A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

Let's say you were selling a broken saw

Maybe you have a good hand-held saw or chainsaw that has a broken switch or somesuch.

You are selling it on Craigslist or something for under $25.  Someone said they would send you a post-paid box or the postage to mail it.

You fix it and re-sell it for $50-75+.  Is this a viable, money-making hobby?

I don't want to be driving around here and there.  And I like being mostly anonymous.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 3rd, 2010 12:58am
"You fix it" should be "Someone fixes it"
Permalink sharkfish 
January 3rd, 2010 12:58am
interesting idea. though, generally for me if shit <= $100 breaks i generally make the command decision then and there to pay to fix it or ditch it by donation or scrap/salvage. (i don't have much space for stuff to accumulate- dunno how widespread/common that is)

and postage on something like a smallish 10 pound, 1.5 cubic foot circular saw might kill your profits (as likely would anything slightly serious, with a motor)

personally, i'd love to go a bit higher risk/higher reward. car, watercraft, airplane refurbishing or restoration... but of course the barrier to entry is that much, much greater.

not so much with the anon part there anyway, as i figure reputation is your selling point there, and yeah you'll be driving everywhere...
Permalink argv[0] 
January 3rd, 2010 1:28am
no. unless you can live from about 15$/hour, max
Permalink eek 
January 3rd, 2010 5:27am
I would just like to remind you that you considered this a few days ago, and dropped the idea due to "bugs and dirt".
Permalink Nobody important 
January 3rd, 2010 6:22am
Hence the "someone", I think, Nobody.
Permalink Billy the Fish 
January 3rd, 2010 7:23am
There are people who do this, although selling via ebay isn't the ideal method. 

http://www.brasscityrecords.com/toolworks/new%20tools.html does this, and sells a lot of tools via woodworking forums (which often have special "For Sale" sections).  He doesn't pick up his tools via ebay though.  He heads around to auctions, garage sales and flea markets, where he can pick this stuff up dirt cheap.  In the hand-tool community this is known as rust hunting.

The trick about this business model is that you really need to understand your market.  Fixing up hand tools really requires that you understand them and use them.  And selling them on the woodworking forums requires you to be a participant.

The upside?  You can sometimes sell them for more than new price.  A rehabbed Stanley low angle bock plane sells for $45.  I just bought a new one for $35, shipped.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
January 3rd, 2010 8:01am
I sold a broken mirror on EBay once.
Permalink ASDF 
January 3rd, 2010 8:07am
Hmm so "I don't want to be driving" shoud really be "someone doesn't want to be driving"
Permalink Nobody important 
January 3rd, 2010 8:46am
As a hobby, yes maybe.  I think you need to pick a specific set of common models so you can fix things you're also breaking for parts.  Otherwise you'll have to buy too many manufacturer replacement parts and the price will make your eyes water.

Problem with modern stuff is models and parts change all the time for no reason other than styling, and replacement parts are an important profit item since the headline price of the original item has to be cut to the bone except for a few premium brands.

Perhaps you can identify the brands with easy, reasonably-priced long-term parts supply.  Wasting time trying to identify and find parts will screw the whole idea.

You may also need to be very careful about safety (especially electrical-safety) law and liability if anyone could allege you're running a business.  I recall charity/thrift shops in the UK were not allowed to take any electrical items or dangerous tools for this reason.

As the previous thread said, stuff like TVs and PCs that appear to be screwed but actually don't need any hardware fixes are probably a big win..

And don't even think about it without a workshop and a bit of storage space..
Permalink Spaceloid 
January 3rd, 2010 10:22am
Also think doing things by post will get you screwed over often enough to make it pointless - you have to drive around and buy batches of stuff cheap to make it workable.
Permalink Spaceloid 
January 3rd, 2010 10:23am
Just trying to figure out a way to make a few extra dollars and develop a skill at the same time.

thanks for the input.

The guy on Reddit who says he is making a couple grand a month is focused on TVs and small appliances.

