Bike Forums

Bike Forums (http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries (http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage-bicycles-what-s-worth-appraisals-inquiries/)
-   -   Bike Flipping 101 (http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage-bicycles-what-s-worth-appraisals-inquiries/499513-bike-flipping-101-a.html)

miamijim 04-02-09 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prettyshady (Post 8581441)
Do you post internationally? I just posted a frame, forks and headset to japan (6kg?) and it cost me 75 euros. I thought it would cost 32 euros .... big loss! Is there a way to keep cost down or is it just not a good idea?

Quote:

Originally Posted by adventurer90 (Post 8627790)
I don't see where you shipped from but from the US I just did a set of wheels to New Zealand. I recall the weight was about 6-7 kg. I found Fedex, my regular big box shipped was silly expensive. The USPS was about $35 US but it had to be a certain size, something like 108 inches (length plus girth). I had to skinny down the box but it made it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by curbtender (Post 8630570)
I tried to send a ten dollar bracelet to Australia via fedex and they wanted $55. They are still the cheapest for domestic.

Domesticly USPS is the best for small boxes. Be careful not to use the flat rate Priority Mail boxes unless you have small heavy part. in most instances trimming down a bo saves alot of money. I can get a derailleur from Tampa to Californis for $5 Priority mail in my own box and a seat to californis for $8.50.

For bigger boxes FedEx is the way to go.

Internationaly its USPS regardless of the package size. A seat costs $20 first class or $36 Prioirty mail to almost every foreign country from the U.S. To be honest I havent gotten a good responce from the postal service on the difference between the 2 for international shiping. They both take 6-10 buisness days.

zoeglassjd 04-19-09 08:36 AM

Check early check often.

I am at a computer most of the day. I refresh CL often. Two weeks ago I bought a Schwinn 564 for $30.... dirty, but overall nice shape. The guy said I was the first of 40 emails.

I spent about hours cleaning, lubing, adjusting, etc. I sold it for $175 (although I got offers of $200 as well... but this was a young guy at the college we work at).

sonatageek 04-19-09 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curbtender (Post 8630570)
I tried to send a ten dollar bracelet to Australia via fedex and they wanted $55. They are still the cheapest for domestic.

I had sold 2 rubber shift lever covers to someone in Australia and if the item is small and can be sent via First Class International mail the cost is very reasonable. Learned that from the buyer ---

mkeller234 04-28-09 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curbtender (Post 8630570)
I tried to send a ten dollar bracelet to Australia via fedex and they wanted $55. They are still the cheapest for domestic.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sonatageek (Post 8758852)
I had sold 2 rubber shift lever covers to someone in Australia and if the item is small and can be sent via First Class International mail the cost is very reasonable. Learned that from the buyer ---

I had a similar experience. I had to ship a set a Campy NGS shift levers to thailand. FedEX wanted around 75 dollars for their economy shipping but First Class International mail was around $5.50.

miamijim 05-12-09 01:17 PM

I just bought a very nice Miyata 310 mixte for $69. I guess we're going to find out what kind of a market there is for mixte's.

Its an ebay bike thats was offered as 'local pick up only'. Its getting spit shined and put right back on ebay (and the local CL).

oldroads 05-27-09 03:27 PM

In my area (Cambridge, MA) mixte frames are popular, particularly if they have flat bars and a rack.

Tigerprawn 05-28-09 12:47 PM

As dorky as it sounds I like to give a bit of history in my posts when possible. Quote Sheldon or reputable sites that the potential buyer can read about at his or her leisure.

Take nice OUTDOOR photos and don't use CL's crummy embedding.

I have yet to flip anything for actually profit, but from all the bikes I've sold I've had quite a few people comment on the actually post.

Mr_Wrench 07-02-09 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrk101 (Post 9113598)
If you want to flip long term, you need to make sure you ADD VALUE to every bike you touch. As your reputation builds, you will sell more bikes word of mouth. Fix the stuff that doesn't show along with stuff that shows.

