Old 11-06-21, 07:26 AM
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Ask the proprietor where they source their bikes.

I was involved in flipping bikes for several years and at one time I had well over a hundred bikes hanging around. Most were purchased at local auctions but some were acquired from yard sales and Craigslist (buy low, sell high). For buying bikes, I was in competition with a other resellers, including a used bike store and a new/used bike store. The new/used bike store had buyers keeping an eye out for bikes and, I believe, were paid a fixed amount per bike. One reseller, who sold out of a storage unit, would buy large lots of bikes from a local bike rental place at the end of the season and then hold them until the spring rolled around the next year. Another reseller, who was a bit less scrupulous about his sources, would buy bikes from people off the street and a couple of stolen bikes were recovered from his inventory. I don't think he was ever charged with any crimes regarding bikes. There are lots of bikes out there, which makes it easy for unscrupulously obtained bikes to blend in with legitimately obtained bikes.

There are a couple of large scale used bike dealers near me now. Both are selling from their homes. One has a large quantity of what appear to be new, cheaper walmart/target type bikes. The other has a large number of better quality bikes and is cagey about where they came from but that doesn't mean they are stolen. However, given the scarcity of bikes during the pandemic, I can't help but think they have unsavory origins. I've read that on the West Coast, bikes are stolen in one city like, San Francisco, and transported to another city, like Seattle, for sale. I don't know if that's happening around here.

While I bought and sold some nice bikes during my flipping days, mostly I bought and sold bikes that were at least two or three generations old. Lots of road bikes with downtube shifters, old mountain bikes. Oddball things like Shimano FFS (Front Freewheel System)., A GT road bike with 700D tires (look up 700D tires, they aren't compatible with anything modern and are unavailable), Lambert bikes with dangerous cast aluminum "death" forks, etc... I decided I liked fiddling with and riding my own bikes more than chasing inventory and dealing with people.
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