Probably one of the most popular activities pursued by bike people is "flipping" bikes. This is the process of buying something (in this case a bicycle) at one price, then selling it at a higher price. Occasionally you will do something like "fix" the bike in between the buying and the selling, but this is not always true.
While "flipping" can of course be done with anything, it is more prevalent with bicycles than with other goods for a variety of reasons, but the most important are that there are:
- a lot of bicycles sitting in basements that are spontaneously slated for sale by owners ignorant of their bicycle's value
- a lot of lazy hipsters and bike shop employees sitting around waiting to pounce when aforementioned bikes appear on craigslist at prices well below their real value.
Well, perhaps that is not entirely true, since there is the whole issue of being a cycle pervert and wanting to rub my hands all over as many bikes as possible before I am ultimately struck down during a ride to work.
Whatever the reason, I've been doing it for years. And while I don't really call what I do flipping, since it implies that I don't put any love into it, that's what an outsider would call it and so that's fine with me. It is true that I do the vast majority of both the buying and the selling on craigslist, and that I always sell higher than I buy (although the bike I sell is always vastly improved over the one I bought).
Recently I started taking pictures of my projects, which I'll begin sharing here. If you're lucky. Which, as any cycling commuter knows, is what it takes to stay alive, even on the relatively non-mean streets of a city like Seattle.