buying and fixing?

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  #1  
Old 01-23-04, 01:15 PM
las
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buying and fixing?

Thats something I have been doing for years
Is buying up police auction bicycles fixing them
up and trying to sell em?It's kinda like a passion for
me been doing It for years sometimes I get sick of
doing It but I always seem to come back and have another
and another go at It..I win on some ..I loose on some..I
break even on some bicycles?Food for thought just
thought I would throw this in..!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-26-04, 10:20 AM
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As a kid back in the mid 70's that's what I did to make money for my bmx. I'd buy an old bike for a few bucks at a yard sale or even out of the trash, fix it up and paint it and resell for usually 3-4x what I had in it. For being a kid whos family didn't have much growing up I had one of the best bikes in the neighborhood. Then in about 81' I had saved enough to get a Supergoose and really worked hard building that bike up...still wish I had it.. every time I catch one on e-bay it ends up selling for way more than I want to pay.

These days as cheap as bikes are at like Wally World and such it's hard to make a profit on used bikes.
 
  #3  
Old 01-26-04, 12:10 PM
las
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yeah your right

There are too many brand new 100 dollar jobs
out there?
 
  #4  
Old 02-19-04, 05:24 AM
supersteve
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i agree

but there's one thing that is needed out there. Mechanics who know what they are doing. Guaranteed those hundred dollar bikes will need tune ups before they run properly. Even if they are brand new. Those guys putting them together get paid piece work, so they see how many they can put together in an hour. That's where we come in. We have years of experience working on even the toughest bikes. Screw the mechanics license. We're better than they are. Alot of these guys in bike shops are only kids with a piece of paper. They've never heard of our old bikes or even ridden some of the bikes we did. While they were in diapers, we were dinking around with 10 speeds. We know what we're doing that's why we should not only give advice, but try (in our own neighbourhoods) to drum up business. They need qualified, experienced mechanics, and we're just the guys to do it. That's why I started the thread. To drum up business for free on line advice so no one will get shafted when they get to the bike shops. I hope you agree.
 
  #5  
Old 02-19-04, 07:26 AM
las
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dept. stores

Yeah but when people have a problem they usually come
to me for advise I've noticed that..but it seems that everybody else is getting rich but myself?These dept. stores won't hire a compitant bicycle mechanic..there more interested In the after school boys.OH WELL I'LL always have a bicycle I know that
and I'm not going to be a sucker and fix everybody elses bicycles
for free either.The dept. store made all the money and now they look to me for cheap help NOT It just Isn't going to happen.
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-04, 10:48 AM
supersteve
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2 years ago we lived in a neighbourhood just infested with kids. I charged 5 bucks a head no matter what the problem. I always kept spare parts around that i found on garbage days. I made a nice little side job out of it. But now that we've moved, and there aren't too many kids around, it's just turned into a hobby for myself. Fix our bikes and keep them better maintained than any shop could.

I applied to zellers here for one of those guys putting the bikes together. They were offering 9 bucks an hour but they found out I had more than 20 years exp. on bikes and they didn't call me. I guess that's cause I'm worth more. So I ended up working for tim hortons, baking doughnuts.

We'll always be in demand but noone will have the jam to come up to us or we wont have the patience to put ourselves out there. There's money to be made on bikes, but we're on the wrong side of the fence. One day............hopefully.
 
  #7  
Old 02-19-04, 11:59 AM
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Up until we moved last year I was doing the same. We lived in a nieghborhood that was kinda rough and most of the kids either had junk bikes or no bikes. I was always fixing them or giving bikes away that I fixed up myself. I would see their parents driving nice cars and wearing nice clothes yet living in a trashy rented house and the kids have nothing. That's the only thing I miss about the old neighborhood is seeing the faces on them kids when I fixed their flat or just gave a kid a bike. It's still hard for me to drive by and see a bike in the trash and not grab it but I've got so many irons in the fire they would just pile up. I just hope some of the kids I helped out will return the favor to somebody else someday.
 
