Thanks for the feed back
I would love for the business to be next to my house in San Diego or I even have business in Long Beach an hour away. However The cost of real estate is so prohibative that it destroy`s the numbers. I was a Real Estate analyst for many years for accounting firm and I am currently a real estate broker. What I am trying to do is provide the lowest possible cost for Start-up companies to have Space without going broke. The cost of real estate, labor and regulations strangle most ventures in California and I believe in most major Metros. To start off with, the facility I am opening will be inthe middle of the country. Bad for international receiving (Ports) but central once it gets there and (oh so much cheaper). I want to provide this space for hundreds (not thousands) of dollars, and receive a slight mark-up on handling (receiving and distribution). My customers could be anywhere and their customers could be anywhere nationally or internationally. Eventually I could expand to more expensive space in a port city, but my intial venture I believe needs to compete by providing this service as cheaply as possible. I`m not sure how much business will come domestically or internationally. Once the product comes to me the customer will not go broke if these items sit on the shelf for a while and their customer will be paying for the shipping to the final destination. One gentleman I spoke with receives military "stuff" from former soviet countries. If he receives a shipping container of "stuff" it is extremely cheaper than by piecemeal. He then goes and sells these items over months and years on e-bay. He lives in an apartment in boston and although they have a port, it would cost him more to recseive and store these items than it would be worth.
(Insurance) I have had a self storage facility in the past an the tenants can either put the items on their own insurance policy or a policy can be purchased for a nominal amount.
I think something like your microwave example may be hard to make work, especially in the age of Wallmart. This I think is more like custom motorcycle wheels at $300 each and the handling fee at $10. to cover my employee`s time. The employees time is will also cost significantly less in the mid-west.
Again I still working out the kinks.
The warehouse will be cheap basic storage probably hot in the summmer (no ice cream) and cold in the winter.
For the Start-up that stops because the costs seem insurmountable, I want to be their partner to help make it work on a shoestring budget.
Your questions and imput are great and your background in trade is fantastic. Let me know if you or anyone you know has ideas.