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  1. #1
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    Usual loss when selling bike

    I'm gonna keep the details as foggy as possible so it doesn't seem like I'm trying to circumvent Bike Forums' equipment sale policy, which I am not, but I wanted to ask the smarties here a question:

    Recently got a hybrid, love it, don't want it and my much-maligned road bike. Nothing wrong with the road bike, just don't care much for it. I figure I'll try to sell it on the local bike club's message board as well as Craig's List, then spread my wings a bit if a local sale isn't working out.

    The question is: what kind of loss do you guys usually take on stuff when selling? Bike cost me $1,050 in November. Has about 400 miles on it, if that. No mechanical problems. Don't wanna get into specs for fear of this post sounding like a for-sale ad. I figure bike cost me $1,050, at this point, I'd be happy to get $750.

    Is that unrealistic in these days of price gougers and should I be prepared to go lower?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    How much you get for it really depends.

    I expect to get a loss if I sold any of my bikes. That's basically because of the area I live in. People couldn't tell the difference between an xmart special and a LBS gem. And those that could would expect to get a bargain. I am also in a smaller market compared places like Syracuse (about 1 1/2 hours away).

    I say check out the current craigslist ads, ebay, or something similar and see what bikes are selling for. Also remember around april/may people may start looking to get something new, or sell something they have lying around.

    If I were you I would post the bike with how much you paid and put in a 10-15% discount and see how many responses you get. If you don't like the offers or whatever repost it. However, don't be one of those people that repost and "up" the price if they get a lot of calls.
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  3. #3
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    Spring is a good time to sell. Look on Ebay for completed listings to get an idea of what price. $750 doesn't sound unreasonable.

  4. #4
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Why buy a used bike without a warranty just to save $300? I'd rather buy new.

  5. #5
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    How long have you been biking? Is there any chance you will want the road bike again down the road? Keep them both! I think it will be hard to sell the bike for what it is really worth.

    To answer your question, I bought a hybrid for $400 new, put bar ends on it, 2 bottle cages, upgraded the wheels and tires. I had about $700 in it total, sold it for $200 with a fairly new chain and tune-up. Unless it is a recognized, sought after bike you're probably not going to get much out if it used.

    My FS mountain bike I paid around $1,000 for it I got $500 for it a year later. Both bikes I gave the buyer spare tires, tubes etc. that I had for the bike.

  6. #6
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    Man, I thought this thread was going to be about the emotional loss you feel when you sell a bike.

    It's hard, man... it's like giving your 12 year old chocolate Labrador to your neighbor or something. It hurts deep.
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    Sounds ok as an initial asking price. Whether you get it depends on the local market and if there's someone looking for just that size and type of bike. I try to get at least a 50% discount when buying used to make up for the loss of warranty, service perks, inability to ask for component changes, and uncertainty about the prior use and possibility of hidden damage.

  8. #8
    Nipples of Steel! AngelGendy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardGlover View Post
    Man, I thought this thread was going to be about the emotional loss you feel when you sell a bike.
    I too felt mislead by the title of this thread....

  9. #9
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    Believe me, I don't feel any emotional loss about selling this bike. I just don't care for the bike at all. I'm not sure road bikes are for me.

    So a 50 percent discount would be $525. Ouch.

  10. #10
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Yep, and if you were in my local market you'd have a tough time even getting that.

    Ask the shop you bought it at if they'd put it on consignment for you.

    Without knowing what brand and model the bike is makes it really hard to say what you might get for it.

    If you do post it for sale locally on CL or elsewhere then use good photos, measure it and include the dimensions in your post. Be fair and accurate in your description. Drive side pic, closer view of the rear derailleur, and a straight-on full side view to show that the fork isn't bent. If you don't know how to measure a bike then read some of the replies in the Classic and Vintage Appraisal section of the site here.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ecovelo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardGlover View Post
    Man, I thought this thread was going to be about the emotional loss you feel when you sell a bike.

