It seems that people are more lured into buying complete bikes than parted out frames or incomplete projects regardless of condition or mechanics. I have learned that parting out bikes is not very profitable. I've lost money doing it but always felt happy to provide a good recycled component for less than a bike store would charge for new junk.
I've learned that doing work on a bike to flip is probably a waste of time. Yes...I want to do goodwill and provide good transportation/recreational riding for somebody but all the work after cables/bottom brackets doesn't turn a very good profit. Even adding 10$ drug store gumwall tires to an old bike cuts into the profit. It all adds up...That 25$ cartridge bottom bracket/25$ drug store tires/tubes/cables etc...I'm happy to flip a project for a profit rather than do the work. Its more profitable. Less time, more money.
Maybe its just beer money...but its still a nice profit.
I have learned that is best to take an absurdly good deal on a bike and flip it for an absurdly good deal. I think Kharma pays off. For instance I bought a Schwinn Le Tour at a garage sale for 5$. It was a basket case and needed lots of work. Instead of posting the usual 100-175$ craigslist junk ad I sold it for 40$ outright.
The buyer was very nice so I also threw in a spare set of Araya wheels. Two weeks later I found a junky old Schwinn step through bike at the dump/recycle center. The sticker price was 15$. I thought that was steep for a dumpster bike but guess what...It had a Cyclo Touriste crank in mint condition. I sold the cranks for 250$ to a nice guy. It just happened that I had a NOS pair of Mafac Cantilever brakes in my car to sell the guy who bought my TA cranks.
I paid 50$ for the Mafacs and sold them for 50$. I think the bottom line is too keep buying parts/bikes/frames etc... and sell them for modest humble profits instead of trying to get upper market value. If the trend of flipping bikes increases we will continue to see more people competing to get middle of the road junk and give the market of bikes more value.
Don't get me wrong. I like gas pipe Peugeots. But I don't think they are worth 150-250$. We ought to think of flipping bikes as community service without committing a crime to do the labor. Lets have some fun, make some money and get people exercising on the road.