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Best Way To Sell Used Tandems

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Best Way To Sell Used Tandems

Old 01-12-21, 09:44 AM
  #1  
lortman
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Best Way To Sell Used Tandems

Hello group,

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing our third tandem. I'm not one to sell my older bikes but there are now over ten bikes in the collection and it's time to get rid of a few. Single bikes are a bit easier to find buyers for but tandem present somewhat of a challenge in several ways. First they're bigger and harder to ship and second there is a smaller demand. We live in Western Massachusetts and seeing a tandem on the road is a rare sight. Our first tandem (Nag Mobil I) is a Raleigh Pursuit that is around 20 years old. It was a good introduction to tandems and made us appreciate Nag Mobil II which is a Calfee Tetra but it's time to reduce the herd. What are the best methods to sell this old friend? While I don't want to give it away I'm not looking to make a bundle either. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:41 AM
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sdodd
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I was thinking the same thing over the summer. We just picked up our second tandem, had 10 other bikes, and the garage was getting full. As we were no-longer using the initial 25 year old tandem we wanted to sell. I spent some time acquiring some inexpensive/updated drivetrain parts to bring speeds up to something a little more modern (3x9 instead of 3x8), trigger shifting, fresh tubes and tires with decent tread, etc. I also overhauled all bearings and replaced cable and housing. Gave the frame a complete clean/wax. And, decided to switch the bike to knobby tires and flat bars. (instead of the skinny tires/drop bars I was running). Overall I spent about $100 in parts and 10-15 hours of my time. My logic was that the people interested in a 25 year old tandem were likely newer to tandem riding and wanting something robust and simple to start with that they wouldn't have to dump money into when they wanted to ride. I posted on Facebook marketplace (locally) and on the Tandem bikes and parts for sale facebook page. My 1996 $1500 tandem was listed for $500. I had some local interest but also had about 10 people from across the US interested in purchasing. I was reluctant to ship but decided to pack the bike myself and ship at the buyer's cost. I think it is reasonable to have a tandem packed and shipped across the US for $200-$250 by BikeFlights/UPS.

I have above average mechanical skill and spent the time to create a product I thought would be of interest to people. I made sure to include an option of saddles/stems/pedals for the buyer. (we all have plenty of extras, right??? Why do we sell bikes with no saddles and pedals. Just slap some on!) And, I put a reasonable price on the tandem. Unless you have something unique/rare/collectable, don't expect to get 50% of your original purchase price. Make the price attractive to people who want to try the sport and you will have much more success IMHO.

Good Luck!
simon


Bike torn down for clean and rebuild.

Finished 'updated' and modified to a flat bar and 3x9 trigger shifting.

Frame in an elongated single bike box and 4 wheels in the box on the right. (I sold an extra set of 26" wheels with the tandem at the same time)

Last edited by sdodd; 01-12-21 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 01-12-21, 02:31 PM
  #3  
act0fgod
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Craigslist is where I've purchased most of our tandems, and then also sold some there as well. I did sell our bikefriday on e-bay after having it on craigslist for a couple of months. The down side of ebay is they take like 10% of the sale. I've looked on Facebook Marketplace, offer-up and next door recently but don't like the search functions. A place that people list bikes when trying to get a premium price is tandemclassifieds.com.

I think that about covers most of the way to sell used tandems. Worthwhile to list on all of them.

Like anything I'd say price based on how quick do you want to sell. People know a good price and are willing to buy for a good price. A fair price you'll probably be sitting on it for awhile. A high price and you may never sell.

For reference the tandems I've bought and sold.
I think it was a Pacific I bought on amazon for like $400 and sold for $100 (didn't know anything about bikes and the guy I sold it to let me know I had the fork installed backwards...)
Another mail order Viaggio Tandem that I think I paid like $500 for and sold for $350.
Burley with a soft ride bought for $350 on craigslist and sold for $400 on craigslist.
Cannondale RT1000 bought for $1200 on craigslist with a rack and sold for $1000 on craigslist (just the bike).
BikeFriday Two's Day bought for $1800 on craigslist and sold for $1500 on ebay (after shipping and ebay fee)
Bilinkey bought for $3200 through their facebook page
Calfee bought for $3500 through craigslist
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Old 01-13-21, 08:15 AM
  #4  
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Check out https://tandemclassifieds.com

Ads are free there, but you can make a donation to help pay for his costs. I think this is really the best place to buy or sell a used tandem.

