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What's the state of Airsoft In Ireland From A Commercial Point Of View

  • 19-11-2011 1:40pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,404 ricka


    We have had a spate of closures of retailers of late in Ireland....Eirsoft,Qas being two of the more prominent ones.
    Not surprising really, as many have said here before for the size of the market there's just too many retailers.
    However it has worried me the recent closure of HRTA and the Garda's attempt to close an Airsoft shop in Gorey.
    The attempted shop closure was as a result of the percieved necessity of a license.
    Thankfully the shop issue was sorted quite quickly but the lack of clear and enacted legislation led to an all to familiar complication.
    Most of you guys know we distribute to shops around the country and yes some are high street shops.I get asked every week about the legislation and what's going on,unfortunately I never have an answer.
    I currently operate from industrial units, as I expected the legislation to be enacted two years ago, but at present its perfectly legitimate for retailers to operate from the high street, whether we like it or not.
    I have also said before about the lack of clarity with regard to the import of overpowered rifles into Ireland and there subsequent downgrade.
    There is no provision for this in the legislation.So when we import rifles(I would say 80% of Rifles sold in Ireland would have been manufactured over 1 joule), we are importing illegal firearms.Crazy situation really!
    Yeah, some wont like me saying that but it needs to be addressed.
    The belief out there that all rifles are downgraded before entering Ireland is quite frankly bull****, and everyone in the industry knows it!
    As a retailer I have no clear idea where this business is going.Will they enact the legislation, wont they? Who knows!
    WhileI know and like the guys on the IAA, there has been little activity of late and I do feel as a retailer something has to be done.
    I think the retailers and site owners are going to have to come together and try to speak with one voice.Yep, that wont be easy but needs to be done.
    I dont think it would be any harm for people with a commercial interest in Airsoft having more of a say in what happens.We have a vested interest in puting our time into it.
    I don't know exactly what's happened with HRTA but when our oldest and one of the most respected sites in the country closes, it's worrying.
    Hopefully they'll be back open in the not to distant future.

    What I'm really trying to say from all the above is we have an industry here that's in limbo.IAA inactivity, planning issues, overpowered rifles,shop locations, inactive legislation, the list goes on.
    I personally think from my point of view the Industry's a mess!
    What do you think?

    PS It's been so bloody quiet around here lately...feel free to shout at me!Don't usually do that but what the hell, the forum could do with it!


«13

Comments

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,447 Mod ✭✭✭✭ thermo


    hrta being closed is an ongoing case at the moment, it might be best not to speculate/ discuss in specifics until an outcome is reached or paul posts here to explain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,404 ricka


    thermo wrote: »
    hrta being closed is an ongoing case at the moment, it might be best not to speculate/ discuss in specifics until an outcome is reached or paul posts here to explain.
    Fair point Lar,apologies.I've sniped the post


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 13,447 Mod ✭✭✭✭ thermo


    ricka wrote: »
    Fair point Lar,apologies.I've sniped the post

    no bothers. thanks,


  • Registered Users Posts: 118 ✭✭ cdev


    ricka wrote: »
    We have had a spate of closures of retailers of late in Ireland....Eirsoft,Qas being two of the more prominent ones.
    Not surprising really, as many have said here before for the size of the market there's just too many retailers.
    However it has worried me the recent closure of HRTA and the Garda's attempt to close an Airsoft shop in Gorey.
    The attempted shop closure was as a result of the percieved necessity of a license.
    Thankfully the shop issue was sorted quite quickly but the lack of clear and enacted legislation led to an all to familiar complication.
    Most of you guys know we distribute to shops around the country and yes some are high street shops.I get asked every week about the legislation and what's going on,unfortunately I never have an answer.
    I currently operate from industrial units, as I expected the legislation to be enacted two years ago, but at present its perfectly legitimate for retailers to operate from the high street, whether we like it or not.
    I have also said before about the lack of clarity with regard to the import of overpowered rifles into Ireland and there subsequent downgrade.
    There is no provision for this in the legislation.So when we import rifles(I would say 80% of Rifles sold in Ireland would have been manufactured over 1 joule), we are importing illegal firearms.Crazy situation really!
    Yeah, some wont like me saying that but it needs to be addressed.
    The belief out there that all rifles are downgraded before entering Ireland is quite frankly bull****, and everyone in the industry knows it!
    As a retailer I have no clear idea where this business is going.Will they enact the legislation, wont they? Who knows!
    WhileI know and like the guys on the IAA, there has been little activity of late and I do feel as a retailer something has to be done.
    I think the retailers and site owners are going to have to come together and try to speak with one voice.Yep, that wont be easy but needs to be done.
    I dont think it would be any harm for people with a commercial interest in Airsoft having more of a say in what happens.We have a vested interest in puting our time into it.
    I don't know exactly what's happened with HRTA but when our oldest and one of the most respected sites in the country closes, it's worrying.
    Hopefully they'll be back open in the not to distant future.

