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Becoming a dealer?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Steve Clark, May 10, 2005.

  1. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Mods move as necessary.

    For those of you that are dealers of instruments and amps could you share how that works. PM is fine. Buying and selling instruments? Do you work out of a storefront or your home? How do you market yourself and so on? I have run a succesful franchise for 15 years and am interested on having a little musical instrument store as a sideline. Not necessarily a storefront. I am located in Canada so the interest would be in importing brands that are not currently available here.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I think that this would fit best in Miscellaneous.
  3. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000

    What sort of stuff do you want to import? (Any particular brands?)
  4. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON

    That's a good question. There are plenty of great dealers in Canada already. What would you like to see in Canada that's not already here? If you could 'bass' that answer on two things: what you dream about and what you could realistically afford? PM me would be great.

  5. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    You might want to start with the stuff you know. Sadowsky, EA, Bergie, etc. I think there is a market for each of these in Canada and not too much competition

  6. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Bump. Thanks Gard and Mike Dimin for the PM. Did you get my replies?

  7. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    +1 on EA. I've been interested in this brand but ever since Club Bass dumped it, nowhere to be found. I emailed EA last year and they said they were "working on it". So far nobody around GTA.

    I don't see MTD around either.
  8. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Are you wondering what is required legally, or just from the wholesale companies?
  9. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    BassTurtle, the simple answer to that is both. I have a very basic understanding of what would be required by a manufacturer and that each would vary in what it would require.

    The legal issues like shipping, cross border duties and so on are all things I will have to investigate. I have imported instruments for personal use but that's the limit of my experience.

  10. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Westminster, CO
    Can someone also email me on the first steps on becoming a dealer?

    I'd like to know how much I need to get started etc. etc. I used to run a computer business and again have that itch to make some extra income on the side.

    I'd appreciate any advice anyone one of you could give me.

    Good post Steve!

  11. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Yeah, I'm not gonna be any help at all on the cross-border shipping.

    I have no idea what Canadian laws are, but I assume you'd have to get some kind of reseller/retail license, tax ID number, set up some kind of company (you might be able to even treat you existing business as an umbrella), etc. just like here in the states. Most manufacturers all want at least a tax ID number when filling out their applications.

    It varies, but most companies will have a minimum opening order where they'll want you to order at least X amount either in quantity of the product or price. Some will even require you to keep a certain number of items on hand to maintain your dealership. Basically, they just want to make sure that their lines are being properly represented. However, if you're thinking about dealing smaller or more boutique items, this usually isn't an issue.

    I own a store front, but the local Fodera dealer in town does it out of his house. It is definately doable :)

    Feel free to post more questions.
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    One of the issues facing manufacturers at this time, is people opening internet or living room "dealers" and all they really want is to get a good price for their own gear. That really undermines the locally owned b&m guy who, at one time or another, we all need.

  13. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Yerp :) It's not really been an issue in my neck of the woods, but that's one of the reasons some companies will require some kind of minimum order. Even as a storefront guitar store owner, there have been lines that I've picked up just so I can have access to the stuff at cost. I mean, there's gotta be some perks, right? :p
  14. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Thanks everyone. I'm enjoying finding out about the process. The mail/PM has been very helpful. Again, thanks Mike D and Gard.
  15. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Most gear companies want you to have a "brick and mortar" store before they will do business with you (been there.) If you are considering ordering stuff from overseas, please PM me. I can share my experiences with you.
  16. A little employee discount never hurt anyone :smug:
  17. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    rule number one

    never get high on your own supply....

    wait you meant instrument dealer. sorry

  18. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Now that's funny. :)
  19. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
  20. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Have you identified a need for your potential store? Or, is the desire to have your own store come about so you can score good deals on gear for you and your friends? I ask that sincerely.

    I had a high school buddy who opened a BMX shop right after we graduated just so he could hook everyone up with insane deals. He went bankrupt within a year.