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Old May 12, 2013, 02:11 PM
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United States, CA, Signal Hill
Joined Aug 2009
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i want to start a helicopter repair business

it like some suggestions on what i should charge .

currently i've been charging 50 to do complete rtf on 450 size heli program setup and test fly

the hobby shops i hear charge any where from 40 to 80 bucks per hr

i was charged 100 bucks to repair a head unit from xheli
but anyway im kind of lost and could use some advice on what i should charge

some setups take me 3hrs to do.
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Old May 12, 2013, 07:46 PM
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pitchp's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Melbourne
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Sounds good! You gotta start somewhere. that's very cheap for a 450 build! Do you show the customers the test fly. Or do you just tell them I test flown it??
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Old May 12, 2013, 07:50 PM
Clyde Crashcopter
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United States, IN, Muncie
Joined Mar 2013
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wc_wickedclown, I think 50 is a good price for a setup, but what I do for repairs in my electronics shop is offer a free diagnostic exam. Then I give my customers the options on repairs.

Certain things are a flat rate bench fee plus parts and restocking fees, typically reserved for small, easy fixes. The bench fees change as the complexity raises.

For example: You take a look at the bird for a customer, and realize it needs the main rotor dynamically balanced, you then let them know how much it costs according to the hourly rate.

Normally, if a repair takes less than 2 hours to do, I charge a flat rate. Two hours or more, and I charge the hourly rate for each hour over the 2 hour mark.

What you charge is totally dependent on your target customer base.

Another idea is start offering customizations to stock helis. Things like paint jobs, custom length wiring and sleeving services, etc.

I usually advertise the easier stuff to do more than I do the harder stuff. I still advertise that I do larger jobs, but if I can save a little time, and do 5 small flat rate jobs in a day, and one large job, I make out very well.

One sure fire way is to offer up repairs and upgrades on CLONES. Lots of new blood buying clones. Heck, you could buy up crashed, or used clones from people that decide the hobby isn't for them,rebuild and upgrade them, then turn a profit on a custom built heli.

I do that with video game consoles all the time.
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Old May 12, 2013, 08:41 PM
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United States, CA, Signal Hill
Joined Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by pitchp View Post
Sounds good! You gotta start somewhere. that's very cheap for a 450 build! Do you show the customers the test fly. Or do you just tell them I test flown it??
well they come over and i teach them how i repair buy repairing theirs i sit them on the sim go to the park with them and coach them if needed

if i set it up for them if they have the time i show them how its done then i test fly it then i give them a try.

but i've been told i should not give away the trade secrets i should just teach them
how to fly.

but i enjoy putting seeds out there and watching them repair and build there own
those guys never forget me.

but then there are the guys i think have no money and i repair there choppers for as low as 5 bucks then they pop up with new 60 dollar servos lol

but some learn fast and thats when i lose the money and gain a good friend
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Old May 12, 2013, 08:54 PM
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United States, CA, Signal Hill
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Originally Posted by Powerdyne View Post
wc_wickedclown, I think 50 is a good price for a setup, but what I do for repairs in my electronics shop is offer a free diagnostic exam. Then I give my customers the options on repairs.

Certain things are a flat rate bench fee plus parts and restocking fees, typically reserved for small, easy fixes. The bench fees change as the complexity raises.

For example: You take a look at the bird for a customer, and realize it needs the main rotor dynamically balanced, you then let them know how much it costs according to the hourly rate.

Normally, if a repair takes less than 2 hours to do, I charge a flat rate. Two hours or more, and I charge the hourly rate for each hour over the 2 hour mark.

What you charge is totally dependent on your target customer base.

Another idea is start offering customizations to stock helis. Things like paint jobs, custom length wiring and sleeving services, etc.

I usually advertise the easier stuff to do more than I do the harder stuff. I still advertise that I do larger jobs, but if I can save a little time, and do 5 small flat rate jobs in a day, and one large job, I make out very well.

One sure fire way is to offer up repairs and upgrades on CLONES. Lots of new blood buying clones. Heck, you could buy up crashed, or used clones from people that decide the hobby isn't for them,rebuild and upgrade them, then turn a profit on a custom built heli.

I do that with video game consoles all the time.
if i give a free diagnostic exam most would go home and try and fix it there self

so i charge for diagnostic exam and if i get to do the repair what i charge to look at it turns into repair fee if i get the job.

and thanks for your advice and excellent recommendations.

i'm trying to set a kind of flat rate like from 5 min up to 2 hrs $50
and from 3 hrs up to 5hrs $100 bucks .

jobs are hard to come by these days i'm trying to make my own

i've been buying servos and main blades but the dozens so my folks don't have to wait 30 days for parts i buy in bulk i get parts very cheap i bought 20 929mg servos for 80 bucks and 6 pair of cf main blades for 23 bucks gotta buy 6 more pair
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Old May 12, 2013, 09:05 PM
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Australia, VIC, Melbourne
Joined Aug 2010
6,627 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by wc_wickedclown View Post
well they come over and i teach them how i repair buy repairing theirs i sit them on the sim go to the park with them and coach them if needed

if i set it up for them if they have the time i show them how its done then i test fly it then i give them a try.

