Re: [CR]ASC Sturmey Hubs

(Example: Bike Shops)

Date: Fri, 07 Jul 2006 00:50:31 +0100
Subject: Re: [CR]ASC Sturmey Hubs
From: "Hilary Stone" <>
To: NIGEL LAND <>, <>
In-Reply-To: <002601c6a139$262c8ee0$cc697ad5@com>

In this discussion of dealing I think it must be remembered that on Ebay (and with other auctions) the seller only sets the minimum price that they will accept... In the case of these Shellwin hubs my starting price would have barely provided me with profit after Ebay and Paypal fees are taken into account let alone my travelling expenses and time spent photograhing and writing the description, answering qustions and packing and shipping. I t takes at least two prospective buyers willing to pay a particular price for that price to be made. I know that on some occasions I am uneasy at the prices some of my items achieve but overall I am happier this way than asking for a high price on my cyclejumble stall. I am much happier that the buyers decide what a particular item is worth to them. There will be bargains amongst my Ebay auctions where items do not reach the price on a particular occasion which another week they may easily achieve or exceed. I have been involved in dealing in old bikes and their parts for more than 25 years - after going to my first cyclejumble in 1981 I realised that it was an extremely good idea to have a stall of one's own. And that is wha t I have done ever since. I started the first public, purely cycle, cyclejumble with a fellow V-CC friend, Nick Wilson in 1982; prior to this cyclejumbles had been combined with either audio equipment! or been only club affairs in the UK... However with all of my dealings in old bikes and their parts I have at always attempted to act in an ethical manner; many V-CC marque enthusiasts have benefited from me offering them catalogues, literature or parts first and often at no profit and over the years I have organised the sales of quite a few collections from deceased collectors at essentially no cost to their relatives. And I have organised many V-CC events (I founded the Thane t weekend, co-founded the Hetchins weekend with Don Hill plus many other smaller events) and have served on the V-CC committe for over ten years in total as well as being an editor of News and Views for nine years so I don' t think I can be justly accused of not giving anything back into the field of cycling, its collecting and history. And many marque enthusiasts and others have benefited from me loaning parts of my extensive collection of literature and catalogues. This weekend a fellow club member is borrowing m y Simplex catalogue collection containing over a hundred items dating from 1933 onwards... However I think this discussion of dealing needs to be broadened out - buyers do benefit from dealers' knowledge and expertise. I have over the years learnt a lot from other dealers' expertise and continue to do so. I hope many learn from my knowledge and expertise also. But it must be remebered I still have to make enough money to pay the mortgage and pay for my son's racing and music. Would collectors prefer to deal with those with knowledge and expertise or to buy from those who do not care or know about the items they sell? Of course the latter type of dealer may often know a lot less about relative values but this can mean prices which are higher as well as lower than from the knowledgeable dealer... Dealers have to buy their stock from different sources - with me it is mostly cyclejumbles and in a typical year I will travel 10-12000 miles to these events. I enjoy the events and meeting up with friends who are dealers, collectors or both. I have made quite a few very good friends who initially started off as customers. If I was not reasonably efficient I would have long gone out of business but there are always items I have not spotted or got to first so there's plenty left over for everyone else despite what it may seem like on some occasions to others...

