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  1. #51
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    +1 holding bikes doesn't pay.

    The last time I went to visit my in-laws out of State I brought a project bike with me in the car. Restored the bike in my wife's parents garage the first couple days I was there and decided to put it up on the local Craigslist to see if I could make a little profit. A guy called pretty much right away, asked a few question and say's he wants it, consider it sold. But he's out of town and won't be back until the day before I am leaving (it was the holiday's everybody is traveling). Ok, I agree to hold it, partly because that would give me something to ride on my vacation and partly because I am always glad to sell to somebody who will appreciate the work I put into a bike and he seemed excited about it. Long story short, he contacted me several times through out the week reassuring me he wanted it and I believed him. I turned away several other potential buyers, he didn't come through, never showed up and didn't return my call the day before I was leaving. I didn't have room in the car for the bike as my family had accumulated a bunch of stuff and I had to leave the bike, eventually my wife's parents came to visit and brought it with them but it was big hassle, all because I was trying to do a stranger a favor.

    That said I have told a couple sellers to consider bikes sold, and I make darn sure that if give my word on that, I'm buying the bike. The only way I would go back on my word is if I arrived and found the frame to be cracked or found out that the buyer had substantially deceived me in some way.
    Last edited by turky lurkey; 03-06-14 at 06:34 AM.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by turky lurkey View Post
    That said I have told a few couple to consider bikes sold, and I make darn sure that if give my word on that, I'm buying the bike. The only way I would go back on my word is if I arrived and found the frame to be cracked or found out that the buyer had substantially deceived me in some way.
    My policy as well - funny but a lot of sellers are genuinely surprised when I do show up on time. When I am on the other side and guy shows up on time, does not make silly offers over email before seeing the bike and overall nice person to deal with - I sometimes give a good discount. One time I gave away a bike - it was decent vintage Raleigh MTB, I fully refurbished it, etc and just could not fall in love with it. Guy was a poor student, just came to Canada, came all the way to get the bike from another part of the city in real nasty weather. He was very polite, on time, liked the bike a lot, did not haggle - he got the bike for free and I gave him a ride to nearest subway station.
    One other time I had set of fenders for sale - just wanted to get rid of them. After several tire kicker did not show up I got email from nice fella - he got to my house on his bike and I see right away that fenders won't work for him (too wide for his frame). I also noticed that bike is used daily and would benefit from getting rear brake to work (was missing cable) and couple of other things. Did it for him on the spot and told him how to take at least minimum care of the bike. He was very grateful, asked me how much I want for the job I did - of course I told him it is free and wished him to ride safe.
    But it is very rare to meet folks like that - most of the time just normal transaction and occasional jackass here and there

  3. #53
    Ride Fast and Ride Safe! gioscinelli's Avatar
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    Since I've been selling through CL, when asked to hold the bike in person, by email or by phone, I would say the bikes is still for sale until someone come's along and gives me the cash. Somehow the true buyer will find the time to come over and make the purchase. Some will go so far as to suggest leaving a good faith deposit through their Paypal account, which I tell them if there's no show no deposit refund. Only if the individual is not pleased in person will I return their deposit in cash. The primary reason is that by saying you will hold the bike, gives them more time to shop, thinking if all else the bike you have will still be available. The secondary reason for not holding is to prompt the buyer to come over to see the bike. I don't play the game of having people coming over and bidding on a bike that some sellers play.
    85 Gios Professional - 95 Cinelli SC -06 Colnago C50

  4. #54
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    If someone asks if I can hold a bike, I just tell them that I'm going to sell the bike to the first person who comes with cash. I just say that I'll keep them in the loop and send an email to tell them if it's sold or not. I am not moved by emails with stories, excuses, or BS. I prefer to deal with people who do what they say they'll do. If you're not coming over today or tomorrow, don't bother, I'm not listening.

  5. #55
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    I go by the same policy. The bike goes to the first buyer that puts cash in my hand. Simple, no hassle. I do not hold (ok, I've made a couple exceptions over the years), and I do not pull ads. Using this policy I very rarely get burned, but of course there is still some time wasted with no-shows, etc.

    I do the same thing when buying. I was interested in a set of wheels but I was out of town. Seller asked me if I wanted him to hold them. I said no, if you sell them you sell them. If not I'll take a look at them when I get back. Turned out they had a Campy freehub which I could not use (seller was clueless about this) so I did not feel bad not buying them weeks after the initial contact.
    Last edited by FastJake; 03-06-14 at 09:16 AM.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  6. #56
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    What irks me is the recent trend for Craigslist sellers to essentially stage an auction. They put $1 as the price to get around Craigslist's rule about having to list a price. And the ad says make offer. Really? If I wanted to bid on it, I'd be looking on Ebay. Of course, I do that, too. But that's beside the point. The EXPECTATION on Craigslist and the RULES of Craigslist are buy, sell or barter. It's irritating, for sure.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_tool_man View Post
    What irks me is the recent trend for Craigslist sellers to essentially stage an auction. They put $1 as the price to get around Craigslist's rule about having to list a price. And the ad says make offer. Really? If I wanted to bid on it, I'd be looking on Ebay. Of course, I do that, too. But that's beside the point. The EXPECTATION on Craigslist and the RULES of Craigslist are buy, sell or barter. It's irritating, for sure.
    +1

    Just yesterday I saw one of those $1 bikes that I was interested in and I seriously considered calling the seller and saying i'll take it since it's only one dollar.