but i've been told i should not give away the trade secrets i should just teach them
how to fly.

but i enjoy putting seeds out there and watching them repair and build there own
those guys never forget me.

but then there are the guys i think have no money and i repair there choppers for as low as 5 bucks then they pop up with new 60 dollar servos lol

but some learn fast and thats when i lose the money and gain a good friend
WC if I lived close by to you I'd definately get my helis built or fixed by you. I'm like those other pilots now days, that's just getting too lazy to repair stuff. I go to my LHS he fixes Align/Outrage helis and RC Trucks. He told me he doesn't deal with clones, but I get my rc truck fixed by him. He charges me $20 an hour, because he says I'm one of his best customers. Meaning that I'm not demanding when it will be finished. I just wait for his call when it's fixed and I pick it up. I've seen this one young fellow with his very expensive truck all smashed up, the guy approached the technician and says can you fix this? The tech says "yep but it would cost you a lot of money, and we are really busy today, I don't think I could fit you in" Then the guy takes out a wad of money out of his pocket and waves it around the technician's face and says "I don't care how much it is going to cost, I want it fixed today!" So I thought I'd tell you that may be once your business picks up, you might start getting those kinda customers. Good Luck on your business WC, I wish you well.


P.S my rc truck is just a cheapie compared to the other people that has $8000 rc trucks. Also the funny part about my lhs owner is he says " i dont like helis, cars or trucks. My hobby is rc boats" lol but he fixes them lol
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:15 PM
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United States, IL, Carol Stream
Joined Nov 2009
620 Posts
Hey can you pm me your number I got some work for you!
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Old May 12, 2013, 11:10 PM
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United States, CA, Signal Hill
Joined Aug 2009
865 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitchp View Post
WC if I lived close by to you I'd definately get my helis built or fixed by you. I'm like those other pilots now days, that's just getting too lazy to repair stuff. I go to my LHS he fixes Align/Outrage helis and RC Trucks. He told me he doesn't deal with clones, but I get my rc truck fixed by him. He charges me $20 an hour, because he says I'm one of his best customers. Meaning that I'm not demanding when it will be finished. I just wait for his call when it's fixed and I pick it up. I've seen this one young fellow with his very expensive truck all smashed up, the guy approached the technician and says can you fix this? The tech says "yep but it would cost you a lot of money, and we are really busy today, I don't think I could fit you in" Then the guy takes out a wad of money out of his pocket and waves it around the technician's face and says "I don't care how much it is going to cost, I want it fixed today!" So I thought I'd tell you that may be once your business picks up, you might start getting those kinda customers. Good Luck on your business WC, I wish you well.


P.S my rc truck is just a cheapie compared to the other people that has $8000 rc trucks. Also the funny part about my lhs owner is he says " i dont like helis, cars or trucks. My hobby is rc boats" lol but he fixes them lol
thanks brother
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:01 PM
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United States, CA, Fullerton
Joined Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wc_wickedclown View Post
it like some suggestions on what i should charge .

currently i've been charging 50 to do complete rtf on 450 size heli program setup and test fly

the hobby shops i hear charge any where from 40 to 80 bucks per hr

i was charged 100 bucks to repair a head unit from xheli
but anyway im kind of lost and could use some advice on what i should charge

some setups take me 3hrs to do.
Hi Wicked, that's awsome! I've often dreamed of starting my own heli business too. I have been thinking more along the lines of customizations and improvements. But my day job seems to always slow me down.
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Old May 13, 2013, 05:07 PM
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United States, CA, Signal Hill
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Hi Wicked, that's awsome! I've often dreamed of starting my own heli business too. I have been thinking more along the lines of customizations and improvements. But my day job seems to always slow me down.
if i had a day job id invest in good china parts

3 servos 30 bucks plus installation easy 80 bucks


i've found some pretty good deals on servos and blades from china

and thank you for your input nav.

catch a customer on the weekend to make some nice pocket change

i run an ad people come to my home from miles away in california there is not to many affordable helicopter repair shops.

i've seen ads for repair in cali for heli repair and upgrades $200.00 ebay
met a actor who played in the movie avatar from craigslist
new pilot james actor in the movie avatar hausler 450 (1 min 18 sec)

and a Kuwait Boeing pilot he flew pres bush came to cali to visit his son and me met him on youtube
Kuwait Boeing pilot Husam Alshamlan the pilot the friend shares his piloting history. (2 min 26 sec)

a acupuncture doctor and 2 weeks ago a millionaire
so i meet some really good professional people .
so running a ad is the way to go.
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Old May 13, 2013, 05:29 PM
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United States, CA, Fullerton
Joined Jul 2011
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Well, it sounds like you're creating your own, new day job--very nice! I imagine that once you get over the difficult beginning phase, and things really start to take off, you will be very happy to have your helicopter business. I applaud you.
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Old May 13, 2013, 07:38 PM
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United States, IL, Carol Stream
Joined Nov 2009
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Hey tom do you have any pictures of work.you have done? Wiring lay outs?
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