This is an old school side-hustle that is making a pretty big comeback right now—for pretty interesting reasons. And thanks to modern technology, it might actually be one of the more ‘lucrative’ opportunities that I’ve seen! Can you really make money flipping bicycles?
Let’s talk about it!
Side-hustles are awesome. For some of us, they are a means to get ahead of the financial curve. For others—they are necessary to save money. And sometimes—we just need some extra cash to pay the bills!
But whether you are trying to increase your income, save for retirement, or fund your business, finding a quality side-hustle is not always easy. Thankfully, the internet has made this less of a problem—and in all of my research, I have come across a lot of potential ways to turn a profit on the cheap.
But how about this? Do bikes present a good flipping opportunity?
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Making Money Flipping Bicycles
Let's start at the beginning. What exactly does ‘flipping bicycles' mean?
So the basic idea behind this side-hustle is that you buy used bikes, either at yard sales, thrift stores, on craigslist, etc… and then clean/fix them up, and resell them for a profit.
This is actually a decent side hustle, for many reasons… and the more I look into it, the more I am starting to see that it could actually prove to be extremely lucrative if you don’t mind doing a bit of research and leg-work to get it rolling.
You also need a bit of cash to get started as well.
Can You Really Make Money Flipping Bikes?
Yes, you absolutely can—but you are going to need a few things. This is a side hustle that requires consistent effort and hustle. You have to find the bikes that you plan to flip before you do anything else… and depending on where you live, that can be a challenge.
As with any side hustle, you may find this frustrating to start with—especially if you don’t get any ‘bites’ on your first few flips, or you are forced to sell for less than you were planning on.
But as with any good side gig, remember that it takes time to build it. You will learn and grow with practice… so just be patient and keep grinding!
What Will You Need To Get Started?
You are going to need a little bit of cash to get started, as you are going to have to buy a bike to flip ($100 should be more than enough to cover buying a bike and any spare parts you may need to perform repairs).
You will also need a place to store the bike while you wait to sell it, an area where you can work on it, and some basic tools that will help you to repair the bike if it needs to be repaired.
It also really helps to have a truck, as this makes hauling the bikes and other gear a lot easier. It’s hard to take a bike on the bus in some places!
This side hustle is also more likely to work in metropolitan areas where ‘bike riding’ is a big thing. This is a trendy and inexpensive way to get around for a lot of people, and there are definitely people who will buy used before they buy new because this will save them some money.
This is the prime bike-buying crowd. There are also people out there who buy retro/classic bikes as well, so having knowledge of what bikes are worth what is super important.
At any rate, just remember not to give up if this is something you really want to make work. Any side hustle like this involves getting used to it and growing your skills. So don’t just give it up if it ends up not working out for you right from the beginning!
Also, be careful of bike thieves trying to fence their scores. This is actually a pretty hard thing to catch—but from what I understand, experienced bike-buyers can often see them coming. Giving bike thieves business is generally bad for everyone!
How Do You Flip Bicycles For A Profit?
To get started on this side-hustle, you will need to find or buy a bike or two to flip. Here are just a few of the places where you can look for bikes to fix up and resell.
- Garage sales
- Thrift Stores
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook Garage Sale Pages
- Pawn Shops
Once you find a potential bike, it might not be a bad idea to look up what that type of bike is selling for in your area. You also need to take into account what kinds of repairs the bike will need (if any). Does it need a new tube? Does it need new breaks? Will you need to replace the chain?
Avoiding buying bikes with bent or damaged frames. If it is easy to repair, then you can likely get away with it for cheap. When you do find bikes to buy, try to low-ball the seller first. Try to pick up bikes for $10-$20. You might find that a lot of sellers will just dump the bike for lower amounts of cash to get rid of it.
Once you get it home, clean it up and make any necessary repairs. Then, price it and list it online to sell it. You can sell bikes on Facebook or on Craigslist.
These are probably the best options—though sometimes you may be able to find other, more inventive ways to move your inventory. It all depends on where you are and on what types of opportunities you have access to.
Another really awesome idea that I’ve come across is to also buy bike accessories. Helmets, lights, bike racks, pumps, etc.
You can then suggest extra sales to customers and sell them accessories like this at a cheaper rate than they could buy at the store—and you may find that you can make quite a bit off of accessories.
How Much Can You Make Every Month?
Based on what I have read online (there is a reddit thread or two dedicated to this topic), you can expect to earn anywhere from $20-$100 or sometimes more on a single bike flip. It all depends on how hard you are willing to work, but you could easily earn $100-$200 extra per month just by selling 1-3 bikes.
Of course, as you get better at it, you will start to get a feel for it and will earn more. You may also get better at scoring classics, which sell for a lot more than regular bikes—and there is a pretty big market for bikes like this among collectors and bike enthusiasts.
I have heard of some people earning $800 or more per month on this side-hustle—but that requires a lot of work, great finds, and a lot of hustle to get them fixed and sold.
This is also a bit of a seasonal side hustle in some places, as bike-riding is just not as popular once the weather starts to turn cold. In fact, winter time can be an awesome time to start buying inventory for spring!
My Personal Feelings About Bike-Flipping As A Side Hustle
Like any prospective flip-hustle, bike flipping has the potential to earn a lot of cash. But—there is a reason why only a few people choose to take part in it.
It isn’t an altogether ‘easy’ thing to do… especially at first. This is why a lot of people would rather just get a job instead of taking the risks involved with starting their own side hustle.
And, truth be told, there are also a certain number of people who are simply afraid to put themselves out there like this. Believe it or not, there are a certain number of humans who are literally afraid to sell because they are afraid that they will be laughed at, or rejected, or looked-down on, etc.
So yeah. I feel like the flip-hustle mentality is not for everyone, though I do feel like everyone could acclimate themselves to it if they really wanted to.
The bottom line is this. Nothing good happens overnight. If you want to make some decent money doing something, you are going to have to pursue it and work at it. You are going to have to put in the time and the hustle and work your way up to where you want to be.
That is what most good side hustles are going to require… so just keep that in mind if you choose to try your hand at flipping bikes (or really anything else, for that matter).
But… in reference to this side-hustle in-particular, I would have to say that I like it. I ride a bike regularly, and can absolutely see the value in a side hustle like this. If you like bikes, are interested in making some extra cash, and don’t mind putting yourself out there and taking a risk (you will have to spend some money to get started), then go for it!
There are also other angles if you want to flip items without so much investment or time for repairs. Selling board games is one example, especially rare ones. Selling used books can be surprisingly profitable too.
Our Final Opinion About Flipping Bicycles
Can you really make good money doing this? Is it really worth it?