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Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats it Worth? Appraisals. Use this subforum for all requests as to "How much is this vintage bike worth?"Do NOT try to sell it in here, use the Marketplaces.

Pricing bikes

Old 09-20-14, 06:51 AM
  #1  
racoonbeast
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Pricing bikes

I would like to raise a point, for what it is worth. I read these appraisals frequently. Typical OP writes in and asks "what is this bike worth?" Then comes the torrent from flippers which typically state "I just bought one for ten bucks", or "I just bought one for twenty bucks". I am not sure that is very helpful, or the source of anything resembling real world info for the OP. Flippers, myself included, spend their waking hours searching here, there, and everywhere looking for that ten dollar "ought to be hundred and fifty dollar" bike. We would never pay the hundred and fifty bucks because there is no profit to be had. But, that does not mean that it is a ten dollar bike, or the OP should have any reasonable expectation of ever finding one for ten (or twenty, or forty) bucks. Many people are not flippers. They do not perpetually search for deals, and flip those deals for profit. They are not looking for the price that you got "once in a lifetime lucky" at. Gives you a chance to brag, but does little for him. They want to know what they could typically expect to buy the thing for on the open market. If you want to be helpful, tell him what you know you can sell it for. You know your market. We make our money being able to judge that price pretty closely. But the operative phrase here is "make money". Your average buyer is not in it to make money. He just wants to pay a fair market value. Some of these "appraisals" on here are just plain silly on the low side (I, in no way, mean to say many, or most" - but some). I mean come on. I am happy that you got a two hundred dollar bike for ten bucks. If I am the OP, mention that price as having validity after you have bought two for that price in a space of time that could be contained in one lifetime. You know what you are going to sell it for, or what you did sell it for. It seems to me that you would serve the OP better by sharing that price. Chances are that if the OP is asking for a price, they are not a flipper and do not have that knowledge. If they were, I suspect they wouldn't be asking. They would know. To try and sum this all up, if you are a flipper, try to remember that there is a big difference between what you would pay for it, and what the rest of the world would pay for it. There has to be, or there would be no reason to be a flipper. Lets try and be as helpful as we can. My two cents for the day.
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Old 09-20-14, 07:34 AM
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Pricing bikes

I'm which you racoonbeast. The appraisals are very biased. And the whole flipper angle is bothersome. On occasion there are good thoughtful appraisals. A lot of misinformation. But thats how it rolls on the interwebs.
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Old 09-20-14, 07:57 AM
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This is cut-and-pasted from my post in the Guidelines thread at the top of this forum, for what it's worth, my opinion:

I realize this whole "what's it worth?" forum is just for fun, but let me add to the discussion.

The answer to the question "what is something worth?" is the "fair market value." Fair market value is defined as the price at which something would likely change hands between a willing seller and a willing buyer, when neither is under any compulsion to enter into the transaction. Yes, it's an estimate, sometimes a wild guess. The estimate of value should assume that both parties are aware of all relevant facts, including, but not limited to, the location, the condition of the item, trends in the market, completed sales prices of comparable items, possible rises in market value in the future, etc., etc. Why is that so difficult? An appraiser is not required to have any personal interest in buying or selling the item to make that call. Real estate appraisers, insurance adjusters, and tax assessors do it all the time.

It would also be nice if the pictures hung around longer so others could view the thread in it entirety and possibly learn something from it. All the words in the world leaves one clueless when the pictures of the slightly rough Raleigh worth $150 are no longer there.
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Old 09-20-14, 08:00 AM
  #4  
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I sold a 97 Trek Carbon fiber bike for $600 on CL, well above estimated value from this forum. The bike was presentable, but far from perfect. Here are a couple of things I learned

- So much depends on how you frame the price..my reference point was a new CF bike, so you could buy this one for 1/3 the price.
- I was patient, took me about 6 weeks..with all the drama of Craigslist, lowball offers sight unseen, people who just " had to have it", and never heard from again.

I ended up selling it to young man, who thought himself fortunate to have found it, and sent me a note about his glorious first ride.

For unusual and older bikes...price and value are truly in the eye of the beholder. It is not like "shopping for tires"...bikes come and go, comparables are hard to find, and many are satisfied with a fair price on something they want.
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Old 09-20-14, 08:05 AM
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OP - if you think you can do better, offer your insight on the threads and disagree when you think appropriate. There are a few who post here that I consistently disagree with, but you have to remember we are all from different markets with different areas of expertise.

As to jwatts post above, I usually give an estimate based on a 1-2 week sale, not sitting on it for top dollar. He's also right - you can always get lucky. I've gotten less than expected and more...marketing has a lot to do with it.

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Old 09-20-14, 09:39 AM
  #6  
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After trying to help identify value for, literally, hundreds of people, including a lot more who frequent or at least visit The Bike Forums, one thing has occurred to me. No one can accurately determine the value of a vintage bicycle! Market conditions, time of year(in some places), size, condition, location and a really big one, marking skill of the buyer or seller, all play important parts in the evaluation. To that intimidating list add that I usually have no idea what the person asking intends to use the bike for. Too many things for me to figure out these days, so...