    On the other hand I can think of four bikes I've purchased that have been listed in a similar manner (two of them came as a package). I think sometimes sellers actually get the opposite response they are hoping for with those ads, I think many potential buyers are likely to ignore them rather than make a low offer. One of them was a late 90's/maybe 2000 specialized hardrock that needed an overhaul, I sent an email saying I'd give $15.00 for it. The seller, ignored my email as if he was insulted but I noticed after a week the bike was still there so I emailed again and asked him how much he wanted for it and he said $20.00 (obviously he hadn't gotten the response he hoped for). I bought it, but there is a good chance he would have gotten more for it if he had posted a reasonable price to begin with. The other bikes I purchased were in a similar manner.

    While we are talking about Craigslist gripes, my biggest pet peeve is when people don't delete the ads after they sell the item. Especially if I call and they tell me it sold but still don't delete it, because then they can't have the excuse of forgetting. To me that's just blatant laziness and selfishness. It affects the market as the bikes that sold quickly due to being a good deal are essentially competing with the bikes that are still up for sale. It also affects my emotions when I get excited about a bike and find out later I can't have it.
    Last edited by turky lurkey; 03-06-14 at 11:11 AM.

  8. #58
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_tool_man View Post
    What irks me is the recent trend for Craigslist sellers to essentially stage an auction. They put $1 as the price to get around Craigslist's rule about having to list a price. And the ad says make offer. Really? If I wanted to bid on it, I'd be looking on Ebay. Of course, I do that, too. But that's beside the point. The EXPECTATION on Craigslist and the RULES of Craigslist are buy, sell or barter. It's irritating, for sure.
    I flag those ads because they're stupid and against C/L policy. If it really bothers you send a message to the seller telling them to put a price up.

    If I'm interested in a bike (or any item for that matter) presented in this way my first question is, "how much do you want for it?"
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  9. #59
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    My sole frustration is the continual regular top reposting by the 3-4 boneheads in the Detroit market, often with bikes on the market for well over a year. I would estimate these neanderthals take up 75-80% of daily postings. No one wants a used $85 Huffy/Roadmaster/Free Spirit/Next, a well used Brooks B-17 for $85, only $7 less than new, or a rusty kiddie bike with a missing peddle for $35. How about and $800 Schwinn Voyageur or a Kabuki (yellow not chrome) for $450? I'd rather not have the haystack to find a bargain needle.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

  10. #60
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    I kind of get a kick out of this frustration. Two guys from Iowa, pile into their van, drive all over buying really low, and selling high (higher than retail). They typically do nothing to their items, just resell them. They mark stuff up typically hundreds to thousands of dollars. Meanwhile, some guy from Milwaukee spots a deal on a bike, hops into his van and picks it up, hoping to make $100, $150 tops.
    American pickers is one of my favorite TV shows... I live in Japan for 11 months of the year and when I am home in the States I always love watching it. I am amazed at the knowledge they know about random old crap. They can go into a barn filled with crap and only find a few items that are resell-able to them. They also know the people who want to buy their stuff.

    A good bike flippers should be able to clean, inspect, fix and make a good advertisement and sales pitch. People who just take stuff out of their garage usually don't.
    Last edited by Frenchosa; 03-09-14 at 12:56 AM.
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  11. #61
    Pedal to the medal
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    Good exchange here. IFTW, what bothers me is the flipper's poor grammar. Make the ad feel slimy.

  12. #62
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    Flippers dream, yesterday Austin Texas CL, Trek 1400 road bike, $40.00. It had been listed for 37 minutes, was deleted by seller, someone got a deal.
    He also had a Trek 820 for $60.00, deleted at same time.

    The 1400 had a very small frame, would have been perfect for my daughter, would not have flipped it!
    Last edited by a77impala; 03-08-14 at 06:37 AM. Reason: add
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  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by a77impala View Post
    Flippers dream, yesterday Austin Texas CL, Trek 1400 road bike, $40.00. It had been listed for 37 minutes, was deleted by seller, someone got a deal.
    He also had a Trek 820 for $60.00, deleted at same time.

    The 1400 had a very small frame, would have been perfect for my daughter, would not have flipped it!
    Right now there is a trek 1000 on my local C.L. for $25.00, no picture but the ad says it has new tires. It was posted a couple hours ago so I'm not sure if it's been sold yet or not but he ad is still up. I have too many bikes right now and no room to put it in my apartment. Kinda makes me feel sick when I see stuff like that and I am not in a position to buy another bike.

