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Haggling prices on Craigslist?

Old 05-20-18, 09:08 AM
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officetoucan
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Haggling prices on Craigslist?

As someone relatively new to cycling, I don't have much experience buying bikes like this. *edited because I am paranoid*

Last edited by officetoucan; 05-21-18 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:10 AM
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depends on how local it is, a lot of people consider it rude to haggle before seeing the item in person. If it's within a few miles, go check it out and see for yourself before trying to lowball the guy.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:19 AM
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"High-end build" wouldn't be selling for $350. If you are only willing to pay $200, then make an offer. Worst that can happen is it gets rejected.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
"High-end build" wouldn't be selling for $350. If you are only willing to pay $200, then make an offer. Worst that can happen is it gets rejected.
I know, that's why I am worried the owner perhaps doesn't know too much about bikes and agreeing to a price might be difficult.

Also, that's true.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:34 AM
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Face to Face, with Cash in Hand probably more effective.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:37 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by officetoucan View Post
As someone relatively new to cycling, I don't have much experience buying bikes like this. On craigslist recently I saw an offer for a 2003 Giant ocr 2 in my size (small) going for 350, but I'm not sure... in my opinion I wouldn't pay over 200 for that bike. It looks to be in good condition though.
What do you think it's worth? Should I try to convince the seller to go for around $200, or would that be a waste of time? It seems like an okay entry level road bike, but the owner listed it as "a high end build".
Don't know about high end build. According to blue book, the bike had 9 speed Tiagra components, a triple chainring, aluminum frame, and carbon fiber fork. It sold for $820 new, and a comparable bike today would retail for around $900 to $1,000.

So $350 for a 15 year old bike seems a little high. But there are hot bike markets out there, where a clean used bike goes for more. I would frame it this way. Any older bike, even one that was well maintained, will need new brake pads, tires, and possibly chain and cassette, and there is an element of risk as well. So while I might pay a bike shop $350 for a used bike with some kind of warranty, I would offer less to a private seller, unless the seller can prove the bike was very recently overhauled. And that is how I would explain it to the seller. Assuming the bike fits you and is in mint condition, I would say, I like the bike, but I know i can find a similar brand new bike for around $900 or on sale someplace for around $750. This bike looks nice, but it is 15 years old, so I assume it will need a basic tuneup, and likely new tires, brakes, chain, cassette, and maybe 1 or 2 other things, so my cost for this bike if I pay you $350 is more like $500, and why would I pay $500 for a 15 year old bike when I can find something new, or at least a lot newer for $750.

I would say that as a rule of thumb, if I can get what I am looking for used for less than 50% of the cost of the same bike new, I am willing to consider it, but THAT ALSO INCLUDES THE COST OF MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS. so if a new bike would cost, say, $900, and I can get a used bike for $200, and put $150 in consumables and labor, the total cost is $350 which puts me ahead of the game. If the cost starts to creep up higher than 50%, the deal starts to get less attractive.

The thing is, you need to go there and check things out in person, and bring cash.

Last edited by MRT2; 05-20-18 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:57 AM
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If there's other, similar bikes priced at or around $200, then offer $2'00, esp. if it's the right size.

I guess a lot depends on the seller's motivation, too.
I have a couple of bikes I was just trying to get out of the garage, not really to turn a profit, so I priced them in line with some other bikes I'd seen on CL. The nicer one went for the ask price, the cheaper one I let go for about 2/3 the ask, simply because it was a 'found' bike, that I'd repaired with parts from the junk box, so I had $0 invested in it, It was just a bike that no one was using.
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Old 05-20-18, 12:29 PM
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To quote the old saying, "cash talks". What that means in this context is that it's really easy to say "no" to a remote potential buyer over the phone or via email. It's another thing to say no to an in-person buyer who has cash ready to give you and take the bike away.

My advice:

1) Do your research on what you want, what size you need, etc.
2) Do your research on what else is available for sale.
3) Get the cash and go see the bike, inspect it closely, ride it a bit. Look for any faults that might cost you money down the road. Are the tires good? Does the driveline show signs of wear? Are the wheels true? Handlebar tape in good shape? Any crash scars?
4) Make an offer in line with what the market in your area justifies.

Don't feel comfortable evaluating a bike due to your lack of expertise? Perhaps you have a friend or relative you can take with you.
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Old 05-20-18, 01:41 PM
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I've done dozens upon dozens of CL deals for everything from commercial fitness equipment to guns, and haggled with every single seller. Out of all of these deals, I've only come across one seller who wouldn't haggle...and I wound up walking away from the deal.

