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A lesson in marketing a specific type of bike.

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A lesson in marketing a specific type of bike.

Old 05-27-13, 06:18 PM
  #1  
Shp4man
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A lesson in marketing a specific type of bike.

The fixie bike in my sig was taking up valuable garage space, so I figured I'd put it on CL. First, with a high price- $350. No takers. I lowered it the next day and redid the ad (to bump it to the top) at $250. Only 4 responses So, lowered to $200, and got a bunch of responses, but so far no buyer. Here's the ad. I'm open for criticism on it, too.

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/ssd/bik/3828924695.html

What I've figured out is: I live in a part of town where the hipsters/young guys don't go to, and many of them don't have a car. I have 2 guys that want it, but they don't have any way to get here to see it, or haul it home.

If I lived in a "hip" part of town this thing would have been gone already.
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Old 05-27-13, 06:27 PM
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i think with a lower profile red seat it would have sent at $350! You could agree to meet them for an added $50?
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Old 05-27-13, 06:35 PM
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Is your neighborhood transit-accessible? If I were selling such a bike, I would advise a potential buyer to hop on a Coaster (Coast Express Rail) commuter rail train.
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Old 05-27-13, 06:41 PM
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Some close ups of components and key areas of the frame would help to show the actual condition. If there are tubing labels showing a good quality chrome moly alloy, that would be a good thing to highlight in the photos as well.
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Old 05-27-13, 07:05 PM
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$350 will deliver.
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Old 05-27-13, 07:07 PM
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That's a vague listing. People want to know exactly what they are getting and that the person who's selling it is knowledgeable. They want that warm fuzzy feeling. For instance, that is a 1987 Fuji Tiara with a VALite Si-45 quad butted frame. Now, I can't ID the rest of the parts, but the more specifics you can provide, the better. Close up of the major components is a must, IMO. Regularly maintained, recently overhauled? If so, mention it.
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Old 05-27-13, 07:18 PM
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Photographs also aren't searchable. You need to do the work of including all of the details of what you've done to the bike. For instance, I can't figure out what rims and hubs those are from the photographs, and you haven't included much of any text to describe it all. What gearing does it have?

A heavily modified bike ought to have a lot of explanation about it.

Also, the cable routing is unusual. Looks like you routed the right lever to the front caliper with an awfully long loop, then the rear appears overly tight and crosses over in the rear. What levers and calipers are on the bike?
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Old 05-27-13, 07:23 PM
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The market is over-saturated with fixed gears and single speed. Bikes Direct pretty much killed off the market for road frame conversions. You'll have to lower your price to compete.

At this point I would part it out.
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Old 05-27-13, 07:25 PM
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With the exception of the HUGE seat your OK. Remember that the hipster/fixie/ss market is dead as dead can be. I'm leary of jacking the price and offering free delivery, odds are you'll show up and the buyer will try to negotiate you down or back out.

What I could get $225 for all day long 3 years ago I probably couldn't get $150 for now. The Tampa hipster students are into skate boards now.
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Old 05-27-13, 08:00 PM
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This may sound kind of ridiculous but pull the seatpost out a bit more (where you can grab a solid 'fist' of seatpost) and change the seat. Give it a more 'aggressive' stance. Right now, for lack of a better word it looks a bit 'dumpy'.

Also the background, albeit pretty, does not show the bike off well. Take it to a garage door, brick wall, or privacy fence. It will make the bike 'pop' a bit more.
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Old 05-27-13, 08:06 PM
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Throw on some parts bin derailleurs, a second chainring, drop bars, and geared wheels. Sell the fixed wheelset separately.
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Old 05-27-13, 08:07 PM
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I'd put the second photo first. In fact, I'd ditch all the other photos, since the big red rim makes it seem like a decoration or a toy. You might add some closeups of the components, or something that shows off the nice paint. Should you make the loop in the cable for the rear brake smaller?

Here's the photo sharpened up:



Here's some copy:

You'll love the smooth simplicity of this wonderful single-speed bike. If you've never ridden a single-speed, come by for a test ride and see why they are so popular these days. You can even flip the rear wheel if you want to try riding it as a fixie. Even if you're not a hipster, you'll love riding around without the need to shift gears all the time.

This bike is ready to go, and has a brand-new wheelset, new tires, and new brakes!

I lovingly restored this classic 80s Fuji, which has a much-desired fully lugged steel frame.

It's a 56 centimeter frame, suitable for a person 5' 5' to 5' 11'. . $200 OBO. Cash only please.

Call today because I've priced this to sell fast.

Last edited by TromboneAl; 05-27-13 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 05-27-13, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'd put the second photo first. In fact, I'd ditch all the other photos, since the big red rim makes it seem like a decoration or a toy. You might add some closeups of the components, or something that shows off the nice paint. Should you make the loop in the cable for the rear brake smaller?

Here's the photo sharpened up:



Here's some copy:

You'll love the smooth simplicity of this wonderful single-speed bike. If you've never ridden a single-speed, come by for a test ride and see why they are so popular these days. You can even flip the rear wheel if you want to try riding it as a fixie. Even if you're not a hipster, you'll love riding around without the need to shift gears all the time.

This bike is ready to go, and has a brand-new wheelset, new tires, and new brakes!

