Simonb

Airsoft shop opportunity

67 posts in this topic

Is anyone interested in opening an Airsoft shop in the centre of Reading? I have the premises but would be keen to talk to someone who would like to have this chance set up a new business.

 

I look forward to hearing from you - pm me for further info.

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someone please do... i live in reading and there is no retailers near by

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*crosses fingers*

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tell me bathat. what sort of thing would you want from your local airsoft shop.

what special features would you like to see in a shop?

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is the premises you have licenced for retail?

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is the premises you have licenced for retail?

Yes, I have a number of units within a shopping centre - different sizes and rents.

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I'm like 20min from Reading so it would be my main stopping point, the only other airsofty shop in this area WS surplus in Oxford but they're not that good and don't sell airsoft

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Sherrif, i would like to see a decent shop, like not just a gear shop, but one that sells guns and internal and external parts, and perhaps orders anything in... also if it had an online shop that would be great, you would get more buisness, at the moment if you were to start it in like 6 months or so (or something like that) you could start out with just parts, and build up big...

 

Trust me, i would be in your shop every week :D

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Ive had a think about this. Im a few hours drive from Reading but will be more than happy to help if needed.

 

1) A single lane shooting range. E.g. corridor. The chance to bring in guns and test them in a element free environment, with a chrono. Maybe charge at busy times, a few quid an hour will cover the chrono very quickly. Sell targets too!

 

2) An area where people can buy things in the shop, sit down, install them into the gun and then try them on the range. (Armoury Zone?) Obviously, they cant bring them back when used (unless faulty) but if will give them a chance to test out a new hop up down the range!

 

The social aspect would be huge, the shop would always have airsofters in, talking about guns, trying things out, helping each other.

 

3) Give people the opportunity to volunteer. It benefits you, as they can help out, tidy up, explain guns, help out in the "Armoury Zone", take deliveries AND it helps people with their C.V's, gets them experience in retail and with customers and they get to do something they love doing. If you don't trust them all that much, just dont put them on tills!!

 

4) If you are intending to sell gear as well as weapons, you could run a buy/sell, like "webuyanycar" or "Games" play and trade system. Or, if you feel that would take away too much business, how about an advertising board. It will get customers in the shop, and once they are in, half the battle is over!

 

Make it an Airsoft hub, not just a shop.

 

5) Show game dates for local sites (all or none, no favoritism unless they pay for it!)

 

6) Allow teams to put up "recruiting cards - Come meet the us, Jungle Warriors at the shop on 23-04-2012 if you are interested in joining a team!" Again, more feet through the door.

 

7) Subcontract out repairs to good gun smiths, some of which i bet you could find on here. You guarantee the customer that the work will be excellent, and take your cut - the gunsmith actually gets work, and after a while a constant supply.

 

8) *My Experience here* Make it light. Airsoft shops can be unapproachable. Bunch of guys sitting around in a darkened room with guns all over the walls. Games Workshop, is in my opinion, less accessible than airsoft. But parents will go into these shops and say "A pack of Ork... Sluggas?" because the shops are open, light and the staff are friendly.

 

9) Strike up some deals with local sites. This could be anything really, but if it helps the both of you get business, then why not. You give vouchers for a small % off the walk on fee (gets you customers in, gets them more players) they send their guns to you for repairs (for cheaper than they currently get it if possible. But you already have a cheap, subcontract out so you are still making a profit! )

 

10) Be competitive. So there are no shops physically near you, dont get comfortable. Us airsofters have been living off the internet for a while, and we know where to go to get what we want. Offer deals, "We will beat wolf armories by £25 on any weapon for two weeks only". Force that guy that cant decide if he really wants a new M4 to get it NOW because its cheaper. If you cant beat it, then offer a game day on you at the local site and a 5% off voucher for the store (not a big loss to you as you have your deal with that local site, and he will need new bb's, possibly new boats and hell, maybe even a new sight after his game. Where is he gonna go? The place where he has 5% off, no?)

 

What do you think?

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I think number 2 on that list is particularly good - you basically have people advertising your upgrades for you. Not sure if it'd be cost effective though, as you'd most likely need a techie constantly there.

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Great ideas cyrax

 

Thanking you!

 

I think number 2 on that list is particularly good - you basically have people advertising your upgrades for you. Not sure if it'd be cost effective though, as you'd most likely need a techie constantly there.

 

Or, access to online manuals? Or just the internet in general. A lot of people just do their own upgrades.

 

Or, maybe use a volunteer techie to start - that way, the employer can see how good they are, then use them for future paid work. Like a kind of application? Show off your skills and get a job!

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ha looks like there is going to be some competition for this shop then

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Like Cyrax said my local bike shop always have a bike movie running they have a few bar stools and will offer you a cup of tea and will install parts for you and fix anything. Its a great enviroment there are always people talking about stuff they've done.

 

-For the shoop I think you should stock some gear/clothing as well, you would have very little competition the only other stores are in Oxford and Newbury and they're both small.

There is also a big Cadet base in Reading so you might be able to get that market aswell!

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well the whole airsoft/surplus was a bit of an obivious move to make, no need to limit yourself.

the shooting range idea, good it may be, would have to be a back seat pirority. meaning the last thing in which to try and throw in. as you may of said "use a hall way" tat would create a ew problems, mainly for other staff needing to through that hall way to stock/office. and to then charge for that interrupted service wouldn't be fair.

if you have a whole room which can be dedicated to this or maybe a back area then sure you could then implement a try before you buy offer where people can try certain guys that they are intretsed in.

