Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

UnKnowledgable CL buyers is this normal?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

UnKnowledgable CL buyers is this normal?

Old 03-01-12, 09:36 PM
  #1  
zukahn1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,890

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Liked 931 Times in 397 Posts
UnKnowledgable CL buyers is this normal?

After having sold a couple of C&V bikes recently on CL and having little success with some others. I have come across some surprising potential buyers that are completely unknowlegable. People who come to look at a vintage bike setup with classic dropdowns and DT tension shifters that have no clue how to ride drops or classic DT shifters or even what size bike they need should ride. I'm wondering is this normal in your experiences? It just doesn't seem to make a lot of since to me? I just can't see why someone whith so little knowledge would want to start out riding a classic bike that will likely need regular maintence and patience with the occasional clunk or squek, or missed shift. Also I have never sold a bike to one of these people they just seem to like to kick tires and waste my time.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 09:52 PM
  #2  
purebikes 
Full Member
 
purebikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 289
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 24 Posts
I used to sell a lot of bike to people like this. It is a little frustrating but even thought they might not appreciate everything about the vintage bike or the amount of work you put into it, at least they are still thinking about buying a bike. Which is the main goal really
__________________
Bikes are cool, even the dumb ones.
purebikes is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 09:56 PM
  #3  
IthaDan 
Senior Member
 
IthaDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ithaca, NY
Posts: 4,915

Bikes: Click on the #YOLO

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Old bikes look cool.
IthaDan is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:00 PM
  #4  
Chicago Al 
Senior Member
 
Chicago Al's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chicago, the leafy NW side
Posts: 2,533

Bikes: 1974 Motobecane Grand Record, 1987 Miyata Pro, 1988 Bob Jackson Lady Mixte (wife's), others in the family

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 74 Times in 40 Posts
I have had a bit of time wasting but not much and have sold 8, maybe 10 bikes on CL.

Best experiences I have had have been with female buyers. They show up knowing what they are looking for, ride the bike, and make a decision...I think all female potential buyers who've shown up have taken the bike.

Opinions vary on the best selling methods but I think we'd all agree on good pictures and BIG pictures (ie hosted outside CL). I favor a pretty thorough description, but put into an easy to read format, short paragraphs or bullet points. Also disclosing whatever faults the bike has, like paint scrapes or whatever. All that creates an (accurate) impression that I am an honest seller who knows his stuff, and somehow the level of detail also seems to attract people who want a nice bike.

I did sell a bike for my neighbor, a gaspipe Batavus (the bike, not my neighbor, his name is Gary), which was not so great and I'd done little to it. The guy who showed up first liked it and it was cheap ($80 I think), but I almost refused to sell it because from the questions he was asking I just had a feeling it would not be a good match. The bike was really a project and I wish it had gone to a knowledgeable buyer.
__________________
I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

- Dr Samuel Johnson
Chicago Al is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:07 PM
  #5  
zukahn1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,890

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Liked 931 Times in 397 Posts
Well at least I get the entertainment value of watching these people try and mount the bike and take it for a short test ride. Sometimes it seems like they are trying to mount a whild horse and not a bike they look at the open toe clips which I set most of my bike up with like they may bite their foot off. Watching a lot of them go for DT shifters the first time I have a hard time being polite and keeping a strait face.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:08 PM
  #6  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 23,371

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1173 Post(s)
Liked 791 Times in 536 Posts
Yes, this is normal, typical really. Particularly if you sell bikes anywhere from $100 to $300 in my market. This is one reason I have stopped removing items I don't care for, such as turkey levers, kick stands, and dork disks. I have had many buyers ask if I had such items. Lesson learned.

Oh yeah, and they usually have no idea what size they need, that is one reason I list a wide estimate of riders the bike will fit. They really appreciate the guidance.

I had a particularly nice Motobecane I sold. I was pretty proud of the restoration, it really turned out nice. Well, the buyer was only interested in one thing: "Its French, right?" I answered yes, he told me he thought that was "Cool", handed me the correct amount of cash, and off he went.

Almost anyone who comes to look at a bike, goes home with it. Maybe 1 out of 100 does not.

