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  1. #226
    Senior Member kingfish254's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gyro_T View Post
    Flippers are no higher than the eBay parasites who don't actually need or want an item or component. They serve themselves and complicate those who are looking for a choice bike or component for their own use. I wish you guys would meet an an old drive-in theater and keep away from the stuff people need on an individual basis.
    Recently (in the past 15 years or so), some misguided people have started to view anyone that makes a profit on something as evil. I just don't get this attitude that everyone is entitled to have goods or services simply provided to them by others.
    May the Fold be with you

    48 Rudge Whitworth Sports - 59 Schwinn Panther II - 68 26" Columbia Roadster - 79 Schwinn Spitfire 5
    68 16" Graziella Tandem Folder - 73 Raleigh Twenty Folder - 89 16" Dahon Stainless Classic III Folder - 05 20" Dahon Jetstream P8 Full Suspension Folder - Dahon Mu XL Sport
    - plus various bikes to flip

  2. #227
    Senior Member w98seeng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gyro_T View Post
    Flippers are no higher than the eBay parasites who don't actually need or want an item or component. They serve themselves and complicate those who are looking for a choice bike or component for their own use. I wish you guys would meet an an old drive-in theater and keep away from the stuff people need on an individual basis.
    I'm the first one to say I am not a good capitalist. I see huge profits at the consumers expense to be disgusting. This is not one of them. Hey, there are a lot of people selling used bikes at ridiculously high prices, but they probably don't sell a lot. I posted two bikes on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago and sold both within 4 hours of posting, why, because they were being sold at reasonable prices. I made a good profit and they got good bikes, what's wrong with this?

    Ian

  3. #228
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Why do you say that? People who want a basic bike but for whatever reason want a ladies' style frame would like that style bike. The only thing they wouldn't like is the handlebars. They're not comfortable for most women, especially if they're going to ride slowly or short distances. If they're serious athletes, they'll want a diamond frame and drop bars. I don't think drop bars go well with a step through frame except in rare cases.
    Tom, here in Hooterville, a fully rehabbed step through bike, with a gas pipe frame, steel bars, steel seat post, steel rims, steel crank, claw derailleur hanger, etc. will bring about $50 at most. The market here has decided to put little/no value on vintage step through bikes. Those buyers tend to just go to Walmart, and get a generic XMart bike on sale. I just listen to the market, and act accordingly.

    Its not about convincing me, heck I love the old rigid frame MTBs, and many step through bikes are fine too (the one posted, not so much). But unfortunately, the market here just doesn't want them. Of course, this is a "Hooterville" type market. You enjoy a nice, higher value, urban market, where values are usually higher. But for every higher end market out there (San Fran, Portland, Boston, Seattle), there are 100 Hootervilles.

    I find that it takes just as much time, and just as much $$ in parts, to rehab a bike with minimal market interest as it does to rehab a bike with good market interest. I would encourage anyone to study their local market, find out what is selling, and target those bikes. Your market could have much different interests than mine.
    Last edited by wrk101; 07-13-11 at 09:34 AM.

  4. #229
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I bought a 1974 Suburban for $8 last week. But as a flip, it is a stupid buy. I will put a significant amount of time into it, add $30 in parts (tires, tubes, bearings, cables), and maybe get $75 to $85 for it, certainly no more than $100. I will probably make less than $2 per hour for the time I put into it. But I will just use it as a fill in. So I avoid that type of bike as a flipper, just not enough room for margin. A dumb buy as a flip.

    I was just looking for something a little different.
    Amazingly in my town... I do pretty well with old schwinns... I buy them for between $10 and $50 and usually get $100 to $165 out of them... I'm in a college town with a strong bike culture and people love schwinns... why I'm not sure. The really clean and pretty ones sell quick.
    I'm finding it hard to get any project bikes for less than $50 these days... so I do try and pick and choose my battles.