I quit offering potential value, knowing that I am probably wrong now, and even more so, in the future, when someone else reads that thread a few months from now. So, why bother to suggest value? In lieu of that, I try to help people differentiate between a quality bike and an entry level, not so desirable one. This, to me, is, sort of like the give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will be fed for the rest of his life.
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Old 09-20-14, 10:57 AM
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Just to throw a bit more gas into the fire, the value of a bike or anything else for that matter, is determined by the buyer and their individual situation. There are market generalities of course, but especially when we get to higher end vintage bikes maximizing value is as much as finding the right buyer, with cash, at the time one wants to sell. Good marketing helps to find that buyer, but if they are not out there they aren't. For example, the value of a vintage Paramount to a hedge fund manager is considerable more that its value to a bike mechanic, love of bike being equal.

One of my own pet peeves are the posts that say I just bought this wonderful XXXYYYZZZ bike how much is it worth. There is no answer to that, except its worth what you were willing to pay to you. Those poster want to play a guessing game with the hope of the feeling they paid less than a fair market price, but like to pay a mystery guessing game. Guess I am old and cranky, 'cause I don't want to play that game.
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Old 09-20-14, 12:11 PM
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I'm thinking I would rather read a discussion about using white space...
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Old 09-20-14, 12:43 PM
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Lets see if I understand this...

We are on a global forum.

Use of the forum is free.

Advice on the forum is free.

Some of the advice is incorrect.


Or put another way:

I know nothing about the value of bikes.
I think mine is worth a lot.
For free, I should get an extremely accurate appraisal, and preferably one that agrees with my opinion.
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Old 09-20-14, 03:34 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Lets see if I understand this...

We are on a global forum.

Use of the forum is free.

Advice on the forum is free.

Some of the advice is incorrect.


Or put another way:

I know nothing about the value of bikes.
I think mine is worth a lot.
For free, I should get an extremely accurate appraisal, and preferably one that agrees with my opinion.
Bill - if you lived anyway near me, I'd insist on buying you a beer.

I'd like to thank wrk101, gomango, miamijim, Ofg, citonyen du Monde and everyone else who has been so generous with advice when asked.
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Old 09-20-14, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Lets see if I understand this...

We are on a global forum.

Use of the forum is free.

Advice on the forum is free.

Some of the advice is incorrect.


Or put another way:

I know nothing about the value of bikes.
I think mine is worth a lot.
For free, I should get an extremely accurate appraisal, and preferably one that agrees with my opinion.
Yes, that sums it up pretty well I think.
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Old 09-20-14, 07:59 PM
  #12  
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Aslo I think people don't take into fact the time factor when it comes to more unusual or higher value stuff it can take several months to sell. If one wants to sell something quicker most sellers do they need to understand they will get a lot less sometimes as much as 50%.
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Old 09-20-14, 09:32 PM
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Garbage in=garbage out. Poor lighting, focus, angles of bike pics and sketchy details means you are going to get a wild guess. Better information yields an educated guess. I tell people what I might be willing to pay for their bike in my market if I were looking for one. I offer what I believe to be realistic prices. There will always be outliers.
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Old 09-21-14, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post

One of my own pet peeves are the posts that say I just bought this wonderful XXXYYYZZZ bike how much is it worth.

Guess I am old and cranky, 'cause I don't want to play that game.
I like that one, too, and have told the asker that on occasion. The fair market value is what someone would pay. Someone just bought it. You did. Throw us a bone. What did you pay?
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Old 09-21-14, 08:10 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by CroMo Mike View Post
I like that one, too, and have told the asker that on occasion. The fair market value is what someone would pay. Someone just bought it. You did. Throw us a bone. What did you pay?
+1

Everyone wants either:

Self assurance they didn't over pay; or
Affirmation that they are the next American Picker.

Customarily, I only give an assessment when one or more photos are provided. I also distinguish FMV between "as presented" and what my experience may have been with a reconditioned sale of the same model or very comparable bike with same tubing and/or group set. I buy and sell in three states frequently, both urban and rural, to visitors from as far away as Boston, Philidelphia, Raleigh, Denver and on ebay, so I have a pretty good regional viewpoint.

As I have limited experience with Bianchis, Specialized road bikes, and most boutique and hand made bikes, I don't offer opinions on them.
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Old 09-24-14, 04:15 AM
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I think a major factor in pricing a bike is location,where I live road bikes don't sell. I recently have reduced my collection and sold complete bikes for what a bare frame would bring elsewhere.
I asked a fair price and was willing to negotiate. My reward was the bikes went to people that needed a good bike or added one to their collection.
I had owned them several years, ridden them and enjoyed them, now it was someone else's turn to do the same.
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