Welcome to the world of sparkingdogg and my virtual salvage yard

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by sparkingdogg, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    Okay... after posting a few comments on the Craigslist Dumbass of the Week thread, several inmates asked me to start a new thread, about my cycle salvage business. So remember, you people asked for this. :lol3

    My name is John. I sell used motorcycle parts. That's not what I always did. I began my career in the late 1980's as an electrical apprentice. Upon earning my journeyman's license, I immediately became a foreman on commercial/industrial/institutional electrical construction. Hence my username... "sparking" is pretty obvious, and "dogg" is simply slang for "buddy".

    It was a boom time for construction, and I spent over 20 years in the field. I operated a lot of equipment as well, and kind of specialized in underground construction, mostly interior stuff. Eventually I moved to management, doing estimating and supervision. But... the recession of 2008/2009 took its toll, and being one of the top paid employees, I found myself out on the street. It was really no surprise.

    I had kind of lost my desire to do what I did, the only thing I knew how to do. So, rather than get back to work, I decided to part a few bikes out, and decide what my next move would be.

    Oh.... how it snowballed! :D

    Me and a buddy had recently went on a 1000 mile tour of Iowa. My buddy was going through a divorce and was pretty broke. He suggested tent camping and I suggested hotels. So to basically make up for lack of contributing money, he gave me an old YZ100 he wanted gone anyway. I believe it was a '78 or '79. It became the first bike I ever parted out. And, the amount of sales it generated was unreal!

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    #1
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  2. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    in. :super
    #2
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  3. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    It began when I was 4 years old, my lifelong love of bikes. My pop's buddy had loaned him an old Triumph twin, and dad had a '68 Kawasaki C2TR 120 Road Runner. The year was 1969. My dear mom had bought me a toy motorcycle at the local People's Five and Dime. That was the greatest toy I ever got! I played with it, literally every day, all day, until the front forks broke off. I was heartbroken. Web picture below of it. It was made by Britain's Toy Company. A police bike. I adored that thing.

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  4. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    In the beginning, it was very hard to accept that I was going to be breaking down, and selling, motorbikes. I mean, I love the things. Always have. How could I butcher the things I loved? So, I began to buy them. But not break them. It got a little out of hand. Things started to get really crowded really fast. IMG_0891.JPG IMG_0880.JPG IMG_0849.JPG IMG_0885.JPG
    #4
  5. corsair4360

    corsair4360 Been here awhile

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    Congratulations. Turned a hobby into a business doing something you love. Best possible outcome. I would get attached to them and then could not let them go
    #5
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  6. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    My first x was an alcoholic, we had two kids, that I raised alone. I made good money but it took most of it to raise those kids. I had just remarried before I lost my job of 16 years. My new wife was 8 months pregnant when I got "laid off" (their nice way of shit canning me). So I didn't have massive savings when all this went down.

    I started my business with about $10k cash. That included the budget for everything. Tools, trailers, inventory, all of it. Not much start up money. But I never let anything get me down. I've had too many tough times, to ever just lay down and play dead. Not me!

    A wise friend suggested I get over the pain of breaking down the bikes I loved. He told me, "You have to take one out of the herd, so the rest of the herd can remain strong". It turned out to be very true. I sell a LOT of obsolete stuff to places all over the world. The parts I sell keep many other loved bikes on the road. So much of the stuff I sell simply isn't available anywhere else.

    I really only intended to do this until the economy came back into good shape. That was over 8 years ago. :hmmmmm

    Things started very simple. I used to break bikes down in my driveway, and picture the parts on the top of a barrel! I only had my 2 car garage as my total space for everything. That would change over the years. I have now rented warehouse space in a few different places, and am thinking of something permanent.

    Within a few years, this thing began to actually produce some fairly good profits. I have had several employees over the years, but none really were helping me enough to justify the pay I was paying out. It's been just me for a few years now.

    Here's a few pics of the old days.

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  7. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    Here's a few of mine, past and present.

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    #7
  8. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    More...

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  9. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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  10. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    interesting story. good writer. engaging topic. kind of like an "anti-ride-report"?!? this is going to be fun!
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  11. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    You get the idea. This is just a sample. This is why I like this business. :evil

    Up next... the present times. Much more to come.

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  12. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    In case anyone would like to put a face to the story.

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  13. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Been here awhile

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    Interesting - good for you!
    N :deal
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  14. corsair4360

    corsair4360 Been here awhile

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    Are you interested in selling the CB750 as a whole bike?
    #14
  15. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    One note... my wife has just graduated a 4 year college program. We have two kids now, age 6 and 8. One reason I went with this, is it allows me to be home nearly 24/7 for the sake of my kids. They have never, one single time, been at a babysitter or daycare. Yes, it's tough to run a salvage business with two young kids. But worth it. We do everything together. We are very close.

    One reason I have contributed a lot on "CL Dumbass" is because I generally search the local CL every day, looking for inventory. Part of my job. It's been terrible there for the last few years. My inventory has nearly dried up. I only had a few bikes left.

    On to present days. I will probably dip back into the past at times too. Anyways, a few weeks ago there was a Craigslist ad for an auction. I had a bad virus, and bid online, after looking the bikes over in person, the day before. Some of this is repeat stuff of what I posted on "CL Dumbass" so if you have seen it, skip it.

    Let's just say, inventory is no longer a worry! :lol3

    Most of these bikes came from a single collector, turns out the guy did quite well exporting bikes to Japan and UK. The auction was much of his parts bikes he bought mixed in with other stuff. He went all over buying collections, then exporting the good stuff.

    I ended up buying 30 bikes in various shape. Much untitled parts bikes. Prices were dirt cheap. Hauling the stuff was epic!

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  16. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    Sorry, that was maybe 3 years ago, I don't have that one anymore.
    #16
  17. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    This stuff didn't fit in my warehouse!!

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  18. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    My full warehouse. Bikes without wheels suck.

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  19. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    More.

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  20. sparkingdogg

    sparkingdogg Prisoner In Disguise

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    I have two odd hobbies. One is rebuilding carburetors. I do it more for fun than money, but it pays well. Not bad.

    The other one is watching oil drip from a crusty old engine LOL. It mesmerizes me. In the morning, I will sit with my coffee and watch. In the evening, there's nothing like a cold ale and dripping oil. I once had an engine drip the oil out, in sort of a rainbow herringbone version of Jacob's ladder. I will have to find the picture. It fascinated me.

    Weird hobby for sure.


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    #20
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