Author Topic: Goodby camping world??  (Read 20406 times)

Offline bobofthenorth

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2009, 01:23:30 PM »
When I first got into the farm supply business (1986) we were averaging 21 or 22% gross margins.  21 years later when we sold out our sales volumes had tripled but our margins were lucky to break 15%.  Meanwhile the equipment we used had quadrupled in cost, the products we were selling (and consequently our AR risk) had more than doubled and wages had tripled.  More ominously we went from having multiple suppliers that we could play off against each other to two or three that were essential to our existence.  The way of the world seems to be bigger sales volumes at lower margins.  I don't miss it for one minute.

And Jim it could be worse - you could have employees.
R.J.(Bob) Evans
Used to be 1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
Currently busless (and not looking)
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Contrary to popular belief, wise men do not learn from their own mistakes
They learn from the mistakes of others.

Offline belfert

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2009, 01:52:06 PM »
Running a small business anymore is a mental illness every bit as much as being a bus nut is.  Once you have it in your blood, it is very hard to go back to work for someone else.  What work I do now is self employment and I may yet take another run at a full scale business.  (I am HighTechRedneck and I have a problem.  ;) )

I ran a small business for five years before I sold it.  A small business can at times be quite fulfilling and at other times a cause of massive stress.  It was sometimes an issue meeting payroll and fulfilling other obligations. 

Working for someone else you don't have to worry about finances and all the other issues running a business.  I'm happy to work for someone else now and I almost doubled my salary.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline rv_safetyman

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2009, 02:05:22 PM »
HTR, I should pay you for the psychiatry value of your post.  You are 100% correct.  I am afflicted by TWO versions of mental illness (buses and business) :o  Now that I see the light, I understand that there is probably no know cure, but at least I now understand why I stick with both projects.

Bob, yes I am the only employee, but look what I am stuck with!!!

Thanks guys for letting me let off a little steam.  I consider you all to be family or I would not have made my comments.  What a great group.

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
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Offline JackConrad

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2009, 04:12:57 PM »
     Having ran several small part-time businesses over the years while working full time as a Paramedic/Firefighter, let me say that as a small business owner you get to chose which 18 hours of the day you want to work LOL. 
    I think many are confusing gross profit with net profit, big difference.  Gross profit for us was simply money received from sales less cost of merchandise sold. Net profit was what was left after gross profit was used to pay other expenses such as taxes, bulding rent, office expense, wages, etc.  Jack
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Arcadia, Florida, When we are home

Offline luvrbus

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2009, 04:34:32 PM »
Jack, no such thing as gross profit in the construction bussines, we were not selling goods only service and to me profit was the left over after Wal-Mart along others and the IRS got through with me  LOL 
Life is short drink the good wine first

Offline TomNPat

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2009, 05:06:33 PM »
Went to the new camping world at Vacaville, CA the other day.  No dump station like they had in Cordelia.  Maybe 5 customers, maybe 7 employees while we were there.  Big area for RV sales, lots of cubicles inside, golf carts in the area, but no RV's on the lot yet.

On the way out the lady at the check stand wanted to know if we wanted to renew our president's club membership since it expired in June.  "No, I don't think so" since you have no dump station.  We used the Corelia one about 4 times a year and always shopped that store in appreciation of the 'customer service' provided.  "Oh, sir, you can dump at the storage yard in Vacaville!  It's only $15 for president's club members!"  We learned that the city of Vacaville refused to allow them to have a dump station, bud didn't stop the storage yard.  The city would have gotten sales tax off my CW purchases!  They used to get tax off our Costco purchases there also, but there are lots of other Costcos.

Safeway buys a 40 lb. case of broccoli for $8, hauls it in their own truck to each store and sells it for $1.59 in our area.  So, that's quite a markup and their gross profit margin on it is quite high.  But I think their overall net profit would be around 3 percent.

Our local Ace Hardware is big and includes both a rental yard and a Radio Shack.  The owner told us he usually got a 3% net profit on his old store.  The new one is great, but we doubt that his net is still as high.  Home Depot moved in and has hurt his sales.  But Home Depot is faltering since you can't find a straight answer in the store.  Rumor has it they're on the way out.  Meanwhile, Frank's store has suffered but you still get smiles, welcomes, good information, and thank yous from his people.  He'll weather the storm.  We go there on purpose to get good service.

