Radio Repair business

Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Radio Repair business

Post by samyer on Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:30 pm

Hello,
I'm new to this forum and just wanted to say hi. My name is Sam, 58 years old, started with a couple NRI courses back in the 60s & 70s, worked in several shops (including my own) and am now an electrical engineer. After all this time I still love and find myself drawn back to the 'good ole days'. I'm considering getting back into radio repair & restoration, as well as amplifier repair. I've got a good background in woodworking/refinishing so I'd like to cover that as well. What I'd like to know from everyone that does this - can it be lucrative? I'm not looking to make a million but something that will provide a good source of income after I retire. I anticipate using the internet for my business. Any help is greatly appreciated!



samyer
New Member
New Member

Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2013-08-07

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:49 pm

Welcome to TRF, Sam. We have a nice bunch of guys here, willing to help.

_________________
Please also join us here; www.videokarma.org/index.php
Bill Cahill
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4395
Age : 68
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:25 pm

Welcome to TRF, Sam.

I have quit working on old electronics for other people. Just too many hassles. People are not realistic about a set's value nor are they realistic about what reasonable repair costs are. The "twang and bang" and audiophile crowds are the absolute worst. They "hear" things that do not exist, or want to "hear" things that do not exist and are not possible to provide for them. Even the car radio/auto resotration customer can be unreasonable in their demands. I decided to just close up shop, bring my shingle in, and work for a customer whose demands I could satisfy. ME. Trying to explain to a customer why his radio will cost twice what it is worth to repair and restore gets old. I wish you every success should you decide to forge ahead. The fact that there are few repair people for old electronics will only ensure that more radios will be turned into fish tanks, guitar amps and I-pod docks in the future, unfortunately.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4893
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by 75X11 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:36 pm

Welcome and good luck! I wish I had some advice for you, but I have worked in a small business for long enough to know it is not a tenable living for me. That is not to say how well you could do. A successful small business is not the mean, and you may "find yourself" in trying it out.
75X11
75X11
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4453
Age : 63
Registration date : 2013-03-10

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:45 pm

Welcome to TRF Sam!   What Wildcat says is spot on, enyjoy this as a hobby without much expectation for reasonable income.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by willy3486 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:17 pm

I ran my own business part time that became full time even though I had a full time job. I was working evey spare moment at home.. Years ago I ran my own repair business and I did not advertise.  I had way more work than I needed. Old tube radios were a part of it. My main business was VCRs and stereos. So that tell you how long ago it was. I experienced the same as what wildcat said. When I figured it out I was making less than minimum wage on old tube stuff while VCRs were the money maker.

I didn't work for "flippers" as they didn't want to pay you. One brought this basketcase to me. I gave a usual spill about how they were hard to find parts for, it may take a while, and I only worked on the family heirloom type radios. I always explaind that before I even accepted them. She said she bought it but she had always wanted one to use so I took it in. It was a pain but I got it going. Then she brought another one and I found out that there had been a auction of a old repairman so I figured it was where she got it. I was going through a antique store one day and there was the forst one with a huge price on it. I even did it for almost cost to help her out as she gave me this sad story. Anyway I told her to come get the second one. She said oh good you got it going. I said no that I saw the first one in the store for the big price.

So that taught me to charge and not list to the sad stories. I have done a couple since getting back into radios again but no big ones. I would find something that is a quick and easy way to make a buck. If you want suggestions look into Ipad repairs. I could do them on the side,make about 50 bucks an hours and still charge less than the companies that do it. After I got the hang of them I can do one in about an hour. With said if you like working on them and don't care if you make much if any give it a try. I hope to find some side odd thing to do and keep the radios as a stress relieving hobby.

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1380
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by willy3486 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:56 am

Another thing to keep in mind is a business license and insurance. Some people want to sue you at a drop of a hat. If their house burns down because they went to sleep while smoking it will automatically be your fault because that old radio you fixed was in the house. I have been thinking recently of buying some ,fixing them then selling them. That way I get the enjoyment of fixing one, make some cash and then you don't have to deal with making it "perfect" for someone who wants it done cheap. Price it and if they don't like it keep it. I have so many radios now I have very little room for others. I like the small tabletops of the late 40s to early 50s and a lot of the 30s consoles are too big to keep in my shop. So the bigger ones a lot of radio buyers want so I may fix them and sell them. Sell them as is with no warranty so it is just a second hand sale. what I found out even if your prices are a little higher you will get the best people to deal with over the I want it cheap perfect and fast crowd.

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1380
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:01 am

Some people want to sue you at a drop of a hat.

