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What's This Bike Worth???

Old 03-13-11, 11:20 AM
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randyjawa 
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What's This Bike Worth???

Rarely do I rant, howl, and/or snivel. However...

How many time do I see "what's this old bike worth?"

I have relocated hundreds of vintage road bicycles, and yet, I have no bloody idea what an old bicycle is worth! I have no idea what a vintage bike is worth in Thunder Bay, let alone Toronto, or Houston, or San Francisco or Tokyo, for that matter.

When I see people, like us, trying to guide others, regarding the value of their bicycles, I shudder. Anything we say, could be way off base.

So, when people ask me to define value, I ask them to try to understand what constitutes a good bicycle. If they learn the quality indicators, then they will have a much better chance of predetermining value.

I suggest also that they do an advanced search on Ebay, for completed auctions. This, believe it or not, is how I set value for components, when someone wants to buy an item directly from me.

I have a pretty good idea of what constitutes a quality vintage road bicycle, yet I try to not identify a monetary value, when asked to do so by others. And you know why???

Because, I have no bloody idea what an old bicycle is worth, anymore?

But I do know that, as each day passes, that old bicycle will be worth more!

And, with all of the above in mind, coupled with the competitive stress Craigslist has placed on my Ebay sales, I have started offering my bicycles, for predefined prices. In other words, I am now setting prices. And...

I set my prices really high, for a couple of reasons, greed not being one of them. And guess what...

They sold! And you know why?

Because, I have no bloody idea what an old bicycle is worth, anymore?-(
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Old 03-13-11, 11:25 AM
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This Should be posted in the classic & vintage: appraisals and estimates forum!
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Old 03-13-11, 11:39 AM
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Good rant.
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Old 03-13-11, 11:51 AM
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I read this then read it out loud to my wife.
A+
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Why do you mock the cycling gods?

Your only hope is reciting 10 hail campagnolos to our lady of the duraace.


My Stable! --->https://s352.photobucket.com/user/Fro...ng/My%20Stable
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Old 03-13-11, 11:55 AM
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I don't mind the status quo
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Old 03-13-11, 12:08 PM
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I try to give guidance on pricing whenever I can - often based on experience from the sale of similar bikes myself, and too much time spent on CL and eBay.

I consider it a service to others, and on rare occasions I have asked for this same guidance myself when trying to establish a fair price on a flip.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:12 PM
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I don't understand, are you are against giving advise because it may be wrong ?

I think the majority of the people asking for advise are people that owned a bike a long time and have not rode it in years. All they are looking for is to not be ripped off by asking $25 for their bike that may be worth $200. If you can get them within 25+/- a fair price that is all they are.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
I try to give guidance on pricing whenever I can - often based on experience from the sale of similar bikes myself, and too much time spent on CL and eBay.

I consider it a service to others, and on rare occasions I have asked for this same guidance myself when trying to establish a fair price on a flip.

+1...we might not know the exact dollar amount a bike is worth, but if you follow the market, you can usually get a pretty good feel for an approximate range. When someone who has no familiarity with the market asks, I think it's helpful to answer. It's not like we're all getting a consulting fee! It's the internet, you get what you pay for.

Folks like auchen, bill, jim, tom, etc., all watch a LOT of sales, and usually have very accurate appraisals.
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Old 03-13-11, 02:08 PM
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Folks like auchen, bill, jim, tom, etc., all watch a LOT of sales, and usually have very accurate appraisals.
Your comments would be of interest?

Perhaps, I should add one additional nail, to my silly rant coffin.

I do not try to sell domestically! In fact, I try to avoid selling bicycles, in Thunder Bay.

Most of my bicycles are sold nationally and internationally. The US buyer gets a lot of my bikes, Canadian comes in second, Japanese third and the rest of the world are all lumped into the fourth category. So...

When attempting to determine value, does one add in shipping costs? I do and I have no choice. Nor do my customers.

Let's say someone buys a bike from me and that someone lives in California, or Texas, or Tokyo. The shipping costs are $169.00, for those two US destinations, and $226.00 for Tokyo. Does the cost to ship get added to the value of the bike?

The buyer thinks so and what value will he, or she, assign, should they choose to sell the bike?

I don't understand, are you are against giving advise because it may be wrong ?
I sure this is a sincere question but the irony of it amuses me.

I do give advice, hundreds of pages of it, and my guess is, that some of the advice I give, is wrong. None the less, I offer the advice hoping to help others avoid some, if not all, of the mistakes that I have made over the years while finding and restoring . But I do not offer the advice thinking it to be wrong. It is just the way I am:-)
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Old 03-13-11, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
....When attempting to determine value, does one add in shipping costs? I do and I have no choice. Nor do my customers...
No, I do not.
Estimates given are for local sale, (and generally) for a road ready example.

Note that (unless you live in a rural area and have no choice) it is unwise to sell a cheaper bike on eBay, since shipping becomes such a large percentage of the transaction, greatly reducing the prospect of making any profit. (YMMV, because I've seen some of the bikes you have scavenged. )

The only bikes I would consider selling on eBay are the higher-end ones, because there I am assured of much wider exposure, and possibly a buyer (or two) who is seeking a bike of that caliber, and who will be willing to pay the premium. (Even then, I'm not so enamored with selling on eBay, and the uncertainties of shipping, but that's just me.)
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Old 03-13-11, 02:55 PM
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I would say that a bird in hand would... at auction... be worth two in the bush.
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Old 03-13-11, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
No, I do not.
Estimates given are for local sale, (and generally) for a road ready example.

