Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

Looking For Opinions And Feedback


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#16 superaben OFFLINE  

superaben
  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 11204
  • 7,664 Thanks
  • 5,677 posts
  • Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA

Posted July 11, 2013 - 05:49 PM

Troy, I don't want to discourage anyone trying to get into that kind of business.  Or any business on their own.  You have the knowledge to do it, and you have the experience to do it.  That goes for a lot.  I know you would do well.

 

Restoration work is hard business.  You tie a lot of money into a project, and even with a check up front you still will end up dropping a couple hundred into a tractor, with a month of your time, and no money 'til she's done. 

 

What's more, I've tried it.  That boat doesn't float well as a full time business ONLY offering restoration work. 

 

What does work is old machinery repair.  Advertise that you can make a condenser+points engine run.  Advertise that you can rebuild a carburetor without replacing the whole assembly.  I did that, and then I began messing with parts, and that's what's made my business work.  The notice will be there that you can do a restoration, but don't expect to make a bank or a business that way.

 

I think you should try it for yourself, repair or restoration.  Don't invest a whole bunch.  Work at it a little bit and see what kind of response you get. 

 

Good luck however you go!

 

Ben W.


  • johndeereelfman and jdelfjunior have said thanks

#17 js5020 OFFLINE  

js5020

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 7086
  • 541 Thanks
  • 677 posts
  • Location: PA

Posted July 11, 2013 - 07:08 PM

As an alternative, I see folks doing well manufacturing replacement parts for all of us who, as you say, want to do it ourselves.

Examples are the guys who make decals, replacement parts such as the M-F grille, the rear mount for the Wheel Horse, etc. The list is just endless. A survey of the members will quickly tell you what we can't find anymore.

 

How about a kit to make tricycle Wheel Horses!

Now this might have promise, no clue about the legalities or liabilities of such but there are so many NLA items from various manufacturers there must be a market?


  • johndeereelfman and jdelfjunior have said thanks

#18 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

johndeereelfman

    Elfin Majic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3761
  • 5,479 Thanks
  • 2,535 posts
  • Location: Lititz, PA

Posted July 11, 2013 - 07:22 PM

Thanks Guys. I knew you wouldn't steer me in the wrong direction. I guess you all are right. Making this idea a full time business just wouldn't work out, as the demand might not be there. I'm reconsidering my idea, but not giving up on my dream. Some day it will happen, but for now, I'll just put it on the back burner and let it simmer some more.

 

As for the question of me ever doing restorations before for people, yes, I have. To date, I've done a total of nine for other people, and on each one, I was able to either break even or walk away with a little commission. Granted it wasn't a lot of commission, at least not enough to get rich on, but at least some kind of profit. 

 

I know I didn't go into a whole lot of detail about my dream earlier, but my dream wouldn't be just restoring garden tractors. I'd like to have a store front shop in a little town, say here in Lititz, and make it up inside and out like an old time country store or small dealership. Hang the old John Deere sign out above the entrance door, place two or three restored garden tractors in the display windows, and decorate the inside with my old John Deere advertisement, oil cans, pedal tractors, farm toys, accessory displays, etc. Have various round fender John Deere's and attachments sitting around the showroom, and a big wooden parts counter at the back of the showroom where I'd carry hard to find miscellaneous parts, reproduction parts, decal kits, batteries and tires. Try and find one of those old brass cash registers, hang the cow bell above the entrance door so that I know when someone walks in, old wooden plank flooring, and a shelf going around the room at ceiling height, lined with all of the 1950's through 1970's John Deere farm toys. Make it just like an old Mom and Pop repair and retail store. That's my dream!  

 

I would want to make sure I hook up with other people as far as suppliers, such as Hapco, Joe's Outdoor Power, and others, as I would like to carry some of the new reproduction stuff, along with the hard to find stuff, to keep on supply the parts that I would need to finish a restoration, but to also help out others if they are needing parts. I'd try and hook up with say Miller Tire, so that I could keep an inventory of tires on hand, maybe work out a deal with the local speed shop to help me with building motors if need be, and have an account at the local John Deere dealership to keep me supplied with parts that are readily available. I'm already an ebay member, so looking for good parts tractors wouldn't be an issue there, as that is what I do now. I know I couldn't or wouldn't want to do this alone without having some people or help in my back pocket, but it is something that I have planned out, for a very long time.

 

You all gave me great advice, and a lot to chew on and think about. I guess I'll just take your advice, and finish with my working years, and look forward to making this dream come true after I retire. After all, I only have twenty more years to wait until that day comes! I've waited this long, so I guess I can wait a little more.

