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Confessions of a bike flipper: Walking away from a deal still happy.

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Confessions of a bike flipper: Walking away from a deal still happy.

Old 03-22-22, 07:21 AM
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soyabean
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Confessions of a bike flipper: Walking away from a deal still happy.

Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
When someone is trying to pass off a broken bike to me, the only way I'll leave with it is on my lowball offer, or I don't and walk away with a smile.

My spidey senses also pop up red flags at times to ignore a deal. The OP gave an excellent scenario.

I'm never sad walking away empty handed, because it saved my valuable real estate back home for someone better.

Then I look for nearby fast food and take out something yummy to justify my trip out there.
I discussed the above earlier last week. I wanted to share this exact event that happened just yesterday.

Being a regular bike flipper, I love obscure ads. Means no one else is responding to them but me.

Bad photos. "Bike for sale". Deflated tires. Bikes surrounded by mountains of hoarded items.

Essentially, folks that have no idea what they are selling. Either because they are selling an ex's bike, or they found it. Really does not matter.

I checked out this vintage Trek. Seller was living in a pigsty. The smell. He looked homeless, yet I was impressed he had his own place.

As he mumbled a colorful story to praise the bike, I did the usual, check for true wheels, loose bearings, seized cables.

I asked "Why is the rear half of the bike all spray painted?" I really hate hack jobs.

He stutters "Oh it was to hide the rust." At least he was honest.

"You found this bike outside, didn't you. This bike is scrap. It's finished." There was no way I could resell this without spending a substantial amount of time.

Apparently he got offended and scolded me to get out of his place.

Famished, I drove into a nearby grocer and bought a bag of Cape Cod Jalapeno chips. They were not on sale, I paid regular price.

Pigsty seller called me a few times, but I never answered.
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Old 03-22-22, 07:40 AM
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Some good flipping threads

Bike Flipping 101

​​​​​​How Do You Flippers Make Any Money?
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Old 03-22-22, 10:26 AM
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Seems logical to walk away from a used bike deal because you didnt find it of value.
I dont think anyone would doubt that you buy food to justify the trip. I often combine short road trips with something else if possible.

2 birds, 1 stone is a common saying for a reason.
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Old 03-22-22, 04:47 PM
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A friend of mine provided a contact that had a storage unit and shed filled with bikes. I pursued it and found two bikes worth my effort to bid on. The guy was out in left field with his ask, so I walked away. Sometimes a dead lead is just that. Have to roll the wasted 45 minutes, miles and fuel into the cost of the next set of bikes I find and resell. I am finding that there is a small profit in flipping bikes unless one gets them at zero cost or close to home after true costs of doing business are figured into the cost of the product.
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Old 03-22-22, 05:28 PM
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Wow, what a coincidence - I don’t buy rusty old bikes, either.

What are the odds?
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Old 03-22-22, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
I discussed the above earlier last week. I wanted to share this exact event that happened just yesterday.

Being a regular bike flipper, I love obscure ads. Means no one else is responding to them but me.

Bad photos. "Bike for sale". Deflated tires. Bikes surrounded by mountains of hoarded items.

Essentially, folks that have no idea what they are selling. Either because they are selling an ex's bike, or they found it. Really does not matter.

I checked out this vintage Trek. Seller was living in a pigsty. The smell. He looked homeless, yet I was impressed he had his own place.

As he mumbled a colorful story to praise the bike, I did the usual, check for true wheels, loose bearings, seized cables.

I asked "Why is the rear half of the bike all spray painted?" I really hate hack jobs.

He stutters "Oh it was to hide the rust." At least he was honest.

"You found this bike outside, didn't you. This bike is scrap. It's finished." There was no way I could resell this without spending a substantial amount of time.

Apparently he got offended and scolded me to get out of his place.

Famished, I drove into a nearby grocer and bought a bag of Cape Cod Jalapeno chips. They were not on sale, I paid regular price.

Pigsty seller called me a few times, but I never answered.
I had a similar experience with a "hand made 12 string guitar". I went to the guy's "house" which was a school bus with a wood stove and styrofoam inserts in the windows. It was winter and he brought the guitar outside for me to look at. The "hand made" guitar was a regular cheap 6 string guitar that had been modified very crudely and was horrible. I didn't play it but made some neutral comments and was trying to extricate myself from this situation. He got pissed and told me, basically, that I was experiencing a rectal-cranial inversion, didn't know quality, I couldn't evaluate it without playing it (outside, cold winter day). I managed to get in my car and drive off. I even seem to recall he called me later to chew me out some more. This was pre-cell phone. I probably had left my name and number when I first was setting up a time to check it out.

