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Crazy idea of opening a small business!!!

Hap

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Hey all,

As most of you know I have been on the forums for almost a year & have only been buying LG/CNI lasers even thought I promised to build one which I have yet to do. While talking on Skype yesterday with a few other members I started looking up on how to make a basic 1W 445 in a flashlight host & saw how easy ti was!!!

Just today this crazy idea came up in my head of starting a laser business(which will laser include more WL's of course). It would work like this:

1) Customer goes on my site & see a laser they like & places an order.
2) I get all the parts, build it then ship it
3) Customer gets laser

I would only make a little bit of profit from this. For example I saw the 1W 445(with parts) would only add up to $90 give or take, and I would sell it for $100. See what I mean?


Please give me your thoughts/ideas! :)

-Alex
 

SN P

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Sounds like a good idea
Would you start off with basic wavelengths or just with the 445nm?
If you do get this up and running, good luck :beer:
 

Hap

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Sounds like a good idea
Would you start off with basic wavelengths or just with the 445nm?
If you do get this up and running, good luck :beer:
Well this was my plan...

I would start off with easy to do wavelengths & cheap ones. My first would most likely be 445nm/405nm then as I get more and more comfortable I would move on to more expensive diodes such as 520nm :)

-Alex
 

SN P

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Well this was my plan...

I would start off with easy to do wavelengths & cheap ones. My first would most likely be 445nm/405nm then as I get more and more comfortable I would move on to more expensive diodes such as 520nm :)

-Alex
Just to get into the flow of building multiple lasers upon order? Good idea.
Would you be doing 635/650nm to start of with also?
May be interested in one of your future 520s :)
 

Hap

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Just to get into the flow of building multiple lasers upon order? Good idea.
Would you be doing 635/650nm to start of with also?
May be interested in one of your future 520s :)
I might haha, too early to tell right now. For now Im trying to get the money to make my first 445nm, then I will start a store if I feel comfortable enough with making lasers!

-Alex
 

SN P

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I might haha, too early to tell right now. For now Im trying to get the money to make my first 445nm, then I will start a store if I feel comfortable enough with making lasers!

-Alex
Okay, is this your first build or did I misread your op?
It's all about practice. I'm sure you'll be comfortable enough to make lasers in no time.
All the best ;)
 

Hap

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Okay, is this your first build or did I misread your op?
It's all about practice. I'm sure you'll be comfortable enough to make lasers in no time.
All the best ;)
Yes, this is going to be my first build! I appreciate the kind words :)

-Alex
 

SN P

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Yes, this is going to be my first build! I appreciate the kind words :)

-Alex
Oh okay, well I hope it all goes well for you.
I will be attempting my first build soon, just waiting for the host to be done.
When you've finished the build, I'd like to see some beam pics :)
No problem
 

ARG

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I would only make a little bit of profit from this. For example I saw the 1W 445(with parts) would only add up to $90 give or take, and I would sell it for $100. See what I mean?
You're going to want to ask for more than that, unfortunately.

Remember the cost of doing business is not cheap. You're responsible if a package doesn't get to the customer, you're responsible if you accidently kill a diode while building it, ect.

I've sold LPM's with a similar pricing scheme before, it works until something inevitably goes wrong.
 
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Hap

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You're going to want to ask for more than that, unfortunately.

Remember the cost of doing business is not cheap. You're responsible if a package doesn't get to the customer, you're responsible if you accidently kill a diode while building it, ect.

I've sold LPM's with a similar pricing scheme before, it works until something inevitably happens.
Agreed, I am really going to give it some thought before I even open such a thing. I just posted this thread so I could get ideas/suggestions. In the near future I just want to build my first 445 then I will take it from there! :)

-Alex
 

trencheel303

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to do something like this and make it work requires an awful lot of effort and some luck. Unfortunately larger companies and demand will make it hard to get a foothold. You either do them so cheap you make only pennies out of it or you do them more expensive to make a bigger margin and get less demand.

