Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

CCC now offers used parts on eBay

Posted by on April 7th, 2007 at 12:16 am

The Community Cycling Center has gone global. Thanks to staff mechanic Rich Walker, the venerable, Northeast Portland-based non-profit is now offering select parts and accessories on eBay.

Check it out via their new website.

Communications Director Alison Hill says,

Screenshot of a current auction.

“It’s a great way for us to showcase some of the parts and accessories we have, but haven’t found their home yet. And like all bike shop proceeds, they go to support our bike safety programs.”

If you’re a parts junkie, or just need to keep your rig running, this is a great way to get cheap stuff and support the good work of the CCC. Check out their current auctions and start your bidding!

[Note: View the latest items up for bid via the “CCC on eBay” links on my sidebar.]

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you.

  • bottom bracket April 7, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Hmmm, selling used bicycle parts on e-bay isn’t very “community” oriented. I would rather have local cyclist purchase these parts, rather than have some collector half way across the country outbid folks on good quality components that they might actually need.

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  • Dabby April 7, 2007 at 11:44 am

    So this is why I went to CCC the other day, and the case full of the nicer parts was empty….

    This is the case I go there to look at.

    This is the last thing we need to have happen in Portland, and at the CCC.

    A community cycling center would be selling things that are mostly donated, to the actual community around it, not to the highest bidder on Ebay…

    We are already suffering from a lack of quality, used parts, or replacement parts in a town where the larger percentage of cyclists cannot go out and buy nice enough, fancy new parts….

    If they are donated to “our” Community Cycling center, they should be sold at “OUR” community cycling center…….

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  • Scott Mizée April 7, 2007 at 11:50 am

    uh… Dabby?

    sounds a bit negative… Do you really believe all of those things you are saying?

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  • Ayleen April 7, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Hey Dabby,

    That case was empty because CCC was broken into and that case was cleared out by the jerks who broke in. Don’t you read bikeportland.org to keep up on the scene?

    CCC sells stuff online that’s not selling in the store or that has a niche market and can fetch a good price to support their programs.

    If any of you seriously think anyone over at CCC is getting rich off this program, you’ve got problems. CCC struggles to stay afloat, was recently broken into, and does great work while working hard to pay the employees a fair wage. It’s not easy being a non-profit and there’s not a big profit margin in bike repair and used bike sales.

    Trust me, I was in the trenches over there for five years.

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  • SKIDmark April 7, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Yeah that’s really cool. So instead of someone with financial limitations and a passion for vintage bike parts getting a bargain on something cool, it now goes to the highest bidder. Awesome. I guess CCC will be one less place that I can find cool stuff cheap, because the cool stuff won’t be be made available to me.

    Dabby is right on. There is a point where profit intersects greed, it is at Ebay. Ebay is the opposite of bargaining, which is what a bike co-op is usually about. You go in wit some parts you don’t want, you discuss their value, and you get some cash for them. Then you turn around and buy someting you want, and maybe you think the price is a little high and they knock a few bucks off. That is how it has always been and Ebay is destroying this.

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  • Ayleen April 7, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Hey SKIDmark,

    CCC’s not a co-op and their mission isn’t to provide cheap parts to bikers.

    Look, there’s definitely a market, locally, for cheap parts. Anyone who wants to could start a bike shop specializing in that and complimenting the selection that’s currently available at shops.

    You’d be hard-pressed to stay afloat, though, and you’d have to find a way to make money somehow. After all, someone needs to sort, test, price and sell those parts.

    I know, I too wish there were more free and cheap stuff in the world, but the reality is that places like the CCC have bills to pay and selling stuff for less than they know they can get is a hard way to run a business when you’ve got bills to pay.

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  • SKIDmark April 7, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Sorry to burden the bikey masses with my Ebay rant. Please ignore.

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  • ed April 7, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    At last a way to shop at the CCC with out having to deal with the absolutely terrible employees and their absolutely terrible attitudes.

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  • N.I.K. April 7, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    We’ve heard nothing from the CCC folks as to what their actual policy is for picking what goes up for auction. For all we know, they could have a sensible set of criteria, such as, say, if we don’t move part X out the door in so many weeks, we put it up for auction so that we’re not just hoarding parts which sit around unused, plus make up for having had an item sit in our display case taking up space when something else that would’ve sold could’ve been there.

    The second we find out that they’re just pulling all the good stuff to flog to the highest bidder, I’ll hop on over into the “not keeping it local is some real B.S.” camp with Dabby and SKIDmark. But I’m also willing to make the assumption that a community-centered project probably put a lot of time into considering the right way to go about this.

    So, quickly now! CCC folks: what’s the deal?

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  • Vladislav Davidzon April 7, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    The issue to consider, as Ayleen correctly pointed out, is the mission of the organization. It isn’t to provide cheap parts. 😛

    But the bigger picture is that the non-profit world needs to get off their asses and start looking at ways to fund their operations that do not require depending on donors. It is a *great* thing that CCC is doing exactly that!

    If the CCC can find new markets for their products, and thus create additional funding streams that would allow them to fullfill their mission, that’s awesome. Perhaps they should consider not just selling via e-bay, but creating a full-out online storefront.

    The local/non-local argument is interesting because while keeping things local is *awesome*, if we’re going to have a really viable local economy, we should be encouraging exports — the strongest model we could have is one where we have a strong local economy backed by a strong exports base. Pick up a copy of the Smallmart Revolution if you’re interested in finding out more about this.

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  • SKIDmark April 7, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Well I thought 5 bucks was cheap for the used sissy bar I picked up at CCC and 2 bucks for a brake cable inner wire and nylon-lined cable housing for a buck a foot is comparable to the other bike co-ops and for that matter retail shops in town.

