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Tips on selling a bike?

Old 07-13-20, 04:44 AM
  #1  
WaffleHouse
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Tips on selling a bike?

Hi All,

New to the forums, and I don't have an upgraded membership to ask the question in the "For Sale" forums if that's even the right place to put it.

So I need to sell my old bike to make room for the new one in the garage (it's a SMALL garage).

It's my first time trying to sell a bike, and aside from Craig's List, not sure if there are any other recommended places to list it? One user did recommend consignment, which I am going to look into.

Are there "standard protocols" when selling? I.e. write up a bill of sale for both parties listing the pertinent information like serial number? Ask for a copy of a drivers license? Don't let the interested party take the bike for a test ride without some sort of collateral? Cash only? Etc, etc, etc?

I am probably coming off as sounding paranoid, but I'm kind of freaked out as to how to go about selling something for a couple hundred dollars and want to avoid as many first timer mistakes as possible. Thank you for your feedback!

Any tips or helpful recommendations are appreciated!
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Old 07-13-20, 04:58 AM
  #2  
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What I do.
Only CL email contact to weed out spam etc
Then my landline for more serious inquiries. Finally give a cell # when the tire kickers are done.
I've been able to feel comfortable having them come to my residence for a transaction, but have and will meet in a neutral location (mall lot/PD station etc)
Time of COVID assure precautions are in place like disinfecting item, masks etc.
Good clear pictures in ad. Bike is washed & waxed, noting any new items or services (cables, pads, tires, bearings etc) and mine are always "needs nothing, ready to ride"
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Old 07-13-20, 05:24 AM
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It is not like selling a car. Place ad, sell bike, hand bike over, clean up space in garage for new bike. It is pretty simple.

Just a warning Craigslist can be a cesspool. Between the scammers and low ball offers and the no shows, you will lose all faith in humanity. Follow the advice from dedhed, it is good. If you are on Facebook, list in Market Place. Here people tend to be a little nicer because they aren't anonymous.

Good luck.
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Old 07-13-20, 05:39 AM
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1) The bike must be perfect. That means nothing frayed, everything clean, every adjustment spot on, aligned and reset to optimum proportion (stem versus saddle drop, seatpost height, saddle level), bar tape clean if not new. All bearings right. Tires clean, if not new. Rims true and clean. Chain spotless, if not new. Again, make certain that everything is working exactly right.

2) Excellent photos. Choose a plain neutral background. Shoot from the drive side. Clear shots drivetrain, brake calipers, lugs, hubs, rims, head badge, saddle. A few shots from non-drive side, too.

3) Craigslist will require the serial number in the listing.

4) Demand that the responses include a phone number and a name. No name or phone number, do not respond. If the response has a name and phone number, you can begin a dialog over Craigslist contact e-mails. Share your phone and address only with those who contact you earnestly.

5) Never negotiate price over the phone or via e-mail. I rarely if ever discount from my asking price. Currently, bikes are selling above previous market values, so price accordingly. It's a seller's market.

6) Meet where it's safe to test ride. Bring your own bike, too. Ride alongside the potential buyer and explain anything about which they have questions.
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Old 07-13-20, 06:44 AM
  #5  
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I've sold two bikes this year on CL. I've kept it simple and have had no problems. Use plenty of pics and full description of size. Ask a reasonable price, firm and cash only. That will help weed out the flippers and lookie lou types. I also specified email or text only. I met the buyers at a nearby Walmart parking lot, easy for them to find and easy to keep an eye on them as they did a quick test ride. No bill of sale, no serial numbers, etc, etc.
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Old 07-13-20, 07:09 AM
  #6  
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It depends on what kind of bike you have and where you live.

The fancier the bike, and the less populated the area, the more I'd recommend eBay instead of craigslist or some other local listing.

Bikeflights does a great job with shipping in the U.S.