Might have stopped for a McFlurry as that's my go to.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I

Might have stopped for a McFlurry as that's my go to.
I do love me a good McFlurry. They used to actually flurry them, but now its just soft serve.

I quit smoking by eating Oreo flurries.
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Old 03-22-22, 11:14 PM
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I guess someone has to be buying those bikes from junk ads. Your post describes everything I try to avoid when buying used. I want well written, descriptive ads that include plenty of clear, relevant photos. I don’t doubt you’ll eventually find that needle-in-a-haystack, but I don’t have time for the amount of chaff you gotta sift through.

Better ads for better quality bikes eliminates a lot of wasted time, at least in my experience. Your mileage may vary. It looks like you dodged a dog on this one, so there’s that.
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Old 03-22-22, 11:15 PM
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In my experience, it is rare to make money flipping bikes, unless you find that odd vintage bike that Coppi rode to win the Giro d'Italia.
Sometimes, just replacing the tires and cables will be more than the value of the bike
I do it because it gives something to do during the long, cold, dark, winter nights.
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Old 03-23-22, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Wow, what a coincidence - I donít buy rusty old bikes, either.

What are the odds?
My last two purchases have been rusty. The ads were well written by illywhackers who led me to believe what I saw in the photos was patina. Now I have to wait until I can get them ridable to smile when all it would have taken is a bag of chips. Who knew?
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Old 03-23-22, 06:52 AM
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I'd like to hear more about the Cape Cod potato chips.
Anyway, you dodged a bullet that would have wasted your time for awhile. Nicely done!
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Old 03-23-22, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
I'd like to hear more about the Cape Cod potato chips.
Anyway, you dodged a bullet that would have wasted your time for awhile. Nicely done!
​​​​​​https://www.capecodchips.com/

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Old 03-23-22, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Wow, what a coincidence - I donít buy rusty old bikes, either.

What are the odds?
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Old 03-23-22, 10:32 AM
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I would think that some neutral remark like, "It's not close enough to what I want for me to tie up my money" would serve to get you out of the immediate fix. Thank the seller for his time and bug out. Admittedly I'm not a flipper so making money is not my primary motivation but at my age there's only so much time left for me to be wasting it like that.
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Old 03-26-22, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I walked away. Sometimes a dead lead is just that. Have to roll the wasted 45 minutes, miles and fuel into the cost of the next set of bikes I find and resell.
Agreed. I totally get it.

This thread wasn't about hitting junk ads to find junk bikes, as some others here have grievously mistaken.

It was about scoring on potential premium finds that a seller just otherwise had no idea about what they were selling, who was not able to produce a descriptive ad with clear pics.

When a seller makes the perfect quality ad (as resellers do), it means they are too well informed and always tend to ask a high ceiling price for their bike. Good for them, and great for that enthusiastic end user that will buy it.

I've scored all sorts of premium bikes of all makes and models from "junk ads". It's fun to pay $50 for a Canyon or a Scott.

And other times, a junk ad really does turn out to be a junk bike.

Another one I just saw today.

Looking at the pic, I had no idea what it was, but disc brakes was enough for me to go see it. It was only a few miles from me.

Unfortunately, the photo was at least 6 months old taken during the summer, and the bike became dilapidated from a long winter exposure outdoors.

I was rather politically correct and simply told the seller I did not have the DIY skills to refurbish their broken bike. He seemed ok with it and we amicably departed.
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Old 03-26-22, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
I discussed the above earlier last week. I wanted to share this exact event that happened just yesterday.

Being a regular bike flipper, I love obscure ads. Means no one else is responding to them but me.

Bad photos. "Bike for sale". Deflated tires. Bikes surrounded by mountains of hoarded items.

Essentially, folks that have no idea what they are selling. Either because they are selling an ex's bike, or they found it. Really does not matter.

I checked out this vintage Trek. Seller was living in a pigsty. The smell. He looked homeless, yet I was impressed he had his own place.

As he mumbled a colorful story to praise the bike, I did the usual, check for true wheels, loose bearings, seized cables.

I asked "Why is the rear half of the bike all spray painted?" I really hate hack jobs.

He stutters "Oh it was to hide the rust." At least he was honest.

"You found this bike outside, didn't you. This bike is scrap. It's finished." There was no way I could resell this without spending a substantial amount of time.

Apparently he got offended and scolded me to get out of his place.

Famished, I drove into a nearby grocer and bought a bag of Cape Cod Jalapeno chips. They were not on sale, I paid regular price.

Pigsty seller called me a few times, but I never answered.

Ahhhh... a Winnipegger at heart.
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