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  1. #251
    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

  2. #252
    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.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  3. #253
    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

  4. #254
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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

  5. #255
    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 03:35 PM.
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  6. #256
    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?
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Employer: Larry's Freewheeling, 301 W 110 St, New York, NY 10026
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  7. #257
    retro-rider/mech javaride's Avatar
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    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...

  8. #258
    spathfinder34089 spathfinder3408's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by javaride View Post
    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...
    Dittos on this issue. I have been fixing and flippin bikes for almost 4 years and do it because I like it. Most don't realize its a labor of love. Once in awhile I get a good deal on a bike and don't have to do much to resale it, but thats not the usual. Most bikes I rebuild everything, all bearings and make sure the tires are excellent or new. I always match and touch up scratches on frame and finish with a complete cleaning and wax job. I always take a test ride to make sure everything works right. And i would sell those bikes to my mother. Selling a bike to a person that gets a smile on their face when they take it for a ride and saying ,"I like it", makes it all worthwhile. Classic bike saved and passing on to a new owner is all worth it. I just make a little play money doing this, but self satisfaction in what I do is better then my regular day job. I am retiring soon and will take this hobby with me

  9. #259
    Junior Member renovater's Avatar
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    i have a 1930's-40's Sunshine Bicycle that could use a little tlc, it's complete--good flip for a colector

  10. #260
    Senior Member jjames1452's Avatar
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    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.

  11. #261
    retro-rider/mech javaride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjames1452 View Post
    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.
    In my Humble opinion, I think it's a great idea!! In fact I've done it a time or two . . . If you can make the dollars work why not?!?! Vintage parts are getting way high on the bay, and there tough to find anywhere else. I recently purchased a pair of vintage peugeots for exactly that purpose. I'll rebuild one, save any parts worth stashing, and re-sell the frame. If I only break even, I've at least been able to dable in my favorite hobby for free, (or close to it), and that, my cycling friend, is not a bad thing at all!!!

  12. #262
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    Expect there to be more wrong with a bike than meets the eye.

  13. #263
    retro-rider/mech javaride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tornado60 View Post
    Expect there to be more wrong with a bike than meets the eye.
    Well, yeah, if it's TOO cheap, it's a heap, or you just got lucky and the individual selling it didn't know what they had. I've never bought anything sight unseen just for that reason. Still, like I said, if you can make the dollars work . . . I just bought another bike yesterday, a Velosolex. Never heard of it, but it's French built, Simplex Premiere and Mafac Racer, etc. I paid $55 for it, a tad more then I really wanted to, but I already know I can part it out and double my money, or I can simply keep it for a donor bike and not have to pay the high price of vintage parts and I'm money ahead. It's not really that tough, you just have to know what your purpose in flipping is; strictly buisness-flipping for a profit, maybe just a hobby, maybe a way to support your habit, for me it's a little bit of all of them, but there's no satisfaction like saving a cool old piece, restoring it, and selling it to someone who will appreciate what you've done to/for it. I try to keep the whole process as simple as possible, don't think too much about it. I can pretty easily size up a ride as to whether its salvagable, or a parts bike, whether I can use it or not, and can I buy it cheap enough or not, that's it. It's like anything, you do it long enough, you're gonna get burnt, but if there IS more wrong than meets the eye and you can still part out of it, you still win!!Velosolex LaParisienne 001.jpg

  14. #264
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjames1452 View Post
    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.
    In general, touring bikes enjoy a nice premium. So rather than part it out, if you can find one at an attractive price, I would fix it up, resell it, and use the proceeds for your next project. Rarely do touring bikes have super high end, super valuable components. But as a complete bike, they can bring a nice return. Myself, any touring bike frameset I find gets built up and resold (or kept)...

    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.

  15. #265
    Senior Member kc0yef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post
    ^ yeah i don't mess with cottered crank bikes
    Unless you have the tool for removal ... My lbs will remove it for $10

  16. #266
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    Are there any flipper's from Boston , Plymouth or Cape Cod on here ?

  17. #267
    Senior Member oldroads's Avatar
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    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

  18. #268
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    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.

  19. #269
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    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #270
    Senior Member kingfish254's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    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.
    I like your taste in bikes. You should check out the Schwinns and more at www.ratrodbikes.com. I think you would enjoy it.
    May the Fold be with you

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    - plus various bikes to flip

  21. #271
    Senior Member ahandley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    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.
    Very nice collection. I really like when I can buy a junk bike for $10 and use parts to fix and sell 2 or 3 others for more $$$.

    I see you use Kingsford.... Another positive!

  22. #272
    Senior Member conradpdx's Avatar
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    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.

  23. #273
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
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    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.

  24. #274
    Senior Member conradpdx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
    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.
    Though I only worked at one, I can't imagine that it isn't standard practice at all of the thrift stores.

    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.

  25. #275
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    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.

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