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Bike Flipping 101

Old 06-22-22, 09:40 PM
  #626  
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Originally Posted by Mr.Toolbox
Is it just me or has it become harder to sell vintage bikes to normal people? People seem to be unwilling to pay anything for a steel bike these days, especially now when you can pick up an aluminum bike with sti levers for 250$.
...it's almost a year later, and no, I don't think it's just you.
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Old 06-24-22, 10:14 AM
  #627  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...it's almost a year later, and no, I don't think it's just you.
More and more, flipping is all about PARTS, and not complete bikes. If the bike has good components, I can get as much for just the crankset and rear derailleur as I can for a complete bike. And complete bikes in ready to ride condition cost me $50 to $100 in consumables and 4 to 6 hours in time. Dismantling can be done in an hour or less. Add one hour for cleaning parts, writing ads, taking pictures. So in half the time, and zero spending on consumables, I can get 2X to 5X out of parts.

Every market is different.

Picked up a bike yesterday, $30, no wheels, no tires, no tubes, torn seat. So I could spend $150 on consumables and wheels (more if I didn't have a lot of parts), and have a bike I could sell for $125. So lets see, 4 to 6 hours of work, and I could lose $55. And I would waste time with no shows/tire kickers/low ballers.

Or I can part it out. Pedals, derailleurs, crankset, frameset, all have value. I estimate $350 total, less fees of around $75. So in less time, no consumable spending, I can make about $275. Or I can put a lot more time into it, and lose $55. I may have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night.


The market has spoken. I will still refurbish bikes for family and friends. I also know a handful of collectors that appreciate the really rare or high end stuff. The rest go as parts.

Last edited by wrk101; 06-26-22 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 06-24-22, 06:45 PM
  #628  
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Went to garage sale a few weeks ago with bikes as the headliner. The guy had a pristine, full suspension, Klein parted out. He wanted $500 for the frame, $300 for the wheels and a box of parts for $50. A guy beat me to the box...full XTR drivetrain. That frame will never be what it was.
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Old 06-28-22, 02:53 PM
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Best bet is to learn to recognise good quality or desirable parts. This way you can part out a worthless wreck, even if it is beyond repair. I do this regularly, it is one of my best consistent sellers. It helps that my day job is as a bike mechanic. If the parts say Shimano deore on them there is a air chance the bike is worth effort. Old Raleigh parts are also worth money in decent nick, but I mean more than 30 year old. even the little wheel nuts.
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Old 07-04-22, 05:30 PM
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I just bought a vintage Nishiki on Craigslist free section. I talked him down to zero.

I never heard of it so I joined this forum because of it to research.

I didn't even consider it being worth anything. I saw one like it on eBay for $700 shipped.

So now I'm considering flipping it. I'm amazed at how well it still rides. My son and I went for a ride earlier through Denver and I smoked his $200 Schwinn Copeland.
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Old 07-24-22, 08:54 AM
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Kind of tangential but, can anyone recommend a sub $200 camera that will work well for taking pictures of stuff I'd like to sell? Thanks
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Old 07-24-22, 09:14 AM
  #632  
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Walmart sells several sub $200 digital cameras these days it seems. And if you have a smartphone, most of them these days have great cameras giving you the ability to upload to CL, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc..
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Old 07-24-22, 09:15 AM
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Most cameras with higher pixels will work fine. I think background and lighting is more important.
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Old 09-16-22, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
Kind of tangential but, can anyone recommend a sub $200 camera that will work well for taking pictures of stuff I'd like to sell? Thanks
if you want a sub $200 camera I would go with used - much like bikes a $800-1200 camera that is an older model can sell for $200.
But . . . as a previous poster stated a phone is the way to go. I am still using stand alone digital cameras - an old cannon S95 which was a top of the line prosumer model and the GX9 mark II - almost all of the time people get better shots with their smart phone. I have a better lens and sensor, but they have better processor and algorithm that makes nice pics.

