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  1. #1

    If you have your own online card shop, please reply...

    I've been debating for years about opening my own online card shop. I've got my own collection and the collection of three others to invest to it. Here's my questions:

    1. Do I need to declare it an official business for tax purposes?
    2. What suggestions do you have to make it customer friendly as it is not a get rich scheme?
    3. Should I look into accepting credit cards or stick with transfer services such as Paypal?
    4. Is it really worth it?

    Thanks for your assistance in advance...

  2. Kronozio
  3. #2
    It's not worth it. Believe me I know. I owned a shop for several years. Even online shops take to much dedication. Be preparred to need everything in the market to stay alive. (even for a while)

    Sportscard shops and dealers are like resturants... Most of them go under in a year from there start. It's too competitive a market now w/ on-line auctions

    This is my next venture.... Selling supplies only keeping the cards I really want and donating the rest to a childrens hospital.

    Supplies are where the money is! Think about it,(this is an example) You may have 100 cards, 1000 collectors,

    the first 50 Cards are rc's
    the next 30 are GU
    the last 20 are vintage

    all 1000 will want the rc's and gu, Maybe 250 will be interested in the vintage,You can only sell to a max of 100 collectors, That leaves 900 that are out, BUT!!!! if they collect, They also need something else! Toploaders, pennysleeves,pages,3 row shoes etc.

    I'd rather sell supplies to the 900 than make 1/2 book on the 100 cards I sold.

    900 Packs of toploaders at 2.50 a pack is $2250.00 !

    the 100 cards you sold at 1/2 too full bv you'd have to get 10 per card just to make 1000$ Now... We all know that most gu can be had for $2-!0 on e-bay. Unless you corner the market on the Top rc at the time, you'd need to sell Boxes, Which runs into ALOT of money, But then, to get those TOP rc's you'd have to open those boxes yourself. Causing you to lose money.

    Dont get me wrong, You have to spend money to make money, this is true. But why not invest all the money into something every collector needs Supplies! You could sell to everyone, Not just a hockey collector or basketball collector. But everysport and non-sport collector needs this stuff.

    Damn! that the most thought I've out into anything in a while!

  4. #3
    Quite profound....thanks for the info.....

  5. #4
    Hey enigma_shadow,

    To answer two of your questions I would say you can probably file taxes under the business activities of your personal tax statement and that you should definitely use credit cards.

    You might want to PM the member cwsportscards as he runs his own operation and might have a suggestion or two.


  6. #5
    1. For your purpose you'd probably just want to go to the court house and get a dba (doing business as licence). For tax purposes your EIN # will just be your social security # since it sounds like you'll be doing business as a sole proprietorship. However, you'll have to check into the different tax benefits in your specific state to better decide what type of corporation to form is best for you.

    3. If your going to run your own shop it's a must to have a merchant account as 90% of sales come from credit card payments. Therefore, if you don't have a merchant account you're missing out on a ton of sales.

    4. Is it worth it? I guess that all depends on what you're looking to get from it. I will let you know that in order to start a decent shop with an adequate stock of the newer releases you'll need about $100,000 to start out. You can start ones for less but then your selection won't be as good.

    Hope this helps you out.....

  7. #6
    Thank you cw... you've been a great help....

  8. #7
    I registered just so I could respond to this post..

    cw is correct, all you really need is a dba from the court house, or a state vendors license.. depending on your state it might be free.. California is free, Ohio is $10, so regardless I can't imagine it would cost too much.. You need to charge sales tax of some sort.. most likely only on sales you make within your own state.

    As for the credit cards.. I have a very popular online site.. I use paypal only. I have it set up though, that if someone selects credict card, I take all their contact information (address and such) at my site, and when I send them to Paypal I pre-fill all the fields for them except for the credit card information. 99% of the time they will pay via credit card through paypal when that is done for them.

    I don't agree with the $100,000 required, and I don't agree with j.e. lew on it not being worth it. I've been in business for 18 months or so. I started out with just the cards I had. I probably didn't make much money for the first 9 months or so, but I was never in debt, and I never had to leverage much of my own cash reserves. I just re-invested anything I made.

    Its all in what you make it. I will say this, if you don't have programming experience, in that you can design the site yourself, it probably wouldn't be worth it. Those out of the box e-commerce web-sites (Andale/Yahoo) are ill-suited for this type of product and make it too difficult. You really have to have a custom site built for your business, and it HAS to be easy to navigate and user friendly.

    That being said, its like any other business, if you want it to succede you have to have some business acumen, and you have to be willing to put in a lot of effort. It won't be successful just because you put it out on the web. Its more than just cards, its marketing, advertising, display, purchasing, etc..

    Good luck.


  9. #8
    Thank you've been quite helpful...

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