Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vancouver Police Auction/ Able Auctions 2014 - The truth

Well, it it's my least favorite time of the year, the annual VPD police auction takes place this Saturday. Shitty for me because this means that every #wobbler looking for a good deal on a bike will head down to the auction, get wrapped up in bidding and pay 500$ for a 150$ CCM that needs $200 in repairs. True story, I've seen it with my own eyes. I went once and I will never go again.You can't bid against ignorance and win. The key is realizing that most people have no idea the true value of the bikes they are biding on and even fewer are knowledgeable enough to notice the glaring and costly repairs or parts the bikes need after they are screwed and chopped back together by some crafty crackhead. 

Speaking of crack heads, most don't have great taste in bikes, they are focused on steeling what's abundant and easy. The walk through/ preview video states they have all the brands you want CCM, Kuwahara, Nishiki. Trust me these re the brans you do not want. Nishiki hasn't produced bikes for over 20 years, and CCMs are assembled by the same dude slapping BBQs together in the back of your local Canadian tire.

If you are looking for a deal on a used bike this is absolutely the worst place to buy one. In my experience I didn't see a bike sell at auction for less than what you would pay on Craigslist, and some times several times more. 

On Sunday after the auction and for the following week, bike shops are flooded with repairs from the police auctions. Often people come on looking for a tune-up to get their new bike going, and hearts are broken.  A typical tune-up in Vancouver runs about 60$/hr. plus parts labour. Most people end up paying around 75$ all said in done for incidents such as brake pads and cables.  Crackhead hacked together bikes usually fair far worse. I have seen so many brutalized bikes, mismatched wheel sizes  (add at least another $100, plus labour to your repair),  and a myriad of inexplicably botched and of course catastrophic frame damage (usually resulting from the theft). Suddenly 225$ (over-priced CCM) you purchase at the auction now needs 180$ worth of parts and labour to get it working. Not so good eh? Even worse some just aren't worth repairing, even to get them to minimum standards of safety and operation.

If you really want to see a preview of the bikes you'll be buying stand on the corner of Main and Hastings for ten minutes and watch the bikes roll by or head to the bottle depot on Hastings. These are the bike you'll be bidding on for the most part. Usually giant hunks of crap. But let's not forget about that and that sweet Rocky or Santana Cruz you scoped out in the preview or maybe the Pegerotti that your sure no one will be bidding on, your wrong. When the crowd mentality kicks and people smell a "good deal" the bidding will continue. Even if you fair okay you'll still get dinged with Able Auctions 10% premium on your bid, plus taxes. Shitty deal Braaaaah.

So what to do? You are looking for a deal on a good bike, the first thing to realize is that you get what you pay for. Deals Re not always deals, caveat emptor! If you are looking for a used bike try reliable seller such as The Bike Kitchen and Our Community Bikes which sell tuned-up used bikes with a 30 day warranty. You'll be supporting a non-profit but also getting piece of mind knowing that the bike you purchased will be fairly priced, safe and functional.

P.S. If you come across a pair of Dura Ace track hubs laced to gold Velocity Aeroheads, I want them back!

http://www.ableauctions.ca/flyer/?EventID=32AE41FD-D25D-1F5D-8DD39D7DC97BE856

#ableauctions #vpdauction #cat6racer #yourbikehatesyou


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