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How do you think an CULT/R2 Specialty Store would do ?

How do you think an CULT/R2 Specialty Store would do ?

 
Old 06-17-03, 12:28 PM
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How do you think an CULT/R2 Specialty Store would do ?

My wife and I are looking for possible busniesses to go into, and I'm kicking around the idea of a CULT/R1-R2 Specialty DVD RENT/BUY Store. Possibly online, but definetly an actual physical store.

In other words, the store would mainly sell or rent R1 CULT DVDS, the kinda R1 stuff you wouldn't see at blockbuster. But in addition their would be a large selection of R2 discs and players for sale/ rent.

How do you guys think that would do ?

Just curious,
Mike

Last edited by spid77; 06-17-03 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 06-17-03, 12:47 PM
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For about five years there was a video store in Des Moines called Oddities that rented out cult films. They did well enough to stay in business for five years, make of that what you will. I think that DVDs are probably what did them in, 10,000 obscure VHS tapes don't help when film lovers are clamouring for the DVD.
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Old 06-17-03, 01:04 PM
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Depends on location.

Gotta find a yuppie/artsy/alternative style neighborhood.


For example, this would probably do well in Chicago's Wicker Park & Lincoln Park neighborhoods, but would bomb quick in a soccer-mom neighborhood or suburb.
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Old 06-17-03, 01:05 PM
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This is actually something that I have been debating on getting into for a few years. I just can not figure out if it would do good or not. I think it would have to do a lot with your area and the type of people in your vicinity, if you are in or near a college town you might do better...or even better a predominantly art based college.

Poker Industries IIRC also has a B&M store, I have never been to it since it is somewhat of a trek from where I am located in Jersey, but I think it would be safe to say the majority of their business comes in through the web. So I would say an online store would have to be a definite.

Good luck if you start it up.
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Old 06-17-03, 01:09 PM
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I would say that if you had a decent online frontend for the shop, where people could order things you may do a little better. While you may get some local business, a larger percentage of the niche market can be obtained using the internet.

But, I am not a shopowner, so take my words with a block of salt.
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Old 06-17-03, 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by majorjoe23
For about five years there was a video store in Des Moines called Oddities that rented out cult films. They did well enough to stay in business for five years, make of that what you will. I think that DVDs are probably what did them in, 10,000 obscure VHS tapes don't help when film lovers are clamouring for the DVD.
yeah...use to pop in there to check things out on a regular basis. I live right down the street from where they were located.
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Old 06-17-03, 02:27 PM
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I doubt a film shop, let alone a cult/r2 specialty shop, would do well when J6P would rather spend fewer dollars at a "we-sell-at-cost-because-we-make-up-our-profits-elsewhere" superstore.

It's an idea I too was kicking around and eventually scrapped. The biggest draw would be knowledgeable service, and it's hard to find anyone who gives a damn about film anymore.

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Old 06-17-03, 02:42 PM
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I'd work there! Here in Orlando, a place like that would bomb, but your probably not in Orlando so lucky you. I might be in your chief demographic. And if I am, I'm still gonna order from DDD or go to my local Best Buy. This is one of those cool ideas for a shop in a movie but doesn't actually fly in reality. You gotta think, if your customers are smart enough to seek out those kind of movies then are probably smart enough to find them at other places for cheaper prices.
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Old 06-17-03, 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by lesterlong
You gotta think, if your customers are smart enough to seek out those kind of movies then are probably smart enough to find them at other places for cheaper prices.
That is exactly one of my issues with the idea. If I can hunt down the good prices buying them from their country of origin why buy them from a US store (as far as the other region discs go). The only reason I would shop at a B&M version is if they had a great selection and their prices were *almost* as good as I can get online...which most likely wouldn't happen. So unless you can cater to the convenience of the local customers it really wouldn't be a money maker.

But on the other hand it would be nice to walk into a store and see the region free players up close before purchasing one.

