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-   -   Bike Flipping 101 (http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage-bicycles-what-s-worth-appraisals-inquiries/499513-bike-flipping-101-a.html)

daf1009 08-09-13 03:21 PM

OK, so one thing that I did not see on this thread. How about replacing chains? Is there a place to find good chains at a good price?

oddjob2 08-09-13 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daf1009 (Post 15944334)
OK, so one thing that I did not see on this thread. How about replacing chains? Is there a place to find good chains at a good price?

Niagaracycle.com, kmz chains.

Turbo231 08-28-13 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ricortes (Post 16001903)
That's zero income from flipping on that bike over a five month period, and if they did sell it as 'French', I suspect they might get a bit of grief when the new owner finds out. They just don't seem to have a long haul mentality.

Not sure what to say except buyer beware. As a seller the moral code is to sell what you have, but there are lots of iffy sellers, and lots of iffy buyers and they meet up all the time. I see crap fly everyday and just roll my eyes, not much you can or should do, you aren't the classified police.

I once had a bike for sale for over 6 months. It was less the fact that there were no buyers but more the fact that I was asking a premium, mostly because I was riding it and really didn't want to sell it. Someone eventually picked it up and got a nice bike, but by no means did I lose money holding onto it. A buyer will come, that's part of selling bikes.

I think part of being a flipper is a balance of loving bikes and selling crap. If you love bikes too much, you won't sell anything, or will restore them beyond financial gain...aka it is an expensive hobby. On the other hand you have people who don't care and don't know, just look at market prices and make sure it looks good and is a bit cheaper then everyone else. The key is to be in the middle, sell well repaired good looking bikes for a fair price and make cash on the side for whatever pleases you.

Turbo231 08-28-13 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ricortes (Post 16007347)
If I am a classified police, what does that make you? Forum cop?

No, because I don't care enough but this is a nice discussion on CL/Kijiji ads. Its just nice that you think the seller could give a crap. I mean, a good intentioned seller would correct the ad and that would be great and a good percentage of folks selling bikes are like that. But I'm sure there are quite a few DKO sellers that probably don't care and no matter how many emails you send them, will do what it takes to sell the bike. Yes, they know it's fraud, yes, you do too, but no number of emails in the world are going to change that.

Push comes to shove, they roll back to ignorance or throw it back at you as "who are you to question me?". That's my cop comment, as they are selling a bike, you are commenting on it, but you have no power to change anything, fraud or not.

So, I do understand your frustration but there is no real way to fix it. The seller may actually think they have an XYZ bike. You may have made them question and now they think they have a ZYX bike. Or they deleted your email, because if the person isn't interested in buying the bike, they don't waste their time. That's just my .02 cents having watched lots of stupid ads (mostly cars, not bikes) go by and there is not much you can do to educate the public besides educating yourself.

curbtender 08-28-13 03:34 PM

There was a time when "flagging" helped moderate CL and that's what CL is intended to be, a community ad service that regulates itself. Loop holes create a dysfunction and idgots get out of hand. Buyer beware, educate yourself before going on these sites.

zukahn1 08-29-13 12:15 AM

Hey cl gets pretty ugly mostly because its a free service with no real limits on what one can post. Where I'm at in Denver sketchy DKO guys and somewhat sleazy dealers make up 2/3 the posts or more.

WesternFlyer18 10-05-13 01:38 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hi all - I'm not a flipper, but I am semi-tired and CL is a fun way for me to pass time. It seems like the deals come and go in waves, sometimes I don't see anything good for weeks, then several juicy deals at the same time, but too far away to go to check out, so you have to make a decision.
Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think that a good flipper can be an asset to me. There are guys in my area who are flippers, and one is only a mile away, he gets pretty good stuff sometimes, and his prices are fair. I buy a fair amount of stuff from him, because let's face it, I don't want to spend hours and hours driving all over hell and dealing with flaky CL sellers.
My other golden rule of CL is: if I see something juicy, I'm gonna go NOW, not tomorrow, or in a few days. Someone above mentioned mixte's, I have a bunch, the most expensive cost me $125, a beautiful Austro-Daimler "Michelle" with all nice parts and a bag in the front, it even had a generic Brooks seat and perfect tires. I also have a Peugeot mixte for 75, a really sweet Univega mixte $75 frame only, but I bought that for my daughter, it is kind of a pink/red color, very girly.
Here is also a nice Campania frame I recently got for $25.

