Dealer???

bbracing12

New member
I'm just wondering and thought Id ask my racing family about what's the pros and cons about being a dealer of any sort like chassis or tire dealer or anything... I'm looking to grow my racing team and really wanting to be a phantom racing chassis dealer in the Kentucky area cause there's no dealer in this area.... And just want the pros and cons
 

Greg Wright

New member
Pros? Can be fun. Cons? To do it right it will take lots of cash tied up in inventory. We have over 4K just in axle sprockets hanging on the wall and that's only 2-4 of each size.
 

XXX#40

2A supporter
I'm just wondering and thought Id ask my racing family about what's the pros and cons about being a dealer of any sort like chassis or tire dealer or anything... I'm looking to grow my racing team and really wanting to be a phantom racing chassis dealer in the Kentucky area cause there's no dealer in this area.... And just want the pros and cons

The dealer buy in's chassis are buy 3 to get dealer, the tax paper work, business license, parts dealing also requires a buy in
 

XXX#40

2A supporter
Pros? Can be fun. Cons? To do it right it will take lots of cash tied up in inventory. We have over 4K just in axle sprockets hanging on the wall and that's only 2-4 of each size.

What are they made of gold?
I can buy complete sets from 60-69 for less than $100.00, it would take more than just 2-4 of each.
 
I looked at my FY13 inventory for chain, sprockets, breakers, and gear guards.

Eight brands/styles of sprockets.
Five Brands/Nineteen Types of Chain
Ten different type of guards/guides
And Breakers and Pins for #35, #219, and #428 Chain Pitches.

I only have $16,181.51 tied up in inventory.
Our fiscal year runs November 1st thru October 31st, so this was exactly a month ago.
I can only imagine what the number actually is in April or May!

I can easily see where Greg Wright of Rapid Racing has $4K tied up ;)
 

S&MRacing

New member
If you can network with the racers at your track do it. Phantoms are selling pretty good right now, good brand to go with
 

Greg Wright

New member
What are they made of gold?
I can buy complete sets from 60-69 for less than $100.00, it would take more than just 2-4 of each.

Not gold but not as limited of a selection as you are describing, I have 53 through 83 in #35, 68 through 92 in #219 plus 19 through 29 in #428 in both 40mm and 50mm.
Add in a good stock of #35, #219, #428, #40, and #41 chain including some different options and the dollar figure goes right up.
The sprocket example was only used to illustrate how much money it can take to be a fully stocked kart shop.
 

XXX#40

2A supporter
Not gold but not as limited of a selection as you are describing, I have 53 through 83 in #35, 68 through 92 in #219 plus 19 through 29 in #428 in both 40mm and 50mm.
Add in a good stock of #35, #219, #428, #40, and #41 chain including some different options and the dollar figure goes right up.
The sprocket example was only used to illustrate how much money it can take to be a fully stocked kart shop.


If I was going to become a dealer, I would only stock what my local customers needed, in dirt oval very rarely will you see anyone below a 60 or above a 68 in #35 chain what the majority in dirt oval run, buying anything other is a waste that more than likley will sit for years before its sold, I would have the option thru my distributor to order anything needed other than that, and after pricing a dealership through 6 places its quick to see who has the most competitive prices for the same products, one company wanted to charge more for a gallon of oil at dealer cost, than I could buy it from another distributor at retail
It pays to look around at everyone that offers dealerships
 

Greg Wright

New member
There are regional differences for sure, in my case if all I stocked was #35 our bottom line would suffer big time.The market overall IMO is just too small to make enough to cover overhead by over specializing. We sell boat loads of #40 and #41 to people with yard karts. Nearly 100% of the two strokes (big locally) run #219.
I guess I thought we were talking about being an actual dealer per the title of this thread.
 
none of our locals would need 219 chain or gears 428 nor 40,41 pitch

Are you local to the OP?