The rental part would probably do good if there is only a Blockbuster or something similar in the neighborhood, but as far as renting other region titles if the person is serious enough into the foreign market of DVDs most likely they would own it already or be about to order it.
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Old 06-17-03, 05:43 PM
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Location would be very important. My parents used to own a video store and thanks to my influence, had a quite large cult and foreign section (lots of greymarket tapes and this was before DVD). However, the store was in a typical smaller suburban area and although we had a few regulars that loved the selection, a good 98% of our customers never got beyond the new release rack (it was as if the rest of the store didn't even exist!).

After seeing the business first hand with my parents store, I don't think its a great business to be in. You sure won't get rich and there is too much competition. My parents were lucky to sell the store for pretty much the same money they put into it (and the guy who bought it from them went out of business a few months later because he had no idea what he was doing or what he was getting into ) If you do want to have a store, make sure to have an adult section because it really helps the profit margin. Honest.
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Old 06-17-03, 05:51 PM
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i don't think there would be enough demand in most locations.
if i were you i'd drop the whole cult aspect, inless you mean cult as in pureply non-mainstream. you should advertise you carry hard to find cult movies, as well as anime, foriegn, documentaries, arthouse, etc..... and esp porn. carrying porn should atleast keep the business afloat. if you carry porn you should also carry mainstream releases, that way daddy doesn't have to make two stops
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Old 06-17-03, 06:21 PM
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you'll need to start off with big bucks. the overhead will kill you if you are not careful. of course your profit wont really be seen for some time. this is something you would want to start on the side, having a financial backup.

when I lived in northern cali....I was in a town with only 1 record store....and they sucked. so I started a music mail-order outfit and soaked the area with "the word". making sure knowledge was the key. found myself 3 or 4 places to get my cds from, and with very little overhead(no employees, no rent on a store-front), I started to serve my area....3 counties wide. I came up with gimmicks like....I delivered peoples orders to thier door(music on wheels), stocked about 500 titles(focused on imports and specific music styles), and had the promise that I could get ANYTHING that was out there(had great contacts). within about 8 months....over 50% of the other stores customers were now ordering from me. I had regular clients and some, not so regular. there was no overhead....so my prices were unbeatable, along with the service. and of course my passion for music was fed because this was a simple way of building my own collection. so I spent no $ at all...on anything...except a biz license and orders.

just a thought. might be a good way to start out....you just wont have foot traffic, but there is always ways to advertise at first, that will cost you little.

good luck...and I'd buy from ya!!
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Old 06-17-03, 10:09 PM
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If you opened the shop here in San Diego, I'd be a regular customer. Even if your prices were slightly above online prices, I'm all for instant gratification. My best friend and I was just talking about how it's too bad there isn't a place that just had "slightly off-center" movies all in one convienent place.
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Old 06-18-03, 01:03 AM
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We have an anime store in my (college) town now - but unfortunately they mark up the prices a bit too much to make me want to buy most of the time. $35 for a DVD I can buy an R3 of online for under $10? Guys, I'm too net-savvy to be your customer, if you don't have what I want that day...
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Old 06-18-03, 01:14 AM
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I have considered doing this in Wrigleyville in Chicago...decent catalog set, art-niche-foreign section, adult section, gay-special interest section. Anyone wanna offer suggestions as to whether this would fly in this neighborhood?
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Old 06-18-03, 01:49 AM
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Where I used to live there was a store that was in the trendy part of town, but also close to the big business offices. They were great, because they had all special interest stuff as well as the big stuff. They sold the big stuff for the same price as the Wal Mart or whatever, with really great sales once in a while. They did well because the trendy area gave them some regular customers, and the offices gave them joe six packs who just wanted something on the way home from work... of course, they never went into the part of the stores that had the alternative stuff Blockbuster never touched, but it didn't matter because they helped pay the bills.

