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Any money to be made?

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Hello everybody.  So every once in a while on Craigslist I come across a bike that is cheap, but not junk cheap, that is similar (a year newer or a year older) to mine.  I ride a 2004 yz250f.  Do you guys think that there is any money to be made when someone puts one up cheap and says things like "it hasn't ran in a year".  I was thinking about purchasing fixing up just a bit (mostly a carb clean, and fork seals) and then re-selling.  But at the same time stealing the better parts and putting it on my bike.

 

Any thoughts?  too much of a risk?

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I get parts at a great dealer cost and I still would be hesitant to buy any 250F off of a stranger, for the purposes of making a few bucks. There is just too much risk of dumping more money into it than originally planned, for me. Of course, there are exceptions but as a general rule, I probably wouldn't. Safer bet would be to just buy whatever upgrades you want for your personal bike.

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The "stealing better parts" portion is a very insignificant part of my overall question. I certainly wouldn't buy a bike because I think some of the parts would look good on my bike. It would only be a bonus.

The bikes that I would be interested in buying would be well below Kbb and from someone who doesn't know that the carb needs to be cleaned if you let it sit for a year (things of that nature)

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If you have the knowledge and tools to get the job done it could definitely be worth it. Just keep in mind that not every purchase will be a win and you never know how long one will sit before someone decides to buy it from you. 

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If you have the parts on hand for the bike you buy, you can make a little on it.  I once got a 98 KTM 300EXC with a blown tranny and ended up with a $400 runner that was one of my absolute best basket case buys.  Rode the bike for 3 years and sold for more than I had in it.

 

Best advice is: This is a hobby, not a money making business unless you have a storefront or are in the salvage business.  If you can break even, then the ride time and parts were free.  Don't expect more than that, and you'll be happy.  Expecting more will make it a disappointment.

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The "stealing better parts" portion is a very insignificant part of my overall question. I certainly wouldn't buy a bike because I think some of the parts would look good on my bike. It would only be a bonus.

The bikes that I would be interested in buying would be well below Kbb and from someone who doesn't know that the carb needs to be cleaned if you let it sit for a year (things of that nature)

Well that is just it. if you are buying a bike off of someone who 'doesn't know the carb needs cleaned' then they probably don't know a lot of other things...like change the oil often, clean the air filter, how to seat the air filter properly, the list goes on and on. And a 250F is not the bike I would look to try to turn a buck with. 2strokes, I can maybe see, but again that is just me. To each their own.

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Understand what it's worth to part-out and you have twice the options. I've found this time was better spent investing in my professional career, family and riding my dirt bike. In the past I had different priorities and did a lot of reselling of used bikes and parts.

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You guys all make good points. Some of which I already had in mind and some I didn't.

I do think of it more as a hobby and not a business. I have a business mind and fully understand that each bike I would flip might only profit around 300 to 400 dollars and sometimes I might loose 300 if I have to part out the bike. It would also take me at least 2 months to flip a bike but I'm in no hurry. I have a career that can no longer be advanced unless I go into management which I don't want to. So this would be just to occupy my time after my son has gone to bed.

Also i don't see myself doing more than 3 bikes per year as I think I am very picky about the price requirements for a flip. There are a lot of decently priced bikes out there that someone should definitely buy to ride, but that same bike would be a poor choice to flip because there is simply not enough margin for error. Because as you guys know once you start digging into these bikes there is always something more to fix.

I have one particular bike in mind. I sent the owner some questions if I don't like the answers I will easily pass.

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At least it is a 250.  Wheels worth 100 each, carb 50, forks 200, brakes 100, shock 50-100, swingarm 50-75, that's about it.  Electrics are a toss-up if they don't run, you don't know.  Your time with worth something too.  Frames and plastics are scrap except for tank.

 

I once looked at a WR400 that wasn't running, it was together.  Bearings were loose, forks puking, which meant brake pads shot, chain sprocket shot, seat ripped, lights gone, and guy was asking 900, I offered 700, he passed.  It did have compression but he said carb had been cleaned numerous times in attempt to make it run.  3 weeks later he called me back.... I didn't return his call... just too much work and parts to make it worth my time.