Opportunitistic buy/sell guys that do not touch a thing, don't adjust anything, try to pawn off steel wheels as something good, juvenile bikes as adult bikes, yadda, yadda, will not build a reputation and will flame out.

It's interesting to hear people here talk about bike flipping, and completely overhauling entire bikes and replacing tires and brake/derailler lines. It's definitely sounds more of a hobby, than a business. Factoring in labor costs on that much work easily drives profits below minimum wage.

A man in business to flip bikes--well, a smart business man would never get into the field because the product is dependant on an unreliable after-market. Many people have mentioned the amount of time it takes to find the right "flipper". Unless you know someone at the local dump or thriftstore with a steady stream of flips it would be hard to find, and all that time would cut into profits. The logical model would be to open a used bike shop with buy-back/trades and custom builds. That way the product never runs out, because you would buy back old customers bikes, overhaul them and sell them an upgrade. Thus, fueling the business cycle.

CitizenChain 07-06-09 02:46 AM

HEY! That's OUR business model!
 
When I first started flipping, about 6 years ago, the "Added Value" was more than the money. I took great satisfaction in finding and fixing a wounded and neglected bicycle and matching it to the right person.
I believe everyone has a LIFE bike out there. I was lucky to find mine in 1982, (Blue Colnago) and after Baylis finishes her Re-Paint.. well.. it's me and my baby be riding again!

2 years ago I took a chance. I opend a bike shop, Crazy I know, but so far I (now we) have been lucky. I think to succeed in any endevour one needs passion and honesty. Passion for what you are doing and dealing with people honestly. It;s EASY to sell someone a bike. It is HARD to sell someone the RIGHT bike.

Thanks for letting me vent. Please find Below our shop's "Declaration of Principles"

"Declaration of Principles"
Citizen Chain promises to provide:

A bike shop that will treat every customer with respect and quality service, regardless of their level of biking experience or the price or make of their bike.

A fighting and tireless champion for bicycles: as a great method of transportation, the source of a unique culture, and most importantly, as the beloved friends of their owners.

Proper resources and safety that give every bicycle and bicyclist the opportunity to live up to their potential.

The tools, education, and opportunity for every rider to find their One Bike, no matter how long it may take.

Honesty, for both the rider and bicycle, about what can and cannot be done.

Signed,
Citizen Chain

CitizenChain 07-06-09 03:20 AM

One more thing.
 
As many of you have said, some "flippers" are out to make just a buck and will sell just about anything. Selling an unsafe bike is wrong. I think all here will agree.

In these tough times we find people in our shop who can not afford any of the bikes we have. Rather than sending them to Walmart for a POS we give them our card and say "Check out Craigslist" and if you find something you like give us a call and we will tell you what we think.

Crazy? Well at first we thougt so. But so far in the past few months we have gained more than a few customers this way. Fixing bikes bought by customers through Craigslist (after our quick "blessing") have been quite a boon. Most of the charge is for non-taxable labor plus the various small parts, cables, pads, tires, chains. Oh.. then a lock of course.

Best part is when the customer comes in with a great "catch" and so far over the last few months we have been suprised with some cool finds.

1982 Specialized Allez. Mint. All Campy and built by... guess who.
79 Bianchi, Celeste with the original matching pump and bottle
Mid 80's Masi with full DA
A few cool Miyata's, old school Treks and of course Pre-Cult Bridgestones.

CitizenChain 07-06-09 03:34 AM

One more thing.
 
As many of you have said, some "flippers" are out to make just a buck and will sell just about anything. Selling an unsafe bike is wrong. I think all here will agree.

In these tough times we find people in our shop who can not afford any of the bikes we have. Rather than sending them to Walmart for a POS we give them our card and say "Check out Craigslist" and if you find something you like give us a call and we will tell you what we think.

