Dollar Store Frequently asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. What is the first step towards opening a Dollar Store ?
  2. Am I obliged to have Buckstore Inc. guide me through my whole setup ?
  3. Why are the “Average Costs involved in doing a Dollar Store” section on the website (as you indicate) significantly lower than all other companies that I found on the Internet ?
  4. I am an existing store, which was setup by one of those Dollar Store companies (telemarketers) from Las Vegas, Nevada, and they did not give me enough merchandise to fill up my store. Can you help me ?
  5. I live in an upscale neighborhood. Would a Dollar Store be successful in my area?
  6. I already have an existing retail store, which I would like to convert to a Dollar Store; can you help me achieve this?
  7. Once I open my Dollar Store, am I obliged to deal with you exclusively?
  8. Once I am open, how do I order from Merchandise Vendors / warehouses ? How do I re-order ?
  9. Are you members of the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?
  10. More FAQs

1 What is the first step towards opening a Dollar Store ?

A major key to success in retail is finding the right location. Buckstore, Inc. works side by side with the store owner and with a large nationwide network of commercial real estate professionals who assist you in identifying suitable locations. RPI Commercial Inc. as a full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm works in cooperation with Buckstore and a national network of real estate professionals which brings rapid results.

This collaboration provides services which includes assessing potential locations, assisting in site selection, negotiations for your lease and its terms, and any other details relating to renting or owning your store.

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2 Am I obliged to have Buckstore Inc. guide me through my whole setup ?

No. We offer solutions which include: finding your location; negotiating your lease; designing your layout (click here); furnishing the interior of your store with all necessary fixtures; opening inventory; cash counters; cash registers, etc.

If you wish to do some or all of the labor yourself, we can provide you with complete “Do it Yourself” instructions of how to setup the store at no cost. This would include free store layout, free product plan-o-grams, fixtures at cost from the manufacturer, and all necessary consultation at no cost.

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3 Why are the “Average Costs involved in doing a Dollar Store” section on the website (as you indicate) significantly lower than all other companies that I found on the Internet ?

Perhaps you should rather ask all those other companies why they are so expensive ! Most Dollar Store companies are only interested in getting money from your setup and startup. They don’t anticipate selling merchandise to you or doing business with you a long time and are trying to make as much money as they can upfront and in “one shot” asking for big deposits, money upfront, fees to be paid for information on doing a store, finding a location, etc.

We, at Buckstore Inc, help you find a demographically suitable location, not just “any location” so you sell more & keep purchasing merchandise for a long time. Our merchandising department will also refer you to vendors and warehouses which carry the best and lowest priced merchandise in the market if you want to add more & more product categories to your store. Our business is based on the volume your store purchases. We need you to do well ! The better you do, the better we do, and you are free to purchase merchandise from anyone you want at anytime.

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4 I am an existing store, which was setup by one of those Dollar Store companies (telemarketers) from Las Vegas, Nevada, and they did not give me enough merchandise to fill up my store. Can you help me ?

Absolutely, we will assess your store and give you suggestions on how to supplement it as necessary so you have the widest variety of merchandise possible. Some of those companies provide as little as $10 of merchandise per square foot. WE KNOW You will need a minimum of $15 of merchandise per square foot to fill up your shelves, make your store visually attractive to the savvy buyer and maximize your sales.

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5 I live in an upscale neighborhood. Would a Dollar Store be successful in my area?

Many people have the misconception that Dollar Stores only “work” in middle-low income areas. The fact is that everyone likes to save money. Different demographic groups have different needs and therefore buy different merchandise such as seniors vs. young families. We make sure to provide our stores with the widest variety of merchandise that will allow them to offer customers what they want.

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6 I already have an existing retail store, which I would like to convert to a Dollar Store; can you help me achieve this?

Yes. At no cost to you, we will evaluate the fixtures you have and tell you what modifications, if any, would be necessary to convert your existing location into a Dollar Store. We would then inform you what we suggest the necessary inventory should be.

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7 Once I open my Dollar Store, am I obliged to deal with you exclusively?

Absolutely not. Every store we help is independently owned.

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8 Once I am open, how do I order from Merchandise Vendors / warehouses ? How do I re-order ?

Besides receiving monthly updates on over 66,000 products, our merchandising department will be available for you and will keep you informed with catalogs, newsletters, special deals, closeouts, and monthly re-order forms from all of the top quality merchandise vendors in the marketplace and in each specific category.

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9 Are you members of the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?

