Interesting "for sale" story
After reading the post regarding the decrease in both tandem sales/participants I thought this was very interesting.
I've decided to clear out some frames/bikes I no longer want or plan to use so I chose Craigslist to begin the liquidation.
Over the past couple weeks I've listed and sold 6 bikes and frames however this week I got a huge surprise. Last Sunday I listed a very nice Colnago Titanio frame with full carbon Star fork w/Chris King headset for $575. It took until yesterday to get even one response and when it finally sold this afternoon I had only gotten 3 emails/phone calls about the frame. At that price with fork and hs I thought it would be gone immediately but it took almost 5 days. This frame usually sells for $700 to $800 used.
Last night, Wednesday, at 12:38am I listed our 1990 Santana tandem for sale on Craigslist thinking I'd probably have to resort to Ebay for the sale. At 1:05am I got my first response and by 6pm this evening I had 23 potential local buyers lined up for test rides as well as 3 out of state buyers offering to buy the bike immediately if I would ship it!!!!!!
At 6pm tonight the very first of the 23 folks showed up and the bike went for full asking price.
I was shocked, extremely happy but shocked nonetheless.
After reading of the slump in tandem sales I'd have to say it must be a very regional occurence because folks in the Pacific NW are dying to buy a tandem.
Thought this was very telling as to how popular tandems continue to be even with the "official word" being sales are down considerably.
Potential tandem buyers are alive and on the hunt in the Portland area.
I was sure on the hunt for one, but not at the Santana level. There's something in the water up here...although I have seen a very nice Cannondale tandem linger on the vine for weeks now at what seems a good price, but out of my league. You just never know.
The Northwest has been and remains a place that marches to the beat of a different drummer when it comes to cycling, but it suffices to say that a well-priced premium tandem is a hot commodity in any market condition. The ones that sit around forever are the ones that are simply priced too high, a bit too specialized, being offered in a weak region, or a combination of all three. If you don't mind me asking, what was your selling price?
Originally Posted by KRhea
As for the "tandem slump" stats, I'd hoped that had been debunked...
My gut feel from my annual tandem owners survey was that, overall, the tandem market had a steady inflow of new participants, but it also seemed like the gains were being somewhat off-set by those whose interest was short-lived.
The other thing I look at every year is membership in the Tandem Club of America which continues to fall off not because of an overall market trend... it's just an organization that lacks purpose and does very little to promote tandeming. Many of us remain members out of a sense of duty but that wears thin too. http://www.thetandemlink.com/surveys/tcamembership.html
Some of these polls did what they were supposed to do and spurred some discussions about trends in cycling and tandem cycling as well. In some respects, I tend to write from a half empty perspective to off-set all of the half-full folks in the search for 'data' that quantifies the growth. Now I will say that in talking with different tandem dealers from around the country the market is very lopsided. In some regions tandem sales are very strong and there is a very stead inflow of new participants. In fact, many of the newer teams are much more serious cyclists an those who have entered the market in the past in their mid-to-late 30's all the way up to the more traditional entry ages which also speaks to the growth in the higher-end and racing tandems. However, in other regions sales are way off.
So, as always, every new data point is valuable and it's good to know that there are a lot of folks out there ready to jump into tandeming this spring and on the prowl for good deals on better quality used tandems.... as well as knocking on the doors of new tandem buyers.
Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-07-08 at 11:17 AM.
Just curious if pricing had anything to do with your experience.
Originally Posted by KRhea
Price may have something to do with it however, that was exactly my point by comparing the response between the Colnago and the tandem. The Colnago is always an in demand bike on the used market and mine was priced extremely well especially considering the inclusion of the fork and King headset and yet it "languished" for over 5 days. Unbelieveable considering bike crazy Portland.
Originally Posted by cornucopia72
Our tandem was a late '80s early '90s Santana. I would guess an Elan but we never had any idea of exact date or model as we purchased it used years ago. It was nearly mint, 700c Velocity Deep-Vs on Edco hubs, Carbon fork with steel steerer, XTR brakes, King HS, FSA bars/stem, Sugino XD cranks, full Campy Daytona 9 speed running gear, Terry Butterfly/Fly saddles w/Tamer stoker post.
I priced the bike at $1300 which I thought was very fair, obviously so did the army of folks who called!!
I forwarded a link to your Santana to a cycling friend of mine here in Santa Cruz, Ca. If he'd been interested, I'd have driven up to Portland with him to buy your tandem. It was a great spec, at a reasonable price. Congrats on the quick sale.
FWIW, we just bought a pristine 95 Santana Sovereign (our first tandem - in Large) off the SF CL last week, with XTR, Edco, King headset, Avid Ultimate V-brakes, Sachs brifters, plus a bunch of other premium bits. The bike was local - less than ten miles away, and surprisingly, it was listed a few weeks in a row. The other hot buyer was out of town and would've paid a premium to have it shipped. I feel very lucky to have been able to connect on this tandem.
Bottom line, I agree, in some markets, it's tough to find a decent used tandem.
We tend to get phone calls in regards to tandems quite regularly. Usually folks looking for a new/used 2-seater. However, in the past year calls have dropped off by 75%.
Did get a call last week from a tandem owner. Her husband/pilot died several years ago and she's now 80 years old and wanted me to have a look at the tandem that we well remembered.
It's a 1984 custom Colin Laing with Magura hydraulic caliphers; chains and parts rusted (even in Arizona things can rust as bike was kept under plastic tarp on patio)). Would take lots of work and replacement of parts. Advised her to sell it 'as is' at our local GABA bike Swapmeet coming up in Tucson on April 20. A couple hundred bucks for an old custom bike built by a master craftsman that needs to have things updated/replaced. We did own one of Colin's creations and put 56,000 miles on it.
Could be a good deal for someone looking to get into a tandem project that's mechanically inclined and willing to put in considerable elbow grease and $$ to get a roadworthy machine from a renowned custom builder.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem