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Bike Flipping 101

Old 03-31-10, 03:22 PM
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That'd be the one...
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Old 04-02-10, 12:20 PM
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That looks like a Reynolds decal at the top of the seat tube!
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Old 04-03-10, 09:19 AM
  #153  
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Okay, I've searched this whole list, and I can't find any info on shipping, how to pack, best place to find boxes, best (cheapest) shipper to use etc. I am admittedly very new to flipping, but I do have 30+ years experience wrenching/riding bikes, and I have all the appropriate tools. I'm finding places to pick up some cheap rides, one for $5.94!, and I've been in sales for 20+ years, so I feel pretty confident about 90% of all this. I just don't know squat about the shipping, other than local pick up must rule!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!
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Old 04-03-10, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by javaride
Okay, I've searched this whole list, and I can't find any info on shipping, how to pack, best place to find boxes, best (cheapest) shipper to use etc. I am admittedly very new to flipping, but I do have 30+ years experience wrenching/riding bikes, and I have all the appropriate tools. I'm finding places to pick up some cheap rides, one for $5.94!, and I've been in sales for 20+ years, so I feel pretty confident about 90% of all this. I just don't know squat about the shipping, other than local pick up must rule!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!
You can get a boxes from just about any friendly LBS. You will also want to get some pipe insulation from you local hardware store. Go to YouTube and search for "how to pack a bicycle to ship" and you will see plenty of videos to help you out. I have used both FedEx and UPS. I think UPS is a little cheaper.



Here are some pics of a 64 Sting Ray I packed recently. (Paid $15 , Sold for $500)

I put all of the extra parts wrapped individually in a smaller box that I packed in with the frame. One big thing to do is reenforce any where you think might get punctured from an axle or fork or such. Good luck.



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Old 04-04-10, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
That looks like a Reynolds decal at the top of the seat tube!
Indeed it is, good sir! I'm thinking I'm going to restore this beast as close as I can get it to its factory glory on my (extremely) limited budget.

How much do you think I can sell it for?
motobecane 001..jpg
motobecane 002..jpg
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Old 07-11-10, 10:45 PM
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I'm not a flipper per se, though I buy bikes I want if they're cheap, and work on 'em, ride 'em and then sell them at some point within a year to finance another project.

I live in nyc, land of the lock-up commuter and no such thing as a truly cheap/free bike. The bikes that wind up in landfills or by the curb elsewhere are often the ones we ride to work on everyday and replace with equally abysmal bikes when they get stolen or trashed by vandals

1. Live in the NE or Mid-atlantic? Pick up cheap, free, even slightly rusty old geared bikes and bring them to NYC in a van each Spring. 2-4x. (No, never done this myself, but if I travelled and owned a van, or I'd certainly try
1. Market governs present value. Pay attention to what sells.
2. If you've won a classic bike on eBay that you plan to flip, don't post it the following week for a starting bid of twice the amount you paid for it without some thought. Especially if you can't be bothered to wipe it down or change the tires. Even more so if you beat out 15 other people to get it. Fifteen people have already decided its worth; you paid the most. They'll remember the bike and they'll remember you.
3. Be ethical. If you got a bike free or cheap because it's seriously damaged or has significant issues, don't resell without at least stating this upfront or improving it.
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Old 07-24-10, 06:25 PM
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Good stuff here!

I don't flip bikes, per say. People bring me bikes all the time.

I know, everyone here wants to know how can that be.

I own a pawn shop! LOL! So I see all types of bikes all the time.

bought two treks, one fx7.3, one smaller 520, both for $50 total.
needless to say I sold the 520 for a good price and rode the FX untill my shinny new surly came in.
now the FX is gone for $300.

Good luck to all.
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Old 08-09-10, 07:37 PM
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I have flipped about 75 bikes in two years. I start by doing a good clean up. A small pressure washer makes this go fast. Next it goes on bike stand to see if wheels are trued. Make sure brakes are adjusted and do not rub rims. I clean chain and derailers with WD40 and wipe down with rags. Lube chain, derailers with good bike oil. Apply lube on all cables till they move smoothly. I found a good lube oil in a motorcycle shop that put the oil right into the cable housing thru a thin metal housing about the size of a needle. If tires look safe I don't bother replacing. If the wheels spin o.k. I don't lube. I found over time that I wasn't getting paid to totally rebuild a bike, so i just get a bike safe to ride and work properly. I found people were would buy a bike as long as it work properly and was safe. I would have to charge twice as much to change all the tires and do all the bearings. i would price myself out of the market. On a high end racing bike I would make sure the wheels and tires are all like new and regreased, just because those kind of bikes bring in buyers that are willing to spend more to get the great bikes.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:09 PM
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spathfinder3408, great story! How much time per week do you spend on this venture of yours? I am trying to decide to get deeper into this or to back out of it.
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Old 08-11-10, 09:44 PM
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I am sporatic as far as time. I used to buy bikes cheap that needed a lot of work and found its better to spend a little more and get a bike in good condition. For instance. No rust. Tires o.k. Buy a bike that you know will sell in your area. If I buy a bike that just needs tires pumped up, cleaned and tuned, your looking at 1 hour of your time for that bike. also make sure the wheels are true or near true. a bent wheel can take forever if ever to fix. If you use these guidelines you can make a good profit with very little effort and have fun doing it . I would be willing to spend more time on a bike if it would bring in $300 to $400. Less if its $150 to $200. I mostly do Road Bikes now because Moutain Bikes don't have the value for the most part in my area. If the shocks on the Mountain Bikes are bad your looking at buying another set on Ebay. Can't rebuild when there so old. Its worth it, just need patience. enjoy
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Old 09-10-10, 05:36 PM
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how much capital do you have invested in these flipper bikes? to flip a nice racing bike you must have to spend a decent amount to get it in the first place.
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Old 09-10-10, 11:14 PM
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I agree with WRK, it doesn't have to take a big investment to get started. In less than two years, I am a few grand in the black plus I have multiple keepers, plus I have a backlog inventory of about 40 bikes to work on.
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Old 09-11-10, 06:57 AM
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I haven't been keeping track of my finances. I have a lot of bikes, though.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:21 AM
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I do it only as deal present themselves, I dont do much seeking for bikes to flip, that said, Im up a grand at least and I have only been doing it for about 4 months.
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Old 09-11-10, 08:48 AM
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Another cool side benefit is that it gives you seed money and materials for fun side projects. I have a few rat rod projects planned and a couple of longtail projects (one with my Raleigh 20) in mind. Yesterday I picked up a cheapo suspension bike so I use the tail end for my full size homemade longtail. And today I found a skateboard to use on that back racks.
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Old 09-13-10, 07:41 AM
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flipping guidlines

I use a rule of thumb I learned from selling on Ebay. Don't spend any more then one third of what you expect to sell a bike for. That covers expenses for renovating, listing ect. You should at least double your profit or its just not worth your time. That rule works pretty good. Sometimes I make more profit and sometimes less, but the average is at least double. Scrounging extra parts off other bikes is the key to extra profits




Originally Posted by MitchL
how much capital do you have invested in these flipper bikes? to flip a nice racing bike you must have to spend a decent amount to get it in the first place.
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Old 09-13-10, 06:27 PM
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When ever you buy a bike, make sure you also ask for any accesories or spare parts they might have. Many times they will throw those in to help close the sale. There have been a few bikes where I have made just as much from selling the extras as I have for the actual bike.
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Old 09-14-10, 04:08 PM
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That's brilliant. I'll do that from now on.
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Old 09-14-10, 11:13 PM
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Also don't forget to ask if they have any other bikes to sell. When I bought my Raleigh Twenty, I asked to old Englishman what other bikes he had and as he showed me through his garage he had some modern box store bikes that he wanted list price for, but he had a beat up Schwinn StingRay hanging from the rafters. I picked it up for $15. Turns out it was a first year 1964. After doing nothing but taking the electrical tape from the original polo seat, I posted it on the Schwinn forum and sold it for $500.


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Old 09-15-10, 06:04 AM
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Did you even ride the Stingray?
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Old 09-16-10, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Did you even ride the Stingray?
I would have loved too. I grew up with a Sears Screamer 2 so I love muscle bikes.
but the Stingray had too many broken spokes up front.
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Old 10-29-10, 03:50 PM
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I would say in the last 1-2 years I've gotten hooked on bike flipping... I tend to average 40-60% profit. I does take up lots of time and energy and space as well as causing some tiffs with the wife... but that is solved with going out to a nice dinner on bike money and using bike profits to fix up the house.

I'm not feeding my self doing this by any means but it feeds the habit and hobby and put some cash in my pocket

I just pickup a lot of 7 vintage road bikes plus a box of parts for $210... I couldn't resist even though bikes sales are about to slow to a hault. My problem is winter is coming and people are getting rid of nice bikes for cheap... too much temptation to keep buying till spring and then have way to many projects to tackle.

Bike flipping... part hobby part addiction
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Old 11-08-10, 05:26 PM
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Where do you guys find this stuff? I find craigslist pretty dry in my area (Canada), but have done OK by checking out the local recycle depot and police auctions.
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Old 11-08-10, 06:37 PM
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People know I'm the bike guy. They give me bikes they don't need any more, or they offer to sell bikes to me.

What kind of area are you in? What's the population density? I live in a small town, but it's very dense, and it's near NYC. Almost all of New Jersey is very densely populated.
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Old 11-08-10, 07:02 PM
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Hey, what's the greatest number of bikes you (anyone here) have brought home in a day? My record is seven.

Church and synagogue rummage sales are great. The prices aren't always the lowest, but they're close.

You can use google alerts to find out when there will be a sale near you. Get on whatever lists or feeds you can about estate sales. Estate sales are great. I picked up two old English three-speeds at an estate sale. They weren't even on display. I just happened to start talking about bikes with the saleswoman, and she said I should take a look in the garage. The bikes were buried and worth unburying. I got the two bikes for $30.

Tom
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