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  1. #1
    Senior Member tpolley's Avatar
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    how much would you spend on a thirft store bike?

    the wife and i go to thrift stores about every weekend. she looks at her stuff, i look at mine. i'm usually done in about 5 minutes, she takes about 20. i might buy something 1% of the time.

    anyway, the first thing i look at is the bicycle section. it's very rare that i find a bike i'm remotely interested in. 99.99999% of the time its kids bikes, and if there is an adult bike it's a huffy or a next or some other walmart bike. about a year ago i bought a 1980 schwinn le tour, made in america for $20. i put about $50 in it to get it road worthy. i didn't figure that was a bad little score.

    this evening i happened to drive by a thrift store i frequent, so i stopped to see what they had. i was surprised to see they had a mens giant mountain bike that looked to be early to mid 90's and a trek mens mountian bike that looked to be late 80s, early 90's. i didn't make it as far as looking at the models. i don't know much about bikes, but i know trek and giant are fairly nice brands. they both needed the works, cables, housings, tires, tubes, grips, brakes, saddles, i'm sure the bearings needed cleaned and re-packed. i can do all the work myself, but they wanted $40 for each bike. i figured by the time i pay $40 each, buy all the parts, and do all the work i'd have more in them then what they're worth.

    last week i found an old 70's bianchi road bike in another thrift store that also needed just about everything and they wanted $100.

  2. #2
    Senior Member road2you's Avatar
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    60$ depending on what you find
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, $40 for old and maybe low-end name-brand bikes that need lots of work, is just not worth it- you could probably find the same bikes in good condition at a garage sale or on CL for $75 or even $100- and ya'd be ahead of the game.

    The Bianchi, on the other hand- depending on the model, may well be worth the $100. Unless, of course, it's their low-end model...which it well might be, or it likely wouldn't have ended up in the thrift store.

  4. #4
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Same as a garage sale or CL. Its the condition of the bike and repairs needed that determines what something is worth. Some bikes I wouldn't take if you gave them to me - regardless where they happen to be.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Depends on what you are looking for and if you plan to keep the bike or try and sell it (called flipping) at a profit. I bought a pair of Dahon folding bikes for $100, then promptly put $180 more into the pair of them. That is $280 for a pair of bikes that are probably worth $300 on the open market in good condition. I bought them to keep and ride, the closest new bikes on the market would have set me back over $700 so to me it was a win. There are a lot of variables you have to take into consideration.

    People think that I am nuts for spending nearly $900 on my new city bike (purchased new) but it was what I wanted and it fits me, and it isn't something you will find in a thrift store.


    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Same as a garage sale or CL. Its the condition of the bike and repairs needed that determines what something is worth. Some bikes I wouldn't take if you gave them to me - regardless where they happen to be.
    I will take anything you give me, but the bottom of the barrel bikes will end up on the pile headed to the scrappers. An aluminum Next frame is worth at least $15 and I can strip one down in 30 minutes, that works out to $30 an hour tax free.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  7. #7
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I will take anything you give me, but the bottom of the barrel bikes will end up on the pile headed to the scrappers. An aluminum Next frame is worth at least $15 and I can strip one down in 30 minutes, that works out to $30 an hour tax free.

    Aaron
    Here we have to beg people to come by and pick up metal for recycling!!!!

    Now I feel so ...... used!

  8. #8
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    Seems to me, one often finds better quality stuff at scrap metal places and garbage dumps than at thrift stores.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Same as a garage sale or CL. Its the condition of the bike and repairs needed that determines what something is worth. Some bikes I wouldn't take if you gave them to me - regardless where they happen to be.
    This.

    Though I might spend a bit more at a thrift store for the same item, if I like the organization and trust them to be an honest business.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Here we have to beg people to come by and pick up metal for recycling!!!!

    Now I feel so ...... used!
    I have plenty of room to store it until the trailer fills up, then off to the scrappers it goes. We have one smaller trailer for aluminum and a larger one for steel/iron. Good thing I have 40 acres. We did a clean up of old farm equipment a while back and the trailer load brought in over $3k.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Are you buying it to ride or are you buying it to sell?

