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Old 01-13-18, 01:14 PM   #1
dweenk 
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Is Craigslist done now?

I was never a flipper, but I did buy and sell bikes to support my hobby on CL. When I got bikes that didn't interest me, I donated them to various charities or just gave them away to someone I knew. I always used CL for all of the transactions, and i didn't have many unpleasant experiences - but that was then.

I used to search on CL for bikes/all bikes, but then I wanted to filter out the shops that were using CL as there main advertising. So I restricted my search to bikes/by owner. Now I see flippers with 40 ads for bikes - the same bikes, low end, overpriced, and renewed week after week. There were a few folks that I used to buy from that no longer post on CL.

On the selling side, scammers answered nearly every ad that I posted. It didn't matter if it was by phone, text, or email. I can deal with flaky buyers who do not show up, or some who show up and then try to low-ball the deal; but it seems that CL (around here) is no longer an option for me.

Your thoughts?
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Old 01-13-18, 01:21 PM   #2
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Free classifieds will never be "done."
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Old 01-13-18, 01:23 PM   #3
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I think it's just the off-season. Right now I don't have anything tempting bookmarked, but it'll pick back up in a few months.
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Old 01-13-18, 01:28 PM   #4
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-----

Back before there was a CL I posted for many years in free classified advert newspapers. The papers were gratis but the advertisers had to pay for their adverts. When things were going well my inquiry to sales ratio was about seventy to one. When things were going poorly it rose to about ninety to one.

In addition to bicycles I sold small appliances, aquarium equipment and some exercise equipment.

The ads seemed to reach very few people who were remotely "middle class." Did reach a great many "bottom feeders" however.

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Old 01-13-18, 01:32 PM   #5
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I suppose it depends on the community.

Here we get maybe 20 to 50 new or re-upped bicycle ads a day, so it is easy to keep up with all the new ads, so I always search "all ads".

Most of the "flippers" walk a fine line between being a business or individual, so I don't really care which side they post on.

I'm not sure about scams and spammers. I haven't posted on Craigslist for a while. One thing, don't set your bar so high that you filter out legitimate buyers. I've had several sellers that were just hard to contact
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Old 01-13-18, 01:37 PM   #6
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Pretty much toast here in the Atlanta area. Trending downward since 2013 but seemed like 2017 just had nothing other than the same overpriced junk reposted over and over again. People are selling a ton more on Facebook or eBay and the vast majority are newer bikes. Local C&V inventory has been pretty much exhausted, even the flippers have seemed to move on to other types of items or more modern types of bikes.

As the C&V window moves forward in time it seems to be spotlighted mostly on bikes with integrated shifters - which are almost always owned by people who are modern enough to look online and keep the price north of $200 or so. I havenít seen a good quality down tube shiftered bike for sale in a while.
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Old 01-13-18, 02:03 PM   #7
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Last CL buy was near a year ago. As a buyer, harder to wade through now.
Friend has had good luck with offerup app. Bought and sold.
I have looked but not used.
Was told similar to FB selling but easier. I don't FB.
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Old 01-13-18, 02:16 PM   #8
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A lot of people peruse Craigslist regularly looking for good deals, so a good price on a well photo-documented sale item will bring them out.


I recently found a couple of sellers who had decent collections of bikes to sell, and found some deals there.
I also visited one where the bike had a cracked frame not acknowledged, something that has happened a few times before.


I recently sold a TT bike to a buyer who was on vacation from France, and have unloaded a few others that were "rare" enough to attract buyers from outside the immediate area.


So there are people watching the ads looking for deals, and there are lowlifes as well.
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Old 01-13-18, 02:24 PM   #9
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There were a lot fewer C&V bikes on my local CL in 2017 which may have been a good thing for me but I did pick up a 1986 Fuji Del Rey in my size. However only 13 days into this year I already bought a really nice older Scott hybrid and a 27" wheelset off a 1987 Fuji Del Rey identical to the set on my '86 off CL. I really don't need to be buying any more bikes but maybe I can sell a few this year.
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Old 01-13-18, 02:30 PM   #10
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If you do E-Bay, you can sort by "Nearest First". I usually don't do that since it generally isn't near enough, but you may be lucky to find someone who is offering a bike for "Local Sales Only" which often is quite a bit lower than sellers who ship.

As it is, I already have too many bikes, so while I do like to browse Craigslist, I've gotten much pickier about what will catch my eye.

