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Im done....

Old 03-01-11, 02:05 PM
  #1  
miamijim
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Im done....

Its been 2 1/2 years since I officialy began flipping bikes and know I'm done. I never intended to be a 'flipper' its just something I decided to get into for the fun of it. Bicycles have always been a hobby of mine and flipping allowed me to enjoy my hobby much more.

I made alot of road trips, some as far as 4 hours away. I made alot of new friends and met alot of very nice people along the way. Jacksonville saw my car 2 times while Miami-Dade and Broward counties saw it 3 or 4 times. Most of my dealings were in the local Tampa area via local flea markets or Craigslist followed by the SW coast down through Sarasota and Fort Myers. My best deals were in the central Florida area from Auburndale down to Jupiter, these areas found new homes for very, very high end bikes.

Some of my bikes belonged to people who were getting on in years, some belonged to victims of the economy, some I'm sure were stolen. I never knowingly bought a stolen bike but I'm sure at least 2 or 3 of the Craigslist and Flea Market bikes were....if I didnt buy them someone else would have.

All of my bikes were rebuilt from the bare frames up including repacking of all bearings, fork end and dropout alighnment checks, wheel tension and dish check and replacement of all wearable parts as neccessary. That was the hobby part...

Well, enough rambling.....the hard numbers. I'm sure a few bikes slipped though my spreadsheets but here it is:

Transacations: 91. Of those 2 were cameras, there were 4 parts stashes and a few wheelsets

Purchase price: $19,026
Gas: $1054
Misc parts: $1396
Total Expenses: $21514

Profit: $6238 plus a dozen or so bikes I still have in my possesion and a ton of spare parts including but not limited to:

1988 Dave Moulton Fuso w/Super Record/Cobalto
'74 Paramount P65
'74 Paramount P14
'72 PX10
'87 Schwinn Circuit w/ Dura Ace STI
'94 Giordana Polaris w/ C-Record Deltas and Ergos
late 70's Bob Jackson 531 mixte
late 70's custom Colian (frameset)
1980 Colnago Mexico w/ Super record
'96 Litespeed Catalyst w/ Dura Ace STI
'85 Basso w/ Super Record
'73 Raleigh RRA


and roughly $1000 worth of parts.

I'm not sure what I'm keeping for myself but its going to be2 bikes at the most, probably the Dave Moulton and Litespeed. The P65 is my fiancees bike so that stays, the mixte goes, the Colian is waaaay too big so that goes etc etc.

It was a fun ride but my flip career is over. Looking over my spreadsheets it looks like things feel off in June of '09 which is when alot of guys got into flipping to supplement income due to the economy.

I'm not going anywhere, I'll be around as often as I always was/am/were.....I'm just not flipping anymore.

Last edited by miamijim; 03-02-11 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 03-01-11, 02:10 PM
  #2  
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What size is the Colian?

Very cool post. Its interesting to hear an accounting with hard numbers.
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Old 03-01-11, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
What size is the Colian?

Very cool post. Its interesting to hear an accounting with hard numbers.
73cm.....and its the bihggest frameset/bike currently owned by BF member....
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Old 03-01-11, 02:16 PM
  #4  
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Looks like you did a decent return. I sure as hell wouldn't mind having a few of those bikes in your list. Glad to know you're not vacating C&V. For a minute there it read like you got fed up with an incident on the forum.
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Old 03-01-11, 02:20 PM
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Jim...I haven't flipped anything in MONTHS. It's a combination of being married, less deals out there on CL, more flippers and less interest on my part. It was great learning from you!!!

There are going to be some awfully nice bikes available shortly! I can think of one I wouldn't mind moving on.

PS...not counting fit, I'd keep the Moulton and Litespeed. I'd also have to heavily consider the Giordona

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Old 03-01-11, 02:45 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
Glad to know you're not vacating C&V. For a minute there it read like you got fed up with an incident on the forum.
+1, your advice to me (and countless others) over the last few years has been invaluble and I am extremely glad that you will continue to contribute to the forum!
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Old 03-01-11, 02:52 PM
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I'm almost there myself - except I don't know if I can quit:
I need to have some project to work on, but project prices are up, and sales are way down.

I am competing with untold numbers of DKO's -("Dirt knocker offers" as Thrifty Bill calls them) i.e., flippers who just barely knock the dirt off, and who are trying to survive here.
Add to that the fact that most buyers today are only concerned with price, and don't know/don't care whether a bike is truly road-ready and you have an environment where it is hard just to break even.
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Old 03-01-11, 03:18 PM
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Miamijim, thanks so much for sharing the info. I've never flipped a bike, but there have been times where i've thought the idea sounded sexy. You show that as a full time business it's not something i would want to do but as a hobby business i guess it wasn't bad. Not to mention value in terms of enjoyment. It does seem like bikes are harder to come by and the ones that are found are hard to find with decent margins left in them. In the meantime i continue to enjoy riding and wrenching on the personal bikes i have.
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Old 03-01-11, 03:28 PM
  #9  
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Best numbers I have seen - For me I just work on local bikes no money and with the owner right there... As you know what price can you put on a funny story and a beer if nothing else - Its nice to see some real data - I hope any money lost was made up for in smiles... I have seen many have less fun on the golf course at $80.00 than me an another guy replacing a chain and tunning a dérailleur on a Sunday afternoon...
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Old 03-01-11, 03:37 PM
  #10  
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I've been done.

But things.

get

out

of

hand.....
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Old 03-01-11, 03:42 PM
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I stopped flipping bikes a couple of years ago, mainly because I just got tired of working on bikes that other people would be riding when my own bikes needed care and attention. Plus, I needed to ride more and wrench less.

