Hello Bike Experts & Collectors. I have collected a few Schwinn and other older bikes and have been listing on craigs. I heard Schwinn is no longer in business and based my asking prices on ebay and other craigs listings. Ive gotten a few awful emails from what I can only guess is other sellers. One claimed Schwinn is not out of business, others said I was asking way too much. All my listings say OR BEST OFFER, so I think thats fair enough. Im just wondering if someone can tell me why I am encountering such anger from people. I realize bikes can be found cheap at yard sales and the like, but Ive put in the time and effort to do just that. I am no expert, Im basing my pricing on ebay and what someone who sells on ebay told me to ask for them. They are all in the $150ish range. When I see parts going on ebay, for example frames for $80-$90, and brakes for $25-$35, I think what Im asking is fair enough. Ive gotten threats to flag my posts and people vehemently saying Schwinn is still in business. I googled it and it looks like they filed for bankruptcy in July and perhaps someone else bought the company and took it over. Any help would be appreciated as Im just trying to make ends meet as I have alot of mouths to feed and times are tough! Thank you.
As to your pricing, the saying is "the market clears"....it is all about supply and demand, and the kind of stuff you are selling it is not in much demand. If you had 30 year old, grimey Campy parts, people would beat your door down to buy that stuff for vintage bikes and what not. Old Schwinns are a different story...sorry
In order to give you some useful feedback, why don't you give a few examples of bikes you listed and what kind of price you asked and received. What condition are the bikes you sell? Do you restore them? Also, how many times have you listed the same bike? People get irritated when they see the same over-priced bike listed 10 times.
You wouldn't happen to be the guy selling the poor condition 3 speed Robin Hood with the "rare" Sturmey Archer three speed for $150, are you?
Also, one more thing about ebay. When you factor in the price for shipping a complete bike across country, ebay really makes little sense for any bike worth less than $200. So ebay is useful in establishing the value of bikes worth more than about $200, but is really not that useful for lower end bikes. For that, local markets dictate, and local markets differ wildly. You'd find totally different markets in rural podunk places vs. college towns, vs. large cities.
Also, when you list the prices for components selling on ebay as justification for your prices, you do realize that collectors value certain name brand components a lot and others not at all, right? I.e., you understand that a cheap derailer pulled off a lowly Schwinn would not sell for the same price as a 1983 NOS Shimano Deer Head RD, right?
Edit to add one more thing: A good presentation will sell for at least 50% more than an ad with a bad presentation.
Hi and thanks for responding everyone. I was comparing the actual model of the bikes I have to what I found on ebay, whole bikes, and also if it was broken down and sold as parts. The parts I mentioned before were for a Schwinn varsity. I had one guy call who wanted the original seat from a Schwinn Supersport, but I didnt have it, but it showed me that people are searching for specific old parts. I had the Supersport listed for $175 or best offer (which means I'd take much less). Someone emailed it was worth only $40. I was hoping to get $100. If thats not realistic, then it just isnt, but I thought the bike was in great shape for its age (which I dont know its age for sure, just assumed it was 1970s or 80s by the looks of it.) And its a great retro orange color if that makes a difference or not, I dont know. I sell retro furniture so kind of was going by rarity as a value, however I was just told that there are alot of supersports out there. I just started listing the bikes so no, they are not the same bikes listed again and again. Im not the guy who listed a 3 speed Robin Hood unless thats another name for it, but I have an old Sears made in Austria bike listed that does have a Sturmey Archer shifter. I didnt call it rare, and I actually was asking more for that bike, some parts are made in Germany, cool old seat with the coils, etc. I was asking $350 or best offer, but I had someone who sells on ebay tell me I could easily get $400-$500 for that bike. Maybe he was way off, I am no expert, and have no experience with these older bikes, I just thought it was rare myself and quite an eye-catcher.... and ready to ride. I dont even know what a derailer or Deer Head is, so I'm learning.... OK guess Im going to get some bashing for asking so much, but I appreciate any suggestions and info. Just trying to make ends meet in this wonderful economy we have lately.... I actually figured out with someone else that the Sears bike has been altered to be just one speed. See Im mechanically inclined LOL, I couldnt see how that thing would shift, the wire was loose, and DUH, I was right, the gears had been removed. Im near Chicago, and had a buyer tell me that was probably done for city riding because you wouldnt need to change gears. He had done it on another bike. If anyone near me wants to come see the bikes, let me know, I have 3 very old cruiser type bikes as well, one is a Monarch, they are beat up but just so old and cool looking, I thought they would be worth something. Trying to get those listed today. Thanks everyone, Im just a girl who knows nothing about these old bikes so trying to get what I can, but dont want to be giving them away either.
Selling takes very well crafted ads, with great pictures.
You need to separate comments into short paragraphs, or even just individual sentences. It makes reading an ad much easier.
Use a hosting site like Flickr or similar so you can post large pictures that show good detail. The Craigs List limit on photo size is way too small.
As far as comparing to ebay, you are comparing apples and oranges. Some bikes go cheap on ebay, others go high. But if you want to get ebay prices, you are going to have to sell on ebay.
If the bikes are not selling, I would suggest you take a critical look at your ads.
No way is an old Sears 3 speed worth $350, particularly one where someone removed the gearing. If someone tells you it is worth $500 on ebay, ask them to sell it for you and share the profits with them. On the flip side, a 1970s Supersport in clean, ready to ride condition, should be worth $150 to $175. Based on your posting, I am going to assume the bikes are not recently serviced, ready to ride. In that case, buyers will be looking for a large discount. The likely buyers will be cleaning and repairing the bikes and reselling them. If you want to get full value out of older bikes, you need to be able to fix them yourself. If you take them to a shop, you will spend more than the bikes are worth just on repairs.
Also if you want to get top dollar, you need to do some research on your bikes. The more informed your posting appears, the better you will do. It is very easy to determine the exact year and model of any Schwinn. Just google Schwinn serial number, and you will be able to look it up.
As far as components, low end Schwinns (like the Varsity) had pretty junky components. You would do better selling those components on ebay, to someone looking for that last part to finish their bike.
Many people buying on Craigs List are looking for deals, and are not interested in paying full market, or ebay type prices. You have to be patient to find someone willing to pay full (or close to full) market.
The Schwinn that people remember from the 70s is gone. The Schwinn name is now used as a brand on cheap Walmart (made in China) bikes.
Last edited by wrk101; 03-22-09 at 10:07 PM.
If you want to learn about your Schwinn's try www.schwinnbike.com. Hit the community section and ask around in the collectors and restoration forums. Just please don't post asking for a value and then turn around and list it in their classified section. Many of the people who frequent this site love thier Schwinn's. You can probably learn just about anything you need to. You might be able to learn about your other bikes too. To know what makes Schwinn's special you have to know about non Schwinn bikes also. Just keep in mind this is a Schwinn site. One final peice of advice. Often a bicycle whole is not worth as much as it would be if you took it apart and sold each component seperately.
The Schwinn Super Sports were hand brazed! I think that gives them worth; the $$$ is in the frame. I'd be insulted but polite if offered $40 for an ss. Just do some homework. Always someone out there who will take advantage in lack of knowedge.