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Not exactly vintage, but an interesting CL conundrum, asking for advice

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Not exactly vintage, but an interesting CL conundrum, asking for advice

Old 07-20-11, 07:21 PM
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cpsqlrwn
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Not exactly vintage, but an interesting CL conundrum, asking for advice

I have nothing but vintage steel bikes, 70's, 80's, and early 90's. But I have this albatross that no one rides (wife's bike) lying around which I know nothing about in today's market. So I put basically an NOS (test ride miles only) 2006 Cannondale R700 on Craigslist and find that I have under priced the bike and I am getting blitzed with responses to the ad. I did some research which indicated the price when it was new ($1250), but apparently the small size (50cm) and condition cause this bike to be more highly sought after than I anticipated. I've never had this problem before. The ad was up a day and a half. The bike was advertised for $600 and I've been told it could have been listed for $800. I searched eBay and I didn't see anything to suggest that. I've taken down the ad without selling the bike. I've talked to a couple of the responders directly and, as you would expect, they want the posted price. I can understand that. With the understanding that I am not desperate for the money, but am also not too keen on cheating myself ($700 seems like the sweet spot and what the market will bear for this bike), what would you do?

a) Leave the ad down and repost in a couple of months at a higher price.

b) Sell the bike on eBay, possibly offering local pickup only.

c) Repost the ad almost immediately at the higher price and see what happens.

d) Sell the bike to one of the current responders for $600 and don't sweat the small stuff.

Last edited by cpsqlrwn; 07-20-11 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 07-20-11, 07:25 PM
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Sell it to the first guy that contacted you for $600.
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Old 07-20-11, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Sell it to the first guy that contacted you for $600.
+1

Sell it and move on.
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Old 07-20-11, 07:37 PM
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I dunno. Are you a deontologist or a consequentialist?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_imperative
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Old 07-20-11, 07:40 PM
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Chalk it up to poor research, I suppose.
Sell it to the first guy. Ya never know, he might give you more just for getting back to him and letting him have it for that price. They're willing to pay your asking price, and provided you're not shipping it, it's still 600 bones in your pocket you didn't have before.
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Old 07-20-11, 07:42 PM
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As long as you didn't commit in some shape to any of the original responders, I would just re-list it at the price you are comfortable at.

I wouldn't solicit the existing responders at the higher price either, let them respond to the new ad if they are comfortable.
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Old 07-20-11, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Roll-Monroe-Co View Post
I dunno. Are you a deontologist or a consequentialist?
I did some quick research.....

http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/k...w/Theories.htm
http://atheism.about.com/b/2003/12/3...ist-ethics.htm

and it seems that the value and specifics of these concepts is entirely self determined. However, given a choice, I would have to say I am more of a consequentialist, but then again, for a consequentialist, the decision of what to do all depends on how one values the consequences. Seems very subjective to me. That's why I posted.
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Old 07-20-11, 10:57 PM
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I would set the price higher than $600, but good enough for someone truly wanting the bike to get a good deal and not encourage a flipper. I'm a flipper and I approve this message.
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Old 07-20-11, 11:51 PM
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just be truthful to the people who emailed you and then re list if you really want.

Sometimes it's worth it just to sell to the first seller at the original price though. I recently sold an RB-T for $X when I could've got $Y for it, but I figured I'm already raking in a ton of profit. Easy sell.
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Old 07-21-11, 04:48 AM
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I honor and ethics form your character, sell the bike to the first person who offered your asking price. If honor and ethics are compromise-able, then re-list and up the price. And stop listening to the sour grapes of potential buyers. They are not your friends, generally speaking and are not the least bit interested in helping you get more for your bicycle.

Just an old guy's opinion but if you want to figure out how much your bike is worth, before listing it again, trying spending some time looking through the pages of Vintage Bicycle Value. You will come away with a much better understanding of values.

