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SGTWestendorf

Starting A Soft Plastic Buisness

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I am currently looking into starting my own soft plastic buisness and all i find is the premade molds.  I guess the question is that I want to make a buisness but am unsure if i make lures with these molds if I am able to call them mine.  I also was wondering if anyone can give me a website or place to get custom molds made.  Any advice for starting my buisness would be amazing thank you...once i am up and running will send everyone who gives me sounds advice free samples.

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My suggestion to you is read, read and read some more this is not an easy racket to get into you are talking about thousands and thousands of dollars in molds alone when you mention the word custom. They can take months to create review and receive you will need to do patent searches on all your ideas as the big folks are always looking to shut you down, I think you should start as a hobby and see where it goes. Good luck and welcome to the forum.

 

Oh and any of the current mold makers will probably help you do custom work but it make take quite a bit of time they are all busy just keeping up with stock inventory.

Edited by Gon2long
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Looks like you owe Gon2long and bobv some baits because they have given you very good advice. 8O

 

  1. Start off making your own baits, when you have satisfied yourself make some for your friends.
  2. When your friends like them and are catching fish, ask them to start showing them to their friends.
  3. By then you should have a few individuals wanting you to make them some baits.
  4. Now you are getting started, Contact the IRS and get them to help you set up everything to start paying your federal excise tax.
  5. Now its time to start going to Mom and Pop tackle stores
  6. Congratulations, you have started a bait manufactoring company.

 

The molds that are sold by all the popular mold makers you can sell baits off of. Keep in mind that if there was to be a patent infringement you will be the responsible party ( you will just get an intimidating letter telling you to stop selling the baits, whether you want to fight it or not is according to how deep your pockets are). But you shouldn't have this to worry about, when it comes to hand pours quallity is everything, unusual colors can sometimes be all it takes to get you started. Be sure and write down your color recipies so you are consistant every pour, this is very important, if people are buying your product they want the same thing every time. Remember, too big too fast kills in the plastic business.

 

If you need help this is definatly the forum for you.

 

Good luck.

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Mike, that is good advice for me also... I'm looking to get active here myself and had to slow my roll a bit... I am thinking now that within a years time I should have my chops up enough to get going but right now I'm just making (and giving away) a ton of baits. Folks are catching fish and asking for more, so I'm on the right track....

Edited by bluetickhound
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I have had a couple of those good guys offer to pay for my baits but I'm not set up yet to be in business and after reading the thread on "under the table" lure selling I'm scared to take a nickle before I could justify having done so to the IRS...

That being said, I'm sure you're spot on about the other 95+% of folks.... The minute I'm in business they won't want any more baits....

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The same "good ol boys" that own bait shops will try to get you to put your stuff in on consignment. That is a slow death as they have nothing tied up in your product so they won't try to sell it like they would a product that they have paid for.

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I found that those people who get free stuff from you are usually the last people who will pay for it.  There are a few good guys, who appreciate the freebies and recognize that they like what you have enough to pay for it, but a lot are just taking free stuff. 

That was my experience!

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So, the soft bait business model is basically the same as the guy selling crack uptown? "Here guy, try some of this, you'll like it"..... :oooh:

Come to think of it, a lot of guys I know are addicted to fishing, spend lots of dough, and will do almost anything to get out and fish. I'm one of them.

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You're exactly right Ed, except worm heads are worse than crack heads.  Tournament bass fisherman are the worst. 

 

Once they win money off the bait they will always have that bait on hand.

 

If they can't find the bait, then they try to get other people to sell them so they always have a dealer.

 

Unlike most addicts, they hardly share with their friends. 

 

If they find their favorite bait in the store, sometimes they buy all the store has to keep from sharing. 

 

Before a big tournament, if they don't have the bait they're looking for, then price is no issue.  

 

And like other addicts, there's been a lot of family arguments and wives lost to their habit. 

 

And if they do share, then usually their friends become addicted too.  :lolhuh:

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I am currently looking into starting my own soft plastic buisness and all i find is the premade molds. I guess the question is that I want to make a buisness but am unsure if i make lures with these molds if I am able to call them mine. I also was wondering if anyone can give me a website or place to get custom molds made. Any advice for starting my buisness would be amazing thank you...once i am up and running will send everyone who gives me sounds advice free samples.