I see the price ranges for hand tools is very small.  You almost have to work on the bigger items to make it worth while, although a little detective work tells me someone is doing just what I'm suggesting (prolly drives though) and is using Craigslist as one avenue.

I made decent money selling books on Amazon a few years back but the competition started doing penny sales and it got to be a business only worth doing in volume and therefore, not worth it to me.

I think it might be a better idea to focus on a brand or two, whatever tool or appliance you pick, in order to save money and time and increase utility.

There would be a period of sunk costs while learning, too.
Permalink sharkfish 
January 3rd, 2010 12:12pm
> so "I don't want to be driving" shoud really be "someone doesn't want to be driving"

http://www.crazyontap.com/topic.php?TopicId=61802#645737
Permalink Billy the Fish 
January 3rd, 2010 1:41pm
I don't think you can do it w/out driving around to get the stuff.  You need to see it to have a better idea of what condition it's in.

I don't think hand tools will work for this sort of thing, though, it's not a big enough market.  Almost everyone has a washing machine and TV, not everyone has a circular saw.  And of the people who have circular saws, not everyone will be a repaired one from Craigslist.
Permalink Ward 
January 3rd, 2010 3:40pm
The comment about how the guy on Reddit does a fair amount of "repairs" by doing simple stuff is appropriate, too.  Most circular saws that fail probably won't be simple fixes, so you never get the big windfall from little or no work that the Reddit guy does.

And to repeat what I said when you posted the Reddit link, don't even think about toaster ovens and stuff like that.  It's all made so cheaply that it's almost unfixable w/out paying more than it'd cost to get a new one.
Permalink Ward 
January 3rd, 2010 3:44pm
Circular saws, are in that "not worth fixing" category.  Only a few things can really go wrong, and unless you can rebuild an electric motor (lots of people can, but if you're asking this question you can't) you're out of luck.

The hand tool thing is definitely only a little extra change sort of thing.

Metal art would be one good bet.  Pick up junk, tear it apart and solder it together into new and interesting shapes.  There are people who make decent money doing that.  Knew a guy who made a good side income making replicas of trees out of copper and/or iron wire.  Neat looking stuff, looked good in a display case, was getting him $60-$70 per tree back in the 80s.  He figured an evening or two into each tree.  Attached them to a flat bit of rock to give them a nice looking base for display.

One area of woodworking that attracts a lot of women is wood turning.  You can pick up a Jet Mini lathe for $450 new, or less used.  You could do like Jilda and make dildos.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
January 3rd, 2010 5:41pm
I can appreciate interesting art from recycled items. I have seen some really good stuff.

But you must understand that having a useful skill is more important to me.  What "women can do" is never going to be a guideline for me.

I know you are coming from a good place so I'm going to leave it there :)
Permalink sharkfish 
January 3rd, 2010 6:54pm
I couldn't resist - I had to Google it.

http://www.jildos.com/about-jildo
Permalink Send private email xampl 
January 3rd, 2010 7:40pm
>>>  that having a useful skill is more

Electrician and/or HVAC technician are what I'd go for.
Permalink Ward 
January 3rd, 2010 7:43pm
You people all wrong...

Of course this is a viably business. The fact that she is buying something broken and repairing it is irreverent the only thing that matter is the final cost of the product Vs the Sale price. (Base price+ Repair cost +Storage)

Suppose she said she wanted to But 10,000 Broken Power tools and get a bulk rate Repair bid, Estimating 20% of her purchase can’t be repaired and gets tossed. Then has them cleaned \ boxed up and resold to a second had distributor?

You need to have a mind set of how to overcome obstacles.. Not make any excuse not to start up.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 9:40am
This time I agree with you Moron.

I just didn't say so.  I don't come here for encouragement. I come here to find out how dedicated I am to a concept/idea.  The more I find myself defending my position, the more negative hits I get.

If I'm still standing after a few of these conversations, it is a go, regardless of what is said here.

I have posted this idea two or three times from different perspectives over the past few weeks.

My interest in "broken saws" isn't so much that I'm interested in saws or appliances or whatever.  What I'm interested in is leveraging a possible talent I have for reading schematics and using the perception of naivete to easily convince people to give away their broken crap so I can mine it for gold.

