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Old 11-02-11, 12:31 PM   #1
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30 year old, mass produced 10 speeds are not worth 300 dollars..

Why is craigslist producing so many for sale ads for cheaply made 80's 10 speeds with low quality components that somehow are expecting to command 300 dollar price tags? I feel like it would be like asking 4,000 dollars for a 1992 Ford Escort.

Granted, there are some vintage bikes that are worth big bucks. But these are not those bikes. Jussayin.
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Old 11-02-11, 12:34 PM   #2
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Free market. If there's people out there buying them, then the price is justified.
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Old 11-02-11, 12:50 PM   #3
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Free market. If there's people out there buying them, then the price is justified.
True, the real question is "Are they selling for those prices on Craig's list?" I'm thinking probably not, and if not they'll end up in a yard sale and go for maybe $50.

That said, there are some (very few) real gems out there, so it could pay to check out Craig's list . . . just in case.

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Old 11-02-11, 12:52 PM   #4
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Don't buy the overpriced ones.

Actually, I think part of what's going on is that if you list something for sale on CL for $100, you'll get a dozen emails from people offering you $15 for it. So the people offering bikes at highly inflated prices are probably doing it so that when people low-ball them, that will bring things down to a reasonable level...?
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Old 11-02-11, 12:55 PM   #5
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Depends a lot on the market,too. In some cities prices are higher. My suspicion is that they're asking high and hoping to get half of what they ask.
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Old 11-02-11, 01:13 PM   #6
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I'd guess the logic goes something like this:

1. Someone lists a late 80's Schwinn Tempo with Shimano 600 components for $300
2. Someone else sees this and remembers having seen a Schwinn at Walmart recently
3. This second person concludes that his 30 year old dept store 10 speed must be worth about the same as the Schwinn Tempo

We can only hope there isn't a third person who follows the same reasoning and buys the bike.

In general, I've found the asking prices on CL bikes to have very little correlation with reality. People selling lower end bikes generally know less about them and are therefore less likely to come up with a reasonable asking price. People buying lower end bikes also have little knowledge and so the market might support the price to a point. This creates a downward pressure on the price of good mid-tier bikes, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on whether you are buying or selling.
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Old 11-02-11, 01:13 PM   #7
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what has happened is that some of the late '60s/early '70s bikes that are actually rare, but are pretty crummy bikes have started commanding high prices. And the people that think they are going to get rich because of "American trash pickers" can't be bothered to tell the difference between the junk and the valuable junk. At least that's my interpretation. I always love it when people come on to BF and ask how much their rare AMF 10 speed is worth. I will pay $5 for any AMF just so I can send it to the recyclers.
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Old 11-02-11, 01:22 PM   #8
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If someone can get 300 bucks for their old Free Spirit, more power to them. May not be worth it to me, but if someone thinks they are worth that, more poser to them, too.
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Old 11-02-11, 01:23 PM   #9
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Oops, I meant more power. Was that a Freudian slip, maybe?
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Old 11-02-11, 01:28 PM   #10
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If someone can get 300 bucks for their old Free Spirit, more power to them. May not be worth it to me, but if someone thinks they are worth that, more poser to them, too.
They did make a 753 free spirt! Just saying!
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Old 11-02-11, 01:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I'd guess the logic goes something like this:

1. Someone lists a late 80's Schwinn Tempo with Shimano 600 components for $300
2. Someone else sees this and remembers having seen a Schwinn at Walmart recently
3. This second person concludes that his 30 year old dept store 10 speed must be worth about the same as the Schwinn Tempo

We can only hope there isn't a third person who follows the same reasoning and buys the bike.

In general, I've found the asking prices on CL bikes to have very little correlation with reality. People selling lower end bikes generally know less about them and are therefore less likely to come up with a reasonable asking price. People buying lower end bikes also have little knowledge and so the market might support the price to a point. This creates a downward pressure on the price of good mid-tier bikes, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on whether you are buying or selling.
I would agree with this.

Also, the shows like pickers and pawn stars, and road show have a lot of people thinking that their junk is worth more than what it is JUNK!

