[TheThinkTank] selling bikes

Mark Rehder mark at drumbent.com
Fri Oct 19 10:40:57 PDT 2007

Our bike prices are fairly firm, but each Head Mechanic always wiggle  

For parts there's quite a bit of wiggle room.  When someone digs up  
some Shimano 600 bits I simply ask them "what's it worth to you?".   
Since they know what the 600 stuff is then they know it's not cheap  
crap and almost never low-ball us.

I even had one guy pay what I thought was too much for two pairs of  
white plastic fenders.  He saw them in our shop and got quite excited  
because he had been looking all over for them for his two vintage  
Peugeots.  When asked what he'd like to pay he said $20 per pair!".   
$40 for old white fenders?  I was not going to argue with him, and  
wondered if I should've charged him more...  ;)

We've had the odd theft over the years, and a few folks pull the old  
"oh sorry, I don't have any money on me", after they've used shop  
time and installed parts.  We simply tell them "fine, you owe us  
money, and if you don't pay up someday you can enjoy the bad karma  
from ripping off a non-profit organization". (Good guilt trip, eh?)


On 19-Oct-07, at 11:32 AM, Velocipede Bike Project wrote:

> We do someithing at Velocipede that I like. Even though we do try  
> to set
> the price of the bike using all the factors people have mentioned,  
> I also
> like to ask people interested in the bike how much they want to  
> pay.  If
> they say something ridiculously low, I'll give them a counter offer  
> that
> is more reasonable, but still with in their means.  This works for  
> us for
> now because our overhead is still so low.
> I came to this method just cause I never know what to charge for  
> bikes,
> and never have the time to do the research on each bike to find  
> out.  I
> also like how it throws people for a loop and emphasizes that we  
> are here
> to make bikes available to the public and while the money helps us  
> to keep
> doing that, it is not our primary focus.
> -beth
> velocipede bike project
> baltimore , md
>> I actually can't remember if I've answered this question before...
>> Here goes:
>> At the Bike Church in Santa Cruz, bikes are sold either 'as is' (no
>> wrenching done, although it is important to remember that we all  
>> spend a
>> lot
>> of time and intellectual labor GETTING the bike onto a hook in the  
>> shop)
>> or
>> as a mechanic's pet project. 'As is' bikes are typically priced  
>> between
>> $15-$75 depending on all of the concerns that everyone else is  
>> posting to
>> the list, and how much work needs to be done to make it safe and
>> efficient.
>> Desireability also plays a role in pricing. Bikes that mechanics
>> (core/staff
>> members) work over are priced by deducting the WHOLESALE price of new
>> parts
>> put on the bike, and then splitting the remainder between the  
>> mechanic and
>> the shop. Thus, if a bike sells for $150, and there are $50 of new  
>> parts
>> on
>> it, the mechanic would take $50 and the shop would take $50. The  
>> mechanic
>> sets the asking price based on the amount of labor put in and the
>> desirability factors mentioned above. True, such systems do result  
>> in some
>> cherrypicking, so a bike has to be kicking around 'as is' for a month
>> before
>> a mechanic can take it on, and, honestly, NOONE is ever gonna get  
>> rich
>> fixing up busted bikes in the middle of the night, no matter how  
>> sweet the
>> frame is.
>> At BICAS, where I am about to rush off to a collective meeting  
>> for, things
>> are slightly different. the 'as-is' bikes are called 'pergatory;  
>> bikes in
>> waiting' (which I just love) and though the factors for pricing  
>> are pretty
>> similar the prices tend to be a bit lower here than in Santa Cruz  
>> (the
>> bikes, overall, are a bit more toward the huffy side though; in  
>> Santa Cruz
>> we turn those back at the gate, no room, no desire to haul other  
>> peoples
>> metal recycling, whereas BICAS has a lot more room and need for  
>> all types
>> of, uh, 'bikes'). At BICAS the 'floor bikes' (those that a  
>> mechanic has
>> gone
>> over) include in the price the RETAIL value of new parts, the 'as-is'
>> value
>> of the bike, and a designation for labor. The labor part is a little
>> unclear
>> policy-wise, as the mechanic approximates the amount of labor that  
>> went
>> into
>> the bike, but is paid as an an employee (each staff member is  
>> allocated
>> 4hrs
>> of paid work/week to wrench on floor bikes, and if it is slow in  
>> the shop
>> staff can work on them then too). This is the main difference from  
>> the
>> Bike
>> Church, where all of the core mechanics are independent contractors
>> (convenient for income taxes as well as being the actual truth of how
>> tasks
>> are accomplished).
>> Sorry that was kinda lenghty; I hope it is helpful.
>> ride prone but ride proud,
>> kyle
>>> From: "Liza Mattana" <pedals2people at gmail.com>
>>> Reply-To: The Think Tank <thethinktank at lists.bikecollectives.org>
>>> To: "The Think Tank" <thethinktank at lists.bikecollectives.org>
>>> Subject: [TheThinkTank] selling bikes
>>> Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 07:43:13 -0700
>>> if this has been answered before, can you link me to the archive  
>>> thread?
>>>    my questions is how does your org price used bikes? we've come  
>>> across
>>>    some nice older bikes (bridgestone CB-0 and an old  
>>> stumpjumper), and
>>>    we're trying to figure out a way to price them, kind of a way to
>>>    standardize the process.
>>>    we'll be turning them into commuter bikes with fenders and  
>>> racks and
>>>    making them safe and rideable, but we're not doing complete
>>> overhauls.
>>> i
>>>    know this is a tricky question, but any advice you have will be
>>>    helpful!
>>>    thanks,
>>>    liza
>>> --
>>> Liza Mattana
>>> www.pedals2people.org
>>> Spokane, WA
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Thethinktank mailing list
>>> Thethinktank at lists.bikecollectives.org
>>> http://lists.bikecollectives.org/listinfo.cgi/thethinktank- 
>>> bikecollectives.org
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