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Have used bike prices skyrocketed?

Old 07-09-11, 07:12 PM
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Myosmith
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Have used bike prices skyrocketed?

I did a little hunting in area thrift and pawn shops today and am suffering sticker shock.

Here are a couple examples:

1970s Schwinn Varsity, significant surface rust on all chrome parts, cables shot, tire shot, handlebar on backwards and wrapped with cloth athletic tape, cheap aftermarket seat, paint and decals in poor to fair condition. Price $59.99 at a thrift store.

Early 2000s aluminum Trek 820 in well used but servicable condition. Mismatched rims, neither of them anything special. Shimano front derailer, Sram rear derailer with Sram MRX Twist Shifters. Lots of scratches and a couple of minor dings but no serious structural damage. $200 at a pawn shop. They had a similar age and condition base model Specialized MTB (didn't catch the model or details) $350 at the same shop.

Even at garage sales I'm seeing well used WalMart type bikes going for $50 to $75.

I sold off my only flip bike just a few weeks ago for what I thought was a fair price, but I'm starting to wish I had asked more. Is the demand for used bikes way up or what?
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Old 07-09-11, 07:37 PM
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Nope, if anything, pricing is down on rehabbed bikes. The problem on garage sale and thrift store pricing, the economy has been so bad, for so long, that everybody and his brother is snagging just about anything at thrift stores, hoping to turn a few bucks. You should have seen the line in front of the musical instrument case yesterday at Goodwill. Most of the instruments never made it into the case. Buyers were all scoopers. Heck, I grabbed a couple to resell myself.

All of this has led to price compression. Prices on project bikes are up, prices on finished bikes are down. Flippers are caught in the middle. Thrift stores are selling stuff so fast, they are catching on, and pushing their prices up. And people buying at thrift stores are "assuming" everything is a good deal, I routinely watch people grab craptastic bikes at high prices. They just assume they are getting a deal.

As far as Pawn shops, I have always seen really stupid high prices at Pawn shops. Whether they get those prices or not, who knows.
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Old 07-09-11, 11:45 PM
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In my city garage sale prices are insanely low. Two weeks ago I picked up 12 to 14 bikes at a total cost of $32.00. That included a well equipped and maintained Marin for $20.00 with a replacement cost of $2200.00 .Three out of four bikes I get are free because people hid them from the garage sale to throw out later. This past week I helped a bike shop clear out their yard in exchange for anything enroute to the scrap yard for free. I kept several clean , high value frames with Deore derailers and trigger shifters still hanging on them . I currently have reasonable luck selling low end bikes for $50.00 to $150.00. Lately I'm questioning the value of fixing beaters because our local equivalent of of Craigslist has so many running bikes selling for $10.00 to $25.00. There are two thing I don't understand. One is how I can sell anything when private sellers are only asking $10.00 to $25.00 for so many bikes. The other thing is how so many people here put $500.00 bicycles in the garbage for nothing more than a flat tire and a sticky cable. Throughout my life most of my bikes came from dumpsters. There are better bikes there than I could ever afford to buy.
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Old 07-10-11, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Salvor View Post
That included a well equipped and maintained Marin for $20.00 with a replacement cost of $2200.00 .
Do tell.

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Old 07-10-11, 07:29 AM
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While this year has been very good at garage sales, definitely not as good as above. Typically, G/S bike prices run from $10 to $50. Most I have paid was $75. 90% of garage sale bikes are MTBs or Xmart crap, so you have to see a lot of bikes before you see something decent. I only pick up road/racing bikes. This year, brands I have picked up include Cannondale, Motobecane, Giant, Nishiki, and a few other brands. Lots of days, I don't find any bikes, so its easy to get discouraged. Only thing that keeps me going is that 99% of what I pick up are items for my wife's resale business. The bikes are just a nice, juicy, bonus.

Assume every garage sale bike will need work. So unless you have the tools/time/aptitude/parts/etc., garage sale bikes aren't as good of a deal as they appear. And if you are looking for a specific size, forget it.

It goes in waves. Last week was my best week ever for garage sales, this week was my worst week ever.

Its been about a year since I have found a good bike at a thrift store. When they get them (and they do), they only last a nanosecond, so unless I camp out at thrift stores, I am not going to find them.
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Old 07-10-11, 08:19 PM
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Speaking of Marins, last night I bought another garage sale one for $20.00. This one is so light I can carry it around on one finger. The whole bike seems to weigh less than a normal rear wheel assembly It looks to be equipped with after market racing gear. I can't figure out what model it is because the lettering seems to be hand painted and most of the lettering is worn off even though the paint itself is intact. I rubbed some traces of the leftover lettering off with my finger nail. It comes off easily. Luckily the Marin lettering on the lower bar is 99% intact despite the fact that the upper lettering is almost completely gone. I assume that leg friction was all it took to clear it off the upper bar. I'm guessing that at sometime the bike belonged to a very serious racer that had the original decals replaced with hand painted lettering. Does Marin have some upper end bikes that have hand painted lettering ?
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Old 07-11-11, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by salvor View Post
this one is so light i can carry it around on one finger.
Cool. The one finger lift. Search the forum for one finger, you will find a lot of one finger bikes.
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Old 07-11-11, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Cool. The one finger lift. Search the forum for one finger, you will find a lot of one finger bikes.
Yeah, I'm a fan of doing the one finger lift to BS posters.
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Old 07-11-11, 08:47 AM
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It sounds like the original poster lives in an extreme sellers market whereas I live in an extreme buyers market. My advice to him would be to ask garage sale vendors if they have any junk bikes they want hauled away. That is how I get most of my free bikes. About half of the free bikes are valuable classics.People don't tend to store junk mart bikes for 20 to 30 years before deciding to ditch them. I also ask if they have any junk car batteries or radiators they want hauled away for free. On average I get two to four free batteries and radiators per week. They cover the cost of gas for garage sales. While dropping off the car parts at the scrap yards I check there for bikes. Many scrap yards will let you take bikes for free if you are bringing more valuable scrap in , especially if you become recognized as a regular.
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Old 07-11-11, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Cool. The one finger lift. Search the forum for one finger, you will find a lot of one finger bikes.
... or really strong B.F. members ...
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