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Bike Flipping 101

Old 02-22-21, 11:41 AM
  #601  
guy1138
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Originally Posted by kross57 View Post
As far as photographing bikes for sale, what are the rules you folks use?
I always include a pic of the rear derailleur and gear cluster so they can see the drivetrain is clean and ready to ride.
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Old 02-22-21, 12:31 PM
  #602  
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Originally Posted by kross57 View Post
I don't know what your opinion is, but I have a feeling the coronavirus is going to have a dramatic negative impact on bike flipping sales.
Well, that didn't age well....

Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Many others apparently feel this way too as the price of vintage MTBs is very depressed.
Here rigid 90s mountain bikes are in big demand as so many people get back into cycling. They make perfect all-rounder bikes and they're simple. If it's got a cool 90s paint job like a fade or splatter paint, they go for even more. Easily $350 for a nice example.
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Old 02-22-21, 02:05 PM
  #603  
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Originally Posted by guy1138 View Post
Well, that didn't age well.....
Ha! Yup, see my post on 04/30. In my area prices went up 50-100%.
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Old 03-27-21, 09:58 AM
  #604  
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Tires, tires, tires, replacing tires and tubes costs money. Take time to inspect the bike for damage and replaced parts. Do your research, particularly the model, most bike makers made a wide range of quality. Look at group set/components and tubing over brand often find better deals that way. Be patient and wait for the deals, if you can. Be ready to buy when you find something and don't wait, the good deals go fast.
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Old 03-29-21, 12:14 PM
  #605  
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Originally Posted by kross57 View Post
Ha! Yup, see my post on 04/30. In my area prices went up 50-100%.
The Covid price bump is real in SoCal prices are regularly twice what is listed on bicycle bluebook
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Old 04-07-21, 01:37 PM
  #606  
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Originally Posted by 23skidoo View Post
I think a sticky thread on flipping is a great idea for a place where flippers and wannabe flippers can share tips on what they do and how they do it. As for flipping as a way to a self-supporting bike habit I don't see that as a realistic goal. I flipped around 25 bikes in the last year and each and every one of them was considerably improved and immaculately cleaned. You can buy cheap, be careful about what you buy, know your target market--I live in a city with a large university so a good share of my flippers went to students--stockpile parts, buy cheap but decent parts when you need to but in the end any hope of really making a profit goes directly to the term 'opportunity cost' from Econ 101, i.e. could the time you spend on your flippers have been invested more profitably elsewhere. For me its a hobby and an avocation but my wife, who is a wonderful person but far too mercenary in this respect constantly harps about me not recovering the cost for my labor, Pedro's bike wash, chain lube, Phil Wood waterproof grease, the rags I wash in our washer and dry in our dryer, the solvent I use to clean up dead and damaged parts so the recycling dude will pick them up at our curbside dropoff, and generally ignores me when I say 'but honey it's a hobby fer chrissakes, would you rather have me collecting Corvettes and chasing hookers?'
gotta be careful on the wife front
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Old 04-14-21, 12:03 PM
  #607  
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Originally Posted by oldroads View Post
- When buying, look for original and complete bikes.
- Avoid housepaint.
- Avoid bikes missing parts; sometimes they are missing the most expensive or hardest-to-find parts.
- Don't overpay. Wait for a good deal.
- When you find a good deal, be sure to have the cash and the storage space
- Collectibles are down, riders are up

