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Who's still flipping and fixing?

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Who's still flipping and fixing?

Old 05-05-20, 09:06 AM
  #1  
miamijim
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Who's still flipping and fixing?

Nothing going on down here in Tampa. Nothing good for sale. Bought maybe 3 bikes in the last 4 years. Works been busy as well so not as much time.
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Old 05-05-20, 09:13 AM
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Very limited basis. Online sales only, almost always ship to a different location. Local sales a bust around here.
As usual, parts move much better than complete bikes.
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Old 05-05-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
Very limited basis. Online sales only, almost always ship to a different location. Local sales a bust around here.
As usual, parts move much better than complete bikes.
Same with me. Buy local complete, sell parts online. Wash, rinse, repeat. I did flip locally for a season, and while it was fun to build/tune bikes up, I wasn't making any money after consumables and my time spent. Plus my wife didn't like strangers coming to the house when we had our kids at home.
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Old 05-05-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by friendofpugs View Post
Same with me. Buy local complete, sell parts online. Wash, rinse, repeat. I did flip locally for a season, and while it was fun to build/tune bikes up, I wasn't making any money after consumables and my time spent. Plus my wife didn't like strangers coming to the house when we had our kids at home.
Does this really even end up being worth the time and money?
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Old 05-05-20, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Does this really even end up being worth the time and money?
A few years back it did. 'Time' is relevant and irrelevant. If you have nothing else to do what difference does it make?
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Old 05-05-20, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Does this really even end up being worth the time and money?
It's not a ton of money, but since I'm the stay-at-home parent, it allows me to play with a lot of neat bikes and contribute a little bit to the household income. Like miamijim says, I'm stuck home anyways, why not do something productive?
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Old 05-05-20, 01:12 PM
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Any chance it was one of you guys that snatched that Tommasini Techo Tig off of ebay (Italian seller), before I could get it? It was sold as a complete bike, so I'm hoping the frameset eventually pops up again for sale if someone intends to part it out.
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Old 05-05-20, 05:57 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
Does this really even end up being worth the time and money?
^ This.
Where are you all selling your stuff online? I've pretty much given-up on eBay as the seller fees keep going up-and-up. It's getting to the point where I just about have to pay someone to buy parts on eBay!
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Old 05-05-20, 07:10 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
^ This.
Where are you all selling your stuff online? I've pretty much given-up on eBay as the seller fees keep going up-and-up. It's getting to the point where I just about have to pay someone to buy parts on eBay!
Not going to argue other than curious as to what the current total fee package is- (assuming you are not a powerseller)
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Old 05-05-20, 07:38 PM
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I only buy bikes with the intent to fix and ride. Eventually, I move them along and break even. I did just finish flipping 3 bikes in the last two weeks. I'm telling myself to be happy with the current stable, but CL keeps calling.
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Old 05-05-20, 09:27 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
^ This.
Where are you all selling your stuff online? I've pretty much given-up on eBay as the seller fees keep going up-and-up. It's getting to the point where I just about have to pay someone to buy parts on eBay!
I have been selling on eBay for over 20 years. I have not seen fees go up and up in the last few years. I'd like to see some data and facts there. The last big change was when the final value fee was charged on shipping, not just the selling price of the item. But that was several years ago. And to defend eBay somewhat on that change, people were selling items for 99 cents and $20 shipping to avoid paying fees.

If there was another outlet that provides the access to a global market for less, I would be selling there as well. Meanwhile, eBay continues to be the outlet of choice.

I've stopped flipping, but I am selling more parts than ever. 2019 was my best year in that regard. 2020 is down as I am focusing on other activities instead. Its always been a hobby, not a job. I've fallen behind on listing.

I've maintained top rated plus seller status so get decent discount on postage, particularly on the small stuff.

Refurbishing bikes no longer has the return it used to have. If I pay $100 for a bike, put 4 to 6 hours into it along with $50 in consumables, I might get $150 for it. Meanwhile, if I choose wisely, the same bike might yield $400 in parts, and no consumables, and 1 hour of work instead of 4 to 6. Math is pretty obvious there. Anything BMX centric does very well, and some BMX capable parts came on MTBs and cruisers.

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Old 05-06-20, 07:49 AM
  #12  
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As supplies dwindled and local demand fizzled a couple years ago I gave up on flipping. Now I need to reduce the number of keepers I've accumulated in the process as I'm heading into retirement. Most are touring bikes and I probably hung on to them too long to get the maximum return but I am wondering if the local CL demand has increased due to COVID-19? I've read that more people are turning to bikes rather than public transportation and that new bike sales may be up.
I'm curious if anyone chimes in on that in this thread.