  5. #230
    Member soma2x's Avatar
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    oops
    Last edited by soma2x; 07-14-11 at 12:48 PM. Reason: forgot quote

  6. #231
    Member soma2x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gyro_T View Post
    Flippers are no higher than the eBay parasites who don't actually need or want an item or component. They serve themselves and complicate those who are looking for a choice bike or component for their own use. I wish you guys would meet an an old drive-in theater and keep away from the stuff people need on an individual basis.
    I understand how you feel. Used to be easy to find a good deal, but now so many flippers scoop bikes up, spray them with windex, put new bar tape on them and sell them for two bills. I don't know how they find them to begin with. I've tried finding good bikes (Miyata, Centurion, etc. with cro-mo frame) on the bay and/or craigslist for my wife and kids and it's really difficult to find one for sale by the original owner. It's very frustrating when all you want is a good quality bike to give your kid. I hate the fixie-kings even more. Let's take a really good quality 12 speed, chop off the handlebars, remove the brakes, derailleurs and chainrings, put on a cheap new saddle and call it a "fixie" for only $300. They totally destroy good bicycles and make them pretty much useless for anything other than looking cool outside of a coffee shop.

  7. #232
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by soma2x View Post
    It's very frustrating when all you want is a good quality bike to give your kid.
    there are plenty of good quality mountain bikes available at very low prices. put on slick tires and you've got a perfect city bike. You can get top of the line 80s mtbs with Tange Prestige tubing and Deore components for $200 or less which is a bargain compared to similarly spec'ed road bikes

    the vintage road bike market right now is very inflated and getting a road bike for a "good price" takes a lot of time and dedication. if you work a 9-5 job you will probably not be able to grab one before a flipper does

    if it's any consolation, the "fixie" conversion market is dying out due to brand new fixed gears bikes being sold for around $400 or less.. i think WalMart has one for $100 actually
    Last edited by frantik; 07-14-11 at 12:58 PM.
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
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  8. #233
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I really like this thread, even though I haven't experienced the things people here are complaining about. I pictured bike flipping being a small but significant part of my income, and it hasn't, and I've decided not to pin hope on it. Repairs for locals, though, does take a fair bit of my time. I've decided that the next time someone brings me a Huffy to tune up, I'll decline. I've been unable to put my foot down on this front, and now I finally have the privilege.

    I don't have a problem finding bikes worth fixing up. In fact, bikes land in my lap. People drop them off and ask me to find new homes for them. I have too many bikes, and I don't spend enough time getting them ready, and I really don't spend enough time listing them. I haven't put up an ad in a year or so. It's amazing I can sell as many as I do. Word of mouth gets around, and people come to buy bikes almost as quickly as they collect here. The trouble is, they're still coming in faster than I send them out, and I'm about to qualify as a subject of the Hoarders TV show.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  9. #234
    Essentials Bike Works DirtyHarry714's Avatar
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    Good **** right here +1

  10. #235
    Senior Member owenmyers's Avatar
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    One thing to know before you buy an old junker is to look out for cottered cranks, these can be very difficult to work with and repair due to my last experiences on an old peugeot from the mid 70's. If that thing is loose in the bb stay away IMHO, i got lucky because my dad is a machinist and that guy can make any part work. if it's legit then go for it! On top of that the previous owner did not know how to get the cotter pins out and practically destroyed them, The hardest part about that was actually finding the right size cotter to fit in my crank. The LBS only had some that were just barely to big so my dad had to grind them down to fit perfectly. Just keep this in mind next time you out picking.

  11. #236
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    ^ yeah i don't mess with cottered crank bikes
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
    1993 Trek 8300 Composite ~ 1993 Diamondback Axis Team Titanium ~ 1995 Diamondback Apex

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  12. #237
    Senior Member JayButros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soma2x View Post
    I understand how you feel. Used to be easy to find a good deal, but now so many flippers scoop bikes up, spray them with windex, put new bar tape on them and sell them for two bills. I don't know how they find them to begin with. I've tried finding good bikes (Miyata, Centurion, etc. with cro-mo frame) on the bay and/or craigslist for my wife and kids and it's really difficult to find one for sale by the original owner. It's very frustrating when all you want is a good quality bike to give your kid. I hate the fixie-kings even more. Let's take a really good quality 12 speed, chop off the handlebars, remove the brakes, derailleurs and chainrings, put on a cheap new saddle and call it a "fixie" for only $300. They totally destroy good bicycles and make them pretty much useless for anything other than looking cool outside of a coffee shop.
    Way OT...

    ...it reminds me of the kid that "took his ball and ran home" when we tackled him too hard.

    You're all ME ME ME GIMME GIMME GIMME, NOT FAIR....
    Last edited by JayButros; 07-20-11 at 12:36 PM. Reason: syntax

  13. #238
    Senior Member JayButros's Avatar
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    Here's a nice tip for you flippers that keep accurate financial records and itemize your tax returns.