The problem is figuring out which market to target.  I think the idea is definitely valid.

But you have a solid point about cost vs. revenue => profit vs. loss.

If I'm not willing to drive around, the product has to be small enough to ship.  Kinda like "cash for gold".  If people are willing to sell me their crap (within a certain range of type crap> in a postage paid envelope, and fixing those items can yield a profit, and I can do the repairs myself, then yeah, I have a viable opportunity here with minimal risk regardless of what is said here.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 12:17pm
"Electrician and/or HVAC technician are what I'd go for."

I'm not willing to go on-site.  I want to use a room in my house as a workshop and have fun by myself.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 12:19pm
What is cool about this idea is that learning to fix appliances and tools is actually _useful_.

I am going to be moving into a condo that will have lots of stuff that is brand new.  It may require fixing at some point.

My biggest fear about owning property is having to pay money to have things fixed.  Not sure my fear is grounded in reality. We'll see.

Also, this means I will become a bona fide lesbo.  I will have to purchase a toolbelt soon.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 12:29pm
>>What is cool about this idea is that learning to fix appliances and tools is actually _useful_.

Just because something is usefully doesn't make it valuable.

There is a reason that generally the price to repair something is more closely related to its market value than the cost of labor to fix it. 

This is what is nice about your idea... you are not selling a repair service, you are selling a working product.

That being said, I would not recommend doing the repairs your self. You are taking a pay cut, to learn something that will never earn you the same hourly wage as your day job. Unless this truly is a hobby.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 12:38pm
Hmmm.  We think people throw microwaves away and just buy new ones, but not everyone can afford to do that, either.  And they are easy to fix, it seems.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 12:38pm
How long does it take to fix a microwave? (ie: How many can you fix in a hour)
Plus how in part do you need on Average?

What is the average cost of a new microwave?
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 12:42pm
"That being said, I would not recommend doing the repairs your self. You are taking a pay cut,"

The pay cut you speak of assumes

1. I cannot teach others to replicate the skill
2. that I can effectively run the business without knowing anything technical (We developers cringe at management that is clueless about what it is we do, for example)

It would definitely be a hobby and fun for me so I would probably not take the time to teach others--or maybe I would teach youngsters on the weekends?.  Once I got bored with one line of products I would feel free to switch to something else.  I would probably never do this full time. 

I think men underrate this ability because they are taught how to do this sort of thing early or knock it as a worthless skillset. I think women don't get to learn this sort of thing at all and there is more challenge for someone like me than like you, maybe? (Maybe me being biased here.)
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 12:48pm
"This is what is nice about your idea... you are not selling a repair service, you are selling a working product. "

That is my goal. I just don't want to be in the service business, UNLESS people are willing to ship me stuff and trust me.  It probably isn't worth it to them to do so.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 12:50pm
"How long does it take to fix a microwave? (ie: How many can you fix in a hour)
Plus how in part do you need on Average?

What is the average cost of a new microwave?"

These are great questions and required before investing money in the idea.

In addition, this is one of the "barriers to entry". Not only do you have to know HOW to fix, you have to know what is WORTH FIXING.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 12:51pm
If it's a hobby, why do you care if it makes money?

Why would you rune your enjoyment dealing with Customer with stupid Complaints? For what?

Just drive around picking up "Trash", tinker, and hold a garage sale once every few month.

Are you really asking for advice on a Hobby?

I don't understand your thinking at all..
(FYI: This puts you firm in the straight girl category)
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 12:58pm
"Circular saws, are in that "not worth fixing" category.  Only a few things can really go wrong, and unless you can rebuild an electric motor (lots of people can, but if you're asking this question you can't) you're out of luck. "

I'm not trying to do the easy thing here.  This isn't just about making money. It is about learning a useful skill to work up to making money.  The question is, is it even worth fixing circular saw engines?  I don't know the answer to that.

But then, if I had listened to the blue collar folks in my life about all things, I would never have had the experience of making bookshelves for myself.

