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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those that don't know, I started and ran an online parts business in 2002 called Nashville Speed. I still use the domain name as the DNS server for this site.

That business didn't make it long, as I simply did not make enough money to make it worth my time and energy. Long story short, I have a deep appreciation for the sponsors of this site, I know how tough it is to make money online and I know how thin the margins can be on these parts.

When I started this site in August 05, my goal was not to gouge sponsors. Obviously, with other huge sites out there, I have to attract sponsors in another way. So I decided to keep the ad prices lower, and attract more of you instead. This benefits everyone....increased revenue for me, inexpensive advertising for businesses, and greater choice for the members here.

I try to keep our ad rates "benchmarked" against the bigger sites, so that you are not paying more "per member" here than you would over there. I think a lot of smaller forums make the mistake of over charging for sponsorship, and as a result they never get any advertisers. Find another forum with 6,500 members that has 30+ sponsors!!

Interesting trivia: My business was the first retailer of the now famous "Bob Bishop" C5 front brake adapter brackets, which were later sold by Speed Specialty and now Hotpart.com.

Another interesting factoid, if anybody cares, is that I am the founder of both frrax.com (the F-body road racing forum), and 5thgen.org. I sold both to concentrate on growing LS1LT1.com.
 

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For those that don't know, I started and ran an online parts business in 2002 called Nashville Speed. I still use the domain name as the DNS server for this site.

That business didn't make it long, as I simply did not make enough money to make it worth my time and energy. Long story short, I have a deep appreciation for the sponsors of this site, I know how tough it is to make money online and I know how thin the margins can be on these parts.

When I started this site in August 05, my goal was not to gouge sponsors. Obviously, with other huge sites out there, I have to attract sponsors in another way. So I decided to keep the ad prices lower, and attract more of you instead. This benefits everyone....increased revenue for me, inexpensive advertising for businesses, and greater choice for the members here.

I try to keep our ad rates "benchmarked" against the bigger sites, so that you are not paying more "per member" here than you would over there. I think a lot of smaller forums make the mistake of over charging for sponsorship, and as a result they never get any advertisers. Find another forum with 6,500 members that has 30+ sponsors!!

Interesting trivia: My business was the first retailer of the now famous "Bob Bishop" C5 front brake adapter brackets, which were later sold by Speed Specialty and now Hotpart.com.

Another interesting factoid, if anybody cares, is that I am the founder of both frrax.com (the F-body road racing forum), and 5thgen.org. I sold both to concentrate on growing LS1LT1.com.
Very Cool. I glad you are not making us pay an arm and a leg on here. I am highly considered dropping my LS1tech sponsorship so I can get my left nut back! :coffee:
 

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Mike,

All Tony and PSJ over there care about is making sure they can build their next project car and keeping enough 50W in stock to comb their hair!

Chris,

Good to know your background. Tells a lot about the industry, if we all as a whole don't work on keeping the margin to a decent level and not selling tricks on the corner business can survive.

FWIW those Bob Bishop brackets were a good idea. I still needed to fix mine before I installed them. He didn't get a few things like a "snug" fit on a bolt to bolt hole that holds a caliper to a spindle is not a good idea, resistance to turning a bolt changes the TQ it takes to turn that bolt and wastes it on rotation not stretch which is the point. It also wasn't hard to find the real TQ spec for those massive bolts in the C5 manual rather than the SCARY thought of re-torquing them to make sure they are snug. MY GOD THEY WERE THE BOLTS THAT HELD THE BRAKES ON MY CAR!!!!

After I powdercoated the brackets and reamed the holes for proper clearance they worked great for 3 years on my SS. Now they just came off last night to go back to stock so the SS can now race in FS for Autocross!

Bret
 

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It's not hard to find them at something like PRI or SEMA, just look for the trophy whore, 50W hair and gold chains! As you can see I'm not a big fan.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My biggest obstacle in selling go-fast parts online was the whole internet attitude of "you owe me a deal, so I'm not going to pay advertised price".

Nobody wants to buy for the stated price on your website. Everybody wants a deal, and to sell anything you have to give it to them or they go to one of the big stores instead.

So I'd gross $5000 in a month and net $500, before expenses.... Subtract out decent web advertising and you're broke.
 

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Yep, that's why I stick to not trying to sell everything just what I am good at. Then try to only work with people who realize your time is worth money and so are your products.

Now one thing I see a lot of when we develop a new part for race motors (retainers, valves or rocker arms) is that so many other morons out there have done the same with almost no background or engineering that they will give these parts away to the builders and have them test them. Then the engine builders motor comes back in a pile of parts because that part failed. So one good warning is to be warned that free parts aren't free.

