I love going to this event, you can find so many deals! In fact one year I even bought a guitar from some guy.
I love going to this event, you can find so many deals! In fact one year I even bought a guitar from some guy.
It seems that often, when a city decides to add bike lanes to urban-corridor streets, people complain that the loss of onstreet parking will have a detrimental effect to businesses in the area.
Recently, though, New York City released a report that showed some areas with a whopping 49% INCREASE in retail sales adjoining the bike lane. From the America Bikes blog:
A new study from the New York Department of Transportation shows that streets that safely accommodate bicycle and pedestrian travel are especially good at boosting small businesses, even in a recession.
NYC DOT found that protected bikeways had a significant positive impact on local business strength. After the construction of a protected bicycle lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49% increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout Manhattan only saw a 3% increase in retail sales.
We’ve talked about bike/ped infrastructure and its ability to rejuvenate businesses before (particularly in our Long Beach coverage) — I’d like to see more studies like this to see if it is a regional trend or a phenomenon that occurs nationwide. Anyone seen a national-level study of this nature? If so, let us know in the comments below.
I admit I have a mild addiction to Craigslist. I’m on it EVERYDAY and I look at the free, bicycles, motorcycles, tools and even the RV section. Why? I feel that if I don’t look, I might miss out on a great deal or some sort of opportunity to get something super rare or unique.
Now that I’ve justified my addiction, I wanted to share a few stories and perhaps suggest some ideas that has worked for me in either selling or buying.
My first story, I had a woman who wanted to look at a bicycle I had for sale. She agreed to meet me at my home at 4:30pm. After making those arrangements with her, I received another inquiry for the bike and went ahead to schedule another buyer at 6pm. I figured, if I didn’t sell it at 4:30pm, that would give me enough time to call and cancel the appointment, right? Well buyer #1 decided to show up at 5:15pm…I’m a bit ticked but I still show her the bike.
She said she’ll take it and wants to pay with a check. I told her that I won’t take her check. Then she goes into this long explanation why I should and that she works for the Veterans Administration, so her check is good. I tell her no and after a few minutes of it, she huffed and asked where the nearest Wells Fargo was. I said that I didn’t know, but there’s a Union Bank across the street. She then got stern with me and says, “I SAID I NEED A WELLS FARGO!” I responded in the same tone and repeated my first answer. She begrudgingly gets in her car to try and find a bank.
She’s gone for at least 40 minutes and at 45 minutes, the second buyer shows up. She gets out of her van, looks at the bike, and hands me the money! She didn’t even bother riding it. She loaded it up and at the same time, buyer #1 shows up! Mind you, I did try to call buyer #1 as buyer #2 loaded up the bike. But buyer #1 didn’t give me a valid cell #, she gave me her office #…
Buyer #1 sees what’s going on, I tell her I tried to call her and then she starts to cuss me out…using all sorts of F-bombs left and right. Then she peels out in her car as she’s waiving me the middle finger…Ugh.
After that fiasco, I learned that I should never meet people at my home. So when I was selling another item, I met the guy at a fast food joint down the street. Before the sale, he agreed to pay me my asking price for the item, $90. He looks at the item, then says, I only brought $40, will you take that? I said no, and walked away. Then he says, “Wait wait wait! I was just kidding, I just wanted to see if you’d give me a deal.” I explain to him that my item is the lowest price that he’d find and that new it was over $350…” He still asked for a discount. Again, I said no and walked away. Then he asked me to stop and agreed to pay my full asking price.
I was selling my wife’s old mountain bike frame. In the ad I explained that the suspension pivot needs to be rebuilt. I even provided the part #, cost and explained that it could be ordered from any KHS dealer. The buyer calls me and asked if I’d take $180 since it needs a the suspension pivot rebuilt. I say no. Then he says, “Ok, let me ask my wife if she will let me buy it at your price.” Shaking my head…he said he’ll call me back. A few hours later he calls me and explains that he spoke to his wife, but he was too embarrassed to say what she wanted him to ask me…he finally did. She told him to ask me if I’d take $150. I’m starting to get annoyed and I simply said no. He mulls it over and says that he’s going to see if he can look for the money and get the bike at my asking price. He calls me a few hours later and asked if I’d be willing to take $200, I agreed.
We meet the next day and he takes his sweet time looking at the frame, and keeps bringing up the pivot issue. He asked me if I’d be willing to take $180. Annoyed with him, I say, “No, besides I’ve already explained to you about the pivot and it’s not like I didn’t mention it on the ad. I agreed to $200.” He still mulls it over. I ask him, “So what is it you’re so hesitant about?” He said he’s not sure if he can fix the pivot. By this time I realized he’s trying to wear me down and that the pivot concern he has was his tactic to get me to lower the price. I stick to my price and I finally said, that I had to go to my daughter’s soccer game. That’s when he said he’ll take it.
But here’s the best part of the story. A few days later he sends me a text that read, “Hey bro, I know you have connections with KHS, do you think you could get them to rebuild the pivot for me?” OMG! I was soooo annoyed. This guy saw some articles that I had published on MtnBikeRiders.com about me taking that frame to KHS and having it serviced. He even asked “How tall was that white guy who was riding this bike in the pictures?” He saw an article where Jack was riding it…he brought it up because the bike was going to be his son’s and he wanted to make sure the bike would fit.
