Jun 13, 2012 at 11:24 am #1290998
I am working on building up my website and I have an interest in adding a DIY section.. I am going to start off by adding a full selection of hardware and then eventually down the road I will add fabrics.. With that said, I am currently looking for feedback related to Hardware.. Alot of DIY material sites have a large fabric selection but not much when it comes to hardware. So if there is anything you have a hard time sourcing or would like to see offered that's currently not available, please let me know.
Full Disclosure: I have a commercial interest in this topic..Jun 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm #1886579
Question: Would the DIY section include instructions for some of your tarp designs? Or would they be available to purchase via pattern?
My first MYOG projects, pack and topquilt, required purchasing from four different companies just to get what I wanted. Shipping costs start to get quite large that way. It'd be great if you kept your free shipping with $10 order.Jun 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm #1886580
Very timely, as I have a pack drawn up and I am trying to source materials. It's easy to find hardware for larger webbing. Not so for smaller webbing, which I really prefer–stronger than cord but still light and easy to work with.
The 3/8" flat buckles would be great, and I would enjoy a full range of products in the 3/8" to 1" range–d-rings, buckles, ladder locks, sternum strap hardware, and the like.
I also really liked your cuben tarp plans. Unfortunately, I'm not in a place where cuben makes much sense for me, but having plans and instructions for sale (even if you don't cut the fabric, which is probably only necessary for large tarps) would be great. Packs, tarps, whatever you've put together.Jun 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm #1886582
Those buckles that work with cord (instead of nylon webbing) like Gossamer Gear is using with their new Murmur pack seem really cool and I've never seen them for sale anywhere.Jun 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm #1886589
These aren't plastic hardware, but needles and thread would always be nice, especially with your comments/recommendations for use. Our local fabric store has a limited supply of thread useful for MYOG, and I always get intimidated asking them for help. They don't usually cater to my specific needs anyway, so we're both usually a little lost.Jun 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm #1886591
I second this recommendation. Hard to track down the right needle size for a given denier.Jun 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm #1886597
Thanks for all the great feedback..
Since I also love making my own gear, patterns would be something I would like to make available. I have even been thinking of doing pre-cut kits like I did with my cuben tarps but I was thinking of doing a whole range of products like tarps, tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, quilts, etc.. Only this time I would use more conventional materials.. You know things like silnylon for the tarps and tents, .90oz 20D DWR Nylon for the bags and quilts, Xpac for the backpacks. Materials that are lightweight, strong, durable and don't kill the bank account.. Obviously though, this would be down the road.
As far as hardware goes, I am going to start off with a full range of 3/4" products and then add 1/2", 5/8" and 1". After that I will look for smaller stuff and add 1.5" and 2" for bomber gear projects.. I am going to source hardware from both ITW Nexus and Duraflex. Since its hard to do one of this and two of that, I will continue to sell everything pre-packaged. While you might pay a bit more for it this way, my free shipping and one stop shopping is going to make up for the difference. Plus as I add other compaines gear and more of my own gear, you can pick that up at the same time..
Speaking of free shipping. I will continue to offer free shipping on orders over $10.00 since it makes alot of sense. Eventually I would like to go to free shipping on all orders. But thats going to be a while..
Well thanks again for the feedback. Keep it coming.. Its great.
LawsonJun 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm #1886652
I suggest selling both the hardware and the webbing or cord that works with it. Several times I have bought cool buckles, for example, but then couldn't make them work with any webbing that I could find.
Also, buckles that work with light gross grain ribbon would be great. Hard to find a combo that works. The Tarptent Scarp 2 has buckle/gross grain ribbon combos that work, for example. Again, I suggest selling both the buckle and the webbing that works with it.
Anything that works well with Cuben Fiber would be cool (e.g. seam tape, patching tape, etc.)
I suggest that you weave your expertise and experience into the marketing of all your items. Anyone can sell stuff but the items would be worth more to me (and I would pay more for them) if you said that you tried them, they worked well and here's how and where they worked well. I know from some of your previous postings that you are way ahead of the curve on a lot of the diy techniques that we discuss here.
Best of luck.
DarylJun 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm #1886655
Yes! Patterns +1
Haven't read/thought much else yet, but that stuck out on my skimming of the thread.Jun 14, 2012 at 5:25 am #1886812
@rdalyLocale: outdoors amap
Exactly as Daryl said it.
