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Why don't more LBS have Trade-In / Ebay Reselling?

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Why don't more LBS have Trade-In / Ebay Reselling?

Old 04-26-20, 07:17 AM
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Sy Reene
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Why don't more LBS have Trade-In / Ebay Reselling?

I'm familiar with one shop that's somewhat in my area (linked below as an example). If I were interested in one of their brands and were shopping for an upgrade or replacement, that would definitely be the route I'd want to take -- seamlessly getting rid of current bike, getting credit toward new purchase, and no hassle reselling my old bike by myself privately.
https://www.ebay.com/str/piermontbik...cat=2188395015

For a used bike shopper, being able to buy from a bike shop seems like a more comfortable and safe proposition. And, the LBS has an additional source of revenue, presuming they believe used bikes sales they make aren't cannibalizing their new bike sales.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:50 AM
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To be a dealer for the major brands (Trek, Giant & Specialized) and maybe others, the store has to make a commitment to buy a specific amount (either units or dollars) every year.

They may not want to tie up money in used inventory.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:53 AM
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This is just a guess, but in the end it would probably cost the shop more to get the used/traded-in bike in selling condition than they'd get in return for selling it. Replacing components (if necessary), cables, wheel and BB bearings, tires/tubes, bar tape, etc. And then paying the hourly wages of the wrench to do all that. If you look on Craigslist...used bikes that are in good condition only fetch a few hundred dollars usually. There are some that go for more. But in general all the maintenance would likely cost more than they could sell it for. Just my guess.


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Old 04-26-20, 08:00 AM
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We do trade-ins. They tend to sell very quickly if they're road bikes. There just aren't that many people that decide to trade in a decent bike for another one.
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Old 04-26-20, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
This is just a guess, but in the end it would probably cost the shop more to get the used/traded-in bike in selling condition than they'd get in return for selling it. Replacing components (if necessary), cables, wheel and BB bearings, tires/tubes, bar tape, etc. And then paying the hourly wages of the wrench to do all that. If you look on Craigslist...used bikes that are in good condition only fetch a few hundred dollars usually. There are some that go for more. But in general all the maintenance would likely cost more than they could sell it for. Just my guess.
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The shop can't lose; they only pay out what they sell it for and in this case eg. keep 15% of the value. Plus don't forget the other eg. 85% is tied to trade-in value to them having sold a new bike.

Originally Posted by Ferrouscious View Post
We do trade-ins. They tend to sell very quickly if they're road bikes. There just aren't that many people that decide to trade in a decent bike for another one.
Huh.. surprising. So the N+1 is really alive and well then? Though, obviously places like ProsCloset and Sidelineswap exist but they're kinda national resources, but the hassle of shipping in order to get a bike resold is a bit of an issue.
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Old 04-26-20, 08:55 AM
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Is it really that hard to understand that an $80K or even $40K automobile might have plenty of value left at trade-in but a bike bought new at $2K might not? Seriously. Why is this a thread? There are probably more bikes bought new at $500 than at $2K if you really want the truth. Where is the trade-in value? The o.p. is thinking like an enthusiast, the LBS has to be more pragmatic about things.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:00 AM
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A couple do it here. But it's going to mostly be higher end stuff to justify it. For a shop it's not usually going to be worth the staff and effort for a $250 used bike especially when shipping is involved.

https://www.ebay.com/str/Bens-Cycle-...&_sop=15&rt=nc

Great deals from wheelandsprocket on bicycle | eBay Stores
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Old 04-26-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Is it really that hard to understand that an $80K or even $40K automobile might have plenty of value left at trade-in but a bike bought new at $2K might not? Seriously. Why is this a thread? There are probably more bikes bought new at $500 than at $2K if you really want the truth. Where is the trade-in value? The o.p. is thinking like an enthusiast, the LBS has to be more pragmatic about things.
Who brought up cars?

I guess I am thinking like an enthusiast, and an LBS that's oriented toward enthusiasts I think would find a market amongst other enthusiasts who might want to do a new bike every 2-3 years and want an easy avenue to accomplish this.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:15 AM
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Not all bike stores have the room to accommodate an appreciable number of used bikes. Many of those that do (and that are run by people who are business-minded first and bike enthusiasts second) figure out a way to make taking trade-ins profitable. Then there's the fact that you're usually better off answering any reasonable question from a prospective customer about trade-ins (or anything, really) with "Yes, we do" rather than "No, we don't."