Note that (unless you live in a rural area and have no choice) it is unwise to sell a cheaper bike on eBay, since shipping becomes such a large percentage of the transaction, greatly reducing the prospect of making any profit. (YMMV, because I've seen some of the bikes you have scavenged. )

The only bikes I would consider selling on eBay are the higher-end ones, because there I am assured of much wider exposure, and possibly a buyer (or two) who is seeking a bike of that caliber, and who will be willing to pay the premium. (Even then, I'm not so enamored with selling on eBay, and the uncertainties of shipping, but that's just me.)
That's me too...I hate using ebay, but on the real high end stuff it's the only way to get full value. For me the cut off on using ebay is about $500...if you aren't trying to get over $500, don't use ebay. I also would not factor shipping into evaluations...that's something for buyers to consider when making a purchase determination. Because something is worth roughly $100 doesn't mean I'm going to discount it to to $60 so that the buyer in Australia gets it for $100.

To answer the other question raised, I know some markets well, others not so well. I feel I know 70s and 80s road bikes well enough to buy, flip and offer advice...and have done well enough at it to fund a pretty nice stable. I certainly am not on par with jim, bill, cudak or chris...but I think I know my area reasonably well.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:01 PM
  #13  
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A bike is worth exactly this:

Whatever someone will pay for it.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:02 PM
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$5 and a Snapple
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Old 03-13-11, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
When attempting to determine value, does one add in shipping costs?
No, why would you. The value of the bike doesn't change whether it's sold locally with no shipping charge or to Japan for $229 shipping. The value of the bike hasn't been affected....the price has. Price and value aren't the same thing and not interchangeable.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
A bike is worth exactly this:

Whatever someone will pay for it.
+1
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Old 03-13-11, 03:33 PM
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I think your fork's bent. Maybe it's just the camera angle

The cost of a bike is pretty darn regional. I hear crazy stories from Portland. I know most of my bikes are worth 2 or 3 times what I get for them here to someone in NYC but no one in NYC has a car and I'm not driving into the city every time some shmo wants to look at my Varsity.
Perhaps the question should be, "what do bikes sell for in your town?"

Maybe it's better to divide bikes into value catagories;
Not worth your time no matter how shiny it is.
Not worth flipping but a good bike if it fits you.
A good Craigslist flipper.
A good Ebay flipper.
Of course Ebay flippers have to be worth about $75 more than CL bikes cause of the shipping.
I rarely sell high end bikes on CL because you need a broader audience to find the buyer who appreciates or recognizes these things.
But yes, Randy, I know what you mean when people ask such an open ended question and expect really specific answers.
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Old 03-13-11, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
When attempting to determine value, does one add in shipping costs?
Absolutely yes.

When I purchase an item, I determine the maximum I will pay for it. How can a bike be "worth" $1,000 yet you would expect me to pay an additional $200 for shipping. That makes the bike worth $1,200, the amount I paid.

I too start all of my auctions at the price I want plus shipping (conus). Then I have "free" shipping. Sometimes my minimum is what I get, sometimes I get more. Either way, as khatfull wrote, it is worth what some one is willing to pay. Shipment is a part of that cost, whether it is listed separate or "free" like I do.
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Old 03-13-11, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post

But I do know that, as each day passes, that old bicycle will be worth more!(
I am not seeing this at all. Bike prices are down in the last year to 18 months. For every rare, very desirable bike that continues to gain value (ex. chrome 1970s Paramount), there are hundreds of ordinary bikes from the 1970s or 1980s, that are not collectible, and sell as recreational rides. Lots of pricing pressure on the lower end stuff from bikedirect's cheap SS/FG, Xmart, the end of the hipster craze, or whatever.

As to other comments, most of the posters asking what a bike is worth are buying local, via C/L mainly. So shipping doesn't enter into it at all. Where shipping does enter the discussion is when someone is looking to buy a lower end bike off ebay. The shipping in that case can be close to the value of the bike.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
When I purchase an item, I determine the maximum I will pay for it. How can a bike be "worth" $1,000 yet you would expect me to pay an additional $200 for shipping. That makes the bike worth $1,200, the amount I paid.
No, the bike is worth $1,000 and you paid $1,200. People pay over the generally perceived value of an item all the time for various reasons:

- Reliving childhood.
- Have to finish that vintage build.
- Grail bike.

On and on. Value varies from person to person. I should amend my initial statement to say that value is whatever an individual is willing to pay on any given day at any given time. Actually, value can only be established after an item is sold. That's why we go back and look at eBay completed auctions.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:59 PM
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Value is what you would pay.
Even if you underpaid.
Worth is what you can sell it for.
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Old 03-13-11, 09:12 PM
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How much is my bike worth?

-it depend on many different things like the build quality, type, marque, local trends, color, size, configuration, condition, scarcity...

But most of all it depends on how good of a salesman you are. That single factor can make a HUGE difference. A good salesman who markets his bike to the proper customer and makes him (or her) understand that THIS is the bike they want will always have a bike that is WORTH more than one who fails to do that.
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Old 03-18-11, 03:50 AM
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I answer the inquiries mostly because I remember how I felt when I first started using forums and what conclusions I would draw from the replies. Or what I would think when no-one replied. I had spent a little money on an impulse buy and it took a bit of work and courage to put myself out there and post a pic. Besides, I love old bikes and rather enjoy talking about them.

I see the valuation forum as a portal back and forth to the "real world". Not unlike shopping for bikes. Out on the street, if someone comes to me for an opinion, I know they want to talk about the bike. It's fair to assume that people are "walking in off the street" to talk about the kind value of goods for trade.

'dunno, seems like a no-brainer to me..

'come to think of it, I wouldn't mind having a shingle in this forum inviting people to contact me if they have an interesting bike in New England that I will buy at much better than scrap prices with free pick-up and payment in cash. THANK FOR LOOKING!

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