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Old 01-11-00, 09:16 AM   #1
BikeTune
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Seems good bike mechanics are hard to find. Makes sence, the industry typically pays just barely above minimum wage. You've got to love it or leave it. The most experienced bike mechanics soon move onto other work, or more schooling, because if you are good at bike repair, you're probably also good at something that pays better.
So, if you want to fix bikes, but want to make more money, what do you do?
There are two courses of action:
1. Start your own shop. If you specialize in repair, not much inventory is needed at first. Keep your expenses low, do everything yourself, and you have a greater likelihood of sucess than you would in most other businesses.
2. Offer to work in a bike shop on a commission basis. Do repairs for 1/3 of the rate the shop charges the customer. Many shop owners are glad for this arrangement, figuring they won't have to pay for your goof-off time. They only pay for what they make money on. You, on the other hand, can learn to work quickly, making up to $30/hour. The only drawbacks:
a. It is hard to arrive at a suitable price for new bike assemblies. The shop absorbs the cost, so the owner wants to pay little for assembly. You want to do it right, so want a lot. Best bet, if in a large shop, allow the beginning mechanics to do the assemblies, while you do repair and customization.
b. Warranty work. If you get too money-hungry, you may start doing fast, sloppy work. Don't! The owner of the shop would be quite appropriate in having you fix things you didn't get right the first time at no extra charge.
c. Other mechanics in the shop who are still getting hourly pay may become upset when they find out how much you are making. You have to keep it secret (good luck), or be a good ambassador, or talk the owner into putting them all on commission basis also.
d. You may end up doing all the work, putting the others out of a job.
e. Your status may become part-time. You'll work like crazy in the summer, but end up without work in the winter.
f. Taxes. The owner of the shop should handle you as an employee, so there are no tax problems. Other arrangements can be worked out, but the employee status is easiest.

Have fun!
BikeTune
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Old 03-16-00, 01:53 AM   #2
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I dont know how i missed this post before, great post! tons of use full info!
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Old 05-04-00, 11:19 PM   #3
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I was a bike tech at a local shop and now have my own shop. I supplimented my measley wage by buying, reconditioning, and selling used bikes. Yard sales, auctions and word of mouth were my sources of bikes. I even sold a few through my employer for which they received a commission.
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Old 11-24-06, 09:57 PM   #4
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join the union www.iww.org
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Old 11-25-06, 12:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seamuskeogh
join the union www.iww.org
Huh!!!! Revive a thread almost seven years old JUST TO SAY THAT!!!! You must be joking. Take your political stuff to the appropriate forum, P&R, I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun with you there (like others have had fun with your naivety before).
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Old 11-28-06, 10:01 AM   #6
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Join union? HAH! If you do that, they'll ship all the bike-shop jobs overseas like they've done to the auto industry. Over 60,000 being laid off this year, only to be re-tasked in Mexico & China at lower-wages. No one without a college degree deserves to be making $49/hr bolting on hub-caps..
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Old 11-28-06, 02:05 PM   #7
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most useless thread of the day award
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Old 11-28-06, 02:52 PM   #8
simplify
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Could be a candidate for most useless of the decade, since it was started in 2000!
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Old 11-28-06, 03:18 PM   #9
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You can thank the newbie for that. 6 year old dredge up too.
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Old 11-28-06, 10:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seamuskeogh
join the union www.iww.org
You just don't get it do you???
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Old 11-29-06, 12:48 PM   #11
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I'll not even go near the union stuff... maybe in a different post, but just mentioning that word polarizes people. I have an opinion, but its one of those things where if I don't express it clearly with a lot of footnotes with references, I will have firmly inserted my foot into my mouth from the get-go.

One idea I've thought of is if someone is like myself and likes learning about bike mechanics, but whose main skills are in another arena (for example my skills are in IT stuff... email, security, etc.), perhaps start a business combining the two. It may sound corny, but it may just be a thing that may work.

For example, if someone really wanted to branch out and they live in Texas, one idea is to move to a place like Johnson City and start a bike/lock shop on 290. This will bring in business because everyone needs a locksmith shop, and bike shops are always something people go to. Joe Sixpack will eventually need to hit a bike shop when Jane Soccer Mom has to get their son's BMX bike repaired. Texas has an odd buyer's season... around January, there is actually a quick spike in bicycle sales due to near year's resolutions.
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