Good luck
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Old 01-13-21, 09:45 AM
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RWHowe
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selling a tandem

I've sold two on Craigslist and bought one off of Facebook Marketplace. I prefer to sell locally and avoid shipping.
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Old 01-13-21, 07:06 PM
  #6  
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My Suggestions

I penned this after making an offer on a 10 year old Co-Motion. The seller's price was WAY too high. They basically admitted selling it for their original closeout purchase price. It was laughable how resistant they were to reasonable negotiation. I told them as much, but they still didn't budge. No money from me!

And since that posting, I just found the used Co-Motion of my dreams! Found locally on Craigslist and it's perfect! It retailed for $8,200 13 years ago and I bought it for $2,500. S&S couplers, travel bags, and ALL original receipts. Single California owner that kept it in a garage. Uncut steerer tube to boot! Beautiful fade paint job that's still almost pristine. I absolutely LOVE it! It's just about to get a complete tear-down, overhaul, internal frame tube coating, paint wax and rebuild. It's the PERFECT travel tandem. Danube River bike path here I come!

Anyway, back to my post...

The rule of thumb is to divide retail price (add upgrade differential) by two and add or subtract, based on age, condition and miles.

If you have original receipts for everything and the bike has been well loved and cared for, then the price may go up. Receipts for its service life don't hurt either. Price also depends on size with more common size combinations bringing a higher price.

You'll want to also get lots of comps. Check as many online classifieds as you can to gauge value.

Ultimately, is your bike enough of a discount from what's currently available in equal quality to make a customer be tempted? I've seen such high priced used tandems, I just laugh. It doesn't matter if you've "put thousands into it" if I can buy something new with professional assembly, fitting, warranty and follow-up service for a similar price. The price difference has to be significant enough so that I'm getting a "good" deal AND won't get burned by unexpected issues that arise (Spoke failure, for example. The seller could have had several failures before selling and had them replaced before posting for sale. No way to know.) I was interested in a Periscope about a year ago. The seller made a big production about how great the bike was and all that. But when I considered its ten year age AND the fact that they admitted they bought it on closeout, I quickly determined that they were basically selling it for the purchase price. I guess they think buyers are kinda stupid. So I told 'em what it was worth and waited for the price to come down. They never moved on price. No big deal to me, there are a LOT of used tandems out there. Sellers simply have to accept the fact that they have to take a haircut on their price.

Plus, if you've had it for fifteen years, how much pleasure has it given you each year over that time span in monetary value? If you think of it that way, you could almost give it away! (I kid.)

Good luck determining a fair price. But remember, set the price high enough to give yourself some bargaining room. Either way, if you price it fairly for what it is, a serious and knowledgeable buyer will recognize this and will approach the sale seriously.

Advertise here:
Tandem Club of America Classifieds
Bike Forums
MTBR
Craigslist
Bicycle Bluebook MIGHT be an option. They advertise through Craigslist
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Old 01-14-21, 07:57 AM
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[QUOTE=LV2TNDM;21876770]I penned this after making an offer on a 10 year old Co-Motion. The seller's price was WAY too high. They basically admitted selling it for their original closeout purchase price. It was laughable how resistant they were to reasonable negotiation. I told them as much, but they still didn't budge. No money from me!

And since that posting, I just found the used Co-Motion of my dreams! Found locally on Craigslist and it's perfect! It retailed for $8,200 13 years ago and I bought it for $2,500. S&S couplers, travel bags, and ALL original receipts. Single California owner that kept it in a garage. Uncut steerer tube to boot! Beautiful fade paint job that's still almost pristine. I absolutely LOVE it! It's just about to get a complete tear-down, overhaul, internal frame tube coating, paint wax and rebuild. It's the PERFECT travel tandem. Danube River bike path here I come! QUOTE)

Without pictures it never happened. :-) I'd love to see your new bike in a separate post. Good advise by the way.
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1980's Spectrum (Currently in a Box awaiting a modern build), 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, Co-Motion Speedster, Bushnell Tandem,


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