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Old 03-01-11, 03:50 PM
  #12  
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Jim,

I forwarded this post to the IRS. They'll be in contact.
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Old 03-01-11, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I've been done.

But things.

get

out

of

hand.....


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Old 03-01-11, 04:37 PM
  #14  
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I understand cutting way back - the current fleet must be ridden but I'd have a hard time even trimming back 50% of my fleet.
I cycle between too many projects and almost none. I'm currently working on two new builds (not C&V) and one C&V refurbish. I just completed a U08 and a TT bike - the first since an 8 week kitchen remodel.

I hope to concentrate on riding and building my 3 speed IH commuter for the next few weeks. I will participate in the two large spring community yard sales but be a bit more selective. If something falls in my lap I will take advantage of it. Otherwise I need to scale back. I have not kept records like you did but most of my fleet was financed by flipping. I have enough bike cash on hand for maintenance and some nice upgrades for a few years.

I recommend selling or deposing of any part that does not directly support maintenance of your bikes. In my case, extra parts are always the catalyst for new builds.
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Old 03-01-11, 04:42 PM
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I tried my hand at flipping bikes a few years ago. Just not enough return for the time & energy. Plus I kept buying bikes that i didn't want to resell. It was actually costing me money.
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Old 03-01-11, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by robtown View Post
I understand cutting way back - the current fleet must be ridden but I'd have a hard time even trimming back 50% of my fleet.
I cycle between too many projects and almost none. I'm currently working on two new builds (not C&V) and one C&V refurbish. I just completed a U08 and a TT bike - the first since an 8 week kitchen remodel.

I hope to concentrate on riding and building my 3 speed IH commuter for the next few weeks. I will participate in the two large spring community yard sales but be a bit more selective. If something falls in my lap I will take advantage of it. Otherwise I need to scale back. I have not kept records like you did but most of my fleet was financed by flipping. I have enough bike cash on hand for maintenance and some nice upgrades for a few years.

I recommend selling or deposing of any part that does not directly support maintenance of your bikes. In my case, extra parts are always the catalyst for new builds.
That is SO true!
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Old 03-01-11, 05:10 PM
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Thanks for the kind words........

I was reminiscing a few days ago and can vividly recall converting my Montgomery Ward 20" 3-speed into a coaster brake sometime around the 3rd or 4th grade. I'll be wrenching untill the curtains close. I dont know what to call it but there's a bike charity type of organization near me that services that less fortunate with free repairs and bikes, I'm probably going to volunteer once a week or so....and it is a good way to get parts at wholesale...... Can you say Campy Super Record group at cost?!?!?!?
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Old 03-01-11, 05:20 PM
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+1 Flipping around here has really slowed down in the last year. Combination of the DKO crowd (quick flippers selling junky bikes cheap), and the mass of people trolling every garage sale, thrift store or whatever. The really good stuff only lasts about a millisecond. Even the junkier stuff goes pretty quick. My favorite thrift store had a Schwinn Suburban recently. I bought one at this store two years ago for $6, and that one was in great shape. The one recently was really worn, tired, scraped up, priced at $54. Sold in less than one day.

Its kind of odd, the price of project finds has been going up, and the selling price of rehabbed bikes has gone down, creating a margin squeeze.

I have only bought two bikes in 2011. Usually during the winter I would pick up 20 to 30 bikes.

I also picked up a beater duplex (real estate). So my rehab project for the next two years or so will be restoring this property. The list of problems with the duplex is almost endless: structural, mechanical, flooring, walls, siding, yard, drainage, etc.


I'll keep flipping, as I have enough bikes in my project queue to last me a while, including a couple of keeper bikes. But I am slowing down for sure.

Somewhat odd turn of events, whatever drop I have had on flipping has been more than offset by flipping non-bike stuff, mainly through ebay. The flea market trollers are not yet adept at picking more obscure stuff that can have significant value.

Last edited by wrk101; 03-01-11 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 03-01-11, 05:45 PM
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Hi miamijim,

How did you arrive at the decision to flip? Was it a long, drawn out decision? I can see many nice bikes in your list. I'm sure they will be most wanted by new collectors.

I went through a similar process about a year ago - sold off 18 bikes and 30 years of Campagnolo collection. I've still got 15 bikes though. (You never know when you will need to go for a ride.) I only kept bikes that I considered beautiful to ride. My only real regret is that I miss my Campagnolo collection.

I can appreciate that the extra funds would help to buy other desirable stuff. Interested to see you will keep the Litespeed - a bike I always wanted but never attained.

Best wishes for the new future,

Gary.
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Old 03-01-11, 05:48 PM
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Done or not, I'll still make decisions based on "what would miamijim do?"
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Old 03-01-11, 05:54 PM
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I know what you mean Jim, I too decided there were better things I could do with my time. Racing
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Old 03-01-11, 06:10 PM
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I have scaled back a bit, trying for low volume with higher quality. I still will jump on an opportunity when it presents itself, and to generate funds for keepers. I only do it because I enjoy working on bikes and to keep my hobby self sufficient. I don't have time for more anyway with house projects in process.
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Old 03-01-11, 06:49 PM
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I've been reading this thread with interest and trying to decide how/if to reply. Thank you miamijim for being so good at what you do and so willing to share information with us. I have no doubt too that the recipients of the bikes you re-circulated have benefited greatly from your dedication. The same goes for so many others of you here.
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Old 03-01-11, 06:53 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
..It was a fun ride but my flip career is over..
Just think of all of the extra time you'll have for riding!
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Old 03-01-11, 06:55 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by embankmentlb View Post
...I kept buying bikes that i didn't want to resell. It was actually costing me money.
This.
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