    If you're buying it to sell, the computation is fairly easy. Estimate a reasonable selling price. That's the most you can put into it and still break even. Estimate the cost of any needed replacements or repairs. Tell the seller what you're willing to spend and, if they won't deal, smile and walk away.

    If you're buying it to ride it gets a little more complicated because your emotions get involved. How badly do you want it? I'd gladly pay $100.00 for a 70's Bianchi that needed just about everything but it would have to be in my size and it would have to be painted Celeste.

  12. #12
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    i only have 2 goodwills and 1 st vincent near me.
    you have to count your blessings to have reasonable prices at thrifts stores. here they have gone insane with there pricing.
    2 years ago the giants would be $15 and the bianchi about $50.
    now the giant bikes would be priced at at least $75 at the thrifts near me.
    the bianchi probably would be priced around $200.
    they ask $50+ for beat up wally world bikes now.
    i really don't like spending over $35 for older bikes at thrifts, a nice bike i don't have a problen spending more, because they are usually pretty abused when they end up at a thrift store here.
    before they end up at a thrift they try to sell at a rummage sale a couple of times, then advertised on craigslist for a while before they get donated. by the the only ones that don't sell are usually junk.
    Last edited by mrt2you; 02-16-13 at 05:17 PM.

  13. #13
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    As others have said, it depends entirely on the bike. I've bought a couple of nice '80s mountain bikes (Specialized and Bstone) for $25 each to convert to beaters/commuters. A friend recently spent $900 on a tandem.

  14. #14
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    As others have said, it depends entirely on the bike. I've bought a couple of nice '80s mountain bikes (Specialized and Bstone) for $25 each to convert to beaters/commuters. A friend recently spent $900 on a tandem.

  15. #15
    Senior Member road2you's Avatar
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    i happen to stop by the thrift store today near me, good will, and i found no good bikes, ended u spending about $40 tho...odd

    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    Seems to me, one often finds better quality stuff at scrap metal places and garbage dumps than at thrift stores.
    i wish i came to read updates, but now that you mention this
    your super smart, i need to go look at the rates of what my area gives per lbs., vs. the price of the bike at the store

    one of the messed up mtb bikes had a kriptonite lock the chain kind wrapped around the top tube, and all i thought to myself was...why is the lock not on the shelf with a pretty key attached to it with a $10 tag on it...
    TREK 2300 carbon Frame||-&-||LEADER 735T
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  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Had a meeting of 2 people, in the LBS a few months ago, ..
    one guy donated a bike,
    took $600 in a charitable tax deduction, with the Goodwill reciept,
    the other guy got the Bike for $100.

    the bike in question, one and the same..

  17. #17
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Fmv?

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  18. #18
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    I saw a 60's Schwinn, I don't remember the model, in the Goodwill store for $20. It needed tires, cables, etc. but the frame, rims, and all that seemed sound. I didn't buy it cause I didn't want to put the time into it. Now I wish I had. Someone is always looking for a bike.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  19. #19
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    Back in 2006, the rear wheel of the bike I was then riding (a tank of a bike from WallyWorld) basically came apart while riding. Started shopping thrift stores looking for either another bike to ride, or at least one I could use the rear wheel from. One evening my wife and I stopped in a Salvation Army thrift store just to see if they had anything. Tucked away in a corner was a Giant Sedona that appeared to be in good shape. Didn't have a price on it however, so we tracked down a cashier. Well, the lady we found didn't have a clue, so she said she would sell it for $35. Let's just say that I snatched that baby up in a heartbeat. Turns out it was in fantastic shape. The only thing I had to adjust was the height of the seat. That thrift store could have sold that bike for at least twice as much as I paid for it and still someone would have gotten a great deal.

    Still have it and ride it occasionally, although not so much since I got my Diamondback hybrid last summer.


  20. #20
    Rhapsodic Laviathan
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    People want too much money for those two bikes you found at that store- 40 bucks each is a steal and what an 80's or early 90's bike should go for anyway.
    The speed is break neck, faster than a high speed dual cassette tape deck.

  21. #21
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    It all depends on the bike. I've yet to find a bike I like at the thrift stores, but I chalk that up to bad luck. The more work a bike needs has a spot in the overall decision. Work needed to be done + price + mechanical skill or cost to hire someone else + spare parts you have available all factor in.

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