can anyone make a living with this hobby?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by TyDow, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. TyDow

    TyDow New Member

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    hello everyone,

    i am starting to hate my job. at first i was hoping to sell at least one bike month for extra cash. now i am wondering if i can make enough money to live on with this hobby. your thoughts? they certainly do get a lot of attention.

    thanks in advance

    ty

    .cs.
     
  2. Large Filipino

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    No.

    :)

    .............
     
  3. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Ty,

    It depends on what you call "a living". If I could sell one bike a month @ 500 dollars, minus the cost of the kit and a cheap bicycle, I would still not quite make it.

    If I could sell two bikes a month for 500 dollars I would be fine....but most people would not be able to pay their rent with that kind of money.

    The problem where I live is weather and location. I live very far out in the ''middle of nowhere"....and people don't buy these things from your front yard here in the winter.

    If you lived in a metropolitan area, where the weather was good year 'round, and could sell a couple or four a month, AND you didn't have a lot of bills, you certainly could do it.
     
  4. Retmachinist

    Retmachinist New Member

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    I was thinking about building them to sell, since I am now retired and have plenty of time. I got to thinking about the legal problems I would probably run into. Has anyone researched this?

    John
     
  5. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Have them sign a waiver.

    Sell "As is, but in good demonstrated condition". Have them sign the "as-is" agreement and the waiver.
     
  6. Retmachinist

    Retmachinist New Member

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    Joe, That is an excellent idea to have a waiver! You need to make sure it is bullet proof before they sign it. I had a guy call here just fishing for a way to sue me if I built him a bike. It is really sad that there are people out there like that! I was just talking to Jim (Creative Eng.) about this. Some real weirdo's off of craigslist.

    John
     
  7. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Your question made me curious. I sell a bike here and there but don't rely on it. Scooter sales went up 23% last year (source; Hartford Courant) So half wondered about opening a scooter, MAB kit and ultra light transportation store. Would be a huge undertaking even if only with an online storefront. Not to mention a large investment.

    Exposure and liability could be lessoned by forming a Limited Liability Company. (I thought the last C was for corporation Limited liability company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) Article about a guy who set one up near you. Setting up a LLC in Wisconsin : Bia Securities

    Kinda went off on a tangent there, didn't I? snork.

    Most dealers will give you a break on kits if you buy in volume so you could test the waters before any big investment.

    One thing I can tell you from personal experience is if you hate your job, have to fix it and be happy! Find some thing you love to do and you will never work another day.
     
  8. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    That would be the understatement of the day fo'sho'.
     
  9. Creative Engineering

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    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.

    Jim
     
  10. Spunout

    Spunout MB Builder Extraordinaire

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    ive been doing this for 8 months, and i'm only averaging 3 bikes per month.

    i ride everywhere (yes even in winter snowstorms), i hand out business cards, i advertize on forums, my website isnt great but its decent, i talk to a zillion curious people, my bikes look cool, my prices are affordable, and i'm only averaging 3 bikes per month.

    as far as craigslist.... when i lived in tucson, thats how i pimped them.
    BUT i NEVER brought them to the house...always met at a circle K, and didnt let them take the bikes for test-beatings. (used the insurance liability excuse) i started it up and rode up and down the street for them.
    that way, they cant just get on and never come back. and they cant wreck it and say 'no thanks. i'm not buying a broken bike'. or sue.
     
    #10 Spunout, Jan 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  11. TigerToothBikes.com

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    I agree with the afore mentioned.

    I got into this through a series of unfortunate events.

    A birthday party - trip on a kerb - fractured skull and double heamorage - friend puts me in car to "sleep it off" - morning, the police get called as some guy thinks im dead - they smell last nights booze - i lose license and job - got another job STILL sporting a bandage from emergency brain surgery and got made redundant as crunch set in (last july). job sucked anyway.

    Check out Entrepreneur.com- really helpful.


    To follow Dan's comments, i would agree there is nothing like owning your own business and working for yourself, its even better if its your hobby too and spending time chatting here is still classed as work/research!