Last edited by SoCaled; 09-18-22 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 09-18-22, 05:57 AM
  #635  
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Originally Posted by Chuck M
Walmart sells several sub $200 digital cameras these days it seems. And if you have a smartphone, most of them these days have great cameras giving you the ability to upload to CL, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc..
I use my iPhone camera and sell a lot of parts and other items on eBay. Agree, lighting and background are more important!


itís not just the quality of the picture either. Itís so much easier to go directly from phone to C/L or FB marketplace. Speeds up the process!!

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Old 09-18-22, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
I use my iPhone camera and sell a lot of parts and other items on eBay. Agree, lighting and background are more important!


itís not just the quality of the picture either. Itís so much easier to go directly firm phone to C/L or FB marketplace. Speeds up the process!!
Agreed, I still waste a lot of time loading pics onto computer and then uploading to individual sites - the old ways are not always the smartest ways. That said, and you can still do this easily with a smart phone if you want to, I do enjoy looking at pictures on a full size screen rather than a small smart phone screen.
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Old 09-30-22, 07:45 AM
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Looking for bikes on craigslist is annoying as hell. Always the same ads reposted every day. How are they doing this? is it a relisting program? I figure manually reposting ads would get old quick. Talking about those mega flippers always selling 20 bikes a day flooding the platform.

Last edited by kitbiggz; 09-30-22 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 09-30-22, 01:02 PM
  #638  
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Lighting and composition important for photography???

Who woulda thought?!?!
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Old 10-01-22, 03:32 PM
  #639  
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Originally Posted by kitbiggz
Looking for bikes on craigslist is annoying as hell. Always the same ads reposted every day. How are they doing this? is it a relisting program? I figure manually reposting ads would get old quick. Talking about those mega flippers always selling 20 bikes a day flooding the platform.
Manual renewing. Often ads are synced up at the same time so 30 sec going through the list of renew every 48 hours is not difficult.
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Old 12-14-22, 06:00 PM
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Oh wow really?
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Old 02-10-23, 06:11 PM
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What to do with cool but cosmetically challenged frames??

I've got a bunch of very cool but cosmeticaly challenged bikes that I've decided to strip down to bare frames. Some of them started off as very nice bikes, and it seems wrong just to scrap them. The only Co-op around is not realy into rat rods, so even giving them away is a challenge. Powder coating on spec would be ridiculous. I think it might be easier to sell forks on Ebay than full frames. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-10-23, 06:51 PM
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I've never had ANY luck selling forks on ebay. I have sold forks here on this forum. At the local level, no luck selling frame sets either. Sell here, or ebay. People here will expect a discount. eBay is chock full of fees, buyers win all disputes, etc.
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Old 03-24-23, 12:22 AM
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Great idea!
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Old 09-17-23, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 23skidoo
I think a sticky thread on flipping is a great idea for a place where flippers and wannabe flippers can share tips on what they do and how they do it. As for flipping as a way to a self-supporting bike habit I don't see that as a realistic goal. I flipped around 25 bikes in the last year and each and every one of them was considerably improved and immaculately cleaned. You can buy cheap, be careful about what you buy, know your target market--I live in a city with a large university so a good share of my flippers went to students--stockpile parts, buy cheap but decent parts when you need to but in the end any hope of really making a profit goes directly to the term 'opportunity cost' from Econ 101, i.e. could the time you spend on your flippers have been invested more profitably elsewhere. For me its a hobby and an avocation but my wife, who is a wonderful person but far too mercenary in this respect constantly harps about me not recovering the cost for my labor, Pedro's bike wash, chain lube, Phil Wood waterproof grease, the rags I wash in our washer and dry in our dryer, the solvent I use to clean up dead and damaged parts so the recycling dude will pick them up at our curbside dropoff, and generally ignores me when I say 'but honey it's a hobby fer chrissakes, would you rather have me collecting Corvettes and chasing hookers?'
I like the way you think. Iím living the dream. My bike shop is not a money maker. Itís a hobby that I spend about $200 monthly. Iím love being a bottom feeder. I turn sowís ears into silk. Iíve run out of family and friends to give my bikes to so Iím giving them to individuals who like/ride bikes. Pay it forward.
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