Can you make any money selling bikes locally?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Fletch, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Fletch

    Fletch Member


    I'm curious to know what kind of luck others have had assembling and selling these bikes locally for extra income? I'm out of work right now with lots of time on my hands, but I don't know if it would be worth all the time involved, and potential for things to go wrong? It would seem that anyone buying the bikes would need basic mechanical knowledge and tools in order to maintain the engine. I'm not looking to get rich, but some extra cash would be nice.

    The 3g's look like they would be a **** of a lot faster/easier to assemble, but of course the bike would be much more expensive.


  2. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I do not sell motorized bikes & advise anyone thinking about it to look into all the liabilities, safety issues , poor motor quality , service after the sale, stocking parts, overhead costs , etc., etc.

    I do, however, pick up a few non-motorized bikes that I flip for a little profit. Bicycle transportation in this area is a hot market. Check your area by looking over the asking/selling prices of bikes on . See if there is demand for a certain " type " bike. Road bikes, antique/vintage , & vintage English bikes are wanted in many areas. You won't get rich , but I can make a few hundred $ per month at times..
  3. Fletch

    Fletch Member


    Hey thanks for the tip man, I'll check it out.
  4. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    I think that is good advice.
  5. skrufryder

    skrufryder Member

    you know I have had a few people inquire about buying one of my bikes from me. When I tell them 5-800 bucks they say 200 that barley covers a motor now days..I have offered to build people a bike for 3-400, then they expect to get the one I spent 600 on and many hours for that price.Its more viable to build peddle bikes or mopeds..atleast you dont have to worry about a law suite with a peddle or moped.
  6. WhizBangAndy

    WhizBangAndy Member

    I agree with others that selling assembled motorized bikes are a no go. I personally lost about $5k trying that route in a state (NJ) that cant figure out what these should be classified as. Stick to selling a sealed kit for profit or do as others (and myself) are doing. Just flip cheap/Free bikes for a few $$. Otherwise its not worth the headache from people that are out to blame you for their purchase. Good Luck!
  7. WhizBangAndy

    WhizBangAndy Member

    And check to see if they can be street legal in your locality BEFORE forging ahead if you do decide to sell an assembled kit..:detective:
  8. Fletch

    Fletch Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I've pretty much come to the same conclusion that it just isn't worth it. On a completely unrelated note... There is a Schwinn Jaguar on CL today for $130 "firm". I could use a good bile for my next build, and I'm guessing that this can't be the Wal Mart/Target version of the Jag for that price? Does anyone know what the Jag sells for at a bike store where it is most likely much higher quality? I probably won't act on it but I'm curious.
  9. I've built a few. only to people I know. I still make them sign a waver.
    when asked I make them buy the bike & kit themself. & charge $125.-150 to built it for them. no real money to be made
  10. Fletch

    Fletch Member

    It seems like there are some people selling bikes locally and I've seen at least one picture of someone's shop. I really think a web based drop and ship company like spooky is the only way to make any money besides on mods or aftermarket 'creations'. I ordered a bike and found it on Sears afterward. Could have saved a lot of money. You live and learn though. If you made your own bikes then that would be a different story. I see some vendors with all black bikes that I'm guessing are just repainted retail bikes. I don't even know the legalities involved with doing that and not disclosing the original manufacturer?
  11. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    I have heard that Roland (SpookyTooth) is closing :(
  12. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    From about late 2003/early 2004 to 2008 or so, I usually sold 4 bikes a month. I knew the economy was in recession when they stopped buying them in late 08. I did very well and averaged 300-400 dollar profit on each single speed bike. I sold my single speed bikes for $650.00. It almost wasn't worth it because I spent 12 hours on average per build. Each engine got full treatment with no stock studs or bolts used.

    My current two rides are bikes that never sold. Both still have their original sticker price on front forks for what I paid for them new. I can't even sell these bikes at cost and take a lost for the many hours I have in labor.

    It was good while it lasted and I have no complaints.

    I do miss the bushing engines from Their bushing HT engines were extremely powerful. With a 44 tooth sprocket they could climb some incredibly steep hills that I still can't do today with a PK80, tuned pipe, and shifter kit. I added a tuned pipe and tuned it on one of my bikes this past week and tried to conquer the same hill I used to climb with ease in past with a bushing HT luck, I had to help pedal at the 1/2 way point. I never had a bushing fail when I used castor oil in my mix. Unfortunately, I did see lots of bushing engines fail when customers returned them for "warranty" work for failing to use the same oil in their fuel.
  13. WhizBangAndy

    WhizBangAndy Member

    If Spooky Tooth is going to close that should be a clear indication that trying to make any $$ is impossible.
  14. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    If one wants to sell these bikes, my suggestion is to build one, either with ALL new parts, or using a used frame like I have. Put a sign on it "FOR SALE" and sell as used (liability issues) . I get numerous inquiries about our bikes. Made both from used frames. When people ask about buying one, I tell them either of our bikes are for sale.... $350.00... still haven't had any sales. Almost afraid to sell.. we have absolutely ZERO problems out of our bikes and maintenance is really none, just a look/walk around like a pre flight on a airplane, and we are gone....gone....gone

