At BICAS, AZ we have a strict policy to do the work before you get the bike. Nor do we hold bikes while sweat equity (we call work-trade program) is being done. It would be great if everyone would come back and do the work but I am actually surprised that even 50% of the people did. You are already providing a really great service for people and its very fair to ask people to do the work first.
----- Original Message -----
From: Edward Kirkwood
Sent: 05/22/13 06:29 AM
Subject: [TheThinkTank] Bike Purchases with Sweat Equity
At Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop in Lexington, KY, our bike purchase policy is: People without the financial means can purchase a bike that is priced < $100 totally on credit that day with the verbal agreement that they return to shop and volunteer enough to pay their debt off. Our sweat equity policy pays folks $8 / hour in shop credit. After a review of our sweat equity accounts that we keep for each customer, we discovered that over 50% of the folks who purchased a 100% sweat equity bike never came back after that initial visit/bike purchase. Our mission is to provide better acccess to better bicycles used for transportation and to enable folks to perform their own maintenance. While our current policy is providing bikes to people, we are questioning whether we are giving folks a handout rather than a hand-up.
We would like to hear how some of you handle sweat equity bike purchases. More specifically adult purchases as we do not have a huge kid market.