The marketplace in the cycling industry is constantly changing, for better or for worse. We’ve come from dedicated shops to online retailers and most recently the mobile maintenance concept seems to be taking off. Now, Velotooler is utilizing the sharing economy idea to connect mechanics to riders needing a fix. It’s similar to ride share programs, but the kicker is the unique profile that tracks and stores maintenance and bike history that could increase resale value or theft protection.
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Similar to other sharing based companies, Velotooler is a middle man connecting consumers with others that are able to share their abilities, in their case it’s cyclists with mechanics. The website offers features that stretch beyond bringing two people together, it provides maintenance tracking and bike information for the owners. It also gives buyers peace of mind when purchasing a bike proving it isn’t stolen, and that the bike was well maintained.
For the consumer making an account includes entering a valid email and password followed by an e-mail verification. Next, simply enter your bike’s information including serial number, style, brand, model, color(s), size, etc., and you’ll have your ride’s info stored for future reference. Before requesting service, enter an address and a payment method. Finally when a service is requested, a mechanic has seven days to accept the job before the payment is returned (hopefully a rare occasion).
Mechanics have a few more hoops to jump through, but they’re all reasonable and quick…
For mechanics of all ability, creating an account includes a short aptitude quiz and experience questions. There’s also a checklist of tools you own and with an interview process that’s over a phone or Skype call. There’s not a comprehensive list of prices for specific services yet, but for mechanics you can expect to receive payment five days after a service. Customers are protected by a five-day refund policy if labor isn’t up to snuff and a cancellation period (fee may apply).
Velotooler does charge 10% to the consumer and 10% to the mechanic for providing the service. Being in the beta stage, performance of the website and attributes may change. Their mobile app is coming to the App store, and is in development for Google’s Play store. This will allow mechanics and consumers to create an account on their phone, and manage service requests and bike info on the go.