This is why my business is an S-corp. It protects your personal property.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:36 pm

By the time you set up a corporation to CYA, buy a multi-million dollar liability insurance policy, gear up for retail production, pay for advertising, business cards and all that hooey, you will have to work fixing radios until the Second Coming just to break even. Many locations have codes or other rules against working a business at home. That presents another expense. Rent. Like child support and taxes, that NEVER ends. Or you spend a half million dollars to buy a commercial building. Then you pay taxes, more insurance, utilities, and it never ends. Why not just get a part-time job at Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, some place like that and make some extra change if that is what you want. Lots less hassle. Use your talents and skills helping others on this forum and you will feel better and make just as much money in the long run. And, as an added bonus, you will not have to provide a lifetime warranty like the consumer mentality demands today.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4893
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by terrydec on Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:54 pm

I had a business and had to close it when cleaning a VCR was more than a brand new one at Wally Mart.
Don't think that incorporating helps either.  I was incorporated and still had to pay for everything.  I remember when I returned the last item that had been at the shop.  The woman actually cried.  She thought it was gone forever.

One other note: My first customer was the guy next door.  He brought over his VCR.  While he's watching I take off the cover and reach for the head cleaning swab.  That's when he told me he'd sprayed WD-40 in it.  Amazingly he's still alive.

I agree with most of the comments- great hobby? Yes. Great business? No.
I make a small amount of extra money by selling rare mic cables on eBay and upgrading guitar amps with new caps, resistors, whatever.  This usually includes new output tubes and checking the bias.  I get between $50 for a repair to $100 for complete redo.
terrydec
terrydec
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1124
Registration date : 2010-01-15

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:30 pm

If I were offered all the money that could be printed, 24/7, until I take my final breath, it would not be enough to pursuade me to work on a guitar amp, EVER again. The best way to "upgrade" a guitar amp is to run over it with a dump truck.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4893
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by terrydec on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:22 am

Wildcat445 wrote:If I were offered all the money that could be printed, 24/7, until I take my final breath, it would not be enough to pursuade me to work on a guitar amp, EVER again.  The best way to "upgrade" a guitar amp is to run over it with a dump truck.  

Regards

WC
Gee, I'm glad you don't know any of the guitar shop owners around here.  My customers usually say, "Great job.  Sounds better than new".
I get referrals from 3 guitar shops, two equipment rental shops, and two pawn shops. I give the pawn shops a special rate because they need to make money too.  You'd think they'd have sense enough to at least plug one in before shelling out money to someone who obviously will never return.  Over all I do about one or two a month. I also do regular equipment repairs, like stereos, for the pawn shops.  Thank goodness for idiots.

Also a big 'shout out' to Antique Electronic Supply.  THANKS .  Without them I'd be fixing X-Boxes.
terrydec
terrydec
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1124
Registration date : 2010-01-15

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Ron Pond on Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:17 am

A simple repair advice and disclaimer, signed by the potential customer, outlining ALL your conditions pertaining to any repair undertaken for them by you would go a long way to avoiding the pitfalls described here.

Once signed, the customer has entered into a legal and binding contract.

Ron.

Ron Pond
Ron Pond
Member
Member

Number of posts : 102
Registration date : 2009-01-21

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by willy3486 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:50 am

Ron Pond wrote:A simple repair advice and disclaimer, signed by the potential customer, outlining ALL your conditions pertaining to any repair undertaken for them by you would go a long way to avoiding the pitfalls described here.

Once signed, the customer has entered into a legal and binding contract.

Ron.

It would be nice if that were true here in the US. I wish we were as civil as your country if they do it that way there. But here in the US there are people who will do things like that and still sue you. Add to the fact that some lawyers will sue for anything even if they know its a lost cause. I have heard of burgulars breaking into a place and then sue the owner of the place. Idiotic isn't it. Here is what can happen here in the US. A fellow fixes these on the side. Some person gets a radio they find and has him to fix it. They take it home 3 days later to their trailer with aluminum wiring. They have replaced the 10 amp breakers with 20 amps and not changed the wring. They plug in a bunch of items into that circuit including the radio. The wires catch fire and burns the trailer down. That person blames the radio repairman and sues him. It takes the radio repairman 10k in legal fees to win. But he only made a 500 bucks a year if he was lucky fixing them on the side.  Things like that are what kill the small guy from having a business in this country.

About 13 years ago I was rear ended and racked up about 800 in medical bills for my family. I told the guy I just wanted that reinbursement and would be happy to call it even. He said if his insurance didn't pay he would. I gave the insurance company a copy of the bills and siad I would settle for that. They refused even though it was his fault. I had to sue as I couldn't afford that. So it dragged on and almost went to court. Then my lawyer said it looks like we are going to have to go to court because all they want to pay is the DRs bills,court cost and his fee. I told him all I ever wanted was the bills paid from the wreck. I got the 800, the court fee paid and my lawyer got about 10k. Thats the way it is here, we were the ones hurt and got no compensation other than the bills paid  and the lawyer got the big payday. Do you have room in Austrailia for a few more?