    What I'm really trying to say from all the above is we have an industry here that's in limbo.IAA inactivity, planning issues, overpowered rifles,shop locations, inactive legislation, the list goes on.
    I personally think from my point of view the Industry's a mess!
    What do you think?

    PS It's been so bloody quiet around here lately...feel free to shout at me!Don't usually do that but what the hell, the forum could do with it!

    I'm just an airsoft player/customer so I don't have any deep insight into the industry. I think the issues you have raised above are very important.

    It seems like the current initiatives aimed at securing a review of the Firearms Act (as discussed here and here ) might benefit the Airsoft community to some degree.

    Would it be possible/worthwile for the retailers/sites to keep a copy of the petitions onsite for customers to sign?

    I know it's hardly a silver bullet - but perhaps if the Airsoft retailers had some kind of input into a renewed Firearms Consultation Panel the problems you outlined above could be addressed.

    Have you considered talking to anyone in the wider Shooting trade with a few to joining any retailers association they might have?

    Apologies in advance if I'm way off the mark with any of this. I'd just hate to see the sport damaged because the grey areas and black holes you discussed aren't sorted out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,369 ✭✭✭ gerrowadat


    This is the market adjusting itself. There's room for maybe 4 or 5 retailers in Ireland, and there are what, 13 at last count? 11 now :-)

    The IAA succeeded in doing what it set out to do, which was legitimise Airsoft in Ireland. I think it petered out after that mainly due to lack of a mandate it could carry out with the resources it had, and a concerted effort to destroy it, from inside and out. People ask me if I'm annoyed my work went to waste -- it didn't, we did what we meant to do.

    There's been talk of a chamber of commerce/retailer rep body for years - it was mainly by people whose businesses were in trouble, or Derek Talbot flapping his jaws as usual.

    As for the license thing, welcome to the jurisdiction of the Garda Síochána, the most secretive police force in europe. If a local super decides they don't like you, that's the end of that. Not in any way airsoft-specific.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,079 ✭✭✭ goblin59


    if airsoft shops got a license for importing actual firearms and treated all imported airsoft RIF's as real firearms until they have chrono'd RIF's
    would that stop any issues the gardai have?


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 2,557 Mod ✭✭✭✭ horgan_p


    as the bishop said to the nun "apologies in advance about the length"






    as regards the amount of retailers I agree with Dave , this is the market correcting itself.from 2008 - 2010 you had every numpty who got redundancy money or any type of lump sum opening an airsoft site / shop thinking it was the surest and fastest way to make millions ever. now that people have a bit (lot) less money to spend they are going to be more selective where and how they spend it.
    Time was that shiva would anounce what he had coming in during the week on a saturday and it’d be presold by the monday.

    Those days are long over I’m afraid. I’d see more people getting into the “collecting” side of things , i.e. buying stuff relevant to a period or country (i.e. soviet cold war stuff) as opposed to what was happening where people were just buying whatever was deemed to be L33T that particular week. Look at the adverts section , the amount of stuff I see for sale there that could only have been impulse buys is enormous.