Hope this is a help.
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Old 07-21-11, 05:04 AM
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Sell it to the first person that offered you $600. If you relist, people that stalk CL will think there's something wrong with the bike to cause the original sale to fall through. Or they'll figure you got greedy or wised up to the real value of the bike and then they'll show you by not buying the bike. If you put it on eBay you run the risk of getting less plus the hassle of shipping the bike.

$600 for a dust collector is nothing to sneeze at.
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Old 07-21-11, 05:06 AM
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Sell it for the original price, it will bring back good bike karma to you someday.

Scott
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Old 07-21-11, 05:55 AM
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If you've already corresponded with people about the bike then I think the right thing to do is sell it at the listed price if any of those people are interested. I'd try to sell it to the end user, not a flipper trying to make a buck off of my mistake, that way I might not feel as bad about it.

However, if you hadn't answered any of the replies I think it would be okay to list the bike at a different price and explain you made a mistake and you wife would kill you if you sold it for $600.00. Most people would buy that excuse.
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Old 07-21-11, 05:59 AM
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A couple of years ago, I saw a CL add for 2 minty Fuji Del Reys for $100, i.e, $50 each. I called the guy up, didn't bs around, told him I'll buy them and I'll be out there in an hour.

When I got out there, he says to me, "I want you to do me a favor". I said, "Sure what?". He says, "Wait til after we get this loaded up". So sure, and he, me, and his son load the bikes in my truck, I fork over the cash, and then, "Ok, what's the favor". He says, "tell me what these are really worth".

I respond, "lotta calls, huh?", and he answers, "buddy, you wouldn't believe, but you were the first one who said I'll buy it, come to house, etc". All the other guys were asking questions, wondering about shipping, how much for one, which one was better, but nobody had firmly committed and proceeded to close the sale.

I told him my true assessment, which was it was worth it for me to drop everything, jump in my truck and drive out there for a $100 price, like it would be for most people. At $200, I'd start thinking about traffic and the time schlepping over Legion Bridge to Virginia. At $300, well, maybe I'll come by this weekend.

We parted w/handshake, wave, good guy. And I would have been mightily chapped if I got over there and he changed his mind or called me along the way cancelling the sale. My degree of chappedness would be directly proportional to how long after I dropped everything he reneged.

OTOH, I wouldn't be as mad as if somebody had stolen them from me. In chess, there is the notion of the blunder, and in friendly games, you can take them back. Frankly, I would have kind of understood that this guy made a blunder.

What I'm getting at is how much commitment did you make to any of the buyers? If you were just talking to them, didn't commit to the sale, when they call back I don't think you have to sell it to them in order to keep your standing as a good person in life. Sale is over, they had their chance, a CL ad is not a binding life-long contract with the population of the world.

That being said, Scott has a point - I definitely thought the more of the guy who sold for me for being a standup guy about it. I'd like to think I would do the same thing, but I'm not really sure I would, at least unqualifiedly. But for the difference between $600/800 (as opposed to, say, difference between $200/2000), I'd probably just go ahead and sell it, heck CL is such a hassle, imo, not having to run an ad again is almost worth $200.

And your bike karma will definitely improve.

Last edited by robatsu; 07-21-11 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 07-21-11, 06:13 AM
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Every time I've released something from my grasp or done something for which I thought I might gain a little bike karma it has come back to me manifold.

If the difference is 600 vs. 700, no brainer, call back the first respondent and offer for 600. If it was a lot more I don't think there's any harm in trying to get closer to the bike's actual worth.

But in this case no...sell away, at 600.
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Old 07-21-11, 06:52 AM
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I am with the "sell it for $600" crowd. The hassle of relisting and the karmic hit is not worth $100. I have a ton of respect for people who allow sales to go through for less than they expected or later learned that they could get.