Last edited by wrk101; 03-01-12 at 10:18 PM.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:09 PM
  #7  
cb400bill
Forum Moderator
 
cb400bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Posts: 20,623

Bikes: Fuji SL2.1 Carbon Di2 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 4 Trek Checkpoint ALR gravel Viscount Aerospace Pro Colnago Classic Rabobank

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2811 Post(s)
Liked 4,898 Times in 2,903 Posts
Most of the bikes I have sold on CL (approx 12) have been to somewhat knowledgeable customers. Some have been to very knowledgeable cyclists.

However, one customer really stands out. He and his wife came out to look at a vintage bike I had for sale and quickly agreed to buy it for my asking price. This was without even test riding it. When I asked him if he wanted to take it for a spin he replied that he and his wife had recently moved here from Kenya and neither of them had ever ridden a bike before.

I then spent the next half hour showing them how to shift, brake, etc and had them ride the bike up and down my quiet neighborhood street getting used to riding a bicycle.
__________________
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Fenders protect you from tire splatter. Mudguards protect you from tyre splatter.







cb400bill is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:22 PM
  #8  
zukahn1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,890

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Liked 931 Times in 397 Posts
Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Yes, this is normal, typical really. Particularly if you sell bikes anywhere from $100 to $300 in my market. This is one reason I have stopped removing items I don't care for, such as turkey levers, kick stands, and dork disks. I have had many buyers ask if I had such items. Lesson learned.

Oh yeah, and they usually have no idea what size they need, that is one reason I list a wide estimate of riders the bike will fit. They really appreciate the guidance.

I had a particularly nice Motobecane I sold. I was pretty proud of the restoration, it really turned out nice. Well, the buyer was only interested in one thing: "Its French, right?" I answered yes, he told me he thought that was "Cool", handed me the correct amount of cash, and off he went.

Almost anyone who comes to look at a bike, goes home with it. Maybe 1 out of 100 does not.
Thanks for the info and the tip on putting size estimates in adds I will start doing that in the future. I just assumed most vintage bike buyers would know what size bike they need.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:23 PM
  #9  
bikemanbob
Senior Member
 
bikemanbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 860

Bikes: Bertoni Corsa Mondiale, Bridgestone T-700, Miyata 700 GT, Trek 600, Trek 560 Professional Series, Chrome Panasonic DX 2000, Peugeot PH12, Peugeot PX10, Schwinn World Voyageur, Schwinn Circuit, and Schwinn Voyageur

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I recently sold a 1987 Schwinn Tempo in very good condition. The college student paid $300 for the bike. When I explained the tubing and components, he had no clue. Although he got a fair deal on the bike, the young man had no idea as to its value. He bought solely based on looks. Most the people that buy my vintage bikes are like this young man. They have no idea as to its value or its components.

The fact that they come to see my bikes means that they are interested. Once they see the bike, it becomes my responsibility to sell them the bike. Salemanship is an important function in making the sale.
bikemanbob is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:43 PM
  #10  
Roll-Monroe-Co
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,308
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 12 Posts
I've gotten a lot better about not being attached to objects. But I don't think I could stand selling a good C&V bike to someone who didn't appreciate what they were getting. How depressing!

And let's not get started on the day I will have to sell my beloved C&V house. That will be a day I learn a lesson about what's important, I'm sure.
Roll-Monroe-Co is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 10:57 PM
  #11  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 23,371

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1173 Post(s)
Liked 791 Times in 536 Posts
Originally Posted by Roll-Monroe-Co View Post
I've gotten a lot better about not being attached to objects. But I don't think I could stand selling a good C&V bike to someone who didn't appreciate what they were getting. How depressing!

And let's not get started on the day I will have to sell my beloved C&V house. That will be a day I learn a lesson about what's important, I'm sure.
Yeah, I have been asked about selling my C & V house (my avatar), my standard answer was: "It will not be for sale until I am dead." Then I realized I might be inviting that outcome. So my answer is now "never".

As far as selling C & V bikes, I am used to letting them go to a new home. I do tell buyers that if they want to remove all the gears, just let me know and I will gladly buy the parts from them.

