So, a year or so go went by and I am re-investing profits 100% back into the business. Luckily, for me, I had money saved from previous business ventures. I add more and more product lines and now I’m starting to purchase from other vendors and companies that make Honda Ruckus parts. I add their product line to my online catalog, and I start buying out some company’s inventory of custom parts for the ruckus. This goes great for a while. I purchase the company’s inventory and I hold it to sell. The company gets all their money at once and offers me a discount. Many of these companies are small and only make small runs. Some only make one or two parts.
My motto from the beginning was SELL ONLY what I have in stock. I have never taken “pre-orders” or believe in “drop shipping”. As time goes on, I order all of a certain part from a vendor and they tell me they have 25 of said part, 40 of this, and 30 of that. I place one order and spend thousands. I place another order on Wednesday, and I am told the product is in “stock and ready to ship” and that I would have it no later than Monday. Monday comes, and no parts; I wait till Wednesday nothing. I go on a local Facebook page while in the bathroom to kill time (back then Instagram was not big). What do I see? Comments from customers of that same company. “Thank you so much for the speedy shipment. They ordered parts on Friday got them on Monday.” Wait, what! I had ordered all the company’s inventory two days before.
So, they took my money and then sold it to customers and then make me wait. I say to myself, “This must be a mistake”. I call the company and I get told a lie, “Oh sorry my wife forgot to ship”. Okay, no problem I guess they made more parts over the weekend (giving them the benefit of the doubt). This starts to happen more and more. The same situation repeatedly, with more excuses every time I call. “Sorry bolts did not come back from zinc plating”, Wait! What? Who do these people think I am? The bolts come zinc plated from the manufacturer. This only happens from one vendor but I’m purchasing thousands of dollars from this company.
What do I do? So, time passes, and I met a local that has been working as a machinist for 40+ years. I ask him if he likes his job, and he says, “no he hates it and he has a Haas CNC machine at his house and says he does side work” as I responded with “great!” I tell him that I have lots of parts I want to be made and explain to him my issues. I tell him if he wants, he can quit and come work for me full time. He laughs and says “yeah right, making scooter parts?” So, I place another large order from the same company, and I think he forgot the lies he was telling everyone because he gave me the same excuse as before after waiting two weeks. Sorry man, bolts did not come back from zinc plating and my wife had parts under her seat. I said, my box would be 20x20x15 that’s one hell of a seating space under a minivan.
I had been seeing this company not only take my money but retail customers’ money as well and sell parts advertised as in stock but nothing was even being made. That was the last straw, I go to the machinist, and we start to design our own parts, make parts that are not produced, and fix design flaws from older parts or another vendor’s defective part. Word gets out I’m producing my own parts and I do not take money upfront. I only sell what I have in stock. Two months pass and remember that machinist that laughed at me..? He quits his job and is making parts for TRS full time in only two months. He tells me we need another machine and a real machine shop. He doesn’t have room for chips, and metal.
Thirty days later TRS purchases their first Haas CNC machine and leases 1200 sq foot as a dedicated off-site machine shop. I instantly doubled my machining capabilities, and I do not have enough time in the day to pack orders, answer the phone, and then assemble and pack newly machined parts to sell. I had to hire someone. I didn’t want someone who was a rider. I wanted someone that would just come and work and get paid. I asked around and my neighbor was looking for another job aside from waiting tables at night. I offered her good pay because I wanted to train her. Many of my older customer’s got to meet her. She was young and super-fast with getting the orders packed and shipped.
Assembling finished machine parts and stocking the shelve. This is how getting my first CNC machine and my first store employee happened. Next time we will talk about more vendors, adding another employee, and more CNC machines.