Shade cloth is a multipurpose material used for both weather protection and privacy. Start your own business buying and selling shade cloth.

What is shade cloth?
Shade cloth is a material used for protection from the sun and privacy among other uses. See below for more uses. It is usually sold me the meter or in predetermined sizes.

Know your density
Shade cloth is available in various densities which determine how much of the sun it blocks out. It is also sold in various textures and colours.

Market & marketing
There is essentially two markets: domestic (homes) and commercial (companies). What type of buyer you are targeting will determine how you do your marketing.

If you selling to both home and business you can use a local advertising platform like Gumtree, shade cloth does not really sell well over the internet, people like to inspect it in person and shipping is a bit of a schlep in large quantities.

How to target the domestic market will depend on whether you do it full time. If you are doing it full time then you can have a stall at a market on various days, I’ve even seen shade cloth been sold on the side of the road. Why shade cloth has become especially popular in the domestic market is for privacy from scavenging thieves who walk past houses and look into backyards. If you only have uncovered gate, people masquerading as scrap collectors will look around and if they see anything they will take it. Having shade cloth makes this much harder. It is also popular to be used for carport covers (vehicle shade) as it’s cheap.

The commercial market has a few extra uses and share some uses with the domestic market such as vehicle shading in parking lots. Other commercial uses include:
• Cladding for temporary fencing / area dividers
• Greenhouse / gardening (agriculture)

The commercial market is a bit different to market to (although some do get contacts via Gumtree as it shows up high in search engines), you may also have to market direct. Besides industries that use shade cloth for the above purposes there is also a market selling to property developers so you can look into those as well.

I like businesses that sells material by the meter as the margins are usually good, what makes shade cloth attractive is that the cost per meter is quite high.

Image credits: Fortress Fencing, plasticscreenmesh

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