90% of the buyers that buy C & V bikes from me are just looking for a good, solid, used bike. They are not really interested in details or features. At most, they like the "look" of a vintage bike (lugged steel, nice headbadge and decals). I've gotten used to it. I've sold a few hundred, it gets easier to let them move on. And by moving a bike to a new home, I make room for that next project.

Last edited by wrk101; 03-01-12 at 11:02 PM.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 11:12 PM
  #12  
elboGreaze
carpe diem
 
elboGreaze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fenton, MI
Posts: 681

Bikes: CAAD 9 , Schwinn World, Prologue, Madison , Sports Tourer ; Ironman , Opus lll , Allez , Peugeot 753, Trek 531 (2) , Assenmacher ( custom)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Over the past few years, I've sold probably 30-40 bikes on CL and some people know their way around a bike, some don't . No one has ever left my home without a bike , and they usually say it was a better bike than I described .
elboGreaze is offline  
Old 03-01-12, 11:13 PM
  #13  
Standard Issue
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Albany, NY
Posts: 243

Bikes: 89 Bianchi Campione d'Italia upgraded with 10 speed Ultegra/105, '92 Trek 1100 8 speed, bar end shifters

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Part of me always expects an enthusiast to show up at my door but most of the tIme its either a middle aged man whos buying a bike that looks like the ones people rode when he was younger or a 20 something cool kid who might be getting Interested in road cycling. The buyer of the last bike i sold, a trek 420, made cringe when he said he was going to replace the nos/lightly used shimano 600 parts with "brifters", strip it and repaint it. I actually told him the bike is perfect as it is and even though the finish has some scratches he'll never be able to top it with anything other than a pro auto body job. I stopped caring when he handed me the cash.
Standard Issue is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 12:28 AM
  #14  
Anonymoose
Senior Member
 
Anonymoose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 181
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As a seller I have had the same experience, but I like it. They generally pay my asking price and usually the first person that comes, buys. But I do try to be very thorough in my descriptions of the condition and size of the bike to narrow the audience to legitimate buyers. On the other hand I just unsuccessfully tried to dissuade a coworker from paying over $300 for a panasonic dx-1000. Makes me think I should price my flips higher.
Anonymoose is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 12:33 AM
  #15  
zukahn1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,890

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Liked 931 Times in 397 Posts
I can understand your feelings Standard Issue the thought of someone making stupid changes or a half ass repaint to either of my current bikes either or both may be sold in the near future in the qeust for an even nicer road bike just makes me cringe. The 620 Jeunet in front is my current rider and the best riding bike I have ever owned it rides better than the mid range carbon fiber bike it replaced that was stolen in ride, shifting and braking. The Gitane in back I'm currently trying to sell which rides almost as good.

zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 01:32 AM
  #16  
Mobile 155
Senior Member
 
Mobile 155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex
Posts: 5,058

Bikes: 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1470 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 43 Times in 34 Posts
If I can bring another perspective into it maybe it will be easier to understand. I got into road bikes way back before Schwinn made the Varsity. But I even had a Varsity and moved all the way up to a Continental. A few years later a freind talked me into going to a LBS with him while he bought a new Nishiki. At that time I got to test ride a Viscount Areospace pro and fell in love. I rode that bike everywhere and when they started making 27x1 tires I thought I was riding a real racing bike. Then life got in the way, promotions came along, children, new homes and a few moves and cycling fell away a bit. Fast forward about 20 years and I moved from a mountain resort community back to the flatlands, more or less. Over weight and inactive I decided to give cycling a try. After giving a semi recumbent a try for about 500 miles and the loss of quite a few pounds I decided to look at a road bike. what was I looking for? Something that reminded me of my old Viscount. I however went to a LBS not knowing how bikes had changed.

I developed a relationship with my LBS and during a year end sale they offered me a Jamis Ventura for about the same price as a hybrid and told me to take in home and try it for a day or two before I made up my mind. I headed down the street and discovered it didn't have downtube shifters but there was some kind of button on the side of the shifters, Sora, and I was amazed at how easy it was to shift. Yet I couldn't for the life of me figure how to downshift. I turned around to head back to the shop in big ring small cog and was almost there before I figured that the brake lever shifted up. And wonder of wonder the brakes stopped the bike. Oh I thought to myelf if only my old Viscount shifted like this. And for the next 4 years I moved to Ultegra, SRAM Force and Dura Ace bikes untill I got that classic bug. But that is a different story.

