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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 03-06-14, 09:48 AM   #1
plowhorse
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How to determine the value of a used tandem ?

Hi, I am getting ready to sell a 2010 handbuilt tandem and I have no idea how to set the selling price. I understand that I'm not going to recover anything close to what I have invested, but would like to come close to a fair market price.

Also, once I have the price set, where do I post it for sale ?

Thanks,
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Old 03-06-14, 10:24 AM   #2
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When you get it listed with specs and the lot, could you link to the posting? Always in the market...

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Old 03-06-14, 11:40 AM   #3
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two websites for used tandems are
http://tandemclassifieds.com
http://tandemclub.org/classifieds/browse-ads/
and of the course craigslist and ebay
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Old 03-06-14, 11:43 AM   #4
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Editing post and adding Specs:

Builder - William(Bill) Stevenson, Olympia WA

Frame - 2010 Fillet braised S3 True Temper

Fork - Alpha Q

Paint - Base coat powder, Liquid for Fade and Clear Coat, matching pump, Spectrum Powder Coating, CO Springs

Cranks - FSA Carbon Triple

Group - Full Dura-Ace

Stems and Post - Thomson

Bars - Drop Carbon FSA (wing)

Wheels - Fusion with White Hubs (handbuilt tied & soldier) very light

Chains - Drive and Timing (dura-ace)

Approx Weight - 29lbs

Condition - Perfect (no scratches).. Actually IMHO the bike is absolutely gorgeous
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Old 03-06-14, 01:31 PM   #5
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what is the sizing and a picture or two and someone may offer a value for you

Last edited by akexpress; 03-06-14 at 01:32 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 03-06-14, 02:51 PM   #6
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Trying to upload a picture but not having luck, does it have anything to do with me being new to the forum?
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Old 03-06-14, 03:30 PM   #7
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sent you a PM with my email and Ill post them for you
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Old 03-06-14, 05:30 PM   #8
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Thanks Akexpress, just sent you an email with an attached pic.
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Old 03-06-14, 07:29 PM   #9
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one pic so far
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0521.jpg (86.7 KB, 76 views)
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Old 03-06-14, 08:07 PM   #10
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Assuming it is in good shape probably about half of the new price.
That is what I could get for my Santana when I sold it.
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Old 03-06-14, 10:36 PM   #11
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watch your local Craigslist and you'll get a feel for what the market will bear - If you're trying to sell it in greater Seattle be aware that there are pretty much always high-end tandems listed and it seems that anything priced over a couple thousand stays on the list for a long time.
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Old 03-07-14, 12:57 AM   #12
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I went through the exercise of establishing a fair price, coming from the opposite point of view (buyer) when I recently bought a used Ibis tandem that was built in the late 1980s.

Look for sales of comparable tandems. The best place is to look on eBay for tandems that actually sold. Note carefully that this is almost certainly a lot less than what people are asking for tandems. Read the listing descriptions to get a feel for how much a similar tandem will sell for. To see completed sales, first search for an item on eBay, and then check the "Sold listings" checkbox over on the left edge of the screen. I found an Ibis tandem that sold for $803. As a seller of a custom tandem, you could search for all sold tandems, sort by price, and then find where a tandem of your quality falls within the range of bikes sold.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ibis-Cousin-...item4615638f42

Another place for actual sales data is Bicycle Blue Book. http://www.bicyclebluebook.com. You probably won't find any custom tandems there, but you'll find similar mass-produced tandems of comparable vintage and equipment. In my case, the closest I could find was the 1993 Ibis Uncle Fester tandem, which is listed with a price range from $410 to $643 depending on condition.

A third place for actual sales data is anecdotal accounts you'll find through web searches. For example, I found a couple of postings where people had purchased Ibis tandems for $400.
http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-5255.html
http://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro...in-319564.html

You can also look at asking prices for tandems, but this is less helpful. Generally, these will be much higher than the actual sales prices for similar bikes. Bicycle owners tend to have emotional as well as financial investments in their bikes, so they tend to price them high and then wonder why they don't sell. They also want to leave themselves plenty of room for negotiation. For example, someone on eBay is trying to sell an Ibis tandem for $2799, which is probably very similar to what they paid for it new. On Craigslist some local sellers are asking $1750 and $2500 for Ibis tandems; this is much higher than the actual sales data would suggest. As a seller, you could certainly price your bike in line with what other people are asking for their comparable bikes.

My impression is that the best way to sell a tandem is to list it on a venue that reaches lots of potential buyers, be willing to ship it, and then finding a low cost way of shipping. I've never used http://bikeflights.com, but their web site shows that if you pack it in a small enough box you can ship for a very reasonable price. The big challenge is to get under the maximum dimensions that FedEx will accept, without straying into their abusive pricing for oversized packages. To pack a bike small, you'll certainly have to cut down a standard tandem-sized box, or combine two single bike boxes. You may have to remove handlebars, rear derailleur, and cranks. In the worst case you may have to ship the wheels in a separate box.

