FINDING A DEAL ON A BIKE TAKES TIME.
I'm sure you're no different than the rest of us and when you consider looking for a used bike, the first place you look is Craigslist. It used to be that the local classified ads or Cycle Trader had all the bikes you would ever want to look at, but these days craigslist has taken over. And for good reason!
The thing about craigslist is that people seem to think their roached out bikes are worth top dollar, but nobody wants to pay a reasonable price for a bike that is in good condition. Why do I mention this? Because the first thing you're going to run into is trying to talk someone down on their price. While most people usually list their bikes high to begin with, some people are delusional and think they're bike is worth every penny that they're asking.
On the flip side, you're going to run into the entirely opposite mentality when you go to sell your project bike. People are going to think that your bike isn't worth what you're asking, when in reality, it's probably worth more.
In order to make any money, you have to keep costs down. If you find a good bike you're interested in, be willing to walk away if the price isn't right. Also be willing to walk if the paperwork is not in order. If you pay too much, you're already starting in the hole.
BUYING A USED DIRT BIKE
Keep this in mind. Depending on if the bike is currently registered, if it has a title, a lean, back fees, etc., this can KILL your profits. DMV fees can be outrageous and unfortunately the one who tries to do the right thing (you) is the one that gets stuck with the bill. A bike with a title is a lot easier to sell than one without. Not only that, but you'll find that bikes with titles sell for just a little bit more.
You have got to make sure that the bike you bought has the proper paperwork. If it doesn't, this step with the DMV is going to bring your project to a stand still.
Related Article Link:
DirtBike Title Nightmares; One Man’s Amazing Saga.
THE UNEXPECTED ITEMS
You're going to take a good look at the bike and clean it up before you start taking it apart. You will no doubt have a pretty good idea of what it's going to take to get the project completed after looking it over. Inevitably though, you will ALWAYS find something you need to fix along the way. It never fails, you get your parts list together, order everything you need (or everything you THINK you need) and somewhere along the line you find something else that's worn out or broken that you overlooked.
You've got to remember to leave some wiggle room in your project budget for things like this. If you get through your whole rebuild and you didn't have any unexpected expenses, then awesome! You just made more profit.
WHAT ARE YOUR LIMITATIONS?
Usually when rebuilding a bike, you're going to take everything apart. This includes taking a good look at the internals of the engine, rebuilding suspension, replacing bearings, etc. If you're going to flip a bike, consider where you draw the line. Are you going to split engine cases if you have to? Are you going to rebuild the suspension? If the answer is no, then are you going to pay someone else to do it?
Obviously paying someone else to do the work is again going to eat into your profits. So take this into consideration when you're going to look at a bike.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GET YOUR PARTS?
Dirt bike parts can be pretty expensive. So if you're trying to maximize your profits, where will you get your parts? If you have somewhere that gives you a discount on your parts purchases, then awesome! If not, you will most likely get stuck paying retail, which can be very costly. Ebay can be a great resource for parts, but just be sure you know what it is your getting.
I personally like to use new parts if I can. If I have to buy a previously used part, I make sure that it is in good working order and that it can be properly refurbished before install.
Flipping bikes is going to take a lot of effort. It's not as easy as grabbing a bike, throwing on some new plastics and graphics and selling it for huge gains. It doesn't work that way.
It is going to take a lot of your time to rebuild or refurbish a bike. Make sure that you have the time to spend on it. Otherwise you'll crap out on the project and end up losing money because now your selling the bike out of a box.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO IT, DO IT RIGHT!
I have mentioned some things to watch out for. These things can kill your profits if you are trying to flip dirt bikes. Here's the thing though....if you are going to flip a dirt bike, DO IT RIGHT! What I mean is, take the time to rebuild the bike correctly or at least to the best of your ability and knowledge.
There's nothing worse than someone that's out to rip people off on craigslist. Don't do a half ass job on the bike and then sell it to some unsuspecting victim.
Make sure that if you decide to flip bikes, that you actually comply with local, state and federal laws. Some states will only allow you to buy and sell so many bikes before you are required to have a dealer's license. Also, your profits are considered income. So make sure you know what your tax laws are.
Flipping bikes can be a fun hobby and it can also be profitable depending on several circumstances. But if you choose to try it, just take some of the things above into consideration. It's a lot of work, so make sure you're up for it.
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