Hilary Stone, Bristol, England

> From: "NIGEL LAND" <>
> Reply-To: NIGEL LAND <>
> Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2006 21:16:51 +0100
> To: <>, "Hilary Stone"
> <>
> Subject: Re: [CR]ASC Sturmey Hubs
> Dealings in cycle parts are an important issue and I am pleased that my p ost
> has created so much interest and thank all who have responded. It was not
> intention to raise personal issues, BUT, as Hilary has declared himself I
> think it is a good opportunity to clear the air. On reflection I can see
> that eBay has turned a small scale hobby into an international business a nd
> I guess I can't argue with that in principle, or with the potential busin ess
> opportunities that have been created. It will also eventually level price s
> as we have all seen the high priced 'rare' item followed by a few more wi th
> ever decreasing prices. My concern is the ethical side, and I do realise
> that business ethics are subjective. I have had several 'get real' emails
> from the post and several in support of a previous era, when cyclists tra ded
> goods at a fair price - as still happens through the medium of this augus t
> group. To explain my attitude I will relate what I did when offered a
> collection of cycling books by a woman who got in touch with me and had n o
> idea of the value. She was planning to move from Lincolnshire back home t o
> Cornwall and needed money. I am quite sure she would have taken £200. I f elt
> obliged to maximise her earnings, but explained that I had no idea of the
> 'real' value and offered to sell them for her on eBay. She made £1200 aft er
> selling costs and I made nothing, other than a good feeling. Not true - I
> had the opportunity to rapid read about 50 superb books! Now this may sou nd
> a little self righteous, as I am in the fortunate position that I don't n eed
> to make money out of my hobby, but it does give me the integrity to quest ion
> those who do.
> Cycling in the UK is a world where I am constantly surprised that everyon e
> knows everyone else - there are many long term relationships built on the
> back of a lot of hard miles and a shared passion for bicycles and all
> related stuff. We do talk about the issue currently being debated.
> What Hilary has to understand is that he is a nationally and internationa lly
> known figure, and all power to him. However, such prominence carries
> responsibilities, as our deputy Prime Minister is discovering to his cost !
> (John Prescott, for US readers.) So down to brass tacks. Attending jumble s
> as a seller gives one the opportunity to skim all the cream from other
> sellers. Over many such events I have seen Hilary come with a few scrap
> parts and unwanted books - rarely in attendance at his pitch, while picki ng
> over the stalls with an impressive diligence. I fell foul of his expertis e
> when he discovered a rare Elswick-Hopper catalogue a couple or so years a go
> on a stall run by a fellow V-CC member. He bought it and brought ot over to
> me immediately and sold it at a good profit. I discovered its origin a sh ort
> while later, when I showed it to the erstwhile owner. We both agreed that
> 'wasn't exactly cricket, old chap.' OK, fair deal for a dealer, but I am
> buying catalogues for a reseach project and for eventual gift to the V-CC
> library, as I am the marque enthusiast for that (much neglected) company.
> the time I resented being ripped off by someone who professes to be an
> expert and source of knowledge, and who, at the time, was a committee mem ber
> of my club - the V-CC. This post he no longer holds, having declined to
> stand at the last AGM. I must emphasise that I had forgotten the incident
> until challenged to produce facts. So guesses and gossip aside, this is m y
> personal experience and one that is supported by many, many fellow V-CC
> friends and acquaintances - and several listers.
> So far as Neil's question, if I buy something at a jumble, and pay the pr ice
> asked, I am happy and the seller is happy. The big difference is that I b uy
> for my own needs and not to sell it on eBay for a profit. Once again, I a m
> not against people making a buck, far from it, but isn't there a limit to
> what is acceptable behaviour? If the consensus in no - it's just business ,
> then I will happily count myself as a past member of CR,as it doesn't fit
> with my view of the cycling hobby.
> One final point - is it any different from buying and selling anything el se?
> Yes, in my view. If old Henry Sandon from the Antiques Roadshow turned ou t
> to be an eBay dealer in Royal Worcester I would be far less likely to
> believe his pronouncements. If you are a dealer, deal, but if you want to
> an objective expert on a subject, then don't mix it with business.
> Nigel Land
> Barton on Humber
> UK
> I am the seller of the Shellwin hubs Nigel refers to; He is correct in th at
> I bought them at York but I purchased them through a third party for a
> figure a lot in excess of what he quotes. I did buy parts from the person
> who originally had the Shellwin hubs but he was not a 'old guy' and I pai d
> the prices he requested without haggling; they were I think fair to both
> parties and what I would normally expect within the UK. And I make no sec ret
> of the fact that quite a considerable portion of my income comes from buy ing
> and selling old bike parts. Is that any more wrong that buying or selling
> anything else? But I am certain that people should be very careful to che ck
> the truth before presenting guesses and gossip as fact...
> Hilary Stone, Bristol, England
> Hmm, that's potentially a new legal principle: "Caveat Vendor" instead of
> "Caveat Emptor".
> I'd like to hear from anyone who goes to buy at a cycle jumble who ISN'T
> hoping to pick up a real bargain.
> Is there a moral difference between someone who buys an item way below wh at
> they know to be the (eBay) market value for their own use, and someone wh o
> buys to re-sell?
> Nigel, if you see someone selling something you really want for £10, when
> you know it will fetch £200, will you insist on buying it for £200? Or a t
> what level will you feel that you can ethically complete the transaction?
> The person who bought the Shellwins partly relies on trading in cycle par ts
> for his living, and is very well known for this in the British cycling
> scene. I buy from him, and I have no problem with whatever he paid for t he
> item, only whether I'm happy to pay the price for it. Likewise, if I wer e
> to sell to him, I would consider that whatever he sold the item for would
> no concern of mine. As vendor, I have the opportunity to ask others
> regarding the value of what I'm selling, and if I sell without doing so,
> then it's down to me - I'm not going to whine about being the victim of
> someone making a substantial profit, if I haven't taken the trouble to fi nd
> out what my stuff's worth, old guy or no.
> As far as ASC's are concerned, I'll be selling one or two myself shortly.
> Regrettably, the most recent one I bought, at what I thought was a good
> price, looked like a ball of mud, and when I cleaned it off, I found that
> one of the spoke holes was pulled out. I bought a shell on eBay for over
> £100, and am paying for the hub to be completely overhauled by a well-kno wn
> specialist. I'll sell it with the correct trigger, which has been simila rly
> overhauled, a quick-release connector which cost me £15, and a pair of
> Sturmey wingnuts. If I don't get the going rate for it, I may well be
> selling at a loss, depending on what the overhaul costs me, but then, I
> should have checked it more carefully - my problem!
> Having said that, if it had cost me far less, I'd be delighted to sell it
> whatever profit I could make. - I have a hungry collection to feed!
> Neil Foddering
> Weymouth, Dorset, England
>> From: "NIGEL LAND" <>
>> Reply-To: NIGEL LAND <>
>> Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 17:56:27 +0100
>> To: <>
>> Subject: [CR]ASC Sturmey Hubs
>> Hey North America, what is happening? $456 for a Sturmey ASC? What's goi ng
>> on? Investment bank bonus declarations or a subtle finger to UK buyers
> given
>> the proximity of Independence Day? I just don't get it. Mind you, I did
> hear
>> of a pair of Shelwin hubs being bought at York Rally Saddle Bag Sale a
>> couple of weeks ago for £10 and sold on eBay by a 'renowned' CR member
> after
>> a quick polish for in excess of £200. So there you go. York Rally is ver y
>> much a riders' event, but the businessmen are always around, looking for
>> quick buck. Is that a problem? Personally I don't think much of it, give n
>> that the seller was probably an old guy with no idea of the value of wha t
> he
>> had. So, what are the feelings of this august group on prices and making
> big
>> bucks from fellow cyclists?
>> Nigel Land
>> Barton on Humber
>> UK
>> PS anyone want an ASC for $2,000? Used notes please and I promise airmai l
>> delivery.