The point is coming from a down tube generation and not knowing about bifters would have made me a horrible C L buyer. The old standover the top tube method of sizing was no longer in favor and I wouldn't have known the frame size to save my life. I just got over spending at least 6 months looking for a more classic bike but most of the CL ads in my area failed to mention size. And now that everyone watches shows like Pickers people seem to feel their old bikes are priceless finds. If a new rider comes to you they may have never seen a downtube shifter and wouldn't have a clue what bike frame size they ride. At least they are interested in cycling and it is better than getting stuck with a BBS bike and giving up after it breaks.

Last edited by Mobile 155; 03-02-12 at 01:36 AM.
Mobile 155 is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 01:47 AM
  #17  
mbbiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sheboygan, WI
Posts: 157

Bikes: '87 Peugeot PB14, '98 homegrown, '72 world sport...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
If I can bring another perspective into it maybe it will be easier to understand. I got into road bikes way back before Schwinn made the Varsity. But I even had a Varsity and moved all the way up to a Continental. A few years later a freind talked me into going to a LBS with him while he bought a new Nishiki. At that time I got to test ride a Viscount Areospace pro and fell in love. I rode that bike everywhere and when they started making 27x1 tires I thought I was riding a real racing bike. Then life got in the way, promotions came along, children, new homes and a few moves and cycling fell away a bit. Fast forward about 20 years and I moved from a mountain resort community back to the flatlands, more or less. Over weight and inactive I decided to give cycling a try. After giving a semi recumbent a try for about 500 miles and the loss of quite a few pounds I decided to look at a road bike. what was I looking for? Something that reminded me of my old Viscount. I however went to a LBS not knowing how bikes had changed.

I developed a relationship with my LBS and during a year end sale they offered me a Jamis Ventura for about the same price as a hybrid and told me to take in home and try it for a day or two before I made up my mind. I headed down the street and discovered it didn't have downtube shifters but there was some kind of button on the side of the shifters, Sora, and I was amazed at how easy it was to shift. Yet I couldn't for the life of me figure how to downshift. I turned around to head back to the shop in big ring small cog and was almost there before I figured that the brake lever shifted up. And wonder of wonder the brakes stopped the bike. Oh I thought to myelf if only my old Viscount shifted like this. And for the next 4 years I moved to Ultegra, SRAM Force and Dura Ace bikes untill I got that classic bug. But that is a different story.

The point is coming from a down tube generation and not knowing about bifters would have made me a horrible C L buyer. The old standover the top tube method of sizing was no longer in favor and I wouldn't have known the frame size to save my life. I just got over spending at least 6 months looking for a more classic bike but most of the CL ads in my area failed to mention size. And now that everyone watches shows like Pickers people seem to feel their old bikes are priceless finds. If a new rider comes to you they may have never seen a downtube shifter and wouldn't have a clue what bike frame size they ride. At least they are interested in cycling and it is better than getting stuck with a BBS bike and giving up after it breaks.

What kind of bike shop sends a customer out the door with a bike without even showing them how to shift?!? Thats one reason to go to a shop over CL/ebay, you have someone that's supposed to help size the bike, get the seat hight right, show you how to shift, why gears are there....
mbbiker is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 01:57 AM
  #18  
Heatherbikes
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
From the other end, many CL posters seem to have no or little knowledge about the bicycle they are selling. Bikes posted as vintage road bike turn out to be a run of the mill mountain bike(some with shocks!), or trying to say something very low end is cool, high end, vintage etc.. No mention of tubing, stand over height or anything. Some posters even post stock photos of the wrong bike that they are trying to sell! Or else, a bike is listed as mint condition that is barely ridable. And the prices! Markets like Vancouver are unbelievable! My husband has had good luck with buying vintage bikes on craiglist, but I have not. He did get a botteccia that he paid too much for. The frame itself is fabulous, but it was mechanically unsound and the parts were beyond help. He loves the bike, but has ended up costing alot and has been sitting unridable for much of it's life with us for one reason or other.
Heatherbikes is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 02:15 AM
  #19  
PandaExpress
Senior Member
 
PandaExpress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Orange County
Posts: 79

Bikes: Bianchi mutt bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I suppose I fit this description when I went in to pick up my first road bike, so here's my perspective:

Fresh out of college with an entry level job that was 3 miles away from my apartment, I figured that commuting by bike would be an easy way to save some cash. Hadn't been on a bike since freshman year of high school so I had no idea what size or type of bike to get. After a few months of using a converted mountain bike, I was craving more speed and decided to dive into road bikes.