    It's hard, man... it's like giving your 12 year old chocolate Labrador to your neighbor or something. It hurts deep.
    Too funny. I thought that too....
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ecovelo's Avatar
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    It's really hard to tell what you could get for your bike. All the advice/information previously posted is good information.

    The only quirk is... if you have a less common size - but that can go either way.
    There may be fewer riders in need of my size, but also there seems to be fewer bikes. I am short - and LBs rarely have bikes in my size on the floor. I've developed a habit buying "used" bikes in "my size" off of Ebay - only to find later that they just don't fit right - so I turn around and sell them. I rarely break even, usually incur a small loss. I've had 2 exceptions - one guy paid me extra because I was so nice to deal with (.... I'm afraid that is more a comment on society than on my personality) and a small frame I intended to build up and ended up selling. I made some $$ on the frame (unexpectedly) - and I think part of it was it's small size - difficult to find.
    I never intend to buy/sell bikes or bike parts - in fact I hate the selling. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I find a good owner for a bike I will no longer keep - and I'm just glad the transaction is over.

    o.k... that was long-winded. Good luck!
    Last edited by ecovelo; 03-07-11 at 11:51 AM. Reason: grammar
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by treebound View Post
    Yep, and if you were in my local market you'd have a tough time even getting that.

    Ask the shop you bought it at if they'd put it on consignment for you.
    Agree. In my area, getting more than $300 for a bike on Craig's List seems virtually impossible. Bulletin boards at gyms, or maybe your LBS if they allow it, seem more likely to be successful. If there are any e-mail lists or web forums specific to your area, they're also a good bet.

  14. #14
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    All right, I appear to be screwed - I put the bike on the local bike club's classifieds board and on Craig's List and didn't even get a "hey, would you sell it for $250" nibble. I got two spammy things out of Craig's List, and that was it. I figured at least one person would try to talk me down.

    Here are my options, as I see it, and I can't make up my mind which to do:

    1. Try to sell the bike on eBay. It may not sell or I may get next to nothing for it. I also have to spend to have the bike readied to ship.
    2. Keep the bike and make it the bike I use on an indoor trainer I eventually want to buy.
    3. Try to trade the bike for the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine indoor trainer I want to buy (plus hopefully some other sort of something).
    4. See if there's an LBS willing to take it on consignment. I don't see this happening, because why would they wanna sell my bike when they have their own stock to sell? And I have ZERO interest in trading for another bike. I'm good for bikes.

    I'm at a deep loss here, I have no idea what to do with this one. Maybe I could make a lovely planter out of the bike, for it appears I'm stuck with it.

  15. #15
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    If you do put it on ebay then set a reserve price, or start the opening bid at your minimum price. For shipping just find a local shop and get an estimate, then include that "estimate" as an estimated shipping cost to be paid by the buyer.

    I vote for keeping it as a trainer bike. Then once a month post it on your local CL to see if your local market has picked up. Also check nearby CL cities to post it in.

    What brand and model and size is the bike? Knowing that might help with suggestions. If you've posted the details already then oops on me.

  16. #16
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    I probably wouldn't consider a used bike until it was at least 25-30% cheaper than new. I'd probably ideally shoot for 40-50%. This from a buyers perspective. 10-15% off retail, wouldn't even consider used. Just adding my thought process in case it helps you glean insight into how buyers think, which are the people you are going to be appealing to when selling your bike.

    Everybody probably has different thresholds where a used bike becomes appealing price-wise. Supply and demand matters, too, and original price for the bike. I'd pay more for a used tandem because the used market is small and new quality tandems are big bucks. On the other hand, would I buy an $850 used bike when I could get new for $1000? Probably not. 20% off an $800 bike is different than 20% off a $2500 bike. Good luck whatever you decide to do. If your bike is super nice, and barely used, I'd probably think, as a buyer, that 30% off new retail price would be reasonable. Just me.

