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  • Making $

    Who here does PC as a job kind of or to make some money? If you do then around how much do you make? I am only 16 (turning 17 really soon) and can't find a job and thinking about doing PC and being a dealer for some motocross stuff and wanting to know if trying to make money with this would be a waste of time and what not. I will throw up a good site, etc and try to get this thing going ASAP if I hear good things. I first plan to practice until I can do it really well because I don't wan't to mess peoples products up and have to buy them new ones.
    Any comments or oppinions will be very helpful.
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Where do you live? Powder coating can be a good business, but it only takes one mistake to cause problems for an otherwise good business. You might want to consider starting out by doing some things for your friends for a very low price. This way you can develope your skills and have someone pay for you to practice time. As you get better you can begin to charge more and advertise locally to get more business. I'm a dirtbike rider and can tell you that word does travel very fast as people see your work out on the trail and the track. You really do need to be careful about how you conduct your business. Two things to remember are..."you're only as good as your last job" and "One scew up can cancel out a thousand attaboys". I would say the best way to start is to get some old junk parts and work on them first. Then take a few parts off your bike and work on them. When you're confident that you've done a good mix of parts tell your friends that you'll do some things for them for the price of the powder and a few bucks for your head. As they show off their newly powder coated parts they will be doing your advertising for you. Then you can begin to charge a little more for your work. This will also help to develope your skills and also give you some cash to buy a better oven and other equipment. Make sure you continuously read the posts on this site.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the advise. There is not lots of people here that I know that ride. None of my friends ride dirt bikes, I am the only one. There are some people around here that I am sure would like stuff done to their rice burners and s 10's and thing's of that sort. I wish there were more people into hot rods and dirt bikes here. Well I will practice a lot first and then do some parts on my dirt bikes, then my golf cart, etc. If I do rims on a dirt bike, with they chip easily if rocks hit them? That's the only kind of thing I am worried about.
      Thanks.

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      • #4
        Being self-employed for the past 7 years, I can tell you one thing that'll keep your customers happy. If there's a problem, no matter how trivial and no matter who's fault it is, FIX IT. You may take a financial hit, but that customer will remember you made good with no ****in' and moanin' and will more than likely continue to do biz with you and will tell others you're a straight up guy to do biz with.

        I don't advertise and all my new customers are brought in via word of mouth. I've taken some pretty severe hits on projects that didn't go as planned over the years and I can only think of 2 customers that won't ever call me again. (and frankly, I don't mind. ehehh)

        The extra step is ALWAYS appreciated by a paying customer.

        Good luck with your new venture!!

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        • #5
          An added note to skiddz's post-- Be aware that there are customers who can't be made happy. Even if you paid them to let you coat there part and it was perfect, they will find a reason to complain.

          You can make money at anything, if you approach it properly.

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          • #6
            Yeah, I will no doubt be straight up with them if I ever messed anything up or forgot to do something. I won't try to cover ANYTHING up. Those of you that have constant business, do you guy's make alright money or what?

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            • #7
              start small..work with a few people, you will never make big money doing things for friends but it will get the word out if you do a good job and your fair...dont give it away...make what you have invested in doing that part and pref a bit more ..for awhile...and as Dale said . (only in my way of saying it.).theres a group of people out there that are still complaing at being born so nothin ya do is going to make them happy...let it pass and feel the next customer out a bit more..I feel if I am happy with it...your gonna be blown away. you set your standards...and then live up to em..
              just my thoughts..
              Pro-Tech Powder Coating
              93976 Ocean Way
              541-247-8168
              pro[email protected]
              Gold Beach,Oregon

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              • #8
                Dale is dead-right. Some people are never happy. The 2 customers I mentioned? They're exactly the people Dale's talking about. Didn't matter what I did, the end result just wasn't good enough for these people. I've spoken with other contractors that have worked for these people and they've said my work was excellent and the people calling the shots are just unreasonable.