From cruising on BF, I knew that for the best bang-for-your-buck value, I would be going for a vintage bike for a couple of reasons.

1. Price. New bikes are expensive, especially for newbies who aren't sure they'll be committed to the sport. Vintage bikes are usually very cheap in comparison. People know to avoid X-mart bikes, making quality new bikes in the $200-300 range hard to find. Vintage bikes are usually equipped with higher quality components and built with better materials than new bikes in this range.

2. Steel. Barring extreme rust, I would feel much safer buying a used steel bike over aluminum or carbon. Irrational fear of frame failure? Probably. But for peace of mind, its was worth it to go for a steel bike. Most vintage bikes are steel.

3. Good bike to learn how to do maintenance on. Knowing nothing about bike repair before I started, I slowly acquired the skills to replace seats, replace/adjust brakes, attach toe clips, replace inner tubes/tires and more! Would have felt way too paranoid attempting this on a brand new bike.

Now keep in mind that after several months of researching, I still had no idea how to use downtube shifters and only a vague idea of what size bike I was looking for. I came with a ton of questions, and luckily the old hippie man I bought my bike from was willing to answer all my questions.

Remember, just because a buyer doesn't know everything about vintage bikes doesn't mean they won't appreciate it. Answer their questions if they have them and show them how awesome your bike is!
PandaExpress is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 03:57 AM
  #20  
zukahn1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,890

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Liked 931 Times in 397 Posts
Well in the Denver market right now it is tough. With Walmart selling a fairly decent modern road bike for $220 and a lot of people selling good ok vintage stuff in working order around $100 it is just hard to get value out of sell a nicer mid priced vintage road bike in say the $150-300 range. I can sell $75-100 dumbster found just make it ride bikes easy one two days. Also vintage stuff on the higher end say over $300 in legit value does alright.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 05:52 AM
  #21  
Grim
Senior Member
 
Grim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,993

Bikes: Cannondale T700s and a few others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Pretty common.
I have talked a few people OUT of buying my bikes when I can see the fit is off or after talking to them and finding out what they really want and explaining why this is not what they want. Try to be a fair and honest seller.

Last week took the cake. I had 2 frames plus wheels I was selling. One was a 63cm AD SLE with really beat paint and a ding in the top tube. I had a 59cm Bianch "Sports" Decals a mess paint ehhh. Guy is 5'9". I could not talk that guy out of the 63cm frame. "It looked cooler". His girl was there and I asked her if she was puting him on the rack to get them legs to fit that bike.
Grim is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 06:43 AM
  #22  
auchencrow
Senior Member
 
auchencrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Detroit
Posts: 10,327
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 18 Posts
It's much more satisfying to sell a bike to someone who knows/appreciates what he/she is buying - but that's rarely the case.
An equal proportion of sellers don't know/appreciate what they are selling - but that works against me as often as for me as a buyer.
__________________
- Auchen
auchencrow is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 07:02 AM
  #23  
Amesja
Cottered Crank
 
Amesja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,493

Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by Chicago Al View Post
I have had a bit of time wasting but not much and have sold 8, maybe 10 bikes on CL.

Best experiences I have had have been with female buyers. They show up knowing what they are looking for, ride the bike, and make a decision...I think all female potential buyers who've shown up have taken the bike.

Opinions vary on the best selling methods but I think we'd all agree on good pictures and BIG pictures (ie hosted outside CL). I favor a pretty thorough description, but put into an easy to read format, short paragraphs or bullet points. Also disclosing whatever faults the bike has, like paint scrapes or whatever. All that creates an (accurate) impression that I am an honest seller who knows his stuff, and somehow the level of detail also seems to attract people who want a nice bike.