Our business is 25 years old and we still don't have much money.  But we don't have any bills and won't get fired sometime soon.  Ours is a service business and product shipping costs don't affect us much.  We're slowing down since we are now qualified for social security.  But we want to go on a cruise for our wedding anniversary and the latter doesn't cover that.  In fact, we have the 'whole life' retirement plan!  We will have to work our whole lives in order to live!  Why work 40 hours a week for someone else when you can work 80 for yourself for less money?

But, we're not under indictment for trying to sell a senate seat or something like that!  So jail is not a fear, either.

Ya makes yer choices and ya lives wid em!


Offline Lin

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2009, 05:23:25 PM »
"Going on a cruise" is nothing but a euphemism for being a prisoner on a floating Denny's.  You can cruise in your bus and be better off.  The general rule of small business equals better service/big business equals better prices is not always true.  There are a couple of guys at the local HD that really know their stuff.  There are several employees there that don't know that much but really make an effort to find answers.  The local lumber company is often just as good on price, but can be less helpful.  I needed some railroad ties recently.  HD will load them.  The lumber company pointed out the pile and told me to pull up an grab what I wanted!

I once was having some trouble with a refrigerator and called a small shop for service.  He told me to bring the frig on down and he'd check it out.
You don't have to believe everything you think.


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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2009, 07:33:04 PM »
I worked for camping world for 9 months as a manager and they are blood sucking vampires they want all of the money, every day they would say the sales needs to be higher and then they say oh how are you but they don't care I left becouse of the over pricing. I think you can charge a amount make money and still be able to sllep at night without raping someone
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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2009, 08:20:40 PM »
I can't think of anyone that I would rather buy a bus related part from than another bus nut, especially one that seems to know which end of the wrench goes onto the bolt.  Years ago when you went into the mom and pop hardware store and asked for a part or a tool you not only got the tool but you also got information that was based on personal experience or real knowledge.  While there is nothing I enjoy more than going into wally world and asking a technical question in electronics and watching them adlib or stammer, at times we all need real information, at least I do lol.  This goes directly along with the idea of busnuts helping busnuts, if an electical guru rolls up his sleeves and tackles joes wiring problem and the mechancial wizard crawls into the engine compartment of bills bus and the sawdust guy redoes the kitchen drawer that is coming apart for mary, then the whole bus community benefits.
   Sounds like something that could be done.

Offline Jriddle

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #69 on: September 01, 2009, 08:35:43 PM »
Seems real too me. Why I joined up on the boards and went to see Gumpy in the first place. Real experience works for me.

  Thanks John
John Riddle
Wells NV
1984 MC9

Offline edvanland

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #70 on: September 02, 2009, 10:04:20 AM »
I don't understand what happened to you at the Cottonwood, AZ ACE hardware.  I live here and go to ACE Hardware all the time. Normally when a person goes in at least one salesperson steps right up and they are very nollageable. 
I wish you could tell me what date you were in the ACE hardware and if you can I will tell Tina, one of the managers, about it.  So if you care let me know and I will pass on the info to Tina. 
If you care to send me a e mail at
Ed Van
Cornville, AZ

Offline gfcgfc1

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Re: Goodby camping world??
« Reply #71 on: September 02, 2009, 05:05:31 PM »
Hello ,this is to all but especially to 'bobofthenorth' ,This is going to sound strange but......I know the owner of ACE Hardware in Cottonwood,AZ.He just built the new store he is a "mom andpop" .That store is normally very very into helping you with anything you need.Joel the owner works very hard with ALL his employees and they are dedicated to givingSERVICE 'cause you cant get it at HomeDepot or the hardware store RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET! PLEASE let somebody know about your visit. OR MAYBE you were there on a very busy time? or maybe you were in a Mood?The ACE in CottonwoodAZ is AWESOME. I am only psting this 'cause it is so surprising to hear anyone complain about THAT store 'cause I know it well. The owner and I were neighbors or years too.GREAT PEOPLE!!!! Thank you ,GFC ;D ;D ;D
1972 MCI MC-7 4speed manual  Happy to have this unit.Sunny Arizona