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Improvements to me?

 
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Improvements to me?

Post by jskinner97 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:41 pm

This is an odd question, but I'm wanting to get much better at repairing and restoring radios and TVs.

As you know I started a few years ago, and I feel I know some of the ropes but not all and I think part of it is through fear of injuring myself or making something worse so I tend not to attempt something out of my comfort zone.
What doesn't help is there are few people in my area who can mentor me and who I can learn from it's all well and good posting problems on here but it doesn't help me learn as much as face to face would lol

The reason I ask, is of course I want to get much better and more professional I also feel I'd love to open an antique shop specialising in vintage radios and TVs. I have been speaking to a local antique dealer and he has said that many of the other dealers around here overinflate prices of radios etc but also that customers would be much more willing to buy sets if they knew they could be serviced or repaired. I feel that that's a bit of a niche In the market and something I could possibly do - open a shop selling and restoring and also repairing. Building a customer base. Undercutting some local shops, meaning they may either learn their lesson or even use me to restore sets for them?

It's all in the early stages and probably just a pipe dream, but there is funding out there... Maybe I could start small and start on Facebook get myself out there and build up better skills then move onto a shop?

 
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Re: Improvements to me?

Post by niall » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:50 am

The problem with your business model is one which has been discussed if not on this forum then on UKVRR. There are huge liability problems trading in electrical items which do not and can not meet current safety standards.
An even worse minefield arises if you modify them from the original design, even if the intent is to improve safety.

 
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Re: Improvements to me?

Post by Duke Nukem » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:14 am

Hate to be negative, but I find it difficult to think that a full time business could be made out of what is quite a niche area. Antique shop prices for vintage radio's is high - but then they may have stock on their shelves for a long time, have the overheads of paying for a shop premisis, and so forth.

If a dealer rekons that more peope would buy this stuff if there was a way it could get it restored/serviced then perhaps a better way is to provide that service via such dealer(s), avoiding a lot of the overhead costs.

There would still be legal issues I suspect, such as liability and having to meet modern safety regs.

TTFN,
Jon

 
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Re: Improvements to me?

Post by crustytv » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:52 am

Have a chat with Rob ( Vintage Rob) he's been making a living out of pretty much doing what you seek to do and in addition film company prop hire. He must have come up against all the legality and safety issues so might be able to help steer you through it. He's in Norfolk too so you could be considered in direct competition but maybe there's enough to go around in that neck of the woods.

http://vintagetvandwireless.com/

Might also be worth talking to Richard at pasttimesradio he's being making a living at if for the past 16 years. Then there's Golden Age Television, they are pretty well known too. They all might have some tips to help steer through the inevitable minefield.

As for the legal side I used to offer a service via the main web site. Not me repairing but a directory service of engineers around the UK who could offer such services to the public, with me acting as a conduit. The implications of even being involved at that minimal level was just not worth the risk it even exposed me too. This in no small part due to modern world of litigation and no win no fee madness. No wonder I have to even be careful what is said on this forum and any advice that might endanger the ill informed should they try anything described.

One crazy world we inhabit now!

 
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Re: Improvements to me?

Post by sideband » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:22 am

It's always the old 'safety' issue that comes up. No vintage radio or TV can possibly comply with modern safety regs. The law states that old electronic equipment must comply with whatever regulations were around at the time. Whatever you do, don't try to modify anything to do with safety. As soon as you do, it changes the original design which means that the original safety regs become null and void and it must then comply with modern regs which it will never do.

 
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Re: Improvements to me?

Post by niall » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:29 pm

Your plans involve direct customer interaction. Be very sure you know exactly what this means. Read the "trade tales" on this website, in old TV mags and elsewhere. They are not exaggerated and you will get Customers From Hell. The worst of them appear to be nice as ninepence until they form the view (however unjustified) that you have wronged them, when they will pursue you to the ends of the earth through courts etc. until they consider they have been adequately revenged.

Then there's that significant minority of the population who simply operate a policy of never paying bills, and are happy to spend time on bogus apologies, false promises etc. etc. The real experts in this game will ultimately pay something approximating your actual out of pocket expenses knowing that this makes it much less likely to be worth pursuing.

 
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Re: Improvements to me?

Post by jskinner97 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:08 pm

Thanks everyone, I will take advice from those you mention Chris (completly forgot about Rob in Norwich!) and go from there, I intend to take some kind of course such as a C&G In Appliance repair (yes they still do them, just in Kent!) to cover my own back, and also get public liability. I'm popping tover to Norwich to see Rob and hopefully get some pointers. By no means do I intend to tread on his toes, and in any case I think he can do much more than I can.

It's not my aim to make it a full time affair, but I think there is money to be had...


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