How to Start a Hobby Shop

Are you thinking of sharing your hobby with other enthusiasts? Why not start a shop where people who share the same interest and passion with you can get the items they want?

Read on and discover how you could start a hobby shop and turn your interest into a money-making venture.

Turn your Interest into a Hobby Shop

When thinking of putting up a business, one of the most important things people should ask themselves is: what am I passionate about? If you are passionate about one thing – may it be an idea, a service, a craft – you are likely to know more about the subject and thus can better offer your expertise to others.

If you are posing the question to yourself, one of the lines of thought you can tread on is “what are the hobbies I’ve kept so far?” Or what hobby do I want to pursue if I think seriously about it? This could be a start of a business idea.

After settling the question on the particular hobby you are an expert at or familiar with, you can start looking whether a market exists for your business idea. If there is, is it big enough to accommodate another player? Or if there is, can you compete with existing stores by offering something more than what they offer? To find shops similar to the one you wanted to put up in your area, try looking for a list of them in the Internet.

Ideas for Your Hobby Shop

If you have decided that you can still enter into the business scene, get into real work by preparing your business plan. Your business plan will help you collect ideas, organize them, set targets, and map out your strategies for the future. It will also help you determine whether your idea is financially viable and help you clarify to yourself your purpose and goals. To aid you in your planning, talk to people who already own hobby shops. Of course, you don’t expect to get advice from your competitors. You therefore get your ideas from hobby shop operators who are outside of your market area. When you do, make it clear that you will be dealing with a different geographic area and wouldn’t be a threat to their business. You can get a listing of them the way you get a listing of your competitors.

The hobby shop you can put up could be related to science, electronics or animals, games, arts and crafts, computer, music food, sports, or transportation. For your business structure, you might consider focusing on specialized items for a niche market or making your shop a shop for a bit of every hobby.

If all these researching and planning seemed too much for you, try exploring franchising options. Look for franchising business opportunities from franchise directories in the Net.

