Bike, Collectors, Investors and Hoarders

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Oldbikeguy1960

Wore out three sets of tires already!
It's a fact, some people like to "hoard" things. Folks that think this is a bad thing are always two steps behind the deal.
I have never heard of someone that collected say Ferrari's,(insert any quality item here), for years, called a hoarder, he will be a "curator" at his estate auction.
Where would this hobby be if everything in basements, attics and man-caves, became available all at once ? What would become of the "the thrill of the hunt" ?
Dead boring.
Just remember, You can't have everything, where would you put it .
I don't want everything. To me there is no thrill of the hunt. The thrill to me comes when I have it.
A poor crazy person is called crazy, a rich crazy person is called eccentric. Hoarders or curators fall in the same parameters. Remember a few years back the rash of shows about hoarders, and people going in to clean their stuff out and free them from the burdens of all the stuff they accumulated but didnt need?
Not many reality shows about guys curating things though, at least in my world.
I am not saying anyone has to feel as I do, or dump all their stuff on the market to make me happy. Here is the scenario as I see it. I use the term items as a generic term because all the hobbies and lifestyles are suffering from this same situation.

Before the investors got involved a person that wanted a particular item could usually find one in reasonable shape and mostly complete. It was not necessary to spend years and hundreds or thousands of dollars on hard to find parts that were being held until the prices were at the level needed to make a big profit.
Then the investors stepped in and bought up all the items they could get their hands on, sold the best at much higher prices to other investors and parted everything else out eliminating all the excess in the market that would lower the prices of the items they were investing in.
Now there is a captive market on the item, and they can charge whatever they feel like and you can buy it or not.
Ten years ago I built an entire December 1971 Disc Brake Orange Krate from parts including a frame from a show bike and a complete 6-71 disc brake wheel. The whole bike cost less to build than the rear wheel sells for now.
Or what about the Cook Brothers cruiser bike on eBay? The last I saw I was over $60,000 and still had not hit reserve. For a bike that wasnt even that popular in its day.
I am not trying to make enemies here, although this and another thread has done so to the point one member and I had to be put on mutual ignore. Sometimes I guess I strike a nerve. If that is so bad I don't know what to say. It strikes my nerve to accept that a Krate disc wheel can be on the market for $2700 and the going rate for complete drum brake hubs is approaching $500. It seems like that's ok with a lot of people as long as nobody complains about it.
It isnt so much the hoarders, or collectors I am focused on herr, It is the Investors that drive up markets to unbeluevable prices and when the bottom falls out they take a lot of people with them that bought these items at hyperinflated prices and now are unable to get out of them and brake even. It is happening now in the A body Mopars and a couple other hobby items i have been involved in.
Hope this post doesn't go south on me.

My name is Rob, and I approve this rant
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Many of these parts and bikes are subject to a wider market now. Twenty-five years ago sales and trading were mostly in-person or perhaps by photos and paper mail. One had to cast about for parts, spending days looking for things. Today many parts are found many times faster just by going on the internet, which means more buyers have access to a limited supply of vintage parts. Thus higher accessible demand and a finite supply for many things.

Time being money, if one were to put a dollar value on the time saved cast about, mailing, driving around, it could be that in many cases the prices are much closer than the written tag would suggest. Yes, they cost more in terms of sticker price now, but you're also not driving 3 hours each way to a swap meet in 1997 where there's a 10% chance the part you need will even show up. How much is time worth to you? It could be a lot.

And add to that inflation, which has been steady over the years and worse recently. A dollar in May 2022 would only buy $0.55 in June 1997.

Certainly some things are more valuable now and some things less valuable, but there's more to total value than a pure sticker-to-sticker comparison.

Time spent thinking about these things is better spent riding. I'm sure someone could study all this and make interesting findings, but it ultimately is time lost from other and better doings, I think.
 

catfish

Riding an Alexander Rocket Bike
Many of these parts and bikes are subject to a wider market now. Twenty-five years ago sales and trading were mostly in-person or perhaps by photos and paper mail. One had to cast about for parts, spending days looking for things. Today many parts are found many times faster just by going on the internet, which means more buyers have access to a limited supply of vintage parts. Thus higher accessible demand and a finite supply for many things.

Time being money, if one were to put a dollar value on the time saved cast about, mailing, driving around, it could be that in many cases the prices are much closer than the written tag would suggest. Yes, they cost more in terms of sticker price now, but you're also not driving 3 hours each way to a swap meet in 1997 where there's a 10% chance the part you need will even show up. How much is time worth to you? It could be a lot.

And add to that inflation, which has been steady over the years and worse recently. A dollar in May 2022 would only buy $0.55 in June 1997.

Certainly some things are more valuable now and some things less valuable, but there's more to total value than a pure sticker-to-sticker comparison.

Time spent thinking about these things is better spent riding. I'm sure someone could study all this and make interesting findings, but it ultimately is time lost from other and better doings, I think.

Phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls.....
 

tacochris

I live for the CABE
Phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls.....
I think alot about the pre-internet parts hunting days with my dad. I kinda miss it though because the adventure was kinda the memory as well as what you found if that makes sense. We used to wake up before the sun every Saturday and hit all the local flea markets, then check all the ads we found in the paper during the week, drive thru neighborhoods on trash days, drive up into the country to flea markets....Some days you came home with something, some days you came home with nothing but I remember the adventures fondly. One day you would go into a random neighborhood and spot a pile of bikes and BAM, best day ever.
 

Vicious Cycle

Finally riding a big boys bike
Ten years ago I built an entire December 1971 Disc Brake Orange Krate from parts including a frame from a show bike and a complete 6-71 disc brake wheel. The whole bike cost less to build than the rear wheel sells for now.
Then you made a very good investment, assuming you still have it.
I remember in high school, gold sold for $32 / oz. and a new Schwinn Paramount was just north of $200. About 7 oz. worth.
In todays $ what would you rather have a pile of ?
I think this is more of a reflection on the buying power of the dollar these days, what seemed like alot 30 years ago is peanuts today.
Thank our lucky stars they haven't had a reality show about a bicycle hoarder that is found, alone, under a mountain of bikes, might create a stigma of the hobby.*

*apologies in advance if this has really happened to you or yours, any parallel to reality is purely coincidence.
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Admittedly I've not been in this hobby as long as many of you but I have yet to run across one of these 'investors' of which you speak. I do know a few guys in the hobby who make a few dollars buying and selling but not what I would call investors so much as business people. Ten years is a long time ago and a lot of things have changed. Never thought I'd see $5 a gallon gasoline but its here. Complaining about the price of stuff won't change anything so either step up and pay or don't play. I collect within my means and do what makes me happy. That is what a hobby is supposed to be about. If you aren't happy then maybe its time to move onto something else. V/r Shawn
 

HEMI426

I live for the CABE
I don't know what today's gold price is but if you had the 7 ounces of gold now or the Paramount. The Paramount is worth about $300 give or take, the gold would be worth $12K- $14K give or take. If we knew then what we know now. We would all have a Bluebird or a '37 RM Supreme, (427 Cobra) etc.
 

catfish

Riding an Alexander Rocket Bike
The only way to make a little money in the bicycle hobby is to start out with a lot of money....

Every once in a while you can get lucky and make a good score and make some real money. But I prefer to invest in my 401k. All the bike stuff is for fun. If I can flip a few bikes to buy one that I want and not dip into my savings, all the better.
 
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