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How to estimate used bike depreciation/value

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How to estimate used bike depreciation/value

Old 08-27-19, 10:00 PM
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el forestero
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How to estimate used bike depreciation/value

I come across a fair number of used bikes for sale by owner whose models aren't listed on the online value guides like bicycle blue book. I can look up their MSRP for a new unit, but that alone doesn't tell me how much they're currently worth. Sometimes they're current or next-year models that were bought new just a few months ago. How should I calculate depreciation/value on bikes under these kinds of circumstances?
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Old 08-27-19, 11:31 PM
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CliffordK
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The following is my sense of the market. Feel free to comment, or object.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
BicycleBlueBook may not apply directly to Japan, or models only available outside of the USA.

I'm not sure there is a specific formula, and everything will depreciate at a slightly different rate. Personally, I think BicycleBlueBook fails at that point, and should make say a dozen categories.

Carbon Road
Aluminum Road
Steel Road
High-End Custom MTB
Department Store Bikes
etc.

A lot of bikes will approach an asymptote over time, although that asymptote may shift somewhat, or would be complex. Especially if there is a technology shift like disc brakes, or hydraulic disc brakes.

So, one might have values of say: $100, $300, $500, $800, & $1000 which different styles of bikes will eventually drift towards.

The interesting thing is that an Ultegra and an Dura Ace road bike may both drift towards $1000 (then eventually get pulled lower as it gets > 10 years old).

I think cyclocross bikes will hold their value a bit better than MTBs, but disc brakes are more in vogue than V-Brakes or Cantis.

Anyway, for used stuff, it can not command any more money than the lowest (accessible) internet price for that item, new.

Knock a little off for taking it off of the showroom floor.

If the bike is in high demand, and less than 1 year old, it might be as high as 80% of that lowest internet price.

On the other hand, if it is a particularly expensive model, but in low demand, it could drop to 50% of that lowest internet price.

Damage? Some people are especially concerned with visible damage to Carbon Fiber.
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Old 08-27-19, 11:35 PM
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Oh, I've heard that for some things, the Japanese have a particular aversion to used stuff. Or, at least make a sharp distinction between "NEW" and "USED". So, a seat may only be considered "NEW" if it is fully packaged in an unopened box. If it has been touched, has finger prints, has ever been sat on, etc... it is "USED", even if it is still in the bike shop.

That likely would have some impact on used prices, probably to the negative.
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Old 08-28-19, 03:19 AM
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There are a lot factors that go into the equation for buying used. In the end, a used bicycle is only worth what someone is willing to pay.
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Old 08-28-19, 07:50 AM
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If I'm looking to buy a 2nd hand bike I've normally narrowed it down to 1 or 2 models and watch them / bookmark a few on e-bay for a while and see what they go for, I've never done it but I believe you can also search for sold / completed listings
As someone else said they're worth what someone is willing to pay for them but some sellers seem to think because they put "hardly used" in their advert it's worth the brand new price less £10 for some obscure reason whereas the reality is 50% of new is probably a better staring point and then add or subtract for condition / age etc.
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Old 08-28-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
In the end, a used bicycle is only worth what someone is willing to pay.
this is correct and cannot be disputed
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Old 08-28-19, 10:00 AM
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I think it's entirely about condition and setup. If there's a used bike that perfectly matches what I want and everything is in great shape, there's no reason not to pay 75% of new. No more than that since second owners don't usually get the free annual tuneups from the purchase shop. From there it's just assessment of how much life is left in the components. If the components are shot but it's a great frame that fits it could be anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the frame and which components need to be replaced. Pay what it's worth to you.
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Old 08-28-19, 10:24 AM
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If you want to know what used bicycles are really selling for, check out the used dealers near a university campus. Also check bike co-ops. Then knock off another 10% or so for dealer markup if buying from an individual.

As far as NOS or nearly NOS being sold used by an individual ó not a bike dealer ó I would consider the condition of the bike and why itís being sold before offering a bid. If itís fishy and possibly stolen, Iíd beg off. If it seems sound, I might offer as much as 60-70% of MSRP if I really had to have that particular bike. No warranty or included maintenance plan in a used bike purchased from an individual. Consider that at the right time of year you can usually buy NOS from a dealer for at least 15-20% or more off MSRP. You just need to decide how much warranty and included maintenance are worth to you.

All bets are off if itís someone you know and trust, though. Donít want to compromise a friendship over a garage sale.

Just my my two cents worth.
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Old 09-02-19, 04:24 PM
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el forestero
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Thanks for the helpful replies, all!
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