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Co-op rule: parts must be installed on bicycle before leaving

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Co-op rule: parts must be installed on bicycle before leaving

Old 11-17-21, 02:43 PM
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nathand
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Co-op rule: parts must be installed on bicycle before leaving

I stopped at my local bike co-op yesterday and noticed a sign I hadn't seen before saying that purchased parts must be installed on a bicycle before leaving. Is that a common rule at most bike co-ops, and if so, what's the reason for it? I don't want to push my non-working bike to the co-op to fix it, when I can ride a working bike to pick up the parts I need. The co-op is not currently enforcing the rule for COVID reasons (they'd rather allow people to install parts at home) so not actually causing me problems right now; I'm just wondering if this is how bike co-ops generally operate.
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Old 11-17-21, 02:54 PM
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We have seen posts about some LBS's not selling parts for home shop work, only for parts installed by the shop. Most folks think it's a supply issue reaction, where they are essentially hoarding what few parts they get, for in shop installation where they charge for labor. I mean you can always ask them to clarify the intent behind that policy, as it's not like they are profiting from install.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:12 PM
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One reason might be that it keeps people from just grabbing the choice stuff and selling on eBay.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:22 PM
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.
...different co-ops here have different policies. The one down in SF in SOMA neighborhood had a similar rule when last I was there. Parts bins were only open to people working on a bike in the shop. Sacramento and Davis both sell parts to anyone who shows up looking for them, and there's a kind of higher end resale shop in San Rafael that has no self repair facilities at all, so they strip down a lot of bikes and sell only the parts/components, along with whole bicycles that their staff repairs sometimes, or just get sold as is.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:23 PM
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That is a dumb rule.

If they are concerned about selling nice stuff for cheap and having the buyer throw it on ebay...then the co-op can just price that stuff for more money. Its pretty simple. My local collective does that- they have nicer stuff behind the counter and it costs more.

I dont want to buy some brake calipers and have to install them there on site. Why would that be necessary?
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Old 11-17-21, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
One reason might be that it keeps people from just grabbing the choice stuff and selling on eBay.
Sort of my thought .... people who don't need the parts come in and collect them, then people who do need the parts then can find them.

I can picture some posters here hitting up all the co-ops for 6-7-8 speed stuff because they fear the stuff won't be available and they don't want to have to join the last half of the 20th century.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:41 PM
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Probably depends on the purpose of the co-op. Maybe this one is a charitable enterprise with the goal of helping the less affluent. Maybe they don't want flippers and other opportunists making off with stuff that could be used to get a customer/client on the road. However, it might make sense to sort out the fancy or really collectible stuff and sell it separately.
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Old 11-17-21, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Sort of my thought .... people who don't need the parts come in and collect them, then people who do need the parts then can find them.

I can picture some posters here hitting up all the co-ops for 6-7-8 speed stuff because they fear the stuff won't be available and they don't want to have to join the last half of the 20th century.
...I'm just not a joiner. Sorry.
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Old 11-17-21, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Why would that be necessary?
...I was there on official co-op business, doing research on qualifications and training programs for volunteers. So fortunately for you, I asked that exact question, although I phrased it much less judgmentally. The answer, unsurprisingly, was that in their location, and with their donation flow, they got tired of not having decent stuff in the parts bins when someone in the shop was working on a project. So this was what they decided to do.

IOW, they prioritzed the needs of the people working in the shop, on projects, vs the needs of people just buying parts for whatever.

I didn't much like it either, but it is their place. And they were not telling me how to run my place, which thankfully is run differently. This was maybe 10 years ago, so it might have changed. But I notice the OP is in San Francisco, so I suspect this might be the place he's talking about. A lot of this depends on your influx and outflow of bikes and parts in general. For many years the one co-op here got a lot of donated bikes because nobody else wanted them. It's diffrent down in the Bay Area, where there is more competition for old bike donations.

And that whole Mike's Bikes "Bikes for Africa" thing used to cut into the donations stream every year, even though the bikes we were looking for were not ideal for the African continent in most places.