    1. 80cc engine
    2. All hardware updated
    3. Boost bottle
    4. Single handle double brake
    5. Updated plug and wire
    6. Milled head
    7. PERFECT fit engine mounting to the frame.
    8. 2 NEW tires and tubes
    9. Oh! and my clutch roller mod, although designed by another member.
  15. Fletch

    Fletch Member


    With those specs how would you stand to make any profit? Can I ask where you get your engines and how much? I know a used bike can be cheap, but even so I can't figure how that adds up? With all the work involved what would you guess that would come out to $/hr? Are you one of the main vendors?
  16. hurricane

    hurricane Member

    Al most likely has a bike junkyard close by or just has access to a lot of free or cheaply priced parts. U can still purchase kits for under $150 per kit , add a free bike and if you choose the right frame it will only take about 1 hour or less to assemble a motor kit . Its easy to understand why and how Al can make a profit at $350 per build and most likely he does it in his spare time so his labor costs are minimal at best . Its just fun for him to do as a hobby,Im sure it is not his main income.
  17. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    You need to read over the post. Even at that price, which you can't understand how I can do it, still no one has bought one. First I wouldn't build a bike with those specs and sell it for $350.00. It's just a price I put on the bike I have at the moment, so I could build another one. We started out thinking about building them... a plane Jane would go for $ frills

    Bike frame....Free.. people have them and want them cleared out of there garage...get on We pick up all that is offered no matter the size. Get what we want and scrap the rest. I was at the county dump, on my way out I saw a guy with the exact cruiser I's sister. Pulled it off his truck for free. We have since stooped as for some reason, most likely due to the economy they don't sell.

    Engine.. WAS getting them to the door for about $125.00 to $140.00 (last year before price increase...e-Bay). A $350 (New bike $50.00-$100.00 more) build only gets updated hardware (I wouldn't build one without upgraded hardware), everything else would be extra. I buy all thread by the meter. Keep both 6mm and 8mm on hand along with lock nuts.

    I built this bike for a friend, started with a NEW $100.00 bike from WalMart...has everything less the dual brake handle (coaster brake only). Have less then $300.00 in it.
    He added a springer front ($50.00) and later sold it for $650.00...boy was I mad. I didn't charge him a cent, he wanted one so bad, and there he goes selling it and making that profit. Won't happen again. I don't mind doing things for others for free but I'll be put out with them making money on fruits of my labor.

    I'm retired, so making a big profit isn't what I started out doing. Just a hobby as my bike is a toy. I figured the hourly rate of $20.00 wasn't bad (hard to get more in today's economy). Although I won't pick up a wrench to work on a automobile for less then $50.00 a hour. Depending on the bike frame, I take my time and a cruiser takes about 10 hours to do up right. BS on this 2 hour c..r..a..p.

    MY actual cost.......
    1. 80cc engine $125.00
    2. All hardware updated 6mm all thread $2.50 meter/8mm $3.00 meter
    3. Boost bottle ... Scrap PVC fittings $3.00 home made
    4. Single handle double brake $17.00 inc shipping
    5. Updated plug and wire Free...old wires I have Plug ??? $3.00
    6. Milled I do myself
    7. PERFECT fit engine mounting to the frame. Made custom free
    8. 2 NEW tires and tubes These were $40.00-$50.00
    9. Oh! and my clutch roller mod, although designed by another member. I sell for $17.00

    I have less then $200 in parts (my cost) on my current cruiser. $350 is a steal. Parts add 30% plus labor. So I have no problem building a $350.00 plane Jane, no extras except hardware mod.

    Next I want a jackshaft kit. I just hate to put a $200.00 kit on a $200.00 bike.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  18. hurricane

    hurricane Member

    My very first build took me less than two hours to put it together on a cheap roadmaster, so it is possible. Now i tend to take more time as I enjoy the entire process more than before plus i know what details to pay attention too. Only mod was my muffler bracket I made

    same here,I just cant see where it would pay off ya know

    Attached Files:

  19. WhizBangAndy

    WhizBangAndy Member

    The 2 I sold went for $250 each..

    1 49 and 1 80 Grubee HT both on store bought bikes.
  20. spad4me

    spad4me Member

    I have had lots of offers as long as I maintain the bikes for free.
    NO WAY.

    They are high maintenance items.

    One guy who stole one of my bicycles ( YES STOLE!!) .
    Bad mouthed me when he put straight Gasoline , no oil in the tank and seized the engine.
    He wants me to fix the stolen engine???
    He lives four houses down from me.
    He stops by every few weeks . He is lucky I haven't kicked his heiny
    Some want to make payments NO way. I would be required to maintain the bicycle under a warranty. NO way.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010