    BTW, unless you are somewhere with zero Craigslist presence at all, makes no sense to me selling your bike on eBay. You pay listing fees, final value fees, fees to withdraw your money from PayPal, etc. By the time all is said and done you've paid a huge percentage of your bike's value in fees, and then you have to deal with the hassle of shipping, etc. I'd rather sell it a little cheaper on Craigs to someone relatively local and have a lot less hassle. I used to sell a ton of stuff on eBay and unless you are a real volume seller it is hardly worth it any more. EBay would be my last resort with a bike. I've sold a fair number of cars, motorcycles, bikes, household stuff on Craigslist and have had good luck and fast sales most of the time if you price things reasonably. If you live in rural North Dakota, maybe not so much but in a decent metro area this time of year you should sell a bike easily.
    Last edited by syncro87; 03-13-11 at 06:50 AM.

  17. #17
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    How close to Nashville are you? Sometimes buyers will travel for a good deal, but then there are hassles and no-shows dealing with people on CL.

    This is probably your selling competition and is a reasonable example of posting an ad with nice pics posted, and includes the size, brand, model so potential buyers can look up the specs on the bike:
    http://nashville.craigslist.org/bik/2262316219.html

    If your bike has Shimano 105 level components or better on it then that will help. Lower grade components than 105 and it will depend upon how knowlegeable the buyer is.

  18. #18
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's got 105 stuff on it, and I should crosspost in Asheville, N.C., which is the closest metro area to my small town, but I'm worried about meeting people or meeting them halfway and having them no-show. I don't really have the time or the car for those shenanigans.

    I posted an ad with no pics of the actual bike (should've), but a link to the bike's page on the company's website so people could get an idea of the components, geometry, etc.

    I looked on eBay, and one like mine just sold for what I'm asking for mine, but that was in Chicago. There probably aren't a lot of entry-level road bikers in my area - everyone tends to hurry up and go for carbon bikes and gets serious instead of fooling around with entry-level aluminum bikes, even with 105 components. Plus I'm gonna have to give up the ghost on the price and drop it significantly, probably to about 50 percent of what I paid for it. Lists at $1,300, I paid $1,050, so I might have to list it at $525. Ouch. At that point, I may be better off trying to use it as trade bait for an indoor trainer to save myself the trouble of trying to sell it.

  19. #19
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Based on your description of your local market...ebay is probably your best bet.

    The bikes I've sold I've typically taken a hit between 40-50% off MSRP regardless of upgrades and other do-dads.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    Plus I'm gonna have to give up the ghost on the price and drop it significantly, probably to about 50 percent of what I paid for it. Lists at $1,300, I paid $1,050, so I might have to list it at $525. Ouch. At that point, I may be better off trying to use it as trade bait for an indoor trainer to save myself the trouble of trying to sell it.
    I don't think this defeatist attitude is going to get you very far. You've been trying to sell the bike for a week, you posted an ad without a single picture, and now you're convinced it will never sell???

    I'd suggest putting in at least a little effort before throwing in the towel... If I were you, I'd drop the price a little (into the $700-800 range), take some pictures (so people know you aren't trying to scam them), write up a nice ad, and post it on Craig's List (and every other place you can think of) again. Keep an eye on your ads, reposting them as necessary so that they're always near the top of the pile when the weekend arrives. If you're willing to accept a trainer or other used cycling gear as partial payment for the bike, state that in the ad.

    Plan to keep the ads going for a month, or more! Expensive bikes don't sell themselves, and they certainly don't do it overnight! If you want to make the sale, you're going to have to put some effort into it and be willing to wait until you find the right buyer. If you don't get any nibbles after the first couple of weeks, drop your price by $100 and wait another couple of weeks. Keep doing that until the bike starts to generate some interest. Once you get some nibbles, you'll know you're in the right ballpark on price. You may also find that as the weather gets better, you have a larger pool of buyers to draw from and thus are more likely to sell at the price you want.

