Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Tandem Cycling
Reload this Page >

Best Way To Sell Used Tandems

Notices
Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

Best Way To Sell Used Tandems

Old 01-12-21, 09:44 AM
  #1  
lortman
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belchertown, MA
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
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.
lortman is offline  
Old 01-12-21, 10:41 AM
  #2  
sdodd
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 35 Times in 22 Posts
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.
sdodd is offline  
Likes For sdodd:
Old 01-12-21, 02:31 PM
  #3  
act0fgod
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 129

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac Pro, Bilenky Coupled Tandem, Calfee Tetra Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 10 Posts
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
act0fgod is offline  
Old 01-13-21, 08:15 AM
  #4  
mikebian 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 62

Bikes: Calfee Tetra Tandem, Ventana ECdM Tandem, Kent Eriksen Custom Coupled Tandem, Meridian Coupled Triplet, Giant TCR, SantaCruz Blur LTb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 7 Posts
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
mikebian is offline  
Likes For mikebian:
Old 01-13-21, 09:45 AM
  #5  
RWHowe
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 5 Posts
selling a tandem

I've sold two on Craigslist and bought one off of Facebook Marketplace. I prefer to sell locally and avoid shipping.
RWHowe is offline  
Old 01-13-21, 07:06 PM
  #6  
LV2TNDM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 647

Bikes: Cannondale tandems: '92 Road, '97 Mtn. Mongoose 10.9 Ti, Kelly Deluxe, Tommaso Chorus, Cdale MT2000, Schwinn Deluxe Cruiser, Torker Unicycle, among others.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Liked 159 Times in 100 Posts
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
LV2TNDM is offline  
Old 01-14-21, 07:57 AM
  #7  
Paul J
Senior Member
 
Paul J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: 1980's Spectrum 10 sp Campagnolo Centaur, 1990 Eddy Merckx 10 sp Campagnolo Centaur, Bushnell Tandem, Co-Motion Speedster Tandem

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 177 Post(s)
Liked 98 Times in 61 Posts
[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.
Paul J is offline  
Likes For Paul J:
Old 01-21-21, 07:03 PM
  #8  
dwmckee
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,441

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 415 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 325 Times in 219 Posts
I have sold 4 tandems on ebay and bought 3. Good way to get te best audience and a national market. A good LBS will pack and ship it for you. Two bike boxes telescoped works to ship it if the shop does not have a tandem box.
dwmckee is offline  
Old 03-01-21, 03:05 PM
  #9  
LV2TNDM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 647

Bikes: Cannondale tandems: '92 Road, '97 Mtn. Mongoose 10.9 Ti, Kelly Deluxe, Tommaso Chorus, Cdale MT2000, Schwinn Deluxe Cruiser, Torker Unicycle, among others.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Liked 159 Times in 100 Posts
[QUOTE=Paul J;21877334]
Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
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.

Here it is, PaulJ!!! Just posted this in another discussion, so I thought I'd at least reply to the POIDH challenge!
And as I said in the other post, this is a pre-rebuild pic and doesn't do it justice. The paint, despite being now FOURTEEN years old was virtually pristine - I've put more scratches on it at this point! Arrrgh!!! Wax has done this paint job some serious justice and it looks great now. Just don't have good pics showcasing its beauty - yet. Will post more soon.
LV2TNDM is offline  
Likes For LV2TNDM:
Old 03-01-21, 03:16 PM
  #10  
LV2TNDM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 647

Bikes: Cannondale tandems: '92 Road, '97 Mtn. Mongoose 10.9 Ti, Kelly Deluxe, Tommaso Chorus, Cdale MT2000, Schwinn Deluxe Cruiser, Torker Unicycle, among others.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Liked 159 Times in 100 Posts
Quick addition...

Per what I said above, "(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 HAVE to add additional comment.


As I said, I'm about 3/4 done with overhauling the Speedster. I am SO PSYCHED to come to learn that I happened upon a true gem. A lucky find of a pristine tandem that, despite its age and dirty condition, is about as good as it gets. Specifically, the wheels are a great example. Last week I embarked on the wheel work. First I pulled the DT/Swiss freehub body off and serviced the star ratchets and cleaned everything up. So happy to see them in perfect shape. Once the hubs were good, it was then time to pull the tires, tubes & rim strips to assess the condition of the wheels' tensions, spokes & nipples. Well, let's just say that these wheels were not only built incredibly well, but they've seen virtually no damage in their 14 years of life so far. Rims have not a single problem. And spoke tensions were almost perfect. In fact, it was funny because I simply went around the rear wheel to even out the tensions before bringing them up and radially & laterally truing them (along with maintaining dish). Ironically, what I found is that the wheels got TRUER with tension evening! That's rare, especially with 14 year old tandem wheels.


So after thorough cleaning, application of ample boiled linseed oil to the spoke threads & nipples, these wheels came into absolutely incredible shape! I simply cannot believe how good they are. It would not have been a surprise to discover a flat spot or two in either of the rims, or, more likely, whacked spoke tension as a result of multiple truing sessions over their lifespan. Basically, every time you "bend" a wheel and true it, you're throwing out even spoke tension in exchange for a straight wheel. Over time and multiple truings, tension can really suffer. Well, I"m VERY happy to say I dodged all sorts of bullets here.


And back to my original point... there's NO way of knowing the condition of used tandem wheels by simply looking at them. There are a million unknowns and the buyer of a used tandem is taking a leap of faith. It's pure luck to find an old tandem with pristine wheels. (And I should add that this bike had years of dirt & dried oil on it, so it had been used by a couple who was fully into riding, owning three tandems and a bunch of singles.)


So I hope this sheds a little more light on some of the intricacies of buying a used tandem.
LV2TNDM is offline  
Likes For LV2TNDM:
Old 03-18-21, 07:41 PM
  #11  
greggk34
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: SF-SJ Bay Area
Posts: 26

Bikes: Santa Cruz 5010, Cannondale Synapse, Colnago Master-X-Light, Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I have sold a couple of tandems via Craigslist and it has worked out well in the end. One time it was to a local buyer and the other time, the guy drove up from LA to the SF-SJ Bay Area! He had recently had his tandem stolen so he had some insurance money, but he was scouring for deals. The bike I sold him was a Co-motion Periscope Scout with S&S couplers. Pricing can get tricky, as it can for almost any CL transaction, but I think it worked out this particular time with him getting a pretty good deal and the sale bringing in some good money. Truth be told, I may have undervalued it a bit but at the time, there wasn't a lot of people spending money (approx. last summer during Covid).

Good luck with your sale!
greggk34 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.