Welcome to the BikeForums Classic & Vintage - Valuations subforum.
This forum was created due to the increasing number of threads asking about the value of a bicycle from both new and old members of the forum. While the C&V community is always here to help answer questions, and give our opinions on the quality of a bicycle is, the number and frequency of these threads had reached a problematic point. Thus, the decision was made to give these types of threads their own subforum where they can be read and replied to by those who wish to give honest, meaningful responses to the inqury.
The moderators do ask that those who are posting new threads and those responding to them please follow these Guidelines.
When Posting a "What is this X worth" thread:
1) Do NOT attempt to, in any way, advertise that you are attempting to sell the item you are asking the value of. This means linking to your ebay auction, craigslist ad, or otherwise stating that you wish to sell it. The Marketplace area is open to members with upgraded accounts if you wish to sell your item.
2) Please supply as much information as you can, and pictures are most helpful, this includes a meaningful and descriptive title. The more information you can provide about the item you are asking about the value of the better we can answer the question. If you do not know much about the item you are asking about, again, photos are most helpful. Many of us can at least get a rough idea of the quality of a frame even after a repaint, from a good photo or two.
3) Realize that the monetary value of a bicycle can very greatly depending on the market. If the bicycle is for sale locally, it's location alone can influence its cost wildly. What one member may be able to buy for locally $50 may be untouchable for another somewhere else for $300. Keep this in mind when reading responses to your inquiry.
4) Because local prices can very so much, it is always a good idea to do a search on eBay for completed listings for similar items and see what they sold for. While prices can vary on ebay as well due to a number of factors, it tends to be a good starting point for what a bicycle is worth. In addition to ebay, try searching the Classic & Vintage section or the BikeList.org Archives for information about the bike and it's value.
5) Sheldon Brown / Mike Kone's buying guide is a good starting point, but note this is an old version (1997)
Mike Kone is working on a newer version, a Draft can be found at:
http://www.renehersebicycles.com/ but at the present time does not include all brands mentioned in the original version.
When replying to a "What is this X worth" thread:
1) Please give the member the benefit of the doubt that they have tried to get some idea of the value from other sources before posting here. Instead of the default "$3.50 or what the market allow" line, give them an idea of what you would be willing to spend on the frame, or describe the relative quality of the frame. ie: super rare Italian, quality road racing frame, entry level bike-boom boat anchor, etc.
2) If you suspect that a member is fishing for a sale, please report the thread to a moderator so that we can look at it and contact the member. Please do not post accusations of such in the thread. Hopefully they have read this thread, but if not we would rather handle it quietly and privately.
3) The more responses and opinions on value the better. If another member has posted a value that you agree, or disagree with, say it! The more data-points that someone can get on the value of a bike the better judgement they can make. We are here to help, and it doesn't take that long to say "yeah, $X sounds about right" or "It may go for $X where member Y is, but around here you'd be paying more like $Z."