  21. #21
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    Woohoo! Just sold the bike for $675, which I will take. I asked the guy for $750, then knocked it down to $700 after he asked if it'd been tuned up lately, and I told him I'd knock $50 off the price so he could have it tuned up. Then when he came up to check out the bike, he offered $675 cash and I said "sold!" What's $25?

    Yeah, so I lost a bit of money on the deal. But I still did better than losing half, and the bike's gone. The road bike experiment is over and done. There's a certain peace of mind in that.

  22. #22
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Congrats on what I'm sure was a satisfactory deal all around.
    Craig in Indy

  23. #23
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    Woohoo! Just sold the bike for $675, which I will take. I asked the guy for $750, then knocked it down to $700 after he asked if it'd been tuned up lately, and I told him I'd knock $50 off the price so he could have it tuned up. Then when he came up to check out the bike, he offered $675 cash and I said "sold!" What's $25?

    Yeah, so I lost a bit of money on the deal. But I still did better than losing half, and the bike's gone. The road bike experiment is over and done. There's a certain peace of mind in that.
    Congratulations. Your bikes should make you happy. Now go and ride your other bikes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    I posted an ad with no pics of the actual bike (should've), but a link to the bike's page on the company's website so people could get an idea of the components, geometry, etc.
    You will never sell anything on craigslist without pics of it. a lot of people fear craigslist because of scammers and lord knows people can't stand being told something is in great shape only to get there and have it look like ****.

    1. Clean the bike SPOTLESS. It only has 400 miles on it, it's probably not very dirty, but make it look pristine. Even wash the tires down. Make it look like new if you want to get close to new prices.

    2. Did the shop you bought it from offer you "lifetime free adjustments"? my shop offers it and it's for the life of the BIKE, not just the first owner so if I were to sell I can at least say, "take it to larrys bikes if you need adjustments done" there is a sticker from the bike shop and it covers it.

    3. Find out about the warranty coverage and if it's cancelled out by selling the bike. Generally speaking, component warranty would go through shimano and that has nothing to do with who owns the bike, you can take a shimano part into any bike shop and they can generally process warranty for you. might be a pain in the ass but it can be done. Not having warranty coverage should not be a big concern to someone buying a bike in my opinion unless the perosn is a clyde and may damage the stock rims in the first year like I did.

    4. Be patient and be dilligent. Create an account on craigslist so you can save your ads. Create 4 different versions of your ad, each slightly different so craigslist doesn't see it as over posting. Post one in the morning, one in the evening. Then do the same thing the next day. on day 3, 48 hours will have passed so that morning you delete day 1's ad and repost it. (they make you wait 48 hours before reposting an ad) Do the same thing on the evening of day 3. Repeat this cycle and it will keep your ad highly visible. i check on craigslist at random times for random things as do many other people. you may have to post that ad every day for a month but if that results in you getting $800 for it instead of $550 it's well worth it.

    5. If you really don't have time to do that, sell it on ebay. Factor in cost to have a bike shop break it down for shipping, Bike shops do offer this as a service, at my shop they will do it for $29. Add that into the shipping cost so ultimately the buyer pays that. Then figure out the absolute minimum you will accept for the bike and run it as a reserve price auction.

    SILLY ME FOR NOT READING THE LAST COUPLE OF POSTS. CONGRATS ON SELLING IT!

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    I bought my last bike used and keep an eye on the local craigslist/kijiji used bike sites. As a rule of thumb, for generic road bikes built sometime after 2000 I would aim for about 300-400 Sora/Tiagra, 500-700 for 105, 600-1000 Ultegra, and I have an automatic distrust of "regular" sellers on these sites. They profit off of the uninformed and you'll rarely get a good deal out of them. Of course it depends on a number of things. I find that specialty frames like touring bikes, track bikes, and folding bikes seem to hold their value a bit better.

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