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Discussion Starter #1
Just trying to get some feedback before I make a mistake here. I am considering going into business and I am on the horns of a dilema.

I am torn between becoming a paint dealer (house of kolor of course) and a full on custom hot rod builder specializing in T-buckets.

I am meeting with resistance from house of kolor, mostly passing the buck when asked how to become a dealer. I have also run across alot of dealers selling these products on the internet.

I also have no idea where to find new customers desiring custom built hot rods on this side of the country.

I have the experience and knowledge. I have the equipment and space to build one at a time (for now).

One of the major stopping blocks is my location - the Boston area where there are only a couple really good cruising months out of the year.

Any suggestions on which direction I should go, or how to gain that first group of customers for either venture?
 

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Hey bro,

I'm right down the road on the Cape--I'd be more than happy to spread the word with the rodders I know. There's quite a few "cruisers" and shows over the course of the summer...my first suggestion would be to maybe print up some flyers and attend every show you can. That should get your name in the circle and you should expect to gain a considerable amount of clients...just my toss at helping out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, but for which busines venture?

Personally, I would prefer building cars, but I need a single customer to get started. I am currently working on a Model T, it's souped up 20's style with a few electronics on it, but it's not a street rod by your standards. It's also not done so I can't use it for advertisement purposes yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am not sure on the startup cost on House of Kolor. I am still looking into it.

The startup cost to build T-buckets is zero, as I already have all the stuff. All I need is a customer. How about you?
 

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Hammer King
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Do the T-bucket thing. The paint would be hard to compeet with the on-line vendors. If the T-bucket thing goes well, then get into the paint supply business.

An now a shameless plug. If you need some experienced part time help. I am available on weekdays. :D I'm serious.
 

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a.k.a. Rusty Shackelford
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Once you get the T into "rolling" condition, park it outside in the afternoons. This way people will see it on their way home from work and it will peak there intrest. Good Luck

Cory :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the offer. I may take you up on it if I can get going. Any ideas on where to find my first customer?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Parking outside is not a bad idea, I did that last year a few times, but no one stopped. I am also working out of my house, so I don't think I'll get too many new customers this way. I think that idea would work better in a retail environment. I'm looking to start small, one car at a time. The customer would put money up front for materials and pay me about half what a new car mechanic gets to build it. I figure I could get one done before summer hits if I started fairly soon.

I'm building my '15 from new and old materials, it's not hard to find most of the things I need, but a few are impossible to locate and I have had to make them myself. I actually made an intake manifold and gauge housings for my "classic" gauges. I won't be buying classic again. Way too pricey and the customer service was not what I call top notch. I'll post pictures if I can figure out how...
 

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Here's another idea to ponder--

Use EBAY.
Try auctioning off the first one.

I had an idea for custom computers, whereas you have a listing of parts that are slightly marked up and you allow a buyer to choose what they want.

They send cash,
You buy parts
You build computer
Send to buyer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's another great idea. I thought of it a few months ago as well. Unfortunately, most of the cars that were listed on ebay did not sell, the ones that did sold for less than I could build one. And the listing and reserve fees for a $30k-40k car would break me.

I even tried becoming a dealer for companies like total performance. The up front money is insane with any of these types of suppliers.

I think my best bet is to find someone that wants one, and can afford one, but is not confident enough to build it himself.

I also won't put used material on someone elses car to try and cut costs. If it comes out of my shop, it will be 100% brand new.
 

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I could be mistaken but ebay charges a flat rate for auctions, depending on how many words you want and what features you want in your ad.

I think most postings cost under $10

Also you may want to consider setting up a website, with detailed photos and whatnot--it could never hurt, it's essentially free advertising and a domain name should only cost you $75 for 2 years (if I remember correctly).

Post on forums, maybe take out a few ads in the international car trader publication. It's all about advertising and getting the word out.
 

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Hammer King
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First customers! Man there are so many weekly shows right around here. You can attend one each day of the week if you want to. My wife is a car show junkie. If she could, she would do shows every nite from May to September.
In fact, she is looking for another car to take to shows. So during the week I can get some work done to go racing on Sundays.

Start at the shows. E-mail me I'll get you a list, day by day. Quality shows 100 cars or more. In this area there is realy alot going on.
 

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Acoustic Rock ... for real.
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You can buy your own domain name now for $95 - and that's for 5 years! The prices just went down. Check for availability at Register.com

In order to make steady work out of any business you have to advertise. Going to ALL the shows is great advice ... also, placing ads in the right places - eBay sucks, I think ... I've never seen any cars there I'd want, and when I was looking for my 54 Chevy pickup I spent 3-4 months searching the web. eBay was the worst! Hemmings.com was definitely cool, but I found a HONEY of a deal on my truck (just got it 5-6 weeks ago) out of Texas, via this site :
<a href="http://www.collectorcartraderonline.com/" target="_blank">http://www.collectorcartraderonline.com/</a>

Other cool site were :
<a href="http://www.classicsandcustoms.com/" target="_blank">http://www.classicsandcustoms.com/</a>

Good luck, bro'!

Sleep late ... dream more!

Alan Horvath
<a href="http://AlanHorvath.com/" target="_blank">http://AlanHorvath.com/</a>
Acoustic Rock ... for real.
 

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Acoustic Rock ... for real.
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Hey, TimsLizzy

I just bought a set of Dolphin Gauges ... I got the 5" Quad set with custom inserts that fit my 54 Chevy pickup's dash. I haven't installed them yet, but the shipping was cool and I called them this morning with a whole list of questions - I also got the adjustable speedo and they have a chart to go by that confused me a little - man, they answered every question I had with total patience and interest in helping me understand everything. Definitely a very cool bunch there.

It's the same company as EZ-Wire and I also ordered an EZ-Wire kit ... called them LAST week with questions about that, and it was the same deal. Great customer service.

I originally wanted the Classic Gauges, cuz I thought they were the most beautiful gauges I've seen - anywhere. But I couldn't get custom inserts for them and, like you said, their prices chased me directly over to Dolphin.

Alan
 

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Why not try and advertise in one of the mags, like street rodder or rod and custom. I know they are popular over there and we even get them over here in AUS. It would probably be expensive but you would no doubt get heaps of people reading the add.

Richard
 

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Don't want to discourage you but Having a number of businesses there are a few things you need to consider. 1. Is your home zoned to do this type of work? Hate to get into project and have city or town give you a stop work order. 2. Building a hot rod for someone. Do you intend to get liability insurance in case owner has an accident and feels it was due to your work? 3. People will be at your house 7 days a week to check out work and progress. Commerial location would take care or this and the zoning problem. 4. If you can't afford to advertise then you are under capitalized. These are considerations you need to think about. Best of luck with which ever you do.
 

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I'd go with the rod building since you have everything in place to start with...

Let me suggest using existing internet site classified sections to advertise. In most cases they're free to post in and you can search for sites that target your specific market then solicit customers all from the privacy of your PC. This would give you visability, a broader potential market base, and maybe even the first customer your looking for to get you started.

Of course take the time to verify zoning restrictions and potential liabilities that may be associated with the rods you build. Also try to figure your overall costs in advance, including shipping options for out of state customers. Nothing will scare customers away quicker than discussing the purchase of something like you'll offer with someone that doesn't have cost associated $$ numbers on hand during intial negotiations.

There's lots more to consider but I don't want to drag this post out and think you'll figure it out as you go.

Good Luck!
 
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