    Ditto with sites , where before a land owner only had to open the gate and stand there with a biscuit box for the money now players are expecting something for their money.and rightly so. Players arent willing to waste a day putting up with hicaps and overalls if that isnt what they’re into themselves. Players are now demanding something for their money which is only fair - the site is selling an experience and if they arent delivering on it then people will vote with their feet.
    Where I would see things winding up is with far less retailers and in most cases a retailer partnering up with a site to benefit both parties (as what myself and puding did in cork) its a mutually beneficial arrangement where players could come and play and order new gear.The ability to just collect their aegs or whatever on the day and then head out to play was very well received , as was the onsite workshop chris had going.

    Its a model used by most places in the UK and with good reason - it works.

    As regards the IAA my views are well known around these parts , but the level of apathy towards the organisation at the moment is killing it. It seems that when people are running around saying “ZOMG the man is going to ban us” the IAA is the first place they look for help and advice. When everthing is hunky dorey they couldnt give a s**te. They are due to announce an AGM soon and look for volunteers for the guillotine I mean committee. It’ll be a case of the same old 4 or 5 putting themselves up for election.

    Possibly a smart move would be for airsofters as a group to try and align themselves with the re-enactors around the country as we do have a lot more in common than either group prehaps would like to admit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,369 ✭✭✭ gerrowadat


    goblin59 wrote: »
    if airsoft shops got a license for importing actual firearms and treated all imported airsoft RIF's as real firearms until they have chrono'd RIF's
    would that stop any issues the gardai have?

    It is impossible to license possession of an overpowered RiF under the current legislation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,079 ✭✭✭ goblin59


    gerrowadat wrote: »
    It is impossible to license possession of an overpowered RiF under the current legislation.

    even for a shop in regards to importation prior to downgrading for retail purposes?

    I didnt mean a license for selling Rifs that are over the joule, just the actual importation for a shop so they can ship them prior to being downgraded to under the joule.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,404 ricka


    Shouldn't have posted the bit about retailers closing due to lack of business.Not really relevant to what I'm trying to say.
    The issue of site closures has not always been and is presently not down to a lack of business.There's a lack of clarity with what you can and cannot do.Your there at the whim of the council or local police.
    I agree closures because of lack of profit are understandable but that's not really my point.
    The issue of the IAA hopefully will be rectified but Dave's right about the chamber of commerce being touted for many a year.It probably wont happen but I might talk to a few of the guys again and see how they feel.
    Derek Talbot no longer runs MIA, he's now running a different part of the business completely, so I'm not geting my lead from there:)


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  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 2,557 Mod ✭✭✭✭ horgan_p


    goblin59 wrote: »
    even for a shop in regards to importation prior to downgrading for retail purposes?

    I didnt mean a license for selling Rifs that are over the joule, just the actual importation for a shop so they can ship them prior to being downgraded to under the joule.


    Without serial numbers it'd be impossible to police.there'd be no traceability -in other words no forms or paperwork (2 things the gardai / government love).

    you'd never be able to prove where anything came from.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,294 ✭✭✭✭ Witcher


    goblin59 wrote: »
    if airsoft shops got a license for importing actual firearms and treated all imported airsoft RIF's as real firearms until they have chrono'd RIF's
    would that stop any issues the gardai have?

    Only registered firearms dealers can import firearms and I'd highly doubt airsoft retailers would be willing to meet the security standards necessary to become a RFD. Then there's the serial number issue outlined above.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,763 Airsoft Reloded


    ricka wrote: »
    Shouldn't have posted the bit about retailers closing due to lack of business.Not really relevant to what I'm trying to say.
    The issue of site closures has not always been and is presently not down to a lack of business.There's a lack of clarity with what you can and cannot do.Your there at the whim of the council or local police.
    I agree closures because of lack of profit are understandable but that's not really my point.
    The issue of the IAA hopefully will be rectified but Dave's right about the chamber of commerce being touted for many a year.It probably wont happen but I might talk to a few of the guys again and see how they feel.
    Derek Talbot no longer runs MIA, he's now running a different part of the business completely, so I'm not geting my lead from there:)

    There was like 8 events on throughout different sites over halloween, we got a pretty good turn out but from what I hear a lot of the events didn't go so well because of a lack of players.

