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Old 08-12-08, 12:44 PM   #1
somegeek
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CL question... want to buy?

Anyone had good luck with posting on CL stating you'd like to buy an older bike looking for a good home? I'm looking for a 70-80s 64-66cm bike in Portland, OR to convert to a SS and it seems I'm late on the few good deals I've seen around my budget ($100) and those that are on there that fit my criteria are flippers with the price marked up too high since they're Vintage.

Thinking I need to be patient as I've read in other posts. Been looking for roughly two weeks so far. Local Goodwills have nothing at this time.
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Old 08-12-08, 12:47 PM   #2
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1) Check Goodwill's around 10 a.m. -- after they've unloaded their trucks. Bikes don't last long.

2) Hit the flea markets/swap shops EARLY.

3) Check out garage sales.

4) check behind fancy/schmancy bike shops for "throw-aways".

5) Put the word out to all friends that you'd like to buy an old 10 speed -- you'd be surprised what people will cough up out of garages/attics/basements/storage units.

6) be patient.
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Old 08-12-08, 01:48 PM   #3
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Something like this?

http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/bik/790059098.html

This one might a bit small and a bit $$$:
http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/bik/787905080.html


Search nearby areas as well, the above one was linked from the Washington CL for Clark County.

This one is probably too small and too far away:
http://kpr.craigslist.org/bik/793569548.html

Or just plan a weekend trip up to the Tri-Cities and buy up all the cheap ones and flip them back in Portland, you might be able to recover the gas money or more.
http://kpr.craigslist.org/bik/772560109.html
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Old 08-12-08, 01:52 PM   #4
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Here you go, states it is 63.5cm, up north of you on the Olympic Pennisula though.
http://olympic.craigslist.org/bik/774206179.html
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Old 08-12-08, 02:03 PM   #5
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If you have a lot of time, try freecycle. (freecycle.org). Here in Boston
I get beat all the time, but if it is offered 20 miles outside of Boston I
sometimes have good luck getting it.

I've picked up around 10 bikes this year either from freecycle or driving
by on trash day. Of course they aren't all candidates for SS/Fixie conversion.
Others have had much better luck.
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Old 08-12-08, 02:08 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=somegeek;7257962]Anyone had good luck with posting on CL stating you'd like to buy an older bike looking for a good home? /QUOTE]

I see these once in a while in Boston. Don't know if they work.
I sell the lesser bikes that I flip for around $100 or less and I have contacted
people who have posted wanted ads. And they are ready to ride.
Right now I am chasing down people
about a bike i posted. Seems like an endless stream of lost connections.
The people who post wanted ads are pretty serious about what they want
and are more reliable.
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Old 08-12-08, 02:10 PM   #7
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The WTB approach can't hurt, but in addition to asking to buy, add that you'd love any hot tips if someone sees something. You'd be surprised how some people will try and help out. Oh, and might not mention you're looking so you can do a fixie conversion--just say you want something from the 70s/80s in your size. Saying "fixie conversion" in a bike town like Portland will automatically add 20 bucks onto the price .
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Old 08-12-08, 02:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies all! I will have to expand my search area I am thinking. The cool tax folks tag on to bike prices ('specially the flippers) sucks. Been riding cross country for ten years or so and looking for an asphalt counterpart on a budget to clean up and ride.
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Old 08-12-08, 02:57 PM   #9
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Watch for end of season rummage/garage sales and any big local church fund raiser rummage sales, sometimes surprising stuff shows up at those. Plus with you looking for a bigger frame you'll stand a real good chance at getting the bike for the end of day 1/2 price sale, at least that's what I've seen here in Wisconsin and how I remember it when I used to live out west there. Keep looking, your bike will come along.

ps, here's a CL tip: do a word search in your local CL site at the top level, not within the bike section. I find bikes listed in with the garage sales, sporting goods, boats, barter, motorcycles, free, household goods, and just about in every other sub-section.
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Old 08-12-08, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treebound View Post

ps, here's a CL tip: do a word search in your local CL site at the top level, not within the bike section. I find bikes listed in with the garage sales, sporting goods, boats, barter, motorcycles, free, household goods, and just about in every other sub-section.

YES. This is a very good tip. This is how I found my almost-new Trek for $15 here in NYC.
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Old 08-12-08, 05:02 PM   #11
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Another C/L tip for larger cities, search the older postings. Many people are too lazy to look back past even the first page. In cities like Atlanta, that can mean a couple of days of postings or less. Troll back a week or two, and you can find bikes that did not sell for some reason. At that point, seller is pretty flexible.

But nothing beats Goodwill or a garage sale for deals (other than free of course). I picked one up at 8:30PM near me. They put out bikes all day long. But early at opening (in my case 9:30AM) is always a good time to check. Make it part of a general errand run. There is one near me that is on the way to anything in the area. So I will pop in, take a quick look to see if they have any bikes (this one puts them right inside the front door). It takes all of 10 seconds. Most times I come up empty. But I have found three or four in the last few weeks that way.

Oh, and one other thing on Craigs List, know your size and target bikes/brands and models that you would like. Then when one appears, you will know it is a deal (or not). On the great deals, there is not time to post a question to this list: do you think this will fit, is this a good bike, is this worth this price... I have seen thread after thread like that where they inevitably end with a comment from the OP that the bike was no longer available. Treasure seekers don't hesitate, and don't have time to get advice. There is too much competition around here snagging the deals, some of which reappear a few weeks later at a new (higher) price.

Last edited by wrk101; 08-12-08 at 05:07 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-12-08, 05:42 PM   #12
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I've done WTB on CL for wheel sets, and have come up with some bargains. I tried fishing for small frame-sets, but no dice.