    Edit: I couldn't resist, I just called the seller and left a voice mail, if she calls me back and still has the bike I am going to buy it.
    Last edited by turky lurkey; 03-08-14 at 04:14 PM.

  14. #64
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Update. Bike still there. Flipper has now dropped the price to $225.
    Trek 7000 American made!!!!

  15. #65
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Update. Bike still there. Flipper has now dropped the price to $225.
    Trek 7000 American made!!!!
    You might let him know Lowe's has $5 off on Valspar paint for his door. I've seen better single wides.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
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  16. #66
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    You might let him know Lowe's has $5 off on Valspar paint for his door. I've seen better single wides.
    I am tempted to just offer him $60 and see what he says.

  17. #67
    Senior Member DavidW56's Avatar
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    I love the term "schmuck tax"! Thinking of adding it as a line item. I will say, though, that I have had very, very few bike flipping experiences that would require such a tax.
    Schwinn - World's Finest Bicycles.

  18. #68
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    +1, I was thinking you should offer the seller 90 with the explicit statement to help him cut his losses, you are willing to pay 90 for a bike thats probably worth 75, cause you are a nice guy and feel sorry for the flipper getting in over his head.

    Edit: For a couple of hundred you could offer to teach them about door painting, market based economics, market equilibration and gamesmanship.
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  19. #69
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    I am not a fan of flippers. Mainly because of being very hard to find an average rider for cheap. Took months to find a around town bomber. All the ok deals are gone so quick and im just shopping to a basic bike for sister in law to ride with her kids. I don't have the time to hit all the goodwills and garage sales. I bought my schwinn the day the add came up. $100 for a varsity. To much I know. Around me they are listed from $150 and needing tires to $250 ready to go. This on was in great shapes I bought it.
    Anyone thinking of getting into a bike for cheap are stuck with wore out Wal-Mart crap. They won't be happy With it.
    There is one flipper here that has a lot of bikes at fair our close to prices. But yeah +1000 on setting the same add for months.

  20. #70
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indytona675 View Post
    I am not a fan of flippers. Mainly because of being very hard to find an average rider for cheap. Took months to find a around town bomber. All the ok deals are gone so quick and im just shopping to a basic bike for sister in law to ride with her kids. I don't have the time to hit all the goodwills and garage sales. I bought my schwinn the day the add came up. $100 for a varsity. To much I know. Around me they are listed from $150 and needing tires to $250 ready to go. This on was in great shapes I bought it.
    Anyone thinking of getting into a bike for cheap are stuck with wore out Wal-Mart crap. They won't be happy With it.
    There is one flipper here that has a lot of bikes at fair our close to prices. But yeah +1000 on setting the same add for months.
    The Indy Goodwill store has good bikes online from time to time, very cheap.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

  21. #71
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indytona675 View Post
    Anyone thinking of getting into a bike for cheap are stuck with wore out Wal-Mart crap. They won't be happy With it. .
    Wrong. Flippers can't be first at every garage sale, or thrift store for that matter. Want a deal? Just go out there and hustle and you will find one.

    Good bikes at cheap prices abound if you hustle after them. The best deals tend to need work and are in out of the way locations. And my local co-op continues to provide bikes at or near free for people less fortunate.

    Its hard work to find anything in the "something for nothing, or near nothing" price range. This goes for cars, apartments, musical instruments, you name it. The ones with knowledge and willing and able to chase after deals tend to find them. The choice is yours.

    I have bought many bikes and frame sets off flippers, 3/4 of my keeper fleet came from flippers.

    Last time I was in Indianapolis, I hit the garage sales, found some incredible bikes. There are always deals out there.
    Last edited by wrk101; 06-01-14 at 04:56 PM.

  22. #72
    Senior Member Vonruden's Avatar
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    The harder you work, the luckier you get.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my bicycles for what I told her they cost."

    Get on your bikes and ride!

  23. #73
    Senior Member Thumpic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indytona675 View Post
    I am not a fan of flippers. Mainly because of being very hard to find an average rider for cheap. Took months to find a around town bomber. All the ok deals are gone so quick and im just shopping to a basic bike for sister in law to ride with her kids. I don't have the time to hit all the goodwills and garage sales. I bought my schwinn the day the add came up. $100 for a varsity. To much I know. Around me they are listed from $150 and needing tires to $250 ready to go. This on was in great shapes I bought it.
    Anyone thinking of getting into a bike for cheap are stuck with wore out Wal-Mart crap. They won't be happy With it.
    There is one flipper here that has a lot of bikes at fair our close to prices. But yeah +1000 on setting the same add for months.
    You should read your post again....slowly and objectively.......you contradict yourself at every turn........

    Enjoy your bargain Schwinn that you got on the same day the ad dropped....at $150 less than it should have been (your estimate).........
    Thumpic....

    Green is the new "CHEAP"

  24. #74
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vonruden View Post
    The harder you work, the luckier you get.
    I really like that. Thanks.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
    Pessimist: The glass is half-empty.
    Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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