I will crank this out fast and will not be proof reading at all. That means this post will probably have more typos than my other typo filled posts. Number 1. It has to do with width. If for example I have one manufacturer that I can bring in $200.00 a month margin from sale of product, a second manufacturer that I can get $100.00 per month in margin and so on until all the manufacturers I deal with directly = $800.00 per month it is clear that I could make it if I had more suppliers but not if I don't find more. In a case where margin falls short of covering expenses there is not anything left to replace the inventory. Now if margin can cover expenses and replace half the inventory that sold it is a slow bleed until there is not the ability to replace any of the inventory. In the slow bleed situation monthly expenses are covered but the margin is only enough to cover replacement costs for 90% of the inventory sold the next month total margin is less than the previous month so I have to pick and choose what gets replaced. Since things are getting narrower and narrower margin drops from month to month until it cannot work. Being wider could have avoided that. Every once in awhile something will happen where I have the opportunity to buy quite a bit of inventory, If I do not have buying opportunities to go wide I have to go deep instead since cash a dead asset. The fact that I am not wide as I should be the slow bleed starts over again until it is not sustainable again, when it gets unsustainable the members have baled me out at severe expense to themselves. I would rather be able make it on my own. In order to do that I need buying opportunities when there is a cash infusion. This is pretty basic stuff. Number 2. Some of the items I have to get indirect since I am unable to deal with some manufacturers directly. I end up buying the inventory from someone else who might not always be able to make it available and usually at higher cost than if I could buy direct. Before I started the forum I didn't have issues with buying and everyone I asked to buy form would sell to me. That changed after I opened the forum. The buying opportunities dried up. Number 3. Carrying costs. I get an opportunity to buy something that is going to take awhile to sell out. I have to think it terms of Internal Rate of Return set to = 0 rather than Net Present Value. As an example I get a chance to buy something that I can sell at a 30% margin but I have to buy what turns out to be a 6 month or 12 month supply at a time. I might have to take that opportunity that is there and I really don't have a way knowing how long that supply will take to move. I will be buying something after the next Spyderco that I think will take me a year to sell out of but I don't know that for sure, I am going to take a gamble and hope that it pays off. In the 30% margin situation lets say the items sells for $100.00 each, I buy 100 of them. I have not been able pull off a transaction like this with the exception of the Spyderco pre-sale but I could before I started the forum. Since the item is $100.00 each they get free shipping plus there will be CC fees the margin drops of course. This number is a little high but if the CC fee was 5% and the shipping cost is $5.00 the next margin (not profit) will be $20.00 per unit. Going into the purchase I expect that the quantity I will sell will slowly drop until it reaches an equilibrium point. The gamble is how long it will take to reach break even, not make any positive cash flow. I since the gross margin on this item is 30% on a $100.00 retail item it makes the cost roughly $77.00 if I round. The net margin is 20% using these numbers. My goal was to reach break even as fast as possible as I would be using money needed for rent, utilities and other expenses to buy the inventory. (note this is not a realistic set of numbers I am using as an example) If I am using money that needs to be used for other things I am counting on a fast break even or I cannot replace other inventory as it sells. Instead of margin I am using principle to keep things going and that means inventory of other items is not being replaced. At the end of the cycle when the inventory had cleared I cannot replace it and try again as I would be too far upside down on the combined purchases. Another way to look at it. There is one item that I carried and I would actually like to carry again but I cannot at the moment. I have to replace it 6 times to cover the cost of keeping 1 in stock. I buy 1 and sell one, I replace it. I sell it again and replace it, I sell it again and replace it again, I used rent money to buy it so I cannot replace it. It is now out of stock. If I could have got three more cycles out of it that month I could have one in stock but will not have made the first positive cash flow out of it. It would be the 7th one where I get the first free cash flow off of the margin. At the rate it was selling it was worth having but I used rent money to buy it. Number 4. Before opening the forum buying opportunities were easier and I could do things to become wide enough. I learned the hard way that having the forum made it harder to buy. I was happy to let manufacturers do what they wanted on the forum. If I tried to buy from them most of the time I would not be able to even though they had 20 other dealers. I would cut into some of their direct sales. I let that go on for a very long time but I found with some if you give an inch they will take a mile. Some would even create shill accounts even though they were openly in the forum. There is no better advertising than a happy customer so go ahead and invent an extra fake one. When I contact manufacturers and if I don’t get a reply I set back and wonder when the shill account is going to be made and wonder if I will catch them. Item A. Though Maxpedition is not my kind of product I knew that others like the product so was happy to have him in the forum. I tried to buy from Maxpedition but when I saw the terms I would need to find away to build up enough capital to get started. (this has nothing to do with the big problem I had with them) When I did try to buy from them I was told I would hurt EDC Depot’s sales on the forum. WHAT!? They did start doing heavy direct marketing on the forum so I didn’t really believe the reason for not selling to me. (this has nothing to do with the big problem I had with them) Other manufacturers found they could do likewise. (this has nothing to do with the big problem I had with them). He was willing to help support the forum if it became a subsidiary of Maxpedition. I was not going to give the forum to someone like that. Item A does not answer your question so I will move on. Item B. I was keeping things afloat by a tiny thread. I heard from Maxpeditions lawyer. I didn’t have the time but I had to drop everything and get to work compiling all the evidence and started talking to attorneys. Cash flow dropped. I started spending to get ready for a lawsuit and in a perverse way was looking forward to it. I was in hopes that I would be asked to open my email record to the court but also knew I would not survive the expense of a lawsuit even though I would win. It would have been mutually assured destruction. Because things were hanging by a thread and I was not doing things to maintain cash flow I lost the ability to continue to replace inventory and I spent money I would not have otherwise spent. I could not get thing going again, could not pay my bills. I kept paying the server expense and then went under but the forum was at least still alive. Thing A. Why was I even asking if I should make an attempt and being a SOG dealer. I will be getting a chance soon to try and buy significant inventory again. I will be replacing the outages from manufacturers that will sell to me direct. Those that I am not buying direct from I might not be able to get. I also need to become wider or I will drift back into this same situation again. I think it is either find away to pick up more direct suppliers or eventually die or be bailed out again and again. I would rather pick up more direct suppliers. I don’t expect to have much luck with companies that are already talked about a lot of the forum or have a lot of reviews but I am going to try them anyway. I think if I pick up more suppliers it will be those not talked about much on the forum. I could be wrong as there have been exceptions.