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  1. #126
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
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    Yes, good thinking.

    What about as a buyer? I have never received a COD package, I would assume that I just make sure everything inside is as it should be and then hand over the cash?

  2. #127
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
    Yes, good thinking.

    What about as a buyer? I have never received a COD package, I would assume that I just make sure everything inside is as it should be and then hand over the cash?
    Yep. Which can be hard if it's a bike and packaged correctly. The delivery guy will be standing there with his truck idling, not a great time for an inspection of all the parts inside the box. They usually will take a check or CC as well.

  3. #128
    Senior Member VintageTrek85's Avatar
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    I have two questions.

    -First what is the most you have ever spent on a bike you flipped? (Excluding new tires, tubes, tape, etc...)

    -How much does frame color scheme affect buyer interest/price?
    It never gets easier, you just go faster.

  4. #129
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    The most I paid was $575 for a complete fixed gear/track bike. I didn't flip the whole bike. I parted it out and got a free frame and some cash. It had some expensive parts. Phil Wood HF hubs w/ Velocity rims, Sugino 75 cranks and BB, Thomson stem & seat post, some fancy track bars. A high end saddle. It's a Soma Rush and a nice ride. I kept the Chris King head set though. I would not spend that much cash if there was any question about making the money back + profit in a relatively short amount of time.

    Color scheme? Hmmm.. I sold a purple and white 62cm Centurion LeMans w/ white bar tape to a 6'2' buffed college dude and he was very into it. He showed up with his girl friend to buy it. IIRC it came with a Campy aero water bottle w/ cage that I sold on ebay for about 1/3 what I paid for the bike.
    I have also sold rattle can painted bikes that were bright orange, baby blue, white, lime green, sage green. Those were fixed or SS to younger people. Bright colors sell fixies.

    I have sold a few bikes to girls/ women and they didn't care much about the color. Just wanted a good riding bike for the right price. Practical female thinking I guess.
    If I found a Centurion Iron Man Master in my size that was Miami Vice colors I would ride it, no problem.

    I don't know if there is any rhyme or reason to frame color.

  5. #130
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Here's my techniques. I hope you wont use them if you live in my area:

    - Go to the dump/landfill often. The scrap pile will provide you with hordes of frames and sometimes wheels

    - Think about where you live. I live in the mountains, Everybody and their brother has or wants a mountain bike. I get free or sub $40 mountain bike and flip them ready to ride for $150.

    - Go dumpster diving. Behind the LBS, you can regularly find tires, tubes, chain, wheels, bike boxes, and sometimes even shifters! Beware, some shops are extremely protective of their trash and will do things like DESTROY takeoffs and partially non-working parts. Don't be surprised if the employees soon hate you.

    - I harvest Wal-Mart bikes for their cables/housing, ferrules, derailleurs (if they are Shimano), seat posts, saddles, grips, and sometimes: shifters, wheels, bars, v-brakes, stems... If the bike CAN be 100% I will sell it after making adjustments so it can be ridden.

    - Any working road bike is worth $120+ if it's ready to ride.

    - Schwinn is still a respected brand name by the average consumer (read: worth more)!

    - If you get a road bike that doesn't get a lot of respect, but has nice components, part it out.

    - Do you go to church? If so ask ministers/missionaries if they can keep an eye out for bikes. I have gotten gobs of parts and bikes from LDS missionaries who often wear out small parts on their bikes and trade bikes and parts often. It's not uncommon for missionaries (who all live in an apartment together), to have 20+ parts bikes available. I offer to fix their bikes for free, they give me everything they don't need. The bikes they don't use often get taken to the tip. So they usually consider my removal to be a nice service!

    - Ask your friends.

    - When I sell a bike, it falls in one of two categories: rebuilt or tuned-up. If a bike is nice enough, (Schwinn World Sport and up), I will completely rebuild and overhaul the bike and then tune it to race bike precision. When they go for a test ride and it looks a feel like new, they will usually pay a lot more. If it can feel that way without overhaul, then just clean/adjust

    - Finally, when parting out: don't be afraid to clean/rebuild components I have ad a lot of luck selling things for top dollar on Ebay, "precision rebuilt" and "functioning flawlessly". I will even buy low priced Buy It Now dirty parts, rebuild and flip.
    "Winning is the best deodorant. Someone can look at your bike and say it stinks, but if you win with it, suddenly it's okay." - Jim Busby

  6. #131
    Senior Member that_guy_zach's Avatar
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    I tend to take the easy way on it. Pick them up at a flea market or garage sale, Wash , air up the tires. Make sure it rides up and down the street fine then post them at atleast double what I paid. I might put new tires on something and a little time in to but it has to be a decent bike. Most get cut up in to fixies so I dont mind.