46 Comments

  • steven dage said on November 18, 2008
    this was somewhat helpful i already found out how the shop owners don't like to give info. I really wanted to know how to get dealer sponsors & were to buy products in bulk at a good price so i can make $ and what it would cost to start a shop.
  • Victor Cal said on February 9, 2009
    This was really helpful. Now I would like to know how to get dealer sponsors & were to buy bulk products all about remote control toys etc.
  • Ray said on February 23, 2009
    I would like to start a hobby store and rc club with tracks and events. To give the kids in my area some activities to do. But not quite sure how I would go about it.
  • Roman Cat said on May 20, 2009
    i'm interested in opening my own hobby shop i have the skill and manpower i just don't know where to get supply in bulk with a good deal.
  • Roman Cat said on May 20, 2009
    i could hold event and give the kid something to do besides run the streets any info would be nice.
  • kevin said on November 14, 2009
    I've been wanting to start up a small business doing something I love. It seems hobbies is still my passion. I just don't know how to start one. There is only one hobby shop in my area but its about an hours drive so competition is low here.
  • abdul said on November 14, 2009
    yes i am in the process of looking for a great spot to open a hobby shop with land to do a off road track what type of land do i need as well what part of building i will go with any help would be great.
  • Malumo Sibuku said on January 2, 2010
    how do i start a hobby shop in Lusaka, Zambia-Africa
  • kelly shearer said on January 6, 2010
    Hello i'm thinking about starting a hobby store in spruce grove alberta, canada. i just need to find out how to get a hold of some wholesale retailers, so i can figure out how i can buy bulk quantities of parts, airplanes, rc cars, etc
  • marvin robes said on January 18, 2010
    Hi, i'm planning to start a small hobby store in Pasig, Philippines but the big problem is where can i get some supplies or dealers, retailers with good deals... i like to start with cards then eventually with comics... i hope i can get some help... thanks..
  • Mark F .Keen said on January 20, 2010
    how do i start a hobby shop in DUBLIN, Gerogia. there is no Hobby shops in this area
  • Mark F .Keen said on January 20, 2010
    Dublin, GA, U.S. A. ( The greatest Country on Earth)
    I wish to start a hobby fir Veterans and their families, VERY MILITARY ORIENTED.
  • David Finlayson said on January 23, 2010
    I would like to open a store in Prattville Alabama, anybody want to help?
  • Jason Palmer said on January 26, 2010
    Walker LA. 70785. Looking to start up a Hobby Store off the "Main Drag" in a booming town. I have done a bit of research as far as location and have located 1 in another parish about 7 miles Ease. Also located one about 15 miles North but hardly any South or West for over 20 miles.
  • Brian Skurjunis said on March 12, 2010
    i want to open a hobby shop in engelhard nc. there isnt one in a within 150 miles of this town. where do i buy bulk and or get sponsor to sell their items? i think i would do quite well. thanks, brian
  • Darryl Jordan said on March 23, 2010
    Baton Rouge, LA 70811. want to start a hobby shop. there are two hobby shops in my area, about 10 to 15 miles away. there are no tracks for someone who is not all about bashing(gets boring over time). competition is what brings spectators and more competition. i want to have 2 a off-road tracks at my location. one for smaller scale(16-18), the other for larger scale(5-8th). refreshments will be served for the long days of play at the track. any help will be appreciated. thanks in advance.
  • Trey McGovern said on May 4, 2010
    Business Location Rock Hill South Carolina. There currently is a hobby shop within 5 miles of my proposed site. They have oval touring and off road. Small tracks. I would like to open hobby shop With 2 off road 1/8 scale and one 1/10 and above. Offering birthday parties and Scout troop soap box running locations. I would like for this shop to incorporate all the pitfalls that I see the other shops doing and provide the perks that they dont. I have the land and need investors to come on board for funding. Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be great. Thanks, Trey
  • Fred Dauphinais said on August 17, 2010
    I live in Grand forks, North Dakota and am interested in opening my own hobby shop. I have the skills and Love Gaming. I just don't know where to get supply in bulk with a good deal. And info on everything such as permits, license, ect. Thanks
  • Good Supplier said on September 3, 2010
    Looking for a Good supplier of produce? Hook up with a company that won't undersell you. Tower Hobbies undersells their clients buy selling lower than the hobby shop owner can sell for or even buy it for. A buddy of mine who owns Air Hobbies in MN uses Horizon Hobby ( www.horizonhobby.com ) as his source for products. They don't under sell you and use the manufactures part numbers when you need parts. They use M.A.P meaning Minimum Advertised Price = the lowest price you can sell it for to still make a good profit. Try the products manufacturer directly. The sell their products to the public from M.A.P to Full Retail. Usually you can get better/more deals/parts straight from the manufacture that Horizon Hobby might not be able to offer due to poor demand of some items. Hopes this helps.
