Yakima 'Getaway' bumper hitch bicycle rack, $10.

One of the first things I learned about this business - and one of the first things you should learn - is that for nearly every item you can imagine, there exist a handful of companies making that item better than the other guys, and selling it for more money than the other guys. You should learn as much as you can about as many of these brands as possible, starting right here with Yakima and Thule.

When it comes to bicycle racks, the two brands I always keep a careful eye out for are Yakima and Thule, because they make some of the most expensive and desirable bike racks you'll find. The unusual thing about this particular rack is that although it's a Yakima Getaway, it looks much like another brand of rack called the Softride, which sells for a bit over $300. Interestingly, if you go to the Yakima or Softride websites, you won't find a rack that looks exactly like this one.

I should also mention that both of these companies make all different varieties of bumper hitch racks and roof racks for carrying all kinds of outdoor sporting equipment. For example, I recently paid $25 for a Yakima 'Hully Roller' car roof rack that's made to carry kayaks! Check out what this particular rack sells for, and it's not hard to see how you can make money by simply knowing what you're looking at when you see it!  

Anyway... when I saw this Getaway rack in the garage at the sale, the lady told me that it belonged to her ex-husband, who was a police officer. This is apparently a police issue bike rack, so that officers can carry their bicycles on the back of the cruiser for doing bike patrol.

The downside to this deal is that although this rack has a lock that secures the rack into the hitch, and one that secures the bikes to the rack, the lady couldn't find the keys! I even gave her my phone number so she could call me if she found them, but I never heard from her. I ended up having to have new keys made, which cost me another $18, bringing my total investment to $28.

So, besides the Yakima and Thule names, the other important lesson to be learned here is that whenever you see a lock, always make sure all keys are present if the particular item needs them in order to be functional! Always check for the keys!

This Yakima Getaway bicycle rack sold on eBay for $112.

Photo of Yakima Getaway car hitch bicycle rack