I did sell a bike for my neighbor, a gaspipe Batavus (the bike, not my neighbor, his name is Gary), which was not so great and I'd done little to it. The guy who showed up first liked it and it was cheap ($80 I think), but I almost refused to sell it because from the questions he was asking I just had a feeling it would not be a good match. The bike was really a project and I wish it had gone to a knowledgeable buyer.
I find that I like to buy/fix-up/sell step-through frames to females because they make the best buyers.

Many males are looking for a super-bargain fixer-upper they can do the work on themselves. That isn't what I'm about. I put a lot of work into my bikes and I need to get a little bit more $$$ out of them to pay for the parts and my time.

Step-through bikes in sad cosmetic shape but with little wear on them can be easily found in the <$50 range that when fixed up will sell for $200+.

Most Diamond-framed bikes in the <$50 are beat all to he11-not just cosmetic issues from being stored for 30+ years but hardly ridden. The amount of work these bikes take is usually more than 2x the cost of fixing up a step-through.

Then again females want something that looks "cute" -there is that Mary-Poppins look they are going after because they have been following Lovely Bicycle or other such websites. I've had customers mention these sites by name so I have to thank folks like Veloria for being my unwitting marketing department. These folks usually know what they want too because these sites educate their readers so the types of bikes I'm interested in rebuilding are exactly what they are looking for. Since there are currently NEW bikes being made that are similar and are quite pricey (Dutch bikes and the custom Rivendell bikes) that only makes my restored classics that much more attractive. I've sold a few restorations for $350+ for really nice examples -as well as done upgrades like alloy rims and such to those who want a lighter bike.

The key to clueless CL buyers is to target the bikes you restore/fix-up/flip to the right demographic that knows what they want, and are willing to pay for it. I learned in other business that the way to make money is to sell higher-end stuff for a lot more money to those who are willing to pay more for it. Going for the cheap-ass demographic is only going to cut your margins so thin that it's impossible to make any money without doing crazy amounts of volume. I'm not Walmart -I can't ever compete with that.

The added benefit of going more high-end and exclusive is these folks know EXACTLY what they want -and are willing to pay a premium for it. I pretty much avoid diamond-framed bikes unless they are something really special or they are for my personal use.
Amesja is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 07:33 AM
  #24  
zukahn1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 8,890

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 635 Post(s)
Liked 931 Times in 397 Posts
Very interesting take Amesja I have noticed that both in buyers and lookers/iquirers on Vintage bikes I have sold or listed in pretty much anything under 58cm frame at least half have been females.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 03-02-12, 10:35 AM
  #25  
Amesja
Cottered Crank
 
Amesja's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 3,493

Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Of all the step-throughs I've sold only one time have I not sold it to the first person I showed it to.

Those were two chicks who were out looking at every bike on CL -and admitted to as much. They were a real PITA and didn't go to where I told them I'd meet them. I waited in the parking lot down the block from my place where I like to do business and a customer can test ride the bikes and they never showed. I got a nasty text yelling at me that I wasn't where they were and how RUDE I was for wasting their time. Of course they didn't know how to follow simple directions or listen to where I said I'd be. So I was patient and told them AGAIN EXACTLY where I was and they eventually came back 15 minutes later. They hemmed and hawed for 45 minutes and tried to get me to go down on my pricce by over $50. I told them it was the second day that I had it listed and the price was pretty firm. The bike was spectacular. (look at the Flying Jet at my profile page)

Someone else called and came by with her nice friend* to look at it not an hour later and snapped it right up for what I was asking for.

15 minutes later the two shop-around chicks called back and said they wanted it for $10 less than I was asking. I told them it was already sold and they got mad and didn't believe me. Dudes, it's gone. You snooze you loose. Don't yell at me because you didn't like my price.

I never heard from them again but I put their name into my contact list as "bad customers" so if they ever call for one of my bikes I'll just let it go to voicemail.

These are the only women I've ever had issues with.

Men, I get that all the time from them...


* a good 50% of women who come to look at my bikes bring a friend. I think this is wise when meeting a strange person from the internet. This is also why I like to meet in a public place (public parking lot.)
Amesja is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.