Yes we are and in Good Standing !! For our report on the BBB.  click here

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Email from Customer with answers February

Good Morning Philip,

Sorry I missed your phone call when you called. I am still interested in the Dollar Store Business. Some of my questions are listed below until I get the opportunity to speak with you.

1. What is included in your store package?
2. Will you negotiate with the store owner on my behalf in getting the best lease for his property?
3. Will you create a business plan for the store that can be used to get grants and do you help in getting grants for this business?
4. How long will it take to get started?
5. A new mall is being built at ABCD Road and ZYXW, off highway 50 in Maryland. Will you consider a location that I find interesting or do you help in finding the location for the new store owner? (I would like to have a small store but not sure of the size.)
6. Will there be training and who will provide this training and is there a cost?
7. Will I need a business license a permit and will you help in obtaining them?
8. What legal aspects do I need to consider?
9. What about zoning laws will you look into that, Will this be a form of corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship, do I need a lawyer to answer these questions or is it my choice?
10. How do I set wage levels?
11. Money:
How much money will I need to start the business?
How much money will I need to stay in this business?
How much money do you require for your assistance?
12. Will I have to sign a contract with you stating that I must buy directly from your company and no other company the materials needed for the
13. Do I need a merchandise plan to help determine the amount of inventory needed to control purchases?
14. Will I have to pay you a % of the profits?
Philip, you can reach me at home after 6:00pm on Monday-Wednesday and weekends or you can send information to my home address listed below. Please leave a message if I am not available if you call. Please use my home e-mail for a response if you prefer

Thank you,
XXXXX  in MD

Email Reply

Hi XXXXX,
Sorry that we missed each other. I will try to respond to your questions in order:

1) Our complete store package includes everything you need:
a) Site location and lease negotiation
b) Store layouts, Planograms and buildout
c) Full Inventory
d) POS – Point of Sale equipment + solutions
e) On-site Training
f) Continuous support

2) Yes, we will help you find the best location for your store and negotiate your lease. We have licensed commercial real estate professionals on staff.
3) Yes, we will create business plans for you which may be needed to help secure your space or acquire financing. As far as grants are concerned, you should contact your local, state and federal representatives to find out what grants may be available to you in your area.
4) Usually the most time consuming part of the process is finding a good location and negotiating your lease. This is the one area that you don’t want to rush as it is the most important. Conservatively, this process takes between one to three months. Once your location is secured, it takes between three to four weeks to get your store set up completely.
5) As previously mentioned, we will help evaluate any location that you desire and help you find the best location(s) in your targeted area.
6) We provide training at no cost. Our customers can contact us any time they feel if they need for more training or consultation.
7) When you lease a retail space, you have to pay an occupancy tax to the city or county. This occupancy tax or permit is referred to as a “Business license” in some areas. It is very easy to obtain and should not be confused with actual business licenses such as real estate licenses or nursing licenses which require state certification.
8) You should have your attorney examine your lease before signing. You may also use his services to incorporate your business.
9) All shopping centers are located in commercially zoned areas.
10) Wage levels vary from one area to another. We can advise you as to what you may expect to pay for managerial or clerical help.
11) Our website www.buckstore.com covers the costs of opening a store in detail. We breakdown all of the basic costs there for various size stores. Besides the set up costs you will also need operating capital to cover your rent, security, utility and telephone deposits and any other miscellaneous expenses that you may have in the early weeks of your store. We can advise you on these costs (we do a complete Sales Projection) when we help prepare your store business plan for your specific location.
12) We are direct importers and wholesalers of dollar store merchandise. You are not obliged to buy from us.
13) We provide you with a state of the art Inventory Control (POS) system which makes ordering and re-ordering simple and effective. It enables you to constantly be able to improve your stores performance on the fly.
14) We do NOT collect any royalties whatsoever.

To summarize, Buckstore offers you a complete turnkey store package at cost price. Our services should not be confused with the numerous telemarketing companies that have been formed over the years that will offer you a store at much higher prices, with much less inventory and negligible, if any, customer service. We enable you to get your merchandise direct from the warehouse. Pennies count in this business. The savings you get from dealing with us can possibly be difference of your store making a comfortable living or not making any money at all.

Please feel free to call me any time you like during business hours and I will be happy to answer any other question that you may have.

Regards,
Philip Storch
Buckstore, Inc
 

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Mr Chatterton,
See my responses next to your questions.
Regards,
Michael Warshower
Buckstore Inc.

