A while ago I decided to clear out some of my folders and concentrate on my favorite project bikes. I was running out of room in the house. I thought that Iíd put one of my Bromptons up for sale and see if I had any takers. That thing got hit like the latest greatest lure at a Bass Master's fishing tournament. I didnít even have it listed for entire day and it was gone. Makes me think my elegant prose was responsible for its quick sale. I probably should have listed the other one I planned on selling at the same time if I had known the climate is so good.
Sort of a similar situation when I sold my Dahon SpeedPro a while back. I got exactly what I was looking to get out of it and the buyer got a good deal as well. Something I have learned from this is that if you buy a mainstream folder manufacturer you probably arenít going to get killed on your resale of them IF you keep them in good shape and take plenty of good photographs. Learn how to use English in an effective manner and with good grammar and punctuation.
What amazed me the most is on my Brompton is that it had 5 people watching it in the first hour I had it listed. Just in case you didnít know eBay gives you a little statistic that tells you how many people are watching your item to possibly bid on it later. I had a chance to check it about 15 hours after I listed it and there were already 30 people watching it! I have no idea how many were at the end because my work blocks eBay and I am so busy I wouldnít have time to look at it anyway and I try to be a good employee anyway. Gotta keep your job if you want to support a folding bike habit!
A few other things I observed while selling my used bikes on eBay is that there really arenít that many used folders on there (in the USA that is). As a result there tends to be more interest in them but it makes it more difficult to determine what kind of money it will bring. I did notice that a lot of foreigners were writing to ask me about shipping it overseas. In the end eBay has been good to me for reselling my folders. Out of the 4 folders I planned on selling, I was able to sell 2 of them quite easily; Brompton and Dahon. Now I will try to sell another Brompton and Dahon and see if I am as successful. I would sell one of my Downtubes but quite honestly I figured it was a write-off when I bought it in the first place. By that I mean that it wasnít very expensive to begin with and why would anyone want to give me decent money for mine if they can buy a new one from Yan in the first place for not much more. That is the disadvantage of buying a DT. I donít figure there to be much of a resale market for them but I donít know. If his prices rise a bit then it will increase the value of mine. Too early to tell but food for thought.
The one bad thing about eBay is the listing fees and final value fees can take a chunk out of your money so be careful how you list especially when using a reserve price or buy-it-now option. If anyone is interested Iíll post my results of my final 2 sales, Brompton and Dahon, after I get them listed and sold. I might even be willing to sell one of my DTs just to see what kind of response I get. It might be useful information for some of you. Let me know if you are interested in my results. I can't see that eBay is the best place to sell a folder but where I live there is still snow on the ground and people aren't thinking bikes quite yet. If you can sell one word of mouth that would be best or perhaps Cragslist. I personally didn't want to wait a long time for it sometimes sell on Craigslist. I wanted it gone NOW! Even if I didn't get the maximum $$$ I could have I just wanted it out of the way.
One last thing to throw out there. What methods have any of you used that were successful in selling your bikes? So far eBay and Craigslist have been the best for me. eBay can be tricky though if your item doesn't trade in enough numbers to have a good idea of price. A Moulton is a perfect example of this and so is Birdy at least in the US.