Don't give up, be ready to travel, and maybe find a good flipper in your area.http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=344330

WesternFlyer18 10-05-13 01:44 PM

Oh, sorry - I meant to add that when I get an old bike it has probably been sitting for years, so what I do is use a light oil and drip a little into the hubs, BB, steering, and all cables. If you hold the bike at various angles the oil will run into where you want it to go. Most cables, brake calipers, pedals will free up very well, and it costs you nothing, and sometimes using original stuff is preferred.
If you want to flip, the name of the game is to spend as little as possible, and as little effort as possible. This is not a long-term solution but very helpful to evaluate a possible gem as fast as possible, ride it around, see what you think BEFORE investing time and money. You will be surprised how many things will work great with a drop of oil in the right place.

oddjob2 10-05-13 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WesternFlyer18 (Post 16135292)
Oh, sorry - I meant to add that when I get an old bike it has probably been sitting for years, so what I do is use a light oil and drip a little into the hubs, BB, steering, and all cables. If you hold the bike at various angles the oil will run into where you want it to go. Most cables, brake calipers, pedals will free up very well, and it costs you nothing, and sometimes using original stuff is preferred.
If you want to flip, the name of the game is to spend as little as possible, and as little effort as possible. This is not a long-term solution but very helpful to evaluate a possible gem as fast as possible, ride it around, see what you think BEFORE investing time and money. You will be surprised how many things will work great with a drop of oil in the right place.

Different strokes for different folks, but the experience of the high volume restore/recondition artisans here is 99% of bikes built prior to 2000, require a complete bike disassembly, cleaning, polishing, and rebuild, with new consumables. This goes for bikes we keep and for resale bikes.

Turbo231 10-05-13 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oddjob2 (Post 16135360)
Different strokes for different folks, but the experience of the high volume restore/recondition artisans here is 99% of bikes built prior to 2000, require a complete bike disassembly, cleaning, polishing, and rebuild, with new consumables. This goes for bikes we keep and for resale bikes.

I'm not so picky. Very often I'll spin a wheel in my hands and listen and feel, very often the crap I'm working on it's not worth completely tearing down, but I will open the bearing and insert new grease, close it back up. Not going to sink too much time in a bike I'm getting $50 for and if it works, perfect, it doesn't need to live forever, but it will last several years. Anyone buying a bike from me who wants to keep it forever will do a complete tear down anyway. It's all about price point. Bikes I sell for a lot more, I do a lot more to. A $150 gets complete bearing cleaning and lube and ridden by me for several weeks. Now its a tested used bike I feel comfortable getting better money for.

oddjob2 10-05-13 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turbo231 (Post 16136248)
That's not me in post 364...

Sorry!

zukahn1 10-05-13 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turbo231 (Post 16136228)
I'm not so picky. Very often I'll spin a wheel in my hands and listen and feel, very often the crap I'm working on it's not worth completely tearing down, but I will open the bearing and insert new grease, close it back up. Not going to sink too much time in a bike I'm getting $50 for and if it works, perfect, it doesn't need to live forever, but it will last several years. Anyone buying a bike from me who wants to keep it forever will do a complete tear down anyway. It's all about price point. Bikes I sell for a lot more, I do a lot more to. A $150 gets complete bearing cleaning and lube and ridden by me for several weeks. Now its a tested used bike I feel comfortable getting better money for.

+1 This means the bikes need to be fairly highend for a low price. Or in my case since I ofthen go for bikes others see as dumpster level they need to be interesting with some realy nice core cosmetics. You can put hours of work into a bike and do a great job but at the end of the day if it's not high end it needs to have a tone of charachter, be ready to ride and look good if you want to sell it for a decent price.

