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Old 02-02-11, 03:10 AM   #1
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eBay prices on vintage bikes and parts

I was looking through eBay just to see what was listed and found this guy:
Are these things bringing anywhere near this sort of money? Look at some of his other ads, they're just as crazy. If this stuff is worth this kind of money, then I should be able to retire once I empty out my garage and attic here.

That mixte isn't even clean, it looks more than bit rough to me. I've got two of them in 10 times that condition out in the garage that I'd off for half what he's asking, and you could ride either of mine home.
I just don't see anyone ever spending $80 for a common freewheel? Or $30 for a Wald chain ring?
I did a bit of eBay selling a while back, and it's expensive to sell on eBay, and and eBay store costs money, do they actually ever sell anything? Or sell enough to pay the cost of putting it there? I've tried selling new old bike stuff before and rarely got pennies on the dollar and not near the original price on anything.

I could see if an old bike was mint or super clean and ready to use, and not all weathered, greasy, or worn out. I'd have no problem paying real money for a mint old road bike, regardless what it was, but top dollar for a ratty looking mixte?
(With shipping that bike would be $600!)
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Old 02-02-11, 04:01 AM   #2
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that bike has been available for some time - it aint going anywhere at that price - i love mixtes but both of mine were 35 (pug) and 60 (ross) and both were RTR from local sellers

heh - the pug was an ebay buy AND came with another road bike which i gave to a buddy
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Old 02-02-11, 04:06 AM   #3
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heh I have a bridge to sell to anyone who bids on that.
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Old 02-02-11, 04:59 AM   #4
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I looked around at that guys auctions and to me most of what he had was way over priced, but someone was bidding $79 for a vintage 1" no named flat top 100mm stem so there are people out there willing to pay his prices. He probably writes most of it off at the end of the year as advertising because it looks like he has a bike shop.
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Old 02-02-11, 06:48 AM   #5
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I looked at his completed auctions and none of his bikes have sold. He was asking $599 for a scratched up Trek 850!

A few frames and some parts have, though I can't say they went for a fair price or not. I want/need a brass Legnano badge but I'm not yet willing to pay $89 for one.

Where does he get off calling himself the Budget Bicycle Center?
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Old 02-02-11, 06:54 AM   #6
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BBC is a shop. Budget Bicycle Center. If you think the Ebay prices are absurd, check out the website. I've heard from a few people that even Varsities, Continentals, and such start at a few hundred.

I've heard they have a very cool collection in there, but they are priced way too high. A well known bike collector in Chicago recommended that I swing by it if I ever attend the Madison swap.
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Old 02-02-11, 07:04 AM   #7
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If you want to know real eBay prices, look at completed auctions.

If the sale price is green, you've got the rough eBay going value (unless it so happens to be one of those outrageous exceptions).
If red, the seller is either full of baloney or has listed an item nobody wants at all.

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Old 02-02-11, 07:46 AM   #8
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I was extremely let down on checking out the used Budget Bike store while down for the Cronometro swap last month. I asked what stores I should check out while I'm down and that was one of them. I hear the word "Budget" and it's a nice ring to my ears and that they have more bikes then you can imagine. Well upon walking into a nonheated what seemed to be meat warehouse I was I hit with the massive rows upon rows up bikes on the floor and ceiling. It was pretty overwhelming. But then when I looked at the price tags...I can see why they have so many. I couldn't afford a single bike. There wasn't a single bike I saw under $200. Seriously. Some of the prices were just insane. Like Varsities, Conti, and stuff like that were like 3-400. You gotta be kidding me. No wonder I was the only person in that freezer. If that's the used "Budget Bike" store. I'd hate to see what the store with the new bikes are priced at? What a let down x's 10.
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Old 02-02-11, 08:26 AM   #9
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He has a tremendous amount of inventory, new and old. He also has the room to store it all. I imagine his new inventory turns over pretty quickly since there are 5 retail locations and some sharp bike shop folks running them. So the pricing isn't irrational at all, and there is some reasonable pricing for many of the parts (NOS Zeus cable clip set for $15) even while some of the bikes are priced at seemingly unreasonable levels. But if he had stockholders and was sitting on that much inventory and real estate, I think there would be pressure to move the inventory.
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Old 02-02-11, 08:58 AM   #10
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Ah yes, Budget Bikes. Fun place to wander around in, but it's been 4-5 years since I've been in any of his locations. I think one had touring bikes and recumbents, don't know if they're still segregated like that now.

As to ebay, there is a seller in my town who strips down old road bikes and puts the pieces up for sale. I one time added up his posted parts for a step-thru frame fendered coaster brake (Schwinn or Columbia) and I think his total asking prices added up to well over $400 off a bike that I'd have a tough time selling locally for $30 complete and rideable. I have no idea how he actually comes out in the end.
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Old 02-02-11, 09:16 AM   #11
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We all just watched a used Bianchi saddle slowly climb up to like $350 the other day on ebay... Seemed a little excessive. Then I got the exact same one on Buy It Now the next week for $65. Ebay is a wacky place, y'all.
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Old 02-02-11, 09:31 AM   #12
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I'm shopping ebay all the time.