There was a guy I worked with back in the mid-2000's who liked to build furniture.  He completely tried to discourage me from building furniture.  He was really good at it.

Thing is, he learned a skill that took years to master. Why would he discourage me from trying to do the same? 

I'll never understand that.  Maybe he saw into me and my motivations. Which would make his point a good one.  But I doubt it.  He just saw "FEMALE ALERT--WILL BE DABBLING AND QUIT WHEN IT GETS HARD"

I started out in network administration the same way. Truly, it was not for me but I learned a lot that is very useful to me today.  No, I can't do a lot of the advanced stuff like set up Cisco routers and what-not. But my experience puts me ahead of the majority of software developers I know.  But people actively discouraged me from doing it. I got "that's beneath you" to "women don't do that" to "you don't have the talent".

I follow my nose, as a result.

So you may be right Clay, but I can't let your perspective really guide me on this, because I am unable to separate your possible biases from actual wisdom :(
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:02pm
"My biggest fear about owning property is having to pay money to have things fixed."

This is should be way down on your list of things to worry about.  Really, labour charges to get stuff fixed is not a big deal. (You have to pay for parts anyway if you fix it yourself.)
Permalink Send private email LH 
January 4th, 2010 1:04pm
"I don't understand your thinking at all.. "

I don't think my statements are confusing at all.

Why bother to learn to fix circular saws and make NO MONEY if I can learn similar skills by learning to fix microwaves AND make money?  (Bad comparison, but you get the idea, I hope.)
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:07pm
"This is should be way down on your list of things to worry about.  Really, labour charges to get stuff fixed is not a big deal. (You have to pay for parts anyway if you fix it yourself.)"


You assume that I know what the repairman is fixing.  At this point, someone could tell me bullshit and I would have to believe it about most things around the house.  Sure, my common sense kicks in, and I'm a quick study and I can pick up a manual and smell nonsense most of the time. 

Wouldn't you prefer to understand what is being fixed on your car rather than be beholden to the mechanic?  Yes, that's what I thought.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:09pm
I keep racking my brain to come up with something that is reasonably simple to fix, that people will pay enough money for to justify the shipping, that one can fix well enough for it not to come back to bite you.

Circular saws -- very simple, switches go bad, $25 to $50 item, if the motor burns out it's uneconomic to fix (meaning it takes WAY more time and materials and tooling to do the job than you'll ever make back.  No good.

DVD/VCR equipment -- goes obsolete too quickly, new stuff is too cheap.  Computers -- maybe, but also goes obsolete pretty quickly.  For most consumer electronics, the replacement cost is the same or less than repair costs.

You could sell Amway, if you didn't mind selling Amway.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
January 4th, 2010 1:13pm
I may just have to get a car and drive. Simple as that.


Vacuum cleaners?

Lawn mowers?

Microwaves?

Saws or other hand-tools with motors?
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:16pm
"I keep racking my brain to come up with something that is reasonably simple to fix, that people will pay enough money for to justify the shipping, that one can fix well enough for it not to come back to bite you. "

I appreciate the thought put into this though.  I'm sincere enough that I encourage you to continue :)
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:17pm
I didn’t say I don’t understand what you are saying; I said I don’t understand your thinking.

If you want a hobby, have a hobby, if you want to run a business run business. Why insist that be one and the same?

You most likely not enjoy your hobby as a business, and you wont as much money because your are restricting your business to hobby status.

Get a new hobby you enjoy, and Start a business that can make REAL money. 

What if after all thins debate you find you don’t like repairing things? Or the things that you like to repair don’t earn enough. Or that what you like about repairing things is that that it your are helping people who can’t afford to fix there things OR buy new ones, so you wind up helping out your community…

I just think you are placing needless resections on your Hobby as well as you business.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 1:18pm
I found a Small Engines training manual from 1988 (Foley/Belsaw) on a torrent site.  Interesting stuff.  They recommend salvaging lawn mower engines for their resale value. Not sure that still applies in 2010 :)
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:19pm
"Get a new hobby you enjoy, and Start a business that can make REAL money.  "

What is real money?  Good money to me is $1500-2000 per month at most.

