What to do with hoards of good parts that won't sell?

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rustedperfection

On Training Wheels
As someone who has collected a ton of bikes and parts over his years, I find myself dealing with helping someone clean out what remains of another's years of collecting bikes and parts. The old guy was most fond of road bikes and even three speeds. Over his 85 or so years he accumulated quite a bit, most of which was in his basement and attached garage.
As I and a few others go through boxes of parts the big question is what to do with parts that really don't bring enough to list or ship?
For instance, he had a 55 gallon barrel in the corner full of misc. 5 speed freewheels, and two huge tubs of used freewheels that he took apart, cleaned , relubed, and bagged for future use. I counted 70 just in one drawer, and didn't even attempt to count those in the tub or barrel.
He's got boxes of Shimano, Suntour and a few other brands of derailleurs, all used, still greasy with bits of sharp cables still attached.

Most show no wear, most were likely fairly new when he stripped the bike for parts. Many were likely of girls models that had no market value.
There are chains, pedals, kickstands, used tires and tubes, a few hundred steel wheels, most appear to be Schwinn or Raleigh three speed wheels,, boxes of rims, both new and used, and probably a ton or more of small parts dumped into small drawers in what appears to be old library card files. Then there's the hubs. I found one full barrel of nutted Normandy high flange hubs, two barrels of matching rear hubs, and dozens of Schwinn high flange hubs off bikes like the Varsity. His kids tried ebay for a bit but not much sold, and its not worth selling a used freewheel for what they will sell for.
The real shame is that they have to bring something and likely will end up at the junk yard being sold by the pound.
The same with stacks of steel rims. There's nothing wrong with them but most these days view them as inferior and refuse to use them.
With the amount of time and labor clearing it all out I'm wondering if its at all even worth it the way things have been lately. With eBay being basically dead and CL not finding many buyers either I think the right snwer is take them to scrap and call it a day. ('ve probably got a few milk krates of old freewheels and those are likely headed to the same fate) Then there's the long row of stripped ladies frames, again, mostly Schwinn and Raleigh models that I thing are most likely going to need to be scrapped.
All of this has really made me think about what all I've saved and whether or not any of it iis really worth saving or not.
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I would go through the bins and just write down a list of what's there. Don't clean or start restoring or anything, just write down what you have. The list will tell you whether you have stuff that's really valuable. Most basic 5-speed stuff is not, but sometimes you get unusual parts that people need and lead to a little more money. This is also true of three speed stuff. Most of the common stuff is not high dollar, but sometimes you get something usual that is worth more. Have to know what's there though.

If they're not rusty and are just kind of dirty, it almost sounds like something you'd bring to the closest vintage bike show/swap. Buy the most basic seller's space offered, set up a table, put the better parts on the table, and spread out the lesser parts on a blanket or transparent bins at least. Offer a discount for people buying multiple items.

If that isn't an option, donation to the local bike co-op is also a possibility. Again, if it's just kind of dirty, no need to clean if donating.

The better stuff tends to come up on here or on eBay for sale. You'll need to work through your list and figure out what you have to determine if you're headed in this direction.
 

SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
By the way, I sent you a private message about three speed parts. I might be willing to buy and save a few if they're something I can use. It's the envelope icon at the upper right of the screen.
 

tacochris

I live for the CABE
I have taken in loads of unpopular bikes over the years, parts etc....tripping over them, moving them from place to place, stacking them in the back yard etc. The day came when I finally just couldnt take it anymore and put the entire stack on the curb and all were gone before bedtime. Was a hard choice to make but I only regret I didnt do it sooner.
On bikes i couldnt bear to let get scrapped I found a guy on facebook who was a bike/parts hoarder of sorts, told him to bring a trailer and gave him everything he could load up.

That being said maybe post an ad labeled as free bike parts and "take all or nothing, no cherry picking". Give it a week and then do what must be done after that.
 

farkasthegoalie

Finally riding a big boys bike
If you know of any local artists or maybe even welders I'm sure they'd take some stuff- around here people love wheels and sprockets- for art projects. Also maybe assemble a few bikes and advertise as lawn/garden bikes... but I have to agree with most on here, head to the scrap yard. Better a little bit of cash in hand than it just sitting...
 
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