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1380
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:37 am

Anyone can sue for anything in this country. Someone can be offended by anything, or nothing, and sue you. You could have the most iron-clad contract ever conceived by mankind and still get sued. You could potentially win, but it would cost more than you would make repairing radios in a lifetime to defend one lawsuit, win, lose, or draw. Radio repair and restoration will remain a hobby for me. I will repair my own stuff. I will be happy to advise others how to repair theirs if they ask. But I will not repair a radio for somebody else and charge to do it. The risk is simply greater than the reward. My experience repairing a guitar amp for a guitar player in a heavy metal band did a lot to influence my rather harsh assessment of potential customers.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4893
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by terrydec on Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:09 pm

Uh, there are two exceptions and I know because I just went through both.
a) you can not sue a hospital.  However you can sue a doctor.  I'm working on that right now.
b) You can't sue the government, like housing assistance  or food stamps.  I know, they have a disclaimer about appealing a decision in 10 days and they even give you the phone number of the legal aid.  Trust me, it's just for show, it'll never happen.  I just went through that experience too.
.
terrydec
terrydec
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1124
Registration date : 2010-01-15

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:45 pm

Although there is a considerable stretch between enforcing a repair contract and fighting governmental red tape, your point is well taken.

Regards

WC

Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4893
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by terrydec on Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:53 pm

Aw-just showin' off.
terrydec
terrydec
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1124
Registration date : 2010-01-15

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Ron Pond on Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:23 am

willy3486 wrote:
Ron Pond wrote:A simple repair advice and disclaimer, signed by the potential customer, outlining ALL your conditions pertaining to any repair undertaken for them by you would go a long way to avoiding the pitfalls described here.

Once signed, the customer has entered into a legal and binding contract. Ron.

Do you have room in Australia for a few more?
If you mean room for more shonky lawyers here, no way, we have enough of our own to last us a lifetime....

Ron.

Ron Pond
Ron Pond
Member
Member

Number of posts : 102
Registration date : 2009-01-21

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Ron Pond on Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:25 am

[quote="Wildcat445"]Anyone can sue for anything in this country.  Someone can be offended by anything, or nothing, and sue you.  You could have the most iron-clad contract ever conceived by mankind and still get sued.  /quote]

So what's the point of drawing up a contract up there if they are worthless?
Ron Pond
Ron Pond
Member
Member

Number of posts : 102
Registration date : 2009-01-21

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by willy3486 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:49 am

[quote="Ron Pond If you mean room for more shonky lawyers here, no way, we have enough of our own to last us a lifetime....

Ron.

[/quote]
No lawyers, ME! .Seriously though the average American are hardworking honest folks for the most part. But its that small percentage of scammers and jerks that make it hard for the rest of us. The majority of the folks will honor contracts but there is a few that if they think they can scam someone they will try their best to.

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1380
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:22 am

Ron Pond wrote:
Wildcat445 wrote:Anyone can sue for anything in this country.  Someone can be offended by anything, or nothing, and sue you.  You could have the most iron-clad contract ever conceived by mankind and still get sued.  /quote]

So what's the point of drawing up a contract up there if they are worthless?
My point exactly. A contract will only define terms of an agreement. It will not guarantee that you will not get sued. You very well may win the lawsuit, based on the terms set forth in the contract. But you will incur the costs of DEFENDING that contract in court, should the other party, or any party, decide to file a lawsuit against you. My point was that those costs could well be greater than what you would make repairing old electronics in your lifetime. Large liability insurance policies could add a measure of protection should you be proven negligent somehow, but it may do nothing to help with legal costs. The only benefit to a contract is to keep honest people honest. The scammers and those who know how to work the system may find a way around the terms set forth in a contract. There can be a huge difference between what is LEGAL and what is MORAL. It is the legal part that can get you into hot water in a hurry.

Regards

WC


Wildcat445
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4893
Registration date : 2011-09-19

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Ragwire on Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:58 pm

Buy, fix and sell is the only way I'd do it. No direct customer contact in the same way as a repair shop. Also, I would lean to higher end equipment like vintage jukeboxes.
Ragwire
Ragwire
Member
Member

Number of posts : 510
Registration date : 2013-05-20

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by willy3486 on Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:34 pm

Here is a suggestion. Go to a few radio meets and buy a few to fix up. Then repair them and see if it is worthwhile. You may find they are a pain to deal with or you may like fixing them for the public. I have never got rich restoring for the public, I usually broke even if lucky. But I enjoyed every minute restoring them. Computers and other electronics like VCRs paid the bills fairly good but was not as enjoyable. I did make enough on the side in the late 90s to build my 24x40 ft shop and pay cash for items I needed to buy. I did tear down a couple of barns for the tin and wood. But I was able to pay cash for everything I had to buy.

willy3486
Member
Member

Number of posts : 1380
Registration date : 2011-07-02

Back to top Go down

Radio Repair business Empty Re: Radio Repair business

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum