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Old May 17th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #1
fat-tony
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Default Prices on re-furbished FAT's

Prices have been all over the place for repainted, refurbished FATs. I took on the project of creating my perfect dream bike some years ago, the one I could never afford and could barely afford today. I located a frame that was in desperate need of a repaint. I sourced everything I could to be as close to an original Yo Eddy that I could. Wet paint by D+D Cycles, original sourced decals from Wendyl, I even had a NOS anti-chain suck toothpicks and original seat collar with green gasket. I laced all mint and NOS components on the bike and it was beautiful. Cook Bros E cranks, Cook bros chain rings, Avid Tri brakes, Mavic rims, Ringle this, Ringle that, Phil wood hubs, Sachs Maillard freewheel, XTR derailleurs, etc. Bottom line is that this cost me around $2400 to pull off 4 years ago, piece by piece, and over a 1 1/2 year process. Bottom line, when I went to sell I could not get my money back out of it as a complete bike.

I had to sale everything bit by bit (which was a shame) in order to not lose money......I broke even.

How can anyone justify spending over $3000 on a "refurbished" vintage bike?
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Old May 17th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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Prices have been all over the place for repainted, refurbished FATs. I took on the project of creating my perfect dream bike some years ago, the one I could never afford and could barely afford today. I located a frame that was in desperate need of a repaint. I sourced everything I could to be as close to an original Yo Eddy that I could. Wet paint by D+D Cycles, original sourced decals from Wendyl, I even had a NOS anti-chain suck toothpicks and original seat collar with green gasket. I laced all mint and NOS components on the bike and it was beautiful. Cook Bros E cranks, Cook bros chain rings, Avid Tri brakes, Mavic rims, Ringle this, Ringle that, Phil wood hubs, Sachs Maillard freewheel, XTR derailleurs, etc. Bottom line is that this cost me around $2400 to pull off 4 years ago, piece by piece, and over a 1 1/2 year process. Bottom line, when I went to sell I could not get my money back out of it as a complete bike.

I had to sale everything bit by bit (which was a shame) in order to not lose money......I broke even.

How can anyone justify spending over $3000 on a "refurbished" vintage bike?
My experience was similar, except it cost a little more. I listed mine for about 40% of what it cost me and got no interest at all.

There's a time/money/stress piece to it all that I think makes one-stop shopping a bargain. I have no problem with sky-high prices provided they actually sell and aren't just sitting there to make vintage Fat folks look like out of touch idiots.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 1:56 PM   #3
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It's always tough to sell someone your dream build of any specific bike (unless they have the same vision). So, I'm not surprised that you did not get out of the build what you put in and got more of your initial investment back by parting.

As to your second question, it's personal and depends on your threshold for what something is worth. It's a pointless discussion asking who would pay this for that, it just depends. In my experience there are people who will pay more for a refinished Fat or other bike than you (global you) think it's worth, but again it's a moot point.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 2:18 PM   #4
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It's always tough to sell someone your dream build of any specific bike (unless they have the same vision). So, I'm not surprised that you did not get out of the build what you put in and got more of your initial investment back by parting.

As to your second question, it's personal and depends on your threshold for what something is worth. It's a pointless discussion asking who would pay this for that, it just depends. In my experience there are people who will pay more for a refinished Fat or other bike than you (global you) think it's worth, but again it's a moot point.
I suppose the other thing that I find a little depressing is it shows how orthodox the whole "value" thing is. MTBs from the era that I enjoy were often highly personal statements, so seeing folks obsessing about "faithful restorations", making sure they match the Grello, spending custom, craftperson-made money for factory-made NOS...

Meh.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 4:51 PM   #5
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I've found that, just as there are people out there trying to ask exorbitant amounts of money for parts and complete bikes, there are just as many people out there that who offer great prices on stuff because they are stoked and want to help you out to finish your build.

Just makes me laugh when I look at the Yo I just finished building that is in pristine shape and cost me like $1200 dollars to build, and then bikes that are no different going for 3k and up.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 5:07 PM   #6
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I've found that, just as there are people out there trying to ask exorbitant amounts of money for parts and complete bikes, there are just as many people out there that who offer great prices on stuff because they are stoked and want to help you out to finish your build.

Just makes me laugh when I look at the Yo I just finished building that is in pristine shape and cost me like $1200 dollars to build, and then bikes that are no different going for 3k and up.
Just checked out your build and it's great that you've had good good luck finding parts and have the time and inclination to do so. I prefer that route as well as I like my builds my way and am not interested in complete builds that someone else came up with.

