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Me an' Bikeman had a big fight!

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View Poll Results: Should you vary the backdrop in your CL pictures?
Best to vary the backdrop in CL pics - Don't want to be pegged as a flipper.
29
38.67%
Keep the backdrop the same - You will build your rep and a loyal clientele.
46
61.33%
Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

Me an' Bikeman had a big fight!

Old 06-21-12, 10:58 AM
  #1  
auchencrow
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Me an' Bikeman had a big fight!

The other day, Bikemanbob and I were discussing strategies for how to best market flips on the local CL...

One of us very rudely and crudely asserted that always using the same recognizable backdrop in pictures pegs you as a dirty flipper, and is not conducive to sales since many prospective customers think of flippers in the same vein as used car salesman and lawyers.

The other one of us very tactfully and intelligently pointed out that having a recognizable personna on CL actually helps sales - particularly as one who stands by his work, and who has labored to build a good reputation for selling good quality bikes at a fair price.

- I won't tell you which side I was on , but I do need your help to settle this argument: Vote in the poll, and then tell us what you think.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:06 AM
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****. I voted to vary the background, despite the fact that I never vary the background for my CL bike images. Why add inconvenience of gathering CL photos on top of all of life's other challenges? I failed my logic final.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:11 AM
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****? - I don't think the mods will lock the thread as it is very much tongue in cheek.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:11 AM
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I voted to keep BG the same, but I should qualify that...

The quality of the posting (writing, thoroughness) and photo should be as high as possible. Consistently bad / low-quality posts make you look shady. Consistently good / high-quality posts build people's confidence your "brand" and should help you in the long run.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:13 AM
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Whose tongue in whose cheek, is what I want to know.

Edit: never mind, I don't want to know.

Last edited by rhm; 06-21-12 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:13 AM
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I think less of the two local flippers who always have the same background
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Old 06-21-12, 11:19 AM
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If you have the skills, why not flip? I bought my son's BMX bike from a flipper and the improvements he made were worth the price increase. Some of his stuff I would never buy, but I trust his work so the right bike at the right price works for me. He knows what he is doing and when I see his stuff, I know it will be as advertised and work well.
I think if you have a good rep, why try to hide it by posting bikes in different backgrounds? That seems a bit shadier to me(being a non-flipper & layperson)
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Old 06-21-12, 11:21 AM
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There's one guy here, Joel, that always has the same outdoor background; and I think it works well for him.

If you're selling good bikes at a fair price - keep and build your rep. If you're just DKO'ing, vary it.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:23 AM
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I think both ways presents good arguments/theories to support one way over the other but, have you ever considered that buyers might be split down the middle on how they react to the two different ways to present bikes for sale in pics?
I think it's mostly a waste of time to argue about it and just do what feels comfortable or convenient to you as a seller.

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Old 06-21-12, 11:25 AM
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https://www.TorontoVintageBikes.com


This is our website, we do keep all our backgrounds the same due to the flow of the bikes for sale section and when we post on craigslist then people will notice that it is us.

We do overhauls to bikes to make them run great and awesome again.

The cool part is that is you check the bikes for sale section you can see the season change and the plants grow and loose leaves as you go deeper into the section.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:26 AM
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I've never sold a bike to the same person twice so I see no reason for establishing a persona on CL. I think sellers are better off listing items as a personal -from owner-to buyer transaction because people feel like they're getting a better deal if there's no middle man involved. As with used car salesmen, you know they paid less for the car than you're going to so you can't help but wonder if you're getting a good deal.
If you can guarantee the quality of the bikes and can offer some sort of reasonable maintenance plan than go ahead and establish yourself as a bike salesman. You may be able to get more money for your bikes but you'll likely get less interest.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:27 AM
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Very funny thread Title! I didn't know that my forum name was going to be in the title, but I'm pleased. I got a great laugh.

As can be guessed, I like similiar backgrounds. It helps people recognize my work. Thankfully, I get a number of positive emails and thanks for making CL interesting. It might be harder for people if the background varies.

However, I have changed the backgrounds in 2 listings because I was getting bored with the photos.

I beg you to vote in favor of similiar backgrounds. Auchen will never let me hear the end of it!

Here is my typical listing with the swing in the background:

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Old 06-21-12, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemanbob View Post
.....

I beg you to vote in favor of similiar backgrounds. Auchen will never let me hear the end of it!....
DON'T LISTEN TO HIM!
Vote for dissimilar backgrounds! Because - um, er, it's truth, justice and the American way!
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Old 06-21-12, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
****? - I don't think the mods will lock the thread as it is very much tongue in cheek.
I'll take bribes, from either side......
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Old 06-21-12, 11:53 AM
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When I was flipping hard, I always tore every bike down and cleaned/rebuilt/replaced consumables like tires and cables before putting up on CL. I was able to easily get top dollar for all my flips, as I had a reputation. And part of that positive visibility was that I always used the same background, and that usually involved the bike in question up on a maintenance stand to add visual authority the text describing what had been done to make the bike ready. Doing so allowed folks to recognize me in the CL clutter.

Not just my opinion.... I was told that several times as the cash exchanged hands. Word of mouth, folks.... it's out there. People who are looking for bikes have friends with similar interests/needs. And when they're happy, they tell folks. And those folks look for your ads, or else get your email and contact you directly.

