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Bike Flipping 101

Old 10-14-14, 09:27 PM
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Yeah in some markets, flippers are the ones that keep the wheels turning. But in victoria, even old steel bikes are often advertised for 200 bucks. And then we end up with some flippers that snap up the good deals just so they can put the bike back up the next day fro 200 dollars more just because they no people have no choice but to pay more if they want a bike. It makes it hard to get good deals, and it really drives the prices up. Basically any bike around here thats a good deal, you have to get to it within hours or its gone
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Old 10-14-14, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by WynnT
............ Basically any bike around here thats a good deal, you have to get to it within hours or its gone
The same could be same about cars, homes, whatever. Everyone is always ready to jump on a deal. Don't assume the lucky buyer is a flipper.... although many do work hard to fine the good deals.

I wouldn't call myself a flipper! I do however like to wrench on classic old vintage bicycles for fun. And then... after a period of time and enjoyment I do sell the bikes. But I have also given away a couple as well. It's not profit that motivates me. Every "good deal" I've found (a couple within minutes of being posted on CL)..... needed real repairs and TLC.

Pretty much every dollar I've earned recycling these old classics I've put right back into other bicycle equipment.
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Old 10-15-14, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
The same could be same about cars, homes, whatever. Everyone is always ready to jump on a deal. Don't assume the lucky buyer is a flipper.... although many do work hard to fine the good deals.

I wouldn't call myself a flipper! I do however like to wrench on classic old vintage bicycles for fun. And then... after a period of time and enjoyment I do sell the bikes. But I have also given away a couple as well. It's not profit that motivates me. Every "good deal" I've found (a couple within minutes of being posted on CL)..... needed real repairs and TLC.

Pretty much every dollar I've earned recycling these old classics I've put right back into other bicycle equipment.
+1

As someone that does flip bikes...well...I more often tear down and distribute the parts...I guess I am a parts distributor more than a flipper...but...I do, occasionally, flip bikes as well...particularly when there is one that is well done...

Anyway...I find that "us flippers" are NOT the ones that drive up prices (well, there are a few in the Atlanta area that do stupid things!)...but...the people that buy bikes without knowing their real value. I have seen very marginal, Hi Ten bikes go for $500 or more here in the Atlanta area...bikes whose value was more like $50 (think Schwinn Varsity level...and I like the Varsity, it is just not worth that). Having lived in NH for 3 years...and finding it to be a very good market (near Boston) for buying/trading/selling bikes...Atlanta is much higher priced...and, IMHO, it is due to disposable income and buying bikes are inflated prices...but...as a form of "flipper"...I cannot afford to do that.
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Old 10-15-14, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by daf1009
Anyway...I find that "us flippers" are NOT the ones that drive up prices (well, there are a few in the Atlanta area that do stupid things!)...but...the people that buy bikes without knowing their real value. I have seen very marginal, Hi Ten bikes go for $500 or more here in the Atlanta area...bikes whose value was more like $50 (think Schwinn Varsity level...and I like the Varsity, it is just not worth that). Having lived in NH for 3 years...and finding it to be a very good market (near Boston) for buying/trading/selling bikes...Atlanta is much higher priced...and, IMHO, it is due to disposable income and buying bikes are inflated prices...but...as a form of "flipper"...I cannot afford to do that.
Do you have actual knowledge that the high tensile bikes are being sold for the asking prices? That info would have to come from from the buyer and/or seller. Otherwise, you're just like the CL sellers who find a BBC ad on ebay and assume that is what the bike FMV should be, rather look at closed and sold transactions. For example, there is a local CL ad for a Centurion Ironman single speed for $950. Does that make it FMV? Obviously not.

Even ebay is subject to overstating, because I locally pick up bikes rather than pay $40-$100 shipping fees. The other day I bid and won a bike at $80, but upon inspection there were issues and we made the deal at $40. But the sale on ebay is reported at $80.
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Old 10-15-14, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
I find silly high prices on C/L HELP me sell bikes. I had a Shogun I was selling for $200 earlier this year. Some nut was asking $450 for the same bike. So a buyer shows up, looks at my bike, asks why I am not asking more? I told him, well, I could charge you $300 if you would like, but I am fine with $200. He was happy, I was happy.

The more overpriced and underprepared bikes are on C/L, the better mine look with nice preparation and realistic prices.
for or the selling side, I wholeheartedly agree...
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Old 10-15-14, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2
Do you have actual knowledge that the high tensile bikes are being sold for the asking prices? That info would have to come from from the buyer and/or seller. Otherwise, you're just like the CL sellers who find a BBC ad on ebay and assume that is what the bike FMV should be, rather look at closed and sold transactions. For example, there is a local CL ad for a Centurion Ironman single speed for $950. Does that make it FMV? Obviously not.

