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Bikes for trade

Bikes for trade is a policy that most community bicycle shops have to decide on.

A common thing that the general public will ask when they walk into your shop is if they can trade their old parts for different new ones.

Different Approaches

  1. No Trade Period: This is a very common approach, and when enforced it simplifies the lives of volunteers and/or employees. More than not, the person will just donate their bike when they learn it has no trade value. Another advantage to this policy is that it removes the incentive for your shop to be used to help launder stolen bikes. If someone trades a stolen bike to your shop, it can lead to legal problems for the person who ends up with the bike, and you may (or may not) have ethical problems with your shop being used this way.
  2. No Trade with Exceptions: There will always be a sweet bike / part that is offered as a trade. It may seem hard to turn down, so you don't. Should the word of this get out, prepare your volunteers and/or employees will have to deal with more judgement calls. Setting a guideline may be appropriate.
  3. Trades Allowed: All Volunteers involved in trades should be savvy about the value of parts. Make sure that the trade is fair for your organization and the customer. Most people know the value of what they are trying to give you and the value of what they want out of it. So in the interest of your organization you should try to balance that by lowering the trade value. Again, make sure that trades feel good to all parties involved -- otherwise it will come back to bite you.