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Old 01-01-11, 09:46 AM   #1
Velo Dog
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Anybody else never think about resale value?

Semi-philosophical question: A friend of mine bought himself a new bike for Christmas. He's a strong but inconsistent cyclist--he'll do 4000 miles and three or four centuries one year, then ride just a few miles a week the next, but he's been doing that for 20 years, so he's not likely to lose interest.
When he finally narrowed his choice to a couple of bikes, he admitted he liked one better than the other, but bought the second one because he thought it would have better resale value someday.
We're not talking about a ton of money--about $2000, easily manageable for him. After, say, five years, the difference in value might be a couple of hundred dollars at most. Yet he'll ride a bike he's lukewarm about on the chance that, five or whatever years from now, it might be worth a little more money. And he'll probably never sell it anyway; he has five or six older bikes in his garage.
Not me. I don't believe I've ever made a purchase, including my home and cars, based on what they might be worth when I get rid of them. I certainly wouldn't do it with a toy like a bicycle. Am I just out of step with modern America here, or what?
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Old 01-01-11, 09:49 AM   #2
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I usually keep stuff until its resale value is approximately zero so I don't tend to think about it. My car is worth more as a collection of spare parts than it is as a car, and I suspect I'll be saying the same about my bike whenever the time comes to part company with it. Either that or I'll part company with it when parts of it have permanently parted company with other parts.
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Old 01-01-11, 10:42 AM   #3
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What?
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Old 01-01-11, 10:53 AM   #4
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If I'm buying something to use, I buy the one that I want.
If I'm buying somwthing to sell, I buy the one that I think other people will want.

I've always felt that I was a bit out of the mainstream so generally there's quite a bit of difference betweeen the two.
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Old 01-01-11, 10:55 AM   #5
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Nope. I don't pay attention to it at all. I buy stuff to use it and keep it.

That said, three of my four bikes I bought used, so someone else's resale value was important to me at the time.

After purchase, I also have no qualms whatsoever about upgrading components. One bike I bought for $100--practically stole it. The wheelset was shot so I replaced them with a $400 set of handbuilts. When the fork was damaged by an errant Pontiac, I put a $450 carbon fork on it. I'll never get that money back if I sell, but in the meanwhile, I get the value of those upgrades on every single ride.

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Old 01-01-11, 10:56 AM   #6
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I think you should buy what best suites your intended use. I usually tend towards quality, and my experience is that quality does help with resale but it is not my primary motivation.
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Old 01-01-11, 11:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Semi-philosophical question: A friend of mine bought himself a new bike for Christmas. He's a strong but inconsistent cyclist--he'll do 4000 miles and three or four centuries one year, then ride just a few miles a week the next, but he's been doing that for 20 years, so he's not likely to lose interest.
When he finally narrowed his choice to a couple of bikes, he admitted he liked one better than the other, but bought the second one because he thought it would have better resale value someday.
We're not talking about a ton of money--about $2000, easily manageable for him. After, say, five years, the difference in value might be a couple of hundred dollars at most. Yet he'll ride a bike he's lukewarm about on the chance that, five or whatever years from now, it might be worth a little more money. And he'll probably never sell it anyway; he has five or six older bikes in his garage.
Not me. I don't believe I've ever made a purchase, including my home and cars, based on what they might be worth when I get rid of them. I certainly wouldn't do it with a toy like a bicycle. Am I just out of step with modern America here, or what?

While I'm sure that there are other people like your friend out there, my experience is that most people purchase bikes based on function and aesthetics. Though not necessarily in that order.
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Old 01-01-11, 12:12 PM   #8
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Your friend is a perfect example of buying an item for somebody else, not for his own needs, wants nor desires and that doesn't make sense to me. In seniority my bikes are 30 years old, 21 years old, 14 years old and 12 years old. Except for the 21 year old (22 in Feb.) that I've owned for 19 years, the others were bought new. All have been altered/changed/rebuilt/upgraded (pick a term) untill they were perfect for me.

My answer is no.

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Old 01-01-11, 12:14 PM   #9
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I never think about resale when buying. I prefer to buy quality used frames that I can build to my preference. I also lean towards rare frames that are kinda under the radar of most people, so resale would suffer I'd imagine.
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Old 01-01-11, 12:27 PM   #10
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Bicycles have little resale value. If you want an investment, get a mutual fund.
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Old 01-01-11, 12:44 PM   #11
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I usually keep things until their resale value is very small. And it's hard to predict over a longer timeframe anyway. Back when my bikes were new having vertical dropouts was rare and a sign of a valuable frame. Now there's a market for the old frames with horizontal dropouts that can be converted to fixed or single-speed.
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Old 01-01-11, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Semi-philosophical question: A friend of mine bought himself a new bike for Christmas. He's a strong but inconsistent cyclist--he'll do 4000 miles and three or four centuries one year, then ride just a few miles a week the next, but he's been doing that for 20 years, so he's not likely to lose interest.
When he finally narrowed his choice to a couple of bikes, he admitted he liked one better than the other, but bought the second one because he thought it would have better resale value someday.
We're not talking about a ton of money--about $2000, easily manageable for him. After, say, five years, the difference in value might be a couple of hundred dollars at most. Yet he'll ride a bike he's lukewarm about on the chance that, five or whatever years from now, it might be worth a little more money. And he'll probably never sell it anyway; he has five or six older bikes in his garage.
Not me. I don't believe I've ever made a purchase, including my home and cars, based on what they might be worth when I get rid of them. I certainly wouldn't do it with a toy like a bicycle. Am I just out of step with modern America here, or what?
It's not you that has as a cockeyed value system it's your "friend" that does. There a few things in life where value means more than worth and a bicycle is one for sure. Since everyone interacts on such a personal level with their bike there is no reason at all to choose a bike other than the one that you really want in the first place. In fact, choosing anything other than what you really deep down want is a self insult to your personality ,your "id" if you will.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 01-01-11, 01:51 PM   #13
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Note ebay has the results of stripping bikes and selling them a piece at a time..
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Old 01-01-11, 02:13 PM   #14
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I buy a bike based on my current needs and wants. Resale never enters the picture, I haven't resold a bike in 25 years.
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Old 01-01-11, 02:53 PM   #15
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If you have the patience to troll craigslist and the various classified forums, you can actually make money. Here's my short history:

Bought 2004 Allez for $400, rode it for 6 months, flipped it for $450.
Bought 2005 Roubaix for $700, rode it for 2 years, flipped it for $850.
Bought 2008 Intense Fenix for $800, probably can flip it for at least $1200 a few years down the road.
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Old 01-01-11, 02:58 PM   #16
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I would expect someone that's been on bikeforums and has been an cyclist for awhile, not to consider the bicycle a toy. I see them as transportation and like any good that is disposable, it is going to decrease in value to a point where someone finds it a collectors item. Then the value *could* go up. A house is not disposable so there is always a chance you could end up making money off it when you sold it due to market value of homes in your area.

I've never made a dime off a bike when I sold it and usually lose money. However, I don't go into a purchase of a consumer good thinking of what I'll get out of it when I sell it. Selling it doesn't cross my mind.
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Old 01-01-11, 03:03 PM   #17
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Sounds like one of those people that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing....

I buy bikes that I want, if I no longer want them I sell them for what ever I can get for them. Quite often I give them away, however I don't buy particularly expensive bikes.

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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 01-01-11, 04:05 PM   #18
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Nope. I consider transportation money gone once I spend it.
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Old 01-01-11, 05:47 PM   #19
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The whole "resale value" idea is an outgrowth of someone wanting something for nothing. Live in a house you "paid" $50,000 for, spend $5000 a year on mortgage payments, $170 a month on utilities, and turn the "purchase" for $55,000. All you've really spent is the utility money and whatever costs were involved in the transaction. Sounds not only GOOD, but to the greedy ones, ESSENTIAL.

I don't roll like that; since you really can't live for free in today's society, I look at the house payment as rent. It's cheaper than an apartment, has more space, and I can do what I want with it, but I'm NOT looking at turning over any money out of it. In fact, I may just do a "reverse mortgage", and let the bank have the house when I die. My daughter has already expressed the burning desire to move Down Under, so I don't need to will the property to anyone; my dad's estate, with multiple rental properties, was a friggin' nightmare.

It's the same with cars and bikes. I buy what fills my needs, and since my needs don't change, why swap out what works? WEAR IT OUT.

(BTW: my present bike, a daily beast of a MTB, has outlasted every car I've ever owned -- and no longer do.)
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Old 01-01-11, 06:51 PM   #20
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The ONLY thing I have ever considered "resale value" on prior to purchasing was the now-ex-wife. The resale value was exactly what I expected when I made the purchase - nothing.
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Old 01-01-11, 07:00 PM   #21
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the only time I think about resale value of my bikes is when the Boss talks about layoffs!
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Old 01-01-11, 07:07 PM   #22
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Buying something that you don't really like that much because of resale value doens't make sense to me. Buy what you like and you may just use it more.
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Old 01-01-11, 08:12 PM   #23
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Thinking about resale value on a $2,000 bicycle is crazy even if there was a meaningful difference between the two. First, I ask anyone to show me that there is a difference and second, if there is, show me it's meaningful.
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Old 01-01-11, 10:08 PM   #24
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I buy investments for resale value. I don't buy depreciating assets like bikes, cars, motorcycles, etc. for resale value. I buy them mostly for fun - because I want it. I don't worry about whether item A will be sold for less of a loss than item B if I'll get more enjoyment out of B. There's two simple solutions to the worry of resale value -

1. Don't sell it. Keep it and enjoy it for a long time to come.

2. Don't buy it in the first place. Taking a loss at resale is part of the cost of ownership. If you can't take the loss, but don't want to keep it, then you really couldn't afford it in the first place.

If I can afford to pay cash for a bicycle that costs more than some people's cars, I can afford to take a loss when I sell it to buy another bicycle. I have no idea what the resale value on my bike would be, and I don't really care. If I see something else I like better at some point, I'll sell it for whatever is fair value, buy the new one, and move on. If the hit in value affected my monthly budget in some meaningful way, well then I probably shouldn't have been buying expensive bicycles in the first place!
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Old 01-01-11, 10:47 PM   #25
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If he is worried about resale value, he should buy used. There's a good chance he'll make most of his money back after 5 years. I have seen 4 year old $1600 bikes sell for $500. In 5 years time, I'm confident he would be able to get at least $350 for it. $150 depreciation is not bad considering the depreciation from $1600 to $500 that the first owner had to deal with.

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