Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Hobby as a Business?

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  • #995109
    Binx77
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    So, I am fed up with being a pleb in an office (even though it pays well and is a permanent position) and I want to work towards doing something for ME that I will enjoy.

    My idea is to start up a trading card business, whether it be online or a physical shop. Collecting sports cards is a hobby of mine so I know I would have fun doing it.

    Is this something worth looking into? There seems to be just 2 shops in my city (30 mins from each other) that sell trading cards, one of them has been in business since 1992, the other is at a market.

    #1200040
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Hi And Welcome to the Forums Binx77. It is great to have you!

    This is the ideal sort of business that can be started online, while you work full time and see where it takes you.

    Because there are sports card trading sites all over the world, it is relatively easy to do research around what you like to see as a consumer and there are plenty of forums where trading sites are discussed.

    Outside of online research, you can hop on the phone and perhaps ask people with similar businesses interstate and ask them questions directly – all while you maintain your income.

    Let us know how you go and ask if you have specific questions.

    Cheers

    #1200041
    Rohan@TD
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    Hi [USER=82993]@Binx77[/USER],

    Binx77, post: 236871, member: 82993 wrote:
    Is this something worth looking into?

    Absolutely, if working for yourself is your ultimate goal. Examining and defining your long terms objectives is a critical early step of getting into business. Even if this option leads nowhere, you will have still learnt something from examining it in detail.

    The trading card market, and other niche hobbies, are the basis of proven business models throughout the world. However, to understand if its worth getting into in your city its critical you do some local market and competition research and also look into the business models of companies who trade cards – Most won’t just trade cards for example.

    [USER=78928]@Paul – FS Concierge[/USER] points out that its something which can easily start online, something worth considering to access the global market. Equally though, you’re also then more directly facing global competition. But, the best thing about this option is it can easily be done concurrently to opening a shop or whilst your working full-time etc. Another option worth considering is starting out by opening a market stall (or equivalent) at local markets. This approach would allow you to test the market and start developing your business (including brand locally) whilst you’re still working full time.

    Have a quick read of our blog post ‘Developing your business idea‘ for further guidance on what else you should consider.

    #1200042
    LucasArthur
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    Hey Binx,

    Some awesome replies thus far, although as you may already be aware this is an extremely niche market and has a ‘quirky’ nature to it across the board… It is certainly something worth pursuing, based on your interests, and can be run along side a full time job.

    Its an area i know tonnes about to be frank, and there are obstacles in your way at most turns… Dont be discouraged though, just look for the way to overcome them..

    From your post, a few things pop to mind which would assist in the responses such as:
    a. State/City or close to if not wanting to disclose
    b. Type of sports cards (AFL/Cricket or USA NBA etc?

    Another query would be related to your existing hobby aspect of it, such as:
    1. What do you collect?
    2. How big is your collection (do you have cards that are desired)?
    3. Do you already attend trade fairs and people ‘know’ you and would trust you entering this market as a seller?

    My reason for asking is that it can sometimes take many many years to get clients to trust you in this field and it is due to several factors including, although not limited to, the quality of items you will have as well as the actual cost of the cards….

    Lets say you sell TOPPS Star Wars Master Collection Cases, they will set someone back over $2-2.5k or if you head down the PANINI basketball bouts you can almost double and triple that amount – all of which will also depend on the level you want to trade at?

    This leads to stock investment, there are many dollars invested in holding stock.. sometimes holding for well over 2 – 4 years before profiting, if you intend to break and sell/trade…. So make sure money is ok :)

    Another obstacle is tackling the biggest online selling platform, where most buyers are bargain hunting.. Although, if you get a good card (rare) it can be ok as true buyers will pay over time… Another concern can be USD fluctuations, if selling online and if dealing with USA centric items… To combat this though, look at selling in USD through paypal ;) – oops, just a heads up…

    If selling Aussie cards and stuff, this is ok.. AFL and Cricket have a big following here with many options available and traded at all ages (read traded as buy and sell) and can be profitable.. One issue with Aussie items though, is that if you are not a shop it can be difficult to acquire a distributorship or even be able to buy wholesale as purely online sellers are still frowned upon by some – reason isnt what most expect, its generally not perceived as well as the seller is not considered overtly serious (joke) and it is also hard to draw the line between whether the seller is a seller or a hobbyist just trying to buy the cards at wholesale cost :(

    Ok, i have typed heaps… got a little distracted, sorry, although will wrap it up as had something pop up a sec ago in my email (WORK.. LOL)…. So, in short:

    Awesome business if you LOVE it and can make some awesome customers although on the down side you will need a large cash play to start to ensure you have decent quantities to be considered a contender (or use your own stock on site/ehay ..lol)… There is lots of competition, although if researching products well and buying well you can be successful.

    A quick note on ebay, you will also want to build up an account that has OUTSTANDING reviews to build confidence as lots of international key card sellers have accounts running 100% feedback with over 20,000 or more trades :) and some local Aussie players have 100% with over 2k trades…

    Wishing you all the best and apologies for the length of post.

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1200043
    Rohan@TD
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    [USER=82993]@Binx77[/USER] if what Jason has said is confronting, don’t be put off. There are a range of options for you to explore and to develop your business over time with reduced risk. Step 1: Have an idea. Step 2: Develop it.

    [USER=34537]@LucasArthur[/USER] – I knew somebody would either have run a similar business before or is into this (or a closely related) hobby.

    #1200044
    shart
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    Keep your job for now though. And start it off, so that if something were to happen ( lets hope not), atleast you will still have your own income.

    #1200045
    LucasArthur
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    Hi Binx,

    Note you have not been back to reply in a bit, curious on how you are travelling with your thoughts on this one? and the feedback provided thus far, helpful?

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
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