Start a skate shop?

Hello, recently I have been looking to start an online skate shop and was wondering if anyone on here has done/doing something similar? In my research so far I’ve been looking at website design and maintenance from paid to virtually free do it yourself websites.

As I would be working out of my garage I’ve looked into business rates, local council information, insurance and possible issues from my mortgage company.

I have also been looking at packaging and bespoke boxes for boards.

I recently spoke to a few distributors to ask advice and find out what they require from their customers and how I can become a Business to business buyer. But the one thing I can’t find out is the price of stock. Trying to form a business plan is difficult when you dont have vital information about budgets and profits and projected sales.

I spoke to a reliable person who told me I would need 10k just to get started. But still didn’t get any concrete answers on the price of stock.

My expectations are £10-£20 for boards, £7-£10 for wheels, £5-£15 for trucks plus £10-£20 for shoes/clothes. I’m not sure if these prices are realistic or not and as a new company to the market would I really need 10k of stock?

So if anyone has experience with this kind of thing I would really like to hear about it. Sorry for the small essay but I’m still forming ideas as I go.


There are already online shops. Really, really good ones.


There are already lots of other things, should people stop trying because someone else has got there first?

No. But a physical store would more appropriate. I would say you would struggle to compete with a market that is virtually sewn up.


Your exceptions are way off. Boards are like cigs in the newsagents, not much money in them but it gets people through the door (which you won’t have) to buy other things.


True, I wouldn’t have foot fall but people still browse websites and today’s shopping experiences are changing.

So what should I expect to be changed at cost price from a distributor?

What five board brands do you want to get? What shoes?

You’re looking at roughly double what you think. It’s £25-32.50 for decks at trade these days for example and you generally double up for RRP. Remember you won’t sell every deck at RRP and you have to account for all your costs out of the profit.

Without a bricks and mortar store you’re definitely less appealing to distributors. Why use you when they could shift their stuff in bulk selling direct or through Amazon?

The few exceptions I could think of would be running small scale niche websites - old school decks for example - and maybe doing a little bit of distribution yourself. Even then though, tough gig.


Also I know for a fact that some U.K. distro won’t even give you an account if you are online only.

Why should I buy from you instead of Note?


I’ll echo what Neddy said. And there is a real shortage of hard goods at the moment. Been there tried it, if you have 10k save some more and invest in a bricks and mortar shop.

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Death, Madnes, Chocolate, Powell and Alien Workshop off the top of my head.
What is your reason for asking for five brands?

Power, Shiner, Form and Dwindle.

Good luck.

He was asking to see if you even knew 5 brands based of your costs.


Are you speaking from experience? I’m genuinely asking, as I said, I’m looking for info.

Yes. As are most other people in this thread.

I worked in a skater owned shop for nearly a decade, and helped grow the website.

I’m not against people having a go, just an online only store in an incredibly competitive market is unlikely to succeed.


So how did that shop start up in the beginning?

Physical store in 1988.

What is your USP?


Maybe it might be better to find a niche. As has been said there are loads of good online skate shops, with a good history and a bricks and mortar store. What can you offer that’s different?

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The fact that you’re having to ask these very basic questions makes it clear you have no business opening a skateboard shop. Just head straight to the ‘streetwear brand’ if that’s your long game, because there are plenty of great people, way more clued up than you, running all the skateboard shops that the market needs.

Now think of all the money you’ve just saved.


Yeah I hear what your saying, small fish, big pond kind of thing. But this is why I asked for advice. Coming at this with just ideas isn’t enough and I’ve got more info from you guys in the last 30 minutes than I’ve got from anyone else in the past 2 weeks😂