Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Math + small business idea = reality check

Last night The Magician and I priced rain barrel fixings at two hardware stores.  (The class included a handy list with photos, which was a huge help, as was Marthy at Menards.)

Here is the scoop.
The barrel itself, from Jones Barrel Company in Omaha, NE = $19
Note: We don’t live in Omaha.
Costs per barrel (the fixings for the intake grate, overflow, and spigot) = $35.33
One-time costs (mosquito screen, caulk, zip ties, and two bits for an electric drill) = $29.34
1st barrel = $64.67
2nd barrel = $50.00
3rd barrel = $45.11
4th barrel = $42.67
5th barrel = $41.20
6th barrel = $40.22

(This doesn’t include one can of spray-paint-for-plastic = $5-7 and one may not be enough.)

Cost for the class, with supplies included = $49
Remaining barrels needed = 2 at this point.

--> Going rate on Craig’s list for a 55 gallon rain barrel = $50. <--

Ah, there’s the rub.  If we could get $75 for them, we probably would go into production.  And if they were painted prettily (or per the customer’s request), we might be able to get enough to make it worth our while.  But I’m going to see how much of a pain it is to paint them first before heading down that road!

Right now, the bottom line is: If you want to pay me $65 and are willing to come get the barrel, I’ll take the class for you and sell you the barrel.  (I doubt that the Watershed Management folks would mind this arrangement, as they are trying to promote the use of rain barrels.)  If you can get the barrels for free, which is a possibility depending on where you live, or if you don’t have access to a class that includes supplies, making one yourself is a deal.

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