I do my research and know what the item is worth, not just to me, but in the current market. I then put that much cash in my pocket, no more. I divide this amount into two pockets with my opening offer in one pocket, and the difference in another pocket. Then I have cash to flash to the seller and the ability to increase my offer if he/she doesn't take the initial offer, but I'm not laying all of my cards on the table right away.
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Old 05-20-18, 01:55 PM
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very risky,something could be wrong with bike even the dealer doesnt know whats wrong and then you gotta fix etc.
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Old 05-20-18, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by shine2000 View Post
very risky,something could be wrong with bike even the dealer doesnt know whats wrong and then you gotta fix etc.
A little risky, not very risky. I already gave my 2 cents about consumables. Assume that if they have not been recently replaced, you will have to replace them soon. As for the rest. Inspect the bike. Any scratches or dents? Minor scratches are OK. Deep gouges, or a big dent might suggest a bad crash or similar abuse. Spin the wheels. Are they true or is there a noticeable wobble? Turn the handlebars? Smooth, or does it feel rough? Ride the bike and shift through the gears. Do they shift smoothly or is there a problem. How about the cranks? Any play in the cranks? If so, you might need a new bottom bracket.

If it all checks out, Then you are good to make an offer, assuming the bike fits.
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Old 05-20-18, 04:29 PM
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So much depends on your local market and motivation of seller. Today I sold three different items on Craigslist (no bikes, but two of them bike related). One item, a car trunk rack, the asking price was 80 and the buyer offered $65. I accepted his offer. Another item the listed price was $15 and the buyer paid $15 without question. The last item (a piece of furniture) was listed for $70 and the buyer willingly paid the listed price. I do my research as a seller and while I build some wiggle room into the asking price, I don't ask new prices for used items and unless it's something I really want out of my life, I don't even consider "lowball" offers.

"Bicycle Blue Book" has distorted the market for many used bikes by posting surprisingly low values. The low values support their business model of buying bikes and flipping them for their own profit, along with supporting dealers by creating a supposedly "authoritative" source for used bike values, Dealers can give lower trade-in values.

In the end, if the bike is exceptionally clean, $350 may be a reasonable asking price but in the end, there's always another deal. Unless your heart is set on a particular bike, make an offer and, if rejected, then be prepared to look a bit longer to find the next deal. (Of course, it's my experience that the best deals are found on bikes that: 1. Are the wrong size 2: You have no time / money / space for another bike. 3. Someone beats you to it!)
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Old 05-20-18, 07:30 PM
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https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik...593055347.html
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Old 05-21-18, 05:11 AM
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The only time I tried to sell a bike on craigslist, I got about a dozen "offers" ranging from 40% to 80% of my asking price. I thought I was asking a reasonable amount, so I put it up for sale on ebay and ended up getting 10% over my asking price.
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Old 05-21-18, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
The only time I tried to sell a bike on craigslist, I got about a dozen "offers" ranging from 40% to 80% of my asking price. I thought I was asking a reasonable amount, so I put it up for sale on ebay and ended up getting 10% over my asking price.
Yes, but unless it was a local pickup, after fees and such, you likely ended up with a little less than your asking price and the hassle of getting a bike shipped, along with the risk of a crummy buyer wanting a refund or worse, scamming you somehow. When pricing items to sell on Craigslist, I'll look at sold items on Ebay and usually am willing to accept 80% or more of the typical selling price on Ebay. For some items, particularly unique or rare items, Ebay is the most likely place to get anything near realistic pricing and make the item visible to interested buyers.
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Old 05-21-18, 11:56 AM
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I always price CL stuff at some nice round number about 15-20% over what I want, with the expectation most are gonna try to lowball and we can settle around what I want. Sometimes they just hand over the cash and I make more, as someone said above sometimes I have a person sitting there with cash in hand and a price a bit less than I want, but I take it anyways out of convenience.