  • Dave Louch said on September 20, 2010
    Hi Guys, IF you are looking to open a Hobby Shop in Sub Saharan Africa then we are an importer/distributor based in Durban, South Africa, of electric planes/helis and trucks from beginner to advanced and can assist in bulk purchases for export to your country.
  • Khairul Fara said on September 28, 2010
    Hi guys, I'm planning to set a Hobby shops in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor. I'm looking at airplane, boat, cars and paintball. Looking for advice, supplier, distributors. Thanks.
  • erika said on December 3, 2010
    I would love to open a hobby shop in my home town of el paso texas, wondering where to start and how much will it cost to start it up? Thanks
  • Ancel Pratt said on December 8, 2010
    Hi there, I am located in the Bahamas, and considering opening a hobby shop. At present there are no local providers for the products. I would like to get a general idea of what the initial cost would be to get one started. If possible, do you have a wholesaler that you can direct me too that I can view their inventory and solicit pricing. Thanks
  • Dave Meesey said on December 18, 2010
    I live in a rural area, kids must drive 1-2 hours away for any type of hobby equipment, models,RC,trains, paints and tracks. I need suppliers. The schools in the area along with the local boy/cub scouts would be great customers. There are several state and government offices in the area as well with families looking for this type of entertainment. Any ideas would be helpful.Thanks.
  • craig seymour said on December 25, 2010
    Craig seymour jacksonville Illinois 2200 B magnolia dr 62650 need help with funding can anyone please help?? Phone Number 1 217 430 1728
  • Milton G. said on January 11, 2011
    I live in Miami, FL. I'm looking to open a Hobby Shop involving r/c toys, i'm trying to get information on how to get product suppliers.. Any advise will help. Thanks.
  • Dream Big said on February 2, 2011
    I ran a hobby shop for 5 years. It was online as well as brick and mortar. To get a dealer account with Horizon, you must have a commercial storefront lease signed, and have a buy-in order of $25,000 or more, depending on your status. To get a dealer account with Great Planes, the other major distributor (but not as good as Horizon), you will need $10,000 for buy-in, as well as a commercial storefront. You can usually get a dealer account with HRP Distributors for less (~$2000- $5000 initial order). HRP is the only one who will deal with internet-only. Essentially, you need $25,000 - $50,000 for just inventory if you want to give this a serious try.
  • Dave said on November 30, 2011
    I recently closed down a Hobby Store I owned and I'm looking to move the resulting inventory. I have everything from Planes, Cars, Trucks, Boats, and misc toys (glue models-kites). I have a HUGE supply of parts for every major brand of RC makers both land and air. Please let me know if anybody is looking to start a hobby store or buy bulk product.
  • Just me said on December 6, 2011
    I am interested in your inventory. If you could please send an email, I would be glad to give you a call to talk about any products you have for sale. I own an online hobby store, and always looking for deals to get better margins..
  • mkg said on December 25, 2011
    hi, i'm from malaysia and currently in progress of open up an online hobby store selling gundam stuffs. I face problem on looking for dealer with reasonable price. anyone can advice? thank u in advance
  • Davie Murchie said on January 5, 2012
    Hi,i am interested in starting a model shop in crumlin Co.Antrim,can anyone give on advise on suppliers,how much would it cost to set up,permits,license,etc,Thanks.
  • John said on January 17, 2012
    I can supply you for a $10 markup per car and 15% markup on parts. I have fuel for low prices as low as $17/gallon.
  • Pamela said on January 19, 2012
    I am starting the process of researching to open my own hobby shop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I will be selling cars, trucks, planes, boats etc. I am wondering how you get the product from the dealers? Do you have to pay the dealer upfront for the purchases or can they send it to you on a consignment basis? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • mark kemp said on January 21, 2012
    i am interested in opening a full range hobby store in the treasurecoast fl. area and am looking for investors/partners if you have a strong will to succeed in this opportunity please feel free to contact me via e-mail
  • Jay said on February 2, 2012
    Hello. I have recently become interested in starting a hobby store. If anyone could give me some advice on start up cost and product distributors along with the profit margins involved in your own stores, that would be greatly appreciated. I have been in the oil field industry for over 12 years and the environment I work in is not very healthy. It is time for me to work for myself. I've always had a passion for games, r.c's, cards, etc... So like I mentioned earlier, any advice is good advice. Thank you.
  • Danny Z. said on May 3, 2012