Good stuff always finds it's price and sells, but some sellers are a little delusional on their opening prices. No big deal to me, I just ignore them...

Next week, they'll be more cool stuff to be had. Patience is the key.
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Old 02-02-11, 10:44 AM   #13
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check out seller pb*bikes on eBay if you want to see some hilariously over inflated prices for vintage parts.
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Old 02-02-11, 10:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
check out seller pb*bikes on eBay if you want to see some hilariously over inflated prices for vintage parts.
I checked, and wow, just... wow. I bet he still sells a lot of it though!
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Old 02-02-11, 10:55 AM   #15
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A few years ago, BBC was selling lots of vintage stuff for relatively low prices on eBay. I snagged an NOS Karrimor saddle bag for small money. But someone must not have liked that, and now it's all crazy BIN prices. And my wallet stays in my pocket.

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Old 02-02-11, 11:05 AM   #16
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The market determines the value, and if the price is too high it will just sit. Lots of good deals to be had and lots of stuff for crazy money. As a ebay seller Im happy to see other peoples prices that high.
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Old 02-02-11, 12:15 PM   #17
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Years back, in the early aughts IIRC, I was up in Wisconsin for a reunion and drove up to Mad city to check out BBC. I wound up picking up a decent PX10 at a good price, about 250$. Borderline high at the time, but not too bad. About two years back, I was up for yet another reunion and stopped by. The prices had gone insane. However, it's a big college town and they were getting the money, so I let it ride, no biggie. I don't have to buy.

From the ebay ads (I'd noticed them prior) the prices there have gone even higher.

The one I bought there is the one in back.
"It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

Waste your money! Buy my comic book!
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Old 02-02-11, 12:22 PM   #18
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Prices at ebay for bikes and parts are all over the place and sometimes, specially with NOS parts, things like original pacakging can add 50% and over for final bid prices (Case in point, an NOS Spidel LS2 sidepull brakeset that just sold for a ridiculous price (IMO), see link below), considering how relatively cheap they had been going for NOS without the packaging in the past couple of years.
I spent like half the amount of money for an NOS LS2 complete brakeset with levers, washers nuts, bolts, ferrules and cables two years ago!....without the oh-so-rare original pacakging and warranty card,....of course
And I thought I paid too much for mine!

It's also weird when take-offs are many times, snubbed by bidders price-wise and sometimes they don't bid on them at all (There's a nice set of Wolber competition tubular rims just languishing at ebay right now. I would have pounced on them but I'm full up for rims and wheels already!), even though you can see from the pics that the parts are otherwise brand new. People seem to be so bothered with parts being "de-virginized" just because they were mounted on a bike frame at one time, but not used on the road.....which makes it good for guys like me that don't give a hoot about that as long as the parts are in "as new" condition as advertised.


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Old 02-02-11, 12:32 PM   #19
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I grew up in Madison and have been going to BBC for 35 years. I saw my first Campagnolo and Phil Wood hubs there. Man were those smooth. Over the years, I have bought a couple of things from their ebay store at a great price. Those were NR auctions.

When I first started selling on ebay, I would always do $1 NR auctions. Sometimes people got a great deal. Since then, I have found selling something for a few bucks is not worth the listing and shipping hassle. I'd say there is about 30-60 minutes per item of my time. Plus fees. So now I start my auctions at the minimum I want for the item. Most things sell but if one or two don't sell, I just don't care. I am out a $0.35 listing fee. Big whoop.

I suspect BBC has the same attitude. But I am in full agreement many of the items are beyond tmv.
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Old 02-02-11, 12:38 PM   #20
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Dunno 'bout all of his prices, but I just picked up a NOS Trek (crmo?) for from Budget for $35. Considering the other prices I've seen, that's a flat out steal.

And, yeah, there seems to be a pretty large subset of CL and 'bay sellers who don't have a clue. Either they're giving away Uncle Joe's '59 Cinelli SC to get it out of the garage, or they've been watching American Pickers and want $3k for a rusted-out Varsity. Whatever. Do your homework and don't pay more than it's worth (to you!).

Bend, OR
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Old 02-02-11, 05:04 PM   #21
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Craigslist vintage bicycle purchase opportunities, rivals many similar opportunities on Ebay, but without the shipping costs, in most cases. With this in mind, I was starting to take some nasty, low ball, final values on my bicycles.

I almost always offered my bikes for $9.99 and allowed the bidders to decide final value. But, when forty year old BSA bicycles go for ten dollars final value, forget it. I can live with not making a profit, but I hate sacrificing my time, for so little reward. And the time involved to sell, box and ship a bicycle exceeds four hours, at least - every time!

So, these days, I try a Buy It Now, coupled with Make an Offer. This is not nearly as much fun, but it is more fun, than giving hard found bicycles away, for ten bucks.

