We do free use of shop stands, tools, advice/help and basic parts. It
keeps it so simple, and people almost always throw something in the
People can also take a BikeWell class, volunteer 4 hours, and then build a
bike with our help, or pay $20 to skip the vol time. We then have a whole
other batch of bikes that takes more time or more money. We also have a
batch of bikes that are basically money only- we cannot exist on time nor
outside help alone (nor do we want to).
I realize this will not work for all shops, but we are able to raise good
money with events, small grants and so on, as people really like that we
exist and help people in the way described above.
We revisit this 'philosophy' at least twice a year, and have arrived on
this 'formula' after nearly 20 years of trying just about everything.
That said, we are always wondering about this topic and how it relates to
fairness, the current economic system and building bike culture.
Free Cycles Missoula
Shop: 732 S. 1st St. West, 541.7284
Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation
www.strans.org, email@example.com, 406-880-6834
Lauren Warbeck wrote:
> Here at Our Community Bikes in Vancouver, we're wanting to change our
pricing structure for use of our tools and space. I'm interested to
> what pricing systems other shops are stoked on and why. I know this has
been discussed many times before, but lets get real: I don't remember
> didn't save them. So here we are again!
> At present, we have a three-tiered system:
> $6 to use our tools with no help
> $12 to use our tools with help
> $18 you stand there looking on blankly while we do it for you.
> It's a flat hourly rate, all day every day. No caps.
> This system doesn't actually reflect how we charge. No one gets the $18
treatment, even if they ask for it. We don't have the staff to do it,
> its not really what we like to do anyway. More often that not, when a
service user comes up to pay after using our tools, we ask them
> approximately how much time they worked alone, and how much time they
> help, and agree on some combination of the $6 & $12 rate. Now, I love
qualitative analysis as much as the next community bike shop employee,
> even I can appreciate that this leaves big gaps in terms of assessing
appropriate payment, making the money that keeps us afloat, and makes
> payment system ultimately unclear to our service users.
> How does your shop charge for tools and space? How did you arrive at
> system? Does it present any barriers to meeting your service users'
> or reflecting your shop's values?