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.
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.
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
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 03:35 PM.
1987 Centurion Le Mans RS
1989 Centurion Ironman Expert
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?
Theres absolutely nothing wrong with making a profit!!! It's what our entire economy is built on, ney, it's what EVERY economy is built on. The question comes as to whether or not you are doing it in an honest fashion with a quality final product. I'm sure I'm not you're average flipper, I've only done eight this year, but all of them I would've felt comfortable selling to my mother! I've paid as much as $50 for some, as little as $6.00 for others. I spend countless hours meticulously cleaning, polishing, rebuilding and adjusting. When I'm done,it's like new, other than whatever scratches I couldn't remove from the frame. If I can get $350 out of a $75 investment, (total, parts and all), why should I feel the least bit guilty. If you just hose one off, make a couple minor adjustments, and prop it up on cl or where ever, yeah, shame on you. I work full time, so it's hard for me to snag those "good deal" bikes too, just remember, "the early bird gets the worm" is not just a saying. I won't look at ebay cause they just cost too much with shipping, and you never really know what you've bought till it gets to you, but I check cl every morning before I go to work, scratch down a phone number if need be, and call'em during the day. It's really just a hobby for me, a labor of love. saving an old Schwinn, or whatever from the dump gives me a certain gratification, your reasons may be different, but out of what I've read on here, and what I've experienced, it really seems pretty simple, full-time flipper, or hobby/stress relief, whatever your motivation, be mindful of what you buy, (you know what's a decent bike and what isn't or you wouldn't even be flipping, come on...), and do a good, thorough job of re-conditioning that ride, and don't be afraid to ask a fair price for your investment, time included. Always remember, if that ride is worth it to the buyer to pay a price you have agreed upon, obviously it's worth it to them, and no one else matters...
i have a 1930's-40's Sunshine Bicycle that could use a little tlc, it's complete--good flip for a colector
What do you think of buying a vintage touring bike for the parts and flipping the frame. I have a couple of cool frames to build. I believe I can look for bargains. Use the components. Sell the frame. And about break even. CL for the bargain. Ebay to sell the frame.
Expect there to be more wrong with a bike than meets the eye.
As far as donor bikes, I would look to a road/racing bike instead, one with lousy paint, or other damage, that really holds the price down. I bought one yesterday for $7. As a complete bike, it will not be rideable and fixing it up would exceed the value of the finished product. But the saddle, pedals, shifters and derailleurs are all decent and will go into the parts bin.
Out of hundreds of bikes, I have had a total of ONE touring bike donor. In that case, the frame was badly damaged. So the parts went onto another touring frameset I had.
Last edited by wrk101; 12-19-11 at 08:56 AM.
Are there any flipper's from Boston , Plymouth or Cape Cod on here ?
I'm in Cambridge and I do it for a living.
Vinny - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles - OldRoads.com
BUY/SELL forum (no fees) - Price Guides - 19 years of archives
new member replying on an older thread--I work at a bike shop, and we get bikes donated thru the shop to me, where I rehab some into the homeless community, some to local schools and churches, and some are hi-graded and sold to finance the ongoing work. Some find there way to my permanent collection, like the Wastyn track bike I have that is awaiting restoration. I have been flipping bikes for 27 years, and have lost count long ago of the total number, sold, donated, or given away. I love seeing what is hiding under a protective coating of dirt, grease and cat hair.
All these bikes in the pics plus a few others not in the pics, I paid for by flipping.
Plus I made a few bucks and gave away about 50 bikes to people in need. I started flipping about 3 years ago.
I dont buy parts I buy bikes not worth restoring and take the parts that includes tires and almost eveything else cept cables.
www.ratrodbikes.com. I think you would enjoy it.
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
well, I don't have a lot of experience as a flipper (just a couple), but I can give one point of advice if you do it alot of it. Make a business card and get friendly with the head sorters at your local thrift stores. Years ago I had job at one of the Saint Vincent/DePaul thrift stores as a sorter. In the back they had a card file filled with business cards, sorted by what these people wanted. Jewelry, Instruments (by type), bikes etc... Most the good stuff that goes though the donation doors, never hits the sales floor. Half my job was learning how to value an item (is it valuable or not- basically is it name brand, torn/broken, damage acceptable for such item), the other half was learning the card file.
Prices for the items weren't marked up for these people. It was simply a move to keep the sales floor from getting too full. Many of the larger ones get enough donations in a week to fill a another store.
Needless to say those people who's cards were on file were also sorted by us sorters. It's amazing how much coffee and doughnuts could get a buyer bumped to the front of the card file list in each category. But remember it's about turn over, so to keep your name at the front of the file, you gotta be ready to get there when you get the call.
If you buy enough (some resale stores) did enough business with us that we sorted everything we thought they'd be interested into there own bin/section in the back and they'd come in weekly or bi weekly and usually buy most of it. But that was only for volume buyers.
You just can't be really too specific in your requests though, for example....saying your interested only in prewar bikes wouldn't work (unless your sorter is a bike person, but realize you're probably behind him/her on the buying list. The sorters are kinda more of "Jack of all trades master of non" types when it comes to valuing items unless the item was obviously highly valuable, valuations are often made in a matter of seconds. The sorting process is too fast to get too specific by all but the best of sorters, and some of us had specializations. For example, any undamaged musical or recording equipment got in a pile for a specific sorter to price, Another did jewelry, another did books.
Though honestly even if you didn't do it alot, I don't think we ever turned down anyone that asked to see if we had a "fill in the blank" in the back waiting for shelving/floor space. Again Thrift stores are all about volume selling, sure they've gotten better at valuing items over the years, but in the end it's still about selling as much as possible as fast as possible.
That seems a little unethical to me but I know it happens at many of the GoodWills and Sally Anns around here. I see a lot of ads on Craigslist that are people looking for bicycles, which is fine but the ones that bug me are "Looking for a bike for my son and I" or "Bikes needed for charity" and it turns out to be a local flipper, tugging at people's heartstrings.
And it's not like the sorters are doing this on their own, it's part of the job. The files are property of the store. That card file sold more on a weekly basis than the sales floor did.
And I don't see where it's unethical. The purpose of these stores is to make money, the best ones do it to support good works. The store I worked for was, if I remember right, was somewhere around 80% the funding of the rehab center they ran down the street.
But don't kid yourself, they're a businesses, and they operate as businesses. They'll take a sure thing (the card file) over putting something on the floor every time.
What is unethical is the amount of pure garbage that people donate. Dirty diapers, clearly broken and useless items, food wrappers, completely wore out clothes....you name it I probably saw it come through. Ours had a construction site sized dumpster emptied nearly every day. And ours was a smaller one.
Local flipper donates time at a couple of thrift stores to get the inside on bikes and antiques. You can sure tell when he's been pricing items for the floor.