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Author Topic: Goodby camping world??  (Read 9038 times)
Dreamscape
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2009, 06:22:35 PM »

I haven't been to a Camping World in several years. I found their prices high and found more choices at local and box stores. I do support the local mom and pop but they are closing up the doors too, can't compete with the buying power of the big guys. If I can't find what I need when I need it I wait until I find a good deal, that's why it's been almost six years and I'm not finished yet! Roll Eyes

~Paul~
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2009, 06:50:15 PM »

That and about half of dozen other outfits that only seem to want to part you from your money.  That and also that my Post Office person would breathe a sigh of relief.  HB of CJ Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2009, 09:22:59 AM »

Craig, I will send a pic off site as I can not get it to go here.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
cody
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2009, 10:03:59 AM »

We're so far away from anything like camping world we become dependant on shipping, I found a bracket that mounts on the side of the bus and holds our BBQ grill, in the catalog the bracket is 7.99, shipping and handling is 12 dollars, I said forget it, I'll make my own.
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Dallas
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2009, 10:14:25 AM »

I agree with all that has been said concerning RV parts, AARP, Good Sam, Camping World, etc.

Cat and I have been discussing the viability of opening an online RV parts store specifically directed at the bus/truck and van conversion enthusiast.

We have at least one supplier now that we deal with on a regular basis, and the possibility of two others.

We wouldn't be looking to make a killing like CW or some other places do, but we would have to have a decent markup. From what we've seen so far, We could almost offer a lot of the same merchandise that CW does, and even with shipping to your address still have it price match closely.

Does anyone have any input on the viability of this, and maybe some input on what types of products the conversion enthusiast would like to see in an on line catalog?

Dallas
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belfert
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2009, 10:18:39 AM »

Dallas, Camping World isn't making a killing if they are losing money.  It is expensive to run a retail store, particularly for things that aren't exactly mass market.

The Camping World in Rogers, MN  has rarely ever had more than a handful of shoppers the times I have been there.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2009, 10:29:10 AM »

If you can run it strictly online and work out drop shipping with your suppliers, I would say it is worth a try.  Don't forget to get business liability insurance though just in case someone finds a way to hurt themselves with something they bought from you.

Brian, you are exactly right about retailers like Camping World.  They have a sky high gross margin of profit, but also have very high operating expenses maintaining the stores and inventory.  But if someone operated a parts business via drop shippers, they wouldn't need retail space or inventory overhead.
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Dallas
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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2009, 11:00:19 AM »

Brian,
There is a big difference between losing money and not making the profit that was forecast by the bean counters.
Many companies declare a loss if they don't make more money in one quarter than they did in the previous quarter. Now, if you were the PTB at your own retail business and the business didn't make as much money as you thought it should, would you:
Declare a loss?
Cut employee wages?
Lay off employees?
Cut your own wages?
Declare bankruptcy and shut down the business?
Reorganize into a leaner more cost efficient business?

If you saw the costs of some of these items to purchase, even having to buy via a wholesaler, and what Camping World sells it for, you would raise two or three eyebrows.

Dallas, Camping World isn't making a killing if they are losing money.  It is expensive to run a retail store, particularly for things that aren't exactly mass market.

The Camping World in Rogers, MN  has rarely ever had more than a handful of shoppers the times I have been there.
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cody
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« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2009, 11:36:35 AM »

What about if you only have one eyebrow lol.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2009, 11:49:27 AM »

Brian,
There is a big difference between losing money and not making the profit that was forecast by the bean counters.
Many companies declare a loss if they don't make more money in one quarter than they did in the previous quarter.

I'm no accountant but I'm sure that can't be correct - if you make a profit but declare a loss you'd find yourself charged with tax evasion for a start.

What is true is that for shortish period of time there are things you can do to turn an actual profit into a paper loss should you so wish, but 'declaring a loss' is not generally something that a company wants to do, especially if they have investors, creditors etc.

On the subject of starting a drop-shipping-based online company - sure, it can be done, but so what? Starting the company is the easy bit - it's selling the stock which is difficult. Online retailing (and I do it for a living) is not the Field of Dreams "Build It And They Will Come" scenario that so many people assume. The point is that unless you have a USP of some sort (and a physical store is a very good USP in that location) you will simply be yet another 'me too' drop-shipper, cutting your profits to the bone to compete with every other drop-shipper for the tiny number of customers willing to take the risk of buying from someone they've never heard of.

The internet's a difficult place to live - low barriers to entry mean you can compete with everyone, but everyone can compete with you. The trick is to find a way of getting customers, and then find a way of preventing other companies from doing the same thing.

Jeremy

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Dallas
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« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2009, 12:39:40 PM »

Interesting thoughts on declaring a profit or loss. I defer to your expert opinion, (I'm not an accountant either). However, you may want to look at companies like British Petroleum, Shell, and many other large corporations.
The oil companies yelled about loss of profits when the price of oil went to over $100/barrel.... except they never actually "Lost" a single penny. The cost increase is always passed on to the consumer. The same for power utilities in the US (many built by the ACE)... They build power stations and infrastructure, paid for by the consumer. Then when there is a major disaster and the power plant or the infrastructure is damaged, the utility raises it's rates in order to pay for those repairs or upgrades. Interestingly, If I tried to do that in a normal B&M mom and pop retail store, I would quickly end up shutting the doors from lack of business.