Be sure to list the size in the title, and list as many details as you have. No need for narrative descriptions about how it does sweet jumps.
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Old 07-13-20, 07:22 AM
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Unless I know the buyer I am not inviting them to my garage to see the bike and anything else I may have in it.
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Old 07-13-20, 07:23 AM
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I hate Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook but FB marketplace is the best place to sell your bike.
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Old 07-13-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
3) Craigslist will require the serial number in the listing.
I don't think that this is required. I just listed a bike on CL last night and I left that blank. No issues with post.
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Old 07-13-20, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
I don't think that this is required. I just listed a bike on CL last night and I left that blank. No issues with post.
Good clarification, Bill. There's a data field that can include the S/N, but CL will not prevent a listing if this field is blank. I see no reason why I wouldn't include it, as it can verify my claims as to the year of manufacture of the frame. Of course, with certain manufacturers, this isn't so.
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Old 07-13-20, 08:15 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Unless I know the buyer I am not inviting them to my garage to see the bike and anything else I may have in it.

It depends on the vibe I'm getting from them. Either way I bring bike out from in the house rather than open overhead door.
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Old 07-13-20, 08:15 AM
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Lots of photos is a plus from my experience. I always include photos of the rebuild.
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Old 07-13-20, 08:22 AM
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These are the kind of photos I'll include, especially if it is an unusual size, as this bike was a very small "Terry" knockoff. They also show that I indeed serviced it.
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Old 07-13-20, 09:42 AM
  #14  
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I put the item in front of my house window about 15min before they are due to show up and watch it. The buyer usually sees it when driving so they know they are at the right place and the sun helps kills off any germs. I also wipe down the commonly touched areas (grips, stem, top tube, saddle) before putting it out. I keep my garage closed unless it is a more expensive item $500+ and I have joined on test rides for the more expensive bikes. Once you find a real buyer, it's not hard to sell. It's the scammers and low ballers that make it annoying. Even if the ad says cash only, expect questions about venmo or paypal. Lately, I've been just happy if the buyer reads my full ad, there have been several instances where someone didn't read what I am selling. For example, disk brake only wheels doesn't mean that they work with rim brakes.

Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
5) Never negotiate price over the phone or via e-mail. I rarely if ever discount from my asking price.
This probably comes down to your list price, but as a buyer I usually negotiate over the phone / email as the seller will have a strong advantage if I have already driven 30min or more to see a bike. I think the same when I sell and the buyer hasn't negotiated previously. I've had to explain this to sellers who say that they won't negotiate previously. 5-10min away, sure I'll wait and negotiate in person.
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Old 07-13-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
This probably comes down to your list price, but as a buyer I usually negotiate over the phone / email as the seller will have a strong advantage if I have already driven 30min or more to see a bike...
Fair enough. I set prices where I intend to sell. If a prospective buyer starts out by negotiating down, I know that I won't be selling to him or her. Regardless or drive distance or any other mitigating circumstance, my answer is "no". This seems to work out fine.

If I'm buying, money doesn't matter that much to me. So, I'll willingly pay a fair price. I recently gave $100 to a fellow who had intended to give the bike to me for free, as I felt that he could/should have at least asked for money.

I will be prepared to walk away from a purchase if it isn't exactly what I thought that it was from the description or photos, and I explain why to the seller. If he comes back with "well, I want to sell it today. what will you offer?", then all bets are off. I then take into account the costs to bring the bike to where I had believed it was, and offer accordingly. Often, they say no, and I'm good with that. But I don't initiate...
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Old 07-13-20, 10:13 AM
  #16  
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I've been using Nextdoor before I go to craigslist. You can choose how wide of an area you want to sell in. Little less random than Facebook and I've never received spam.
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Old 07-13-20, 10:20 AM
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"Tips on selling a bike?"

