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Old 13th July 2004, 08:54 AM   #1
daveo
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Post How does one find a partner for a webstore?

Greetings,

I'm a webmaster of an existing informational website (armor modelling) with a steady flow of visitors. It is ranked at the top of the search engines and also has good incoming links.

Now I would like to convert this existing stream of steady traffic into dollars by setting up a webstore and selling armor kits and related stuffs like paints, compressors, etc. The preferred business model is to use the drop shipping method to avoid the hassles of inventory, shipping/receiving infrastructure.

Being a perl programmer, I developed my own shopping cart and can setup payment gateway, mailing lists, etc. No worries on the techie aspects. The webstore development is progressing very well.

But the issue I'm facing is that I will end up with very attractive webstore, fully functional and ready to take orders, with content and steady stream of visitors, but with no products to ship.

I couldn't find a drop shipper. mydssd and thomasregister both turned out blank when looking for tamiya drop shippers. As I'm not in the US, what I'm looking for is a partner in the US who can establish a drop ship agreement with local suppliers/distributors. Somebody who knows html and webmastering would be very helpful.

Does anybody have any ideas how to go about looking for a US/Canadian partner for a joint venture? This issue has been consuming me for weeks, and I'd thought to mention it out. Any suggestions would be helpful. Cheers.


Last edited by daveo; 16th July 2004 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 13th July 2004, 11:48 AM   #2
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Hello daveo - welcome to the forum!

I love history and I can see I'll have fun reading through your site. One quick question, you mentioned you wanted to sell armor kits - does this mean replica models that hobbyists would put together? I think that is what you are talking about but I just wanted to be sure.

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Last edited by Robert; 13th July 2004 at 11:54 AM. Reason: added question
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Old 13th July 2004, 08:05 PM   #3
daveo
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Yes Robert, its those small scale models that hobbyists glue together and then paint them.

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Old 13th July 2004, 09:39 PM   #4
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Hi daveo,

Have you tried approaching companies like tamiyausa.com directly about them handling the drop shipping?

If the companies won't go that route and you need a partner in the US, you may want to consider looking for military hobbyist forums and monitoring those for people who have shown a passion for the subject through their posts. Then approach those individuals or even the forum moderator.

Also, I'd look for armor modelling clubs as a source for potential partners or even individual hobbyist sites.

You probably already know of these, but here are a few sites with forums and/or clubs.

http://www.amps-armor.org/default.asp
http://www.ww2modelmaker.com/forummain.htm
http://www.finescale.com/fsm/community/clubs/clubs.asp

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Old 14th July 2004, 04:11 AM   #5
daveo
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Tamiya doesn’t sell directly to the public. The AMPS club you mentioned is a very, very resourceful site. There are many, many club listings there. Will certainly explore that. Thanks.

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Old 14th July 2004, 04:15 AM   #6
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Drop shipping sales on the back of information sites is the way ahead I thinkpeople are now starting to realise that some of the best places to find information or hang out and learn, are places like your site, and forums like this one.

Many people are deciding that it is in the best interests of all to show loyalty to a good site, and buy from there to support it, thus ensuring the future of the site (and their own enjoyment).

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Old 2nd August 2004, 09:42 AM   #7
BossBean
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Default Drop-Ship issues from outside the USA

Daveo,

I am new here, but let me tell you some of what I have been doing over the last year.

I have been working with some Italians that want to set up a web store and sell to the US market. They want to sell their own stuff and also flesh out the product line by offering some other makers' shoes and accessories on the site. Therefore they need to have the ability to drop ship both their own and their suppliers' stuff in the USA.

They found a wholesaler to handle the other manufacturers goods on a drop ship basis.

For their own drop shipping we did the following (and it is not up and running yet).
Created a corporation to run things in the USA - This allows them to deal in dollars, use VISA/MC, keep profits here, et cetera.
Contracted with DHL to warehouse their own goods in NY/NJ.
Contracted with DHL to drop ship on demand within the US.
UPS offers the same service, warehousing and drop shipping. Both of them can handle returns and offer detailed reports.

One of the biggest problems they have is getting a bank account for a US entity controlled by a non US person. We are getting a handle on that part at some expense.

It looks like it might work too!

The biggest problem you will have getting started using this type of setup is cost. I think they have invested about $20k so far. If sales go as expected they will make out fine. If not, they lose their nice silk shirts


Last edited by BossBean; 9th August 2004 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 17th August 2004, 08:55 AM   #8
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Daveo,
If you go with a model like BossBean outlined above, you may want to check out http://www.legalzoom.com/index.html

They can answer any questions you may have regarding incorporation and they will complete/submit ALL necessary forms and paperwork for a fraction of costs. Well worth a look.

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Old 23rd August 2004, 02:10 PM   #9
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Default professional (regulated) services on the web

Poyseor ~

I agree about using an attorney. It is the high cost way to go. I think
anyone making a decision as important as incorporation should be clear about
what they get for their money.

Anyone doing business in only his or her home state can probably handle
incorporating themselves in that state. It all starts with a call, email or
visit to the Secretary of States Office. Most make the forms available for
creating a simple corporation, LLC or alternate entity.

I work for a company that sets up entities in Delaware and we frequently
advise clients to look into incorporating in their home state. Of course,
if they find a reason not to incorporate in the home state we are happy to
help them in Delaware.

All of us in our industry must be very careful about crossing the line into provision of legal advice.

A service agency that charges only $99.00 to file papers is not the best
place to go for legal advice. If you need legal advice, the best (only)
place to get it is an attorney.

I am sure Legalzoom is competent at filing papers too. Do their name and presentation imply that they will help with the decision to incorporate, or trademark or get a prenup agreement?

This brings up the issue of providing professional (regulated) services on the web. The internet business is in all jurisdictions and some are more understanding than others. I remember a case not long ago where Intuit got sued by the Texas Bar for providing legal services without a license. Could the online seller in Maine be dragged into a California court?

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