    **THIS REQUIRES YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE**

    YMMV and so on...


    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p529/ar02.html

    (look half way down, hobbies are only a small part of this deduction)

    "You can deduct certain other expenses as miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-
    income limit. On Schedule A (Form 1040), line 23, or Schedule A (Form 1040NR), line 11, you can deduct expenses that you pay...

    ...Hobby expenses, but generally not more than hobby income
    ."


    I'm a practicing CPA and I use this every year.

  14. #239
    Junior Member Oneiron's Avatar
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    I know people making a decent living at this (1,000 bikes a year) raiding tag and estate sales, and knowing the true market values. Thanks to Craigslist, too. Nice hobby, tough business, though. Lots of scrap metal, though. Some cash there too.

  15. #240
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    I've spent the last several months cruising through ebay and CL looking to upgrade my Centurion Sport DLX without much luck. It's been time consuming and a bit frustrating when deals fall through at the last minute because the CL seller doesn't want to deal with shipping. So this is a note to you "flippers" out there. I'm looking for a Centurion Pro Tour 15 or Centurion Elite GT 15. If you have one you'd consider parting with, or come across a deal that you can pass on to me, and still make a profit for yourself for time and effort, please contact me.

  16. #241
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Bill, give your email address, because jeb914 can't send a PM yet.

    jeb814, if you have your heart set on one model, you're likely to be disappointed. Lots of bikes are likely to suit you.
    Last edited by noglider; 08-08-11 at 08:27 AM. Reason: added 2nd paragraph
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  17. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    FWIW: I currently have an Elite GT for sale on my nearby C/L. Use one of the C/L search engines,and you will find it. I don't post links to bikes I am selling on this forum.
    Thanks for the note Bill. I found your CL listing. The bike is a little too small for me or I'd be arranging payment instead of writing this note. I need a 58 - 62 cm frame.

  18. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeb814 View Post
    the CL seller doesn't want to deal with shipping
    This is because it is a very common scam to be asked to ship a bike and pay Western Union or Paypal. They offer more than you are asking to cover the difficulty. Its a scam 100% of the time involving wire fraud, stolen paypal accounts, etc.

  19. #244
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    About Centurion

    I've spent the last several months cruising through ebay and CL looking to upgrade my Centurion Sport DLX without much luck. It's been time consuming and a bit frustrating when deals fall through at the last minute because the CL seller doesn't want to deal with shipping. So this is a note to you "flippers" out there. I'm looking for a Centurion Pro Tour 15 or Centurion Elite GT 15. If you have one you'd consider parting with, or come across a deal that you can pass on to me, and still make a profit for yourself for time and effort, please contact me
    About the Centurion these where import bikes made in Japan for Western States Imports and had the same component groups as the Nishiki's, Fuji's and Unevega's from the same era. You may look into these bikes for parts as they may be easier and cheaper to find.

  20. #245
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    5 to 6 speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by vincavinz View Post
    I'm new to flipping, but was wondering whether any of you had any experience with increasing the amount of gears (ie:from 5 to 6 - to keep the same chain) Is it worthwhile? Is there naything else, aside from bar tape, tires, and tubes that you find help to increase the bikes' values?
    You can change 5 to 6 speeds fairly easy if you can find a vintage freewheel of the same make type. I know on most of the suntour stuff from the late 70's early 80's you only need to change the freewheel and maybe add a couple of washers/spacers. The thing is it usualy isn't worth it on a flipper because it doesn't do much to increase value or ridaiblity. It would realy only be worthwhile if you already have a nice 6 speed freewheel on hand

  21. #246
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I've converted several from 5 to 7 pretty easily. I don't know but it could help sale value. Not much though. I think used bike buyers don't care terribly about numbers of gears.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  22. #247
    spathfinder34089 spathfinder3408's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightShift View Post
    I don't think you understood what the purpose of the list I was suggesting would be.

    Many of us would accept a free bike, or purchase a very cheap bike, for parts, even if the bike itself had little or no resale value. We might build it up and give it away, trade it for other parts, or donate it to a bicycle co-op after talking the parts we were after. But there are some bikes that should not be ridden, bikes that pose an unacceptable risk to the rider. You don't donate cables that you know are likely to break, brakes that won't stop a bike, a stem that cracks under normal use, a frame where the drop-outs may pull out while you're riding, or anything else you have reason to believe is inherently unsafe.