    "You therefore get your ideas from hobby shop operators who are outside of your market area. When you do, make it clear that you will be dealing with a different geographic area and wouldn’t be a threat to their business."
    I don't think it matters if you tell them you'll be dealing outside their market area. Nowadays, everyone who is smart will have a website to accompany the physical store. Which means, you ARE their competition. I've been trying to gather info myself and competitors are not helpful at all.
  • Fred Adams said on August 20, 2012
    I have retail space in an antique/ collectible mall in Laurel, Delaware. I have been selling used and old Lionel, American Flyer and marx trains and a variety of ho trains. Now my business has started to grow and my customers are asking for certain pieces. I need to find a supplier now for track and accessories for 0 gauge 3 rail layouts. I am a dealer for ameri-town building and I hope to become a dealer for more train related items. Can someone help me find suppliers?
  • RRHobbyDepot said on September 6, 2012
    I've had a hobby store for two and a half years. Internet sales are very difficult. You end up with everyone only coming to you for the very lowest pricing. By this I mean below dealer cost. There's no money in selling online. There are three major online retailers and they will undercut you every time. In a down economy its also tough to get the sales you need. The only way to be successful at all, and by that I mean not going out of business immediately, is to have a brick and mortar store. The store needs to be in an area where it will see high traffic. It also needs to be an area without a lot of competition from competing dealers. You need several licenses, a lease for a property, and bank loans. You need to work with the IRS, the state government, and the local government on taxes, insurance, and business licenses pertaining to a retail business. You also need money for advertising. The two biggest ways you will make money are impulse purchases and repairs on existing r/c vehicles. You will want accounts with Great Planes, Horizon Hobby, HRP, and other smaller distributors. Best of luck!
  • Mike Marshall said on September 20, 2012
    If you live in or near Cleveland, Ohio (or can afford to make a quick weekend trip there) and are thinking about opening a hobby shop, I strongly encourage you to attend the public show days at iHobby Expo on October 13-14, 2012. Although the vendors and manufacturers will be concentrating on showing their wares to the general public, you might find some who would be willing to answer business-related questions if you are willing to wait for breaks in the action. It is by far the best place to see all of the products in one location and it's just a great way to begin networking and to confirm your passion for hobby retailing. I am in no way related to, nor do I have a vested interest in, any of the manufacturers, distributors or other vendors associated with the show. I attended an expo a year before I opened my commercial slot car track and hobby store and it was well worth the time and effort.
  • Knut Almås said on October 5, 2012
    Norway, Buskerud, Kongsberg. I want to start RC and any Hobby related things.
  • bryn said on November 8, 2012
    I want to start a hobby shop in Bulawayo Zimbabwe any advise is welcome.
  • brad said on December 10, 2012
    i have 2 baja buggies with 26 cc engines i have 2 boats with 26 cc engines and 2 nitro burners all for 1 price 1800 dollars paid about 5000 for all thanx brad
  • Pedro said on May 11, 2014
    Hi there fellows hobbys, I reside in Nassaw Long Island , Baldwin I gave been motivated into opening a hobby chop with two racing tracks one of six lane race track and the other of ten lane, I'm also looking into selling others hobby toys such as rote control motor cars and plane .. Any one could give me some ideas as how to start making moves as far as how to start up this business. Thank you so much I'm very excited about this business coming into this community I'm sure it'll keep kids away from those things we parents so mush worry about !!! If you know what I mean .. Any inf will be so helpful .. Thnx Pedro Gerardino
  • Jayson said on August 17, 2014
    I would like to open a hobby shop myself but don't wanna rent a place. I would like to do it in home as a distributors to everyone. If anyone has an idea would you guys let me know what I can do to do it. Thank you and greatly appreciate very much.
  • Aaron said on January 16, 2015
    My location is in Mich. city Benton H. I've been collecting/trade & selling for almost 20 yrs, but never had shop per-se just at home & would like to maybe get a small shop to sell my items & to restore/modify broken rc cars convert non rc toys to rc just need a little help in doing so, Thanks for any advice in advance.
  • Ken McCarthy said on December 12, 2016
    Hello fellow hobbiest. I know this may sound crazy but I honestly believe God wants me to open a hobby / toy store in a small town of only 15,000 people. I know what your thinking , so I have decided to start looking into doing this totally on faith. I don't expect everyone will understand but I have a strong faith, if this truly is what He wants well then everything I will need to open His hobby / toy store will come in.

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