I've tweaked the bikes over the years as bikes/parts came and went and find it difficult to part with them and really have no desire to break down a vintage touring bike to part it out. I will probably post locally and in the forum here as I can bring myself to part with them :-(
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Old 05-06-20, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Nothing going on down here in Tampa. Nothing good for sale. Bought maybe 3 bikes in the last 4 years. Works been busy as well so not as much time.
I've heard quite the opposite in Tampa. Robert says he's selling four or five bikes a day and can't keep up.
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Old 05-06-20, 09:00 AM
  #14  
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I do some fixing and re-selling as a way to support the hobby. I probably sell between 5 and 10 bikes each year. I find satisfaction in sustaining a healthy churn of bikes coming and going, with a few that fit and are fun that are keepers. The economics of selling full bikes, tuned up and ready to ride, definitely isn't great, especially if I put value on my labor. Because it is a hobby, and my day job doesn't involve working with my hands, the joy of bringing a high-quality bike back to life and helping someone connect with a great affordable, functional, sturdy, and well-tuned rig are value streams regardless of the financial return. An example of this equation is older rapid-fire shifters. I've finally figured out that most that are non-functional can be brought back to life with some labor and de-greaser. It is a chore, but really satisfying once complete, and with labor taken out of the equation, retaining the existing shifters changes the economics of a re-hab when I'm not having to dig around the parts bin for other shifters or shifter/brake combos.

A few lessons I've learned in the last few years:
- My purchase price is the key part of the equation. When there are bikes at the threshold of the value/price proposition, I'm much better off resisting temptation. Lately I'm able to score some nice older mountain bikes in the $20 - $50 range, and an LX or better bike at that price is nearly always a no-brainer.
- Most buyers are far more concerned with function than form. "Period-correct" or matching wheels/tires matter much more to me than to a typical buyer. For example, I built from scratch a vintage mid-80's Trek MTB from a frame last year. I found a great parts donor bike, and pulled a bi-plane fork and bullmoose bars for the build. The eventual buyer simply wanted a commuter for a flat 10 mile round trip, and could not have cared less about those period and aesthetically correct choices. I did fine financially on that particular sale, but I wouldn't mind still having the bars and fork for a different project. I am pretty shrewd about pulling off desirable bits with the nicer stuff going into my inventory for use on my own bikes or for eventual stand-alone sale. Of course my sensibility still has me striving for matching wheels and tires where it makes sense.
- Start with quality. Because some of the value stream for me is the joy of fixing, focusing on mid-to-high range bikes is essential. Cheaper stuff just isn't as fun for me to work on, and often the purchase price difference is negligible. There is a flip side to this. Typically the difference between an Alivio equipped bike and an XT equipped bike is totally lost on the buyer (see above). Occasionally I buy cheaper bikes cheaply when I am confident they won't need much work to re-sell. One of the benefits of higher-end bikes is that, if there is a major issue, the parts typically have enough value to recoup any investment.
- Mostly I am selling locally via CL, but I've shipped a few more desirable road bikes/frames where the local market is minuscule.
- Having a few bikes in inventory is helpful - sometimes the bike someone thinks they want isn't a match, and I have another one more suitable. Also, I've ocassionally sold more than one bike to someone after they have a good experience.

I am seeing a pandemic bump in sales here in Vermont. Pretty much all bikes I've listed this spring have sold quickly. People are eager to get out on bikes, and low traffic makes it more appealing. Bike shops have also had limited accessibility, and there are no spring swaps this year. Finally, I think people have more time at home and online to search for things second-hand.

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Old 05-06-20, 09:55 AM
  #15  
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Being the "classic-vintage-sales" forum, is it any bike that's selling well right now or specifically classic or vintage? While I have also seen that people are buying bikes right now due to COVID-19, is there an up-tick in classic or vintage bike sales or just bikes in general? I'm assuming it's the latter.

I got into the sickness of buying and building BMX bikes that were popular in the '80s and '90s. There has been a spike in interest in these bikes starting about ~10 years ago as people my age are now at a point where we have more income than brains and so we're willing to spend gobs of money on things like old BMX bikes that remind us of our childhood. After doing this for a while, I realized that most people like to look at other people's classic and vintage bikes but are rarely willing to pay big-bucks for what usually end-up being wall hangings. As such, I sold all my BMX bikes last year as I figure I had to sell now or be forever stuck with very expensive bikes that no one wants as people my age get way too old to care about BMX bikes. I lost a little money on the bikes but didn't do too bad. I'm a little sad to not have the bikes, but I have pictures of them and they just sat in my basement collecting dust, so...