There are so many more things to do when starting a company than just popping diodes into hosts. If you start to make a real go of it you have to keep everything on record, start thinking of tax and the law etc. I think it's pretty ambitious to want to equate your desire to build yourself a 445 and extrapolate that into starting your own company.

I mean, say you want to start a company, what's the first thing you'll want to do?
 

crazyspaz

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Don't take this the wrong way- but I wouldn't, if I were you, and heres a few reasons why:

1) as ARG said, you are responsible for your product. And if you haven't figured this out yet, people are dicks. That being said, people will give you crap for anything and everything, and dealing with them will be a pain. At 10$ profit per laser, you will quickly find that it is not worth it. And if one customer leaves a bad review, then the next person that sees said review will be just that much more likely to buy from someone else.

2) laws. you have to deal with export/import laws that are different for each country. You have to know them, and more importantly, know how to safely get around them (IE labeling as flashlight, not sending batteries, etc) so that laser you just spend $[x] making, and that you have also promised [customer] they will get, does not get lost to customs.

3) there are many laser sellers already, many of which can sell at prices lower than yours, no matter what. Mainly the chinese sellers that buy in bulk for very, very low prices. Everything truly is cheaper in China. For example, I recently found a chinese laser forums (essentially a chinese LPF), and found out their price for the 80mW rated 589 from CNI (the one that so many people here have that do 100mW+) is under 500$. I think CNI was asking something like 1200$, and the GB price was 800$.

Besides chinese sellers, you also have sites like scifilasers- ran by thejoker. Much better customer service and product quality then 99% of the chinese sites, and with a fair price to boot.

4) reputation and sales. To get sales, you need to have a good reputation- and as previously mentioned, with a half million other places to buy lasers, why would someone buy from you? They don't know about your store, have never heard of it. I guarantee you if you ask TheJoker, he will tell you he did not get a bunch of sales as soon as he opened SciFiLasers. It takes time, and with a low profit margin, again, you will quickly discover its probably not worth it.

I'm not trying to tell you can't do it, or shouldn't do it, I'm just trying to point out to you that it won't be easy- certainly possible, but not easy! i suggest thinking about it for a while, maybe a few weeks, before making a decision. Use that time to make a list of all the pros and cons you can think of, and look up things such as laser laws by country, liability issues (i.e. if someone blinds them self with one of your lasers, how to avoid being sued for everything you have), what kind of business licenses (if any) you would need, how you would go about making and maintaining a website, so on and so forth. If you truly are interested, I suggest talking to TheJoker- I'm sure he wouldn't mind answering some of your questions.

Then when you have all that figured out, you have to sort out your sources for everything- diodes, hosts, drivers, lenses, heatsinks, all of it. Then you have to figure out a purchasing and shipping system, a way to keep detailed records of everything...Like I said, it won't be easy, but it is possible.

Good luck! :)
I honestly think you can do it if you really want to. It is just a big commitment, to say the least.
 

Hap

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Thanks Crazy & all the others, I do agree that such a thing is a huge step, especially for someone who has no clue how business work!!

I think I will leave this idea in the back of my mind and just focus on making some lasers for now. Thanks anyway :)

-Alex
 
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If you ever do decide to start a business like that, I would probably be happy to buy some of your lasers. Haven't found any trusted builders from the forum that actually sell pre-built lasers yet lol. If there are some that I don't know of, let me know. Maybe I just haven't looked around enough.
 

Trevor

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The last time a forum member made a website to sell complete lasers from within the US, men in suits from the FDA literally showed up at his door.

I would say... not a good idea.

Trevor
 
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The last time a forum member made a website to sell complete lasers from within the US, men in suits from the FDA literally showed up at his door.
Hm, good point. Forgot bout what I just read at Laserpointersafety.com lol. I probably deserve a -rep for thinking it would be ok for someone to sell big lasers over 5mW in the U.S.. Yea maybe you could consider just selling kits like what Jayrob does Greenlander?
 




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