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cl_Theocl_Theo6年前
When it comes to buying figures/anime/manga from anywhere, is there anything you wish was easier in the whole buying process? Also would you go to a shop for your buying needs if one wasn't too far away?

For my entrepreneurial class I'm supposed to come up with a business idea for something I'm passionate about. I was thinking an anime like shop, but that seems like a risk since anime here in the US is still sort of a niche.

I was then thinking of a shop mixed with US comics, marvel/dc figures, anime figures, and just other nerd like products, but I'm not exactly sure why people would prefer to go to this shop instead of online. Plus imports are damn expensive.

These are only ideas I brain stormed the past few hours. I do plan to have a business revolved around all the things listed above so this is actually a good way to get feedback.

If anyone has any impute or even other ideas for a business, please feel free to share! Like I said I do hope to make a similar business so we might even be partners one day :3

Any thoughts?
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There is a place in NYC called Forbidden Planet that is pretty much exactly the same type of store you are thinking about.
It's pretty popular and a major staple in NY nerdy culture.

But like many brick-and-mortar stores of this type, it's hurting.

Just on price alone, you are not going to beat online stores. A physical store has so much more overhead compared to an online store, and you can't just eat the overhead to keep your prices competitive and expect your business to be sustainable.
But in order for a store to be sustainable, it needs to keep its prices competitive. And it can't most of the time.

Not to mention the fact that merchandise are not specialized goods. Buying it from you is exactly the same as buying it from somewhere else. In that situation, price is the strongest deciding factor for where someone will purchase from, especially when your customer-base is mostly comprised of young, tech-savvy people that have price comparison machines in their pockets.

If I was an informed investor, I would not put money into a physical merchandise store unless it is a first-party store.

Btw, I'm pretty sure you can make an online store for your assignment. A lot of successful B2C businesses are online-based nowadays (eBay, Amazon, etc).
6年前
I think you should combine the Anime and US comics, marvel/dc figures. There are local stores around in my country that do it alot than just pure Anime. You can import by bulk/ton in a container (Ship) than per piece but it usually takes a month.
6年前
Katto6年前#1990921The fact that there's so many (and they've grown enough to become chains) would beg to differ. But I think that's also a difference in the culture again. The fact that there are so many more small businesses than there are in most Western countries probably lends to the fact that they look more successful than they actually are haha.
We are digressing way too much from the point. I still would consider it a poor business model in Japan in a zone that is not crowded with the niche market that frequents maid cafe's. And that's the point, if I ask most Japanese they'd still be hesitant to go in most cases due to the stigma. Maid Cafe's are not part of Japanese culture per se, but a sub-culture that may or may not have originated their. Maid Cafe's are also you do for play; like when there are school festivals; and not exactly for a career.

Nevertheless, why pander such a small crowd of opportunity while you can serve more people by being more casual. I'm just saying to put a little personal touch and that is many times an added value as I have exemplified.
6年前
maximimon The New Shadow Emperor
mmmm after reading all the comments I have to agree with most users here , the zone its a really important factor for the business to succeed or fail , also the online option would help it to gain both popularity and more sales , however as both a local shop customer and online buyer I have to say that more of the time local shops are at disadvantage against Japanese online stores because the larger stock and lower prices .

however there are some points that could help a local store; like it was said before selling popular items help to gain reputation and customers , also the later release date of stuff can be a lifesaver from avid buyers who preorders a lot ( like myself ) , also customer service its definitely a big point , its important to cater the taste of your customer base with a selection of products they like ,easier said than done I know , also if such a store could get rare goods/figures for their most loyal customers or even help them get items could make it the preferred choice , I know I became a loval customer of www.desunation.... after they managed to get for me this item for me : ITEM #5769 after it was pretty much impossible to find a preorder anywhere and for a decent price too , that sealed the deal for me as well getting rare items the store carried in their stock later on .

however that was only on my case I saw that this store offers a lot of stuff rather than
just sell anime stuff , it has trading card tournaments , they show anime movies each month , gaming sessions etc you get the idea, he created an environment around that store that cant be found online .
6年前
Glad to see so many replies! I know there's people wo aren't replying, but don't be shy! Let your voices be hard! This is target market research and everyone on this site is my target market for the most part! :3
6年前
kittokatsutsu SHSL Magical Girl
naisor6年前#1990865Not saying that the whole thing of not working outside Japan is wrong; it's actually correct. But, I would also like to say that I think they barely work in Japan. : lThe fact that there's so many (and they've grown enough to become chains) would beg to differ. But I think that's also a difference in the culture again. The fact that there are so many more small businesses than there are in most Western countries probably lends to the fact that they look more successful than they actually are haha.
6年前
cl_Theo6年前#1990885Varied opinions are sort of why I didn't include a poll. The people who have replied seem to vary and I want to hear what they feels about a store that could possible sell anime/geeky merchandise.
The online thing I was considering, but the final project is centered around a presentation to "investors." I wasn't sure if I was allowed to make a business exclusively online or not. I'll find out for sure though. Thanks for the feedback!