Although, I did pay a little more, (cough, cough) for my 80's bike;

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Old 11-02-11, 02:18 PM   #12
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My experience with selling stuff on Craigslist is that everyone offers you less than the asking price, even if it's very fair or even a bargain.

However, some people are just clueless. They think old bikes are antiques and worth as much or more than new ones. On the other hand, I also see some old bikes where the seller has obviously gone to a lot of effort to clean up the bike, install new cables and bar tape, adjust the gears and brakes, new tires, etc. In those cases, the prices might be justified.
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Old 11-02-11, 02:20 PM   #13
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Neurocyclist,

Do you have an example, or a region that you are specifically referring to?

As noted above by others, there are asking prices and then there are selling prices. Also, many brand names have been sold and gone through changes, so a junker brand might have started out as a decent brand, this is where it helps to know a little about the history of the brands or at least know where to find out the history (Schwinn, Raleigh, Ross, Motobecane, others). Also many lessor known brands have both high end and low end models (BCA, Univega, others), so it is also worthwhile to know what to look for (forged versus stamped dropouts, brazed versus crimped and spot welded fittings).

A Schwinn Varsity is an example where the collector market has taken over, partly because there were so many of them that many buyers are simply buying one because they had one in high school or college and will pay more due to emotional factors moreso than the quality of the bike.

Sometimes a $300 "junker" is worth $300 because buying a comparable new bike will cost you well over $700 of lessor quality. Plus the older bikes can be cleaned and regreased, where many newer bikes need stuff like bottom bracket assemblies replaced every 1-4 years.

But if you're just spouting sour grapes because you only want to spend $50 on a 30 year old bike and all you can find locally are $300 listings, then either come to Milwaukee for your shopping, or make some jam out of those grapes. But be warned the overpricing happens here too, someone has a kid's bike posted for $100, I just had two posted for $50 where one of them was the same exact model as his $100 bike, they didn't sell so I donated them to a thrift shop where they are probably priced today for between $8.00 to $14.95 (maybe up to $50 if the backroom pricer thinks they are antique and collectable, which the Stingray style bikes are to some extent).

As an example of my local market, the Manta could have made an excellent campus/commuter bike but went unsold for $25 so it is now parts, kids bikes as noted are donated, and the Diamondback Hybrid remains unsold for a bit over $100 with new tires and nothing wrong with it at all. Just examples of regional variations. I'm not really a "flipper", we've got 13 grandkids and I also just like bikes so I pass along what I don't want or no longer need in the family.

Have a good day.
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Old 11-02-11, 02:28 PM   #14
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I agree with Treebound. If I can buy a lugged steel bike with all the necessary braze ons and eyelets for $300, that's a whole lot cheaper than a comparable new one. My 1993 Bridgestone XO-2 cost me $400 a couple of years ago, but to replicate it as a new bike would cost me three times that, if I could even do it.
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Old 11-02-11, 02:38 PM   #15
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You might find that it only seems to be a bike problem because bikes are your area of expertise. I know more about firearms and knives than I do about bikes, and the prices people ask on Craigslist for knife-shaped objects literally stamped out of mysterious "surgical steels" from Pakistan (read: "technically, it is not fraud to label this metal as steel. In most countries.") are shocking. People want $100 for a "knife" or "sword" that is available for $5-$10 (and badly overpriced at that) brand new.

Weight lifting equipment is just as bad . . . I suspect lawn mowers, power tools, computer components and a lot of other categories are like that, too.
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Old 11-02-11, 02:43 PM   #16
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I feel like it would be like asking 4,000 dollars for a 1992 Ford Escort.
You have a running ford escort? I have a mid nineties Festiva and I really enjoy the 55MPG they are currently selling on ebay for $3500 this was a $300 car when gas was a dollar seventy a gallon...


Anyway lugged frames of quality steel with 333 400 500 and 105 Shimano try to find that quality in a new bike... at the same price

A single three or five speed freespirit made in Tennesee is a good price at $300 just find and american made bike with investment cast lugs and a 3 speed rear hub...