Thanks so much for the advice!
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Old 05-08-21, 05:37 PM
  #608  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Bikes are in high demand in the city. The subway has a high risk of infection, making more people willing to cycle. I made a long term loan to a nurse who came to the city to help with the pandemic. I don't even know the person so I look at it as a charitable act. I hope to get the bike back but I also know that I took a risk and may not see it again.
That is very nice of you and I thank you for helping out a front line worker during the pandemic. I also hope you get your bike back.
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Old 05-09-21, 11:10 AM
  #609  
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Originally Posted by ellei.oh View Post
That is very nice of you and I thank you for helping out a front line worker during the pandemic. I also hope you get your bike back.
I did get it back and in fine condition. It is a fixed gear bike. I didn't have time to make it easier for the uninitiated, and the person had never ridden a fixed gear. Luckily they were the type of person who adapts easily to riding fixed. I got no trouble reports.
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Old 05-09-21, 03:34 PM
  #610  
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Originally Posted by oldroads View Post
Some people make a living doing this... Ummmm.
And I Like it.
Where was this priceless information when I was 12??? No worries I think I have enough time left to create/rebuild/restore at least a couple bikes!
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Old 05-09-21, 03:46 PM
  #611  
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Originally Posted by 23skidoo View Post
I think a sticky thread on flipping is a great idea for a place where flippers and wannabe flippers can share tips on what they do and how they do it. As for flipping as a way to a self-supporting bike habit I don't see that as a realistic goal. I flipped around 25 bikes in the last year and each and every one of them was considerably improved and immaculately cleaned. You can buy cheap, be careful about what you buy, know your target market--I live in a city with a large university so a good share of my flippers went to students--stockpile parts, buy cheap but decent parts when you need to but in the end any hope of really making a profit goes directly to the term 'opportunity cost' from Econ 101, i.e. could the time you spend on your flippers have been invested more profitably elsewhere. For me its a hobby and an avocation but my wife, who is a wonderful person but far too mercenary in this respect constantly harps about me not recovering the cost for my labor, Pedro's bike wash, chain lube, Phil Wood waterproof grease, the rags I wash in our washer and dry in our dryer, the solvent I use to clean up dead and damaged parts so the recycling dude will pick them up at our curbside dropoff, and generally ignores me when I say 'but honey it's a hobby fer chrissakes, would you rather have me collecting Corvettes and chasing hookers?'
Or maybe reply to her “Honey you are right!!! I can definitely improve on that. Thanks for the heads up! There are two things that make me the happiest. You are numero uno and in a distant 2nd place are the bikes that I breathe life back into for others to enjoy again.Thank you for being the love of my life and letting me help others.”
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Old 05-12-21, 10:19 AM
  #612  
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Still love his thread!
I am selling around 10-15 bikes a year here in the Toronto area, just as a hobby, and have never seen a hotter market than the one we are in currently...Good advice above, but one thing I have noticed is that buyers are paying attention to ratings on Kijiji. I use Kijiji as my primary buy & sell site (Facebook Marketplace a close second, for buying), and my last couple of sales have been, in part, due to having a dozen 5 star ratings on Kijiji, according to the buyers. If you are selling bikes at a higher level, or at good (but not gouging!) price, these ratings are a definite factor.
I guess the moral is; always respond promptly and politely, even with the trolls and silly low--ball offers. Treat your buyers well, be patient, honest, and be clear in your advertising. Also, offer some back-up, like a phone number for any questions after they take the bike. Not everyone will want to do this, but I have offered a no-questions asked 3 day return and refund to the buyers of the last 60 or so bikes I have sold. I tell them if they have `buyers remorse` they can bring the bike back in the same condition and I`ll give them a refund. This really reassures the buyer and leaves them feeling good. Guess how many people have brought a bike back to me.....not a single one
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Old 05-16-21, 08:43 AM
  #613  
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Originally Posted by Franken Stone View Post
Where was this priceless information when I was 12??? No worries I think I have enough time left to create/rebuild/restore at least a couple bikes!
Always happy to help!
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Old 07-31-21, 04:03 PM
  #614  
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Is it just me or has it become harder to sell vintage bikes to normal people? People seem to be unwilling to pay anything for a steel bike these days, especially now when you can pick up an aluminum bike with sti levers for 250$.
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Old 07-31-21, 07:40 PM
  #615  
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I was at a swap recently and watched while a tall teen test rode a Juvela. He hopped off and said the gears were hard to get used to and the brakes were weak. Going to be harder selling to an indexed, disc brake crowd.
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Old 10-06-21, 06:09 PM
  #616  
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how goes it?

