear. If you are truely attempting to start a life long business, the decisions you make now will have effects on that business for years to come. Think hard about all of the choices presented to you and make the decisions that are right for you. You will be the one that has to live with the outcome. Rich R.
My two cents worth:
I'd forget the distributor and either sell through e-bay, or your own website. Furthermore, sneaky pete's that are supposedly made by a "custom cuemaker" generally get more than the sneaky pete's that are made by dufferin or action. Even though the quality might be the same, there is still the idea that some "personal touch" went into making the cue. I would advise doing something to the sneaky-pete that really makes it unique. Even if it is something simple like using a special pin, signiture, emblem, ringwork, etc...
Market the cues as professionally balanced (assuming you can control this). Personal touches will go along way in convincing someone to buy your product.
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