    When did CCC’s “Mission” change? Cuz I thought the “mission” was to provide low-income folks with two-wheeled transport.

    I’m sorry if it appeared like I was disparaging CCC, it has more to do with my hatred of Ebay and how it has destroyed swap meets, thrifting (thrift store shopping) and the art of bargaining more than anything else.

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  • Donald April 7, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I guess this is a bit off thread, but I’ve always reckoned as to how folks who loathe e-bay have never lived in Rawlins, Wyoming.

    While someone in a metropolitan area such as Portland, with its rich resources of cheap places to shop, can lament a small loss of choice, folks in ultra-rural areas have come to see on-line auctions as a terrific way to find things that their communities would never have otherwise.

    For what it’s worth.

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  • SKIDmark April 7, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I have travelled over 120 miles to go to a swap meet. These days I can’t be bothered because of all the “are you on crack?” prices that sellers justify by saying “well, I could get that much on Ebay”. Prices on Ebay are what ONE PERSON is willing to pay and not an indication of value. Sorry to veer off-topic, Jonathan.

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  • Martha April 7, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    It’s not like they’re going to stop selling locally all together, they won’t be putting their entire inventory up on e-bay I’m sure. I think it’s good, as great as cheap parts for local cyclists are, having the funding to keep the center open and doing what it does is also important. CCC is a good organization, and if they can get a little extra cash and maybe expand because of this then I say that’s a good thing.

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  • SKIDmark April 7, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    I suppose I am overeacting, Sellwood Cycles has an Ebay page.

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  • Curt Dewees April 8, 2007 at 8:08 am

    “Prices on Ebay are what ONE PERSON is willing to pay and not an indication of value.”

    Huh? Do you not understand how markets work?

    If anything, eBay has helped the marketplace establish the TRUE value of anything and everything, just by making anything and everything available to a much wider pool of interested buyers.

    It sounds like your complaint is that you are no longer able to go into the CCC and skim valuable parts from them for less than their true market value, and then harass (excuse, “bargain with”) the CCC into selling these undervalued parts to you at even less than the original asking price. Boo hoo for you.

    You still have the freedom to buy anything and everything the CCC has to sell. The difference is that now you can buy the CCC’s desirable goods on ebay and pay fair market value.

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  • SKIDmark April 8, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    I do understand how “markets” work. An auction is not a “market” an auction usually comes down to two people having a “pissing match” over owning something. Also does it work the other way? A friend of mine just paid 10 bucks for a 1971 Suzuki T500 gas tank in original paint with the flip-top gas cap, worth well over a $150. Does that mean that all vintage Suzuki gas tanks are now worth 10 bucks?

    I don’t harass anyone, I am always polite and respectful to bike shop employees. You catch more flies with sugar than vinegar. You have never met me so you have NO IDEA what my demeanor is. I do a lot of trading at bike shops and I am always happy with the results, and nobody feels like they are getting burned.

    There are still plenty of places to find stuff for a decent price, including CCC, but I have my own sources that i will not discuss here.

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  • Curt Dewees April 9, 2007 at 9:42 am

    I’m sorry for my insensitive remarks, Skidmark. I guess I was a little hard on you.

    The points I *should* have been trying make is (a) the value of a given object is whatever someone is willing to pay for it (supply and demand, and all that). I don’t want to get into a “pissing match” with you about whether or not an auction is a “market”, so I’ll just let that one go. You win.

    (b) More importantly, the CCC’s role in accepting and then re-selling donated bicycles and bike parts is to maximize the cash value of these donations so it has more financial resources and can better serve the community through its programs and services. If the CCC can get more money out of a rare, hard-to-find Campagnolo Super Record doodad by selling it on eBay to the highest bidder (who just may happen to be a collector in New Jersey for all we know), rather than selling it more cheaply to a local bikester/hipster, then more power to them! The neighborhood kids and low-income adults who benefit from the CCC’s programs will better served by that transaction.

    Again, I sincerely apologize for any remarks that may have offended you personally.


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  • Alison Hill April 9, 2007 at 9:55 am

    I would like to explain why we put items for sale on EBay. First, some context about the Community Cycling Center.

    Our mission is to build skills and foster personal development of youth and adults through community-oriented educational and recreational bicycle programs and services.

    We achieve this mission by running a bike shop that offers good value for refurbished bikes, used parts, new and used accessories and bike repair/maintenance. We also offer bike programs through the shop, like Bike Maintenance Class and Bike Summer Camp.

    But our shop is a small business and the proceeds support our free “earn a bike” programs for low-income youth and adults, like Bike Safety Club and Create a Commuter. So we see it as our responsibility to make prices in the shop competitive.

    For anyone who has visited our shop, you know how tight the space is. That means we need to make tough choices about what we display. We are very lucky to receive donations of all kinds of bikes, parts, equipment and accessories. We are very excited about the EBay option because we can make great use of the generous donations that people make to us.

    The three main criteria we use to post items to EBay:

    1. Some items don’t sell well in the shop. Like road cycling shoes. It’s not something we’re known for so these items have sat in our shop for months.

    2. Some items sit for a long time. Like vintage items. It can take a long time – I’m talking YEARS — for the person looking for a specialized part to find it here.

    3. Some items are in over-supply. Like SRAM components. We will always have these in the shop, but we can also make them available on EBay.

    EBay is already proving to be a great way to get bicycle parts and accessories to people who want them at a price that HELPS US WITH OUR PROGRAMS. Because *that* is our mission.

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  • N.I.K. April 9, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for the explanation, Allison…figured it wasn’t as “bad as all that”. That’s some sound criteria.

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