Crazy? Well at first we thougt so. But so far in the past few months we have gained more than a few customers this way. Fixing bikes bought by customers through Craigslist (after our quick "blessing") have been quite a boon. Most of the charge is for non-taxable labor plus the various small parts, cables, pads, tires, chains. Oh.. then a lock of course.

Best part is when the customer comes in with a great "catch" and so far over the last few months we have been suprised with some cool finds.

1982 Specialized Allez. Mint. All Campy and built by... guess who.
79 Bianchi, Celeste with the original matching pump and bottle
Mid 80's Masi with full DA
A few cool Miyata's, old school Treks and of course Pre-Cult Bridgestones.

juls 07-21-09 04:56 PM

I think there is a formula for priceing. Research the cost of the model when new/since it's used, deduct 2 thirds-get the inflation factor off line and multiply by that. Usually works until you get into the collectible range. [pre 1975] Bike flippers round here (the ones in the biz) I find unreasonable price wise; and very UN customer friendly. Meanwhile all the garage sale bikes are snatched up. Can't afford used anymore! Such is life in the fast lane......

chrispe 08-01-09 09:55 PM

Any specific tips on where and how to find bikes? I know enough to know a reasonable buy if I ever saw one. I would like to fix the occasional bike and resell it, but I can never find any to fix. I check craigslist several times a day, but in my area there's nothing reasonable. I check thrift shops when I'm riding around, but have kind of given up because I haven't once seen anything remotely interesting(for the price it was at). I feel like garage sales are my only bet, but I feel like I'll end up spending more time actually finding bikes than fixing them. So am I just out of luck or what?

curbtender 08-02-09 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrispe (Post 9402752)
Any specific tips on where and how to find bikes? I know enough to know a reasonable buy if I ever saw one. I would like to fix the occasional bike and resell it, but I can never find any to fix. I check craigslist several times a day, but in my area there's nothing reasonable. I check thrift shops when I'm riding around, but have kind of given up because I haven't once seen anything remotely interesting(for the price it was at). I feel like garage sales are my only bet, but I feel like I'll end up spending more time actually finding bikes than fixing them. So am I just out of luck or what?

You've got all the regulars going. Try some metal/scrap yards in your area.

blondetigers 08-25-09 02:40 AM

I want to get into flippin' bikes but first I need tools. So far, these tool sets are in my budget:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Home-Mechanic-Bi...DLVI%26ps%3D54

AND

http://cgi.ebay.com/BIKE-BICYCLE-HOM...d=p3286.c0.m14

I'm not sure which one is better. One does have more tools but maybe you guys can point me the right direction.

Just need tools to take the crank/bottom bracket remover to clean BB, remove cassettes (if needed), adjusting spokes, adjusting brakes, cut cables, etc. Though, I'm mostly looking for the "special tools" that bike shops charge so much on labor.

Thanks in advance!

TheCappucinoKid 08-29-09 07:28 AM

Q. What is the most popular size frame, and do you try to buy bikes in that size to flip?

Q. What sort of bikes are most in demand?

Q. What is the average price most are willing to pay for a used bike (to where it gets harder to sell a bike above this price)?

and in a completely unrelated question (too small for its own thread)....

Q. To protect a bike kept outside from rusting in the rain, is it better to cover it with a tarp or leave it uncovered; on the premise that it will dry faster uncovered, than it would covered, which might encourage humidity inside the tarp?

spiderinked 08-29-09 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheCappucinoKid (Post 9578004)
.......and in a completely unrelated question (too small for its own thread)....

Q. To protect a bike kept outside from rusting in the rain, is it better to cover it with a tarp or leave it uncovered; on the premise that it will dry faster uncovered, than it would covered, which might encourage humidity inside the tarp?

My thought would be to keep it covered to keep most of the water off but perhaps billow the tarp to allow air movement. A small framework of some sort, a minnie shed if you will.

curbtender 08-29-09 06:03 PM

1) Mid 50's cm, but people comne in all sizes, so, I look quality before size.

