I'd guess it's per your market. Smaller bikes sell really well here, as do 54cm to 57. Larger vintage bikes sit through multiple listings. I'm ok with that. I've quite the hoard of large bikes ;-)...
Who buys multiple bikes, bikes that are projects? People like me.
I often buy pairs of bikes, or even larger groups. The reason? I get a nice discount. The last pair I bought were for sale for $75 each (a good deal by the way). Both needed work. I bought the pair for $100 ($50 discount). Seller got the convenience of one transaction. I got nice discount. I have bought as many as ten bikes at once. The discount? About 75% of what the individual bikes would have brought in as is condition. Seller got the bikes gone immediately (his goal). I got a great deal.
My best deals have been on groups of bikes.
I have always gotten better deals on groups of bikes. But even then, find that a percentage of them turn out to be trash
The used bicycle market is terrible these days. Last year I had a Raleigh 3-speed cruiser with a sturmey-archer hub on craig's list for more than a year. couldn't sell it for $80 (Maybe it was better off up for auction?). I think now that the economies recovered people would rather buy a new bike, also I noticed my cursed local bike shop is selling a select set of used bicycles.
I have also noticed a lot more bike shops selling refurbished used bikes often times at some pretty high premiums. They seem to be asking $200-300 for some pretty basic entry level bikes.
If I didn't know anything about bikes and wanted something used, I'd probably buy a bicycle from a shop too.
My problem is my bicycles are boring. Practically nobody cares about classic steel road bikes, they are better than your x mart bicycle but still boring. The only person who would possibly be excited to buy the bikes I sell are somebody who has never ridden a bicycle before, People who want a bicycle for transportation, or something to exercise on. But the last two reasons, those people would probably want something more exciting like an aluminum bike. People like mountain bikes cause that's an exciting sport, almost nobody is excited by classic steel road bikes. I could probably sell more bikes if I could get people in Kansas City excited about riding in traffic around town.
Bump for a quick flipping question. What's the consensus on reflectors?
I don't have reflectors on any of my keeper bikes, but I can imagine others may appreciate them. In this specific example, I am restoring/flipping a very original Trek 520 with the OEM reflectors. Part of me says they dtract from the look of the bike, while the other side of me says keep 'em because they are original and 1) may be valued by collectors, or 2) may be valued as a safety item on a likely commuter bike. At the very least I would put the reflectors (front, rear, and wheel) in a bag and pass them on to the next owner. Does it make sense to keep the reflectors on the bike when taking photos for resale?
I always remove reflectors, dork disks and kick stands no matter if they are original or what... unless the bike looks near mint them i might leave the dork disk. none of the bikes that i've gotten in good enough condition to consider leaving reflectors have actually had reflectors so it hasn't mattered
Exceptions are older bikes with metal fenders, they tend to look better with reflectors then not.
I also always try to leave the dork disk if it is complete, more for safety then looks on bikes I'm selling. My own fleet I don't actually care as I keep them in tune, but if a bike I sell 10 years down the road wrecks the rear wheel because I removed the dork disk thinking it looked better, well, that's no good. Metals ones can be polished and add a bit of bling to the bike. If they are broken however I will just remove them if I don't have a spare laying around.
Reflectors... there are laws that govern this, but, who would enforce them? I keep them in a box incase somebody wants them installed.
^Thanks, everyone, for the input. The reflectors are coming off but they'll stay with the bike in case the next owner wants them.
I take the wheel mounted off but I leave on any F/B reflectors already installed. ...people rellay seem to hate them around here.
...plus, if you want to be really cool ...it's easy to fine stickers to match you unique personality.
They were stocking a BELL bell at Target that came with cool round stickers [throw bell away, it sounds more embarrassing than all of this]
...gonna mount the the ☮ up front forever though man.
I do a bit of flipping, but I'm really picky on the bikes I work with. For me, I walk away from a bike with anything beyond a minor bit of surface rust on exposed metal parts. A rusted chain is no big deal unless the gears and derailleurs are rusted as well as I put chains in the same category with other wear items (brake pads, cables, tires, etc.). Just be aware, if a chain is badly rusted and/or worn, there is a fairly good probability that the gears may be well worn and need replacing too. Ultimately, it comes down to whether the parts and work required will still leave any profit on a flip and that really depends on your local market.
Does anybody know what local markets tend to be by region? I'm in Indiana's largest city so there is some market but I'm sure prices are much lower than states that are warm all year. There is one guy who flips bikes in my area but his craigslist prices always seem way too high and I have no way of knowing what he actually sells them for.
I strongly believe a bicycle is a lifetime investment. In today's consumer society people are of the opinion that everything has a dollar value. Find a steel bike you love to ride and cherish it as the work of art it is. If you must sell the bike, find a buyer with passion who wants to know your machines history.
Hey all, has anyone traveled to a better bike market to flip their bikes? I live in a rural area where department store bikes are king and people wouldn't consider riding an old ten speed. People who would aren't inclined to drive an hour or more for a used bike. It works to my advantage at garage sales but it makes selling them locally difficult. I occasionally bring bikes with to sell when I go to larger cities. I was just wondering if anyone has found it profitable to post a cl ad, haul load of bikes a few hours a way, and make a lot more money. Of course you'd have to factor in gas, time, finding a place to set up shop and sell, flaky buyers etc. It still seems like a potentially viable way to get more cash out of your flips. Any thoughts or experiences from rural folks?
Depends on the bike. Nicer bikes, say $200 bikes, people will drive to see, just post ads in the big markets but make sure you mention where you are. Otherwise, you just have to discount and spread your name around. People will often ask if you can bring the bike to the "city", that call is up to you. I never bother, if they want it, come get it.