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  1. #1
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Selling complete bike vs. frame + fork

    So I've been trying to sell my Pinarello, as it's too small for me, and I need the space. I've had it on CL and ebay, and no takers. I feel it's priced reasonably as well (no link, auction ended anyway, I'm not trying to drum up sales by this), but the auction ended with 50 watchers, and no bids.

    Would I have better luck selling just the frame and parting components out? How about YOU c+v'ers, do you feel like frames sell easier than whole bikes, especially in the higher end market?
    Jesse

  2. #2
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    High end frames sell easier than bikes and it's often the only way to do it and get your money back.

  3. #3
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 Higher end frameset will sell better, particularly on ebay, and reduce shipping cost.

    Local, bikes need to be complete, as buyers are looking for something to ride. Note, the higher end the bike, the less likely a local sale is going to come close to full market value, at least around here. Works great as a buyer, sucks as a seller.

    50 watchers and no bids = starting price is too high. Those watchers were more interested in seeing if you could successfully get that price, rather than having an interest in bidding on your item. Typically, if I get more than four or five watchers, I will get bids.

    Ultimately, the market decides value. Sometimes I have disagreed with the market (held out for more), and typically I end up not selling the bike.
    Last edited by wrk101; 05-10-11 at 07:18 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Buying a complete, high end biked fitted with high end components requires a pretty full wallet. Just the frame/fork set can be bought for less, thus increasing the chances of interested buyers having enough bucks, and guts, to make the purchase. Selling the components separately will also net you more money than if you sold the bike as a complete unit.

    Also, shipping a frame set is about half the cost of shipping a complete bicycle. This is important when you consider how much shipping costs have risen in the past three years.

    If you can sell a high end matched grouppo, do so rather than sell individual components. I find this to be quicker and still have a good buyer audience. If you just sell individual parts, you inevitably end up with stuff no body wants.

    All that said, I can't sell much either, these days. I know that some of my bikes are priced very high, but I do have my reasons for this and it has nothing to do with greed. Think advertising which, at more than a million hits per month on my website, seems to be working.

    Anyway, hope this is a help.
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

  5. #5
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    it took me a while to sell my trek 610 frameset on CL, much longer than it would have taken for a whole bike i think. i probably could have gotten more on ebay but with all the fees who knows if it would have actually amounted to more $ in the end.
    Last edited by frantik; 05-11-11 at 02:58 AM.
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  6. #6
    Cottered Crank Amesja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    +1 Higher end frameset will sell better, particularly on ebay, and reduce shipping cost.

    Local, bikes need to be complete, as buyers are looking for something to ride. Note, the higher end the bike, the less likely a local sale is going to come close to full market value, at least around here. Works great as a buyer, sucks as a seller.

    50 watchers and no bids = starting price is too high. Those watchers were more interested in seeing if you could successfully get that price, rather than having an interest in bidding on your item. Typically, if I get more than four or five watchers, I will get bids.

    Ultimately, the market decides value. Sometimes I have disagreed with the market (held out for more), and typically I end up not selling the bike.
    IAWTC

    It's been a while since I bought or sold on PayBay but this is how it works. It's more or less the same in local CL sales too without the "watchers."
    '74 Raleigh Carlton Competition w/ Ultegra | '97 Trek 720 Singletrack CX-er w/ 105 | '64 Raleigh LTD-3 modernized w/ all alloy components |'69 Raleigh Twenty | '54 Raleigh Sports

  7. #7
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    +1 Higher end frameset will sell better, particularly on ebay, and reduce shipping cost.

    Local, bikes need to be complete, as buyers are looking for something to ride. Note, the higher end the bike, the less likely a local sale is going to come close to full market value, at least around here. Works great as a buyer, sucks as a seller.

    50 watchers and no bids = starting price is too high. Those watchers were more interested in seeing if you could successfully get that price, rather than having an interest in bidding on your item. Typically, if I get more than four or five watchers, I will get bids.

    Ultimately, the market decides value. Sometimes I have disagreed with the market (held out for more), and typically I end up not selling the bike.
    This is exactly, dead on, accurate. Mid-range stuff sells better complete and is best done on Craigslist because shipping makes bikes under $400-$500 unsellable at value. Higher end things are best parted out...for exactly the reasons outlined, plus one other.

    Someone buying a mid-range bike is typically not an enthusiast and is just looking to ride a little without thinking much about fit, parts, tires, etc. People buying higher end bikes are typically going to be more particular. They want their choice for stem...they want their choice for the wheels. They'd rather start out with a frame and customize it to their specs.

  8. #8
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    It seems that buyers are always going to want different components on your desireable frame than the ones you liked, so that makes f&f sales often easier and more profitable.

    About the only exception is that if the bike is 100% (or very close) spot-on original, and that component group is desireable as well.
    72 special CNC ______ 72 Frejus (ala Legnano) _73 Holdsworth Record
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    For Sale: _________ 78 Raleigh Professional __ 82 Peugeot PXN10
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  9. #9
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    50 watchers and no bids = starting price is too high. Those watchers were more interested in seeing if you could successfully get that price, rather than having an interest in bidding on your item. Typically, if I get more than four or five watchers, I will get bids.
    Bummer, I thought I priced it a little low. Now the long journey of tearing it down, and selling the mismatched group. I don't have a bike that I want to put the group on right now either, so it's kinda a waste.
    Jesse

  10. #10
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    part out the group as well?
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JReade View Post
    Bummer, I thought I priced it a little low. Now the long journey of tearing it down, and selling the mismatched group. I don't have a bike that I want to put the group on right now either, so it's kinda a waste.
    When I'm parting a out a bike, I sort of take the psychology of an Eskimo village living off a whale kill - that is, I consume the thing gradually rather than performing complete steps w/the whole bike. Sometimes in my listings of a part, I'll detail what bike it came off of and what is coming in future listings. This makes the thing sort of fun and definitely engages prospective buyers. When you finally get to the end and list the frame, which naturally will be the last thing listed, you've typically got at least some audience that has been exposed to this thing in other listings and may have been building up some interest in the item.

    Unlike some here, I think parting out a bike on ebay is fun and not an onerous amount of work. FWIW, I agree w/the the analyses of when to part out, when to use CL presented by other users.

  12. #12
    my name is Jim BlueDevil63's Avatar
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    I agree with what has been stated here about the best way to maximize your return. But since I actually have significantly built most of my bikes from frames and components it becomes hard when it comes time to sell them to see them broken up. I hate to sell a bike, especially when the buyer gives me some bull about how much they are going to enjoy riding it, only to see the frame and components hit Ebay two weeks later. So I have been attempting to sell my bikes at about $100 below breakup value, assuming that that offers the breakup folks very little return and very little incentive to buy my bike just to break it up. I can afford to be patient but if after a year of so no one wants to pay what I consider a reasonable price I will break it up and sell it as parts and frame. The smaller you break it up the more return assuming you don't mind the hassle of 100 auctions and 100 things to ship.

    I should mention that really all the bikes I sell are high end and that I have absolutely NO local market so Ebay is really the only option for me.

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