build and sell

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by gunfighter-bull, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    I have given this topic much thought, like so many others that have built these things... given the enjoyment I've had from both building & riding and the popularity, the interest my bikes have received - it seems a natural conclusion to build & sell them to those less interested in fabrication and assembly than I am.

    It always comes down to costs, and that's the kicker.

    If they're not a tinkerer, don't understand and are unwilling to learn & thus wish to buy one already made - then the cheap builds aren't for them as the ongoing maintenance will come as an unpleasant surprise, be neglected and/or blamed on the builder, even the minor but should be expected "normal" maintenance resulting from the increased use & speeds of a motorized bicycle.

    Result? The profit of selling a "cheap" build gets used up in return visits to fix things they should have attended to - or you continue to bill them to repair, resulting in an unhappy customer as they're "nickle & dimed" to death.

    The more pricy quality builds have this same maintenance issue due to the increase in wear & tear, if to a lesser extent & limited primarily to the bicycle's components. Yet the problem with the quality builds is after the costs of components & labor the resale price is perilously close to that of a scooter or moped, but remain comparatively "under-built" as they are still a bicycle after all. So aside from the "style" of a motorized bicycle, what incentive is there to make such a purchase? A quality motorized bicycle has a similar price & similar fuel efficiency yet suffers greater restrictions and more maintenance & care during use.

    After finding out even just the total component cost without labor, I've noticed interest wanes quickly.

    The choices seem to be building cheap bikes and making a decent profit - but only if you abandon the customer after the sale, or to bill them for all the things that will require ongoing & continuing service. As you knew that but they're obviously oblivious (it's why they're after cheap) - it smacks of entrapment, too close to a scam for my taste. The quality builds won't sell as quickly, have less a profit margin - yet as they're still not interested in tinkering you'll still be held responsible for every little thing... & in both instances their overall costs will come very close or even exceed that of the moped or scooter they really wanted & thought they were getting.



    In conclusion, while there's always the exceptions, those with more money then sense, those that prefer a bicycle over a moped for whatever reason or those that like the style some motorized bicycles have (the unique, completely custom fabrications) - around here however it's primarily economics (cheap) or they're looking to try and circumvent legal issues (mistakenly) & I'm not interested in catering to either of that type.

    I'm convinced motorized bicycles are primarily for the do-it-yourselfer, it's the only way it makes any sense both ethically and financially. If you can't build it, it's not for you. Most quality kits make the build so simple there's no point in paying someone, cheap kits aren't cheap you can't fix it - if you can't build it, you can't fix it *shrug*
     
    #21 BarelyAWake, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  2. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Ya build 'em, ya sell 'em.

    If they need anything after that, it's a good way to help non-laboring clerical help like lawyers and insurance people get some real life mechanical skills trying to keep it on the road.

    Then you laugh at them as you pass them on the road, and you try to steal their house from them.
    You know, "Do unto others..."
     
    #22 Nashville Kat, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  3. george_n_texas

    george_n_texas New Member

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    I think you misinterpreted that one LOL All kidding aside I used to build computers and for the first few years to encourage folks to take the plunge (they wuz EXPENSIVE back then) I would tell em I'd buy back the computer at used price I knew I could get for the parts and also-offer free over the phone tech support...I can generally fix most problems over the phone bikes aren't any harder to troubleshoot. I charged $25 per hour 2 hour minimum to come on site and made sure to spend 2 hours coaching folks how to keep their puters happy. My X-Brother-in-Law is the only customer I can remember not happy with his purchase but then again the dude's a filthy rich millionaire he can go pound sand LOL!
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    As said, this comes up a lot. I know I wanted to spend the rest of my life building and selling em half way threw my first build. I think the first thing to be considered is the bicycle and becoming a master bike mechanic. It is the very foundation and first safety concern.

    Just a thought.
     
  5. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

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    It's not anything like the business model of an auto dealer who has a corporate manufacturer supplying a factory finished product and warranty program. After the factory warranty runs out, then they make money on service, parts and labor. In the case of home brewed MABs you end up on the hook for all of the above, at least that's seems to be the way people around me think it should be, lol.
     
  6. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

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    And a very good thought it is. I came to MABs in my later years after a lifelong involvement with cycling and a prerequisite interest and fascination with materials, tubing and joinery, drive trains, wheel building, etc. I've built up far, far more bicycles over the years, of all types, than I ever will motorize. Indeed, it is the bicycle first. This is reinforced every time someone asks if I can fix their minimally/never_maintained bicycle or brings me a pos carp bike wondering if I think they could put a motor on it.
     
    #26 happyvalley, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  7. glennbo

    glennbo New Member

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    ive built 6 and sold 3 bikes scince ive joined 2 years ago, heres why i wont sell anymore my riding buddy dave has little expieriece tinkering with engines. scince he bought his bike over 2 years ago he has replaced the frame,forks,all sprockets, carb, cdi,plug, head gasket,wire.cap,brakes,two rims,chain,woodroof key,chain tesioner i have also done many of these things to my bikes.most of the general public is not ready for these cheap engine kits.his bike is still running strong might have 4000 miles on it but i dont think average joe is going to be happy 2 weeks later when he comes pounding on your door with a blown head gasket,or even worse he ran his premix to lean during break in and seized the pos.not worth the head aches. lots of people have been wanting me to build them a roadmaster btr i tell them 2 grand that usually quiets them right up. if i do sell another bike i will definitely be a 4 stroke and not a cheap kit bike.. sorry so long.
    glenn:-||zpt
     

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