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I want to open a tack store.

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  • I want to open a tack store.

    I know, probably not a lot of sales right now but it's what I have always wanted to do.

    I have tons of retail experience in my past.

    I am single and have time on my hands (other than when I am at work with my current job.)


  • #2
    You should start with working at a local tack store for a while.
    I wouldn't try to start anything without an existing network of potential customers... especially in this economy.
    Unless you're looking to open an online tack store?




    • #3
      think really hard about how much you want to do it. My best friend's family owns a large tack and feed store in my area. They work their butts off. The store is open 6 days a week, they are usually there all 7. You will need capital to purchase inventory, a customer base, and knowledge of the products and the current market trends. It is a rather large proposition. I'd agree with the above poster to work in a tack store for a year or two and see how much you like it. I did that, and currently own my own small business, and I'll tell you, it adds up to many 20 hour days.


      • #4
        One of my business instructors once said, "One of the biggest reasons businesses fail is because the business owner thinks just because they have a store - the customers will come!"

        In todays economy the only way you will get ends to meet is if you use every resource..go to horse shows and set up booths, sell on e-bay, come up with creative specials etc. Also - you need to find a few items that are unique only to your shop..

        I wish you all the luck in the world..but with another job I don't see all this getting done in a 24 hour day...even if you don't sleep!


        • #5
          You could try setting up an online tack store, see how it goes from there, and then if it goes well, and the market is good in your area for opening a business, open a tack store

          That way you can get a client-base (online at least) and start bringing in local people as well.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jasmine
            Move to Madison, WI?

            I really don't have anything useful to add, I'm just frustrated with the lack of a good local tack store here.
            No joke! Seems like anytime I need anything more interesting than fly spray I have to order it. And the fly spray I can get at the hardware store
            "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
            -Edward Hoagland


            • #7
              What I would recommend is to keep your job you have now, and just start selling specialty items out of your home in your spare time. Monogrammed saddle pads, breeches, say. Stick with 2-3 items you know people need in your area, and sell out of your home. Then gradually, by steps, increase your business until the income is sufficient to support yourself and then quit your day job.

              Owning your own business is nothing like working in retail. It's very different, you do everything.


              • #8
                OP, seriously, it would be much more effective if you just lit your money on fire. Tackshops across the US are closing. For good reasons.


                • #9
                  I know of half a dozen people who tried in this area. None of them lasted more than a couple years. And one was a local 'hotshot' who ran with the moneyed fashionable set.

                  Every one of them had lots of people falling all over themselves to say, "Heck, yeah, I'll buy stuff from you all the time" -- but when the time came to put their money where their mouth was... they didn't.

                  OTOH, you might be able to make a bit of pin money buy scrounging garage sales, Ebay, and Craig's List for tack "bargains" that you can resell. Some local shows will let you display a saddle with a price tag and there's hundreds of bulletin boards around you can post fliers on. Think of it as One Piece At A Time (anybody old enough to remember the Johnny Cash song?) instead of a full inventory that sits around gathering dust and going out of style.


                  • #10
                    Sadly, tack shops are NOT a great business to get into right now. You need a signifcant amount of capitol, and buyers will be shopping for the lowest price, no matter what else you offer. I have walked out of local tack shops when they wanted to charge me 50 cents more per tube on a pack of twleve wormers (buying in bulk shoud be cheaper!). I showed them the ad in the catalpouge I had (Valley vet maybe?) and there was even free shipping. Owner could do nothing for me, he paid too much for the stuff, period.
                    Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                      OP, seriously, it would be much more effective if you just lit your money on fire. Tackshops across the US are closing. For good reasons.
                      Ditto this. There's a place that's near where Dover decided to put a shop in NJ, and they've just announced they're going out of business. Kind of sad, really. They were doing well before Dover moved here.
                      Horsey Stick Art clique
                      Crayolaposse~ SparklyLime
                      PPP Grand-Poobah


                      • #12
                        BUT... remember...you miss 100% of the shots you don't take!
                        If you want to try, go for it! Beats always wondering if you'd have made it. Sounds like you have past retail experience.
                        We have a local guy who just sells out of his barn. That way he gets the stuff he needs for his personal use at wholesale prices & still sales to the community. Has some really nice tack at times if you need it. Comes in handy to have his "shop" around.
                        Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


                        • #13
                          I run a small business- very local sort of stuff. My stuff is not horse related, but I hand knit dishcloths. I have a blog that I post all sorts of pictures on too- points to siggy- and I advertise on my local craigslist.

                          If you can make a few things REALLY well- say, you monogram saddle pads, custom color polos, show shirts, whatever. Take a couple examples of them to a local tack shop and see if they will sell them there. You should be able to make more that way!

                          Or, you could buy saddles (such as ebay ones where people don't know what they have) and restore them. Whatever you passion is, have fun with it and be realistic.
                          Visit My Craft Blog!



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by greysandbays View Post
                            OTOH, you might be able to make a bit of pin money buy scrounging garage sales, Ebay, and Craig's List for tack "bargains" that you can resell. Some local shows will let you display a saddle with a price tag and there's hundreds of bulletin boards around you can post fliers on. Think of it as One Piece At A Time (anybody old enough to remember the Johnny Cash song?) instead of a full inventory that sits around gathering dust and going out of style.
                            I've done a bit of buying and selling like this... picked up saddles and tack for low prices at public/estate auctions, classifieds, etc and sold it later for more (sometimes used it for awhile in between, even)

                            And at 28 I'm certainly not very old, but I love that song, where he steals the car pieces in his lunchbox


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                              OP, seriously, it would be much more effective if you just lit your money on fire.
                              Love this quote!
                              Answer: Yes. Give it a try. Keep your other job. Start very small. Don't invest too much to start. See how it goes. Get a website. Go from there.


                              • #16

                                I think the successful tack stores are the tack and FEED stores. People have to come to get feed and then buy additional stuff. Even in a rotten economy, people have to buy feed.
                                Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                                One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
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                                • #17
                                  I would start doing the one piece at a time and selling it. Go to estate sales, auctions and buy stuff cheap. Than resell it.

                                  IF I had time I would do that sort of thing but my weekends are booked enough.
                                  OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
                                  Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
                                  Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)


                                  • #18
                                    It's important to look honestly at the competition. There's the online stores (Smartpak, dover, etc.) and there's the big stores like agway and tractor supply (feed/farm stores), and there's the area tack shops - some areas have some, some don't.

                                    So look at what's in your area - say within 40 miles - and what's online.

                                    Can you do something different? Can you offer some convenience and items that are hard to get at the other places?

                                    For example our very popular local tack shop carries a few basics for those last-minute needs (flyspray, hairnets), but 90% of what she carries is consignment stuff. People are trying to save money, so the used items are very popular, and you can't get them all in one easy location online. Plus this way you can touch and look in person.

                                    She has tons of show clothing, saddles, boots, bridles, books, even jewelry, breyers, collectibles, etc. People bring in their used stuff on consignment, and people go there to find bargains.


                                    • #19
                                      Seriously, move to Madison. There is NOWHERE to buy stuff around here. I have to do all my "nice" shopping at horse shows in the mobile tack trailers.
                                      Originally posted by tidy rabbit
                                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.