2) Depends, right now cheaper campus bikes and, around here, disposable burningman bikes

3) Easy, $125 and over $300 it's more about detail.

If it's outside, keep it covered and off the ground.

juls 08-31-09 12:36 PM

Depends are where you are/tricky market. The college set want beaters cheap; kids want the frames (horz drops); and older folk are searching for their long gone youth rides. Breaing even is more the norm. If you already have bike flippers in your area/most of the yard sale bikes are scooped up. If you can find bikes $50 and under; lol. Have to love what you're doing/$ takes a back seat.

miamijim 08-31-09 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrk101 (Post 9584319)
1. 90% of what I find have either 21 inch or 23 inch. Its what people bought back in the 1980s, and it is what sells. Smaller sizes, usually 19 inch, sell even better (at higher pricing), but are hard to find. 24 inch bikes sell too. Anything larger is hard to sell, and will get a lower price.

2. Racing and touring bikes with drop handlebars are what everyone is looking for. Forget about hybrids and mountain bikes, unless you get one super cheap.

3. Buyers are looking in the $150 to $225 range around here. Buyers are looking for good brands, that came from bike shops. Above that range, the bike has to be pretty good. Buyers will pay more for touring bikes.

+1. You need to be very savy to make good money in the $150-$225 range but it can be done.

I'm finaly figuring out one of the local flippers. Saturday afternoon I saw an older beat up Raleigh at a pawn store for $60 and passed on it. I would have had $25 and 4 hours of time into it only to have a $150 bike. Saturday night I saw it on CL for $165 in the exact same condition as it was at the pawn store. Evidently this guy is scooping up anything he can find cheap and simply posting them on CL at quick turn around prices.

High volume, low cost, no time.

spin4130 09-21-09 10:59 AM

i usually find bikes at yardsales really cheap. say bout 5-30 bucks. i know what im looking for, and most people dont know what they are selling. the bikes i get usually need rubber, but otherwise are complete. i never sell parts out. i also look for bikes that are really neglected, but not abused. I bring them back to life. i havent gone in the hole on a single bike. made out well on most all of them. i dont calculate time spent, but i know i've gotten way quick at some of the things that might take a while at the LBS. say, for example, gruppos that are really really tarnished or even a bit rusted. i have a bench just for that stuff. ill disassemble the bike and use penetrating lube and degreasers with a wire brush or different grades of steel wool and BAM! they come back to life. grease em and reassemble. clean off the frame, maybe re-wrap the bar tape that they came with and wash the tape. build it back up and dial it in. the bikes look really clean and people notice. if u have a bike with chrome, clean it up with penatrating lube and fine steel wool, just try a spot first to make sure there isnt a clear coat that will get hazy if u take steel wool to it, and go easy as to not take off the plated finish itself. a workstand is a great investment for your time. when i clean up i have supplies organized so next time i can jump into the system ive created for workflow. i also do "flips" to trade and sometimes they end up being personal bikes. ill spend money on good neglected bikes that i know are obviously gonna clean up well and sell well. if its italian it sells quickly ive noticed. dont waste time with kids bikes or mountain bikes, as they are meant to be abused and wont be worth it. an old Schwinn World Sport, for example, can be found cheap in many conditions and are very straight forward to resurrect, they are typically reliable, and if the bike looks clean and its dialed than it wont be taking up ur space long. and biketiresdirect.com is a great source for rubber. buy tubes by the box. dont overhaul if you dont need to, but if things arent smooth than the overhaul and adjusting should be done. try to build a reputation of well working clean bikes. the locals here have recognized that i wont make a bike available if it isnt going to reinforce the reputation i have been building. i know that a lot of these bikes i wouldnt waste my time riding, but they are great for other riders getting into the game. collectibles are just that, and i dont collect, i ride. so i may spend more time on campy equipped italian steel knowing the bike should be presented in a sought after condition. i dont customize, or mix-match, or paint, or re chrome. thats up to the owner who doesnt intend to sell it. what i do doesnt take as long as one might think. you get better as u go along.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3353/...718d53afc2.jpg