If you're doing it right, make yourself easy to identify.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
When I was flipping hard, I always tore every bike down and cleaned/rebuilt/replaced consumables like tires and cables before putting up on CL. I was able to easily get top dollar for all my flips, as I had a reputation. And part of that positive visibility was that I always used the same background........ it allowed folks to recognize me in the CL clutter.

Not just my opinion.... I was told that several times as the cash exchanged hands. Word of mouth, folks.... it's out there. People who are looking for bikes have friends with similar interests/needs. And when they're happy, they tell folks. And those folks look for your ads, or else get your email and contact you directly.

If you're doing it right, make yourself easy to identify.
Yes! Bigbossman has got it right!
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Old 06-21-12, 11:59 AM
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I think, ultimately, the bike is going to sell itself. You ad, description and photos will determine how it sells and there are merits to both approaches. I voted separate backgrounds because I think the CL police cadets are more likely to harass you if they identify you as a flipper. I don't think that crowd actually buys bikes anyway, so their opinion doesn't count, except that they can, and will, flag ads, whine, etc.

Usually I'm selling the mid-range stuff on CL and putting the exotic stuff on eBay...most of the folks buying mid-range aren't checking CL religiously so they won't notice something like this - unless you have a ton of bikes up at once. Rep won't matter. If you have enough bikes up for it to matter for the casual viewer, I'd want separate backgrounds as I do think the used car salesman view has weight.

The folks who can identify your ads by a background over time are other flippers and bike weirdos - and they rarely actually pay enough to care regardless. Just as a general thing, I'd rather them not be able to identify me as a "that guy".

My view might be weighed because I typically don't flip regularly or have enough bikes where a friend telling a friend is going to benefit me. I get good prices and fast sales because:

1. I live in the right area - that makes ALL the difference.
2. I include descriptions of who I think the bike is best for and what qualities it has.
3. I give an accurate, detailed description including any potential issues the bike has.
4. I ask for reasonable prices, maybe a little towards the higher end.
5. I speak and negotiate well - no one wants to pick up the phone and talk to someone who doesn't present well. No one wants an email from a guy typing in all caps or with every other word misspelled. Language skills and communication are VITAL for sales.

Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 06-21-12 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 06-21-12, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemanbob View Post
Yes! Bigbossman has got it right!
All I can say is that it worked so well for me that it funded all my bikes and all my tools, and then some. Towards the end, I wasn't advertising much any more.... folks were getting my email from their friends who had bought a bike from me, and I was being contacted directly.

I got real tired of doing it though, so when I got my last bike built (the De Rosa), I "retired". I haven't built a bike for resale in about 2 years.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemanbob View Post
Yes! Bigbossman has got it right!
Yeah sure - he also said he's amenable to taking bribes.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I think, ultimately, the bike is going to sell itself. You ad, description and photos will determine how it sells and there are merits to both approaches. I voted separate backgrounds because I think the CL police cadets are more likely to harass you if they identify you as a flipper. I don't think that crowd actually buys bikes anyway, so their opinion doesn't count, except that they can, and will, flag ads, whine, etc.

Usually I'm selling the mid-range stuff on CL and putting the exotic stuff on eBay...most of the folks buying mid-range aren't checking CL religiously so they won't notice something like this - unless you have a ton of bikes up at once. Rep won't matter. If you have enough bikes up for it to matter for the casual viewer, I'd want separate backgrounds as I do think the used car salesman view has weight.

The folks who can identify your ads by a background over time are other flippers and bike weirdos - and they rarely actually pay enough to care regardless. Just as a general thing, I'd rather them not be able to identify me as a "that guy".

My view might be weighed because I typically don't flip regularly or have enough bikes where a friend telling a friend is going to benefit me. I get good prices and fast salkes because:

1. I live in the right area - that makes ALL the difference.
2. I include descriptions of who I think the bike is best for and what qualities it has.
3. I give an accurate, detailed description including any potential issues the bike has.
4. I ask for reasonable prices, maybe a little towards the higher end.
5. I speak and negotiate well - no one wants to pick up the phone and talk to someone who doesn't present well. No one wants an email from a guy typing in all caps or with every other word misspelled. Language skills and communication are VITAL for sales.
Yes! Aaron got it right! (And I didn't even have to pay him. )
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Old 06-21-12, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Yeah sure - he also said he's amenable to taking bribes.
No paypal funds were transferred in securing Bigbossman's positive remarks! He requires money orders!

Last edited by bikemanbob; 06-21-12 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Yeah sure - he also said he's amenable to taking bribes.
Ya know, impugning my character could be construed as a personal insult, and subject to disciplinary action. Are you looking for some discipline? I went Catholic School..... I know all about the subject.
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Old 06-21-12, 12:13 PM
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YOu didn't see my fee via PM?
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Old 06-21-12, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Ya know, impugning my character could be construed as a personal insult, and subject to disciplinary action. Are you looking for some discipline? I went Catholic School..... I know all about the subject.
It has to be untrue for it to be libelous...you have no defense!
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Old 06-21-12, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Ya know, impugning my character could be construed as a personal insult, and subject to disciplinary action. Are you looking for some discipline? I went Catholic School..... I know all about the subject.
T'ain't got nuttin on me - I went to skool wid Sista' bloody Mary of the busted ruler.
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