  #8  
Old 02-19-04, 01:02 PM
las
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town tenders

Well I know if I go to the town/police tender and buy a bunch
of bicycles I'll have too many people coming around wanting this and that for nothing and stealing maybe..so I might just not bother going. Bicycles and parts have proven to be to much of a unwanted attraction around our place..ain't making a fortune at it anyway?So right now I'm strongly considering not even bothering
To go and put my bids In
 
  #9  
Old 02-19-04, 07:24 PM
supersteve
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Well, las, I wouldn't give up just yet. Just keep a bunch of spares around. Or do what I would do. I'd acquire a bunch of older bikes and strip them. I would organize the parts into small boxes and label them then keep them in the house. Then the larger stuff, frames and wheels I would chain them up in the shed and lock the shed door. Lots of people knew I had bike stuff, but the more valuable stuff was kept under lock and key. Never once did I have a bike stolen. You could try that. Or go out at night, a round midnight and look for bike stuff in the garbage. You know when noone else is awake.

I know the demand isn't as great this year, but I'm not going to give up. Everybody rides bikes and all bikes need fixing. Especially if they've been sitting all winter. They need to be summerized. New tires and tubes, lube this, grease that. There is money out there, just how much are you willing to charge for labour? Shop rate is around 50 bucks an hour down here.

When I charge someone 20 bucks for 3 hours, it puts a smile on their face. They remember that and always come back. I like repeat business. Better yet, word of mouth business. Quality work for not alot of money. If I were you, I would sit back, not give up,and see what tomorrow brings.
 
  #10  
Old 02-20-04, 06:21 AM
las
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I agree

I agree with you trouble Is i've never had a business license
or I would be charging the same has you mentioned..and maybe get the money In advance...the thing Is when a person Is just
operating has a side line [no business license]It's tough to dictate
has you mentioned,but I agree getting a business license and
charging a hourly rate has you indicated is the only route to go.
I can remember when I took a bicycle to get fixed years ago before I knew how...I had to pay for my tune-up In advance.
That way people can't dump and go on you?
 
  #11  
Old 02-20-04, 06:38 AM
supersteve
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A businesslicense is a good route to follow except one thing...the government. It's expensive to get a license. Once you got that license you also have to have a place of address where that business is. So now you have to register your house as a business address. Then you have to register with the province for paying business taxes. Aand if you hire anyone you have to pay income tax and cpp and uic on that person. Too much red tape.

Sorry you miss understood me. I was trying to say to do it and not register as a business by doing it under the table. That's how I do it. I'm not going to charge a5 year old kid 15% tax on a 20 minute job. Do it for beer money. I do and it works out just fine. Just deal with people you can trust to get the thread started. Word of mouth business is the best way to keep a secret and get all the business you can handle. Plus you make your own hours. Give it a try. It's worth it in the end.

Or........If you want to get business back like in the old neighbourhood, Find an empty shop or garage for rent in that area and rent it out. That way those kids you helped before, can come back to you again and again. Just a thought.

Keep cool and good luck!
 
  #12  
Old 02-20-04, 06:59 AM
las
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under the table

Yup under the table is the only route to go
anything else would be a night mare with
all the red tape we face today.We'll you've renewed
my faith in humanity I might give it a go again
this year?Thanks for all the tips.
 
  #13  
Old 02-22-04, 08:36 AM
BRJ
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Re: i agree

Quote: Screw the mechanics license. We're better than they are. Alot of these guys in bike shops are only kids with a piece of paper.


I worked in a bike shop for 15 years (80- 95 or so) and I never had a license. One is needed now or did I miss something? I would like to see one of these kids overhaul a 3 speed hub or what about the 2 speed hubs (pedal backwards to change gears).
They were always fun. just thought I would throw my 2 cents in (1.5 cents US).
 
