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lurecarver23

Lure Making Business

14 posts in this topic

Hey,

How many of you guys have tried starting a business to sell your lures? How do you sell them? I have thought about ebay but don't know if there is alot of interest for handcarved lures on ebay. Or do most of you just sell them to friends and locals. I was just wondering how you set up your business and if it is worth the trouble? I hope that someone can give me a little insight on how the process works.

Thanks

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I started out back in 1996 doing repaint work for friends and the guys in my club. Word of mouth led to getting in local tackle shops. Then came the internet boom and I put together a web page and started advertising online. In 1998 I started out playing around with making lures from scratch. I used to give one of the baits that I made to some of my repaint customers. I now do not have time to do the repaint work as I'm concentrating on full scale bait production. I would say that the majority of my sucess comes from word of mouth. I have also given away about 800 lures over the past 2 years to get my foot in the door. This business is very competitive and many customers are brand(manufacturer) loyal. One avenue that helped me was to give away baits at Tournaments. Two years ago I gave away 100 lures at a Bullet Boat owners tourney. Try to find charity Tournaments and tell the people that are running the tourney that you wish to contribute to the winnings with baits. This has worked for me but every business should develop their own Business plan. Hope this helps

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blackjack, do you make them by yourself? How many can you make in a day? Just curious, I hope to have my own business some day. You some exelent looking baits.

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rj,

In order to have a business that you can really make some money at making crankbaits, you will have to automate in some fashion. Usually you will need something to cut the bodies and round the edges. Then you will usually have something to cut your lips out with. You can usually come up with your own stuff to do this and it usually works fairly well. This is why most "Homemade" bait makers usually make flat sided crankbaits. They are the easiest to make and keep somewhat consistant and straight. Round baits like Bagley's is something else entirely. Usually equipment to make alot of those type of baits are too expensive to the average baitmaker to invest in. To give you some kind of idea, you will have to turn out about 5000 baits a year and sell them between 15 and 20 bucks each to make any kind of reasonable income. The best piece of advice that I can give you is to remember quality. Many bait makers turned out some excellent baits. They made some decent money at it. Then they got greedy and started trying to figure out a way to turn out more and more baits quickly to make even more money. To do this most of them started taking shorcuts and their quality went down hill. After a few years, their clients went away. Remember, the foundation of your business is your product. The name your product creates is as important as the money they make you. Once the quality goes, and your name becomes mud...... your business will end.

Skeeter

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The advise given by Craig and Jeff is right on. I really don't have anything to add to what they have already shared. I have been in business for almost 15 years now and both of these guys make some of the top baits in the industry in my opinion. Follow their lead as they are leading you down the right road. Go slow guys. Don't invest a bunch of money on high price equipment until there is a need for it. I just want everyone to know that as a moderator of this site I do visit the site several time a day. If I don't post on a subject it is because the correct answer has already been given by someone else. We are fortunate to have guys like Skeeter and Blackjack and others who have the knowledge to answer most questions that come up here. Listen and learn.

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They are plenty of guys here that have been selling lures longer than I have..although I have been making lures for myself for over 30 years.

but I have been in business since 1979 at that time I also was a tool & Die maker for a large company.. the company went out of business in 1986.. I have never punch a clock for someone else since..

business is build on your desire and faith in yourself..business succeeds

when you form a plan and you just don't give up..because it will be easier to give up many times.. than it is to carry on..people that make it never give up they only learn from their mistakes and regroup and carry on..

you must win customes by making a good product..by listening to your customers,by having good service,and treating people fair. go slow.. a business is like a child... you feed it,you care for it,you change it to fit a need,you hold it up till it can stand on it own..and you never..never give up..

one poster here said he gave away lures to get them in the hands of people

that would help spread the word..there is nothing wrong with that as long as you can stand the cost of giving away lures..