                One more thing. Don't cut corners to meet a deadline. You're going to run into "gotchas" and there's nothing you can do about it. If you're not going to finish a part when you said you would, pick up the phone and let the customer know. 99% of the time it won't be an issue with them and they'll appreciate you keeping them up to date.

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                • #9
                  Yeah I know what you guy's mean. If I ever get anyone like that then I will deal with it for a while but if they keep comming back and complaining then I will tell them straight up to quit the bitching and go to someone else if they aren't happy. Other than that I don't wan't to have someone like that wanting things done from me and give me that additude, I won't take it. I will let it pass a few times but I won't be able to hold it in and I shouldn't have to.
                  Thanks for the advise.

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                  • #10
                    you can make as much as you want or as little as you want .. to get a good shop started and to keep it open you need to go that extra step to keep them happy and over 16 year's i went way above what the customer want's and there has been many return customer's and never a mad one .. you alway let them leave happy .. i messed up the paint on a car after 900 buck's out of my pocket the guy was happy with the job and came back a few time's ... i got a contract with one of the most pickiest person you want to meet and it was hard at first now he love's the work .. he even sent other's to my shop to get stuff done .. so good luck

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                    • #11
                      Ok well I have been thinking, reading, and learning about all this PC stuff and I have had a question on my mind the whole time but never got around to asking it.... How should I do the pricing? I am not too sure on that like how much I should charge and what to charge for because every part will be different and bigger or smaller and might need more prep work than others. Also if I do do this for money then do I charge for the work before or after the product is done?
                      Thanks again!

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                      • #12
                        While I can't give your "suggested" pricing for PCing, I can offer a bit of the knowledge I gained when I 1st started my biz.

                        The most important thing is to determine your costs. If you know your costs, you can set pricing so you meet those costs AND generate a profit. If you don't make a profit, you can't stay in business. Things like equipment maintenance/repair, gas & electricity, insurance, payroll, materials etc will all add up. Even the small things will add up to significant dollars over the course of a month or year. (My yearly expenditures for zipties and drywall screws alone is nearly $500!!)

                        Document your procedures. Once you find an efficient method, if it's documented, it can be repeated by anyone you might end up hiring to help. In addition, it will allow you to "know" how long a certain project will take which will help you with your pricing. When I first started out, estimating was the hardest part because of so many unknowns. Now when I provide an estimate or bid to a customer, when the proverbial smoke clears and the job is done, I find I'm pretty darn close to that number.

                        If you give a firm price to do a job, honor that price even if it costs you 3 times more that that to complete it. Again, you may take it in the shorts on that one, but it's a sure bet you won't make the same mistake twice.

                        Bottom line is this. You've got to know your business, the pricing your area will support and what you need to make to continue in business. It is by no means easy and you'll probably not make a lot of money (if any) when you 1st start out, but once you're established and can turn a decent profit, the rewards are great.

                        Oh, and to answer your question regarding payment. Would you pay up front for work to be performed? I sure wouldn't and in some states, that policy is in violation of trade law.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks a lot man, that helped me quite a bit. Ok well say that I have a dirt bike rim to powder coat red or blue... what would you price on it if you didn't have to do much prep work only fill in all the threaded holes from the spokes?

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                          • #14
                            I have no idea. I don't PC, I just polish. I only participate in here 'cuz I want to get in to PCing (Hobby-wise, not to make money necessarily) eventually.

                            You'd have to guess how much time it would take you to prep the surface, clean it, plug holes, coat it then cure it. Figure a few more bucks for electricity and materials and go from there.

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                            • #15
                              Some shops are charging somewhere around $50 for a single color and around $75 for Two stage like candies and also for adding clear coat. Those prices include blasting in some cases but don't include disassembly or stripping. for a part time Non-pro shop or up start I would think the price would be considerably less. After all what sense does it make to go to the guy with less experience for the same price? The up side to that is that you'll probably be doing the hubs as well. As previously mentioned in this post this can lead to more work as people see the things you can do. Good luck! It's nice to see a young man with that kind of ambition.

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