The way to buy a tandem at a great price is find one locally from a seller who isn't willing to ship. The market for used tandems is very thin in some parts of the country, so the bikes have to be priced very reasonably in order to sell. I used one of those web sites that let me search all Craigslist locations, and it turned up a number of tandems (Trek, Burley, Cannondale) within a few hours' drive that seemed like real bargains at their asking prices (below $500).
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Old 03-07-14, 08:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamachi View Post
My impression is that the best way to sell a tandem is to list it on a venue that reaches lots of potential buyers, be willing to ship it, and then finding a low cost way of shipping.
I couldn't agree more. I live in a "small market" and I've spent a fair amount of time looking at eBay tandem ads. The most frustrating thing I see is reasonably priced tandems from sellers who aren't willing to ship (which is understandable, really), and overpriced tandems from sellers who are. Tandems sold at a good price by someone willing to ship don't last long. Also, eBay sellers shouldn't be afraid of setting a low starting bid price. Every quality tandem that starts at $1 gets bid up to a reasonable price fairly quickly.
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Old 03-07-14, 09:22 AM   #14
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Just as a heads up: Bicyclebluebook.com gets flagged for spyware by Barracuda web filter.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:39 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=qspencer;1655680The most frustrating thing I see is reasonably priced tandems from sellers who aren't willing to ship (which is understandable, really), and overpriced tandems from sellers who are.[/QUOTE]

I was thinking that the best way to buy a tandem from someone far away who won't ship is to enlist the help of a local (to the seller) bike shop to take care of the shipping. It might be possible to make all of the arrangements with (and payment through) the local bike shop. Using Internet search, you find a few bike shops that are local to the seller. Contact these shops to find out how much they will charge you to box up the bike for you (hopefully not more than $50 to $100) using boxes and packing materials that come off of their new bikes. You pay the bike shop by credit card (assuming the seller doesn't take PayPal). The seller drops the bike off at the bike shop and gets paid. The bike shop boxes the bike, ships it, and you pay them whatever price you can negotiate for this service. In this way it's a hassle free transaction for the seller, and hopefully you don't lose so much in boxing and shipping charges that it sours the deal for you.
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Old 03-07-14, 11:52 AM   #16
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^That's about how we got our tandem shipped from Texas to the PNW. In our case, we paid the seller directly, including the money required for their LBS to pack and ship the bike. They dropped off the bike, the shop shipped it. The fault of poor shipping practice is then on the LBS.
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Old 03-07-14, 01:15 PM   #17
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I'm currently trying to buy a bike long-distance from somebody in Calif. It's an S&S tandem. I called the LBS that the seller uses, and they flat-out refused to handle it, saying it wouldn't fit in a bike box, would have to go freight, etc. I reiterated that it's an S&S tandem and will easily fit in a box from, say, a 29er MTB. No joy. So now I'm trying to get a semi-local friend to go pick it up for me and ship it. Sigh.

Back to the original question: I have found that easily recognizable name-brand tandems will sell much more easily and faster than custom tandems or those by smaller builders. Even though the small-builder tandem might arguably be more high-end, it simply doesn't have the name recognition of a Santana or Co-Motion, or Cannondale for that matter. So, unless you find an enthusiast who knows and appreciates custom builders, don't count on getting the same ROI as if you had a more common tandem. Sad, but true. Mainstream tandem companies have dialed-in what features buyers general want, and build their tandems in a way that makes them easy to market and sell. The opposite is often true for a custom tandem. Presumably a custom tandem owner went custom for a reason, choosing a bespoke build that incorporates features that may be unusual or slightly off the norm. This naturally reduces the pool of available buyers, meaning, of course, you either have to find the exact perfect buyer, or reduce the price enough that it will be interesting to people due to the pricepoint and not necessarily the features.
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Old 03-07-14, 02:25 PM   #18
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I'm currently trying to buy a bike long-distance from somebody in Calif. It's an S&S tandem. I called the LBS that the seller uses, and they flat-out refused to handle it, saying it wouldn't fit in a bike box, would have to go freight, etc. I reiterated that it's an S&S tandem and will easily fit in a box from, say, a 29er MTB. No joy. So now I'm trying to get a semi-local friend to go pick it up for me and ship it. Sigh.

Back to the original question: I have found that easily recognizable name-brand tandems will sell much more easily and faster than custom tandems or those by smaller builders. Even though the small-builder tandem might arguably be more high-end, it simply doesn't have the name recognition of a Santana or Co-Motion, or Cannondale for that matter. So, unless you find an enthusiast who knows and appreciates custom builders, don't count on getting the same ROI as if you had a more common tandem. Sad, but true. Mainstream tandem companies have dialed-in what features buyers general want, and build their tandems in a way that makes them easy to market and sell. The opposite is often true for a custom tandem. Presumably a custom tandem owner went custom for a reason, choosing a bespoke build that incorporates features that may be unusual or slightly off the norm. This naturally reduces the pool of available buyers, meaning, of course, you either have to find the exact perfect buyer, or reduce the price enough that it will be interesting to people due to the pricepoint and not necessarily the features.
I purchased a S&S tandem on ebay and the seller paid a LBS to pack and ship. The Tandem was shipped in a single bike box and arrived damaged all over(bent chain rings, scratches, bent bars etc......). FedEx refused the damage claim as they said it was not in a approved box. The bike box was too weak. In my opinion it was a combination of both weak box and poor packing(but not that bad imho)

All tandem markets are like buying a Hyundai car. Easy to buy very hard to sell.
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Old 03-07-14, 05:03 PM   #19
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Looks like some more pictures found by Mr. Google?

http://www.spectrumpowderworks.com/p...php?f=11&t=167
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Old 03-07-14, 07:30 PM   #20
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Looks like some more pictures found by Mr. Google?

http://www.spectrumpowderworks.com/p...php?f=11&t=167
You are like a tandem stalker!
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Old 03-07-14, 10:58 PM   #21
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Wow you guys are all kind of scary, I had totally forgotten about those pictures... got to admit, the bike is beautiful :-)
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Old 03-08-14, 05:45 AM   #22
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You are like a tandem stalker!
The best way to know the value is to follow tandems on the internet over time. It is a small and shallow market so it takes time to see enough transactions to come to conclusions.

What size is that tandem?
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Old 03-08-14, 09:52 AM   #23
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Just got home from being on the road all week, hope to pull together some pics and sizing later this weekend. To give you a rough idea of the sizing, Captain is 5'10" and Stoker is 5'8".
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