And, as mentioned, we have few enough new ads here, that it is pretty easy to pick out the good from the bad. I suppose I don't hardly even pay attention to reposted MTBs, so I might not even notice if the same MTB was reposted a hundred times.

There seem to be quite a few 50's style balloon tire tank bikes posted here, or perhaps the same ones over and over. I'm surprised at the number of them though. Perhaps there is a local flipper that specializes in them.
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Old 01-13-18, 02:32 PM   #11
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I took a break from CL for a while, both buying and selling. There are few flippers left in my area and no dealers to speak of. One flipper sells high, high enough that his stuff sits a long time, gets reposted continually, etc.

What gets me is the ones that are posted literally for years, no kidding.

So while it is not dead in my area, it is not like it was and we'll see how it looks come springtime.
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Old 01-13-18, 05:03 PM   #12
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It's been thin pickings for awhile. Same story as the rest of you guys are sharing. I prefer vintage bikes. I really don't like modern bikes, although I do have a Diamondback Insight that is a solid general purpose bike, which I bought new. I did find a few great riders in my size last year on CL. In fact, I found 2 of my all-time favorites on CL last year, and paid the super low "full asking price" both times. It was a long search, though. Lots of overpriced junk, not much in the way of vintage, and almost no high-end bikes. It is lucky that I am OK with Japanese bikes, since the Italian bikes are commanding crazy high prices. I overhaul my new-to-me bikes before I ride them. If I didn't do my own work, I would go with a new retro steel framed road bike from one of our local shops. That would be that. Done with CL bikes.

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Old 01-13-18, 05:25 PM   #13
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The local to me craigslist locations are kind of dead but still worth working with. For awhile I gave up on them, then will go back to shopping or selling on one or more of the four to six locations that sort of cover my geographic area.

I totally gave up on OfferUp and the other similar one mostly due to non-responsive sellers and seemingly vacant buyers (lights on, possibly nobody at home).

I have been using facebook and a few of the groups on there to variable success. One of the facebook buy/sell groups has a bit of a high-tension moderator/owner, so I’m very selective of what I post on that group if anything. Another group seems to focus more on older patina’d cruisers, but sometimes they have things I like, but even though their group is geographically wide it seems like the active buyers/sellers stick to a 40 mile diameter region and most of them seem to know each other face to face, but still interesting to follow along.

So, is CL dead? Not what it once was, but still random life in it. And, yeah, there are regilar scammers to filter out, plus the bait-and-rob thugs to filter through as well.
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Old 01-13-18, 05:52 PM   #14
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I look forward to checking the offerings from a couple of local bike flippers. They snag good stuff, spruce up the bikes to be safe to ride (new tires, brake pads, tune ups) and resell them for reasonable prices. Good variety of steel frame hybrids and road bikes, aluminum hybrids and cruisers, all decent stuff, not big box store junk.

But there's more to life than craigslist. Check Varage, 5miles, letgo, OfferUp, Close5 and others. If you're looking for bargains in bikes sold by folks who don't know what they have and just want to get rid of it, you're more likely to find 'em on those sites. Be aware that some may be stolen, but that's more a factor of region than the classified sale outlets.
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Old 01-13-18, 06:58 PM   #15
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I bought several nice bikes on C/L in 2017, 1983 Stumpjumper and 1975 Sekai Professional to mention just two, and a couple already in 2018. As far as selling, its easy enough to screen out scammers. just require them to answer a simple question in your ad, and delete any response that doesn't answer the question.

Its free, so I really don't expect that much from it. FB is definitely gaining steam as far as selling.

I think the supply of vintage bikes is dropping, or at least the vintage I am looking for.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
What gets me is the ones that are posted literally for years, no kidding.
Yeah, I can never decide if this is more funny or irritating. But it's definitely a thing.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:05 PM   #17
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I donít bother looking much anymore on the Minneapolis CL. Have no real interest in purchasing bikes to refurb and sell anymore either as the market is just not there. Iíve only been buying and building bikes I want for myself at this point. If something doesnít work out, thatís the point in which I sell.

I sold two bikes this year. Both for what I would consider fair at $750 and $1500. Had both listed on CL and on the local Facebook marketplace under the galís FB account as I donít have one. I received considerably more (serious) interest from FB and ultimately sold to buyers contacting me/us through Facebook.

