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Old 01-30-14, 07:28 AM   #1
bikeguyinvenice
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Side work - repairing bicycles

Okay, I know there are a few of you out there in Foo, do you actually make a profit repairing bicycles on the side? I changed jobs a few months ago and took a little pay cut, now I have had to cut back a little on my discretionary spending, fewer red bull energy drinks, less grilled steak dinners etc,etc,etc. So I have been thinking of ways to make up a little of the pay I am losing every month. I can fix bikes pretty good, and am sure I can charge a little less that the LBS.

Edit:
The amount of money not in my paychecks is about $100, so I am not looking to make a lot of money doing repair side work.

Last edited by bikeguyinvenice; 01-30-14 at 08:06 AM. Reason: More info
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Old 01-30-14, 07:46 AM   #2
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There are a lot of people who make a bit of money fixing up bikes and then selling the bikes, but I suspect there are fewer people who make even pocket change repairing other peoples' bikes. Having said that, I think it could be done successfully on a small scale.

A couple of things to consider, depending on the nature of this venture you are considering:

-Liability could be an issue. A little bit of bad luck and you could be dealing with a lawyers. I worry about this even as I flip bikes myself. I keep my fingers crossed that I will not run into a vengeful nut job. So far, so good. But that is not much of an insurance policy.

-Are there tax issues? I have no idea how this works. I hope that the amount of "business" I run through my garage is not an issue. But, I have to admit, that I don't really know what kind of thresholds are relevant.

-Are there zoning issues? I very much doubt that I would get into trouble with the city selling a handful of bikes out of my garage. Again, I have never bothered to look into this, and highly doubt I would draw any fire on it.

So, I have never explored these issues for myself. And therefore have no taken any action to protect myself. I only bring them up to you because you mention using this as a way to augment your income, and therefore I am guessing to make that possible you would have to do substantially more business to make any difference in your wallet. So, therefore, you might be into a place where these issues loom larger.

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Old 01-30-14, 08:40 AM   #3
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All of my repairs are done free of charge. I do not want to deal with liability. I realize that there may still be liability when I repair a bike for free, but I hope it is lessened.

Businesses have overhead and one of them is insurance. You charge someone and you assume some sort of liability for a period of time. I would spend a bit of $ upfront consulting with a business lawyer and finding out what your risk is before hanging up a shingle and turning a wrench.

Get a repair order made that states your warranty, liability, etc and make your customers read and sign it.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:44 AM   #4
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http://www.insuranceforbicycles.com/

http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/f.../liability.htm

http://www.resilience.org/stories/20...repair-company

Just a few articles I found that shed some light on the subject from various angles.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:02 AM   #5
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yea I think it is easier making money off of buying bikes , repairing and selling them. If you are in a seasonal location that means only making money for about 6 months of the year. You have to have a way to pick them up, room to store a few. This winter i didnt do it, but I usually buy about 15 repair them and unload them in the spring. Then do this into the fall till they dont sell any more. You can buy a Schwinn breeze in the winter for 40 bucks or so put a couple hours work and sell it for 100 to 125 in the spring.

Then if you want to go the repair onlly route, I have seen guys equip a truck with what they need, then travel to peoples houses and offices and repair their bikes. You would have to be pretty good and versed in all kinds of bikes and repairs. I couldnt do this cause I am expert on older Schwinns mostly. I wouldnt feel comfortable working on someones 3000 dollar multiple gear carbon fiber bike.

If you go the buy and repair you can buy the bikes you know you can fix no problem.

I actually have funded my hobby of collecting and riding bikes from the buy and repair scheme.
I have a modest collection of about 20 bikes.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:03 AM   #6
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All of my repairs are done free of charge. I do not want to deal with liability. I realize that there may still be liability when I repair a bike for free, but I hope it is lessened.

Businesses have overhead and one of them is insurance. You charge someone and you assume some sort of liability for a period of time. I would spend a bit of $ upfront consulting with a business lawyer and finding out what your risk is before hanging up a shingle and turning a wrench.

Get a repair order made that states your warranty, liability, etc and make your customers read and sign it.
Are you a lawyer? You type like one.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:07 AM   #7
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Are you a lawyer? You type like one.
Nope, just a cyclist that has explored opening a small repair shop with a few buddies at church. Trying to find a niche and realizing that we live in a sue happy society. Many people want someone to blame for bad luck or stupidity, both of which can happen easily on a bicycle.

For the time being, I volunteer my services to a ministry at our church and I fix bikes for anyone that asks me too pretty much.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:16 AM   #8
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I work part time in a bike shop as a second job. That brings in some cash, I get to work on bikes, and all the insurance/liability stuff is moot.

That said, I also flip bikes, no qualms about doing so, and so far (knock wood) no liability issues. It is very easy to break even or lose money flipping bikes if you don't really know what you're doing, harder to make money at it, and harder still to make decent, steady cash at it.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:08 AM   #9
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You might also want to check to see if there are any zoning ordinances about home-based businesses in your community. And if you have an HOA, they may have rules about home-based businesses, too.
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