Be realistic on the price.
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Old 07-13-20, 03:43 PM
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Thank you for your input, everybody. There's some great information here and is helping me feel a whole lot more confident in this process!
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Old 07-13-20, 06:28 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
1) The bike must be perfect. That means nothing frayed, everything clean, every adjustment spot on, aligned and reset to optimum proportion (stem versus saddle drop, seatpost height, saddle level), bar tape clean if not new. All bearings right. Tires clean, if not new. Rims true and clean. Chain spotless, if not new. Again, make certain that everything is working exactly right.
This one really made me laugh, especially the perfect part on Craigslist. I realize that the if you are selling a high end bike you need to do this. But there is no way I be selling anything expensive on Craigslist.

Our son likes OfferUp, but he says that is getting more like Craigslist. He usually meets at a large parking lot rather than a residence.

Right now bikes are so scarce that you can sell almost anything decent pretty quickly.

If it is a desirable bike, you might find an LBS that sells on consignment, especially if they don’t have much inventory. I’ve sold a few surfboards on consignment as it is even more sketchy with that group..

John
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Old 07-13-20, 07:24 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
This one really made me laugh, especially the perfect part on Craigslist. I realize that the if you are selling a high end bike you need to do this...
Right now bikes are so scarce that you can sell almost anything decent pretty quickly.
Three thoughts: first, I only touch good bikes, and don't waste time on any bike that's not an excellent rider; second, I treat each bike the same, making it as close to showroom perfect as practical; third, the principle of leverage applies as well to bikes as it does to real estate. Higher end products yield greater return. But you know all of this...
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Old 07-13-20, 07:29 PM
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Facebook has very good cycling group pages. List it there.
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Old 07-13-20, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Three thoughts: first, I only touch good bikes, and don't waste time on any bike that's not an excellent rider; second, I treat each bike the same, making it as close to showroom perfect as practical; third, the principle of leverage applies as well to bikes as it does to real estate. Higher end products yield greater return. But you know all of this...
Nope.

John
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Old 07-13-20, 07:45 PM
  #23  
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Here:

Say your used bike is reasonably worth $1,000. Here's how you post on Craiglist to lower your final bike sale price, and by how much:
  • Only pictures of the non-drive side of the bike: subtract $400
  • Limited number of blurry pictures: subtract $400
  • Vague description that does not include list of major components: subtract $300
  • No listing of size: subtract $300
  • Use of all CAPS or all lower case run-on text. This indicates that posting was made by a 14 year old on a smart phone: Subtract $200
  • Seller indicates illiteracy through the inclusion of words such as: 'breaks', 'peddles' or 'helmut': Subtract $50 per use.
  • Highlighting how the bike comes with an irrelevant and likely worthless accessory such as a lock or helmut. This indicates that the seller is unclear as to what constitutes relative value. Plus we don't want your head lice, or have to spend an hour hacksawing off of your old lock: Subtract $50.
  • Indicating that the bike was made by Shimano: Subtract $500.
  • Use of exclamation marks or irrelevant juvenile expletives such as: "Awesome!!!": Subtract $50 per use.

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Old 07-13-20, 08:56 PM
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I sold a bike on CL recently and it was painless. It is a sellers market right now. You have to weed out the SPAM/fraudulent messages. CL is a wait game, the right buyer may come along but you will have to be patient.
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Old 07-14-20, 06:05 AM
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I've sold a couple on ebay and gumtree, ebay tends to be more effective ime.

Make sure the bike works well, proportionally to price, if it's an expensive bike, make it perfect, if it's a cheaper bike, say up to 150 pounds there may be some things the buyer will have to put up with for the price they're paying, at least aesthetically.

Make some nice photos, I always do front, back, both sides and some close ups of the hubs, brakes and gears, perhaps the tyres too if they're not new.

Stick to the facts in the description, frame size, tyre size, number of gears, gear ratio if it's single speed, if it's been serviced, brand (or branded components), stuff like that....

Always mention any defects but never focus on them, the buyer doesn't want to know why your bike is ****, you just kinda glaze over the subject quickly to get it out of the way, always end on a positive note. If there's something critical they should know about, add a photo.

If it's an expensive bike you might want to include a delivery option via courier, that will expand your range, otherwise I'd stick to cash on collection.

Kret.

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