Oh I know this is going to make you mad but, craigslist doesn't sell to people people do so craigslist is not producing anything...
I buy off CL all the time someone thought a solid wood paddle was worth $500 for a canoe I sure didn't but then again I wanted a durable paddle made with modern materials...

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Old 11-02-11, 02:51 PM   #17
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I'll choose an old 1980's $300 lugged chromoly steel-framed bike over a brand new aluminum bike, any day of the week!

After the chromoly steel-framed bike is spaced out at 130mm for clearance, I can then treat it like a brand new bike. I'll then upgrade it with 105's, after it gets professionally painted. Ten years later, I'll be happy that I made that small investment.

- Slim

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Old 11-02-11, 02:52 PM   #18
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I sold my low to mid level 80's Peugeot on CL for $270 a couple of years ago. A few years before that I would have been surprised if anyone would have given me $100 for it.

Though the frame was nothing special it was in beautiful shape and the components were pretty decent. It was also well maintained with new pads, cables, tires, etc. I was also very clear about whatever deficiencies it had and I included detailed photos.

I have to admit it bugged me to see a guy trying to sell a similar model last year for over $500. I almost emailed him to let him know that he was ripping people off. But then I noticed that the bike appeared again and again. Other people must have voiced their opinion of his pricing because his postings got more and more defensive about it and he refused to lower it. I think he eventually just gave up.

So I think in some ways CL is self regulating. People go there looking for a good deal, - not to spend $300 on a generic road bike.
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Old 11-02-11, 03:04 PM   #19
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It's worth however much someone is willing to pay for it.

Personally, I value my refurbished Free Spirit far above what anyone would actually pay for it, because of the time spent on it and what it's capable of doing for me. If I had to put a price point on it, that would probably be somewhere around $300 because that's what it would cost to replace with something that would perform similarly.
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Old 11-02-11, 03:04 PM   #20
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You have a running ford escort?
I've got two. They are the "fleet cars" my sons drive.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-02-11, 04:25 PM   #21
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I'll choose an old 1980's $300 lugged chromoly steel-framed bike over a brand new aluminum bike, any day of the week!
- Slim
Agreed !! I love the looks of a lugged frames. I was very lucky few days ago I found a vintage road bike in a dumpster behind an apartament in my neighborhood . I threw away the wheels, gears, chain, brake leavers as they were not worth saving.. but I am restoring the frame with some nice paint job...the cranks, bottom bracket, headset, handlebars are in a great shape. It's a 1982 Motobecane, which was made in France.
The best part of the frame is the long horizontal drop outs which makes for an easy
SS/FG conversion.
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Old 11-02-11, 05:29 PM   #22
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On the other hand, I also see some old bikes where the seller has obviously gone to a lot of effort to clean up the bike, install new cables and bar tape, adjust the gears and brakes, new tires, etc. In those cases, the prices might be justified.
If you find a bike that's been refurb'ed, it might be worth the cash. Round here, the price is usually just under $200 even if it has been fixed up.
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Old 11-02-11, 05:33 PM   #23
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They did make a 753 free spirt! Just saying!
They made a 531 Free Spirit but even these do not warrant a high price due to their low end components and whippy frames... in really nice condition a bike like this might warrant $150.00
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Old 11-02-11, 06:52 PM   #24
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If someone can get 300 bucks for their old Free Spirit, more power to them. May not be worth it to me, but if someone thinks they are worth that, more poser to them, too.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ree+spirit+531

Really depends on the market. No $300 tenspeeds here. I'll buy Treks for $150-200 all day long (Even they are "mass produced")
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/2661358704.html

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/2681573524.html

I don't expect stuff like this though. (Not mass produced)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hetchins-Mag...#ht_500wt_1327

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Old 11-02-11, 07:07 PM   #25
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Neurocyclist, if it makes you feel good I sold my 1986 Bottechia with Campy brakes,hubs and misc. Shimano 600 components for $250 last year to a guy who commutes to work. I bought the frame for $500 back then. I was pleased with the sale.
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