Ok now that I’ve shared some of my stories, let’s get down to some things that I’ve learned from and have been putting into my current Craigslist dealings.
1.Meet in a public location. I typically will meet someone in a bank parking lot. That way if they say they’re short on the cash, they can just walk over to the ATM and get the extra. Plus banks have cameras pointed to the parking lot. So if I were to be murdered for the item I was selling, they’d at least get a glimpse on who it is, right? Besides you don’t want a buyer coming back to your home asking for his money back.
2.As a seller, you should be flexible on the price, but never go down to half of what your asking price. For example, if you have an item for $100, don’t even entertain a $50 offer. I usually respond to those requests with a witty comment, “sure I’ll take your $50, but throw in another on top of that, then we have a deal!”
3.Learn to say NO to low ballers. If you’ve had an item for sale for a long time, don’t get desperate. Eventually you will sell your item. I listed my old car once and I had 3 people come to see it. After a month of not selling it, one of the people offered me near $1500 less than what I was asking for. I almost caved in, but my good wife reminded me not to take it. Sure enough a week later a guy wanted to see it. Offered me my full asking price! So be patient, you’ll sell it.
4. Cash only. Don’t take Paypal, checks or goats. Cash is king, don’t let them offer to pay you through Paypal or a check. If you use Paypal, you can get charged fees for that transaction. Checks from strangers…you might as well kiss your item good bye without getting paid. Checks are more likely to bounce. Bottom line, cold hard cash.
5. Try and have your transactions done during the day. If you’re a buyer, you want to make sure you see everything in good lighting…the sun so you won’t have buyer’s remorse the following morning. If you’re a seller, it’s just safer to sell during the day.
6. Buddy system. I once sold my scooter to two guys, but I had my buddy Officer Ben with me during the transaction. It helps to prep your buddy to be your hype-man to help sell your item. For example, Officer Ben would say, “This scooter runs so well, we’ve done 80 mile rides with it!” Comments like that help instill confidence with the buyer.
7. Put all the info on your ads. Don’t leave out any details. For example if you’re selling a bike, list the size, year, components and color. This will avoid multiple emails from the potential buyer. Besides if you have small frame, but a buyer wants an XL frame, then you’ve wasted his and your time.
8. List your item in multiple cities. Search for items in multiple cities. This broadens your reach and elevates your potential in finding the item you want to buy.
I know I may have missed some things, feel free to give you suggestions. I’m sure our readership would appreciate it. I’m not claiming you should absolutely follow my suggestions, but they have worked for me and I’ve been buying and selling things through Craigslist for years and I’m still alive! haha.
It’s fairly rare that anything positive in terms of bicycle-infrastructure news comes out of Florida, but here’s something pretty big: lawmakers have approved $50 million to create the Coast To Coast Connector:
The Pinellas Trail could become the first leg in a 275-mile bike and walking path stretching from St. Petersburg to Titusville.
State lawmakers recently approved $50 million for the Coast to Coast Connector, which will link more than 200 miles of existing bike paths.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s goal is to bridge seven gaps among more than a dozen regional trails that snake across Central Florida. Collectively, the gaps cover 72 miles.
Once completed, the trail would be longest continuous bike path in Florida and among the biggest in the nation.
Read more about the plan by visiting the Tampa Tribune page.
The plan still has a number of hurdles to overcome…namely, Governor Rick Scott’s potential veto (he’s no fan of sensible transportation/recreation plans). In addition, similar connector trails in Florida have been fraught with hassles from landowners balking at selling portions of their properties to complete trails. Here’s a perfect example of an existing project that has been languishing for years.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the kinks can be ironed out — this will be a great project to commingle Florida’s many disparate regional trail systems.
Here are a couple of really cool Indiegogo “crowdfunding” projects that caught our eye of late.
The first is Cycling CEO, a company that develops cycling/health and wellness programs for businesses:
Cycling CEO is the first company to design, implement and manage comprehensive corporate cycling programs for employees and executive teams.Fitness programs have shown to deliver a $3 to $6 dollar return for every $1 invested.
The benefits of our corporate cycling programs include:
•Employees can spend quality time with each other discussing/solving business challenges
•Advances social relationships
•Promotes a healthy lifestyle
•Relieves daily stress
•Promotes a positive corporate image in the community
•Support charitable causes through team participation in events
Cycling CEO’s Indiegogo page can be found by clicking here. It’s a neat project — and healthier employees are definitely more effective employees! Still, I’d like to see some focus on the transportation benefits of cycling to work rather than pure recreational “team bonding” exercises Cycling CEO concentrates on.
The second project is called The Long Bike Back, a documentary about Pearson Constantino. Here’s Pearson in his own words:
I’m a bike commuter from New York city and in June 2006 I was injured in a hit-and-run crash while biking to work. Two years later despite constant pain I biked across America to advocate for safer roads, improved bicycle infrastructure and to hopefully inspire folks to get out and ride more.
My recovery, trip and advocacy efforts were filmed for a documentary called The Long Bike Back which is now nearly ready for release! It is our hope that you would check it out and help spread the word about our film and our Indiegogo campaign with your network so that we can get this film to the widest audience possible.
And the trailer for the documentary:
If you want to support The Long Bike Back project, visit their Indiegogo page by clicking here.