 

an order in service would also be called for, many people will order in their own guns from companies overseas, but they become worried about customs not realizing the gun to them which they already payed for. where as a customer can ask for a gun to be shipped in and not pay anything until it has arrived.

another idea which i have found form this website is loadouts. for the clothing section, buy the full look you are after cheaper then buying it part by part. and sort it by use of manikins displaying each loadout, British standard/US standard/Merc/Special forces/Swat

 

with the added addition of selling "merc packages" a selection of guns with a choice of 3 mods e.g. scope updraded guts and forgrip or silencer, custom pistol grip, forgrip. with the addition of 5 extra mags.

 

also add a custom paint service as many people are after that with thanks of call of duty(custom colors unlocked in game)

 

fitting service and the whole cup of tea/drink is just good customer service, which for any shop is highly recomended.

 

also offering a dog tag membership. where as most shops that give out membership will do so with a card, i would opt for dogtags insted printing name and registration number on one and what ever the customer wanted on the 2nd. adds to the niche. and if lost a simple bring is ID and we will stamp new ones (at discounted cost)

 

i could write more btu i think ill leave it at this for time being

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Well the shooting range/ armoury section does depend entirely on the size of unit/ shop.

 

Anything is better than nothing. As for charging, it is just an additional income if required, depending on is popularity.

 

I do like the idea of dog tags to an extent. As an option, its fine. For the hardcore airsofter it is perfect - military style dog tags showing an allegiance to your shop and community, but the more casual player would probably just prefer a card.

 

The custom paint idea could be done in the same way as the gun repair? Get some people to apply as "painters", see their work, if you like it, then send them work and take your own finders fee.

 

Another idea for two tone-ing, maybe the shop could supply various bits in a bright colours. e.g.

 

1) If they are not ukara and somehow get a weapon without bright parts, and want to comply with the rules

2) They order a weapon through the shop

 

The shop will take the original foregrip/ stock/ body and swap it for a shop owned/ shop sprayed brightly coloured bit. Then, when the player becomes registered, bring back the coloured part, and get the original back. Prevents all this painting and the problems it creates. Thoughts on that? Something you newer players would use?

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the two tone idea was actually something i was think about aswell. good minds think alike i see :D

 

yeah i think the idea with the two toning would prove popular with people that are new to airsoft. dont want to botch a paintjob on your nice rifle. and would be a shame to spend money on a half decent on that you use for a few months just to go spend another lot on a non painted version. so yeah two tone idea = good idea.

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I really like the whole loadout set idea. I'm looking for some molle stuff online and its been a nighmare! I have to go to so many sites to find pouches as each site only has one or two kinds of pouches

 

(you could also stock forum patches :))

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I'm loving the dog tags and the loadout section, as it would make getting a specific load out a lot easier.

 

I think the two toning idea, while good, is a bit tough - I had a long conversation with actionhobbies about this when I asked them to two tone a gun - because of health and safety, you cannot legally get an employee to paint the gun unless you have an airtight painting booth or whatever it's called. So unless you stocked the parts in 2 tone (which wouldn't be too economic), rather than deciding to paint them, you couldn't do this.

 

The custom paint job idea would work as long as the job was contracted out to someone who didn't work for the company (so is legally not the companies responsibility) - and I imagine I'd be one of your first customers (unless you open before I get UKARA - "hi, I'd like a vomit green tiger stripe pattern" )

 

Anyway good luck and I look forward to visiting some day!

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I think adding to the community aspect of the shop would be good as it's something nobody has really done before. So not only do you come in and buy something, you also sit down have a chat and do some work on your gun. Services such as sparay painting camo would be handy as well and the loadout idea would be good for new players who may not know as much about kit ect...

 

Going back to the community side of things if you've got the room get yourself some tables and stuff and also a decent cofee machine :P You could also do gun packages. For example buy a G&P M4 and get a red dot at half the price or something. Or you could even do a starter set packade. For example you get a choice between two or three beginner guns some camo, BB's, Chest rig ect..

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I now work at my local store and all I can say is this:

Boots.

Boots.

Boots.

Footwear.

Socks.

Boots.

Genuily good boots.

 

I'm not going to lie, all of the above are great ideas and any airsofter or shop owner would love to see them imlemented, but the only thing that really sells mid-week is boots, then you have only saturday when you can sell guns.

A good website is crucial aswell, today we had 5? people in shop - 3 bought boots, 2 bought rifles and we sent out roughly 15 packages, mostly Krylon (we're the cheapest place in the UK to buy it) and boots.

 

Where possible aswell, hire people with an interest in airsoft. if you want that £400 masada to go, who is going to sell it better, the person who owns one of each colour and has modified them to F*** and uses them every weekend or the guy with a degree in retail, wears trendy clothes and spends his weekends trying to get his 'alternative trance Jazz project' off the floor and get a gig?

 

Everyone that works at Patrol Base has at some point been a customer, and all of us got the job by knowing what we are talking about and being good to talk to and friendly.

 

also, Boots.

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well id di say in a previous post about the merc package idea. buy one gun then chose 3 upgrades to fit to the gun with the addition of 5 spare mags

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