  7. #132
    Senior Member r0ckh0und's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VintageTrek85 View Post
    I have two questions.

    -First what is the most you have ever spent on a bike you flipped? (Excluding new tires, tubes, tape, etc...)

    -How much does frame color scheme affect buyer interest/price?
    This past summer I bought an '08 Kona Jake The Snake CX bike for $560 and flipped it in 3 days for $850 and basically just dusted it off. Believe it or not, it was a thrift store find that I let sit for 4+ weeks before I pulled the trigger.

  8. #133
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    What's the consensus on selling a frame on ebay during Christmas time? Would you wait or do you think it matters at all?
    Maybe it's 50/50 since some people have no money left to spend and others have some cash they got as a gift and it's burning a hole in the pocket.

  9. #134
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    Someone has a wishlist. I'm not sure on sales, but prices are creeping up on craigs.
    But watch out for flakes... http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/d36...-pinky-promise
    Last edited by curbtender; 12-21-09 at 03:48 PM.

  10. #135
    Senior Member r0ckh0und's Avatar
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    This past summer I picked up 2 Spinning bikes ridiculously cheap with intentions of selling them for a good profit in the winter months. Particularly the Schwinn Johnny Gs and similar machines. I did well on one last week and have another in the works. I would recommend this as a good option for a long slow winter.

  11. #136
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    [QUOTE=treebound;8126714]Do we need a "Bike Flipping 101" thread/stickie in the Valuation sub-forum?

    Several threads recently are along the lines of: "I want to buy a bike to ride now and flip later so is this a good bike for that and if not then what should I look for and how do I know if a bike is a good bike to buy and flip".

    I'm thinking maybe a generic, non-specific, generalized steps or process to select and then tune or repair and then price a bike. Probably pretty much the same comments that are already posted as replies to some of the current threads, but consolidated into one thread to direct people towards.

    I'm not really a flipper, been keeping most of what I've found, but I have sold a couple of bikes over the last year or so, but "flipping" isn't my personal primary motivator. But I can see where some might see this as a way to make the hobby somewhat self supporting financially, "somewhat" being the operative word there.

    I just wanted to ask you in all your bikes do you have Hopalong Cassidy Rollfast?

  12. #137
    retro-rider/mech javaride's Avatar
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    Saw the "Hopalong" on ebay, assuming (hate to use that word!), thats where you saw it? What a cool old ride!! Definetly something to add to the collection if you have one . . . and can afford it?! As for your suggestion on "flipping instructions and guidelines", great idea! In other words, a guide to know when to say when!

  13. #138
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I can't believe it took me this long to discover this thread. Well, better late than never.

    I'm still scared to buy high end bikes to flip them. The profit may be higher, but so is the risk.

    And I have no idea how many buyers there are around here. I have people asking me about bikes for errands and fitness. Fitness, as in, I haven't ridden in a long time and want to get back to it (and they cruise at 10mph).
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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  14. #139
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I can't believe it took me this long to discover this thread. Well, better late than never.

    I'm still scared to buy high end bikes to flip them. The profit may be higher, but so is the risk.

    And I have no idea how many buyers there are around here. I have people asking me about bikes for errands and fitness. Fitness, as in, I haven't ridden in a long time and want to get back to it (and they cruise at 10mph).
    In my market, most buyers out there are looking for what I would call a recreational bike: a road bike for fitness. About half of the bikes I have sold have gone to beginning triathletes. They tend to look for something decent in the $150 to $250 range.

    Once you get over about the $350 mark, local buyers get really scarce.

    The thing I really like about a higher end bike is the opportunity to part it out. Sometimes you can make a lot more on a $250 part out, than you can the $25 diamond in the rough. But at least in my area, it is hard to find the better bikes. Pretty much everything I find is mid level or lower. I usually avoid MTBs and hybrids, there just isn't much interest in them. Road/racing bikes tend to sell year round in this area, MTBs don't sell til riding season is going strong (they tend to sell to the budget minded recreational rider). For a bike to ride on a budget, IMHO, you can't beat a good rigid frame mountain bike.

    I also occasionally pick up modern bikes if the price is right.

    +1 One thing I like about lower cost bikes is that the risk is much lower. I have a lot less tied up in a lower end bike. The upside is also limited.