I do give lures away.. but I hand pick those people and I ask them to fill out a test report on my baits so I can get honest feed back.. this way I can try to see what things I need to change..this also lets me know that the testers give them an honest effort.. when I first started selling lures I just gave a bunch away hoping to hear back from the people I gave them to.. this turn out to be a failure.. I did sell a few lures from it..I needed more from the give away than that.. I needed to know.. how did they all work? did they do anything you didn't expect? how did the color hold up?

Did you like the hook that came on the bait?

anyway now I still give baits away.. I have 20 question test report to fill out on all test baits..this is to make sure I'm making the best baits I can..

I offer special deals to the bait shops that sells my baits to help with new models..

point is we all do things different.. these is no right way or wrong way..you have to see what works best for you ...

good luck and never give up!

Littlebear

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Well, a lot of good friends and coworkers they been sugesting that i should produce my own lures and sell them, they love my colors on my shads, they already are fascinated with the scent i been mixing,, the so called "piczie" (licorice scent)....... the question is: how can i get in to lure making home based business?? What gets patented?? Or can i just buy an aluminum mold and go for it using my own color recipes and names? Is just so many questions,questions,,thanks..

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" Many of life's failures came when one did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up "

Good luck with your venture, just take your time and have some sort of plan on what you want out of it. After 5 years of playing around I think I will be ready the first of the year to start a site and also try selling retail to the local shops. And just maybe pass it on to my son, or

grandson.

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step one call the irs and get the forms going to get a employer tax id number. You need this whether you have employees or not. Step 2 get registered with irs for sportfishing excise tax. Don't get caught playing the game like alot of guys in this business do. Step 3 call your insurance agent and get a policy Step 4 call your town and get registered step 5 start marketing

If you think your going to make money in this business then best step back. The pay is about -.10 per hour. Yes that's minus cuz you ain't gonna make what you think. I can say this being in business full time doing this since 2002

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Ditto for Saltybugger. Once you crunch the numbers, selling privatley to pay for materials and gas money is much more fun.

I tried it starting a business with partners. I dont regret it. Bettter than wondering "what if". It was a sobering learning experience. All I can say is beware of the people you get involved wtih.

Its always great to hear success storys. Its a very hard business to compete in.

Im back to selling to friends and giving away plugs. Im much happier, and dont deal with the legal issues.

Maybe I will use what I learned to try agian, by myself, on my own terms.

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Yeah,,i like the idea of selling from the back of my truck to friends and their friends..i already sell big R/C planes and do custom work to them,

and that pays big greenies.... all i can say is that they keep on telling me to go big with the lure making,lol

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Everything that has been posted is very true....Take this from someone who has been through everything said.....I have been building and selling lures for over 20 years Once you take a hobby and turn it into a small buisness alot of the fun goes away and it becomes a job with deadlines as for how many baits one can make that is up to them but remember keep the quality up.......I have alot of wood working experience but also had to learn alot of other things to build lures correctly like working metals to bulid dies .....mold making to build forms to hold lures ......welding/machining to help in making the machines that cut bodies out ....all of this was to help in speeding up the process of building......So before one dives in head first thinking they are gonna get rich they better sit back and ask the ones who do or have done this before hand........Jawjacker

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Just my two cents worth, I haven't read all of the posts above but here goes...be very very careful if you're gonna do this full time as your only income, not sure if thats your plan or not. Quality and customer service in my opinion, go hand in hand. You can have the best product but give crummy service and people won't use you, Honesty is absolutley the best policy. I only do it part time as a hobby but have a great customer base thats growing every day. No websight only because I'm affraid I'll get more work than I can handle and my service will go down. I stay busy ( I also do repro fish) and I'm honest and let my customers know that I'm busy and it might take a while to get them thier baits. I only use word of mouth and facebook and have as much as I can handle....hope this at least helps a little.

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It's a lot of work, definitely not an easy thing to do. With all the information online now on how to build a good lure there seems to be another lure business springing up everyday. But............that doesn't mean it can't be done, it's like any other business, to make money at it, you have to be better than most.

RM

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