Sunday, November 27, 2011

Accidental Profit

I once had a customer come in to Campus, looking to trade an old Centurion road bike in on a new bike.  Greg pretty much laughed in his face, and told him he should just donate it to Goodwill.  The guy turned to me and asked if I had any use for it.

"Sure," I said.  "What do you want for it?"

"Five bucks, just so I don't give it away."

I handed the guy $5.00, and rolled the bike into the back of the shop, put my name on it, and hung it up.  About a week went by, and I had almost forgotten about the bike, when another fellow came in with an old bike.

This fellow had bought an old Falcon road bike at a yard sale, and wanted me to tune it up.  Unfortunately, the frame was bent at the top tube and the downtube, the result of a frontal collision of some sort.  So, I couldn't really work on the bike, since the frame was damaged beyond safety.

I gave him the bad news, and he was crestfallen.

"Wait here," I said to him

I brought out the Centurion, and showed it to him.  It was a good fit, and it was ready to ride.

"I'll trade you,"  I told him.  "I might be able to use the parts off of your bike."

So, he went away happy, and I took the Falcon home, and stuck it into my pile of bikes.  Eventually, a year and a half later, I stripped all of the parts off of the frame, and threw it away.  I was moving into my house, and I didn't feel like moving the broken frame.

Six months later, I came across the box of Zeuss parts from the Falcon, and decided to put them on eBay.  Made in Spain, and sometimes derided as being direct copies of Campy components, Zeuss compnents are apparently highly sought after in Japan. 

Every piece I listed ended up going to the Land of the Rising Sun, and I cleared about $300.00 profit on them.

Not too bad for an accidental $5.00 trade.

x

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