You're all about supply and demand, and efficiency of distribution, and competition in the marketplace. This is a result of all that stuff.
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Old 11-17-21, 11:05 PM
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I can see it. If there is a history of people who treat the co-op like an all-you-can-eat buffet, then it stands to reason, that it leaves fewer parts for who really needs to repair.
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Old 11-18-21, 01:31 AM
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Iride01 said it the best.

It is an excellent rule. The aim is to help the less fortunate to have reliable inexpensive transportation.

The goal is not to achieve approximate equivalent market value on parts pricing!!!

In order to partially somewhat discourage the FREELOADERS that are not less fortunate from essentially purchasing an arsenal stockpile of quality below market price used bike parts and then profiteer from unloading them on Ebay, the cabe. craigs, facebook mkt place, offer-up or here on the bikeforums.
Yes, I did use the term, FREELOADERS, and I will go as far as saying that if you can afford an apartment,smart phone ,
cable television, high speed internet, and can afford to eat out with friends once a week, even if at McDonalds, and drink a couple of beers with pals at the local pub, and go see a movie or a concert once in a while, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO MONOPOLIZE THE PARTS SOURCE OF A CO-OP TO ESSENTIALLY CHERRY PICK THE ONES THAT WILL YIELD THE HIGHEST PAYBACK ON EBAY. You should absolutely be ashamed to do that! TAKE ONLY WHAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CURRENT BIKE, AND LEAVE THE REST SO THAT OTHERS THAT ARE TRUELY LESS FORTUNATE & NEEDY MAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION.
Yeah, buddy, you should seriously think about that, but there are too many smug dumbasses that look at from the perspective that oh well, I know enough about bicycles and bicycle parts so well I should be rewarded for being savy enough to recognize that said part is a great part for a bargain. What a dipS#!t !!! The CO-OP knows good and well that said parts pricing is Well Below equivalent market value and it is that way for the simple reason of serving the less-fortunate that really have very little money and are struggling just to survive. SO, HELL YEAH, IT IS A GOOD CO-OP RULE !!! You could still have some dipS#!t that isn't needy that abuses the system by coming every week or so and buying & installing parts there, only to go home to a nice apt and then remove said parts and unload for profit on Ebay, and then repeat the process a few days later, but this buying & installing parts there DOES DISCOURAGE the dipS#!ts somewhat. Those that are truly less fortunate & needy likely have zero complaints as to buying and installing the parts there because UNLIKE you dipS#!ts, those truly less fortunate and needy folks don't have a nice apt or house with nice workspace/workbench with tools, and bicycle work stand.

THERE ARE MANY FOLKS THAT ARE EXTREMELY GENEROUS WITH THEIR TIME, SKILLS, AND DONATED PARTS AT CO-OPS & BIKE MISSIONS.
Unfortunately, there are some that are not ever givers or volunteers, but simply are takers who view the CO-OP just as they would view a garage sale, flea mkt, craigslist, Goodwill store, or Ebay. THESE DUMMIES FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THESE CO-OP's & BIKE MISSIONS FOR THE TRULY LESS FORTUNATE AND NEEDY FOLKS IN HELPING THEM MAINTAIN AT A LOW COST, THEIR ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION.
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Old 11-18-21, 06:05 AM
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I've spoken with long-time staff at my local co-op. They have (historically) taken the finest parts away from the general public bins and either display them in cases (for sale at higher prices) or take them for private use. One of the perks of working so many hours there.

They sell parts for one to take home, though. I have donated 100x more than I have purchased there, simply because I don't want the burden of carrying a large parts inventory in my home.
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Old 11-18-21, 07:53 AM
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Any system, however good, can be gamed ... and eventually people will come to scam for crumbs ....

If people run a bike co-op to help lower-income riders, or to provide tools, workspace, and advice for people who can afford to take their rides to bike shops but would rather do the work themselves ... then I have absolutely no problem with those folks taking the best parts for themselves .... not many good parts are likely t show up anyway, but good for the people making the effort to help others, and yes, they have earned their rewards.

Ad for the scabs going to co-ops and taking free or cheap parts to sell .... they will eventually find out about karma.

In the meantime, to make sure that honest folks can get decent parts at the co-op ..... absolutely make whatever rules you need.