  #14  
Old 02-22-04, 02:20 PM
supersteve
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I think you missed something BRJ. We were mostly taking about becoming back yard mechanics and servicing the "kids next door". We all have oodles of experience. I can over haul 3 spped and 2 speed hubs. It's just that all our neighbours complain about high shop prices and driving all around town to find competant mechanics. Well we're competant and cheap. They don't want to go to them so why don't we go to them? Why don't we service our neighbours and their kids? You don't need a license for that. Just thought we'd let you in.
 
  #15  
Old 02-22-04, 02:24 PM
supersteve
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Sorry........


Just thought I'd let you in on that... is what I meant to say.
 
  #16  
Old 02-22-04, 06:13 PM
BRJ
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Originally posted by supersteve
I think you missed something BRJ. We were mostly taking about becoming back yard mechanics and servicing the "kids next door". We all have oodles of experience. I can over haul 3 spped and 2 speed hubs. It's just that all our neighbours complain about high shop prices and driving all around town to find competant mechanics. Well we're competant and cheap. They don't want to go to them so why don't we go to them? Why don't we service our neighbours and their kids? You don't need a license for that. Just thought we'd let you in.
I'm sorry I must have missed something. I thought you were talking about the 15-16 year old mechanics that think they know everything about bycicles not the "kids next door". Anytime someone has a problem in my neighbourhood and I happen to see it, I'll fix it for them no problem.
Again I'm sorry I missed the point.
 
  #17  
Old 02-23-04, 06:25 AM
las
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Bicycle mechanics

No bicycle mechanics do not need a license,I didn't mean that
but one can always get a business license with your town/city
If you prefer and are a big operator otherwise forget It all the
kids do not want to pay any taxes anyway?It's just that If your
a big operator you might want to get a business license with your town/city so you can advertise but then uncle sam will be
looking for some tax money also...It's kinda like a catch 22
 
  #18  
Old 02-23-04, 08:59 AM
supersteve
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We were mostly considering the kids next door. We live in areas where there isn't many shops around and the shops there are, are expensive and do have inexperienced kids working in them. I applied to our shop here ( only 1 ) and they turned me down because I didn't have a license. But yet I have more experience than the kids working there. Go figure. Please one more thing BRJ....Please don't quote me. I know what I said, and I'm sticking to it. I dont need a slap in the face. Please and thank you?

keep cool....
 
  #19  
Old 02-23-04, 07:12 PM
BRJ
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Sorry I thought Quoting was the way to respond. New doing this.
 
  #20  
Old 02-24-04, 04:38 AM
supersteve
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No harm no foul.
 
  #21  
Old 04-06-04, 08:01 AM
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I envy you guys

I envy your knowledge and ability. At my age it will be difficult to learn to do what you guys do but I would like to learn how to maintain my own bike(s) as well as purchase or otherwise obtain old bikes and recondition them to donate to a needy child. Any suggestions where I might start?
 
  #22  
Old 04-07-04, 10:52 PM
Precision Pedal
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A good place to start is here:
http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/index.shtml
Also a great book on the topic is http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...65761?v=glance
Lenard Zinn has done a few books on different types of bikes and there are more by different authors. However Zinn is arguably the best.
 
  #23  
Old 04-08-04, 05:16 AM
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Thanks for the info.

I will follow your suggestions.
 
  #24  
Old 04-08-04, 09:04 AM
las
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Truing bicycle wheels

Well If you just want to maintain your own bicycle
and maybe fix up a few and sell..I would think
the big hurrtle to overcome would be truing the wheels adjusting
spokes and such..It's always nice to have the right size spoke
but you can cut to fit also..no one teaches this other then emergency repair but It works great?Once you learn to cut and fit
you've got It made has far as basics go?
 
  #25  
Old 04-08-04, 12:11 PM
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Thanks las, that is good advice. I will put it to good use.

I do not plan to sell any bikes I am able to restore, I hope to donate them to some child who has no bike.

Thanks for your help.
 
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