The shops where I worked that took in trade-ins were run by very smart people who recognized that they'd be able to make a small profit off each bike. Also, the majority of trade-ins tend to be kid's bikes, which seldom require much work and turn over fairly quickly. Take a kid's bike trade-in from the parents in one family, sell the bike to the parents in another family, and you've got two sets of loyal customers who'll be back for additional bikes down the road.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
A couple do it here. But it's going to mostly be higher end stuff to justify it. For a shop it's not usually going to be worth the staff and effort for a $250 used bike especially when shipping is involved.
No doubt has to be higher end.. Yeah, I wasn't thinking just any bike -- nobody's gonna want to take in the dept store stuff.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:50 AM
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Have to sell two bikes for a one bike profit.
Have to store them.
Perceived market and margin.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I guess I am thinking like an enthusiast, and an LBS that's oriented toward enthusiasts I think would find a market amongst other enthusiasts who might want to do a new bike every 2-3 years and want an easy avenue to accomplish this.
We have a couple of "enthusiast" shops in the area. I do not see the traffic in those as I see at the local LBS who is dealing in Trek or Specialized etc. I would think that, purely anecdotal, the majority of sales at any LBS are to non-enthusiasts or at least pre-enthusiasts without the detailed knowledge to know the difference between one derailleur or the next. I would also think as a trade-in, a shop would want to display and sell a bike that was in as stock configuration as possible. If the bike is adorned with this or that custom part, the bike takes on a more personal air about it. Like anything else, once you start to customize something you reduce the market that it will appeal to.
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Old 04-26-20, 10:08 AM
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Simple answer - it's not a money making proposition for the owner.

More complicated answer - some LBSs do, but making it work is dependent on a wide variety of factors including local market, volume, competition, etc.

Running a business is easy, as long as its with someone else's time and money.
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Old 04-26-20, 12:23 PM
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Most of the shops around here hold "bike swap" days twice a year. You can let the store try to sell your bike with two seperate results. If you take the cash from the sale, the shops retain a consigment fee. If you use the sale money as a trade in, full value goes towards new bike. It's an option at least compared to dealing with Craiglist and Kijiji
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Old 04-26-20, 12:29 PM
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I volunteer regularly at a high-volume bike Co-op. Plus I know shop owners. Of the 50 or so shops in my metro region, I know of only one that takes in trade-ins, and these are high-end bikes from owners who upgrade to a more recent high-end bike. So your dream customer demographic: folks with Platinum cards who roll up in a Mercedes SUV. They have a bike tour to Tuscany on their agenda, and they totally depend on their shop for everything, from a $500 fitting to pumping up the tires. At $100/hr shop rate. The trade-ins at this shop are $2k minimum and up. So the target audience here is folks who buy a $10k bike every 3 years. The trade-ins are less of a profit centre to a customer service perk - for the 1% customer demographic who expects to be fawned over, and no-wait service.


The sad reality is that at least 90% of new bikes sold in the First World are from department and big box stores. These bikes see zero maintenance from political reeducation camp to landfill, and the lifespan of each bike is roughly 500 miles. Due to the excessive weight, dysfunctional design, and poor components, these bikes are not worth fixing, and never should have been manufactured in the first place. A purchase of these bikes results in less cycling and not more.


More: every mid-range bike that comes into our Co-op needs a new chain (badly), plus a cassette and likely the chainrings. So $200+ of parts required. If the bike has STI-like shifters, there is a 50:50 chance that the shifters are pooched, hence the reason for the bike landing with us for repair. Bottom line: installing $500 of hard-to-find parts on a bike ultimately worth $500 is tough economics.
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Old 04-26-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I volunteer regularly at a high-volume bike Co-op. Plus I know shop owners. Of the 50 or so shops in my metro region, I know of only one that takes in trade-ins, and these are high-end bikes from owners who upgrade to a more recent high-end bike. So your dream customer demographic: folks with Platinum cards who roll up in a Mercedes SUV. They have a bike tour to Tuscany on their agenda, and they totally depend on their shop for everything, from a $500 fitting to pumping up the tires. At $100/hr shop rate. The trade-ins at this shop are $2k minimum and up. So the target audience here is folks who buy a $10k bike every 3 years. The trade-ins are less of a profit centre to a customer service perk - for the 1% customer demographic who expects to be fawned over, and no-wait service.


The sad reality is that at least 90% of new bikes sold in the First World are from department and big box stores. These bikes see zero maintenance from political reeducation camp to landfill, and the lifespan of each bike is roughly 500 miles. Due to the excessive weight, dysfunctional design, and poor components, these bikes are not worth fixing, and never should have been manufactured in the first place. A purchase of these bikes results in less cycling and not more.


More: every mid-range bike that comes into our Co-op needs a new chain (badly), plus a cassette and likely the chainrings. So $200+ of parts required. If the bike has STI-like shifters, there is a 50:50 chance that the shifters are pooched, hence the reason for the bike landing with us for repair. Bottom line: installing $500 of hard-to-find parts on a bike ultimately worth $500 is tough economics.
This sounds like it is probably the most reasonable explanation.

