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  • Thinking about buying bikes from scrappers - thoughts?

    You might have seen in the hard rubbish thread that I'm thinking about buying up reasonable quality, fixable bikes and components from other Melbourne scrappers for greater than scrap value, with a view to fixing them up and selling them on. I thought I should start another thread for sounding out ideas on this, seeing what others (including potential sellers) think and so on.

    I think the major issue to begin with is setting a fair price. As far an I can see, there's probably two ways to do this. The first would be to offer a price on each bike on a case-by-case basis based on the profit I would reasonably expect to make from it. The pro would be that I could probably offer better prices this way. The con would be that it'd be fairly complicated given that my profit would depend on the make and type of bike, the condition it's in, what parts it needs get going again and their cost and so on. As a result, I probably wouldn't be able to name a price until I've actually seen the bike, which might be more fussy and unpredictable than people might want to deal with. I'd also be afraid that it might look like I'm trying to invent or exaggerate flaws to talk the price down.

    The other option would just be to offer a flat price per item or per kilo. I'd probably calculate the scrap value of the 'average' bike if it were broken down into its component metals and offer some multiple of that. I could still do some sort of basic grading according to type and condition - a racing bike in good condition might be scrap value times x, a mountain bike in fair condition might be scrap value times y etc. The pro is that it's simple, and the seller would know how much a particular bike/load is worth from the outset. The con is that I'm not sure they'd get as much as with the first option, though it might balance out if they have a bunch of bikes in different condition.

    I'm probably overthinking this, but let me know what you think.

  • #2
    would you really make any profit, after running around collecting & fixing them etc?
    we have huge amounts come through , think there maybe some in the yard now.
    we couldnt sell a really good BMX for $15


    • #3
      Probably depends on where your selling them but i'd imagine good clean adult sized bikes would sell well at uni.
      What about taking in a bunch of bikes and locking them together in a row on campus, then put up a for sale sign and phone number, like a mini store.
      Buying eWaste link here


      • #4
        Unless there a good brand and condition you will struggle to make a profit since you can run down to k mart and buy a brand new in the box for 99 bucks or less.. But if you can get good brand name frames and components I would part them out on eBay... Another thing that seems to make good money is retro bmx like old school redline race bikes and such


        • #5
          Yeah, ideally I'd be hoping for brand name bikes like the Giant road racer I mentioned in this thread. I haven';t tried flipping it yet as the wheels it came with were knackered and I haven't found a suitable set of replacements yet. If I can't find some in a reasonable time frame, I'll probably just part the thing out as you say.

          I did pick up two more ...utilitarian bikes, a brand-name (Trek) men's hybrid and a off-brand (Spectrum) women's hybrid. Both are steel, so have negligible scrap value. However, both would make good student/commuter bikes. I plan to fix them up and see what they go for. Both were free, so even if I only got twenty dollars apiece, I would be getting a much better deal than turning them over to the scrap yard. Also, I'd rather see items reused rather than recycled. Anyway, I plan to test the waters with these to see if such a bike can sell and for how much. Either bike would be much, much better than the crap Kmart sells, but buyer's perceptions matter far more than reality.

          FWIW, my current commuter/scrapping bike is based on an early-90's steel Shogun mountain bike frame that I happily paid $30 for. It wouldn't even be worth $1 at the scrap yard. To be fair, I need a very large frame (I'm 6'4") which don't come up that often. The average punter might be less willing to fork out that much.

          If you happen to live in hipsterville like me, you can probably sell any sort of vintage/retro bike. Hell, you can probably sell retro anything there.


          • #6
            Lol yea my first job was working in a bicycle shop and trying to explain that the extra 200 dollars for this quality bike is like talking to a brick wall when there only response was but Kmart have bikes for $89... Hmmm might have to advertise in hipster vile as I have a few dragsters lying about I wanna do up.. Currently fixing one up for my daughter