But you have to allow that some people just want the bike and maybe they don't want to or have the connections to do it the hard (read: fun) way. In the end though they still love the bike just the same as you though. I don't see anything wrong with paying for that service and if you have the money who's to say that $3000 or even $5000 is too much?? Prices are set by supply and demand and in our case supply is low, so if the market will bear it prices will reach even greater highs. It's just stupid to try and argue against it. In turn people who do not wish to or can't pay these high prices need to rely on their resourcefulness and do it the hard way.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 5:30 PM   #7
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time and inclination = setting saved search alerts on eBay for iphone.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 5:50 PM   #8
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time and inclination = setting saved search alerts on eBay for iphone.
Sure, you're right if you want a basic build. But build me a Team Comp in a reasonable amount of time doing that.

Don't get me wrong, I think people that don't change their own oil are lazy but that doesn't mean that I think that nobody would pay a mechanic a $100 / hour to change their oil, nor do I think it's wrong for the tech to charge that for the service if people are willing to pay it.

Last edited by mkozaczek; May 17th, 2013 at 6:43 PM.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 6:23 PM   #9
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No need to justify your argument or your business, it's all good. I'm here for good convos and advice from knowledgable people. Most everyone on here has been rad and cordial, so I have nothing but the same to give back.

I was raised as a kid during the years where everyone wanted anodized everything, and frankly, I have no desire to go back to that. I'll always remember for my 10th b-day, I got cook bros e-cranks, the cook skewers that looked like crank arms, and a pair of a avid tri-aligns. That was a rad b-day... I don't know why I like the older shimano stuff, maybe because it was before my time, but that's what I like.
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Old May 19th, 2013, 7:44 AM   #10
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Default My Fat is Priceless

Bikes are always money losers. If you are not doing it because you enjoy it, then find something else to waste your money on. I spent close to $3k refurb'ing my yo eddy. I would classify it as a resto mod, which probably makes it less valuable on the market but I like it. I have owned my Fat since 1995 and it holds over 10k miles of memories. There is no amount of money it can be bought for. It is truly priceless!
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Old May 19th, 2013, 8:23 AM   #11
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I have been sitting on/purchasing quite a few bikes for a the past five years...

I think patience is the key to acquiring and selling.

If you have to have stuff fast, then you will pay dearly. If you have to sell fast, then you will more than likely lose.

If you pick up a piece here and there, you will stumble on to stuff...more reasonably.

If you are trying to sell, photos, a good story, and a great description are key.

I have never lost money in a bike part or frame I have purchased...within reason.

I will say that for the most part, when i sell - i sell right around what I paid for the said item.

Probably most of us do this on this forum, and we are willing to take a small loss and chalk up the diminished price - to the cost of entertaining us, and keeping us out of the local pubs.

I think what rubs a lot of us - are the big profit seekers, like Roger Charlie in Madison with his 5900 dollar YO on ebay.

They won't get my money. They might get the dumb or impatient man's money. But the green YO is still on ebay after 2 plus years.

At this point there are still enough virgin FATS out there, that you will find a guy, who needs to sell because he is too old, too fat, has too many, or needs money quickly to buy a set of GINSU knives for his wife.

On a funny note, don't ask for my spindles or bearings...those babies are priceless.
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Old May 19th, 2013, 1:40 PM   #12
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This is a passion and not a business.

Hobby always costs money.

Searching and fitting together of vintage parts on a vintage bike is the main part in this hobby and this I would like to allow others also
...and because of that I would never sell a complete bike.

Who thinks to build bikes to sell it at a profit, he's in the wrong community here
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Old May 19th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #13
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Searching and fitting together of vintage parts on a vintage bike is the main part in this hobby and this I would like to allow others also
Funny, I thought it was more about riding these magical machines.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 3:47 AM   #14
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Funny, I thought it was more about riding these magical machines.
That goes without saying, but seriously how many bikes you can ride?

When you build a bike with the best parts to your imagination and shortly thereafter you want to be rid of it quickly,
then I suppose it's not just about riding.

Of course we all ride our bikes, but what I tried to say above, for many is more important to provide the ideal bike together yourself.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 2:15 PM   #15
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Thread seems to have wandered off course. Fat-Tony asked who would pay $3000 for a refurbished bike and why.

I contend that many people do pay those sums and often more and mostly because they want their bikes quickly or perhaps they are not able/willing to source the parts they want for their builds the old fashioned way. As we all know that often times means spending months or longer trolling ebay, craigslist and forums to find that cook bros stem you need or something. So, paying for not having to do that seems like a perfectly logical thing if your wallet can stretch to accommodate that. Mine can't so with a few exceptions I do it the old fashioned way with my personal bikes.
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Old May 21st, 2013, 3:16 PM   #16
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One last thing, then I'll shut up about this too. I've mentioned this in another context, but I think lots of Americans have a "land of plenty" attitude towards vintage MTB stuff: easy to find, cheap, no big deal. And rightly so, you folks had the biggest market for it, were the birthplace of it and built the discipline up from infancy.

Outside the States, those parts and bikes become geometrically harder to find. The costs to ship - provided an American seller wants to deal with you at all - can become exorbitant too.

I could be as patient as can be waiting for a good deal, but here in the middle of Canada that could mean never ever finishing anything.
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