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What is your Modus Operandi

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View Poll Results: What is your modus operandi
buy a bike with the intent on fixing it up for sale
25
44.64%
buy a bike fix it up until the next project bike is done then sell
14
25.00%
buy a bike, fix it up and add it to the herd
46
82.14%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

What is your Modus Operandi

Old 12-15-10, 08:11 AM
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What is your Modus Operandi

How many of you do which poll option.....

If you do more then one, then pick all that apply....

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Old 12-15-10, 08:24 AM
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I've done all three. I find that I get bored with a bike after a few years and usually start looking at the next shiny toy (there are exceptions, I doubt I'd ever get bored with my Merlin, Koga or Sachs). I'll often then sell that item and use it to fund a new shiny toy. I do occassionally flip, but I'm very careful and picky in that regard. I flipped a total of about 30 bikes last year for an average of about $250 in profit per bike. I've found that being picky and staying at the high end of the scale leads to less work, quicker sales, less chance of getting stuck with something and more enjoyment. That money also went a longggg way towards funding my personal collection.

I consider bike profits hobby funds, but that might change now that I'm married...and I'm sure it will change with kids in the mix.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:49 AM
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I buy and fix for myself. A friend of family member could also be a recipient. I don't have much interest in flipping.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:55 AM
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I rarely buy a bike with the intention of selling it. I do sometimes acquire a bike that I don't intend to keep for ever; fix it up and use it for a while, then sell it, hopefully for a profit.

I have bikes I don't mean to keep... I need to put more effort into getting rid of them.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
I do occassionally flip [...] I flipped a total of about 30 bikes last year for an average of about $250 in profit per bike.


The type of market that can support that activity is completely foreign to me.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:05 PM
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I voted one and three, I get a lot of bikes for almost nothing and fix them up to keep or sell. I fix up some beaters that were headed to the dump just to save them. I make some money but it doesn't seem to be why I do it.
It's fun to see a nice little three speed I restored from a rusty hulk being riden by a happy lil hipster chick.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:09 PM
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-Build a bike
-pimp out pics of said bike on bikeforums till people get sick of them
-Build another bike
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Old 12-15-10, 08:16 PM
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I'll buy what I like, then add it to the herd. Occasionally, I'll buy one to steal parts from, then stash the frame (or give it away)...
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Old 12-15-10, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tugrul


The type of market that can support that activity is completely foreign to me.
Drive 40 minutes south...

I flipped pretty heavily for a summer but very quickly got tired of it. Once I had a few nice bikes of my own, I lost interest in flipping. I plan to start doing fewer, higher end flips though from now on.

I have a barn full of clunker 10 speeds, a dozen or so in varying condition, at my parents' as these are the types of bikes I was flipping two summers ago to college students in Boston. I don't even have the motivation to put a new chain and bar tape on them at this point even though I can get $150+ a pop in the spring. I think at some point I'll advertise the whole lot for a couple hundred bucks for one of the other Boston flippers to take over. I hate working on those kind of bikes (steel wheels/components, cp brakes, clamp on derailleurs...etc).
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Old 12-15-10, 08:43 PM
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i have never been to much into flipping anything i collect, however i love to trade, but at this point i have alot of "lifer" bikes that i dont want to get rid of.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:55 PM
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Almost all of my purchases were originally intended as flips, and then somehow took up residency.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:04 PM
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I love to try bikes I've heard about from friends, workmates, or here online.

Aaron nailed it though. I don't keep some of them very long, as it is so tempting to try different brands.

They often are great bikes in their own right, but I'm somewhat fickle.

I'm also very careful about the amount I pay, so I have an escape hatch if I want to try something new.

Some will stay though, because I've found a couple of brands I really love.

....and some are purchased to renovate and sell for the enjoyment of others.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango
I love to try bikes I've heard about from friends, workmates, or here online.

Aaron nailed it though. I don't keep some of them very long, as it is so tempting to try different brands.

They often are great bikes in their own right, but I'm somewhat fickle.

I'm also very careful about the amount I pay, so I have an escape hatch if I want to try something new.

Some will stay though, because I've found a couple of brands I really love.

....and some are purchased to renovate and sell for the enjoyment of others.
One odd things I've found...the ones I tend to keep and like most tend to be American made. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or not, but my favorite bikes are almost always American and Japanese. I guess this means I'll eventually have to go for a Paramount.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:16 PM
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It seems that what I thought were keepers 2 years ago are being displaced by bikes that I think are keepers right now.

I keep a little list in my head of what bike in my stable i'd replace with what other bike I don't have yet.

for example I've always said that when I get a Raleigh International, it will replace my Super Course.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
One odd things I've found...the ones I tend to keep and like most tend to be American made. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or not, but my favorite bikes are almost always American and Japanese. I guess this means I'll eventually have to go for a Paramount.
A good idea. I like to look at Paramounts, but I'm less than a novice about the different models.

I have an old friend that has seven bikes though, all Paramounts!

Aaron knows that I am going to start trying American builders this coming season, and I believe there are so many talented builders, it's hard to know where to begin.

I'm just going to start out with some of the regional builders that have earned some acclaim and go from there.

Again, my MO is to try them for a while and sell 'em when it is time to move on.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango
A good idea. I like to look at Paramounts, but I'm less than a novice about the different models.

I have an old friend that has seven bikes though, all Paramounts!

Aaron knows that I am going to start trying American builders this coming season, and I believe there are so many talented builders, it's hard to know where to begin.

I'm just going to start out with some of the regional builders that have earned some acclaim and go from there.

Again, my MO is to try them for a while and sell 'em when it is time to move on.
I'd like to try a Bilenky with a Rolhoff someday.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:44 PM
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It's a sickness, really! I love bikes, I love riding, I love the aesthetic balance of geometry and design, form and functionality (and yes, my friends also tell me I "over think" this stuff!) So I tend to scoop up orphaned and neglected bikes, bring 'em back to life, and add 'em to the herd. Very occasionally I'll sell a frame or bike to make room in the workshop; usually those wind up going to a friend who I've corrupted into digging vintage steel as well. I think of it as my own personal advocacy initiative.

Yeah... my wife doesn't buy that one either.
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Old 12-15-10, 10:46 PM
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I started this poll to see what others do, my own plan is to have one road touring/commuting/load hauler bike, one road "fun" bike and one off road bike, then when a "project" bike comes along, built it up and then sell off one of them.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:26 PM
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I'm still kind of on the fence on this one, but basically in the 8 months or so since I've gotten into vintage bikes, I've just ended up finding bikes that are a little "better" than what I have at the time and buying them at a good price to fix up for myself as riders. Then I sell whatever I'm riding at the time when I upgrade. So basically I just sell because I need the money to keep building the quality of my personal heard. I've gotten myself into a really tough spot with that now, though, with a really "pretty" bike that's also a very nice bike in general, but I can't really justify keeping it and I don't really have the space for it (apartment dweller)... Not sure what to do.

In any case, I have flipped 2 bikes in the short time that I've been into the hobby. Both because they were really good deals and basically almost kept me breaking even on the whole hobby up to this point. I would actually like to flip a little bit just for the sake of keeping in that "break even" area, and because I love working on the bikes and cleaning them up, but I don't really have the space for it being in my apartment. I'm thinking of moving into a bigger place next year partially just for my newly acquired bike problem, but don't tell my girlfriend about that yet. I have to find the right way to talk her into it first...
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Old 12-15-10, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
I do occassionally flip, but I'm very careful and picky in that regard. I flipped a total of about 30 bikes last year for an average of about $250 in profit per bike.
I consider bike profits hobby funds, but that might change now that I'm married...and I'm sure it will change with kids in the mix.
?!?!?! Ok, first off, since when is 30/year "occasional" and Wow I wish I could flip even 10 bikes in a year at +$250 per bike. To me you're straight up flipper, and damn good at it. Keep up the good work. It gives me the hopeful delusion that I can actually support my bike habit simply by being into the hobby and finding good deals to flip rather than spending lots of money from my own pocket.

...Enabler.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:40 PM
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It's different than most flippers around here because I'll take chances many won't take and pay more for bikes than many around here will. Most local flippers want to pay near nothing on a cheaper bike, fix it up and sell it fast for a fairly low number. Example...paying $30 for a Raleigh Sports or Schwinn Varsity and selling it for 100-150. A lot of those folks are relying on flips as part of their income. I don't really buy or sell that many bikes and my aims are far more humble (hobby perpetuation). I also have found that I do quite well at t-town and that accounts for a decent percentage of my flips. I have shops who also give people my name when they want to sell bikes after buying a new one. Finally I leave business cards on bikes with my name/number on them if they look like nice bikes not being well cared for. I also think that year number I gave out was more like a year and a half.
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Old 12-15-10, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
Finally I leave business cards on bikes with my name/number on them if they look like nice bikes not being well cared for.
Hmm... Here in Madison, it's a really tough market being one of the most bike friendly cities in the world, so it's tough to make anything on a bike with the generally high prices for crap bikes here, and crazy high prices for nicer bikes. Does the business card trick actually work out fairly often? Do you just leave a card with name/number kind of thing, or a short explanation that you're interested in buying the bike or something? Basically Any time you see a nicer vintage bike here, it's been fixied by some dumb hipster and they're going to be selling it for 2x it's value when they do eventually get rid of it, but there is that rare occasion...
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Old 12-16-10, 12:19 AM
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I've had it pay off a few times...3 or 4 times...but every little bit helps. I get a few off the cards, most I've gotten lucky with Craigslist, I hit at a flea market a couple of times, I've done pretty well with the Velodrome swap, I've gotten a couple calls from shops. I did very well buying a large box of Campy parts earlier this year.

One thing I've found is that writing a very precise, clear, non-jargon CL ad that tells the person exactly what type of bike it is and who it will be good for (complete with sizes) gets me a lot more return on my buck. I end up selling a lot of $200 - $300ish mid-high Japanese bikes in desirable sizes to college women looking for something dependable and that they can ride on weekends. I use the "light enough to easily take into your house" approach rather than a weight weenie approach and I explain why it's practical for them.
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Old 12-16-10, 04:46 AM
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There was a thread not so long ago that had some great ideas about bike procurement such as lawn signs and flyers.

I've tried them and they work.

I've tried leaving notes and approaching folks in person.

My best source of bikes in Germany came from a casual conversation at church!

They all work to some degree.

The best thing to remember though is a modified version of buy low/sell high.

I use buy low/sell fair.

Keeps me up to my waist in fun projects.
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Old 12-16-10, 04:54 AM
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I usually buy bikes I want, occasionally I will get a request for a bike from someone. If that is the case I will buy and flip. I need to thin the herd, but where do you start?

As far as completing a project bike...they are never done.

Aaron
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