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I've been making lures for the last ten years all that you have heard here is true!

I have gave away thousands of lures, and sold hundreds. "not a good business profile here"

Lure making is more addictive then drugs for sure, trust me if I never made another lure and used a bag or two a day from now on I would probably die long before I ran out. I have several big green totes I got at wallmart every time my wife has to move one she complains that I need to get rid of some of these lures. She hasn't realized that there are 12 of them between the house and the shop. LOL

I'm a lure junkie!

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try getting a fishing tackle retail magazine. look in there for companys to do you buying from..alot  of them have standare over runs. that u can buy in bulk and resale without the mess...I made good money doing that..have a large supply base...little mom and pop shops sell my plastics.and they sell a lot of it...

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Just curious, is there anyone here who sells plastic baits that did not start out by giving some away?

Mike,I never gave away any baits when I started out,still wont do the freebie thing,I get about 2-3 request per week from people wanting free samples,been contacted by every bait store in my area and out of my area,they all want your baits for nothing so they can make the profit,If you have a unique product you can get top dollar,dont give in to the vultures!!!LOL

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My list of folks who always ask for freebies and sponsorship

 

1-Tournament anglers- numerous e-mails every spring requesting sponsorship. They all start out by saying," I love you baits"-to which i reply- "If you love them so much ,then why isn't your name  on my current,customer data base." then they respond by saying,I'll make your baits famous"--Laugh!!! :nono:

 

2-Fishing guides/outdoor writers who want  dirt cheap/free products. They are offered a substancial discount but no free baits w/ the exception of new proto-type baits.There are only a few that respond.

 

3- Never ,ever fall into the consignment trap. Stores want 40% off retail for starters and that works for the  bait manufacturing companies who produce 1,000's of soft-baits per day- not the small manufacture

 

Another point to remember, your not supposed to make a profit off of your gimme,gimme friends. Cut them off and they'll disappear quickly.

 

This cutthroat tackle business is tough enough for those who play by the rules and pay their excise taxes.  Custom CNC molds and shop/office expenses separate the men from the boys.You have to love this business to stay in it becuase profits don'r support the long hrs. and continuos supply of financial input necessary to stay with it. Don't quit your day job but if your retired, make sure you have the financial means to support your enterprise w/out spending your table money.

 

Self-satisfaction from creating your own,unique products in one thing,selling them for a profit is another. If you're  copying others' baits,you're likely to fail unless your the cheapest guy on the block.There is a tremendous difference between a gross and net profit. Your annual Schedule C form will show you that in cold,hard numbers.Time is money and those who attempt to turn a hobby into a business find this out rather quickly.

 

Edited for spelling

Edited by smallmouthaholic
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My list of folks who always ask for freebies and sponsorship

 

1-Tournament anglers- numerous e-mails every spring requesting sponsorship. They all start out by saying," I love you baits"-to which i reply- "If you love them so much ,then why isn't your name  on my current,customer data base." then they respond by saying,I'll make your baits famous"--Laugh!!! :nono:

 

2-Fishing guides/outdoor writers who want  dirt cheap/free products. They are offered a substancial discount but no free baits w/ the exception of new proto-type baits.There are only a few that respond.

 

3- Never ,ever fall into the consignment trap. Stores want 40% off retail for starters and that works for the  bait manufacturing companies who produce 1,000's of soft-baits per day- not the small manufacture

 

Another point to remember, your not supposed to make a profit off of your gimme,gimme friends. Cut them off and they'll disappear quickly.

 

This cutthroat tackle business is tough enough for those who play by the rules and pay their excise taxes.  Custom CNC molds and shop/office expenses separate the men from the boys.You have to love this business to stay in it becuase profits don'r support the long hrs. and continuos supply of financial input necessary to stay with it. Don't quit your day job but if your retired, make sure you have the financial means to support your enterprise w/out spending your table money.

 

Self-satisfaction from creating your own,unique products in one thing,selling them for a profit is another. If you're  copying others' baits,you're likely to fail unless your the cheapest guy on the block.There is a tremendous difference between a gross and net profit. Your annual Schedule C form will show you that in cold,hard numbers.Time is money and those who attempt to turn a hobby into a business find this out rather quickly.

 

Edited for spelling

Well said and right on the money!!!

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