    This is because there were to many events on at the same time, if sites could collaborate on events we could ensure all site events have a good turnout. All we have to do is work together.

    Add to that all the false rumours and back biting from everyone, the unwarranted bad blood between many of us e.t.c. We are basically just not in a great position to make things better yet. Every site and retailer basically stand alone bar one or two.

    We have a great relationship with most retailers and I can't complain business wise but we do have the odd slow day and it could defiinitely be better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,084 ✭✭✭✭ TheDoc


    Dave said it best, its just the market adjusting itself.

    I remember having lunch with the guys from Eirsoft when we were in the boom and the tone was very much " enjoy it lads, it wont last forever".

    Airsoft is a volatile industry, and through a stage it seemed anyone who had a bit of cash decided to lump it into airsoft to make a quick buck, with no real planning, business knowledge or long term strategy.

    I'm pretty sure you can go search for posts from me where I've outlined the last two years that it will eventually just implode and the guys in for a quick buck will be gone. And the guys who planned and played it smart, will still be here.

    I dont think a chamber of commerce can sort things out. From looking at other industries where this operates in similar sports, markets, it seems to stiffle innovation and growth and brings everything to a complacent level.

    Airsoft reloaded could do something outlandish that pulls tons of business, and then at the next chamber of commerce meeting, everyone is having a whinge that theirplayers got pulled away.

    Ricka there could get exclusivity on the best AEG n town, and then his fellow retailers give out about loosing business, it just stiffles growth.

    In my opinion you need to plan, know how to run a business, and most importantly plan for the worse alongside being innovative to keep players coming back week in week out.

    I won't go as far as saying I could do better, but I could say that very quickly when new sites pop up, or new stores open, you can tell quickly if they will last or sink.

    Here is a bitching little quote my CEO gave at a recent staff meeting.
    Recessions trim fat...those who got greedy in recent times are shedding the weight,staff, profits, innovation. Those that were in shape and fit, are just continuing to work out and doing business.

    Guys, we are Schwarzenegger in his prime, but we have to keep working out

    It pretty much summed up recessions, Ireland and the simple truth in one statement, and it was brilliant.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,763 Airsoft Reloded


    TheDoc wrote: »
    I dont think a chamber of commerce can sort things out. From looking at other industries where this operates in similar sports, markets, it seems to stiffle innovation and growth and brings everything to a complacent level.

    Ukara seems to work very well across the puddle though, correct me if I'm wrong but is Ukara not a commercial rep group?
    TheDoc wrote: »
    Airsoft reloaded could do something outlandish that pulls tons of business, and then at the next chamber of commerce meeting, everyone is having a whinge that theirplayers got pulled away.

    Sure we have adds on setanta sports, adds starting soon on Q102, Nova and we are in the middle of discussing several stalls in many tesco locations. we all need to stop worrying about what people will think and advertise, advertise, advertise.

    Airsoft is maturing though, I've gone mid cap only (as have nearly all of our regulars, most of our games are single fire only and we do an inhouse milsim to accomadate the change in attitude from most of our regulars.

    If you don't roll with the times the times roll over you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,061 Arkslippy


    There has been a rash of "me too" woodland venues and that's not healthy when there is a limited pool of players to pull from, with schools back and winter coming in id say Hrta won't be the last to close of the outdoor type.

    if i was running an outdoor id be praying for the current weather to continue.

    what Brian said on too many copycat events doesn't help either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,130 ✭✭✭✭ Lemming


    Ukara seems to work very well across the puddle though, correct me if I'm wrong but is Ukara not a commercial rep group?

    I'm not so sure that UKARA is oriented towards being a chamber of commerce, and more a political representative group.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,763 Airsoft Reloded


    Lemming wrote: »
    I'm not so sure that UKARA is oriented towards being a chamber of commerce, and more a political representative group.

    You'd know better than me on this subject for sure but is Ukara not the group that represent the retailers and sites of England and is not geared towards the commercial side of things?


  • Registered Users Posts: 915 ✭✭✭ fayer


    Il keep this short.