    And the best single flip I had last year was not a bike, it was a set of triathlon wheels that I picked up at a garage sale.

  15. #140
    Senior Member Gthoro's Avatar
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    Many of the flipper bikes I bring in have crusty, shredded saddles. Therefore, I need to stock up on saddles. Local thrift stores usually give an ample supply of saddles, but most of them are printed with "Next," "Huffy," or some other undesirable generic brand. Instead of passing these up, buy them! Using a dab of the product "Goof Off" on a paper towel, will wipe off that generic brand name and give you a cheap saddle to use on a flip.

  16. #141
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gthoro View Post
    Many of the flipper bikes I bring in have crusty, shredded saddles. Therefore, I need to stock up on saddles. Local thrift stores usually give an ample supply of saddles, but most of them are printed with "Next," "Huffy," or some other undesirable generic brand. Instead of passing these up, buy them! Using a dab of the product "Goof Off" on a paper towel, will wipe off that generic brand name and give you a cheap saddle to use on a flip.
    Yep. I use permanent black markers.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  17. #142
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I got a seat cover from Niagara for $2. It looks good! I plan to buy more. It hides the chips ripped out of the edge of the seats.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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  18. #143
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I pick up good seats at thrift stores and garage sales. The most I have paid is $2. Its funny that usually the thrift store bikes have torn up seats, but then they have good seats for sale elsewhere in the store. I also occasionally buy a crappy donor: Roadmaster or Huffy for example, super cheap. I bought a Huffy yesterday for $2.75. Had a nice yellow platform seat, yellow grips, and a few other parts worth saving.

  19. #144
    Senior Member TonyS's Avatar
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    Thought I'd ask a question about this... I've just started flipping Walmart bikes (flipped my first two this weekend! $65 profit!) because I want to get more people out and riding. So I check CL for walmart bikes for $15 or less (which means the tires are flat, the seat might possibly be torn, and they want it gone) and I air up the tires (usually the tubes are still good!) and adjust everything, install new cables as necessary, a new seat if tears, and I haven't repacked bearings yet because if the bearings seem bad I don't buy the bike. There's a booth at a local flea market that has all kinds of parts for Walmart bikes, so I get parts there on occasion, and it keeps the cost down. So far new tubes and cables have come from Walmart. How appropriate...

    Anyway, right now I have 4 in the garage that all would be great bikes except the wheels are shot. I'm not that great at truing wheels, but if I get better at it, these bikes could live again... and help get some family out on the greenways that otherwise wouldn't have been. I've got two ladies lined up right now waiting for bikes as soon as I can get 'em built... more call every week or so.

    Anyway, so far I've bought in the neighborhood of FREE - $10, and sold for about $45 each (going price for a Walmart bike around here). I tell everyone to come back to me if they need work done, but that it's a walmart bike so it will quit working eventually... but for $45, they'll just buy a new one when that happens.

    I'm curious if anyone else in here specializes in the "It has 2 wheels, 2 brakes, a chain, and it rolls." dirt cheap end of things? If so, I'd love some tips...

  20. #145
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I don't like those bikes, and I can't recommend them for anyone. Most of the time, they work so poorly and resist proper repair and setup. However, I do specialize in bikes slightly higher than those. I like the bottom of the line bike-shop bikes. Bike-shop bikes are made to last a lifetime. I'm talking about things like Peugeot UO-8's and the like. Actually, I prefer bikes with aluminum rims, but I'm not above selling a bike with steel rims.

    You can make a lot more money selling my type of bike.

    And as miamijim says, he prefers much higher end bikes than that. I will probably end up moving to that type of bike, but I'm not knowledgeable enough yet. I was out of the marketplace for several years and need to learn more before I go there.

    I sell my bikes for between $125 and $260. That range represents a range in quality. My profit margin ranges from $50 to about $240. I try to keep it above $100 per bike. And I honestly feel that these are good, utilitarian bikes that give the maximum number of miles per dollar. Walmart bikes cost much less but provide fewer trouble free miles.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  21. #146
    Senior Member TonyS's Avatar
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    Well, see that was my opinion too, until I got stuck riding a walmart bike for 3 years... and never had a single problem with it (despite riding it in the rain, leaving it outdoors 24/7, and never doing a single bit of maintenance to it except for changing tubes) until I was riding the Katy Trail, and the cable snapped to the FD. We took it to the bike shop, and he replaced the cable, but in doing so the shifter for the FD stopped working as well. I finished out the last two days of the trip on what was then effectively a 7 speed bicycle, and finally retired the beast after 3 years of service to me, and who knows how many to the person who sold it to me at the garage sale.