I know I would lose some respect for people who changed their mind and charged more after posting the ad. If I make that mistake, I chalk it up to my need to do better research.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:12 AM
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Also bear in mind that there is plenty to be said for not having to deal with haggling. You essentially sold the bike in a day to someone who will cheerfully and gratefully hand you the exact amount of $ you asked for. Re-listing for more will probably gain you two weeks' worth of grief and $75 bucks for your trouble. Just go with it. Last year I sold a mint DL-1 for probably $200 less than I could have if I'd chosen to be aggressive, but instead I got a pleasant, quick transaction and made a friend. It's all good.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Preynmantis View Post
I am with the "sell it for $600" crowd.
Me too. I put myself in a similar position a year or two ago, and I stuck to my original price. I'm not going to argue ethics or karma or anything like that... it just felt like the right thing to do.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
If you've already corresponded with people about the bike then I think the right thing to do is sell it at the listed price if any of those people are interested. I'd try to sell it to the end user, not a flipper trying to make a buck off of my mistake, that way I might not feel as bad about it.

However, if you hadn't answered any of the replies I think it would be okay to list the bike at a different price and explain you made a mistake and you wife would kill you if you sold it for $600.00. Most people would buy that excuse.
+1 Anyone who you already have conversed with should be able to buy it from you at full price. If one of them makes an offer, tell them to forget it, full price and go to the next person.

Pull down your ad immediately. If one of the current responders does not close the deal, then repost it in a week at a higher price. Your commitment at $600 is to anyone who has already replied. Stick with it.

Several times I have sold bikes too cheap, I consider it "tuition" and "market research". Setting the price is my job, if I set it too low, its on me, and not the potential buyers.
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Old 07-21-11, 10:11 AM
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Thank you very much for all the replies and insight! To answer one of the more popular questions, I have spoken to two people directly, but made no committments to sell at $600. As a matter of fact the calls were made to discuss the fact that I needed to reevaluate the price due to the crazed response. The comments I saw relating to bike karma coming around later (there are a couple of things I am looking for right now) actually had some influence on my thought process even though I am a left brain computer analyst guy. Also comments relating to integrity and ethical values were of interest as well. I was a little surprised at how some of you thought nothing of setting the price higher given that no committments had been made to any of the responders. I think that speaks to a level of selling experience that far exceeds mine, more of a black and white approach, less consternation about the whole process. I have decided to email the first two responders and offer them the option to buy the bike now for $600. Other comments include how much of a hassle Craiglist can be and that's true. It's often such a pain to find upright, interested buyers, and I have several for this bike. I should sell the bike and move on to the next project and be thankful for the response and that's what I am going to do. Thanks again for the assistance!
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Old 07-21-11, 10:36 AM
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That seems more than fair - doing good and doing well....
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Old 07-21-11, 10:41 AM
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This is a good thread.
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Old 07-21-11, 10:41 AM
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If no-one has committed themselves to buying the bike I don't feel that you're under any obligation, legally or ethically to sell at this price. No one who has anything invested in the bike has lost, so no harm done. Pricing is one part of marketing a good, and you're the one who has to deal with the consequences, not the pool of "interested" buyers.

Sell it for what the market will bear and what you're willing to invest in the sale. If it's important to sell it quickly, sell it cheap. If it's important to maximize your return, take your time. If you want to maximize your return, re-list it and take your time to find the right buyer.
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Old 07-21-11, 10:58 AM
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While C/L is full of flaky buyers (and sellers for that matter), I continue to use Craigs List every week. Overall, it has been a great experience, the handful of flakes have been way outweighed by the large group of good buyers. Sold two bikes on C/L yesterday. Both came at the agreed upon time, both brought cash, both asked good questions, and both left with smiles on their faces. Bikes had been posted two days earlier.
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Old 07-21-11, 11:02 AM
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I think you have the right idea. However, I would make it clear that there is ZERO room to haggle at the $600 price. Tell me how annoying that would be to agree to sell it to them at the lower price only for them to try and buy it even cheaper when they come to your house LOL.

But I have priced things before to only find out I could have/should have asked more. I always just sell them at the price I set. I really hate when I email about a bike (pedal or motor) and the seller responds they need more than the ad says and did I want to make an offer. I always just say no thanks and move on.
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