    The IAA operated in 2 phases,

    1 keep Airsoft legal, and secure that situation. DONE

    2 Move onto promotion and development of the sport. FAILED because it wasted all its time sorting out internal bull**** created by muppets.

    Yes the comercial entities need a representative body - They nearly had one till paranoid idiots scuppered it.

    Yes I believe the players still need an IAA, the sport is nothing with players, ultimately they should be the national governing body, with a subordinative partnership with a commercial rep body. (Checks and balances)

    Steve


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,130 ✭✭✭✭ Lemming


    You'd know better than me on this subject for sure but is Ukara not the group that represent the retailers and sites of England and is not geared towards the commercial side of things?

    It is the same group, yes. Could just be perception that much of the work they have done to date (or rather been visible in doing) has been more on the legislative front, e.g. government consultation/lobbying regards the VCRA.

    Truth be told I don't know just how much they do or what their full remit is (since I'm not a retailer or a site operator), but that's just the impression I've always had.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,261 Puding


    A complicated issue that tbh can never be covered in a forum post in full but will throw out a few points as I see them from seeing the industry from both sides. You can agree or disagree with them.



    Misinformation


    Its time for a reality check, as a community and industry we have had a tenancy to 'talk yourselves up' as it where with clames of warehouses with thousands of units of stock and vast player bases. The reality is that that is is just bull ****, sites and retailers have for a long time played keeping up with neighter with each other, no one wanted to show weakness and clams just getting bigger and bigger, and everyone started to either believe the clames or repeat them as it facilitated their interest be it the retailers, sites , player, IAA ( all of use tbh ).

    The problem with this is that people have started to believe the bluff, and it has created a false impression for people. People have believed the hype and have gone into business based on this exaggerated figures. The most research a lot of retailers have done is a quick google search or a straw poll at their local site.

    The brutal reality is that there is not enough trade to support the number of shops we have, the industry and turn over people believe is out their just does not exist and those 20 players on your local site although they talk a lot, are not going to provide a small shop with a strong weekly turn over to keep you afloat.

    - industry and community based on mis information and bluff creating a false impression
    - people seeing airsoft as a quick way to make money based on this misinformation and bluff
    - reality check, we are not as big as we think
    - people use boards for research for a business, wakeup people this is a small vocal majority
    - an inability to act professional, you may not like each other but most business can at least act professionally towards each other, the airsoft industry is immature tbh just a reflection of the community
    - for the size of the community in ireland we do not need that many sites and shops in ireland, how many in dublin for the population? everyone seems to wants a shop or site in walking distance!



    Own worst enemy


    Example: 'Shop closed because garda had wrong information on licence'

    reality is that the retailer/site from the information available is that the local superintendent seems to never have been contacted before the shop for set up.

    Who is to blame? both the retailers/site for not getting in contact and the local super for not having the correct information.

    We have a tendency to blame everyone else but ourselves, sometimes we have to take responsibility. IT is not our god given right to play airsoft, we are doing the strange hobby, WE have to take the initiative and not just say 'it will be grand'


    Just a few random points for now, will post up some more later on, need to make some dinner.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,763 Airsoft Reloded


    Lemming wrote: »
    It is the same group, yes. Could just be perception that much of the work they have done to date (or rather been visible in doing) has been more on the legislative front, e.g. government consultation/lobbying regards the VCRA.

    Truth be told I don't know just how much they do or what their full remit is (since I'm not a retailer or a site operator), but that's just the impression I've always had.

    Ah right, sound enough so. Thanks for the info boss ;)

    Well said Puding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,404 ricka


    Puding wrote: »
    Misinformation

    Its time for a reality check, as a community and industry we have had a tenancy to 'talk yourselves up' as it where with clames of warehouses with thousands of units of stock and vast player bases. The reality is that that is is just bull ****, sites and retailers have for a long time played keeping up with neighter with each other, no one wanted to show weakness and clams just getting bigger and bigger, and everyone started to either believe the clames or repeat them as it facilitated their interest be it the retailers, sites , player, IAA ( all of use tbh ).