kingfish254 09-21-09 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spin4130 (Post 9714882)
i usually find bikes at yardsales really cheap. say bout 5-30 bucks. i know what im looking for, and most people dont know what they are selling. the bikes i get usually need rubber, but otherwise are complete. i never sell parts out. i also look for bikes that are really neglected, but not abused. I bring them back to life. i havent gone in the hole on a single bike. made out well on most all of them. i dont calculate time spent, but i know i've gotten way quick at some of the things that might take a while at the LBS. say, for example, gruppos that are really really tarnished or even a bit rusted. i have a bench just for that stuff. ill disassemble the bike and use penetrating lube and degreasers with a wire brush or different grades of steel wool and BAM! they come back to life. grease em and reassemble. clean off the frame, maybe re-wrap the bar tape that they came with and wash the tape. build it back up and dial it in. the bikes look really clean and people notice. if u have a bike with chrome, clean it up with penatrating lube and fine steel wool, just try a spot first to make sure there isnt a clear coat that will get hazy if u take steel wool to it, and go easy as to not take off the plated finish itself. a workstand is a great investment for your time. when i clean up i have supplies organized so next time i can jump into the system ive created for workflow. i also do "flips" to trade and sometimes they end up being personal bikes. ill spend money on good neglected bikes that i know are obviously gonna clean up well and sell well. if its italian it sells quickly ive noticed. dont waste time with kids bikes or mountain bikes, as they are meant to be abused and wont be worth it. an old Schwinn World Sport, for example, can be found cheap in many conditions and are very straight forward to resurrect, they are typically reliable, and if the bike looks clean and its dialed than it wont be taking up ur space long. and biketiresdirect.com is a great source for rubber. buy tubes by the box. dont overhaul if you dont need to, but if things arent smooth than the overhaul and adjusting should be done. try to build a reputation of well working clean bikes. the locals here have recognized that i wont make a bike available if it isnt going to reinforce the reputation i have been building. i know that a lot of these bikes i wouldnt waste my time riding, but they are great for other riders getting into the game. collectibles are just that, and i dont collect, i ride. so i may spend more time on campy equipped italian steel knowing the bike should be presented in a sought after condition. i dont customize, or mix-match, or paint, or re chrome. thats up to the owner who doesnt intend to sell it. what i do doesnt take as long as one might think. you get better as u go along.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3353/...718d53afc2.jpg


I think that for flipping, cleaning a bike well is almost as important as making sure everything is mechanically sound. When you are ready to post it on CL, you should also consider the marketing side. Take good creative photos with thought out backgrounds. Here are some flip photos I recently took.

miamijim 09-21-09 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingfish254 (Post 9715792)
Take good creative photos with thought out backgrounds. Here are some flip photos I recently took.

No offence, but those are all bad pics.

southpawboston 09-21-09 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miamijim (Post 9716261)
No offence, but those are all bad pics.

i wouldn't go that far, but i have found that the best backdrops for photographing bikes are solid backgrounds that contrast with the color of the bike. for example, don't photograph a dark bike against a shade-tree background. likewise, don't photograph a white bike in the sun. backgrounds with complex patterns like picket fences can obscure the lines of the bike. the best photos of bikes i've seen are taken against a solid backdrop like a sheet.

i spent hours trying to get good bike pics against a "pretty" grassy/tree filled background. they usually come out poorly. now i just photograph my bikes against the side of my rather unsightly house, but the solid blue background contrasts well with most bikes.

kingfish254 09-21-09 03:07 PM

No offense taken. I do usually try to have at least one photo with a solid backdrop, but I have had some buyers comment about the photos, so I assumed I was on the right track. I do agree that if the background is too busy, the bike gets lost.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:46 PM.