    I count Next and Vertical as inherently unsafe. I've seen enough Huffy's that were just as bad that I will gladly avoid them, even if they're free.
    I don't consider Murray as bad, but that may just be because I don't have as much knowledge and experience with whatever issues they have.
    I know almost nothing about modern/semi-modern Columbias, but after Tom's post I will be extremely cautious about accepting one should I encounter one.

    I remember hearing about a brand of bike that had been a give away item with the purchase of stereo equipment, because the importer found out they didn't meet the safety standards to be sold in the USA, but it was still legal to give them away (if someone remembers the brand please post, I've forgotten).

    If you know a product that should be avoided, even if it's free, that's what I'm asking about.
    One way to find out what bikes are worth in resale is to study the bikes on craigslist. you could make a list of names of bikes that sell for more then $100 or $200. Now start looking for those bikes. Don't bother with the bikes that are worth $50 or less. The tires on a $50 bike will cost the same as a $200 bike so why waste money on something that won't pay you back. When I first started flipping I bought everything I could get my hands on and found i was spending a lot of my time on cheap bikes that didn't make much profit. After 4 years of flipping I now buy bikes that will be worth $200 or more when done. Some take an hour or two to ready for a sale and some take more. I enjoy working on a quality bike rather then cheap Wall Mart bike because they are made to last. I like the Japanese road bikes from the 70's and 80's they were made the best. Study the names of frames like Tange, Champion, Reynolds ect and get familier with high end frames vs low end and that tells you the values of bikes when you buy them. I was given a road bike custom build with a Reynolds frame that I sold for $400 because of the frame. So the brand of bike isn't the key, the frame is and good components help, but you can always upgrade those. Good luck with your research

  23. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    One of the most important things I consider is parting out value. If my 'flip' turns into a 'flop' can I part it out and recoup my money? Some bikes I buy with the sole intention of parting out.
    I've bought twenty or so bikes on eBay over the past 5 years and have parted every one. The only bike I didn't part was a barn-find Raleigh Pro, sourced off CL and sold complete on eBay.

    It's helped cushion the cost of my habit. I picked up one Colnago titanium bike for less than a grand and sold the rare carbon Colnago crankset for $500 alone.

    It really helps to know your market. I can eyeball a bike and figure what its worth parted out. However...prices for complete bikes and parts seem to be going higher. For instance, I picked up several sets of Campagnolo Euros wheels over the years for under $300 each, and I can't touch those wheels today for less than $400-$500.

    It also takes a lot of time to do it right -- cleaning and taking *good* pictures, writing extensive descriptions...and then there's the eBay and Paypal fees. I'm still in the game, but I haven't bought anything for resale in quite a while.

    Lee
    As I get older and slower, my bikes get lighter and faster...

    2007 Colnago C50, 2005 Colnago Dream Cyclocross, 2002 Colnago Dream, 1999 Colnago C40, 1998 Colnago Master Ti, 1998 Colnago Pista, 1998 Litespeed Blue Ridge, 1996 Colnago Steel Cyclocross, 1991 Merlin Ti MTB, 1989 Colnago Spiral Conic SLX, 1988 Wicked Fat Chance MTB, 198? Colnago Super 91, 1981 Condor Cycles custom road bike, 1980 Reynolds Team Pro 753 (SB 3711), 1984 Fat Chance Custom 24" wheels

  24. #249
    xn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post
    the vintage road bike market right now is very inflated and getting a road bike for a "good price" takes a lot of time and dedication. if you work a 9-5 job you will probably not be able to grab one before a flipper does
    yeah decent road bikes are very $$$ now, and on craigslist.. the majority of nice bikes are posted by flippers.. sometimes asking insane prices.

    but i do still see a few bikes listed at bargain prices around here, that i could easily purchase and make a profit on.. but to me, i don't know.. it just seems wrong. hopefully some of those bikes are finding good homes.. and not ending up in hands of the guys stockpiling bikes for profit.

    if enough flippers are in one area.. think about it, there will be nothing but expensive vintage bikes available on the market

    well maybe i have unpopular viewpoint considering the topic of this thread though
    Last edited by xn7; 11-10-11 at 04:35 PM.
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  25. #250
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I fail to see how this is a problem. It means when you finally get a bargain, you can sell at high prices.

    What are you after? A bike to ride for cheap, or profits on bikes?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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