If I want to ride a working bike to a coop and pick up a part for a non-working bike .... I can (and would) go to the people in charge and explain the situation. "Hey, I can't ride my bike here with a broken X in order to prove I need an X. Do I need to leave a cash deposit, and come back in a week with the repaired bike with the new X attached, so you guys can see I needed it? Should I ride home and come back with the broken X so you can see I need one? Work with me, here .... I am not about to carry a freaking broken bicycle to a bike shop when I have a working bicycle .... how can we make this work?"

Based on co-op employees with whom I have dealt with, we would work out something.
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Old 11-18-21, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
Iride01 said it the best.

It is an excellent rule. The aim is to help the less fortunate to have reliable inexpensive transportation.

The goal is not to achieve approximate equivalent market value on parts pricing!!!

In order to partially somewhat discourage the FREELOADERS that are not less fortunate from essentially purchasing an arsenal stockpile of quality below market price used bike parts and then profiteer from unloading them on Ebay, the cabe. craigs, facebook mkt place, offer-up or here on the bikeforums.
Yes, I did use the term, FREELOADERS, and I will go as far as saying that if you can afford an apartment,smart phone ,
cable television, high speed internet, and can afford to eat out with friends once a week, even if at McDonalds, and drink a couple of beers with pals at the local pub, and go see a movie or a concert once in a while, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO MONOPOLIZE THE PARTS SOURCE OF A CO-OP TO ESSENTIALLY CHERRY PICK THE ONES THAT WILL YIELD THE HIGHEST PAYBACK ON EBAY. You should absolutely be ashamed to do that! TAKE ONLY WHAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CURRENT BIKE, AND LEAVE THE REST SO THAT OTHERS THAT ARE TRUELY LESS FORTUNATE & NEEDY MAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION.
Yeah, buddy, you should seriously think about that, but there are too many smug dumbasses that look at from the perspective that oh well, I know enough about bicycles and bicycle parts so well I should be rewarded for being savy enough to recognize that said part is a great part for a bargain. What a dipS#!t !!! The CO-OP knows good and well that said parts pricing is Well Below equivalent market value and it is that way for the simple reason of serving the less-fortunate that really have very little money and are struggling just to survive. SO, HELL YEAH, IT IS A GOOD CO-OP RULE !!! You could still have some dipS#!t that isn't needy that abuses the system by coming every week or so and buying & installing parts there, only to go home to a nice apt and then remove said parts and unload for profit on Ebay, and then repeat the process a few days later, but this buying & installing parts there DOES DISCOURAGE the dipS#!ts somewhat. Those that are truly less fortunate & needy likely have zero complaints as to buying and installing the parts there because UNLIKE you dipS#!ts, those truly less fortunate and needy folks don't have a nice apt or house with nice workspace/workbench with tools, and bicycle work stand.

THERE ARE MANY FOLKS THAT ARE EXTREMELY GENEROUS WITH THEIR TIME, SKILLS, AND DONATED PARTS AT CO-OPS & BIKE MISSIONS.
Unfortunately, there are some that are not ever givers or volunteers, but simply are takers who view the CO-OP just as they would view a garage sale, flea mkt, craigslist, Goodwill store, or Ebay. THESE DUMMIES FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THESE CO-OP's & BIKE MISSIONS FOR THE TRULY LESS FORTUNATE AND NEEDY FOLKS IN HELPING THEM MAINTAIN AT A LOW COST, THEIR ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION.
Please. "Who", not "that". You're welcome.
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Old 11-18-21, 09:06 AM
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@Vintage Schwinn .... anytime you want to start using spaces between paragraphs, feel free.

I see you have actually included some sort of indication of paragraphs, which is a plus .... but some days my eyes are just too tired for that undifferentiated wall of text.

Iride01 said it the best.

It is an excellent rule. The aim is to help the less fortunate to have reliable inexpensive transportation.

The goal is not to achieve approximate equivalent market value on parts pricing!!!

In order to partially somewhat discourage the FREELOADERS that are not less fortunate from essentially purchasing an arsenal stockpile of quality below market price used bike parts and then profiteer from unloading them on Ebay, the cabe. craigs, facebook mkt place, offer-up or here on the bikeforums.

