Friday, April 1, 2011

Renegde Anime - The Legend Continues

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.
  1. Some fans of anime like Japanese models (that are from their favorite series).
  2. Fans of said anime will pay more for these imported models.
  3. Fans of anime models are quite spread out across the world.
  4. You cannot support a local business on anime models.
  5. 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:
  1. Anime fans who like the Japanese models are abundant enough online (EBay) to keep a business running.
  2. Said fans are willing to pay well for their favorite imported models.
  3. 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.

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