DakotaInTheSky 11-05-13 11:40 PM

Great thread. My first post here. By the way, thank you all for the great information. While looking at a bike to buy on CL, the research has always led to this website.


Does anyone have any experience with repainting with a custom paint job and then flipping the bike?


I read an earlier post about making the bike more valuable. Here is my plan and I would like to hear your opinions.

Goals:
To not loose money for initial investment for bike and replacement parts. To make a little money to pay for my personal bikes
To learn more about working on bikes
To express my artistic side
To promote bicycles and their beauty
To learn about other brands I don't own (ride quality, etc)

Plan:
Buy late 70s to early 80s road bikes like Nishiki, SR, Centurion, etc in decent condition. Good deals come up every once in a while -$60 and lower.
Tear it down. Convert to single speed but keep all braze ons so the owner can convert back to multispeed
Sell or recycle derailuers +$5
Clean as many parts as possible
Replace tires and tubes if needed -$25
replace brake cables if needed -$15
single speed cog -$15
new chain -$15
Repaint with artistic custom and/or themed paint job -$50 paint (I usually have paint in stock)
-4 hours or more prep, -maybe 1 hour masking, -2 hours painting
Use builds to promote custom paint jobs (hopefully customer will want their bikes done)
Promote through stores (window prop), art oriented websites, etc
Marketing might be more toward women but still undecided
Cost so far for around $160
Time 7 hours body, 4 hours wrenching
Sale price $250 or more if possible

Advantages:
I have the patience to look for good deals.
I wouldn't need to sell a bike quickly
I'm creative (have an art and building background)
I sometimes get a company vehicle & gas and have permission to use it for personal errands
It will be FUN to find, paint, build, ride, and sell

Disadvantages:
Due to space, I can't do more than 2 or 3 flippers because of the storage my personal bikes
I can't predict if someone will like the paint scheme
I can't predict if someone who likes the paint can fit the bike
Might be a slow mover (okay if I will ride it, but only if it is my size)

Any thoughts? Thank you! - Rob

KonAaron Snake 11-06-13 07:53 AM

+1 to Bill...

I don't know his area, but you can't get $250 for the insta-single speed bikes here anymore since you can buy a new SS for the same price. I always see the home paint jobs sit for months.

likebike23 11-06-13 08:17 AM

@DakotaInTheSky: If you are going to want $250 for your conversions, there's going to be more involved. Some of the older bikes won't allow you to remove the large chainring (swaged cranks). Condition of the chainrings also might not be good, and that would mean you need to replace. Also, you should get singlespeed chainring bolts (BMX bolts). There is also the issue of redishing the rear wheel to get proper chainline. A lot of older bike's spoke nipples are frozen and will break the spokes if you try to adjust them. The biggest thing I also see is an outlay of 11 hours of your time for a potential profit of $90. That works out to ~$8/hr, which is not good. Maybe you can do as others suggested which is paint other people's bikes. You could customize a bike or 2 for your personal use and use the pictures to promote the business of creating one of a kind, custom single speeds for others.

phoebeisis 11-06-13 09:21 AM

I just don't see much profit in bike flipping now.
Lotta competition for every "cheaply priced" bike on CL-and there is always "something" that has to be fixed.
And there are very very few underpriced bikes on CL-at least that is the situation in NOLA
Besides even when there were more underpriced bikes- say 1/2 price-$300 bike for $150-after picking it up spiffing it up-$100 for a 20 mile car trip-several hours work

Turbo231 11-06-13 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoebeisis (Post 16223886)
I just don't see much profit in bike flipping now.
Lotta competition for every "cheaply priced" bike on CL-and there is always "something" that has to be fixed.
And there are very very few underpriced bikes on CL-at least that is the situation in NOLA
Besides even when there were more underpriced bikes- say 1/2 price-$300 bike for $150-after picking it up spiffing it up-$100 for a 20 mile car trip-several hours work

I don't think that part of the market has ever had margin. You have to go big...or go small. I pay $0 to $5 for bikes and sell them for $50 to $60. I don't travel for bikes unless they are in town, and I bring my bike and trailer as to not waste gas on them. A fleet of scrap/parts bikes provides parts, sometimes I'll drop $10 in cables on a bike, and an hour or so of labor, and done.