    The problem with this is that people have started to believe the bluff, and it has created a false impression for people. People have believed the hype and have gone into business based on this exaggerated figures. The most research a lot of retailers have done is a quick google search or a straw poll at their local site.

    The brutal reality is that there is not enough trade to support the number of shops we have, the industry and turn over people believe is out their just does not exist and those 20 players on your local site although they talk a lot, are not going to provide a small shop with a strong weekly turn over to keep you afloat.

    - industry and community based on mis information and bluff creating a false impression
    - people seeing airsoft as a quick way to make money based on this misinformation and bluff
    - reality check, we are not as big as we think
    - people use boards for research for a business, wakeup people this is a small vocal majority
    - an inability to act professional, you may not like each other but most business can at least act professionally towards each other, the airsoft industry is immature tbh just a reflection of the community
    - for the size of the community in ireland we do not need that many sites and shops in ireland, how many in dublin for the population? everyone seems to wants a shop or site in walking distance!
    The vast majority of retailers I've seen set up have not been told anything about the industry by anyone involved.They had there minds made up after going skirmishing for a couple of weeks.They've done no research.Most were simply players who were either out of work or had a redundancy payment come through.
    The idea that retailers are talking the business up, to be honest I fail to see.
    I consistently tell people that my wifes a sales rep and is the main bread winner in our house.
    I do have over a hundred thousand in stock.
    I did turn over just under 1 million euro in the last calender year and YES the business does make **** all really!!!!
    There's no great pot of gold in Airsoft.I dont know a single retailer who says otherwise.
    A site claiming a large player base again seems pretty pointless to me as I hear every week from players telling me how many were on sites.How can you bull**** on this! Players are there and can see the numbers.Everyone on this forum knows who the busy sites are and the ones that aren't.
    I haven't had a single site owner ever tell me they make loads of money, in fact quite the contrary.

    Anyway I would pretty much agree with everything else you said.
    There probably are too many shops and sites.
    Without doubt there is a lack of professionalism by all of us in the industry and I think after a couple of hours thinking about it, the chances of a chamber of commerce working with all the bickering and infighting would be practically impossible.

    What you said with regards to shops opening without going to the authorities, you're right and to be honest I've been guilty of that myself.I was ordered to close down our Rathcoole shop after we opened after I had failed to inform them my intentions.
    I guess the industry is and has been going through a changing of the guard.
    In fact I think thats being happening on this forum too


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,261 Puding


    The vast majority of retailers I've seen set up have not been told anything about the industry by anyone involved.They had there minds made up after going skirmishing for a couple of weeks.They've done no research.Most were simply players who were either out of work or had a redundancy payment come through.
    The idea that retailers are talking the business up, to be honest I fail to see.
    I consistently tell people that my wifes a sales rep and is the main bread winner in our house.
    I do have over a hundred thousand in stock.
    I did turn over just under 1 million euro in the last calender year and YES the business does make **** all really!!!!
    There's no great pot of gold in Airsoft.I dont know a single retailer who says otherwise.
    A site claiming a large player base again seems pretty pointless to me as I hear every week from players telling me how many were on sites.How can you bull**** on this! Players are there and can see the numbers.Everyone on this forum knows who the busy sites are and the ones that aren't.
    I haven't had a single site owner ever tell me they make loads of money, in fact quite the contrary.



    the reality is your business model is very very differant to the vast majority of shops in ireland ( actually i would say all of them)

    you're in partnership with with cybergun and tbh from what you post you seem to pretty much sell what you are sent a lot of the time, i would imagine a large amount of your sales are to people that have nothing to do with regular skirmishing and I would put money on you having a wholesale element selling to smaller shops and gadget shops in the republic

    there is a lot of talking up business tbh i'm not going to go into details as that is just dragging up mud and will be counter productive if you want to talk about it i can gladly go to pm or talk to you on the phone at some point,


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,763 Airsoft Reloded


    Yeah.... It would be hard to continue if you didn't love it alright. there is definitely no river of gold anywhere to be seen but you meet a lot of great people, you get to enjoy your job (Really enjoy your job), you make a few bob and you provide a service to a few people who require it.

