I've learned a lot about fixing bikes in the last five years. Thank heavens for YouTube for all of the content provided by dedicated bike fixers! And, while Amazon may actully cause the downfall of civilization, it has been invaluable for sourcing parts for obsolete bikes.
It's generally expensive to fix even easy things on an old bike and difficult to recoup the investment on resale.
In normal times, there are lots of quality used bikes and you can score a good one and save a pile of money, even though you may need to do some minor repairs yourself. Don't be afraid of a bike that's 20 or more years old...
...unless it's rusty (no matter what age.) Rust makes the work hard and unrewarding IF the bike can be salvaged, and usually makes the bike look ratty and unappealing. If it's a rusty cute bike, turn it into yard art.
Check to see if the seat post is frozen. It's not so easy to fix and tougher to sell if the new buyer can't adjust the saddle height.
During a pandemic, people will buy very crappy bikes for too much money (not that I sold crappy bikes for too much money, but I helped friends find bikes to buy throughout the COVID times and prices were really high.) I found buyers for 100% of my bikes, even the fairly-priced crappy ones that were not worth fixing (at least, not worth it to me, but happily most of those went to other enthusiasts to fix and flip -- good for edification, not so good for the financial end of things.)
Facebook Marketplace is a much better distribution vehicle than a stand-alone website, especially if you don't ship.
All of that is to say -- (cue Air Supply music) -- I'm all out of bikes. I'm so lost without them... Well, the first part is true but I don't know that I'm all that lost. My garage still has six bikes for personal use. I expect that when the vaccine is well distributed, there will be a lot of people dumping their crappy bikes again. And I will still have my tools and know how to fix them if I want to. And maybe my bike story muse will return with the sea of sad rides and I can focus much more on the narrative.
Since my last post, I have re-homed a bunch of bikes. The ones with names definitely have stories that should be told, a couple happy, a couple sad. May their new riders coast through a healthy 2021.