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How do you succeed in building...

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How do you succeed in building...

Old 04-05-16, 11:52 PM
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How do you succeed in building...

1. Has anybody had success buying and selling used bicycles on the individual markets: gumtree, ebay, pinkbike, facebook groups etc. My understanding is listed below, but for short - my idea is to customised quality bicycles and sell them back for a small profit.

2. Has anybody had success with a mobile bicycle shop in a medium to large city where cycling is fairly popular?

I can imagine that nobody has been able to make a living with these ideas (am I wrong with this one?), and I realise the money won't be great (can anyone overturn this idea?), however I'm still interested.

I'm interested because I want to make my experience work for me. I was lead bike tech for 4 years at one of America's best bike shops - awarded by National Bicycle Dealers Association.

How these ideas will work for me deals with my schedule. This authum I start a full time MSc programme at one of UK's top universities and won't have time to work a full time job, nor do I want to work night hours. I want to put these skills to use around my school schedule to allow me the time I need to study, allowing a little more flexibility than working in a bike shop.

Any insight would be appreciated!
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Old 04-06-16, 12:23 AM
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The most profitable way to turn a bike around is usually to part it out. If you get good parts and put them on a $200 bike, it's still a $200 bike.

Flipping complete bikes is nice in that it's a hobby that can more or less pay for itself. If you're looking for an alternative to a normal job that can provide pay on a similar order, it's going to be a challenge. A lot of flippers consider a project a success if, completely ignoring labor, it sold for more than its pieces cost.

Last edited by HTupolev; 04-06-16 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 04-06-16, 12:25 AM
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Selling used bikes on Ebay is a hit or miss and the fees eat away at your profit. A bike can stay on Ebay for months at a time and relisting fees are costly. Most of the bikes you see are not selling for a huge profit unless the owners were able to buy them at pennies on the dollar.

I knew one man who was able to get a supply of cheap used bikes (70's and 80's) from local bike stores at practically nothing. He would then fix them up using parts from one bike to construct another for sale on Ebay. Therefore, a bike would sell for slightly more than $110.00 dollars but would cost about $30.00 - $70.00 dollars in parts.
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Old 04-06-16, 06:34 AM
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If you live somewhere where cycling is pretty popular, Craigslist can be a better bet than ebay.
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Old 04-06-16, 06:12 PM
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Why not advertise your impressive mechanic background at the university and Craigslist. I'm sure you could get some business that way
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Old 04-06-16, 06:59 PM
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Unless you have some really unique circumstances I would say making any money (essentially) flipping bikes is really tough. For every bike you manage to turn a small profit on, you'll have 5 that you cant move, or end up losing money or breaking even on. That would be on Craigslist.
eBay is worse, because then you have to deal with fees up the wazoo and the hassles of shipping. I agree with the poster that said use your impressive mechanical backround to work somewhere, though i realize that's not the option you might want. Good luck though.
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