Anyone interested in owning their own music store?

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Eddie, May 23, 2020.

  1. Eddie

    Eddie Squirt Startocaster Infinity Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2016
    New York

    $29,000+ $1000 a month rent.

    Would you do it?

    Would it turn enough business to make a living? I think most profit would come from repairs and set ups.

    I'd love to do it ... but I don't think it would make enough money to cover rent and turn a profit.
  2. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    That would be fun, and that doesn’t seem like a crazy price for rent. But risky for sure. They aren’t selling it because they are making too much money! :)
  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

    That's the key. By definition it's currently a failing business.
  4. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Squier-holic

    Dec 18, 2015
    If I live too long I'll own a pool hall with really expensive guitars hanging on the walls. All for sale. What's the antediluvian equivalent for "before the virus"? That will be the name of the place.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  5. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    I think we've had enough discussions on S-T about Mom and Pop music stores for me to say "No." Some reasons:

    Competing with Guitar Center, Amazon, other on-line retailers
    Recruiting and retaining music instructors
    Dealing with a new set of picky parents every fall when school starts
  6. StevieRayFan

    StevieRayFan Squier-Meister

    Apr 25, 2020
    Seattle, WA
    I think it could be a good opportunity for the right person, and you're right - you would want to develop the service revenue stream.

    Presently the store has no website, scant visibility on Google, zero visibility on Yelp, and he only created a Facebook page six months ago. He set himself up to fail. Someone could take those same building blocks and make it a going concern.

    I would first make sure the lease is a flat $1000 and not triple net which would include a prorated share of the building taxes, insurance, and maintenance. You don't want that.

    I'd change the name. Ace's High sounds like a casino, or a bar, or a pawn shop.

    I'd establish an online department. Use your wholesale buying ability to find something the Chinese haven't commoditized and develop that. Something you know. For example Squier upgrade kits. Right now people have to search far and wide and gather all the pieces. What if you offered nice kits and various price levels? Very cool.

    As for covering rent: he says there is $250k in inventory included. If he's full of **** and you scrape 40% off the top that's still $150k - that's two years sales at $6000 bucks a month without putting a dime back in or counting service dollars while you get everything up and running.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    Good luck!
  7. Eddie

    Eddie Squirt Startocaster Infinity Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    I'm not the entrepreneurial type of person. I don't think I'd be able to make it work. I also worry way too much. Stress gets to me easily. I would never sleep.

    Sounds like something I'd love to do, but I have a feeling I wouldn't make it work.
  8. strummer101

    strummer101 Squier-Meister

    Jun 13, 2019
    Risky, it doesn't say if he is a dealership of any known brand either
    If you get established as an authtorized dealer, the warranty work can keep you going in lean times
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  9. StevieRayFan

    StevieRayFan Squier-Meister

    Apr 25, 2020
    Seattle, WA
    It's good to recognize that before you launch into a venture. I've seen many people realize what they've gotten themselves into and panic.
  10. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA

    He said 25k in inventory. You had one too many zeros. :) From the pictures, it looks like he selling mostly used stuff. A small place like that can’t afford to hang new Gibson’s on the walls. Really Fender as well. Those big companies make you buy so much inventory that the small places can’t afford it.
  11. DADGAD

    DADGAD Squier-Meister

    Nov 1, 2017
    $1,000 a month rent. That doesn’t include utilities, insurance, web site, business license, office supplies, computer, cleaning supplies, accountant for book keeping and doing taxes and all the other hidden costs.

    I own a music business. In 1985 my hourly rate was $20/hr. Today it’s $60/hr.

    Did I mention shipping, receiving and postage costs?
  12. fadetoz

    fadetoz Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2011
    That's a tough business in today's world with all the online shopping deals. I don't see how you could make it. I have a friend that has a shop and I know he isn't doing well at all. I like him and I end up getting stuff online because I just can't afford to pay a markup with my hobby $.
  13. billyb

    billyb Squier-Nut

    Jun 13, 2018
    Central Michigan
    The rent is reasonable.
    Typically the higher profit centers are:
    Used gear.
    Most of the major manufacturers require a major commitment of floor space and
    inventory ($$)...and it looks like the store isn't in a major metro area according to the map.
    ...If you used Ebay and Reverb and hired an professional buyer to travel the area and snag up all the good used gear in the area.
    (But the fees on Ebay and Reverb are getting pretty high lately!)
    Possibly even hire one of the Asian factories to produce a private label line for the store so customers couldn't price compare...
    Every successful retailer has found a niche/specialty and made it a major element in the business model...
    It would be a fun adventure at the least and maybe be something the whole family could get involved in :) :)
  14. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

    This reminds me of a guy near me who bought a small town travel agency about 20 years ago, refusing to believe that the Internet was changing the whole travel industry. "People are still going to want to go to a travel agency in person" he said. He didn't last very long. It was the same deal... the business was failing or the owner wouldn't have been trying to sell it.
  15. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

    Anyone seriously interested will take an accountant and have him go over the last couple years of books anyway. If it's a thriving business and the owner just wants to retire, that will become clear.
  16. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Mom and Pop stores have become the demo station for GC/MF, SW, Sam Ash, Amazon, and the other online biggies. People will go to them to try something they're interested in, and then buy it online to save a few bucks, overlooking the added value of personalized service. Eventually you'll buy everything from Bezos, because he's crushed all the competition, and then he can jack up the prices as much as he wants, once he's the only game in town. And, imagine finding a pair of pants, shirt, or shoes that you like the fit of, witout being able to try it on first.
  17. Block Head Ike

    Block Head Ike Squier-holic

    There are so many good and thoughtful posts on this thread! My brother looked at buying a "Music-Go-Round" store a few years back and decided against it. I don't think it is impossible to make it in a small shop, but as others have indicated, you gotta be very savvy and you have to have revenue from repairs, lessons, equipment rentals to supplement the erratic cash flow of selling instruments.
  18. GEECEE

    GEECEE Squier-Nut

    Jan 11, 2017
    A+ - you know yourself. Could be something a person could make something of but if you're not that person - you're not that person.

    That said, I'd be first in line and pay a premium for a genuine, signature model "EddieCaster" and the staged Squier upgrade kits is a great idea!
  19. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

  20. BlueTele

    BlueTele Squier-Meister

    Aug 29, 2019
    Waleska, Georgia
    Unfortunately, you guys are right on the mark. It would start out as fun and quickly turn into an ulcer maker.