I'm much more amenable to haggling in person, I can use what I can see to my advantage. If someone offers me an online price and I accept, I'm not going any lower when they get there, we already agreed upon price.
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Old 05-21-18, 04:10 PM
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It really depends how far I have to travel to determine when I make an offer. If something is an hour away, I will try to find an agreed price before I make the drive. If they are close, I will negotiate in person.
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Old 05-21-18, 05:44 PM
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I sell everything on Craigslist and never haggle. Price set is always less than or equal to going market price. Someone shoots a price at me in a text or email, I tell them look at it first and tell me what it is worth. I always get what I ask because I don't need the hassle of haggle and squeezing the last red cent out of something. It must be said that I don't sell junk, either. Everything is always in very good to excellent mechanical condition. Life is too short to haggle with someone you don't know and don't give a crap about.
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Old 05-21-18, 06:00 PM
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Good info above. I personally haggle a bit as a buyer, but I usually make it clear that I am real, serious, and ready, as in:
ďHi, if youíll take $120 [instead of $140] Iíll be there in an hour or as soon as is convenient for you with cash, ready to buy assuming itís as advertised.Ē

That lets people know I wonít screw around, and Iím not coming to kick the tires and leave without a sale, or throw a curveball by offering a crazy low price when I get there. I donít like to go intending to haggle without mentioning a lowered price first, because some people are not gonna be ready to deal with the lower offer without thinking about it first.

And as always, some people are just plain weird and/or slightly crazy. Iíve had buyers of my stuff that I thought were complete flakes work out so smoothly, and Iíve bought stuff worried after my first interaction that the seller was an utter idiot, but it went fine! You never can tell.
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Old 05-21-18, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
Good info above. I personally haggle a bit as a buyer, but I usually make it clear that I am real, serious, and ready, as in:
ďHi, if youíll take $120 [instead of $140] Iíll be there in an hour or as soon as is convenient for you with cash, ready to buy assuming itís as advertised.Ē

That lets people know I wonít screw around, and Iím not coming to kick the tires and leave without a sale, or throw a curveball by offering a crazy low price when I get there. I donít like to go intending to haggle without mentioning a lowered price first, because some people are not gonna be ready to deal with the lower offer without thinking about it first.

And as always, some people are just plain weird and/or slightly crazy. Iíve had buyers of my stuff that I thought were complete flakes work out so smoothly, and Iíve bought stuff worried after my first interaction that the seller was an utter idiot, but it went fine! You never can tell.
this. You should know what you are willing to spend. Bring this amount in cash. If the item is not completely as advertised and you have room to negotiate you still have cash on hand. If you have to travel indicate this and what your top dollar will be. If the party agrees then usually you will have a sale. Communicate as much before hand and sales usually go fairly smooth. If they insist on their top dollar I like to wait. The same item is bumped to the top a few weeks later at the price you offered previously.


looking at that link though I don't see anything high end. Very basic bike with mediocre components in an uncommon hard to sell size. Offer 275-300 if everything on the bike is perfect. If it needs tires, cables, or it shifts like a craftsman ratchet left out in the rain then walk. Not sure about your area, but i see much better small framed bikes all the time in my area for the same price.

Last edited by stykthyn; 05-21-18 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 05-22-18, 05:50 PM
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I just find the whole price haggling thing a PIA. If willing to accept a lower price, why not just advertise it at that price? Because the haggler will come in with a lower price yet. Makes no sense to me. The advertised price is an inflated price with the expectation of both parties to haggle down to the fair price, which could have been advertised in the first place. Way too much work. When I was in Asia every bit of shopping was done this way, even groceries. PIA, and disingenuous at best.
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Old 05-22-18, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Face to Face, with Cash in Hand probably more effective.
exactly...face to face cash talks...



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Old 05-23-18, 08:07 PM
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As it is said, "Cash is king."
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Old 05-23-18, 08:20 PM
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If I'm going to go to the trouble to read craigslist, respond to an ad, coordinate a time and place to see the item for sale, show up with the cash and a way to haul the item away, it's because I have already decided I want that item and want it badly enough to get it before someone else beats me to it. Of course, if some flaw is discovered upon inspection that was not mentioned in the ad or seen in the pics, then deep discount or I'm prepared to walk. If something seems overpriced from the beginning, I can wait. No haggling.
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Old 05-24-18, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I just find the whole price haggling thing a PIA. If willing to accept a lower price, why not just advertise it at that price? Because the haggler will come in with a lower price yet. Makes no sense to me.
It may not make sense, but it is how the world works. Far easier for me to just play the game than to try to change the world to my view.

FWIW, I tried that when I sold my rusty old Blazer. Originally had it up for $700, which was my bottom line cause I just wanted it gone, no biters except a couple lowballers offering me less than scrap. Raised the price to $1000 OBO, ended up walking away with $750. The psychological standpoint of getting a deal cannot be understated.
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