"I suggest that you weave your expertise and experience into the marketing of all your items. Anyone can sell stuff but the items would be worth more to me (and I would pay more for them) if you said that you tried them, they worked well and here's how and where they worked well. I know from some of your previous postings that you are way ahead of the curve on a lot of the diy techniques that we discuss here."
And I would think patterns, needles, thread, Cuben, tape, glue, fasteners would be nice additions as long as you keep things stocked and not always on backorder. Good luck.Jun 14, 2012 at 9:21 am #1886870
@socal-nomadLocale: North San Diego county
The ITW/Nexus Jet series of side release buckles, ladder lock buckles are small foot print and are really strong Arctyrex use them on their products. You can get the jet series in 5/8 inch buckles.ITW/Nexus also has the pack hook shock cord management system and the lineloc 3 ladder lock. That every one wants.
If you need to buy less than $100.00 you just get a small surcharge. Remember one thing when buying side release buckle you need to order the female and male parts separately to get complete side release buckle.
Sterling rope makes the best cord around and you can order it by different size rolls and they have reflective cord also.
John Howard Company is wholesale only has a high minimum on sales. I bought webbing,paracord and plastic cordlocks back in 1993 back when I was making bodyboard leashes and fin savers back then they would sell to general public. They have webbing and beastedee rings. http://www.johnhowardcompany.com/
Good luck with your company,
TerryJun 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm #1886910
The feedback you guys are giving is great. Maybe I could do some Youtube How To Videos as well??
Also while I am thinking about it. What about the idea of stocking things like titanium rod, aluminum rod, pre-bent aluminum stays, aluminum flat stock, HPDE Sheet, Etc?? This would be great for pack building projects.. Your thoughts??
LawsonJun 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm #1886911
@smitLocale: sierra nevada
+1 on the stays, sheets, etc. you just mentioned.Jun 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm #1886919
I think that youtube videos and additional photos would greatly help instructions. I found a Yamagear video for sewing a flat felled seam and it was fantastic in wrapping my mind around how it's done.Jun 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm #1887058
@hhopeLocale: East Bay
titanium rod, the hard kind, like you use in your stakes, would be cool, different thicknesses. 0.08" for small projects, and something around 0.12" or so for stays, not sure, 3mm, 4mm something like that, but the grade 5, I used lower grade stuff on a recent project and it's really soft.
I've been thinking of using that for a backpack frame along with some other stuff.
Also, carbon fiber tubes if you can source them reasonably, goodwinds is expensive and it's a gamble if what you order is going to work right for a pack, I'd rather get stuff like that from you, could trust it's strong enough and appropriate wall thicknesses and so on. Tap plastics here has some variety but it's very limited, though you can get some very cheap stuff from them that works ok.
Something to think about, the xpac vx07 stuff in usable colors, that's an interesting material, maybe a touch light for durable packs, but interesting to work with, and almost nobody carries the color ranges, maybe it's just not available from dp. Not sure you'd want to compete with most of the online fabric places, except for orders of materials sure to sell, like vx07. I've been tempted to get a big roll of that and sell the rests, but if you do it, no need.
I'd avoid competing too much with diygearsupply, he's been doing a good job in his niche, very cheap and decent quality stuff, though his new shipping charges might hurt him a bit.
Note that buckles vary widely in quality, the ones that zimmerbuilt is selling are really nice, very smooth, and although a bit heaver than the cheap stuff from other suppliers, nice. The difference between buckles is quite amazing, something I realized too late when I realized I'd accidentally used two different types on my new pack, didn't realize they were different, looked similar. So closeup pics of the items so you can really see would be helpful.
He sells the cord adjusters/side release buckles by the way, but they are very expensive compared to other side release buckles, small market I guess and special order.
Oh, and those needles people recommend but that nobody seems to ever have in actual stock, what are they, schmetz something or other, not the universal ones, microtex or something?Jun 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm #1887079
Wow the list is getting long. Perhaps too long. But there is an alternative.
You could sell items a, b and c and explain how they are used and point out that items c, d and e are compatable with them (even though you don't sell them) and give a link where one could get c,d and e.
Some of the hysol glues, for example, might be too expensive to stock but you could talk about how to use them and include a link.
I notice that some of the other websites are set up so they get a few cents kicked back when someone uses a link from their site.
DarylJun 15, 2012 at 11:19 am #1887251
@earn_my_turnsLocale: New England
The most important thing lacking for me are quality pictures with scale objects to show me what I am buying. I have a few types of elastic or webbing in my sewing box that wasn't at all what I thought it was and therefore I couldn't use it. Simple descriptions of the product with examples of what you would use it for should go with the photos.
