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Bike shop's Cash for Clunkers program now includes car trade-in

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 14th, 2009 at 11:04 am

On Tuesday, we shared the story of a local bike shop that created its own, Portland-style version of the Obama Administration's Cash for Clunkers program. In a nutshell, Southeast Portland's Joe Bike will accept an old, clunker bike, donate it to charity, and then give customers a discount on purchase of a new bike.

Now, Joe Bike owner Joe Doebele has extended the program to include car donations.

Doebele has worked out a special a deal with the American Lung Association and car-sharing company Zipcar. Here's how it works:

Donate your old car to the American Lung Association. The ALA will tow your car (running or not) for free, and you'll also get the tax deduction.

Then, bring the receipt into Joe Bike and they'll give you a 10% discount on any bike they sell. In addition to the bike discount, Joe Bike will also give you a unique coupon code for a Zipcar membership. With a bike purchase, you'll be able to become a Zipcar member for $25 (instead of $75), your annual renewal fee will be just $25 (instead of $50) and you'll get $150 driving credit.

It's kind of a nifty little program. In one fell swoop, you can trade in your old car, help out the ALA, get a tax deduction, a discount on a new bike, and a discount on Zipcar.

More info at Joe Bike's website.

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Comments
  • Jeff Ong August 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I don't mean for this to come off as a rude question, but is BikePortland.org getting compensated for these articles? It's the second article in a week about a sales promotion being run by a for-profit business, and there's a banner ad for the same promotion directly adjacent to the article (although I don't see any commission-tracking code on the links).

    I recognize the need for advertising to support this blog, and I think you provide an invaluable service. Please don't interpret this as an attack... I guess I'm mainly curious about your policies for separating editorial from paid promotional content. I remember there was some experimentation with paid placements last summer or so (was it the powder coating company?). I'm fine with that as long as there's a clear delineation between BP-originated content ("reporting") and advertiser-originated material ("ads").

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Jeff,

    I understand your concerns, but I do not publish anything that is paid for by an advertiser. The only time we did it was a special video ad experiment that was clearly labeled.

    Yes, Joe Bike is a paying advertiser, but I chose to do something on this sales promotion because I find it interesting and newsworthy and felt that other people would too.

    Thanks for the comment.

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  • justin August 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    This doesn't come across as paid content to me. I think it's great that Joe Bike was able to work with the ALA and Zipcar to do something out of the ordinary - it's nice to see a bike shop practice what they preach

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  • Mike August 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Well, in an article during the heatwave you also said Icebreaker shirts were good for the heat and said it was a "shameless promotional plug" or some disclaimer like that. Is that related?

    I'm also not criticizing. Icebreaker had a 40% off sale that week and I bought 3 shirts at a more reasonable price. And you're right, they were great in the heat!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) August 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    yes Mike, I did plug those icebreaker shirts.

    they sent me a few of them free to try out and I liked them and I thought others would like them too. it had nothing to do with the fact that they were having a sale... but it had everything to do with the fact that it was 103 degrees out! ;-).

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  • Nick August 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I don't think anything is out of line with you posting about this sale. The clunkers program is big in the news right now and I think this is quite relevant.

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  • Kt August 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Joe's clunker program in its expanded format is really awesome. It benefits a lot of people, not just Joe.

    The person who donated the car gets the tax write-off on their tax return in addition to the immediate benefit of 10% off a bike and the Zip car deal.

    The ALA gets the car you donated which helps them generate funds for their programs.

    Joe gets to sell more bikes.

    Zip Car gets the double-edged sword, more people using their cars.

    I think it's pretty cool of Joe Bikes to get this all set up. I don't have a car to donate, but if I did I'd go this route.

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  • Jeff Ong August 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks for the response -- for the record, I wasn't saying I saw anything "wrong" with the post -- just wondering about your policies in general. Appreciate the clarification!

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  • Hannah August 19, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Joe...you are a genius! A true bike patriot for the city of Portland. We are so lucky to have your little shop on Hawthorne! Thanks you so much for all you do!

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  • PFLEET September 14, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Will be very interesting indeed to see how the auto industry in US holds up now that the Cash for clunkers program has ended. Australians will be watching very closely.

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