Even ebay is subject to overstating, because I locally pick up bikes rather than pay $40-$100 shipping fees. The other day I bid and won a bike at $80, but upon inspection there were issues and we made the deal at $40. But the sale on ebay is reported at $80.
i ALWAYS refer to sold prices...not inflated wishes
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Old 10-15-14, 05:17 PM
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I had to laugh at this guy at a recent community garage sale. He had a dodge van and would pull up to each house, jump out, run up with a frenzied look on his face and ask if they had any bikes. I told him some guy in a ford truck had come through about ten minutes earlier. You'd have thought I plucked his heart out.
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Old 10-16-14, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
I had to laugh at this guy at a recent community garage sale. He had a dodge van and would pull up to each house, jump out, run up with a frenzied look on his face and ask if they had any bikes. I told him some guy in a ford truck had come through about ten minutes earlier. You'd have thought I plucked his heart out.
LOL...I have met "that guy" as well...
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Old 10-20-14, 09:31 AM
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Has anybody noticed differences in how fast certain sizes of bikes sell? I found a 88 Schwinn LeTour that I think I can get pretty cheap but it is a 19" and I ride closer to a 24". I just ride the bikes Ive flipped so far until they sell. Since this one is so small, I couldn't do that and am afraid I'll get stuck with a tiny bike that I can't use. I live in an apartment so space is a bigger issue than the $30 investment.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Countdown48
Has anybody noticed differences in how fast certain sizes of bikes sell? I found a 88 Schwinn LeTour that I think I can get pretty cheap but it is a 19" and I ride closer to a 24". I just ride the bikes Ive flipped so far until they sell. Since this one is so small, I couldn't do that and am afraid I'll get stuck with a tiny bike that I can't use. I live in an apartment so space is a bigger issue than the $30 investment.
My experience is that smaller bikes sell better. I'm not sure how that varies, though. I had a lot of women buying from me in my bike flipping days.
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Old 10-27-14, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
My experience is that smaller bikes sell better. I'm not sure how that varies, though. I had a lot of women buying from me in my bike flipping days.

Thanks for the help. I bought it for 30, cleaned it up a little bit and resold it for 65 in less than half a day. I priced it low because I was a little afraid it wouldn't sell but now I wish I had asked for a little more. I was amazed at how fast I got responses for such a small bike.
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Old 10-27-14, 02:59 PM
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Well, that worked out well for you. Now you can do better next time one comes along. I'm not sure why, but I had a lot of success selling bikes to women.
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Old 10-27-14, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Well, that worked out well for you. Now you can do better next time one comes along. I'm not sure why, but I had a lot of success selling bikes to women.
It's the handlebar moustache Tom!
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Old 10-27-14, 03:39 PM
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!
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Old 11-21-14, 01:48 AM
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I have only sold one bike so far. I have a question about what information to give when selling a bike. For example I had my 1986 Fuji Sundance for sale. I mentioned the size, lugged steel, the year (hoping to appeal to the vintage loving), and ALL the things I did to the bike - a list. Only had one guy come test ride. I started at a certain price, and ended up lowering it quite a bit. So I'm wondering if I had too much information in the CL ad. Maybe I should have just said something like "all bearings cleaned, lubed and adjusted" versus listing out headset, wheel hubs, bottom bracket, etc. Maybe for the uninitiated that much information would be too overwhelming. I usually mention make/model, year, size, aluminum rims, drivetrain components, and if anything is "new" like tires, etc. I feel like I could use some advice. I've read online articles about how to sell on CL. I live in the Portland, OR market which is hot.

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-14, 06:53 AM
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Sometimes you just have to have patience. People jump on the deals right away. A bike priced correct will get compared to other bikes in the area by a serious buyer. If you set a bottom line, stick to it.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender
Sometimes you just have to have patience. People jump on the deals right away. A bike priced correct will get compared to other bikes in the area by a serious buyer. If you set a bottom line, stick to it.
Thanks for the advice. It's raining here in Oregon so lots of people who ride bikes when it's nice out won't want to buy. I'll revamp my ad though and see what happens.
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Old 11-21-14, 02:11 PM
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Essentials are approximate age, frame material, size, suggested height of rider. List what you've done and what you've replaced. Most don't care or no enough about components. Also, if you are selling to a carless hipster, offer to deliver if convenient. Here are examples of mine:

Cannondale SR400

"A 1986 high performance Cannondale road bike made in the USA that is light, fast, and has responsive handling. All aluminum frame, chromoly steel fork, 58cm, for the rider from 5'9" to 6'1". Navy paint in very good vintage condition, but for one spot on left side down tube near bottom bracket (see photo). Suntour Cyclone 12 speed group, Dia Compe caliper brakes, 700c alloy rims, mounted with 23mm tires in very good condition. Tuned, wheel bearings replaced, rims trued, new grip tape, and ready to ride."

Motobecane Jubilee Sport

"Lightweight steel framed bicycle perfect for Slow Roll or commuting. Columbus steel frame with internal lugs, 52cm seat tube and 31" stand over height, for the rider from about 5'5"-5'9". Chromed fork is original to the bike. Bike has been stripped to frame and rebuilt. Components ultrasonically washed and polished. New components include: tires, tubes, handlebar, grips, brake levers, brake shoes, stainless brake cables, stainless shifter cables, new housing. New bearings in wheel hubs, bottom bracket, and headset. Shimano ARX rear derailleur and 10 speeds.Cash only, please include zip code in response."