You will never make money paying low retail for bikes, buying new parts, making it like brand new, and then having to ask for used nice bike prices. Unless you get one hell of a deal on the original bike, it's not exactly a hobby/business model that works well unless you are a fanboy of working on bikes.

zukahn1 11-06-13 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake (Post 16223663)
+1 to Bill...

I don't know his area, but you can't get $250 for the insta-single speed bikes here anymore since you can buy a new SS for the same price. I always see the home paint jobs sit for months.

+1 the market for swagged SS is dead since one can buy a proper SS new for $250 or nice later model for $150 in most markets. The most an individual can get out of with original wheels and crank half assed is $125-150. Conversions that have swagged converted road wheelsets and cranks don't seem to sell at all in my local market.

phoebeisis 11-06-13 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turbo231 (Post 16223939)
I don't think that part of the market has ever had margin. You have to go big...or go small. I pay $0 to $5 for bikes and sell them for $50 to $60. I don't travel for bikes unless they are in town, and I bring my bike and trailer as to not waste gas on them. A fleet of scrap/parts bikes provides parts, sometimes I'll drop $10 in cables on a bike, and an hour or so of labor, and done.

You will never make money paying low retail for bikes, buying new parts, making it like brand new, and then having to ask for used nice bike prices. Unless you get one hell of a deal on the original bike, it's not exactly a hobby/business model that works well unless you are a fanboy of working on bikes.

Turbo-yes you are dead on- bikes I had to sell for $200-$300 (meaning they were what you would pay perhaps $600+ new) took FOREVER to sell(6 weeks or more).And yes I have piles of parts -cables- old derailleurs -shifters- handle bars -stems-bars- locks -pumps- cranksets- usual stuff.

Cheap bikes-ones I would sell for $50-$125 sell in hours to days once you hit $160 they sell much more slowly.
bikes considered walmart bikes-bought $20 sold $40- sell almost immediately if they are in good shape cosmetically-which they usually are since they aren't old and they work just fine most of the time-heavy USUALLY but they work OK.

I strictly do it for fun-which means I frequently buy bikes I kinda like-and would ride.
When I did it more-I would specialize in short adult bikes- bikes that would fit me-5'5"-
usually cromo steel- 26" rigid "MTBs" 13"-15"
then sell them to young women as "urban suburban potholed streets l light trail grass shells gravel do anything bikes with light but sturdy quality steel frame and humane see where you are going riding position and good brakes everything works needs nothing fixed"
Lotta college and post college women here in NOLA- some are short-and they want a decent steel frame-but don't want to pay $500 for a bike.
A trek 800 or hard rock whatever diamondback whatever from the mid late 90's fits the bill.
No one who actually rides on our crummy streets with dodgy drivers would chose a drop bar skinny 700 tired bike over an upright riding position 2" tires 26" bike
OK many many do but my ad suggests the "urban suburban do anything bikes"- the ones I sell -are better choices

Women are much easier to deal with as buyers-than guys. They make an offer-it is usually ballpark-and that is it.If they pay asking-I throw in a pump or a lock or something-so they don't get shorted-but they get a good deal in any case.

Strictly a hobby for me-allows me to try various bikes-then send them on their way.I like to tinker.
Of course-sometimes-I curse an evil bike-usually one I paid less than average for because of "problems"


the high end stuff-really isn't much of that around here-and it usually is correctly priced-meaning they ask a bit more than market.
I like to tinker.

turky lurkey 11-08-13 07:03 AM

For you folks using all resources, garage/estate sales, thrift stores, C.L, and in general driving far and wide, how do justify the expense of the search? How often do you go searching and return empty handed vs. the number of times you actually snag one of those $5-$20 deals? Do you include gas and vehicle use cost in your expense calculations? This issue is the main thing that is probably keeping me out of the bikes. I'm sure every week there are great deals at thrift stores or garage sales but how many miles do I have to drive to find it? One could easily spend $10-$20 driving around to all the garage sales on a Friday or Saturday morning, and probably close to that much making a round of the thrift stores. Many of the good deals will be advertised with poor pics and/or by somebody who doesn't know much about bikes, therefore, how can you determine what exactly the bike is, the size, or what kind of condition it is in before you drive all the way across town to investigate it and possible come home empty handed?

