Selling Dog Mannequins
By Steve Gillman
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
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
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.
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.
- Seller of dog mannequins (and other animals) used for training
in veterinarian schools, SAR (search and rescue) groups, police