Anyone broken free from professional life? Warning: rant

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  • Any electricians in here? Handed in my notice today and 80% sure I’m going to do a sparky course in March, just want to find out as much as I possibly can before making the jump and parting with six grand.

  • Would freelance bike mechanic be an option?

    I've got a couple of bikes which need fixing but haven't got round to getting to a bike shop (i.e. one which I trust).

    If you want to come over to E17, I'd pay a good hourly rate. Could be others in similar situation.

  • Yup, I'm up for that!

  • Great, I've sent you a pm

  • Cheers! Popped by for a chat and sent my CV to them.

  • What's the general consensus on buying-tidying-selling bikes as a way of supplementing a salary and cutting down office hours? @Dogtemple mentioned it previously and i had a brief chat with @littleK a while back about this, keen to find out what experiences people have had with this.

    I don't earn a high salary so i wouldn't need to make much to make it work but as i'm someone that isn't very good at switching off i'd be concerned that mentally it could be a bit much (thinking about builds, listings, checking pm's etc).

  • What's the general consensus on buying-tidying-selling bikes as a way of supplementing a salary and cutting down office hours?

    A great way of losing your sanity and money.

  • Yeah i can see how that could happen.

    I was just a bit surprised how little my day rate is and how one day a week could be supplemented by something else. Unfortunately just taking a pay cut is not a viable option.

  • If I was going to look to make money doing it, I'd be buying up complete bikes with reasonably nice parts and splitting them. But I don't see dealing in second hand bicycles or parts thereof to be a good way to make any money, nevermind pocket money and certainly not survival money.

  • I'd be buying up complete bikes with reasonably nice parts and splitting them.

    I really cannot tell when you are serious and when you arent sometimes ..

  • Breaking bikes although undoubtedly can get you more money has always IME been way more faff.

    It sounds like i just need to face up to the fact that selling bikes is neither a good way to make money or supplement my wage.

    It has however proved to be the only way i can afford bike life and no doubt will continue to remain that way for some time.


  • For the avoidance of doubt, when it comes to breaking free from professional life (rant), @fizzy.bleach is always serious.

  • Don’t do it.
    Have as few bikes as you can, treat them well. This made me happier.

  • wrongthreadedit lol

  • I worked (and still do on and off) for a company that specialised in this. Without going into too much detail it's essentially one guy based full time out of an independent bike shop. In order to support his salary and wages for myself and one other mechanic (both part time) we were turning around 30+ bikes a month typically valued at £500 and upwards on top of regular repair work.

    In order to make enough money to make it viable as a business you need to be dealing in 'high end' bikes (think margins). The trouble with this is the people who have the means to buy what you're selling will probably want to try it beforehand. This is especially the case if you haven't got a brand/reputation behind you. So you need to be available for viewings or be willing to post. Then you're into the realm of postal returns. Which are a nightmare.

    TL;DR It's doable, but difficult.

  • Cheers for the info. Could never see myself trying to do this as business I've just been looking for options to reduce my "proper" job hours.

    Aside all other pitfalls the major flaw in my plan is not being able to use Lfgss for selling as for me at least it's for non profit sales.

  • I do a bit of this, more for fun than profit, but it all depends.. I have a fella who supplies me with bikes.. they range from £20-30, I buy them, give them a clean, new cables, tyres etc and sell on.. Best I did was a Raleigh for £25 which had full Shimano golden arrow and put £3 bar tape on it and sold for £125.. I also got a Kona mountain bike and blew the tyres up and made £80.. I just enjoy playing with bikes.. and I was off the bike for about 9 months with health issues, so it was a great way to potter at things when I couldn't ride.. I have 4 bikes sitting at the house needing attention at the minute!!

  • Pm me, this is very doable, you just need to do it a certain way and to a decent standard, as with anything. If you want to we can discuss

  • I did this as a student. It was possible to start to learn about what the market demands. For example, an old out of service Raleigh Shopper/Twenty can be had for £20 on eBay. You can buy those and rebuild them, buying basic components to replace the busted parts and sell on for £100. Overall I made £20-£40 profit when I counted things like travel, cost of parts and consumables. Some might say a part time job pays better.

  • Yep, learning about market demands, what stuff go for and how much work it required to get the said bike into saleable condition.

    I've made an average of £150 for the past 6 sales, £300 top and £100 on the low end.

  • Reckon I might start doing this. Day job spannering simply doesn't pay enough and I know I can turn bikes around pretty fast. Just need storage space.

  • 10 years ago when I found out my school was closing I realised I no longer wanted to teach. So I hit upon the idea why not start a bike shop. All I had was 5weeks redundancy pay. I had no idea how orwhat I was doing but I figured how hard can it be. Surely I can work it out as I go along. I did and i still am. It is also more work than being a teacher ever was was for a third to half of the money but I happily go to the shop in the morning and will never work for an employer again.

    Riding to work definitely helps me as well. Driving to work just creates stress and unhappiness even if you dont realise it.

    Having messed about with second hand bikes theydont sell well in the sticks. Second hand parts sales is tricky. Too many returns. Its alot of work for each item as each one has to be listed and photographed each time it up.for sale. New items can have one listing and one photo for recurring sales. Time is money and second hand is not that time efficient for me at least. Also the money made of second hand bike sales is low per hour spent. Then there is the cost of storage space. In a city where you can have fast turnaround of stock it possible to make it work. The margin in wheels per hour is much better but to build the wheels I build regularly I have to hold around £65000 worth of rims, hubs and spokes and price I pay so while I may make a decent ammount on each wheel I have to fund the big purchases to keep the wheels rolling out.

    This is what I enjoy the most about running a business, creating it, spotting oppertuties and figuring out what the fuck do I do next. Never stand still and that's the fun bit.

  • Breaking up bikes and selling them is how I first started out in the bike industry. It’s a great way to learn new skills and make a bit of cash and broaden your knowledge base.

    I did that for a few years, setting up a small home workshop in the spare room. I then found myself wanting to build wheels which ended up with me enrolling on a cycle mechanics course in Bristol at LifeCycle (a fantastic company and course btw).

    At the time I was working full time as a chef, something I had been doing since 16 years old. I was beyond done with that industry if I’m honest, it’s a mugs game if you want to earn good money. 70+ hours a week and 40 degree kitchens will take it’s toll on you eventually.

    I finally had a semi breakdown and told my boss I was going part time. A day or two later I spoke to a friend who told me Cardiff Cycle Couriers we’re looking for another rider and that was that. Then, about a week later having started with the couriers, one of the mechanics at my LBS quit and they were after a Saturday guy so I said yes to that too and before I knew it I had gone from 1 to 3 jobs in the space of a fortnight, and it genuinely changed my life.

    Two years later and I’m working full time at said LBS as head mechanic and own half the business and the future is bright.

    *Punk Bikes Cardiff - Come say hi

  • ^ dreamy

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Anyone broken free from professional life? Warning: rant

Posted by Avatar for Invent @Invent