PX10

"What fashion conscious woman of breeding on a Dutch bike or Mixte can resist a tall man riding an elegant French racing bike on the Westside Highway bike path, Brooklyn Bridge, or in Central Park? She will undoubtably want to take a selfie with the devilishy handsome bike and statuesque owner, or with the devilishy handsome owner and statuesque bike. She'll run her fingers over the smooth leather saddle, fondle the down tube shifters saying it takes a real man to learn how to handle friction shifters, and give your tubular tires a squeeze and squeal in delight how firm they are. She'll bend over in a halfway lift to examine the Campagnolo hubs and to signal she's hot for you. Then she will tell you when she was at Barnard, NYU, Smith or Mt. Holyoke, that she dreamed about touring France's wine country via Mixte with a man on a PX10. Next she'll flip over to an Urdhva Dhanurasan to suggest you and her should rush over on impulse via ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Don't forget to stop first to buy a bottle of fine bubbly or white Bordeaux, but don't leave the PX10 unattended for a minute in Manhattan. Finally, she'll want your phone number to text you.

On the other hand, if you already have a partner or spouse, every time you say you’re going for a ride on the PX10, they’ll want to join you because they fear too many others will want to hit on a man lucky enough to own a PX10.

This is the real deal, a Peugeot PX10 from the early 1970’s, made in France, imported from Michigan. Prior to my acquiring it, it is a one owner bicycle, bought by a man right out of college. I acquired this last summer, but just picked up another PX10 which fits me better.

You can see from the photos that the Reynolds 531 steel frame is in very good used condition. Stronglight cranks, Lyotard pedals, Christophe toeclips, Stronglight headset, Mafac "Racer" brakes and levers, Campagnolo Record hubs and skewers, tubular rims (no decals), AVA stem and handlebars."



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Old 11-21-14, 09:21 PM
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Some people like technical explanations but descriptions that appeal to emotions might be a better bet.
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Old 11-21-14, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen
I have only sold one bike so far. I have a question about what information to give when selling a bike. For example I had my 1986 Fuji Sundance for sale. I mentioned the size, lugged steel, the year (hoping to appeal to the vintage loving), and ALL the things I did to the bike - a list. Only had one guy come test ride. I started at a certain price, and ended up lowering it quite a bit. So I'm wondering if I had too much information in the CL ad. Maybe I should have just said something like "all bearings cleaned, lubed and adjusted" versus listing out headset, wheel hubs, bottom bracket, etc. Maybe for the uninitiated that much information would be too overwhelming. I usually mention make/model, year, size, aluminum rims, drivetrain components, and if anything is "new" like tires, etc. I feel like I could use some advice. I've read online articles about how to sell on CL. I live in the Portland, OR market which is hot.

Thanks.
@Velocivixen, I have an idea for some fun, if you're willing. Post a couple pics of the bike and the ad you wrote. Then others among is can take a try at writing the ad that they would use to sell the bike. I'd like to see what the experienced flippers might write; and how Tom works his ladykilling mustache into it. I myself am a complete novice in selling bikes.
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Old 11-21-14, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl
@Velocivixen, I have an idea for some fun, if you're willing. Post a couple pics of the bike and the ad you wrote. Then others among is can take a try at writing the ad that they would use to sell the bike. I'd like to see what the experienced flippers might write; and how Tom works his ladykilling mustache into it. I myself am a complete novice in selling bikes.
Okay, I can do that. But I don't want to hijack this thread. You know.....It's not all about me. And yes Tom @noglider, has a very handsome and well coiffed mustache.

@noglider - I adjusted the ad and talked about how it's cyclocross season here and wouldn't it be great to smoke your buddies riding a vintage lugged bike. Tried to appeal to the "guy" crowd. Cyclocross is winding down though. A female bike mechanic in town told me that she's noticed that bikes sell better in the middle of the month (no worries about rent money), on sunny days and don't price over about $400, of course unless it's a real high end rig. Those are her observations selling bikes in the Portland market.
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Old 11-21-14, 10:20 PM
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Heh. I made some mistakes trimming it this week, so it's much smaller for a while.
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Old 01-04-15, 12:20 PM
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Have a Fuji S12-s LTD left by tennant want to sell..... Whats it worth?

My name is john. I have a Fuji s12-s LTD in decent shape want to get my damages out of it. Please let me know what its worth or what someone will pay for quick sale. Im from Michigan.

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Old 01-04-15, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by johns2084
My name is john. I have a Fuji s12-s LTD in decent shape want to get my damages out of it. Please let me know what its worth or what someone will pay for quick sale. Im from Michigan.
There is a thread for what's it worth.. bring some pictures with you.
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Old 01-16-15, 01:03 AM
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I am foremost a collector/tinkerer. 2nd a rider. I am always looking for the good stuff at a price I can live with. I see mediocre deals all the time. The bikes that's I have flipped for profit, all needed cleaning, and or chains/tubes/seats/tape.... In my experience, when all that is done the price goes way up. People want bikes that they can get on and ride, no work involved......... Unless you find some nice vintage that you want to flip.... My advice there is do nothing.... Let the end guy fix it up.... Maximize your profit by not spending money!!!
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