A car accessories and spare parts business can be quite profitable – not the least reason for it being that the market is much broader than most people believe. Contrary to what you may think, not just the people who are particularly enthusiastic about their cars buy custom accessories for them. In fact, most car owners do try to personalize them to a certain extent.
Buying accessories is a much more affordable way of doing it when compared to full customization. As for spare parts, one does have to replace them from time to time to continue using one’s ride for its intended purpose, which means that as long as people drive cars, spare parts are going to be in demand.
In this article, you will get tips that will help you start out in this business on your own.
Decide what type of store you want to open
In the past car accessory shops used to brick-and-mortar stores, today this is not such a clear-cut decision, as more and more people are getting comfortable about buying such things online. That is why you have multiple variants to consider: start a physical shop on a rented property, rent a mall kiosk, start out online or even try your hand at drop shipping (that is, selling accessories directly from the manufacturer). An online store is much cheaper than any physical alternative, and the drop-shipping scheme is even more affordable – but in the latter case your profits will be considerably lower, so take it into account.
Select a niche
If you are going to work in this industry, you should be ready to face some brutal competition, which means that in order to stand out from the crowd you have to differentiate your business somehow. The most approachable way to do so is to target a particular segment of the market: for example, luxury car accessories, custom seat covers or key fob battery replacements. At a glance, it may seem like refusing to go after a huge portion of your potential customers, but in reality, it is much easier to establish yourself as a go-to place for a particular type of accessories than for accessories in general. As a small business, you won’t be able to compete with larger shops offering a broader choice anyway.
Check out your competition
Competition in the car accessories market, even if you choose a relatively narrow niche, can be brutal, and you should make sure you won’t make it even more difficult for yourself. Check how many similar businesses are in your area and what they specialize in. If the competition seems to be too high, you may want to consider opening your store at a different location or consider an entirely different business.
Make sure you have enough storage
If you don’t use a drop-shipping scheme, you are going to need storage space. How much depends on the scale of your enterprise. If you don’t want to risk and start small you can easily keep all your merchandise at home – just make sure to keep it safe from sunlight, extreme temperatures, strong-smelling substances, and pets. If you intend to maintain a large inventory from the very outset, you will have to rent a commercial warehouse with temperature control.
Check for profitable deals when buying inventory
The standard way to obtain inventory for a car accessory shop is to buy them wholesale. However, if you are lucky, some existing local firm working in the same sphere may be going out of business and liquidating its inventory. If you happen upon it, you may obtain significant amounts of merchandise at a bargain price. Information of this kind can be found in local classified advertising listings.
Advertise where you expect your customers to be: Eg., custom car magazines and websites, startup partnerships with related but not competitive businesses such as car shops, frequent related social media communities.
Starting a car accessories business may seem like a huge undertaking, to begin with, but when approached carefully it can be done even without a lot of capital. The only thing you should take care of is planning carefully and knowing what exactly you expect from your new business.