So I’ve been doing this fixing up old bikes thing for a while and I’ve found that finding bikes to fix up is about as hard as breathing. Between Craigslist and sidewalk pickups I’ve got more projects than I need.
The problem is, what to do when the project is done? I’ve tried several methods, but am not completely happy with any of them.
Craigslist – Usually sells but you have to deal with so many flakes that it makes for an unpleasant experience. Though for the kids bikes that I give away it has proven the most effective for finding good homes.
eBay – The first problem is shipping. I’m not dealing with high-end bikes so even at a bargain price it just isn’t worth it for the buyer. The second problem is that if you have something weird you aren’t likely to get much interest.
Flea Markets – For the bikes I’m fixing up this should be the best outlet. The problem is that flea markets take quite a bit of time and effort so when you factor in your slim profit you wind up making about a dollar an hour.
Collectors – If you watch the storage auction shows you will assume that in every town there are dozens of people waiting to buy your stuff. Yeah good like with that. Actually, If I had something that a collector wanted I’d be better off selling it them in rough condition so that the sale is based entirely on the bike and not on my restoration skills.
Consignment store – I haven’t tried this yet. Know of any in San Francisco? What might be advantageous is exposure to potential buyers without having to hang around and do the selling yourself. It will cost you a commission but that’s usually only 10% or so.
Any other ideas?