On the subject of starting a drop-shipping-based online company - sure, it can be done, but so what? Starting the company is the easy bit - it's selling the stock which is difficult. Online retailing (and I do it for a living) is not the Field of Dreams "Build It And They Will Come" scenario that so many people assume. The point is that unless you have a USP of some sort (and a physical store is a very good USP in that location) you will simply be yet another 'me too' drop-shipper, cutting your profits to the bone to compete with every other drop-shipper for the tiny number of customers willing to take the risk of buying from someone they've never heard of.

The internet's a difficult place to live - low barriers to entry mean you can compete with everyone, but everyone can compete with you. The trick is to find a way of getting customers, and then find a way of preventing other companies from doing the same thing.

Personally, I said nothing about drop shipping. I had already discarded that idea after a recent experience with Amazon.com in which I was led to believe that an item would reach me within a few days when what they actually meant was that it would be shipped in 2-3 days. It actually was to take over 2 weeks to arrive. I don't want anything to do with that method. I have an alternate plan.
I also mentioned that this service would be geared toward the Conversion Enthusiast, not your run of the mill RVer. there aren't too many companies that cater to our needs.
I also have no plan to make a living off of this little idea, it is more of a way to find the products we as a community need and offer them at a convenient fair price.
Oh, and we already have a small brick and mortar store where we work where we deal with much in the way of RV parts and supplies. We are in the process of expanding our stock at this time in order to supply the oil field and power plant workers in this area that live full time in RVs.

Dallas

Brian,
There is a big difference between losing money and not making the profit that was forecast by the bean counters.
Many companies declare a loss if they don't make more money in one quarter than they did in the previous quarter.

I'm no accountant but I'm sure that can't be correct - if you make a profit but declare a loss you'd find yourself charged with tax evasion for a start.

What is true is that for shortish period of time there are things you can do to turn an actual profit into a paper loss should you so wish, but 'declaring a loss' is not generally something that a company wants to do, especially if they have investors, creditors etc.

On the subject of starting a drop-shipping-based online company - sure, it can be done, but so what? Starting the company is the easy bit - it's selling the stock which is difficult. Online retailing (and I do it for a living) is not the Field of Dreams "Build It And They Will Come" scenario that so many people assume. The point is that unless you have a USP of some sort (and a physical store is a very good USP in that location) you will simply be yet another 'me too' drop-shipper, cutting your profits to the bone to compete with every other drop-shipper for the tiny number of customers willing to take the risk of buying from someone they've never heard of.

The internet's a difficult place to live - low barriers to entry mean you can compete with everyone, but everyone can compete with you. The trick is to find a way of getting customers, and then find a way of preventing other companies from doing the same thing.

Jeremy
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poppi
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« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2009, 01:07:56 PM »


Dallas.

"Oh, and we already have a small brick and mortar store where we work "

 Sounds like you have settled in for awhile....Smiley

  Where I am I have to do a lot of online catalog shopping for my bus stuff............
 I never know if what I am getting has any quality to it.......if you could include some form of quality life expentancy rating
 I know it would help me make decisions..........

 Skip
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« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2009, 01:22:27 PM »

My background is entirely in direct marketing (through paper catalogues before the web came along), so I absolutely agree with your idea of targetting a market niche (eg bus converters) that is currently not being served well by existing suppliers. The point I was making was more to do with choosing the internet as a method of reaching that niche - simply put, even if you suceed in getting a potential customer to visit your website, they are only ever a Google-search away from a cheaper supplier.

But that is not to rubbish the basic idea at all - as I say, it can and will work if you can find a way of differentiating yourself so that you are not simply competing on price - I realise this is obvious, but most of this thread seemed to be about buying items below Camping World's prices. If you can at least match your competitor's prices and compete in other areas (unique products, better product knowledge, customer service, reputation, installation or repair services etc) then you should succeed. But make sure that you don't sell yourself too cheaply - even if you aren't looking for much of a net profit you still need a healthy gross profit margin just to survive.

Jeremy



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Dallas
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« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2009, 01:58:18 PM »

Thanks Jeremy, I knew where you were coming from, I guess I'm just in one of those moods, maybe because it's so darn cold and windy here today, it's only 79F. I may have to get the long underwear back out again.

We've taken this thread way off the original topic and I apologize for that. The next post will be it's own in the OT section.

Skip... all the parts and pieces we are going to sell will be either new or factory refurbished. Mostly the same stock as CW or any of the other RV supply stores, plus parts from places the specialize in electrical, plumbing, electronic etc.

Hopefully this little idea will come to more than just a dream, and we can get it set up soon.

Cody... In the land of no eyebrows, the one eyebrowed man is weird!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2009, 02:12:59 PM »

I purchase a lot of 'stuff' online.
I would purchase a lot more online IF the shipping were resonable!
And I don't care if the part costs $1.00 or $100.00; if it is a small part with little weight it should not cost $7.00 plus dollars to ship it.
Just my two cents!
Jack
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