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Here is the conversation through text. What you guys think? Maybe worth looking at? He is asking 1250 for 2005 yz250f. I'm thinking he might sell for 1050.

"Sorry for all the questions but you live far away so I need a bit more info.

You say it runs but needs a tune up. When was the last time you took it for a ride. Did it run well then?

How long has it been sitting?

Is it difficult to start?

What kind of mods have been performed?

How often did you change oil?

How often did you clean airfilter?

How many hours you think are on it?

What kind of riding did you do? Trail, track, desert , or dunes?

Sorry for such a late reply, last time it was ridden was 2 years ago,needs fresh fuel and a carb cleaning. I plan on getting it running as soon as I have the time but I've been really busy. Just giving somebody a chance to Di it themselves and save a few bucks. I bought it 4 years ago from a guy who track rode it, I rode it mostly on single track and once at the dunes. I've put at best 50 hours on it since I've owned it.I always changed the oil and cleaned the air filter after my rides. Hope this answers your questions

So last time you actually rode it, it worked fine?

Did it ever have a top end rebuild that you know of?

How are the tires percentage wise?

it ran really good last time I rode it, in fact I think I was a little too spunky for me, the motor hasn't been tore into since I've owned it, the rear tire is

90% front is 30%

Why you selling it?

Never ride it, takes up space. Plus P.D. keeps chasing me outta my favorite riding spot."

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone.

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I do this all the time.  It is hard work for little reward.

     My approach is different.  I look for the $400 bikes and when I find one I go see it.  

  I try to do at least two bikes on a buying trip.  I count on using an entire day on a buying trip.

When I get to the bike, of course it is a mess.

 I then show the seller my disgust and offer $200 or walk away. 90% of the time I will load the bike for $200.

60% of the the time the bikes truly are junk and I part them out on eBay.  Trust me, you will not make big bucks doing that.

  And selling on eBay is hard work, and you had better know what you are doing.  The skill set is enormous.

The other 40% of the bikes are the reward.  Sometimes (not that rare, I figure 40%, that may be a bit high but not too much) you can find a good bike buried under the surface.

    I once bought a WR250 2005 that the owner had tried to shim the valves and failed utterly.

    I think I paid a little more than my standard $200, but not a lot.  Maybe $400.

   I popped the top and set the cam timing  Cranked on the 3rd kick.  Sold it for $1800.  

   Doesn't happen very often.   And you have to kiss a lot of frogs.

    But it can be done, I have parted or flipped at least 100 bikes over the last few years.

    There is a bit of spare change to be made, but I definitely kept my day job.

    This is my experience.  I do it for fun, and have gotten very very good at it.

  But as I said at the start, it is very hard work for just a little bit of money.

      You mileage may vary .  .  .  

     Oh, one more thing  .  .  .  .  . I suppose I shouldn't share my secrets .  .  .  .  . When I go on a buying trip I wear my full hillbilly regalia.  Tattered overalls, sweat stained straw hat, full beard.  Heh heh .  .  .  .  . they think I am totally stupid.  

    Why do they think that?  Human nature I suppose.   And I play the roll as well.  It does something to their defenses and they will let their guard down. There is no "threat" percieved. I can't really explain it but it works for me 90% of the time.  The other 10% of the time they see through my routine but I can still sometimes get a deal because they don't understand what is happening.  

     Heh heh heh!  It makes it more fun.

 But rule #1 YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY WHEN YOU BUY!!    Not when you sell.

 Repeat that.  Write it on your refrigerator.  Burn it into your mind. YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY WHEN YOU BUY!!

  Hillbilly Jon

Edited by Jon K.
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 But rule #1 YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY WHEN YOU BUY!!    Not when you sell.

  Hillbilly Jon

i think warren buffet says the same thing

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He stole it from me   .  .  .  . I told him that forty years ago.

    I didn't tell him about the Hillbilly Suit.  If he had that little tidbit he would probably have been somewhat sucessfull.

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