Then again there are shops that will give huge discounts on parts just for customers to run them and then do free advertising for them on internet forums. I RARELY give out discounts/sponsorship to customers to run my stuff, if you don't want to pay for it then you don't get to run it. On the other hand developing product lines that are market priced AND allow you markups for different types of customers (shops, engine builders, retailers and consumers) is also a big challenge and something I try to do as well. Then again don't expect me to make nothing on a part just so you can. 20%-25% for a shop is about normal, but 50% is just me working for free.

Bret
 

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Hi folks!

For those of you who don't know, I'm Bret's (SStrokerAce) old man, hence the OldSStroker screenname. I own a precision CNC machine and grinding shop. We sometimes make parts for Bret, especially if they are not available anywhere. Back in the day I was a GM product engineer. I learned a lot from some really good folks. I am Bret's engineering consultant and therefore get to be part of his business (and attend PRI). Today I am learning a lot from Bret and some of his cohorts. It helps keep me younger than my years, I believe.

One of Bret's majors in college was economics. It amazes me (and him) how many folks trying to sell parts or services never got to "Econ 101". When I was in Detroit about 40 years ago (!), there was a car dealer who's slogan was "We lose a little on every car, but we make it up in the volume." They sold a ton of cars to people who believed that. Fortunately they were lying, and stayed in business.

You don't have to "whore out" your products or services to get customers. Bret's sister owns a liquor and wine store which sells at reasonable prices, but doesn't sell any items at/below cost to get folks in the door. Her strong point is customer service and being more knowledgeable and helpful than the other discount "booze barns". It works very well. The fracton of folks who buy only on price and then b!tch about this or that go elsewhere, which isn't all bad.

Anyone who has been in business for a while realizes that there are customers that you just don't need, nor want. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you are able to screen them out just form their initial contacts with you. We have all seen folks on forums who personify the "customer from hell".

Life is too short for them...or to drink cheap booze.

I apologize for the ramble. [Edit] I should have read this post from Bret before I wrote this...eerie, I had not read it. It must be the lunar eclipse thing, or we think a lot alike.

SStrokerAce said:
Since my old man is my consulting engineer I should get him hooked up as part of my sponsorship. He has great insight into running a shop since he has been doing that 30 years, even though he does manufacturing the same business principals apply to engine shops to liquor stores both of which his kids own/run.

He has a favorite saying of mine that fits a lot of this industry....

"We lose 5 cents on every part but we make up for it in volume!"

Bret
Regards,

Jon Bauer
(OldSStroker)
 

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Hi folks!

For those of you who don't know, I'm Bret's (SStrokerAce) old man, hence the OldSStroker screenname. I own a precision CNC machine and grinding shop. We sometimes make parts for Bret, especially if they are not available anywhere. Back in the day I was a GM product engineer. I learned a lot from some really good folks. I am Bret's engineering consultant and therefore get to be part of his business (and attend PRI). Today I am learning a lot from Bret and some of his cohorts. It helps keep me younger than my years, I believe.

One of Bret's majors in college was economics. It amazes me (and him) how many folks trying to sell parts or services never got to "Econ 101". When I was in Detroit about 40 years ago (!), there was a car dealer who's slogan was "We lose a little on every car, but we make it up in the volume." They sold a ton of cars to people who believed that. Fortunately they were lying, and stayed in business.

You don't have to "whore out" your products or services to get customers. Bret's sister owns a liquor and wine store which sells at reasonable prices, but doesn't sell any items at/below cost to get folks in the door. Her strong point is customer service and being more knowledgeable and helpful than the other discount "booze barns". It works very well. The fracton of folks who buy only on price and then b!tch about this or that go elsewhere, which isn't all bad.

Anyone who has been in business for a while realizes that there are customers that you just don't need, nor want. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you are able to screen them out just form their initial contacts with you. We have all seen folks on forums who personify the "customer from hell".

Life is too short for them...or to drink cheap booze.

I apologize for the ramble.

Regards,

Jon Bauer
(OldSStroker)
I'll drink to that. Where's the Black Label?
 

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He has one hell of a single malt collection, me I can't stand the stuff. Miller Lite is all I need.

Bret
 

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I'll drink to that. Where's the Black Label?
Asuming you meant the blended Scotch whisky and not the Carling beer, it's an Islay single malt kind of nite. Caol Ila 12 being tonite's choice.

Islay whiskys are an aquired taste, which neither of my kids have adopted. That's fine. I don't have to share when they visit. :)

Jon
 

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Asuming you meant the blended Scotch whisky and not the Carling beer, it's an Islay single malt kind of nite. Caol Ila 12 being tonite's choice.

Islay whiskys are an aquired taste, which neither of my kids have adopted. That's fine. I don't have to share when they visit. :)

Jon
Oh of course I was. There is just something so great after a long day of work and drinking glass of Black Label & smoking a cigar.
 
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