Hey, I'm Sean with the not yet operational 816 Bicycle Collective in Kansas City, MO. We've raised money already by holding a benefit event. We had bands, food, and fun, and we charged a five dollar suggested donation. In order to help us, we had some really kick ass bands. As far as spare parts go, we've been posting all over the board asking for old parts for the last 10 months. This actually created an excess of parts. In order to try to avoid competition with the LBSs, we presented them (at their request) with information about who we are and what we're doing.
There is one LBS in our area that has helped us getting tools at cost, but they're an owner operated company that has long wondered where the collective was in KC. We're lucky. Basically, money and parts are free, they just take a lot of organized effort. We have a cap of something like $80 for all bike sales. We only sell bikes to raise funds, so basically we don't sell bikes out of the shop. If there's a nice bike we come into and we need money, we'll try to get it to someone via craigslist or word of mouth.
One more thing, I personally work as a mechanic at an LBS (not the owner operated one) and rather than an interview from my current employer, I was basically interrogated as to how my being employed by him and being a volunteer at the collective was not a conflict of interest.
Again, we're not yet operational, so take this advice as you will. Also feel free to check out our myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/the816bicyclecollective. Look at our blog and you'll find some specifics about our soon to be operation.  Best of luck!!!
-Sean in the 816
On 2/27/08, Stuart O Anderson <soa@ri.cmu.edu> wrote:
I'm familiar with Devil Gear, and they have some unique features that
make this difficult.  Unlike most the LBS's we have in Pittsburgh,
Devils Gear sells repaired used bikes in the 100-150 dollar range.
That puts them in competition for both resources and market segments
with a volunteer based community shop that's fixing up bikes for sale.
Last time I was in New Haven they were charging about double what we
would have priced bikes for at Free Ride, but had a somewhat higher
median quality of bike.  They also stock a fair selection of new

I'd suggest that the New Haven collective try to avoid competition for
now by focusing on educational program rather than bike sales.  I.E.
offering a 3 week, 6 session class in bike mechanics for adults or
offering a build-a-bike program to local youth organizations, or
having a sponsored tune-up-day event at one of the local universities.
These sorts of programs take a little more effort to set up, but
could be quite profitable.

We get our parts through QBP (Quality Bike Parts) - you'll need to
have liability insurance to get an account with them.


On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 7:01 PM, Jonathan Morrison
<jonathan@slcbikecollective.org> wrote:
> Most of the problems I have seen in other cities are due to poor
> communication and misunderstandings.  This is my pitch, it works in salt
> lake city -- feel free to use, modify, and/or ignore it.
> Community Bike Shops don't compete with Local Bike Shops (LBS), instead they
> form a tight symbiotic relationship.  Why?
> First, we serve different demographics.  We serve the people that can't
> afford or are scared of the LBS.  Someone can buy a bike from a thrift store
> for $25, a bike from Walmart for $100 or a low end bike from a LBS for $350.
> We sell bikes anywhere from $50 to $150, so if anything we compete with
> Walmart, but they don't seem to care.  If someone can't afford a bike at
> your LBS, send them to us!  If someone is looking for a nicer bike and has
> money to spend we will send them to you!
> Second, we create business for the LBS!  While we have our own distributor
> accounts, they are reserved for our most dedicated volunteers, everyone else
> we redirect to the LBS.  Our shop is open from 5-9pm so we tell them if they
> can make it make it to the LBS before it closes (7PM), they could make it
> back in time to install the part.
> Third, we are a tax writeoff!  Get rid of used, new, old stock and make room
> for things that can sell!  Give it to us, and not only can you go to sleep
> knowing it went into good hands -- you can get a much needed tax writeoff.
> We will also publicize the fact you help your community by doing so.
> Fourth, we are your source for future mechanics.  Not sure who to hire?
> While our volunteers don't always deal with the high-end bikes, we can
> recommend potential employees based on the more important things like their
> ability to learn, reliability, ability to take direction, and their level of
> customer service and passion for cycling.  We train them to the point where
> they could be molded into the perfect employee.
> --
> Sincerely,
> Jonathan Morrison
> Executive Director
> Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective
> 2312 S. West Temple
> Salt Lake City, UT 84115
> w: 801-328-2453
> c: 801-688-0183
> f: 801-466-3856
> www.slcbikecollective.org
> Get Addicted to Crank!
> http://www.slcbikecollective.org/crank/
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 4:05 PM, Cris Shirley <cgshirley@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hey!
> > So we are starting a bike collective in New Haven, and had the support
> > of our local bike shop Devil's Gear Bikes where the owner said that he
> > would provide parts at cost and help us out on stuff.  Well, now he is
> > feeling treaten because he thinks we might start moving in a direction
> > that may in competition with him (right now we need some start up
> > money so we are going to fix up and sell some of the bikes we have.)
> > Note that we have not given one bike away yet.  So, I was wondering if
> > anyone had any experiences of this sort and how they were managed?
> > How do y'all get parts for bikes like cables and tubes and tires, and
> chains?
> > Thanks
> > cris
> >
> > On 2/25/08, Edward France <edfrance@bicicentro.org> wrote:
> > > Bike Peeps - Thought about taking a weekend out in Santa Barbara?
> > > This is the perfect time, and we'll do our best to find hosting for
> > > cooks, clerks, wrenches, and other forms of shop creatures that travel
> > > out to celebrate with us.
> > >
> > > Save the Date-
> > >                  Dia de Bici Cultura- the Grand Opening of Bici
> > > Centro's new retail/educational/shop space in Santa Barbara. April 5th
> > > will mark the event with Bike Art, Bike People and Bike Fun, BBQ,
> > > evening reception with dinner, and a night ride.
> > >
> > > After a year of once monthly repair days, months of once weekly shop,
> > > and infinite hours of shuffling around our stuff to serve in a modular
> > > manner, Bici Centro finds its own 1,200 sq ft. space. We've got our
> > > youth Earn-a-bike churning out bikes and biking kids, community
> > > support, and a solid core of 15 volunteers working to get SB cycling
> > > in style.
> > >
> > > A more detailed invite to be sent out this week.
> > >
> > >  <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/xrudolfx/2285845544/'
> > >  title='Bicicentroopening by xRUDOLFx, on Flickr'><img
> > >  src='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2366/2285845544_744700953e_b.jpg'
> > >  width='1024' height='775' alt='Bicicentroopening' /></a>
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Thethinktank mailing list
> > > Thethinktank@bikecollectives.org
> > >
> http://lists.bikecollectives.org/listinfo.cgi/thethinktank-bikecollectives.org
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Thethinktank@bikecollectives.org
> >
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> >
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