    The thing that separates that type of bike from bike shop bikes is that for every bike shop bike on CL, there are 40 walmart bikes. This means that there's plenty of opportunity to flip things QUICKLY, and I like that. So for right now, I'm happy selling these things if I can get them into a condition that I would ride them in if my Trek were to be stolen.

    You're probably right that I could make a lot more money moving up the food chain, but so far I've sold 2, made about $30 profit on each one, and was given two yesterday, so now I have 4 sitting in the hopper waiting to be fixed. The benefit here is that if I wanted to, I could with very little extra effort buy one and sell one per day (assuming an hour per night spent fixing one and it's ready to go). And $30 per day isn't so bad. I'm not gonna put that much time into it because my time is more valuable elsewhere, but it seems like a decent way to make a little extra dough, given that I have VERY little money to work with.

    I'll probably upgrade to your league once I get $1000 together from my league (and I can finally make Dave Ramsey proud).

  22. #147
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I don't mean to discourage you! Go right ahead. Perhaps my standards are too high. I have tried for long times getting the brakes to work as I want. Some wheels can't be trued well enough -- for me. And so on. Maybe you haven't seen the trashed bikes I've seen. There's no doubt that getting them to work properly takes more time than getting bike-shop bikes to work as well. And the end result is certainly no better.

    But if you can move several quickly, and if you're really sending out bikes that are road-worth and safe, then you're serving yourself and your customers well.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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  23. #148
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    Hey Tony, exactly right. The time to fix them and sell them will burn you out. They are great learning tools, though. I've donated them in the past and keep a pile for donor parts. The good thing is that once you've got a reputation as the bike guy, better bikes start finding thier way to you. Good luck.

  24. #149
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    The only thing the dept. store bikes are good for is scrap metal. I will pull a few parts off one if needed, but I have never bought one or ever plan to even for parts. Rule #1 of bike flipping is make at least $100 profit. If you don't you should not have bought it in the first place.

  25. #150
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyS View Post
    <<<SNIP>>>
    The thing that separates that type of bike from bike shop bikes is that for every bike shop bike on CL, there are 40 walmart bikes. This means that there's plenty of opportunity to flip things QUICKLY, and I like that. <<SNIP>>>
    You have the right piece of data, but the wrong conclusion IMHO. Craigs List is certainly full of cheap walmart bikes. Why? Because they are cheap, throw away bikes, no one wants them, and a lot of people are getting rid of them. If you want to serve a market, you need to provide what people want, not what they want to get rid of. And when you get can a brand new bike at Walmart for $60, there just isn't enough room to buy parts, rehab them and resell them at a profit, even when you get them for free. And in a low margin market, there is no room for mistakes. A lot of buyers look to Craigs List to find something better at an attractive price.

    So if you focus on Walmart bikes, you will always have a lot of competition, at a 40/1 ratio as you have described (which is pretty close in my market too). But if you specialize on bike shop level bikes, then you will have very few competitors.

    In my area, often, the only vintage bikes on C/L are mine.

    The key is you have to find good flippable LBS bikes, and since there are so few on Craigs List, you have to look in a lot of places besides Craigs List to find them. The very first comment I hear from buyers is: "where do you find these bikes???" They often have been looking for a while, but are what I would call casual lookers. A flipper is going to look all the time, in a lot of places. Casual lookers tend to look occasionally, and usually in just the convenient places (like Craigs List).

    By all means, you should not go into debt to fund flipping bikes. So starting small and working your way up is the way to go, and Dave Ramsey would be proud of that method. The Walmart bikes you have already flipped are going to go a long way to building that flipper starter fund. Look hard enough, and you will find that $15 thrift store gem that you can clean up, refurbish and resell for $200. My first flip was a $10 garage sale bike (an LBS bike by the way). The sale of that bike funded the next couple of flips, which funded several more. Repeat as necessary.

    It takes just as much $$ in parts, and just as many hours in labor (and just as much $$ in tools) to work on Walmart stuff as the better stuff. But the margin is in the better stuff.

    +1 to Tom's comments: I find the Roadmasters and similar Xmart bikes to be difficult to adjust, lots of plastic and pot metal parts. And people are less likely to take care of a $60 bike, than one they bought for $400. That's my experience anyway, over several years.

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