 

Thanks again guys. I appreciate all of you! :thumbs:


  • Bolens 1000, MH81, OldBuzzard and 7 others have said thanks

#19 MH81 ONLINE  

MH81

    Proud to be Deplorable

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 802
  • 27,250 Thanks
  • 28,599 posts
  • Location: N. W. PA

Posted July 11, 2013 - 07:51 PM

That's a darned pretty picture you painted Troy. Heck I don't even Want a JD an I would come to browse. :poke:
  • johndeereelfman, jdelfjunior and twostep have said thanks

#20 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

IamSherwood

    Elf guardian

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2066
  • 8,379 Thanks
  • 7,696 posts
  • Location: Northern Ontario

Posted July 11, 2013 - 07:52 PM

I just read through this whole thread, and am in agreement with the consensus. Tough to

make a go of it.

 

Then I got to your last post here Troy.

Your dream, sounds like a place you could charge admission to.

 

So, when you feel the time is right, let me know please. I've got a feeling

you'll do a spectacular job with your shop, and I would love to see it.

 

And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd be willing to pay admission

to see green tractors. :smilewink:


Edited by IamSherwood, July 11, 2013 - 07:53 PM.

  • hamman, johndeereelfman, jdelfjunior and 1 other said thanks

#21 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

johndeereelfman

    Elfin Majic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3761
  • 5,479 Thanks
  • 2,535 posts
  • Location: Lititz, PA

Posted July 11, 2013 - 08:18 PM

Your dream, sounds like a place you could charge admission.

 

And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd be willing to pay admission

to see green tractors. :smilewink:

 

Gee. In that case Will, maybe I should reconsider my options. :D Notice how Alan didn't say that he would be willing to pay admission? :poke:


  • MH81, hamman, IamSherwood and 1 other said thanks

#22 Gtractor ONLINE  

Gtractor

    The Tractor Hoarder

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 782
  • 6,589 Thanks
  • 3,904 posts
  • Location: Chillicothe, MO

Posted July 11, 2013 - 08:20 PM

It would be a tough go to get it up and running but your plan seems most excellent to me.  If you could start part time and see how it goes that would give you the clues as to the business working or not.  With some diversification to allow more potential business I believe you could make it work.  If your area doesn't have a custom sandblaster that could be a very big part in helping you get up and running.  I do all my own restorations except I never did like blasting so I hire it out.  We have a guy in town that does blasting and rust preventative coatings and its his full time job. 

I hate to see you "putting it off for another five years" because 5 becomes 10 and 10 becomes 20.

Since you already have done the work for others you know what to expect.  That should remove some of the fear and insecurities. 

Since this is a dream of yours, and has been for quite some time, I say go for it!!!!  Start slow and feel out the market - some things will work and some won't. 
Best of luck with whatever you decide. 


  • johndeereelfman and jdelfjunior have said thanks

#23 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

johndeereelfman

    Elfin Majic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3761
  • 5,479 Thanks
  • 2,535 posts
  • Location: Lititz, PA

Posted July 11, 2013 - 09:02 PM

Ah, come on Kris! A few minutes ago, I thought I had my mind made up, now you got me thinking again, and eager to give it a try. I'm so confused. :wallbanging:

 

My wife doesn't think it will work, no, let me rephrase that, she doesn't think it will keep food on the table. One of her concerns is, someone will stiff me after working so hard on a tractor, and because I'm big hearted, I won't try to regain my money, or be willing to stand up for myself to make the deal a deal. She knows fulfilling this dream will make me happy and says she will support me as much as it takes, as she knows just how important this is to me. It's not a question of "will it work", because she knows that once I set out to accomplish something, I will do whatever it takes to follow it through. She also knows that I'm not happy with my current job, and that there is no room for advancement there. She is a great wife, and even though she would still Love me if I failed, I just can't bring myself to take the risk of possibly putting her and the kids on the street.  


  • jdelfjunior and backwoods have said thanks

#24 LilysDad ONLINE  

LilysDad

    Cat Lover

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 10443
  • 9,599 Thanks
  • 7,655 posts
  • Location: N. Illinois, DeKalb County

Posted July 11, 2013 - 09:15 PM

 

 

 

. I'd like to have a store front shop in a little town, say here in Lititz, and make it up inside and out like an old time country store or small dealership. Hang the old John Deere sign out above the entrance door, place two or three restored garden tractors in the display windows, and decorate the inside with my old John Deere advertisement, oil cans, pedal tractors, farm toys, accessory displays, etc. Have various round fender John Deere's and attachments sitting around the showroom, and a big wooden parts counter at the back of the showroom where I'd carry hard to find miscellaneous parts, reproduction parts, decal kits, batteries and tires.

This sounds a lot like a Crackerbarrel Restaurant. Are you going to serve ham and eggs???


