Modding for Many: Successfully Starting Your Own Seiko Mod Business Part 2
A Seiko Modding Business is a fun new niche that people with good craftsmanship can profit from. There are already a lot of professional modders in the community who make a living by building and selling Seiko mods.
And we will teach you how to become one of them.
You are reading part 2 of a 3-part entry in our Modding for Many series - a series that will show you:
- how to build your own community
- how to market your services and keep clients happy
- how to turn your hobby into a lucrative business
- and more!
Click here to read part 1, where we talk about knowing your target market and tips about which Seiko modding tools to get.
And without further ado, on to the next tips!
Tip 3: Sourcing for Parts
Since we’ve mentioned in our previous article that your tools should be of good quality, we move on to the Seiko mod parts and where to get them.
The ideal scenario would be when a customer orders the parts and has them sent over to you. You know they want these parts and trust that they did their homework before sourcing them. Should there be any defects or incompatibility issues, it would be their responsibility to contact the supplier to have the issue resolved.
However, this is not always the case. A customer may choose to leave the sourcing of the parts to you. If they have a watch that they want you to use as a base for the mod, it should be with you before the parts are ordered so you know which model you are working with and can determine which parts are needed for it (some clients are not sure what Seiko model they have).
When it’s time to look for your mod parts, your instinct may be to visit marketplaces like Amazon or Ebay. Aliexpress is another online marketplace that is increasing in popularity in the west, with the sellers mainly being headquartered in China.
It’s not a bad idea to shop from marketplaces. Just be aware that there are a few bad apples here and there that may be selling knockoff parts, or downright bad quality ones. Be mindful of the reviews for each product, and for an extra layer of caution, run the product page through a review checker like Fakespot or Reviewmeta.
Getting Parts from an Online Shop
There are also established online shops that cater specifically to Seiko modders. When looking at an independent shop, here are the things you would want to consider:
- They should have a good selection of parts. If they only have some of the parts to complete the watch you are building, you may have to shop from multiple stores. In some cases, this is unavoidable but it would be better to order everything from one shop to keep shipping costs down and take advantage of bundles and promotions when available.
- They should have good reviews. Similar to Amazon or Ebay, an independent online store should show reviews of their products from verified buyers. Aside from reviews found on their shop, you can also check on social media or watch mod-related forums to know what other people are saying about this shop.
- Do they ship to your country, and how long will it take? The pandemic has caused lots of delays in global deliveries. Ask anyone who modded a watch in the past year and they’ll tell you how many weeks it took for a single order to arrive, which in some cases extended to even months. It would be best to check their FAQ if available if you do not want to be a victim of poor shipping services, which you may have to follow up every other day.
Source from namokiMODS
And we hope you don’t mind, as this is the part where we plug ourselves. Here at namokiMODS, we offer all the parts you may need for a Seiko mod – from watch cases to watch hands, down to the rubber gaskets, you are sure to find it here. For people like you who want to turn watch modding into a career, we have available programs that can help you jumpstart your business.
First, we have an affiliate program where you can earn commissions for sales that you refer to our website. With more people finding the appeal of custom watches, the more demand there will be for watch parts, and the more chances for you to earn! We explain everything in detail in this blog post if you are interested to know more, or you can sign up right away through our portal.
Second, we have a wholesaler’s program which will allow you to get massive discounts as long as you reach a certain price threshold. This is helpful once your business is up and running and it is more efficient for you to buy things in bulk instead of ordering pieces one by one as orders come in. For more details, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
And lastly, if you are not quite able to reach the requirements for the wholesaler program yet, you can still apply for our modder’s program which also offers substantial discounts when you hit the minimum price required. Not everyone can get into the modder’s program however, so please get in touch with email@example.com to see if you qualify for this one.
Unusual Places to Find Mod Parts
Aside from marketplaces and online stores, watch forums like the Second Hand Mod Parts sub-reddit are also an unusual place where you can source parts from. In fact, this may actually be the first place you will look at if a customer is requesting a particularly rare part, like a limited-edition Seiko-branded dial for example (looking at you, Seiko 5 Sports Street Fighter Edition dials).
It is much riskier to buy from individuals though, so be extra careful when dealing with sellers here. If possible, ask for proofs of previous transactions and limit your deals to known members of the community.
One last place we can think of where you can buy parts: Instagram. Being the platform of choice for watch modders, part suppliers also choose to promote their products here. Bespoke leather straps, hand-painted dials, custom engraved casebacks and more are available under the well-used #seikomod hashtag. Instagram is actually one of the safest places to source watch mod parts from because you can instantly see the community’s feedback on one’s products and services!
Quick tip from @Nafokies: Sourcing of parts is probably the most essential part of modding, so knowing where to source is very important. Always remember to take into consideration the quality of the parts, affordability, and delivery speed.
Tip 4: Establish an Online Presence
While your friends and family should be the first among your customers, you’ll find that the majority of people who are interested in Seiko mods gather online. This is why as soon as you decide you’d like to start your modding service hustle, you should pick your brand name and start creating accounts in as many platforms as you can manage.
The most important account you need to create will be Instagram followed by Youtube. Watches are a visual experience, and your photos and videos showcasing your mods will be your main way of attracting followers, who will then hopefully turn into clients. We will create a future post about this topic, as growing your Instagram page is too big a subject to include in this one!
Making Helpful Content
Creating tutorials or building timelapse videos on Youtube are another way to show people your work methodology. This will help build your image as an authority in the niche, making you more trustworthy in the eyes of your followers.
And because you’ll be taking plenty of pictures and videos, you should practice how to handle a camera. It doesn’t matter if you created a cool mod if you take grainy pictures of it in the dark. If your camera (or your phone) can take macro shots, even better as you’ll be able to capture as much detail as possible.
If you are not too busy making mods for your clients yet, do take the time to participate in watch forums about your experiences or tips with watch modding. This is another opportunity for you to network with other modders and of course, potential clients. You may also learn a thing or two by spending time talking with the community, like emerging trends or limited edition parts.
Quick tip from @Nafokies: Aside from instagram and YouTube, we must also be proactive on watch related forums like this sub-reddit and FB Seiko Mod Group. Stay interactive by sharing and asking mods related topics / questions.
By now, you have an idea on how to study your target market, which modding tools to start with, where to get mod parts, and how to attract followers and clients online.
In our final two tips for this 3-part entry, we will we share a trick to make your life as a modder easier, and another to keep customers returning for your services.