    Not that bad really, cheer up Ritchie. Your normally so full of sunshine.
    ricka wrote: »
    The vast majority of retailers I've seen set up have not been told anything about the industry by anyone involved.They had there minds made up after going skirmishing for a couple of weeks.They've done no research.Most were simply players who were either out of work or had a redundancy payment come through.
    The idea that retailers are talking the business up, to be honest I fail to see.
    I consistently tell people that my wifes a sales rep and is the main bread winner in our house.
    I do have over a hundred thousand in stock.
    I did turn over just under 1 million euro in the last calender year and YES the business does make **** all really!!!!
    There's no great pot of gold in Airsoft.I dont know a single retailer who says otherwise.
    A site claiming a large player base again seems pretty pointless to me as I hear every week from players telling me how many were on sites.How can you bull**** on this! Players are there and can see the numbers.Everyone on this forum knows who the busy sites are and the ones that aren't.
    I haven't had a single site owner ever tell me they make loads of money, in fact quite the contrary.

    Anyway I would pretty much agree with everything else you said.
    There probably are too many shops and sites.
    Without doubt there is a lack of professionalism by all of us in the industry and I think after a couple of hours thinking about it, the chances of a chamber of commerce working with all the bickering and infighting would be practically impossible.

    What you said with regards to shops opening without going to the authorities, you're right and to be honest I've been guilty of that myself.I was ordered to close down our Rathcoole shop after we opened after I had failed to inform them my intentions.
    I guess the industry is and has been going through a changing of the guard.
    In fact I think thats being happening on this forum too


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,404 ricka


    Puding wrote: »
    the reality is your business model is very very differant to the vast majority of shops in ireland ( actually i would say all of them)

    you're in partnership with with cybergun and tbh from what you post you seem to pretty much sell what you are sent a lot of the time, i would imagine a large amount of your sales are to people that have nothing to do with regular skirmishing and I would put money on you having a wholesale element selling to smaller shops and gadget shops in the republic

    there is a lot of talking up business tbh i'm not going to go into details as that is just dragging up mud and will be counter productive if you want to talk about it i can gladly go to pm or talk to you on the phone at some point,
    Fair enough, probably better left unsaid
    Yeah.... It would be hard to continue if you didn't love it alright. there is definitely no river of gold anywhere to be seen but you meet a lot of great people, you get to enjoy your job (Really enjoy your job), you make a few bob and you provide a service to a few people who require it.

    Not that bad really, cheer up Ritchie. Your normally so full of sunshine.

    lol, yeah just was a bit fed up when I posted that.
    I've been looking around to relocate inside the M50 for the last month or two.Had 2 good units pass me by, as both landlords were unwilling to sign short term leases.Also both units had issues that may have led me to being refused a license.I dont feel I can commit to any thing long term untill the legislation is enacted and I have my license.Its just frustrating when you want to move the business on.
    It seems to me that the site owners are in the same position.Not really sure exactly who you should be talking to before you set up and nobody in authority really knowing what to do.
    Guess for the moment I'll just have to get on with and see what happens, that's all I can do!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,200 J.D.R


    Just curious, why don't you break the legislative body of airsoft (ie, the IAA) into 2 separate bodies? One representing the players, and another the sites/retailer?

    Surely that would be a better method of representation as each group have different, but not mutually exclusive, aims in term of airsofts development in Ireland.

    In other words, shops want new legislation to allow them to set up/expand/import more freely/clearly, while players want to be able to buy a broader range of guns without the customs hassle.

    Sites want to set up without the Irish Gustapo having the last say, while more players might like a regulated system of knowing if a site is legitimate, and if it'l;l be there in a fortnights time.

    I have no experience with the IAA so I may be completely wrong here, but it seems to me having two separate specialised bodies liaising independently with each other would serve better than one be all and end all representative?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,763 Airsoft Reloded


    ricka wrote: »
    lol, yeah just was a bit fed up when I posted that. I've been looking around to relocate inside the M50 for the last month or two.Had 2 good units pass me by, as both landlords were unwilling to sign short term leases.Also both units had issues that may have led me to being refused a license.I dont feel I can commit to any thing long term untill the legislation is enacted and I have my license.Its just frustrating when you want to move the business on.