Thereís a only handful of vintage steel I want at this point. Iíve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that if I want one of these I will need to have it shipped to me through eBay or something similar. Even though Iíve never been all that keen on buying without viewing first hand. My only frame purchase and shipment via eBay went without a hitch, so thatís a plus in my mind.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:34 PM   #18
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Where i live facebook has certainly made an impact.
Groups for everthing.
I don't use it but i may start and restrict the groups i join or install the app and uninstall after i use it.
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Old 01-13-18, 08:41 PM   #19
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The part of Craigslist that never fails is garage sales. Been lucky that way. Estate sales too, but the shear volume of garage sales make for better odds of a pick.
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Old 01-13-18, 09:22 PM   #20
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I've only been buying/selling on CL's bike section for the past few years but it seems to be the same as it was when I first started. There are a few extra flippers around though and their ads are incredibly annoying - I block them as I see em if there are too many. When it comes to nice vintage bikes in my size, there wasn't much then & that's still how it is now...

I haven't had any issues when buying, and the same goes for selling. All bikes have gone within 1-2 weeks at most. I haven't had an issue with scammers for quite a while either.

I haven't sold or bought a bike through FB but I see it's pretty active over there as well, at least in the listings. Not nearly as much as CL though. I have sold a lot of kids items through FB though. The FB marketplace/groups are huge and there is always a lot of interest, but it can be a huge headache at times. I barely use FB anymore, in general, and have since gone back to CL. It's just easier.

I don't like offerUp and LetGo either. Mainly because of the layouts.
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Old 01-13-18, 10:36 PM   #21
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The c&v offerings on CL around me in 2017 were...terrible.
90% was either comically overpriced or very low end.

Hoping 2018 brings back a healthy c&v inventory!
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Old 01-13-18, 11:30 PM   #22
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Not dead but certainly more challenging. I still regularly search the Portland area CL. As a buyer, good deals on nice vintage bikes are rare, but they do pop up on occasion. As a seller, CL has been hit or miss for me even tho I always price things to sell.

Something I have noticed recently is a lot of fake ads, apparently intended to harass someone. Just one more thing to "filter out" when searching in addition to those already mentioned.
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Old 01-14-18, 12:45 AM   #23
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For everything you want to sell there is a total glut and not enough buyers. You will have to tough it out and find more sources.
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Old 01-14-18, 01:39 AM   #24
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It's been exactly three weeks since the last time that I found something on CL that I didn't need and wasn't looking for but was interesting enough at a good enough price that I bought it anyway.

The biggest problem with CL around here is that there are so many bikes listed (about 3000 at any given time) that you need some luck to filter through and find a bargain -- luck because if it's easy to find someone else will have probably found it before you. Selling is also less than ideal -- as Insidious C. said, hit or miss -- but so far I've been able to find buyers whenever I was patient and willing to be flexible with my asking price. A lot of overpriced bikes that get re-posted over and over.
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Old 01-14-18, 02:22 AM   #25
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It's tough sledding selling nice 63cm bikes that are fully gone through, have good (and matching) components, are well set up, with fair yet appropriate pricing, in the winter. But that is to be expected. A very small market in the off season. Of course, as a tall guy looking to buy bikes, who isn't concerned with the bikes being riders or not, and who is constantly browsing, I'm people's friend.

I've looked on OfferUp and inquired, but it's selling items for people who couldn't give it ten seconds of thought for an ad. The layout, while novel, lacks information, thus making it easy to ask about a bike that's already sold a month ago but the now previous owner didn't bother to take it down. I haven't tried FB yet as I see it as sort of OfferUp but on FB, with maybe a touch of intent like CL possesses (if used properly).

CL has the advantage of being the default for many people for quite some time. It has evolved for the better as it's gone along and it has served me well. C&V humans don't bother with FB too much it seems (I mean, naturally, and that's completely fine) compared to younger people, so it would stand to reason that CL will still be a default platform for them. I've met a lot of fun people on CL with regard to bikes (cars, bikes, and best-of are the only sections I search).

The Seattle market continues to be plentiful. Stuff isn't as cheap as it once was four years ago. And all the Italian stuff continues to outpace common sense (IMO....).

Outside of these bountiful urban markets, things could very well be on the decline. I try not to think about how small the markets would be outside of Seattle. I'd be driving a lot more or employing Ebay. And no used-parts LBS? Bummer!
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