Yes, I did use the term, FREELOADERS, and I will go as far as saying that if you can afford an apartment,smart phone , cable television, high speed internet, and can afford to eat out with friends once a week, even if at McDonalds, and drink a couple of beers with pals at the local pub, and go see a movie or a concert once in a while, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO MONOPOLIZE THE PARTS SOURCE OF A CO-OP TO ESSENTIALLY CHERRY PICK THE ONES THAT WILL YIELD THE HIGHEST PAYBACK ON EBAY.

You should absolutely be ashamed to do that!

TAKE ONLY WHAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CURRENT BIKE, AND LEAVE THE REST SO THAT OTHERS THAT ARE TRUELY LESS FORTUNATE & NEEDY MAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION.

Yeah, buddy, you should seriously think about that, but there are too many smug dumbasses that look at from the perspective that oh well, I know enough about bicycles and bicycle parts so well I should be rewarded for being savy enough to recognize that said part is a great part for a bargain. What a dipS#!t !!! The CO-OP knows good and well that said parts pricing is Well Below equivalent market value and it is that way for the simple reason of serving the less-fortunate that really have very little money and are struggling just to survive.

SO, HELL YEAH, IT IS A GOOD CO-OP RULE !!! You could still have some dipS#!t that isn't needy that abuses the system by coming every week or so and buying & installing parts there, only to go home to a nice apt and then remove said parts and unload for profit on Ebay, and then repeat the process a few days later, but this buying & installing parts there DOES DISCOURAGE the dipS#!ts somewhat.

Those that are truly less fortunate & needy likely have zero complaints as to buying and installing the parts there because UNLIKE you dipS#!ts, those truly less fortunate and needy folks don't have a nice apt or house with nice workspace/workbench with tools, and bicycle work stand.

THERE ARE MANY FOLKS THAT ARE EXTREMELY GENEROUS WITH THEIR TIME, SKILLS, AND DONATED PARTS AT CO-OPS & BIKE MISSIONS.

Unfortunately, there are some that are not ever givers or volunteers, but simply are takers who view the CO-OP just as they would view a garage sale, flea mkt, craigslist, Goodwill store, or Ebay. THESE DUMMIES FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THESE CO-OP's & BIKE MISSIONS FOR THE TRULY LESS FORTUNATE AND NEEDY FOLKS IN HELPING THEM MAINTAIN AT A LOW COST, THEIR ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION.


Quite a good post, once broken down into digestible bits. Have pity on the aged ....
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Old 11-18-21, 09:41 AM
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I have donated to a bike co-op and some were rare parts and unique. I was a little dismayed when I found them for sale on Craigslist for sale within a couple of days. This hasn't stopped me from donating because it could have been a one of but still bugged me. I am hoping that the parts I donate go to someone in need and not to line someone's pocket book.
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Old 11-18-21, 10:37 AM
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Where I am the nonprofits cater to all, they give rate for volume, first come first served. Where I am they have glass case items, refurbished bikes, as-is. If they were to put limits on who and how they sell they would not be viable, they would have an overwhelming amount of inventory.

My favored place just got like 200 bikes from the last drive that stuff needs to move before the next one.

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Old 11-18-21, 11:13 AM
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Yeah, I read some more comments and still just go back to- price items according to value. Its pretty darn simple- you could even just have two prices- high priced items and then everything else. Carbon drop bars dont need to be on the wall hanging with steel 25.4 bars. TRP brakes dont need to be in the bucket with DiaCompe G brakes.
My local collective prices bikes based on condition/quality, so why wouldnt components be priced the same?

Bikes that are refurbished and given away to kids/immigrants/whoever else really are not being fitted with anything more than 7sp components. I have seen trades where someone brings in a component they dont need in order to swap for one they do need because they cant pay for it- there just isnt a concern that someone will expect to trade their old seat post for a gently used Ultegra rear derailleur.

Seems like the OP's example created an inconvenient solution for an easily resolved issue.

