How do I estimate the value of my antique bicycle? SEARCH COMPLETED AUCTIONS ON eBay. To view completed auctions, you must be an ebay member. Sign-in to your account, type the model and brand into the search. (i.e. Schwinn Stingray Apple Krate) Select the search parameter of "all of eBay" Then select "sort highest price first" This will bring the most expensive items to the top of the sort list. (The bicycles are typically selling for much more than the small parts which makes your search easier.) Finally, select "search completed items" and you are there!
What is the difference between perceived value vs. actual realistic value?
In all types of collecting, there are those who know the realistic value of their collectors item and those who are not realistic.
Generally speaking, actual realistic value is what sells an item and delivers money into the hand of the seller. Those who perceive a value without researching the actual sales history of similar collectible objects are often unrealistic in their expectations. Sellers who base the value of their item on perceived value which is often based on hearsay, are the ones who are often frustrated because their item does not find a buyer. "It may be better to have a small actual advantage than only the chance of a greater one."
FINAL NOTES and common sense advice about collector value and buying and selling: It is best to be realistic about the value of your bicycle. If you have searched completed auctions and do not see a similar one that has sold for what you think yours is worth, then you are probably wasting your time trying to sell it. Schwinn collectors who are buying these bicycles know their value and they are not going to pay more than they are worth as these collectors are a very well informed and tight-knit group. Relying on the estimated value based solely on the perceptions of a person who is not an experienced Schwinn collector is unwise and most often leads to disappointment. Remember that Schwinn made millions of bicycles.