    Good Luck Pal .we.
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Wow Mile! Glad your still with us bud. I had no idea you had been threw all that. Words fail me just glad you are here

    On lesser note, I have a thunk about working. After 16 yrs sailing for a living, I would literally hate the trip (plane, train or drive) to the ship. I realized if you work a third of your life and sleep a third (dreaming about hating your job.....

    So I quit. I got a job with Roto rooter. I only worked 90 hrs a week for them (10 less then on most ships. nope, not kidding) I loved it. Was happy for the first time, in a long time. And did well cash wise

    An old drunk told me; "We ain't here for a long time. Let's be here for a good time"

    Didn't mean to ramble. (lol, I know) Just saying
     
    #12 Dan, Jan 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  13. TyDow

    TyDow New Member

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    lowriderl wow! thanks everyone! always find the best advice here. that is why this forum so interesting, people are so willing to share.


    THANK YOU!!
     
  14. Youngbird

    Youngbird Vendor

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    Im thinking that this "hobby" could be a part of a good living....but solely?....maybe not yet, but could be soon. Not simply sales, but service.scratg
     
  15. Hill of Beans

    Hill of Beans New Member

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    TyDow and Youngbird;
    I AM goint to make a living of it. Good location, low overhaed, willing to take babysteps, eat lots of rice and beans, and research until my brain reels. Mostly I'm going to have FUN persuing it, and never work another day.

    Waivers are mostly smoke and mirrors that offer the business owner shaky peace of mind at best. Please trust a former outfitter and boatbuilder. They ARE NOT worth the paper they are printed on!!! The horror stories proving this point would blow your mind. LLC is the way to travel, on top of a waiver.

    You are correct Youngblood,,,,,,soon come.
     
  16. Youngbird

    Youngbird Vendor

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    Hey, Im ALL FOR IT. Id love to quit the 4-12 and make a good income from the MB biz. That would be great and Im gonna give it a shot....slowly....as the market for our "toys" increases. And it will. Gas will creep back up yet again to even higher levels than it was before (thanks Barack) and then we can see what can be done. My opinion on the matter is that we need to see some advancements in the 4 stroke arena too as most "regular folks" wont want to mess with the fuel/oil mixing....just want to pump and go. I hope it works for all of us concerned..trk
     
  17. KDC1956

    KDC1956 New Member

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    dance1 I think you could make it if you did not have to pay a lot for rent.I have though about trying it my self
    but then you need to have lots of parts on hand.Thats money I don't have lol.Its funny how some people
    can do anything and make lots of money and others try it and go under or down the toilet I like to say.
    You can get the parts to build a bike cheap now days but by the time you add in all the time you put in to
    building that bike there you go can you really make it good ? for sure.I like to think you could.
    If my health was better and I was not married I would give it a go_Oh well !!!
    Good luck to you.
     
  18. Spunout

    Spunout MB Builder Extraordinaire

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    ive seen 3 other bike builders posting/running ads online, just since you posted this thread.

    EDIT: actually i'm 100% certain, that one of those 3 isnt a builder himself at all, but just selling bikes made in a factory.

    nothing wrong with that.
     
    #18 Spunout, Jan 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  19. TyDow

    TyDow New Member

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    Hello All,

    I do appreciate all the advice. One question though. I am just wondering would I need LLC protection since I do not own any assets with a high value? I do understand that folks can get hurt on these MB and I also plan to sell them AS IS. I would like to protect myself. Just not sure if LLC is the way to go for me right now. Should I wait to see if the business is somewhat successful?

    Thanks in advance

    Tydance1
     
  20. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Not having any thing to lose is a good thing in that if sued by a bad person, they get nil. An LLC is for you if you have a house or stocks or any thing of great value that could be taken from you if some one successfully sued you. Don't bother spending the $ until you have need. I got sued once and told the guy's lawyer; "I own a cat, this PC and socket set. It will cost 2K to sue me and you won't even get the cat. Have at'it"

    Never heard from them again.

    ...and the cat was stolen
     
    #20 Dan, Jan 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009

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