This thread reminded me that I have 25 wheels in my garage that need to be taken to the collective for donation. Its the result of a program I work with moving to disc brakes- the spare wheels we have collected and maintained thru the years are now useless.
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Old 11-18-21, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, I read some more comments and still just go back to- price items according to value. Its pretty darn simple- you could even just have two prices- high priced items and then everything else. Carbon drop bars dont need to be on the wall hanging with steel 25.4 bars. TRP brakes dont need to be in the bucket with DiaCompe G brakes.
My local collective prices bikes based on condition/quality, so why wouldnt components be priced the same?
The co-op that started this discussion has a price list for "nice" and "not as nice" parts; I think the person working the register makes that decision. Maybe a better solution would be to charge more for parts that aren't installed on a bike at the time of purchase? I appreciate the service the co-op is providing and having done a lot of volunteer organizing myself I'm certainly not going to complain about their rules; I was more curious if this is a common rule at most co-ops, or specific to the one near me.

On my recent visit I was looking for a bolt for a derailleur pulley. I saw the sign at the entrance and thought "I hope I'm not going to have to come back with the non-working bike just to install one tiny bolt" which is what prompted my question, not that I actually expected they would enforce the rule over such a small item.
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Old 11-18-21, 11:33 AM
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I have bought many parts at my local co-op and never once had a bicycle with me. I don't like this "rule" at all.
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Old 11-18-21, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
I have donated to a bike co-op and some were rare parts and unique. I was a little dismayed when I found them for sale on Craigslist for sale within a couple of days. This hasn't stopped me from donating because it could have been a one of but still bugged me. I am hoping that the parts I donate go to someone in need and not to line someone's pocket book.
...I can't speak to your situation, but for a couple of years running, I listed the top of the line bikes we got as donations on the local Craigslist here. People generally don't shop at the co-op looking for a bike that costs more than a couple hunnert bucks, so there's a limit on what price you can ask in that environment. And on occasion someone does donate a very nice road or mountain bike, because they don't want to deal with selling it, and don't need the money.

It was something that was debated, but in the end, the idea that we had a fiduciary responsibility to the non profit and the members, to get a realistic value for the stuff that gets donated, won out.

Again, I have no idea whether this is what you are seeing. The resale shop in San Rafael routinely sells stuff (components) on ebay, and there is at least one guy who does only that. They are the non profit that ended up with a lot of Robin Williams' bicycles. So you can see that selling them in your grubby non profit shop environment would have limited the returns.
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Old 11-18-21, 12:29 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, I read some more comments and still just go back to- price items according to value. Its pretty darn simple- you could even just have two prices- high priced items and then everything else. Carbon drop bars dont need to be on the wall hanging with steel 25.4 bars. TRP brakes dont need to be in the bucket with DiaCompe G brakes.
My local collective prices bikes based on condition/quality, so why wouldnt components be priced the same?

Bikes that are refurbished and given away to kids/immigrants/whoever else really are not being fitted with anything more than 7sp components. I have seen trades where someone brings in a component they dont need in order to swap for one they do need because they cant pay for it- there just isnt a concern that someone will expect to trade their old seat post for a gently used Ultegra rear derailleur.

Seems like the OP's example created an inconvenient solution for an easily resolved issue.

.
...in a perfect world, with an unlimited supply of volunteer labor, many of them quite knowledgeable about bicycle components and current values, this is a wonderful idea. When you can easily resolve that shortage, I'm certain the rest will follow naturally.
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Old 11-18-21, 02:50 PM
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I was wondering if they thought there might be a liability thing of having people do something to their bikes in a way that wasn't supervised.
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Old 11-18-21, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I was wondering if they thought there might be a liability thing of having people do something to their bikes in a way that wasn't supervised.
AutoZone has to be shaking in its boots if a store is liable for how someone uses an item purchased from them.
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Old 11-18-21, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
I have bought many parts at my local co-op and never once had a bicycle with me. I don't like this "rule" at all.
Likely if they recognize you as a legit customer they wouldn't give you a hard time. I cannot think of ever meeting a snotty, self-important co-op mechanic---it just doesn't reward that kind of person. Talk to them human-to-human .... things will work.
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