Of the stores I know that have used bikes, from single speed bombers to nice road bikes, most of the bikes are pre-brifter/disc brake bikes and many are actually classic and vintage or near to being such. These types require less time and cost to re-hab to be suitable for sale. From my talks with the owner on one of the shops, the most popular bikes are steel frame, rim brake bikes with cassettes. Their clients are students, older riders looking for a familiar bike to get back into cycling as a cheaper entry point, new immigrants, C&V chasers, and collectors (or accumulators). I stop in regularly to see what shows up and it appears they do a decent turnover. They also have some older steel framesets that float in as bikes that may need too many parts, but have a good name frame. They also have a great supply of kids bikes cheap. They have a niche and the customers.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:12 PM
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After a good, high-end bike shop handling Trek (among other lines) closed in my area (Danzeisen & Quigley in Cherry Hill NJ), a Trek store opened nearby. I stopped in recently and they told me they take trade-ins, giving Bicycle Blue Book values. I believe BBB values to be way low, sometimes bordering on ridiculous. Still, the shop offers trade-in credit. I don't know what they do with the bikes, as apparently they don't use valuable floor space to display any used bikes.
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Old 04-26-20, 08:59 PM
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I don't have the space or the time to dedicate to used bikes. Plus in my area you do need to have a pawn license to sell used bikes. Plus having to deal with everyone and their grandmother getting mad because we won't give them anything for the old Giant they paid $300 for 20 years ago and think it is worth something.

Trek stores can do whatever they want if a store is failing they use other stores around it to prop it up for vanity's sake.
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Old 04-26-20, 10:34 PM
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If the old bike is valuable, the customer either keeps it as spare, or knows they can get decent money when selling themselves.

An LBS has a reputation to defend and have liability selling a bike. So they need to fix many items and replace worn parts. For most bikes that fixing at LBS rates is close to the value of the bike. Plus the unrealistic expectation of how much that trade- in credit should be.

I don't know commercial real estate. But assume a squarefoot store space cost a few $ each month, you see how a used bike taking space eats your money.

As said above, 90% of bikes are department store bike. I assume another 9% are $500 bikes. So most bikes are cheaper to replace than worth used.

Enthusiasts buy new stuff or very selected used stuff.
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Old 04-27-20, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
If the old bike is valuable, the customer either keeps it as spare, or knows they can get decent money when selling themselves.

An LBS has a reputation to defend and have liability selling a bike. So they need to fix many items and replace worn parts. For most bikes that fixing at LBS rates is close to the value of the bike. Plus the unrealistic expectation of how much that trade- in credit should be.

I don't know commercial real estate. But assume a squarefoot store space cost a few $ each month, you see how a used bike taking space eats your money.

As said above, 90% of bikes are department store bike. I assume another 9% are $500 bikes. So most bikes are cheaper to replace than worth used.

Enthusiasts buy new stuff or very selected used stuff.
I guess it would simply be up to the seller/buyer as to what expected sale price, restoration investment requirements, or even if the trade-in bike would be accepted. Basic policy for example, may include only bikes less than 4-5 years old and/or expected resale value of over $X. The LBS could set this anyway that makes sense for them.

The real estate is a good point -- I'm sure it's a not easy premise for urban-based shops; the example I use though does the sales/display thru Ebay -- the used bikes aren't in a showroom but I believe stored more in a warehouse, however I think one could be made available to see by appointment.

Anyway to reiterate, if places like proscloset and sidelineswap can provide make a business out of selling some used (non dept store quality) bikes, I only thought that perhaps more LBS shops could find this to work for them as well -- while more importantly removing a potential barrier to making a sale on a new bike.
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Old 04-27-20, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I don't have the space or the time to dedicate to used bikes.
Those were my two immediate thoughts when I read the OP.
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Old 04-27-20, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
The shop can't lose; they only pay out what they sell it for and in this case eg. keep 15% of the value. Plus don't forget the other eg. 85% is tied to trade-in value to them having sold a new bike...
Let me guess, you weren't a business major.
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Old 04-27-20, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
The shop can't lose; they only pay out what they sell it for and in this case eg. keep 15% of the value. Plus don't forget the other eg. 85% is tied to trade-in value to them having sold a new bike.
That's consignment selling, not a trade in. Meaning the shop never takes ownership, but that shop expects a profit for storage costs and having the consignment item in view of the public.

In my line of work, a trade-in value is going to be maybe as high as 40% of what an item might sell for if the item is in good shape, still desirable, and needs next to nothing to make it sellable. Of course the value of the trade may be higher on paper if the item being traded into is fairly expensive and has a high enough profit margin to eat some of that trade in "value". Essentially just moving numbers around to give some more discount on MSRP.
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Old 04-27-20, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
That's consignment selling, not a trade in. Meaning the shop never takes ownership, but that shop expects a profit for storage costs and having the consignment item in view of the public.
.
I think you're right, a consignment arrangement is more likely the idea than pure trade in. Or both.. offering less cash up front if you opt for trade-in than value (store credit) you'd likely get if done via consignment.

fwiw, here's an outside shot of the one example I provided. Others in this thread provided links to a few others.

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Old 04-27-20, 08:55 AM
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My LBS has a basement chock full of used bikes. It takes space away from the new bikes, such that the mechanics have often had to take new bikes home (!) to assemble them and bring them back for display. There's just no room in the store anymore.

If it were just a matter of space, that would be one thing. But my LBS also has to maintain a list of used bikes, serial numbers, etc., if the police come calling - and they do. The comment about bike shops needing a reselling license is a good one. Not too many people outside of retail understand what a hassle this is.

So in the big scheme of things, the used bikes are an adjunct. Not the main business, but enough to keep it going in some form, and a way to keep the employees busy during the lean times of the year.
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