I'm fairly close to Greg and while we don't have the inventory of 219 and 428 stuff that he obviously does, I can assure you we have all the 35 gears anyone could want - from 52 to 90 something -- (we get some crossover sales to jr drag customers as well.) Not only do we stock different brands of gears, but different series as well -- skip tooth, standard tooth, ultra-light sprockets, premium quality, and discount/import quality. Then there's the stockpile of used gears that we've gotten on trade-ins. Remember, one gear does not satisfy everyone. Some customers make their purchases based on price alone, others on quality and performance. I can assure you our sprocket/chain inventory will go over $1500 without much counting.

I can guarantee you that if a shop only stocks 60-69T 35p gears, they will miss out on a lot of sales. Tell one customer that you don't have a 56T sprocket in stock and he will take his entire shopping list to your competition. Now you not only lost out on the sale of one particular sprocket, but plenty of other items that you may have had in stock. This market becomes even more competitive when you throw in mail order companies. Definitely a tough business to be in. I wouldn't quit your day job anytime soon, but my family has managed to make it 25 years now as our sole income. The last few years has been lean at best. It seems like we're working twice as long to make half as much.
With the economy as unstable as it is right now, the immediate (and longterm) future for our industry is uncertain at best. If I had to start all over again today, it would take a serious amount of thought before I'd just jump in head first like I did in 1989! It might require a psychiatric exam (or two.) ;) There's still something to be said about doing what you love day in and day out.

Thanks and God bless,
Brian Carlson
Carlson Racing Engines
Vector Cuts
www.CarlsonMotorsports.com
765-339-4407
bcarlson@CarlsonMotorsports.com
 

XXX#40

2A supporter
Are you local to the OP?

I'm fairly close to Greg and while we don't have the inventory of 219 and 428 stuff that he obviously does, I can assure you we have all the 35 gears anyone could want - from 52 to 90 something -- (we get some crossover sales to jr drag customers as well.) Not only do we stock different brands of gears, but different series as well -- skip tooth, standard tooth, ultra-light sprockets, premium quality, and discount/import quality. Then there's the stockpile of used gears that we've gotten on trade-ins. Remember, one gear does not satisfy everyone. Some customers make their purchases based on price alone, others on quality and performance. I can assure you our sprocket/chain inventory will go over $1500 without much counting.

I can guarantee you that if a shop only stocks 60-69T 35p gears, they will miss out on a lot of sales. Tell one customer that you don't have a 56T sprocket in stock and he will take his entire shopping list to your competition. Now you not only lost out on the sale of one particular sprocket, but plenty of other items that you may have had in stock. This market becomes even more competitive when you throw in mail order companies. Definitely a tough business to be in. I wouldn't quit your day job anytime soon, but my family has managed to make it 25 years now as our sole income. The last few years has been lean at best. It seems like we're working twice as long to make half as much.
With the economy as unstable as it is right now, the immediate (and longterm) future for our industry is uncertain at best. If I had to start all over again today, it would take a serious amount of thought before I'd just jump in head first like I did in 1989! It might require a psychiatric exam (or two.) ;) There's still something to be said about doing what you love day in and day out.

Thanks and God bless,
Brian Carlson
Carlson Racing Engines
Vector Cuts
www.CarlsonMotorsports.com
765-339-4407
bcarlson@CarlsonMotorsports.com

cant see a reason a person would want a 56 but to each his own, Walt conner doesnt seem to miss much money, of course he doesnt stock a bunch of stuff that will sit for a year or 2 before it sells.
When just starting you buy what your local racers need, thats all im saying, no opens or Jr dragster racers here, and if I opened a kart shop I wouldnt stock parts for Jr dragsters, opens, 1/4 midget and so on
So there would be no need to have 4 grand in just gears.
Remember I built and ran Clay City kart speedway in Ky, the OP is from KY and wants to deal KART parts
 
