Re: can anyone make a living with this hobby?
It is sad; you have to be careful...there are people who will answer an AD with no intention of buying what you are selling, they're just coming to case your house. It happens all the time, and with a bad economy I'm afraid it will only get worse.
The best option, the one I use, is to simply get the word out when talking to people during the day. It won't be long and business will be good.
I had no reservations what-so-ever about building a bike for my customers' wife. He owns motorcycles, he has a shop and knows how to maintain things. I gave him a basic primer on MB's and everything is cool. His wife loves it and all is well. Word of mouth may not be the fastest way to the finish line, but I know I will be building another one for a customer soon...And it won't be some idiot who is trying to find a lawsuit. If you sense anything, anything at all that is fishy...decline. A motorbike must be combined with good common sense and mechanical aptitude. Unfortunately both are severely lacking in the public at large.