I lovingly restored this classic 80s Fuji, which has a much-desired fully lugged steel frame.

It's a 56 centimeter frame, suitable for a person 5' 5' to 5' 11'. . $200 OBO. Cash only please.

Call today because I've priced this to sell fast.
Man. That's^^^^^ good copy! Hope you don't mind if I copy and paste? Some good advice from all you guys, thanks.

I thought about buying a parts bike and putting it back to a road bike configuration, too, but jeez, I've already got three road bikes, so? But not a yellow one!
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Old 05-27-13, 09:35 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here's some copy:

You'll love the smooth simplicity of this wonderful single-speed bike. If you've never ridden a single-speed, come by for a test ride and see why they are so popular these days. You can even flip the rear wheel if you want to try riding it as a fixie. Even if you're not a hipster, you'll love riding around without the need to shift gears all the time.

This bike is ready to go, and has a brand-new wheelset, new tires, and new brakes!

I lovingly restored this classic 80s Fuji, which has a much-desired fully lugged steel frame.

It's a 56 centimeter frame, suitable for a person 5' 5' to 5' 11'. . $200 OBO. Cash only please.

Call today because I've priced this to sell fast.
Interesting thing. This sort of ad copy on CL is off-putting to me. I know what I am looking at and the seller telling me what an awesome bike I should think it is smacks of used car dealer to me. I prefer a good description, sans creative prose, and letting me decide for myself if this is the bike I should hurry to buy.

I may be the exception to that. I tend to be rather cynical about enthusiastic sales pitches.
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Old 05-27-13, 09:46 PM
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In all honesty, the McDonald's color scheme turns me off. The SS/fixies I see are either pretty utilitarian or have terrific bling as a custom lowrider vehicle. I would part the bike out because the yellow frame and red rims clash.
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Old 05-27-13, 10:02 PM
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The saddle is throwing the whole bike off for me. Pull the seat post out a bit, change for a low profile saddle that matches te bike. Get a neutral solid background. The grass isn't doing it. A garage door, a wall, something. Make sure it has good lighting. Right now your 4 photos are basically the same and dont make me want to click them because i wont see anything different. First photo head on profile of the drive side. Next take specific photos of various components and nice pieces of it . Don't say "such a nice bike look at me." Just state the facts, what it is and list out the components and brand names on it.

If you live in the sticks, offer to deliver.
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Old 05-27-13, 10:02 PM
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https://www.craigslist.org/about/best...796206422.html You need to write like this guy.
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Old 05-27-13, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
Interesting thing. This sort of ad copy on CL is off-putting to me. I know what I am looking at and the seller telling me what an awesome bike I should think it is smacks of used car dealer to me. I prefer a good description, sans creative prose, and letting me decide for myself if this is the bike I should hurry to buy.

I may be the exception to that. I tend to be rather cynical about enthusiastic sales pitches.
Yes, that is terrible, cliched marketing copy. Insulting and uninformative.

A clear factual description with detailed photos is what is needed.

Again, the ship on these conversions sailed about 5 years ago. You're late to the party, and the demand isn't there anymore. The lack of responses is proof of this.
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Old 05-27-13, 10:05 PM
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Oh, and list the size/heights of the rider in the title. More likely to get a click from someone who doesn't know what they want if it spells it out for them.
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Old 05-27-13, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy View Post
Someone posted one of his ads a while back. Different bike, same m.o.

Funny stuff.
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Old 05-27-13, 10:51 PM
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Still the OP is not excited about the idea of writing and expressing things that are truths. It reeks of being told by a real estate agent that a home is "conveniently located" and "nestled in a scenic location," where a simple listing of the address would be far more useful.
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Old 05-27-13, 11:06 PM
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You listed it one day, dropped the price by $100 on day 2, got 4 responses and lowered the price again? I don't think you have the patience for CL selling. Not trying to be flip; just an observation.
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Old 05-28-13, 07:48 AM
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Interesting thing. This sort of ad copy on CL is off-putting to me. I know what I am looking at and the seller telling me what an awesome bike I should think it is smacks of used car dealer to me.
Yes, that is terrible, cliched marketing copy. Insulting and uninformative.

A clear factual description with detailed photos is what is needed.
You know what, guys, I agree with you 100%. When I look in Craigslist, I just want to see information about the bike, no snake oil salesman type stuff. Yucko.

But, like it or not, copy like that sells. The goal isn't to have people like your ad, the goal is to get a potential buyer picturing him or herself riding that bicycle. Give them an emotional connection to the bike, get them to think about the pleasure that we all get from riding, and they will look for objective reasons (new tires, new brakes) to back up their emotional decision.

You absolutely cannot sell the steak, you have to sell the sizzle.

Feel free to copy and paste.
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Old 05-28-13, 08:05 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
You listed it one day, dropped the price by $100 on day 2, got 4 responses and lowered the price again? I don't think you have the patience for CL selling. Not trying to be flip; just an observation.
+1.

Anyone that might have been observing this bike and then see the price dropped three times in 3 days would certainly be turned off and think that there was something wrong with the bike or the deal. Nothing wrong with the original ad, we've all seen far worse, but you just need to show some patience. Good luck...
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Old 05-28-13, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDaddy View Post
Fixed gear can have 3 speeds?
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