Anyway, I'm still curious as to how many of you actually make money on classic or vintage bikes and not just any bikes. I'll admit, I lust after many of the vintage road bikes I see online, but when it comes to spending thousands of dollars on a bike, I'd sooner buy a new one. Maybe I'm growing senile, but I think a lot of the vintage road bikes I see really belong in a museum and not in a private collection where no one sees the bikes (unless you're one of the rare people who actually rides a vintage bike on a daily basis.)
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Old 05-06-20, 10:06 AM
  #16  
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With the demand for ride able bikes so high, I've run out of bikes to move. I'm also almost out of spare parts as I listed those separately on eBay.

I don't expect to find any more bikes to work on until the demand dies down. Reasonably priced projects get picked up too fast or are listed at high prices.

Edit: I'd probably make more working on other people's bikes, especially with a wait time at the LBS, but I like to be choose what I spend my time working on.
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Old 05-06-20, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
Being the "classic-vintage-sales" forum, is it any bike that's selling well right now or specifically classic or vintage? While I have also seen that people are buying bikes right now due to COVID-19, is there an up-tick in classic or vintage bike sales or just bikes in general? I'm assuming it's the latter.

I got into the sickness of buying and building BMX bikes that were popular in the '80s and '90s. There has been a spike in interest in these bikes starting about ~10 years ago as people my age are now at a point where we have more income than brains and so we're willing to spend gobs of money on things like old BMX bikes that remind us of our childhood. After doing this for a while, I realized that most people like to look at other people's classic and vintage bikes but are rarely willing to pay big-bucks for what usually end-up being wall hangings. As such, I sold all my BMX bikes last year as I figure I had to sell now or be forever stuck with very expensive bikes that no one wants as people my age get way too old to care about BMX bikes. I lost a little money on the bikes but didn't do too bad. I'm a little sad to not have the bikes, but I have pictures of them and they just sat in my basement collecting dust, so...

Anyway, I'm still curious as to how many of you actually make money on classic or vintage bikes and not just any bikes. I'll admit, I lust after many of the vintage road bikes I see online, but when it comes to spending thousands of dollars on a bike, I'd sooner buy a new one. Maybe I'm growing senile, but I think a lot of the vintage road bikes I see really belong in a museum and not in a private collection where no one sees the bikes (unless you're one of the rare people who actually rides a vintage bike on a daily basis.)
There are a lot of us here that ride vintage bikes on a daily basis. In fact, most of us.

I think the very active flippers will take on a bike of any age, but some of us are only interested in vintage stuff. There have been a lot of threads here on the economics and specifics of flipping bikes. Here are some of them: https://www.google.com/search?q=site...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 05-06-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
I've heard quite the opposite in Tampa. Robert says he's selling four or five bikes a day and can't keep up.
Not C&V. I just did a thorough CL search and there's nothing worth flipping. Maybe there's 1 Campy equipped bike worth parting out but its $900....
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Old 05-06-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Not C&V. I just did a thorough CL search and there's nothing worth flipping. Maybe there's 1 Campy equipped bike worth parting out but its $900....
Oh yeah, nothing C&V specific. That niche remains to be a waste of time and money unless you're collecting.
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Old 05-06-20, 04:50 PM
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I buy apprx. five classics, fix and flip annually. If patient, there are good deals out there. I don't make much considering the labor but it's still far cheaper than psychotherapy.
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Old 05-07-20, 06:39 AM
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New bike sales are up sharply. I would expect the same for used bike sales, but I don't know.
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Old 05-07-20, 10:28 AM
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Interesting conversation here. I've never been much of a flipper, as my market doesn't really support it very well. I have flipped a few bikes, years ago, maybe 15 or less total? These days I only buy what interests me and is my size. I don't view any of my bikes as investments that I will get a return on, their only purpose is enjoyment. I only sell bikes now when I get an opportunity to "upgrade" my fleet, in that case my least favorite goes. I sold my Schwinn Superior last year. That was a tough decision, but I didn't actually enjoy riding it.
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Old 05-07-20, 02:42 PM
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In my area it has to say Trek, Cannondale or Giant to sell.
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Old 05-07-20, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
In my area it has to say Trek, Cannondale or Giant to sell.
What, Specialized is too West Coast?
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Old 05-07-20, 08:35 PM
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Actual good riders nice vintage but ride worthy stuff is way up also nice parts for these bikes are way up even new 30% across the board or more with a lot of stuff just sold out not. So there is a comeback on nicer mid level 80's hard frame MTBs and road bikes. Got cash offer of $300 for my Hardrock Today real value about $150 to me right know NFS in real cost it would cost $400-500 end off the day to replace similar ready to ride order the bike plus .I already ordered $100 or so of new components for it.

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