Marketing question - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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I'm doing some market research for a service I am getting into. If you could get anything you wanted "chromed", or gold/silver plated, for a fraction of what big chrome outfits charge, would you get something on your bike, any kind, chromed? This could be done by mail order, and of course, in person at my shop. Whadaya think? jimsjinx

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 07:40 PM
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From what I have heard the EPA is stepping on the chrome shops . We had one here in town closed down last yr .

Ifr you can clear them there is a market for quality work . Advertise at bike nights and car cruise nights .

Best of luck with this venture .

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 07:42 PM
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I would have y rims done in chrome if it was afforddable and decent quality.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 07:59 PM
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I have seen a few of the spray on chrome jobs and they look really good but will they hold up? they claim it will but havent heard from any one that has had it done and has aged it for a while for dueability.

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 08:45 PM
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yeah i know chroming is becoming harder and more expensive to do now that the epa has stepped up drastically ive seen custom cars they say just to chrome a bumper was in the past maybe a couple hundred bucks now its almost tripled in price someone posted a thread on a spray on chrome with jayleno as the spokeperson now that would be cheap affordable and good

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 08:58 PM
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Like OneWing said, the EPA has gotten pretty tough over the past decade or so. Back in Ohio you pretty much couldn't get a permit to either open or expand a chrome/plating/anodizing shop - regardless of the money, the company, or the pull. I was working in the Honda supply chain at the time and they (Honda) had (for a time) to have everything plated out of state and then shipped back to Ohio. The company I worked for had one heck of a time getting our paint line expanded...and were pretty much told our existing chroming operations would be grandfathered, but there was no way we would be able to get a variance to expand further.

Similar stories really, really careful with them - you don't want to mess around with the regulators as the environmental impact issues can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars...if not more.

On an operational side it can be pretty difficult (and expensive) to operate...temperature, concentration, and time are very, very important to get a good product. Keeping the tanks clean is a major issue, particularly the first dip tank which removes grease and other contaminants before the part(s) enter the subsequent steps. It gets pretty expensive to dump and replace the cleaner solution - one of the main reasons the chrome places are expensive. Some shops try to save money by turning the thermostats down "overnight" but then it takes a long time to get the bath back to operating temperature...but they run product early in the day (before the bath reaches full temp throughout) and the product doesn't come out properly...

A good shop is worth a great deal, marketing wise. Trust me, word will spread through the small shops, garages, etc. - for good or bad, depending on the product you turn out. A good shop that turns out good product CONSISTENTLY is worth their weight in gold...because there are so many that aren't, and little competition because few (or no) new players can get into the market because of the EPA. Best thing to do is make samples and then make the rounds to your local machine shops, auto/motorcycle shops, accessory stores, etc. Word will spread and if you can do it right, consistently, you'll have little problem attracting business.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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I am inthe process of getting started in that spray chrome technology, stolen from the mirror industry. The results are unbelievable, and way more durable than the best powdercoating. The reflective film is real metal,not paint.(Gold/silver/copper/brass). I'm waiting to see if my small shop qualifies for the equipment loans from our fearless leader in Washington! This has NO hexavalent chromium, or acid. The actual chrome can be tinted with a colored clearcoat for "Candy" effects. Hope it goes, I think this may be a good direction for me. Wish me luck! The difference in costs is a dream come true for us wingers! jimsjinx[/b]

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 10:23 PM
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If it was affordable...I'd prolly be yer top customer!

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-13-2010, 10:31 PM
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Go for it Jim !! I think this is the way of the future!! I hope you get rich!!
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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How does 3-4 dollars a square foot sound? Now , that's my material cost, not retail! But still, after the initial investment, that low overhead would make it easy to offer a great product at a great price, without poisoning the planet. I know if I get into this, I will cater to folks like us bike people. Imagine any thing that can be painted, can be done in chrome! I saw the destructive testing in Florida, and, although not as durable as real triple plate chrome, it is phenominally tough. A sideline of the buisness is plating of small emblems and stuff in REAL silver and gold!! That end of it is still using the electroplating technology, but in a super safe and PORTABLE system. Think of all the golddwing emblems we could resurect!!! I am SOO fired up on this new technology, but alas, it all hinges on getting a small buisness loan from somewhere. I trust all you guys here, so that's why I came asking opinions, thoughts. One example: a chromed bumber for a 55 Chevy = around $1,400.00 for an "average" rechrome. If there is a lot of rust maybe over $2,000.000! A job in my shop would be around $650.00!!!! AND I would be making a killer profit! Materials would be around $100.00!!!!!! I could then afford to offer lower deals for my wing family! The catch, is simple. You HAVE to do FLAWLESS prep of the items being "chromed". Anyway, please ask around and get me some feedback. Heck, with the profit margin being so low, I could probly even offer free shipping!!!!! jimsjinx

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