[TheThinkTank] Craigslist Postings

Mario Bruzzone mario.bruzzone at gmail.com
Fri Oct 26 15:20:24 PDT 2007

 I would encourage all shops to advertise to as wide a range of potential
patrons as possible. Often if you look at the backgrounds of people who
participate in the community bike movements, they are more homogeneous than
heterogeneous. Since we bring in our friends to the shop, and our friends
are similar to us—for obvious reasons—and they bring in further people who
are similar to us, it is easy for our open communities to be
self-reinforcing and, at times, appear closed when they are open.

Any outreach, even craigslist, is a great step away from this, I feel.
Outreach to underserved communities—especially by recruiting volunteers from
those communities—is even better.

At the Bike Kitchen, we don't sell complete, working bikes, but we do have a
number of nicer parts come through. We generally set these in a display case
and charge a couple dollars extra for them.

To prevent the type of mining that Simon's asking about, we have a policy
that parts only leave a shop on a bike—meaning that if you want a
derailleur, you have to come in with a bike that needs a derailleur. The
time factor is enough deterrence from people scavenging the best bits to
sell on eBay, since it's extremely hard to make anything more than a
subsistence wage doing this, and most everyone with detailed knowledge about
the value of Suntour SL is already making more than a subsistence wage.

Mario Bruzzone
Bike Kitchen (SF)

On 10/26/07, Mark Rehder <mark at re-cycles.ca> wrote:
> We've often joked about using eBay for some of the nice parts that
> have shown up, but don't want to go there.  I did use Craigslist in a
> roundabout recently do get rid of a Norco tandem. It ran fine, but
> was no great quality and paint-wise a bit ugly.  It was listed as a
> private sale and said "proceeds go to the re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op".
> It was not complete subterfuge, as the bike was not exactly sold from
> the shop.  My brother had taken the bike from us in an incomplete
> state and added parts and got it running, and I had said don't pay us
> for it until you've actually got it done (he was doing us a favour
> getting that beast out of storage room).  He and is wife rode it a
> few times and decided a tandem wasn't for them.  So instead of having
> them return it to our shop we just posted the ad.  So theoretically
> it was his to sell.  ;)
> That said, I doubt we would sell bikes straight through local
> channels like Craigslist for the reason Simon mentioned.  We pretty
> well sell every bike we make ready for sale (some are donated
> elsewhere), and it was only this ugly, awkward tandem that needed the
> extra help.  Quality parts stay in our shop, and excess standard
> parts either become part of our shipment to Africa, or simply
> recycled as metal scrap (and now that our local MEC store takes our
> dead tires for recycling our garbage now is mainly old seats and
> other plastic bits).
> Mark
> On 26-Oct-07, at 2:05 PM, Simon Z wrote:
> > We've talked many times at collective meetings about using
> > craigslist as
> > we have a huge inventory of used parts and bikes, but every time it
> > gets
> > shot down.
> >
> > It comes down to the fact that in trying to be an affordable community
> > bike shop, we are priced below the market value for parts, frames and
> > used bikes. If it became widely known via craigslist that we were,
> > speculators would descend on our project and buy up all the decent
> > stuff
> > for resale online. We'd make more money but it would deprive those who
> > use our shops for repair or bike building, which is our mission.
> > Craigslist is definitely populated by bike speculators, at least in
> > our
> > town, so we are hesitant to be a presence there.
> >
> > However, for a less established community bike shop looking to
> > build up
> > capital or promote services, craigslist could be awesome.
> >
> >
> > Simon
> > Yellow Bike Project, Austin, TX
> >
> >
> > Rich Points wrote:
> >> Hey All,
> >> Craigs has been a great way to clear the showroom when it's
> >> overstocked
> >> or you need to raise some quick cash.  I just posted a couple of our
> >> bikes on Craigslist and thought I'd share it with you.  Please have a
> >> look at it and respond with your comments.  How is your collective
> >> using
> >> Craigs?
> >>
> >> http://denver.craigslist.org/bik/459346784.html
> >>
> >>
> >
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