We don't think alike, I see.  You think it is a waste of time to include hobbies and money-making together. I believe that it is soul-sucking to have money-making businesses that bore you to death. 

I think it is a waste of time to spend on hobbies that yield nothing. If a hobby isn't useful, then it has a lot less interest to me.  If a business is uninteresting, then I'm not interested in the money and effort to make it profitable.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:22pm
How do you think I became a programmer?

It started as a hobby. But I knew I would eventually get employed in this field. I never studied it in college other than a course or two.

I make good money doing it.

Rinse, repeat for something new.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:24pm
>>I think it is a waste of time to spend on hobbies that yield nothing.

Hobbies generally have Negative yields.. You spend money on them… I think you know this.

I'm beginning to think you are trolling..
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 1:27pm
>>How do you think I became a programmer? It started as a hobby

But you no longer enjoy it... Hmmmm I wonder why? Could be because it because a business?
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 1:29pm
I enjoy programming.

I have thwarted your line of reasoning.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:30pm
How do you know I didn't get my start programming from a Foley/Belsaw tutorial?  :)
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:30pm
>>I enjoy programming.

So why do you want out?
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 1:33pm
>>> The question is, is it even worth fixing circular saw engines?  I don't know the answer to that.

I don't _know_ if it's worth fixing electric motors, but I've replaced a few and I've taken things apart that have motors in them and based on that limited experience, I'd guess they're usually not worth fixing.  If I were thinking of doing this sort of repair business, I'd either not consider repairing motors, or I'd learn more to know if they are repairable.

You, OTOH, have indicated that you don't know anything about electric motors, yet you reject the one opinion you get on their repairability out of hand because you think it might be biased because you're a woman.

In all honesty, I don't think you'll be able to make a go of this.  I think you need to be the type to take things apart and see what's inside and it doesn't sound like you do that.
Permalink Ward 
January 4th, 2010 1:37pm
Small gas engines might be worth repairing.  There are lots of them around and they seem to break down a lot.  But I don't think a lot of people will be shipping dead lawn mowers and weed eaters to you.
Permalink Ward 
January 4th, 2010 1:38pm
I don't.

I just want more money. I'm at the top of my salary range for my city and I want some play money to invest and fund my retirement.

I also want to learn a skill that I find engaging and useful.

You seem to define yourself pretty narrowly.

I am many people, not one. I have a variety of talents and interests that have yet to be explored. I'm not going to be rich, but I will be someone who survives and lives well in spite of the situation other equally talented people but less open people find themselves in.

I think diversification of your skillset is the best way to handle economic realities. 

Something tells me I'm on the right track.  I was told I would never be a programmer without a CS degree. I did it anyway.

I think my gut tells me things and I should follow it.

So if I seem hard-headed...well, that's why.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:40pm
That was @Moron.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:40pm
"I think you need to be the type to take things apart and see what's inside and it doesn't sound like you do that."

LOL.  You don't see your bias.  That's okay, you aren't that much different than most of the men I know.

I am that type.  I just don't have tools lying around. I do have broken DVD players and microwaves.

I have seen the insides of those, but they may not be worth fixing.

I take apart my computers all the time. I have many raped computer carcasses in my house.  But those aren't that interesting. Replacing a drive or motherboard or power isn't very challenging.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:43pm
>>I just want more money. If you want more money you would take making more money seriously, and simply not doing so. Just how exactly is thins going to make you more money? Why not take side programming\ consulting jobs?

What you want is all of the Following:
1) a new Hobby
2) a second source of substantial income
3) a viable fall back plan

1 is a serous hindrance to 2 and 3. It just that simple.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 1:48pm
"I don't think a lot of people will be shipping dead lawn mowers and weed eaters to you."

You are correct.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:48pm
"Why not take side programming\ consulting jobs? "

Because I do that 8-10 hours a day already?

Because I am not diversified and I therefore have all my eggs in one basket?