    It seems to me that the site owners are in the same position.Not really sure exactly who you should be talking to before you set up and nobody in authority really knowing what to do.
    Guess for the moment I'll just have to get on with and see what happens, that's all I can do!

    I hear you, I've had days like that too. A 4 year rolling lease with a yearly break out clause is what we normally go for, most landlords are alright with that. A few of them don't like the idea of thier land being used for airsoft related business' but I've noticed lately that they don't really mind anymore.

    I go on the assumption that as long as we follow the laws that are here we will be ok, there is nothing else you can do really. I'm not realy afraid of it being banned though so that probably helps me sleep at night.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,084 ✭✭✭✭ TheDoc


    J.D.R wrote: »
    but it seems to me having two separate specialised bodies liaising independently with each other would serve better than one be all and end all representative?

    :O

    May I ask for some bullet points as to how that is in anyway shape or form a positive move?

    There is no reason the IAA can't do both, the problem is resources. There are not enough volunteers to cover everything.

    I'm not aware of any "sport" where there is a governing body for the players and a separate one for those with commercial interests.


    It adds another barrier to communication, resolution and effectively puts two separate organisations out with a viewpoint of two different directions.

    Don't see how that is beneficial to anyone.

    And in reality I dont see why there is this mad push for some organisation to represent sites and commercial entities. Represent against what exactly?

    I can count on one hand nowadays the commercial entities that knock about the place. Organise an evening over pints or coffee and thrash out your issues, write them down, present to IAA. If they arnt doing it properly, then go through the channels and get effective people their to deal with your issues.

    I'm seeing all the talk and chatter about someone representing commercial bodies, I hear it on sites etc etc etc. But what do you want to be represented for?

    Do you want an entity there to help you out with issues that arise with customs and police?

    or

    Do you want an entity where you can huddle in and draw up a plan about how best to share the wealth and make a few quid with everyone on board?

    Maybe the IAA have gone really downhill, or maybe there is something I'm missing. But I know from the time I spent working in the business there wasn't any benefits I saw from a proposed " commercial body" other then a forum for poorly run sites and organisation to get ideas and business plans, or have a moan at the unfair advantage others had : /


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,084 ✭✭✭✭ TheDoc


    ricka wrote: »
    The vast majority of retailers I've seen set up have not been told anything about the industry by anyone involved.They had there minds made up after going skirmishing for a couple of weeks.They've done no research.Most were simply players who were either out of work or had a redundancy payment come through.

    I've said it to a good few people, if I got a million quid tomorrow, the last place I'd invest it in airsoft. The vast majority of those who setup shop had no idea what they were doing or getting themselves into. Zero business experience, no research, basically everything you said.

    This has a negative impact in that the market nationally, looks a joke and is not taken seriously. And that's reflective in the amount of unjust or incorrect hassle sites and retailers can sometimes receive.

    Personally I can't see myself buying another rifle or pistol, or even accessories within Ireland, and I haven't for a long time. For me it is very simple why.
    • Cheaper abroad
    • Unlimited choice
    • Better brands
    • Plentiful stock
    • Obscure unique items

    I've heard all the talk of the flip side of the above, but I'm still not convinced. My most recent pistol purchase was a KJWorks 1911 that came to me, after customs and VAT got it, at just €102.

    I sympathise with retailers and sites who are struggling, I do. But for as much as you can point the finger at customs, the guards, the IAA, the lack of representation, are you sure your doing ALL you can?

    I don't see many shops enticing me to buy something on a whim , and I don't see sites enticing me to visit them when I'm not a normal visitor.

    So either yous are all fine and its just an out loud cry, or maybe commercial entities could crunch some numbers and see if maybe there is some deals that can be done, special offers and some marketing.

    I know cost price on items has shifted a little bit, but unless I'm drastically way off the mark ( which I doubt I am) I dont see a retailer not being able to sell a high end rifle with a half price pistol, and still make a good profit from it.

    And if you can't, you need to look into your supply chain, cause your doing it wrong.


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