FWIW, I have a 63.5cm Raleigh Super Course frameset that is available. Paint is shot, but it is a nice plain-gage 531 frame and would be a good candidate for powder-coating and fixie conversion.
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Old 08-12-08, 09:39 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info and encouragement!

One of the first days I was looking I saw a 64cm(if I recall correctly) Le Tour III for $100 and the pics showed it was in great condition... emailed them and told them I'd like to look at it 'tomorrow'. * poof * Bike was gone. Taking stock in what I've read on this board and in this thread that you should tell them you'll buy it. After reading a few hundred bike ads on the various CL pages, I have an idea of what I'd buy once seeing it now. Not very knowledgeable about frames but know I want an older lugged frame on the lighter side... also have a keyword search for bikeforums.com setup for quick sanity checks.

Need to find an ad like this

P.S. - I'm envious of how many frames are out there for folks shorter than 6'! (6'5" here)

Last edited by somegeek; 08-12-08 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 08-12-08, 10:33 PM   #14
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IF I saw a WTB for a bike I was trying to sell, I'd probably jack the price up another $20!
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Old 08-13-08, 03:41 AM   #15
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I've had success a couple of times, but more often than not, I get no replies.
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Old 08-13-08, 06:48 AM   #16
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You looking for an ad like this? Boston isn't always over priced!

http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/bik/794324056.html

Quote:
Raleigh road bike 10 speed - $110 (randolph)
Reply to: [email protected]
Date: 2008-08-12, 10:56PM EDT


This is a nice 10 speed road bike ready to ride.the bike is already tune-up and 2 new tires.This is 25" and 27 1-4 tires,cromolly tubing,bottle holder.please email me for any info
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Old 08-13-08, 06:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by somegeek View Post
Taking stock in what I've read on this board and in this thread that you should tell them you'll buy it.
Good luck with that angle. Around here it is very common to see posts where the seller will say they won't hold an item due to too many no-shows. Ads with email contact are always a game, sometimes you'll get a fast response, sometimes all their emails will go to their spam filter due to the craigslist email address aliasing, and sometimes the sellers won't check their email until certain times of the day. I had one recently where I tried emailing the seller during the day, then sent another email the following evening from home, and finally a few days later the guy called since I put my cell phone number in my email to his CL forewarder. You pretty much have to be ready to go see it as soon as you get a response, or set up a time with a request that they call you if someone else shows up first.

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P.S. - I'm envious of how many frames are out there for folks shorter than 6'! (6'5" here)
Funny, I find a whole lot of bikes and frames that are toooooooo big.
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Old 08-13-08, 10:18 AM   #18
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I've gotten 3 bikes off of CL... the last being the Romic for $60 - I was the 3rd person to email about it -- but the first to make arrangements to show up. It was posted without photos -- one of the first two people wanted photos -- the other wanted precise measurements -- I wanted to come see it -- guess which was easier for the seller? I knew had it not been my size I still would have bought it (I know at least one forum member who wants one).

Make your contact email very polite AND include a cell phone number where they can reach you and make it clear that you'll come see the bike quickly. While you're making arrangements to "come tomorrow" I'm at their house ready to ride off with my new prize.
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Old 08-13-08, 11:20 AM   #19
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Make your contact email very polite AND include a cell phone number where they can reach you and make it clear that you'll come see the bike quickly. While you're making arrangements to "come tomorrow" I'm at their house ready to ride off with my new prize.
+1

I get a lot of folks that respond to an ad on Tuesday, wanting to arrange a meeting on Saturday. In a hot bike market, listings sell bikes in hours, not days.

If you see a bike you really want, contact immediately, word your reply in such a way as to stand out in a positive way (and include foolproof contact info), have cash in your pocket, and be ready to roll ASAP.

It's the only way.
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Old 08-13-08, 04:43 PM   #20
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Ditto on well worded response to CL ads.

I just picked up a Raleigh Grand Prix with all chromed fork. Had been on
CL for 4 days. The woman said she had twenty replies, but everyone wanted
pictures and measurements. I said I would be there at 5:15 and I was near by.
That is all she needed to hear. No pictures was a blessing for her.
And worked to my advantage. On the otherhand it isn't the size OP is looking
for. A more common 21"
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Old 08-13-08, 06:04 PM   #21
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I found an ad for a Raleigh but the seller didn't put any info, just the CL e-mail. So, I put a post on there for him to e-mail me. He did, and said, and I quote" FYI...this is NOT the appropriate way to respond to an ad." So I sent him one back that said" what's not appropriate? supply and demand, you got it I want it.
FYI...never mind."
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Old 08-13-08, 09:30 PM   #22
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I found an ad for a Raleigh but the seller didn't put any info, just the CL e-mail. So, I put a post on there for him to e-mail me. He did, and said, and I quote" FYI...this is NOT the appropriate way to respond to an ad." So I sent him one back that said" what's not appropriate? supply and demand, you got it I want it.
FYI...never mind."
The CL email is there to use... why not use it?
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Old 08-14-08, 04:43 AM   #23
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Tried to use it but my browser wouldn't let it go through for some reason. And I'm not enough of a techno-geek( no offense intended) to figure out a way to make it work.
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Old 08-14-08, 11:15 AM   #24
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Tried to use it but my browser wouldn't let it go through for some reason. And I'm not enough of a techno-geek( no offense intended) to figure out a way to make it work.
It's amazingly simple:

copy and paste the email address in the ad (after the words "Reply to:") into "To" line of a new, to-be-composed, email in your email account. Then copy the title of the ad to the subject line.
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Old 08-14-08, 07:48 PM   #25
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Thanks for the tip. Sounds easy enough for even me to do.
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