I was partially disabled in a work accident a while back and need a new gig,
(since I can't do what I used to). I've been fixing my own bikes for years and
like doing it, so I think I would love doing it for a living.
I thought that by collecting donated old / used bikes and fixing them for
the homeless / disadvantaged people and kids would be a good way to garner
some experience at it. I just started 2 weeks ago and have already recieved
about 30 bikes so far.
Holy cow !
This deal has taken off beyond my wildest expectations. I got about 15
good working bikes out of all those and plenty of parts etc. I spent all
last weekend fixing and building, straightening, assembling, etc. and loved it.
2 kids have bikes so far that woudn't other wise and I'm left with
about 8 adult bikes and 7 kids bikes, and have fixed a few for some homeless
guys I know.
Now I'm starting to wonder how I should run this deal; Like WHO exactly
should get these bikes and and what approach I should take giving out
the products and service ?? I never really considered this too much at the
start because just about everything I do never works
It's giving me tons of bike work and I love it, but would like to make a little
dough to reimberse myself for the gas and expenses I incure picking up the
stuff. I was thinking that I should sell some of it so I can buy tubes and tires
and stuff and start promoting this, but I feel a bit guilty selling donated items.
Some of it's realitively valuable, I've built a pretty nice gary fisher Joshua 24
thats about 80 % complete...a Tandem with about 3/4 of the parts..
Some old collectable 3 speeds, and some trick bikes.
I was wondering if anyone else out there did this and had any ideals on this,
and what they do. I know there is a bike shop in town here that does this
too (or did). One thing that tweeks me is I gave out a bike to one kid and
her Mom sold it, so I'm not too keen on just giving people bikes if they just go
hawk them for drugs or booze.
This is an interesting concept. I know a local Non-profit accepts bikes, teaches mentally ******** folks how to fix them and then sells them to help fund the project. From a business standpoint I would think selling the more valuable bikes (Craiglist) would help fund parts and your labor for the give aways.
It would be frustrating to give a bike away and have the parent sell it. In ministry areas I consider my part to be the effort not the outcome. When I give things away I try to mentally "release" them so if they are not used how I would choose I don't hold a resentment. The same goes for lending money. Realize that bike now has become part of someones story as they roll downhill towards their bottom. If they ever get sober they will realize what a low thing that was.
If you are going to make a profit on these I would suggest creating a seperate bank account used just for these bikes. It will make it much easier to keep track of expenses at tax time. Also once you start making a few dollars buying a liability insurance policy would be wise (stinkin' lawyers!). Probably cost $350-$450. Once established forming an llc would protect you more (stinkin' lawyers again).
It's a good concept, let us know how it turns out.