The more expensive reccomendation is have a variaty. I have added portions of ounces or sacrificed what I wanted exactly on almost every project just so I didn't have to pay $10 in shipping from 2 different companies.
Even if you don't stock every MYOG product, maybe give the option to request a piece of hardware or material to see if you can get ahold of that product or something similar in a reasonable time frame and still allow yourself to make a profit.Jun 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm #1887386
drowning in spamMember
I like the idea of carbon tubes, but please provide options for ferrules too. It might not be worth it though as the place I've been hoping for now exists with Rock West Composites. Your prices would have to be close, and I'd hate to see you get into a price war.Jun 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm #1887418
As a long term goal I'm going to have to ape what many have said. Make yourself a one stop shop. So many other sites have 50% of needed DIY materials but not all (or even most). Of course this is also the most capital intensive route sadly but you would be fulfilling a niche.
Since you do provide such reasonable shipping maybe just covering all the odds and and ends NOT provided by the major DIY sites with enough of the major high volume/margin products to keep you in the black would be your best option for driving traffic.
One major item, not hardware but fabric sadly, would be somehow weasel your way into providing eVent (even if under a different name due to brand licensing issues). That would make a ton of folks happy I'm sure!
Either way, keep it up! You're providing competition and introducing new products keeping the other sites on their toes, which is good for the MYOG crowd.Jun 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm #1887423
If you provided HDPE sheets and stays, I would be quite happy. Also, various thicknesses of CCF to use for straps and belts. I know you plan to introduce some pads, and we could always use that as a source (from you or wherever), but smaller sizes would be nice for the MYOG group who don't want 50+ inches rolled up in a closet.
And I'll just second the one-stop shop. But a lot of that just comes down to my preferences. I can think of a couple of places out there that would be one-stop shop if I weren't so picky about getting exactly what I wanted.Jun 16, 2012 at 6:08 am #1887470
I think Daryl Clark has had the best idea yet. You're going to get a million recommendations of items to stock which you obviously can't do without investing a lot of capital. So try another route maybe.
We keep talking about how your product line is going to compete with DIYGearSupply, etc. Instead, think about how can *they* compete with your knowledge of DIY design and construction. They can't. Your greatest asset isn't inventory or selection, it's that you have innovative ideas and tons of experience. I would try to leverage this in whatever direction you decide to go.
RyanJun 16, 2012 at 8:07 am #1887485
Rock West is awesome. They have everything related to carbon fiber tubing. In fact they have so much stuff I wouldn't know where to start if I wanted to buy something for, say, a backpack frame.
That's where Lawson can find a niche, in my opinion. He could carry only tubing that he has found works for a frame, tent, etc. or, alternatively, give a link to a specific product sold by others that would work for a specific application. Linking people to Fibraplex, for example, (small fee goes to Lawson) would take care of most people's tent pole needs
On a related note, I'm used to buying carbon fiber tubing in the under $5 per 32" lengths as I find it on sale at varous places (e.g. Kites and Fun Things). The prices I see at Rock West would take the fun out of experimenting with the stuff for me. Don't you find those prices a bit high?
DarylJun 18, 2012 at 10:41 am #1887970
@socal-nomadLocale: North San Diego county
The only problem I could see in carrying HDPE plastic frame sheets and titanium rod is the it very expensive to ship and store. HDPE plastic can be sourced from local plastic sales business in most towns.
Titanium is a bit different it expensive to be sitting on your shelves and if a person does not have a vice and the proper tools to bend metals and cut they can't use it. It would be better to just stock Vargo titanium tent stakes.
Make a deal with local or online metal supplier to have a link from your site to their site and you get 3 to 5% of the sell and let them stocking, shipping and worry about damaged items during shipping on the items. This method might also work with Plastic supplier also.
TerryJun 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm #1889724
@aeronauticalLocale: Stoke Newington, London, UK.
I really like your idea as I find it difficult to source components that I want here in the UK.
Would you ship to the UK? I'd happily pay for shipping.Jun 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm #1889772
@sclittlefieldLocale: Northern Woods of Maine
Hey Lawson – adding diy materials is a really good idea. You're shop is already great, and you've got lots of fantastic design experience as well. I've really appreciated your help over the last few years and shooting design/gear questions back and forth. Let me know if there's anything I can be of help with.
– Scott, from DIY Gear Supply.
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