Turbo231 11-08-13 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turky lurkey (Post 16229404)
For you folks using all resources, garage/estate sales, thrift stores, C.L, and in general driving far and wide, how do justify the expense of the search?

A bike and trailer that can haul a bike. Don't drive far and wide unless its part of a pre-existing trip...aka you're going to the grocery story, visiting someone, go a block two out of your way to check things out. Honestly, just advertise on Facebook/CL/Kijiji you are looking for free bikes...they will come to you, sometimes en masse. I have passed up a lot of 20 or so bikes because they were half an hour away, but if I was starting, its a start. You may want to mention that you don't want kids bikes or you will drown in them, unless of course you rebuild them and donated them, or sell them and donate the funds, that's great word of mouth. Kids bikes usually take 5 minutes to fix, they're pretty tough and simple.

Free bikes work like this where I live. 60% crap, 20% stuff that is workable, 10% great, 10% stuff you keep for your personal collection.

turky lurkey 11-08-13 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turbo231 (Post 16229678)
A bike and trailer that can haul a bike. Don't drive far and wide unless its part of a pre-existing trip...aka you're going to the grocery story, visiting someone, go a block two out of your way to check things out. Honestly, just advertise on Facebook/CL/Kijiji you are looking for free bikes...they will come to you, sometimes en masse. I have passed up a lot of 20 or so bikes because they were half an hour away, but if I was starting, its a start. You may want to mention that you don't want kids bikes or you will drown in them, unless of course you rebuild them and donated them, or sell them and donate the funds, that's great word of mouth. Kids bikes usually take 5 minutes to fix, they're pretty tough and simple.

Free bikes work like this where I live. 60% crap, 20% stuff that is workable, 10% great, 10% stuff you keep for your personal collection.

Thanks for advice!
Funny thing is, after writing the post you quoted above this morning I decided to take a gamble and drive across town to a garage sale that advertised having bikes (no pics or info). I ended up picking up a couple early 90's univega mtn. bikes. Using your ranking I would call them workable, they are quality entry level bikes. They were obviously left outside so they definitely need some work but they have very few miles on them (rotten tires still have the little hairs), nice chromo frames and shimano altus components. $10.00 for both of them and the guy threw in a couple brand new tubes he had, so essentially I got the bikes for free and paid normal price for the tubes. Not big money makers by any means but something to play with anyway, maybe I'll keep one for awhile, not sure yet.

DakotaInTheSky 11-10-13 01:08 PM

Thank you for the replies. I'm thinking it will be better for me to go higher end bike refurbishing (customization/conversions as a precursor to lugged frame building) as opposed to bike flipping. Maybe I can flip bikes if there are any leftover parts because the parts pile up quick. I've filed the paperwork for a non profit which will combine my love for bicycles with my work in the rapid prototyping/fabrication field. I hope to get things going by January. Cheers! - Rob

turky lurkey 11-11-13 07:42 AM

Do you guys find that bikes are worth more sold in pairs? For example, I often see matching his and hers bikes for sale on C.L.? Or what about two identical men's bikes? I mentioned above that I picked up a couple mtn bikes, they look exactly the same. I don't really need two of the same bikes so I was thinking of selling one as is, as needing work, for $20-$30 in order to help with the cost of refurbishing the other, but for some reason I'm a little hesitant to break up the pair. Neither one of the bikes will make a lot of money, but would their value increase if I get them both in good condition and sell them together?

curbtender 11-12-13 08:16 PM

Smaller bikes always sell better, but even pairs? Haven't found a set. I have no problem selling an extra bike...


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