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Chris Davis May 1st, 2009 01:31 PM

Questions about video tape transfer business
 
I'm considering expanding my business to offer tape to DVD transfers. Initially, I've resisted offering consumer services because corporate work has been much more lucrative, not to mention it's less trouble to work with a few large jobs than many small jobs.

However, my son is almost 15 and in need of a job. His oldest brother started working with me at that age (8 years ago) and that's going very well. I just thought this would be a good way to give him some tasks and a good way to generate some additional income.

I already have an automated dvd duplicator/printer, plus a MiniDVD deck. I figure I'd need to purchase a Digital8/Hi8/8mm deck (Sony GV-D200?) and a professional VHS deck. So we're talking about a $1,000+ investment, maybe?

Do I need to take credit cards? If you don't, do you find that's a detriment?

Workflow: Do you ingest all the video into a computer and author a DVD, or do you simply run the video signal into a set-top video DVD recorder? I'm leaning toward the ingest/author method as I could foresee a better end product.

We already have a commercial location, but it's not a "store-front" location. It's actually in a technology park.

Tripp Woelfel May 1st, 2009 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Davis (Post 1136085)
I already have an automated dvd duplicator/printer, plus a MiniDVD deck. I figure I'd need to purchase a Digital8/Hi8/8mm deck (Sony GV-D200?) and a professional VHS deck. So we're talking about a $1,000+ investment, maybe?

Simple xfer from tape to disk is a low end business. The UPS store in my town will do it cheap. They advertise as low as US$5/tape. The margin in that is thin enough to shave with.

You might want to consider a more "value add" approach, but I'd be hard pressed to suggest one. A friend of mine started a home movie edit business a decade ago based upon simple "packages" of edits and extras. It failed miserably almost before it started.

You want to scope the length and breadth of this very carefully before you go deep on this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Davis (Post 1136085)
Do I need to take credit cards? If you don't, do you find that's a detriment?

Can be. 60% of all consumer purchases are done with plastic now. There are options to contracting with companies like PNC, B of A and Heartland that are more cost and time effective. They cost more per transaction but they'll keep you from losing sales.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Davis (Post 1136085)
Workflow: Do you ingest all the video into a computer and author a DVD, or do you simply run the video signal into a set-top video DVD recorder? I'm leaning toward the ingest/author method as I could foresee a better end product.

True, but that could price you out of the market. For most people interested in a service like this, they probably won't want to pay much. The more you can automate this work the lower your cost and price. Lower prices should open up whatever market there is for this service.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Davis (Post 1136085)
We already have a commercial location, but it's not a "store-front" location. It's actually in a technology park.

That creates a challenge. This sounds like a kiosk business in a mall somewhere. I think it's mostly an impulse buy, but there's a problem since they're probably not carrying the tapes with them.

If I had a son and I wanted to get him involved. I'd look for something more creative/involving to give him to keep him interested. I'm wicked older than you are but even now my ADD would make lose interest in this in single flap of a hummingbird wing.


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