Just wondering what people are seeing out there right now.

I'm not a big time flipper but I have sold a few bikes here and there. I do it more as a hobby, giving myself something to do when it's raining or during the dark and cold winter months, and I enjoy keeping a bicycle on the road. I try to "make" a certain amount on a bike - but I tell people if I actually paid myself for labor I'd lose money on every bike I sell.

I have had a couple of bikes for sale recently and not only have they not sold but there has been near zero interest - something that wouldn't have happened even a couple of months ago. I guess this was to be expected because a) shops and stores in my area have been getting bikes in again, b) the general riding season is almost over (in the NE) and c) maybe the Covid bike boom is coming to an end (?)
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Old 10-06-21, 06:31 PM
  #617  
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Pretty much crickets. I've bought and repaired a few for friends. A lot of people downsizing and dumping some pretty good bargains.
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Old 10-07-21, 05:09 PM
  #618  
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This is always a slow time.
The student needs have been filled and the weather is getting cooler.
Sit tight.
Don't drop your prices trying to unload one, things will start moving again in a few weeks.
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Old 11-04-21, 08:42 PM
  #619  
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It's all about location. If you live in a strong market, great. In soft markets, not so hot.

Meanwhile, vintage parts are doing as well or better than ever. Sadly, some of the nicer stuff, a part out can yield 2X, 3X or even more than selling the bike complete. It's a shame. I have sold several bikes complete recently, at a discount. And I have parted out several as well. Part outs where the bike is incomplete, or has serious damage, are easier decisions.

And some of the 1980s MTB parts cross into the vintage BMX market that is still hot. Some road stuff also crosses into BMX. I had a 600 arabesque double crankset recently. As a road double, it was worth X. With just a single ring with single ring bolts, it was worth 2X. So I went the 2X route.


You do risk discounting a complete bike, only to have the buyer turn around and part it out.
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Old 11-18-21, 11:33 PM
  #620  
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Originally Posted by HMJ View Post
Just wondering what people are seeing out there right now.

I'm not a big time flipper but I have sold a few bikes here and there. I do it more as a hobby, giving myself something to do when it's raining or during the dark and cold winter months, and I enjoy keeping a bicycle on the road. I try to "make" a certain amount on a bike - but I tell people if I actually paid myself for labor I'd lose money on every bike I sell.

I have had a couple of bikes for sale recently and not only have they not sold but there has been near zero interest - something that wouldn't have happened even a couple of months ago. I guess this was to be expected because a) shops and stores in my area have been getting bikes in again, b) the general riding season is almost over (in the NE) and c) maybe the Covid bike boom is coming to an end (?)
Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
Pretty much crickets. I've bought and repaired a few for friends. A lot of people downsizing and dumping some pretty good bargains.
Same for me in southwest Florida.
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Old 01-19-22, 08:14 AM
  #621  
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Originally Posted by oldroads View Post
This is always a slow time.
The student needs have been filled and the weather is getting cooler.
Sit tight.
Don't drop your prices trying to unload one, things will start moving again in a few weeks.
Yep, winter is "buying and wrenching" season for me. I'm going back through my "saved" ads on FB & CL to see which bikes are still around and if the owners want to drop prices.
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Old 01-20-22, 04:19 PM
  #622  
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Originally Posted by guy1138 View Post
Yep, winter is "buying and wrenching" season for me. I'm going back through my "saved" ads on FB & CL to see which bikes are still around and if the owners want to drop prices.
Great idea.
I'm out of the buying and selling business but I did make some of my best purchases in the winter.
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Old 03-04-22, 08:37 AM
  #623  
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Remember from last year in the spring a lot of people were cleaning out their garages since they couldn't go anywhere. Hope to see some old bikes posted this spring.
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Old 04-01-22, 09:52 AM
  #624  
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Thanks, this reply was especially helpful.
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Old 05-20-22, 05:26 PM
  #625  
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Ah, yes… good’ol fashion free market capitalism. 👍🏼
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