By Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
Ok, maybe not a legend… but certainly a business. As you have already read here at the According To Whim daily blog I have covered the story of our comic book/collectible shop Renegade Anime. I won’t link to it at the moment since Blogger is acting like piece of shit. You can go search for it yourselves. Basically I took the EBay business I had and morphed it into a real shop that eventually failed. I retired the business for about seven years and decided to resurrect it late last year. In December 2010 I thought about doing more business with Hobby Link Japan (the company I bought Japanese models from). I had learned a few things from my experience in the failed business.
- Some fans of anime like Japanese models (that are from their favorite series).
- Fans of said anime will pay more for these imported models.
- Fans of anime models are quite spread out across the world.
- You cannot support a local business on anime models.
- You CAN support an anime model business through EBay since it doesn’t matter where those fans are, they will find your auctions.
I took these pieces of hard earned experience and came up with a new plan for 2011 and beyond. I made an initial cash purchase; no credit cards this time (another lesson learned from the shop) and bought about $1,400 worth of models from Hobby Link Japan. My plan (and my excuse for starting this business up again) was this:
- Anime fans who like the Japanese models are abundant enough online (EBay) to keep a business running.
- Said fans are willing to pay well for their favorite imported models.
- After all the fees of getting the models to the US the profit margin is still good enough to keep a business up and running.
My second (and less persuasive) argument was that I wanted to start this business up and set up at various Texas conventions to sell additional quantities of the models (and have a fun time doing it).
I started setting up EBay auctions as well as a PayPal store and the sales started rolling in. We are now four months into the whole thing and it is working out well. It is a pain in the ass to do all that shipping but it pays really well. With the Earthquake in Japan recently Hobby Link Japan had to suspend operations for a few days but they have been feeding me my constant stream of plastic money making joy.
It’s a definite money making business but you have to put a lot into the whole auction thing. This is true of any of the business running out of EBay though.