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Old 02-02-11, 05:36 PM   #22
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kijiji is where i found the best deal of my life recently. a mid-80es time-trial columbus/campy DOs/full dura-ace bike for $100... with shoes included, cateye computer, saddle bag, spare tube... everything.

on ebay you have to spend a lot of time to get a good deal and it easily gets out of hand... i found decent shimano santé brakes, shimano 600 crankset, etc.. at very nice prices but i was obsessive.

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Old 02-02-11, 08:08 PM   #23
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Ah yes, Roger and Budget. God are there stories. He makes most of his money selling fleets of cheap MTBs and hybrids to college kids, mostly new. The Budget Used store is great--as a museum. Stuff sits in there for years, although I have met a few victims of $400 Varsity sales...
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Old 02-03-11, 03:02 AM   #24
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If bikes and parts from 30+ years ago were worth that kind of money, I'd sell off what I have and go buy an island in the Pacific somewhere and retire.
I agree that selling on eBay takes a lot of time, effort and money but I can't understand why anyone would do it just to let items sit there unsold? When I list an item, I want it to sell, I won't give it away but I want to at least get what it cost new if it's new old stock. When I see a run of the mill item that sold for $10 new, listed for big money it makes me wonder if the seller realizes that they made bike parts in huge quantities back then. Some shops bought stock replacement parts by the case lot. I cleaned out one shop that had literally thousands of coaster brake hubs from the 50's and 60's, and cases of old French parts. The guy bought closeouts as items were being phased out over the year and seriously overbought, but when I found the invoices from when he bought those items I was shocked at how cheap he got them for. One item in particular was Mafac brake sets, he had several hundred new in the box, and many were bulk shipped in large bags from some distributor. He paid $3 per complete set in 1974. He had new old stock Schwinn Varsity rims, 500 of them, he paid $1 per rim on closeout. He had paid only $2.75 a piece for Bendix red stripe coaster brake hubs back in 1968, and bought 500 of them. When I cleared out that shop in 2002, there were several trailers full of both parts and used bikes, several new old stock bikes, and 11 buildings packed full of parts. It took 4 years to liquidate that stock both on eBay and at swap meets, and even then a lot of it never sold. When you have that quantity of a common item to sell, no matter how old it is, it's easy to saturate the current market and drive your own prices down.
If there's only one listed on eBay, and none have been there recently, it's easier to get a good price, often a single item will bring a really good price. But list 30 of them in a row or several at a time and you will likely only get minimum bid, if any bid at all. To me, when interest dies on an item and they stop selling at a decent price it's time to pack them up and let them sit a few years. I can't see just giving something away when it will eventually bring a fair price. I won't keep listing items that don't sell.

Selling items like bike parts is a lot of work because your constantly writing new ads and descriptions, and rarely can you reuse an ad or pic. For me to take that time to picture and write up an item and post it, it has to sell and bring enough to cover my time and labor.

There are also some items that are better off sold for scrap these days, whether they are new or not. I had one lot of 20x1 3/8" steel rims from Germany that wouldn't sell, there were 400 of them, I had 300 16" aluminum rims from some sort of kiddie bikes, and how about 150 Taiwanese made 4" long one piece cranks, they all went to the scrap yard, along with dozens of used Huffys, Murrays, and other department store junk. All were by products of large buyouts. Don't get me wrong, I sold several of those super cheap Huffy Sante Fe road bikes and some disc brake Huffy junk on eBay that were new in the box, but they sold cheap and they were at least new. One guy even bought 6 of them, and drove 400 miles to pick them up. Of course they didn't sell for big money, I was glad to get $50 each, which was most likely all they sold for new in the 70's.
Most sold locally to people that wanted a bike for their grandkids or a bike at a summer home for the kids.
I was glad they sold at all. If they didn't sell they would have gone for scrap minus their wheels and odds and end parts that would sell on eBay.

Right now it's shipping that's taking a bite out of profits, as fuel prices climb, shipping is getting more and more expensive. Most bidders figure the shipping as part of the cost, so if shipping is now double what it was five years ago, that extra reduces the amount of profit I make by at least that much. This has made me now list many items at a higher starting price to be sure I get at least enough to cover my costs. Often this puts items beyond market value, which in turn means they stay put, and often it means lesser items are better off as scrap weight. Especially with what aluminum brings these days.
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Old 02-03-11, 05:55 AM   #25
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This more like what I'd expect, the buy will end up with about $170 or so in the bike with shipping.

Even at that it's a bit much for a bike that will no doubt need some TLC and maintenance. I got one now that's in that same state, I got it at a flea market for $25, but I was able to test ride it and get a feel for it's condition.
With $25 in an old bike like that you don't mind putting another $50 or so or even more into it to make it perfect, that way you can always get your money out of it if you decide to flip it later.
Buy it for $170, and your most likely either keeping it for life or going to loose money on the resale.
To that particular bike's credit, they were good riding bikes for being a low end steel mixte frame. Although I didn't buy the one I have for my own use, I do like the way it rides and feels. With that said, I don't like it enough to spend big money on one though.
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