All I'm saying is that if you don't have it in stock, you are driving customers away. You should be well aware of this Jamie.
Besides, I tend to think that plenty of racers have a 56T gear in their trailer. Even if I only sold trackside, I'd have a 56 in stock. When owning a brick and mortar shop, and especially an online business, you will be expected to carry more than just what the local track needs for gearing. You'd be surprised how many backyard tracks there are once you open your doors to the public. They make great candidates for used racing chassis, tires, gears, etc. so that your "pro" racers can update/upgrade with trade-ins. If you plan on making a living in this industry, you will stock parts for crossover markets. I never thought I'd need to stock 5 brands of oil, 20 flavors of tire preps, 3 different tire gauges, including the $200+ electronic air pressure gauges with all the bells and whistles, and $1000 scale sets either; but if that's where the sales are, then you learn to adapt or get squeezed out.
 

Greg Wright

New member
You'd be surprised how many backyard tracks there are once you open your doors to the public. They make great candidates for used racing chassis, tires, gears, etc. so that your "pro" racers can update/upgrade with trade-ins. If you plan on making a living in this industry, you will stock parts for crossover markets.

Right on the money Brian. I'm pretty sure I would have trouble staying afloat without the backyard track guys (amazing numbers) and crossover sales (Quarter midgets, Jr. Dragsters, dirt bikes, yard karts, street legal drag racers, and so on)
In fact that is pretty much my point in this thread, you have to stock way more than you would ever believe in order to make the business viable. Two chassis, a couple of dozen gears and two cases of oil will leave you empty handed so fast it will make your head spin.

Oh yeah, my biggest selling #35 sprocket is a 58.

That brings up another point. I've heard forever about somebody somewhere opening a kart shop to meet their expenses racing. If you have enough duckets to open a kart shop then you aren't having any trouble meeting your own racing expenses.
 

brs11

Member
Better sell a lot to make anything, hard to compete with the big places, JC, BMI, Turk, ect You have to buy in bulk to make anything.

Good luck with that.
 
To expound on a point Jamie makes, which is very valid.....

I have a parts trailer that I primarily take to our local asphaplt sprint track and service about 15 events at that facility.

I treat it as more of a SUPPORT trailer, than a SALES trailer, but with 8 seasons of service at that one particular track, I can pretty much do both support and sales with the inventory I take.

I have about $25K in inventory that is in the trailer at all times. I have a floating inventory that goes from shop to trailer and back each week. This inventory is about $12K and I keep it in those big grey tubs you see at the Butcher Shop they keep meat in prior to grinding. Those six tubs get loaded and unloaded each event, so that the inventory is not sitting in my trailer when it may be needed to fulfill a UPS order during the week.

Once a year, I reconfigure the trailer to service the local indoor dirt show that various promoters have put on at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

The main point is, that if you are only interested in servicing your local track and customers, there is no need to have parts in inventory that you have no reasonable expectation of selling at the track.

I have #428 chain and sprockets at shop, but none on my trailer as we do not have shifters at our track.

A list of classes that we run are:

Kid Kart with Comer 50 and LO-206 Briggs
Rookie Clone-Blue Plate
Junior Clone Un Restricted
Clone Light
Clone Heavy
LO-206 Senior
Yamaha Rookie
Yamaha Junior
Yamaha Senior
TAG Senior

With that list, it means quite a few part numbers for each genre or type of class to make sure if someone tears something up, I have it on hand to sell them so they can continue racing and not have to go home early.

Servicing a small local dirt track would be WAY EASIER and require far less inventory.

If you developed the right inventory, and had fair pricing (not the lowest) the locals will soon start utilizing you instead of mail order, if you are reliable, fair priced, and at the track when they need them. The large majoority of parts consumed at my local sprint track are ordered Monday thru Friday and then delivered at the track raceday to save them shipping cost.

Again, not an easy way to make a living, but with dedication, and a great amount of time and effort devoted to customer service, it can be worthwile.


Mike
 
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