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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'm considering starting small scale production of an item of my own design. A consumer item. Is there an inexpensive way to gauge the potential market? The item is pretty unique and I'm really uncertain how to proceed. I've had the idea for a while and have sold a few already. However it's an item that I always thought would do best in a market that would require licensing (expensive, especially for a start-up). But I've reconsidered that approach and now think that niche marketing to certain sets of enthusiasts would work.

What level of profit (if any) is typical when beginning production? I don't want to lose money but I know that until I'm making large numbers the profit will be negligible.
 

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I'm considering starting small scale production of an item of my own design. A consumer item. Is there an inexpensive way to gauge the potential market?

What level of profit (if any) is typical when beginning production? I don't want to lose money but I know that until I'm making large numbers the profit will be negligible.
A lot will depend upon marketing path. If you manufacture and direct market you can figure on lower end cost and potentially higher profit margin. However if you have a distributor, figure end pricing to be much steeper. I hear people complain, sometimes rightfully so, about a 10 cent part costing $5.00. But if the person who designed or purchased the design wants to make money, they have to calculate the value of it. Then there is the distributor: they have to make it worth their while to invest in inventory, track it, sell it and distribute it. Then of course there is the retail location that ties up money stocking it, pays for a retail location, pays for advertising and sales persons. It snowballs and nobody is doing it just for fun.

When I ran the inventory department of the company I worked for, I used a sliding scale. Anything under a dollar was marked up 200-300 percent. 10 dollars about 50 percent. up about 20 dollars markup went up to 30 percent and so on.
300 percent markup sound like a lot on a dollar item? I had to pay people to place orders, receive inventory and then deliver it to stores. Maybe 10 of those items cost me 10 dollars for shipment. Even with a 300 percent markup I was only seeing a 20 dollar gross profit, and after paying shipping, warehousing and employees who handled them, I probably only saw less than 5 dollar profit. Calculate everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These are samples where I would have been required to pay licensing fees. However, I've begun to think along the lines of doing dog and horse breeds and selling them in publications that cater to enthusiasts along those lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For state requiring both, I've done a couple of frames rather than solid plates. I just have to keep the figure low enough to avoid obstructing the digits.
 

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My wife and I are both Clemson grads, but smarty pants went on to Vet School at UGA. One (or two) of her classes/labs were taking care of Uga, I think Uga VI.

Cool idea!
 

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I'm going to help you branch out and suggest you make one attached to a slip cover that can fit over a trailer hitch. In the south we never take out hitches out. Plastic square "tube" that can fit over the hitch receiver with the critter on top.
 

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From a practical standpoint, I am thinking a half figure with the back, flat side mounted to the plate would be more durable. Not only would you have a more solid, long lasting mount BUT it would be less inviting to theft and vandalism. Right now, any of those figures would be great stand alones on somebodies desk or dash. Very tempting for lowlife to just rip them off, or tear them up attempting to. Those animals though, wouldn't stand up too good on only two legs and with two planes of attachment, the difficulty and lessened temptation would probably triple their life span.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
From a practical standpoint, I am thinking a half figure with the back, flat side mounted to the plate would be more durable. Not only would you have a more solid, long lasting mount BUT it would be less inviting to theft and vandalism. Right now, any of those figures would be great stand alones on somebodies desk or dash. Very tempting for lowlife to just rip them off, or tear them up attempting to. Those animals though, wouldn't stand up too good on only two legs and with two planes of attachment, the difficulty and lessened temptation would probably triple their life span.
I've run the one with the deer on it for over a year without incident. It looks pretty rough though. But, you're correct in that one desiring to commit vandalism will find it an easy mark.
 

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Chase that dream. Some dude thought up taking a piece of foam, cutting it in the shape of a piece of cheese, painted it yellow and the cheesehead was born. They sell a over $1M of that stuff a year.
 

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Chase that dream. Some dude thought up taking a piece of foam, cutting it in the shape of a piece of cheese, painted it yellow and the cheesehead was born. They sell a over $1M of that stuff a year.
That's because people in WI are always drunk, and buying while drunk isn't a good idea. Plus the killing of brain cells all the time.
 
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