What you are saying is one cannot make a hobby into a money-making option.

I disagree. I've already done it.  I showed up to a network support/admin job for a few months, started learning how to program on the side by doing javascript mouse-overs, and then one day someone took me seriously and hired me to do ASP programming. The rest is history.

I'm not trying to become rich.  But if there is a way to stop people from throwing shit away and re-use it, profitably, I would like to do that.  I have no fucking clue how. Same as when I spent hours trying to get Javascript mouse-overs to work. I was sitting at home on my couch in 2000, trying to figure it out. And one day, I did.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:52pm
This discussion has certainly taken a mole-hill to a mountain.  Geez.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:53pm
Anyway, the small engine book I snarfed from via torrent walks you through taking apart a 4-cycle engine and reassembling it.

I'll start with that and let you know how it goes. 

The last time I got this bug, I built a bookshelf and learned I didn't like wood-working enough to stick with it and especially, didn't like the fact that I needed a real workshop to get anything interesting done.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 1:56pm
I didn't say it cant be done. I said it's is a serous hindrance.

Secondly, you are not talking about working fro someone doing your hobby, your are talking about starting a business. If you want to run a business you need to take it seriously. I just don't think you are.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 1:56pm
And by the way, Not only are you not talking starting a business seriously, you are not taking a finding new hobby seriously.

You are like the person who wants to take up Day Trading for fun.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 2:00pm
Seriously though, if you can give me some idea of how to leverage/create an economy of scale in the appliance/tool repair business, I'm all ears.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 2:02pm
If you can't do that, you are as full of it as you think I am.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 2:03pm
>>Seriously though, if you can give me some idea of how to leverage/create an economy of scale in the appliance/tool repair business

Re-read my first post on this tread..
But note: it means farming out the repairs and focusing on Buying\Selling.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 2:05pm
This is very interesting.

Sharky wants to try out something that could lead to a money making opportunity.

Moron is defining "trying out" as a "hobby", which by his definition can't (or shouldn't) become a money making opportunity.  And he's defining "money making opportunity" as something that can never be a "hobby".

I think Moron's world view is too small.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
January 4th, 2010 2:15pm
I think you are right, STH, that Moron's view of the world is rather limited.

I may have not stated such earlier, but that was exactly what I was thinking.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 2:17pm
"But note: it means farming out the repairs and focusing on Buying\Selling."

You mean me doing the least interesting parts.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 2:20pm
I can sense Moron's frustration through my ethernet cable, LOL.

Some people don't have the same world view as me. I accept that.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 2:22pm
Hobby was Sharky's word not mine.

“it would definitely be a hobby and fun for me so”
http://www.crazyontap.com/topic.php?TopicId=61802#645911

If you think that me believing that running a business takes a serious mindset make my world view limited, then you are correct i have a limited world view.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 2:22pm
Or hire a sales person.
Permalink Aaron 
January 4th, 2010 2:24pm
>>You mean me doing the least interesting parts.

I mean doing what it takes to run a successful business.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 2:24pm
Did Steve Wozniak farm out everything on the personal computer or did he start out as a hobbyist?
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 2:25pm
Woz was Job's Bitch.
He was grunt. He did not manage the business in any way.

Find yourself a Steve Jobs as partner, and you can be his work horse.
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 2:29pm
> I had to Google it.

Whoa! Splinters, dude! Splinters!
Permalink Billy the Fish 
January 4th, 2010 2:37pm
I'm pretty sure Steve Wozniak was working for Hewlett-Packard, and got a 6502 chip for $10 at a convention, and wanted to see what he could get it to do.

And before that, he'd been reading DEC documentation on their PDP architecture.

So he designed the boards and laid them out and programmed the original OS for the Apple-I.  I don't know who actually fabricated the boards, put the parts in, and soldered them down -- probably Woz for the first version.

Now, for the OTHER Steve, it was an opening for business and making money.  So here we have both models working reasonably well.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
January 4th, 2010 2:42pm
Moron believes my thinking is small time.

I dunno.  A business of scale of this type would require training newbs to learn how to do it so I could get by on the cheap, most likely.

