Small Engine Repair

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Schmokel, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Lawn mowers. Chainsaws. Weed whackers. That sort of thing. There any market for them? Looking to perhaps pull in a little side money. Fix up a few things and sell them off. I'm not afraid to dub with a carb and love tinkering away at a work bench. I'm just thinking that most people would drive to the nearest box store for when their chainsaw stopped running instead of check out Marketplace or Craigslist first.

    Thoughts?
    #1
  2. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    If there's not a bunch of guys already doing that in your area, I think it's a fantastic idea. A guy I know is doing really well with it and moved to doing it full time. Does lawnmower work on site out of a box truck and picks up stuff along the way to do at home. He's expensive and covered up. Just swapping out a battery on a lawn tractor is $300 parts/labor. Customer just leaves it accessible for him to swing by.
    #2
  3. KustomizingKid

    KustomizingKid Been here awhile

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    If you are doing it out of your garage there is zero loss in giving it a go imo... try it out and see what happens.
    #3
  4. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    All about location! Some places you'll make it, others nearly everybody's doing it already. Throwaway culture works against you some.
    To be done properly you'll need some specialized tools.
    #4
  5. tntmo

    tntmo Oops, I did it again.

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    It's odd, in my area I don't think the market is very good for it. I am retired military, been just tinkering for a while until I decide what I want to do when I grow up. I have picked up 30-40 mowers, weed eaters, pressure washers, etc over the last few months and fixed all of them for either free or under $20......pressure washer was the only exception because the pump was bad. I have made about $100 total, most of them I have given away to people in the community. I advertised several of them on craigslist, offer up and Facebook marketplace but nobody purchased any of them. The few that I have sold have been to friends who knew they were getting a hell of a deal. Anyway, I'm just having fun and helping people but the money isn't in it here.
    #5
  6. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Kind of how I see this going. I don't really know where I could source non-running small engines as it is. ~$40 profit here and there would be nice. Not looking to cash in, but something to gas up the truck once a week or so. I'm thinking most people would just make a B line to Lowe's for a new [whatever].
    #6
  7. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Mustie1 on utube.
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  8. NJjeff

    NJjeff Long timer

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    Beat the scrap man to the backside of a power Equipment shop. Sad to say but with high labor rates it's cheaper to junk most equipment than fix.

    I'm just curious, how you will sell the items?
    Between ebay fees and high shipping rates I don't see that as an option.
    #8
  9. TripleTriples

    TripleTriples Been here awhile

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    I do a search in the spring for things like "ran when parked" and look for things to search up and fix and resell.

    90% of the time, it's a mower or snowblower that just needs carb work. I don't even rebuild them, most of the time you can get a brand new one for less than $20.
    #9
  10. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Not a bad idea. There are a bunch around town.

    As for selling, just Marketplace and CL. I've done alright selling stuff on there. Just trying to see perhaps if I could make some extra income.
    #10
  11. tntmo

    tntmo Oops, I did it again.

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    I have got all of mine for free. Just driving around, asking on social media, etc. I had one situation where a person gave me a mower, then told me of her friend who was cleaning out her father's estate.....I got five mowers from there. I have even learned how to repair electric weed eaters, most of them aren't really worth fixing because they are $40 new but a $1 thermal fuse has fixed several of them. I guess most of the stuff I have got is older and not as fancy, maybe that's why it isn't selling? And again, the location might decide the market.
    #11
  12. unfocused_adventure

    unfocused_adventure Not my circus, not my monkeys... Supporter

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    I'm a master certified small engine technician. If I wanted I could be covered up with side work. But I live in Florida and I have this passion for wind therapy...

    Fair warning... The EPA is a b!tch when it comes to the mixture screws on handhelds... NEVER leave off the limiter caps. Or just remember this one simple line - it was there when it left :-)
    #12
  13. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    The youtube I linked to earlier, Mustie1, up somewhere in NY state.
    He visits jumbles, yard sales and cruises around looking through the "free" piles.
    Snow blowers in spring, lawn mowers in autumn. Give you time to prioritise.
    One thing he often mentions is to be aware of the value when finished. Spending $40 on a push mower you will never get more than $50 for is dumb. He even rations the gas he puts in the tank.

    Amazing the stuff he gets offered - now he is well known (as that loony mower guy) people turn up to "donate" stuff, which of course if you refuse once, they never think of you again.

    Lots of the stuff he gets, actually works. Out of gas, broken cut out, simple shit that the PO was too dumb to find and went on to fuck it up properly.

    He worked out of his garage for years, looked like a junk yard of course. Recently moved into a big warehouse/workshop.
    #13
  14. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Long timer

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    Where are you located? I have some weed whackers you can have for free...
    Was going to just sell them at a yard sale, but for an inmate starting a new business? You can have 'em. You gotta pick 'em up in NC tho.

    Charles.
    #14
  15. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Heh, appreciate the offer but I'm a bit north of you. White Mountains of NH. :D

    Iunno, I'm still open to doing something like this.Just the matter of finding the right items to pick up.
    #15
  16. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    I do a similar thing, except I mess with old Honda scooters and also some older motorcycles. There are some that will resell pretty fast and others that really take some time to sell. Around here old Honda motorcycles are considered cool in some circles, so they do move. The scooters are a slowly falling market because of the rent by phone stand-up scooter business, but I still do sell them. In the long term I guess I do make some profit, but not much, and certainly not pay for the hours I put in, but then I don't do it for the money. It is nice not to lose money, though.
    #16
  17. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    I've tried the motorcycle market. It was...ok at first. The last two bikes were just terrible. They took forever to sell. The market is so overloaded right now.
    #17
  18. Tall Man

    Tall Man Emotionally magnificent

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    Within a 20-ish mile radius of me, there's several guys that always seem to have a mower or 3 on the front lawn. The inventory is pretty static, despite the usually fair pricing (I've stopped to check). In that sense, the local market is saturated. No paydays here.

    OP: Do a temperature check for competition via reviewing ads on the List of Craig, as mentioned. Go from there. Personally, it seems that earning enough $$ to fill your truck's fuel tank may likely require a lopsided investment of your own time and resources in this endeavor.

    Do it for love and not for money, and you might enjoy the distraction.
    #18