Car accessories run the gamut from cup holders to custom floor mats. Contrary to popular belief, it's not only car enthusiasts who frequently purchase car accessories--most car owners like to take care of their investment and to personalize their cars. Car accessory businesses can be quite profitable, especially those that sell licensed products. While it used to be that car accessory shops were physical stores, nowadays it is quite common for customers to shop for their car accessories online. You can start your own car accessories business in a few different ways, but to be successful you will need to thoroughly plan your new venture.
Choose a niche--there are many car accessories businesses for potential customers to patronize, so you need a way to differentiate yourself. This will also make it easier to market your business and reach a specific type of customer. For example, you may decide to sell custom car seat covers, license plate frames, luxury car accessories or licensed character or sports car accessories.
Name your car accessories business and obtain a DBA (assumed business name certificate), tax identification number and resale permit from your state, if applicable. If you plan to eventually hire employees, you should also get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.
Decide whether you want to open a brick and mortar storefront, rent a mall kiosk, get a booth at a flea market or start off as an online store. Running an online store is the least expensive and will allow you to drop ship merchandise (acting as the middleman and sending straight from the manufacturer to the customer) if you prefer.
If you do drop ship, be mindful of the fact that your profits will be significantly lower than if you were to sell merchandise bought at wholesale, and you will have a limited selection of car accessories to offer your customers. Quality control will also be out of your hands.
Lease or find a storage space for your inventory if you will be selling the car accessories online without the use of a drop shipper. If you're starting off small, a spare closet that is free from sunlight, heat, pets and odors will work well. If you want to have a large inventory at first, you will need to lease a temperature-controlled commercial warehouse.
Purchase your car accessories wholesale from a supplier such as MimoUSA. You can also check your local classified advertising listings to see whether any car parts or accessories stores are going out of business and liquidating their inventory.
Advertise your car accessories business by placing ads in niche car magazines and websites, handing out fliers to complementary businesses such as tire shops and car detailers, posting information on auto-related social network sites and message boards, and listing your business in local online and print directories.
- Luxury Car sportscar from my luxury car series image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com