Dear Michael
When you have a moment I would be grateful if you would answer the following questions I have for you.
1. Should I elect to move forward with one of your store plans/packages but choose the “do it yourself” option
or, should I elect to defer delivery/purchase of the POS system for a later date. Will your firm still provide all the supportive services as indicated on your site, namely business plan assistance, demographic studies, store layout, lease negotiations etc?
We provide supportive services no matter what you do. The only thing of all things you mentioned that carries a fee Is the business plan itself (see business plan section on buckstore.com). That fee is applied to the buildout-labor of the store. Regarding the pos it’s always a good idea to get it at the beginning or “never get it later” due to the inventory control process which is very labor intensive if you do it after you open. Yes, demographic studies, store layout, lease negotiations etc are all included.

2. Regarding merchandise, reliable suppliers and very competitive pricing is critical. I would need to rely on your suppliers to fulfill this function. That being said, before I commit to your other products and services I would want to accomplish due diligence on merchandise pricing. Is this information that can be made available to me in advance?

Yes. It’s available. We need your store address, mailing address, store or business name, square feet, etc so we can create a file for you and mail all catalogs with pictures and prices.

3. Does your merchandise department give guidance as to sales trends. What products sell and what is not selling.
I presume the initial inventory package trends to popular selling items?

Yes and yes correct popular selling items and store demographics which are critical to product selection.

Ultimately I would like to open several stores if the business model works. It would probably make sense to receive the full set-up/training package opening the first store which I will decide at a later date.

Yes. Good idea. Most of our customers that have multiple stores started that way and then built themselves 2nd 3rd 4th stores on their own.

Yours Sincerely,
Philip Chatterton

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More FAQs

In reviewing the product details we’ve received so far, Ive noticed some products cost in the .60 and higher range. For the Dollar Plus stores, what is the recommended markup?And is there an MSRP anywhere like in the bar codes?

Yes, strictly dollar stores as you can see on fabians sales projections, are all based on 55 to 60 cents as an average cost per product. For dollar plus stores markups are generally in the 50 – 55 range, but again that also depends on how many products will be $1 in the store and how many will not be $1. we have a customer in Orlando for example that has 75% of the store $1 and the rest $2 and $3, he did a 1,2,3 concept like we call it.

I assume we will receive bags.Will they be customized with our store name?

Yes you can get them from us. Included in the Crew opening package which includes the indoor signs, banners, pricing guns, store Polo shirts for employees (with store name), Flyers, business cards, etc. I will have our dollar store crew captain prepare the Proforma for you so you have the full build out costs plus the optional opening packages too all spelled out if you want. (Cameras, Sound Systems, all in there included). Customized bags are SUPER EXPENSIVE unless you order in the 40,000 and more range.

How long does someone stay to train after opening?

The Crew Captain trains you as store is being setup and towards the finalization of the build out is the main training (we cannot train store owners with customers in the store). He (Crew Captain and the crew members) is with you the whole time (from start to finish of the dollar store) and you in turn can be with him and ask him all the questions you want while he is there, all our Crew Captains are Dollar Store Owners. Being there more days after you open means more costs for the crew to stay (and it can be arranged) but you will be busy taking care of customers !! so there is really no need for us to stay but we can if you wish as explained. We have never been requested to stay after opening because people are busy selling, but we can if you want after the store is done and ready. I also stay in touch with all stores at all times so you can also call me during or after hours before, during, or long after build out.

Do you have any recommendation for where to buy shirts for staff (wed like logo design on shirts).

Yes, we do them every week, every time we build a store. We have a company that does it.

In viewing the Security System, I understand that will include a sound system, but we don’t see speakers.We also probably need more cameras.Wed like to know the specific model of the digital video recorder.Can you put us in touch with someone who can help us understand the capabilities and adjust budget for additional cameras.

Security systems and Sound systems are 2 different things. Sound systems, yes, include speakers, cables, installation, everything. Cameras, same, includes full installation and training, all cables, etc. for Tech Specs let us know what you need.

At what point can we being working with you, Michael, on the products and finish the layout of the store.The layout that Jon did does not have the balloon section and there is a lot of space marked for vendor displays.I assume you will help finish the layout of the store for us.We will also be adding a couple of pop machines (coke and pepsi).

Anytime. Yes, vendor displays are many, including the balloons, pop machines sounds good but let Jon know so he accounts for those square feet.

Is the 43 to 47% dollar store product margin after freight and shrinkage? Also, I forgot to ask, what are the terms when buying?E.g. is Credit cards accepted and if not, what is the best way to go about insuring quick turn around on the orders?

Yes, credit cards are accepted by all warehouses, and terms start to be given after you open your store and the warehouses consider you are a good and on time paying customer.

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