Wheeling and Dealing (Bargains on Ebay, Usenet, Garage Sales, etc)



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B

B. Sanders

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Like my family before me, bargain hunting is in my blood. I buy and sell bikes and parts frequently
on Ebay and other forums. I've been trading bikes and parts avidly (to support my hobby) for about
11 years now.

Recently, for instance, I bought a 2001 Klein Attitude Race for $700 + shipping on Ebay. It has a
RaceFace/XT drivetrain, 2002 Marzocchi MXR fork, Azonic bars + stem and Thomson seatpost. It's my
favorite color - Aztec Gold.

The Azonic PDW bars, Shorty stem, Thomson setback post and MXR fork were not what I wanted. So, I
sold them (for almost $350), and replaced them with parts from my collection and from Ebay. After
the parts swap-out, the net cost of my beautiful 2001 Klein Attitude was around $450.

This is just one example. There *are* great deals on Ebay, if you know what you're looking for. I
usually bid what the item is worth to me; and then if I win, great. If not, then I don't. It's
amazing how many auctions end below what you might expect.

Usenet, OTOH, is all about being there first. You *must* be the first one to respond, and you must
commit instantly - as in "I'll buy it." A couple of years ago, I bought a fully tricked-out Merlin
hardtail (20 lbs honest weight) for $500 - 10 minutes after the bike was posted to the 'Net. No, it
wasn't hot. (Yes, I checked). It was slightly damaged. I fixed the damage, mounted some new tires,
polished out a few scratches, and had a beautiful ultralight bike.

Garage sales are another world. I've stopped going to them because it requires a lot of time, and
isn't really worth it. I did find a Cannondale touring bike for $35 once. The frame broke a few
months later, and Cannondale replaced it under warranty! (Thus making me a Cannondale fan for life.)
That's about the best I've done at garage sales. They're a great place to buy a good old commuter
bike; but not much else.

I know I'm not the only bargain hunter here. Anybody else have strategies for riding sweet high-end
bikes and keeping the money in your pocket? (Aside from stealing, of course....)

-Barry
 
J

Jon Isaacs

Guest
>Garage sales are another world. I've stopped going to them because it requires a lot of time, and
>isn't really worth it. I did find a Cannondale touring bike for $35 once. The frame broke a few
>months later, and Cannondale replaced it under warranty! (Thus making me a Cannondale fan for
>life.) That's about the best I've done at garage sales. They're a great place to buy a good old
>commuter bike; but not much else. I know I'm not the only bargain hunter here. Anybody else have
>strategies for riding sweet high-end bikes and keeping the money in your pocket? (Aside from
>stealing, of course....)
I think garage sales vary with locality. Where I used to live, there was a lot of great bike stuff.
Where I live now, it is so-so but probably better than most places.

I buy about anything rideable, that is decent, no Huffys, and fix it because I know someone will
need it sooner or later.

Most I ever paid at a garage sale for a bike was $400 for my 1991 Waterford Paramount. I bought that
about 6 years ago and it still had the flashing on the tires, the fellow had ordered it but gotten
hurt and never ridden it.

But most bikes are in the $10-$20. About 5 years ago I bought a nearly unridden 1984 Specialized
Sequoia for $10, I have upgraded it over the years but it is and was one solid bike.

Best deals I ever saw were one of Mark Allen's Kestrel/Schwinns that went for $50 and a near mint
condition late 80's Medici that a friend bought for $10, full campy and all. Its a great ride and a
beautifull bike.

I frequent the bike swap meets, most notably the San Diego Velodrome swapmeet and garage sales.

Between them I have bought probably around a 100 bikes, most of em have moved on down the road, but
about 20 of em still live at home.

jon isaacs
 
A

Alex Rodriguez

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

>This is just one example. There *are* great deals on Ebay, if you know what you're looking for. I
>usually bid what the item is worth to me; and then if I win, great. If not, then I don't. It's
>amazing how many auctions end below what you might expect.

I am amazed at how many auctions end at prices higher than buying from your local store at full
retail price.

>I know I'm not the only bargain hunter here. Anybody else have strategies for riding sweet high-end
>bikes and keeping the money in your pocket? (Aside from stealing, of course....)

Swap meets 1/2 hour before closing time. People don't want to carry the same stuff back home, so
they are very flexible on price. The other thing is to get to the swap meet before they open to the
general public and scout out the deals. All the good stuff that is cheap will sell quickly.
-----------------
Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
 
M

Matt O'Toole

Guest
"Alex Rodriguez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] says...
>
> >This is just one example. There *are* great deals on
Ebay, if you know what
> >you're looking for. I usually bid what the item is worth
to me; and then if
> >I win, great. If not, then I don't. It's amazing how
many auctions end
> >below what you might expect.
>
> I am amazed at how many auctions end at prices higher than
buying from
> your local store at full retail price.

It's auction fever! What really amazes me are car auctions, where incredible POS cars with mystery
history sell for three times what they would in a saner environment. You hear those mythical cheap
Porsche/Ferrari stories, etc., but the real stories are the rustbucket AMC Ambassadors that sell for
$1800. And they could have been dredged from the bottom of a lake for all you know.

When I was a kid I used to go to the police auctions to buy bikes, boats, and windsurfers. This was
mostly stuff that was stolen and recovered, or that blew off people's docks in a storm. I'd buy 'em
with my paper route money, fix 'em up and sell 'em. You could get great deals for awhile, but then
too many people started showing up with too much money. Oh well, I guess it was good for the
charities that the auction proceeds went to.

I do follow bike prices on eBay, just out of general interest. Generally I think prices are high,
especially for the "cool" brands. However, if you go off the beaten path, brand-wise, you can get
some really good deals. Still, those same bikes would be selling for less elsewhere.

Matt O.
 
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