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Is it worth it to sell my Tern used?

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Is it worth it to sell my Tern used?

Old 05-01-20, 09:30 AM
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jeff10236
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Is it worth it to sell my Tern used?

I have a Tern C8 folding bike I bought from REI less than a year ago (or around a year ago) for $650. I didn't ride it much because I was around 300LBS (295-305 for about a year or two until last Sept) and the weight limit was 240. It was very unstable going down hills. I started working on losing weight in Sept, and I'm down to 232 as of this morning. I've been riding the Tern but the area around my apartment is very hilly (some quite long and steep) and the small wheels and riding position make going up hills very uncomfortable. So, I am in the market for a new bike.


The question is, what to do about the Tern?


I've thought about keeping it (leaning that way actually) since I doubt it will be worth much. Most used equipment loses a lot of value vs. the new cost, I haven't used this bike much yet so I won't have got enough use out of it to justify the loss. If I get a better sized regular bike that fits me and is better suited to the hills around here, I can keep it for the specialty mission it was built for. It is a folder. That means, it transports easily, I can fold it up and put it in the trunk of my sedan. No racks needed (racks are extra money, and take storage space). Then, when camping it can come with me. I can take it to the rail trails and other flatter spots to ride when I want to go somewhere outside the neighborhood. Also, what is the best way to sell if I want to? Trade it at a dealer (and not worry about dealing with buyers, the time, and possible scam artists), or sell on Craigslist or the various Facebook garage sale pages? And what is a fair price where I'm not giving it away, but I can move it pretty fast. If I don't sell, I don't have to figure it all out.


So, why sell? First, there is the issue that led to me spending more to get a folder over a more conventional bike style with comparable quality to begin with: storage. A folder doesn't take a lot of space, but it does take space, which is limited. Second, I may keep it for specialized duties, but if I get a bike with a quick release front wheel (or keep the proper sized wrench in the car or on a tool kit on the bike) I can transport it in my midsized sedan without any racks. Heck, if I want to get a rack, a rack would probably cost less than the price of selling the Tern, and wouldn't take any more storage space. So, would I really end up using the Tern after getting something that actually works better? Probably not (maybe for camping, maybe). Finally, while I would take a big hit financially, $100, $200, $300 (whatever I'd get for it used) is money I don't currently have that could go to getting a better primary bike.


So, right now I'm learning towards keeping it for now, and maybe selling in a year. If I force myself to use it more, then I might feel better about the hit of selling it since I got however many hundreds of dollars of use out of it. However, I also know if I have something that works better for me, I'll probably mostly use that, so instead of a however many hundred dollar hit, but $100, $200, $300 (whatever) in my pocket, it will continue to be the full $650 hit. Though, again, personal psychology, if I sell it, that loss will be a definite financial loss and will annoy me.


So, what would you do? How do you determine if it is worth selling something or keeping it?

Last edited by jeff10236; 05-01-20 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-01-20, 09:55 AM
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OK, this was fast, but I'm changing over already to leaning towards selling it. I swear I researched the bike and brand before buying it, and what I found then said the Tern was a good bike for the money. However, I obviously hadn't found this forum back then, and now I'm seeing all this stuff on this forum about frame failures. So, now I'm leaning towards selling, however, I doubt I'd use it that much after getting a more comfortable, and more useful, more conventional bike, so I may take the chance for the few uses where a folder would be useful. So, my question is changing a little bit:

I still am curious how you decide when/if it is time to sell or keep a bike.

Also, since I'm leaning towards selling... Would you trade (little to no hassle) or sell it yourself (likely, more money)? Also, if you pick selling it yourself, what is your preferred way to sell (Craigslist, eBay local only, eBay and deal with shipping, Facebook garage sale pages, etc)?
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Old 05-01-20, 10:04 AM
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Sell the bike if you don't intend to ride it. Otherwise, it will sit in your garage and collect dust / depreciate more.

I always sell private party and use Craigslist for complete bikes. Other people have different preferences. Right now the bike market is hot for bikes in good working order due to cycling being allowed during social distancing.
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Old 05-01-20, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Right now the bike market is hot for bikes in good working order due to cycling being allowed during social distancing.
That's for sure, and not just used. I'm finding a lot of the online stores have many/most models sold out, and even many brick and mortar shops seem to have a large number of bikes on their websites that are sold out or only available in very limited sizing.

That may encourage me to sell (being able to get a little more). Though, I'm thinking about $150-200 even though it has been ridden fewer than a dozen times (once before the weight loss, then I waited until I was below the 240 weight limit, but with the uphill issues, I'm still not riding it much since there are some serious hills in my neighborhood). On Craigslist I see a D8 ($850 new) for $275, and mine is the $650 (new) C8. Mine's in better shape, but still...

Anyway, I plan to buy this weekend, so I doubt I'll have it sold by then, so if I do trade, I can put it towards getting a better bike, but if I sell it myself I can still use it on gear. Or, there is a strategy to put the eventual proceeds towards a better bike now- put it on a credit card, buy a $150-200 better bike than I was going to get paying cash (so $700-800 instead of $500-650 limit), put my bike cash into paying it now, and pay the rest after the bike sells. Hmm...
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Old 05-01-20, 08:02 PM
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If you bought it less than a year ago, check the REI site since they have a one year return policy.
Most likely your hill problem is the 52 x 30 gearing not just the small tires.
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Old 05-01-20, 09:07 PM
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It's evidently not the bike for you at this time so why keep it? The money you spent on it is sunk. Get what you can for it because you're not going to ride it going forward and it's not likely to increase in value.
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Old 05-02-20, 05:27 AM
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You could see what they will give you on trade in, then if its not enough sell it your self. The best place to sell in my area is Facebook Market place.
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Old 05-02-20, 08:03 AM
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jeff10236
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
If you bought it less than a year ago, check the REI site since they have a one year return policy.
Most likely your hill problem is the 52 x 30 gearing not just the small tires.
I'll have to see if I still have my proof of purchase (I have no idea where I put the paperwork for the bike, but I don't think I would have thrown it away). If I find it, I'll wait to try to sell it, and when the stores reopen I'll see if they'll take it on return (I think I bought it less than a year ago, unfortunately, I can't get my purchase history on their website when I plug in my member number, it isn't showing any of my purchases over the past several years, though it does show the $65 dividend I currently have due to buying this bike in 2019). There are two minor issues, some finish on the seat post has worn (the first time I used it, the bolt opposite the quick release on the seat post wasn't tight enough and the seat dropped when I sat on it), and a rubber strap that holds parts of it when folded ripped the first time I used it (some crazy glue and it won't be bad, but it won't be new condition either). I doubt that is enough for them not to take it as a return (though the lack of a receipt might be). However, since I'll wait for the store to reopen to return it but want/need a bike now, it won't help towards the new bike. Maybe I'll go cheaper now (maybe bikes direct and get something to also use as a project to learn to work on my bike) and use the later return to get the better bike, maybe I'll use it to get my brother a bike for his (at that point, belated) birthday present since he's been talking about a bike and his birthday is this month, or maybe I'll use it on a new kayak I've had my eye on (though, storage could be an issue there). Only because it could help me get a better bike now, if I go with a bike shop, I may see what they'll give me in trade and decide if that loss is worth it, but I'll probably wait and use the return (assuming they take it) for something else.
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