Of course, you have to have SOME standards... like no non oar films
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Old 06-18-03, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by hime
We have an anime store in my (college) town now - but unfortunately they mark up the prices a bit too much to make me want to buy most of the time. $35 for a DVD I can buy an R3 of online for under $10? Guys, I'm too net-savvy to be your customer, if you don't have what I want that day...
Not too net-savvy, just most likely buying bootlegs. The amount of R3 anime releases that are subbed are very few. Most likely you are buying R0s which as far as anime is concerned, 95% of R0 are boots. So...yes you are buying a product for 10 dollars but you are not supporting the industry and you are getting lower quality product.
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Old 06-18-03, 11:29 AM
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I'd find out how many businesses (both with physical stores and online) there are like this, where they are, and how they're doing. Call them up and tell them you found out about their business and are thinking of doing something similar in another area, and see if they have any suggestions. If they're based primarily / solely online, they probably won't be very helpful as helping you could hurt them. This would get you a lot of information from the best source possible - people who have done what you're thinking of doing.
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Old 06-19-03, 10:33 PM
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Wow, and here I thought I was the only one thinking about this. I have thought about the rental aspect with a web presence where people could find out if items were in stock, reserve things before they came down, read reviews of new releases, etc. Toying with the idea of delivery of rentals, but fear it would involve to much overhead/employees/time.
As someone pointed out I wouldn't be selling new stock or very little, because I couldn't match online prices on the items (although I would sell off previewed items). While there are many imports I'm happy to own, there are some I wished I had been able to rent first.
My questions involve selling region modified players or stocking easily "hackable" players, what are the legalities involved. I remember CC getting heat about the APEX 600A players, but I think it was more because of the macrovision defeat, not so much the region free. On the other hand what about rental of foriegn titles? This comes from the fact that my R2 28 Days Later has a big warning at the beginning about NOT FOR RENTAL, is this enforcable in the US? or only in the issuing country?
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Old 06-20-03, 02:45 AM
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Originally posted by Edison
On the other hand what about rental of foriegn titles? This comes from the fact that my R2 28 Days Later has a big warning at the beginning about NOT FOR RENTAL, is this enforcable in the US? or only in the issuing country?
I was surprised about that myself, I would think it is most likely enforcable here too, but you would "just" have to purchase a rental copy which is probably just at a much higher cost, if you wanted to stay legal.
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Old 06-20-03, 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by Edison
... my R2 28 Days Later has a big warning at the beginning about NOT FOR RENTAL, is this enforcable...
Put a sticker over it...
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Old 06-20-03, 08:57 AM
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I think your shop would do okay. As has been said before, LOCATION would be the key. If you're in a college town, especially a college with a film school, you'd have an automatic clientele. Something to consider would be more products than just cult/R2 DVDs. Some VHS would be essential (because 1. not every cool cult flick is out on DVD yet, and 2. not every afficianado of film has gotten their DVD player yet, some of them still collect films in the can). Action figures/collectible fugurines would be another good bet. The markup on them is huge, and you could do all kinds of pre-order business. Another vote for the online storefront here as well. Business in the shop might be slow day to day, but once you get known online, that will be a steady stream of income. Good Luck!
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Old 06-20-03, 12:52 PM
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Location is obviously the key, but two other things. First, going into the venture, the temptation will be naturally to aschew any mainstream film, but I would definately not stock some of the bigger name mainstream titles from the get-go so no one will accuse you of selling out. And sell them at cost or only a dollar or so over it to generate word of mouth buzz foottraffic in your your store. Once upon a time, I only caught the mainstream stuff, but gradually my taste soured with the mainstream faire, hastened by my exposure and experimentation with the avant garde. I think that's the kind of person you could look to draw. But don't go too crazy. For instance I wouldn't stock pap akin the Nora Ephron/Meg Ryan collaborations of the 90's, but a film like "Catch Me if You Can" wouldn't be a bad stock, as an example.

But the second biggest key, to me, would be one of your great expenses. I think you'd need to put a concerted effort to hitting the weekend convention circuit to spread your name and website around, as well as take in some cash by going directly to your market. This can be an expensive venture, but I"d gather it to be a neccessity to make money and for you to acquire information on what's hot, what's not, and share information. Of course these are weekend affairs, so that means hiring help to run your shop, and these conventions are quite frequent, at least up and down the east coast, and with two days of convention and two days of to and from travel, I"m sure you'd be running ragged, as most start-up business owners are, for the early part of their career.
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Old 06-20-03, 01:38 PM
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Good call, Nature Boy!
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