It is possible I see further out into the future than Moron does.

Moron, to scale such a business you couldn't hire top dogs to do the repairs, you would have to hire barely high school grads and immigrants and try to teach them how to fix such things and pay them minimum wage.  You would tier the broken items based on difficulty and toss the stuff you can't make margin on.

It would morph into a service business because some MBA would see that you make more money and "value add" by selling the service, not the product.

And while all that makes perfect sense, I'm just not interested in a service business, nor do I want to train people.

I could see a repair biz being a step above mom-and-pop by leveraging the postal angle.  By doing the "impossible", getting people to mail their broken shit, you can still get an economy of scale.  Just have to get a cheap enough rate on the postage, and lean on the "green" marketing to guilt people into shipping it to me rather than throwing it away.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 3:02pm
That's the seed of a business, right there, that last paragraph.

Anyone who disagrees is dead wrong :) WRONG!
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 3:03pm
Mark my words, someone is going to do this on a national scale soon.

It is always my luck to have decent ideas that are, obviously, derivative, sit on my thumbs, and then a year later, somebody does it.

Again, not saying this is unique. Just saying it is a money-maker if you know how to do the marketing and get that .01% of the entire population to try you out so they can say they did something for the environment.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 3:06pm
>>Moron, to scale such a business you couldn't hire top dogs to do the repairs, you would have to hire barely high school grads and immigrants and try to teach them how to fix such things and pay them minimum wage

YOU are the biggest dog in your bushiness.
You saying you won’t pay anyone more than few dollars to do this so you will do it yourself. This makes no sense from a business point of view. This is your “I want to do those repairs” thinking getting in the way. You are limiting your business to a 1-man repair business, that will allow you to grow. If you grow you are going to need to farm it out. It’s just a matter of when. 

Secondly, This non-sense of getting people to mail thing is not going to work, you know that. What you need to so is come up with a convent way for people to drop it off. For example make deal with you local hardware stores where people cam drop off there old tools and get a store credit, say $5 per tool in any condition. Then you reimburse the store the credits they issues, and pick up your pile.

Again setting up this kind of network to get old tools is much harder to farm out than the repairs. And as the “Biggest dog” you should be handling the most important tasks and complex tasks.

>>Mark my words, someone is going to do this on a national scale soon.
Why not you? Do you think that “someone” is going to personally repair every item that gets sent in?
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 3:19pm
If you can get people to pack up their broken shit and mail it to you, you are a marketing genius.
Permalink Send private email LH 
January 4th, 2010 3:21pm
>>> LOL.  You don't see your bias.  That's okay, you aren't that much different than most of the men I know.

>>> I am that type.

And you don't seem to be reading clearly.  I said, "it doesn't sound like you do that."  I _didn't_ say one way or another whether you are the type to do it.
Permalink Ward 
January 4th, 2010 3:24pm
"If you can get people to pack up their broken shit and mail it to you, you are a marketing genius."

I was thinking like the cash for gold where they send you the box/package with postage paid and you just drop it in.  Obviously, I haven't thought through the issues like package sizes and cost. Just threw it out there.

As far as organizing the drop-off at a central point and all that, yeah, great idea. But I really just want side cash, not a marketing/organizing headache.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
January 4th, 2010 3:28pm
What if you just did it locally and offered to pick stuff up?
Permalink JoC 
January 4th, 2010 3:48pm
One thing I noticed though. You said [computers repairs are boring and unchallenging].

Other stuff isn't going to be any more fulfilling once you know how to actually do the repairs.

Maybe what you want is to just try to fix stuff you know nothing about.

Why not just find a junkyard or a dump or something where you can go pick out stuff that looks like it might possibly be fixable?
Permalink JoC 
January 4th, 2010 3:51pm
>>But I really just want side cash, not a marketing/organizing headache.

If you want "side cash" get a part time job
If you want a hobby get a hobby, and enjoy it
If you want to start a business, take it seriously
Permalink Moron[0] 
January 4th, 2010 5:12pm

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