  • johndeereelfman, jdelfjunior and twostep have said thanks

#25 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

johndeereelfman

    Elfin Majic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3761
  • 5,479 Thanks
  • 2,535 posts
  • Location: Lititz, PA

Posted July 11, 2013 - 09:28 PM

This sounds a lot like a Crackerbarrel Restaurant. Are you going to serve ham and eggs???

 

If that is what it takes to get you in the door and to shop around, then so be it! Sunny side up or scrambled?


  • hamman and jdelfjunior have said thanks

#26 glgrumpy ONLINE  

glgrumpy

    Getting Out!

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Member No: 8360
  • 6,647 Thanks
  • 6,460 posts
  • Location: Huntington, IN 46750 North East in State

Posted July 12, 2013 - 01:02 AM

Lily's Dad: there is someone making tricycle fronts for Horses. He is next to us each year at Portland. I have even bought a tractor from them one time. They live North of FT. Wayne, IN. Can't recall names but might be able to find out, think my freind has their name and number. The work with the early little Horses, but think the set-up goes way up in model years fits.  Not cheap, but neat. If you want me to find them, send me an email or PM and I'll try.

 

ON the subject here, I believe the Tearing down and selling of parts is the best money maker and quicker. Just look at Joe's Outdoor Power as example. Sometimes shame he parts some pretty nice looking rigs that you can't buy whole from him, but I have gotten many parts from him on epay.  Runs a sharp business, answers all the questions and inquires quickly and ships fast. He's so big now, he has many working for him and a great system to keep parts in stock and aware of what he has. BUT, with that, you must have big land to have stuff on and big work shop or two to handle everything, plus a "secretary" wife to help out with calls and shipping.


  • johndeereelfman, jdelfjunior and LilysDad have said thanks

#27 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

Lauber1

    DB restorer

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 4926
  • 3,440 Thanks
  • 2,796 posts
  • Location: S.E.IOWA

Posted July 12, 2013 - 01:53 AM

A wise man told me once...never make a job out of your hobby, it takes all the fun out of it.  That being said there's no reason you couldn't have a little mini museum thing going, and sell a few parts and pieces on the side. You could still have a full or part time job. do this in the evenings and weekends. Just remember if you open something up, you have to be there or people will get pissy and not come back, so it going to take all your free time away.


  • johndeereelfman and jdelfjunior have said thanks

#28 Canawler OFFLINE  

Canawler

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1273
  • 1,893 Thanks
  • 1,750 posts
  • Location: York, PA

Posted July 12, 2013 - 08:36 AM

This sounds a lot like a Crackerbarrel Restaurant. Are you going to serve ham and eggs???

 

Now you're on to something.  Themed restaurants can make money.  Obviously a garden tractor themed place wouldn't be a draw for too many people other than us but if you expanded the idea a bit to include other bits of Americana and you have the right location....  hmmm.

 

Better yet, since Cracker Barrel is already close to this idea, they could really benefit from having a GT or two by the entrance to the store.  Just think, be the personal tractor restorer/supplier to the Cracker Barrel chain.  Now that could make you some money,

Troy, get to work selling that concept to a local CB. :thumbs: (Just don't forget my cut)


Edited by Canawler, July 12, 2013 - 08:37 AM.

  • johndeereelfman and jdelfjunior have said thanks

#29 twostep ONLINE  

twostep

    Rockstar

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 10198
  • 1,850 Thanks
  • 2,476 posts
  • Location: Berea, KY

Posted July 12, 2013 - 10:20 AM

Yup, sounds like a nice place to visit... pretty picture.

 

Reminds me of a motorcycle shop/museum out in the middle of Nowhere TN called Cyclmos Motorcycle Museum. They have a store front that sells memoriabilia, gift shop type stuff. And they also have some really neat/rare/classic bikes on display. Back when I visited we were even allowed to walk through the shop and see the work that was going on. The museum is only open Thur-Sat or by appointment the rest of the week.

 

http://www.cyclemos..../the-collection

 

I wouldn't rely on it to feed my family but if you don't mind being tied to it every night and every weekend then it would be a lot of fun.


  • johndeereelfman and jdelfjunior have said thanks

#30 olcowhand ONLINE  

olcowhand

    Red Tractor Nut & Diesel Addict

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Sponsor
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 20
  • 35,588 Thanks
  • 29,831 posts
  • Location: South Central Kentucky

Posted July 12, 2013 - 03:23 PM

If that is what it takes to get you in the door and to shop around, then so be it! Sunny side up or scrambled?

 

 

Scrambled, with sugar cured ham please!


  • johndeereelfman and jdelfjunior have said thanks




Top