I guess that's a good point, hadn't thought of that. If there were a poll, I suppose we wouldn't be doing much in the way of discussion, lol. And you're welcome, hopefully I helped out a bit! The technicalities of business definitely elude me, but I wanted to share my thoughts as someone who spends a decent bit of cash on this hobby every month.
Good luck with your research!
6年前
Kromert6年前#1990839Well first and foremost, I would suggest that you edit this post to include a poll...something to the effect of "would you be more likely to buy figures from a local store if prices were nice, yes or no". I can only speak for myself, and I'm sure there are members on MFC who have opinions that vary from mine.
This is a good example, depending on where you live could affect your opinion on the matter. Like she said, it's not impossible to find figures/models/whatever in the US for close to the on-line retail, and in some cases it could even be cheaper. For example, I came across THIS KIT around six months ago for $14.99 on the shelf of an anime store...I'm still pretty pissed I didn't buy it then and there, as it can be quite expensive on-line. This really is a tough question, as there will be many variables to consider. I also quite like her idea of a Cafe alongside the shop- Like you said, we have Starbucks, but who doesn't wanna go to a cafe where the girls are wearing maid outfits and cat ears? =] At that point, I think you would have to decide which of the two would be the primary focus of the business, but the lack of stores like it in the US could make it a viable option, given the right circumstances or location.
While this may be the case for some, I don't know I would say usually. I work plenty, and were there an anime store here, I would def make a point of frequenting it. Again, that's just my personal opinion, but look at figure collecting on the whole- It's not exactly a cheap hobby, so I think it's fair to say that the majority of consumers would buy locally if prices were similar. I almost think it would be more time effective to go to a physical store as opposed to shopping on-line. I'll admit to having spent hours looking for particular figures before, and you always have to check a variety of websites. What if you had a shop just down the road that carried what you were looking for? Not only could you zip down there and snag it up, but you wouldn't have to wait 4-6 weeks for shipping, which is often the case for many of us on-line shoppers.
I'm not saying naisor is right or wrong, I'm merely pointing out a few of the pros of a local store.


Varied opinions are sort of why I didn't include a poll. The people who have replied seem to vary and I want to hear what they feels about a store that could possible sell anime/geeky merchandise.

The online thing I was considering, but the final project is centered around a presentation to "investors." I wasn't sure if I was allowed to make a business exclusively online or not. I'll find out for sure though. Thanks for the feedback!
6年前
naisor6年前#1990865The thing is that, I really try to see it as a whole; and as it is in reality. I have an order shipped to me from AmiAmi every month since 2011. Local stores and convention seldom would offer me even half of the stock of those items; thus, they are limited to what sells best in their respective areas (aka no luck for me in having my AGP crack from Bandai :( , but a lot of Myth Cloths : D).
Also, since I work a lot, and travel a lot, a local store is immensely inconvenient for me, while having all shipped to my house is the best option.
And, let's not forget, it is still pretty though to compete with Japan prices while importing. I love Big Bad Toy Store for buying some transformers and Ninja turtles, but I'm never paying their prices for stuff from Japan.
So, still, you need to know very well the market in your local area in order to make the right choice for a business. ; )


Well the funny thing is, I myself am an on-line consumer, and much like you, I usually place a nice sized order towards the beginning of the month, so I can understand where you're coming from. I also agree that a local shop would not always have every little item you're looking for like the internet usually does, lol. But again, like I said, it boils down to the person. You say you travel a lot, so I can understand your lack of time to spend going to stores, but someone like me who does not travel still sees a brick and mortar as a viable buying option. I'm not explaining this from the standpoint of a business owner, more-so just my own experiences as a frequent consumer.

While I agree competing with prices can be tough, I don't believe it's totally unthinkable that a store would be able to offer a wide selection at a fair price, again given the size of the town and the presence of a nerd culture.

For example, if you tried something like this where I live, you would go bankrupt almost immediately. Nonetheless, I wish we had something similar.
6年前
Kromert6年前#1990839I'm not saying naisor is right or wrong, I'm merely pointing out a few of the pros of a local store.
The thing is that, I really try to see it as a whole; and as it is in reality. I have an order shipped to me from AmiAmi every month since 2011. Local stores and convention seldom would offer me even half of the stock of those items; thus, they are limited to what sells best in their respective areas (aka no luck for me in having my AGP crack from Bandai :( , but a lot of Myth Cloths : D).

Also, since I work a lot, and travel a lot, a local store is immensely inconvenient for me, while having all shipped to my house is the best option.

And, let's not forget, it is still pretty though to compete with Japan prices while importing. I love Big Bad Toy Store for buying some transformers and Ninja turtles, but I'm never paying their prices for stuff from Japan.

So, still, you need to know very well the market in your local area in order to make the right choice for a business. ; )

Katto6年前#1990857Just regarding this, that's not actually the case in Japan. Maid cafes have a serious hold on the entertainment scene. But I do definitely think it's less likely that it'll follow through in a country where "cute" isn't a massive and popular thing.
No offense, but I also had first impressions the first time I went to Japan. But then, I live three years there and impressions where properly clarified thanks to the people of Kantou, Niigata, Kobe, Kanazawa and Hiroshima (I still have to try Hokkaido, though). Maid Cafe's are pretty niche, while MangaKisa's are more of a "cheap hotel" to spent the night because missed the last train (or you're playing mahjong with some friends, gambling places make the world (aka Japan) go round, and I'm still pretty sure anime & manga culture (aka otaku culture) still carries the stigma of society in general (including Maid Cafe's).

Not saying that the whole thing of not working outside Japan is wrong; it's actually correct. But, I would also like to say that I think they barely work in Japan. : l
6年前
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