Can you get back the $ you put into a bike?

ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
337
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Hood River, Oregon
I'm getting the Schwinn for my 212 build tomorrow. My dad is conccerned this is an endevour where I may not get my money back.

If I were to build a solid, attractive bike for anywhere from $600-$900, got it registered, and advertised it well in a big city, do you think I'd get my money back? Opinions? Experiences? I'm good at selling things, at least that's what I'm told.

I enjoy building these things but I constantly am trying new projects and hobbies (After this bike will be, likely another bike, a wrist-mounted propane flamethrower, and a para-motor). This means I sometimes have a short attention span for a lot of things that I build. That's why I always try to invest in things I can at least get my money back in.

Sadly I have to go visit family in CA so I won't be building for two weeks. I'm still hunting for a mountain bike to strip for the Schwinn.

Thank you
 

2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
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Littleton, Colorado
In a word? NO!.

I've recently sold two bikes and recovered about 1/2 of what I had put into them to build. And, I felt lucky to get that.
Unless you're able to buy all of the parts necessary well below retail, don't expect to make a profit selling a motorized bicycle for more than you have in it.
Some folks have been successful selling bikes but they are the exception. Almost without fail you'll loose money, especially when you factor in your time building it.
But, that's just my opinion based on personal experience. Others will have differing views.

Tom
 
Jan 21, 2015
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Portland, Oregon
I've sold one for parts cost because I like building them. But the only way I was able to do that was by custom building the bike for the person, and having them pay for the parts. If I were to try to pre-build one and sell it, I'd be lucky to get what I put into it.
 

crassius

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2012
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if one keeps cost of bike & parts under $300, then $100 can be made if one waits long enough for a buyer

building an expensive, custom bike to customer's specs is often profitable
 

ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
337
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Hood River, Oregon
Well, I want my own custom bike, so. Either I find someone to sell it to one day or just keep on riding. Although, I should be 16 to be driving these things, especially a 212. But I m 15...
 

xseler

Well-Known Member
Apr 14, 2013
2,883
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OKC, OK
A thought to ponder...........would your dad rather you spend the money on this or on something that is illegal or destructive?

I've got way more money in mine than I'll ever get back. With that being said, this has probably been the cheapest hobby that I've had in many years --- and that's the best way to look at it.
 

16v4nrbrgr

Active Member
Mar 17, 2012
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North Bay
I gave up trying to sell my previous full custom bikes. I posted them locally on CL and in the sale section here, never got a binding agreement to sell at cost of parts, just offers for trades and services. I'm just going to keep them and trick them out with updates and mods, it would be nice to recoup costs for new projects but I can't justify giving them away. The bikes for sale around here are typically a kit installed on a used bike and some paintwork for around $300. Most people don't know the vast differences between a bike with a happy time engine, 49cc Morini, or 212cc, in riding experience and amount of maintenance required.
 

Robertzep

Member
Oct 3, 2016
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Akron, Ohio
I've got way more money in mine than I'll ever get back. With that being said, this has probably been the cheapest hobby that I've had in many years --- and that's the best way to look at it.
AMEN to that! I wish that I would have found this hobby years ago. It would have saved me literally over a hundred thousand dollars in Hot-Rod cars.

.xx.
 

ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
337
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Hood River, Oregon
Yes, this is a cheap hobby for grown men with jobs. But what the heck. It's worth it. Hopefully I can keep costs down so that I may be able to get my money back, but it will be fun anyway. I can always make more money by... other means.
 

crassius

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Sep 30, 2012
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the things you'll learn by getting it to come out right and not fall apart every week is worth much more than money (assuming you'll not be hiring everything out)
 

curtisfox

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2008
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minesota
Just my thoughts, selling in the wrong market. Go to bike shows and car shows swap meets, seen a Whizzer go for $2,500 last fall car swap meet. But the trick is to just hang on till the right guy come along............Curt
 
Jan 17, 2015
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ca.
I have sold 2 builds, for like 50$ over cost.....just so I could Build another!!Swap meets. Just don't have your favorite items on it!!
 
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KCvale

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2010
3,967
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Phoenix,AZ
If I were to build a solid, attractive bike for anywhere from $600-$900, got it registered, and advertised it well in a big city, do you think I'd get my money back? Opinions? Experiences? I'm good at selling things, at least that's what I'm told.
I make at least $100 on everything I build, and sometimes much more, so yes you can get your money back.

Actually I don't have any money to 'get back', I get paid 100% in advance for my builds, but that took time to establish.

The Phoenix area is awash with ~$300 POS rookie cheap builds. Via my web site and some clever Craigs posts I provide the Cool Quality Motorized Bike options for those with the wallet for the best, and there is no shortage of them around here, ~1500 potential new customers from the DUI checkpoints this time of year ;-}

Don't expect to make a living at it though!
 

ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
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Hood River, Oregon
Cool. Yeah I was thinking of selling a nice, larger engine bike as a motorcycle to appeal to them. That's basically what it is. With moving footrests. And $1000-$1500 is cheaper than $5500.
 

KCvale

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2010
3,967
53
48
Phoenix,AZ
Cool. Yeah I was thinking of selling a nice, larger engine bike as a motorcycle to appeal to them. That's basically what it is. With moving footrests. And $1000-$1500 is cheaper than $5500.
Good luck with that without a paying customer, and if you want to put a bike engine on something it sure as **** SHOULD NOT BE ON A HUFFY!

If you want to build a 'motorcycle with pedals' use a bike that will take it.
The MotoPed frame is a motorcycle frame with pedals.





Or at least something strong enough with enough space to fit the monster, this is only a 79cc HS engine.






Both illegal here but not blatantly so, you shove a 212 in a Huffy and the first cop that sees on the road will question you for your own damn good!
 

ultralight01

New Member
Oct 30, 2016
337
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0
Hood River, Oregon
Fully agreed. I plan on quality parts. Even though my Walmart bike hasn't fallen apart I know it will and I question my sanity for buying one,
I like the motoped, although I'd rather buy a YZ125 than spend 3K on a little motorcycle. I will probably barely get the money back I spend on this project, but it will be worth it.
 
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crassius

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Sep 30, 2012
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USA
Cool. Yeah I was thinking of selling a nice, larger engine bike as a motorcycle to appeal to them. That's basically what it is. With moving footrests. And $1000-$1500 is cheaper than $5500.
almost impossible to make anything with a chinese motor that could be called a motorcycle - same for any motor strapped to a bicycle frame that wasn't designed expressly to be mororized
 

Kartooo

Member
Nov 18, 2016
178
3
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MA
nope, very rare.
i almost always loose $$ with any hobby i dove into.
but..... if you get enough uses/fun outta it before you sell i call it rent on something you enjoyed.
 

Agreen

Member
Feb 10, 2013
792
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Southeastern GA
I say it depends. I would never make a career out of it, but I had people offer me over $1200 for a bike that I spent $600 on. I have great attention to detail (when I actually apply it to something that warrants it) so the product is professional and appealing. Several people want me to get in to the business and sell them, but I know that it's more than just overcoming the cost of parts. Your time is worth something as well.

I have also sourced a dumpster bike and a $70 Craigslist motor kit, painted the bike real pretty, cleaned up the motor kit and installed it, rode it for a week, then got offered $200 for it. I talked him up a little, and I walked home with a nice profit :)

The point is, you can... if you find the right buyer and keep your cost low enough.