Selling Dog Mannequins


This is one I read about many years ago, and you would think that the business of dog mannequins is obscure enough, but there are niches as well. There is the manufacturing side, which is probably dominated by Chinese companies, at least for the plastic store-display dogs. Then there is the retail side of the business--selling those plastic dogs. This is done largely online. Search and you'll easily find a dozen vendors.

Then there are the other dog mannequins: Those used for training purposes. For example, the Red Cross has animal first aid classes, and after Craig Jones noticed how unrealistic the animals used for them are, he decided to make a better product. He decided that a more realistic dog manikin that would be useful not only for animal first aid classes, but for training veterinarians as well. He built a prototype in his garage and his first customer was the Red Cross. His company, Rescue Critters, now sells their products all over the world.

His company makes cats and horses now too, and advanced models of their animal mannequins that can be used for practicing suturing, or can have "blood" drawn.

How Much Can You Make?

It seems a long shot to try to compete in the making of the mannequins, so selling is your most likely path to success. The price for simplistic dog mannequins (plastic, no fur), meant for store displays and similar uses, is only $17 to $57 at one website I checked. More realistic models certainly are over $100. Animal mannequins for training can fetch much higher prices. A simple cat mannequin for pet CPR training runs about $330, for example, and a female dog mannequin that can be operated on to train veterinarian in spaying procedures costs $3400 at the moment.

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This is a business that is about the marketing. The manufacturing end of it is not likely to work unless you want to design specialty dog mannequins like those used for medical training.

Qualifications / Requirements

Although in theory you could begin by selling a few products online and then using your profits to grow from there, you will more likely need a few thousand dollars to invest into inventory to get a good start.

First Steps

Decide on the niche you are interested in and do some market research, starting with a search for any potential local customers. Once you determine that there is enough demand for what you intend to offer, search for wholesale supplies online. The cheapest prices will be found with large orders from Chinese companies.

Resources - Seller of dog mannequins (and other animals) used for training in veterinarian schools, SAR (search and rescue) groups, police and more.

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Every Way to Make Money | Selling Dog Mannequins