MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

INTRODUCTION

COLLECTABILITY

LOOKING

THE DUMP

NEWSPAPER ADDS

LOCAL BIKE SHOPS

LOCAL "BUY/SELL"

ON-LINE BUY/SELL

YARD SALES

BULLETIN BOARDS

FLYERS

WORD OF MOUTH

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

SM #8 - BULLETIN BOARDS

One of the nicest old bicycles I ever found, a near mint mid seventies Bianchi Sprint, was through the use of a Bulletin Board Advertisement.

It is easy to make a Bulletin and then post it on as many Bulletin Boards as you can find.  The process is simple.  Use your computer, or a friends, or just print by hand a single 8 ˝ x 11 page.  Make up a couple of dozen copies and then jump on a bicycle and go pedal your need.  Spend part of an afternoon riding around and posting your bulletin.  Then go home and wait for the calls to come your way.

The example of a Bulletin Advertisement above is generic.  Needless to say, your name would replace mine and your telephone number will replace "GET BIKE".  I probably didn't have to say that, but one never knows.  Assuming that you heard what I said is the first step to miscommunication.  The way I see it.  Anyway...

 A TYPICAL BB ADVERTISEMENT

 

BICYCLE WANTED

OLD STYLE "TEN SPEED"

 

I would like to purchase an older ten speed road bicycle.  If you have one that you might be interested in selling, please give me a call and ask for Randy.  Phone:  “GET BIKE”

 

 

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Do not expect the telephone to start ringing itself off of the hook.  Though I have had good results with the Bulletin Advertisement, there are hazards to be aware of…

How do you know that the bulletin you posted is still there one minute after you post it and leave?  You don’t!  The next bulletin, placed by someone else, might well be placed over top of yours.  That same person might even remove your add all together, to make room for their own.  The manager of the Bulletin Board might choose to remove the ad for reasons of his or her own.  The first person to view it, might have felt interest and ripped the entire add down with the good intention of calling later – and then forgets to call.  Which leads to problem number two…

I set my bulletin ads up with little tags containing my telephone number.  The little tags can be torn off the advertisement easily, leaving the description of interest intact for the next person to read and, hopefully express an interest in.  I return to check on my bulletin ads from time to time and find LOTS of little tags gone – but no phone calls.  This is problem number two…

Lots of people will collect your information and then forget to call.  The moment of interest passes the second the little tag goes into a pocket.  The whole situation is most likely forgotten until the person sees the remnants of a small piece of paper in the washing machine.  Too Late and Oh Well.  Another opportunity missed.  Try to make the little tags as big as you can, with-in reason.

Your Bulletin Advertisement must contain certain minimal information and no more.  You will have only the briefest of moments to capture a busy person’s attention as they pass by your Bulletin Advertisement.  People will not interrupt their activity unless encouraged to do so.  A full 8 ˝ x 11 page, filled with number 12 font print, will not capture my interest as I walk into the video store, hoping to get the newest release.  That same page, with a good picture of a "Ten Speed" clearly displayed, will capture my attention.  The words BICYCLE WANTED, in large bold print at the top of the page, will capture my attention.  A second line, in slightly smaller font but still upper case, will help to retain my attention and enhance interest.  The second line should rear something like – OLD STYLE "TEN SPEED".  The words "Ten Speed" are really important.  People my age called the racing bicycles of the sixties and seventies “Ten Speeds”.  The term stuck.

A complete and detailed description of what I am seeking, printed in number twelve (or smaller) font will not capture my attention.  It will, however; cause me to loose interest and keep going without even knowing what the rest of the ad says.

Hopefully, the point is becoming clear.  Ensure that all of your information has purpose.  Do not include more than a single sentence when offering detail pertaining to your interest.  Try something like this:

“I would like to buy an older "Ten Speed" bicycle.  If you have one that you might be interested in selling, please give me a call and ask for Me.  Phone:  GET-BIKE(438-2453.”  That's it!  Just basic "I want it if you got it", coupled with pertinent contact information.

Notice the phrase "Ten Speed" is used again, with hopes of jogging old memories.  The words buy and selling are also intended.  The advertisement is a selling tool, selling your interest and nothing more.  My bet is that the other six billion people on Earth really don’t care about what I want, unless there is something in it for them to.  With that in mind, make sure that your advertisement offers them something that they might want, like money.

The last two pieces of information you need to include is, of course a number to call and your name.  The number to call is absolutely important, needless to say, but what about your name?

By offering your name, you achieve a couple of things.  First, the advertisement becomes a bit more personal and people like the personal touch in almost all endeavours.  Secondly, it makes it easier for the potential caller to call if there is a contact person identified.

What are you going to do if and when a call comes your way?  Ensure that you prepare what you are going to say to a caller in advance.  I always inform people that I like to fix up old bicycles, indicating that just about any old bicycle will do, but prefer the old "Ten Speeds".  Even though the Bulletin Ad closed the door on any kind of bicycle, I try to open the door again when someone calls.  I also ensure that the person calling knows that I will accommodate their schedule for an opportunity to view.  In other words, put them to as little inconvenience as possible and look at the bicycle when it is best for them to show it.  But do try to look at a bicycle right away.  This is in accordance with the "you snooze you loose"  coupled with the Early Bird syndrome.

If and when you do go to look at a bicycle, have plenty of cash in your pocket and this does not mean five or six hundred dollar bills.  If the bike you are viewing is worth having, buy it immediately!  Do not say that you will think about it, with hopes that the price will drop.  The price probably won’t drop but what will happen is this…

The seller, who had likely forgotten all about that old bicycle to begin with now remembers it, thanks to your Bulletin Ad.  Because he or she remembers the bicycle, they are likely to talk about it.  If they talk about it, one of their friends or acquaintances just might express interest in the bicycle, buying it themselves.  And there goes your opportunity to purchase, what might be a great find.  In short – be prepared to buy!

I missed out on a very nice mid eighties Miyata 1000 “Touring” for $60.00, just because I was not prepared, with cash in hand.  By the time I went to the bank machine and returned to the seller’s house, the lady to whom the Miyata belonged, had decided to sell the bike to her nephew. The nephew who had just dropped in for a visit.  Needless to say, the Miyata 1000 pictured was not the bike I missed out on.  I don't have a picture of that one!

Finally, your Bulletin Ads will continue to work for you as long as you maintain them.  Check your ads every couple of weeks and replace any that have more than a couple of tags pulled.  The next person to read your ad might think that because several tags are pulled, you will already have purchased a bicycle.  This Bulletin Ad maintenance is important and needs to be attended to, unless of course you have already purchased a bike, thanks to your ever increasing methods for finding old bikes.

NEXT - SM #9 - FLYERS

 

 

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