10 Tips for Selling Your Bike

It’s that time of year where we are starting to get the itch to get on our bikes. Many of us are looking at getting a new bike which means we need to sell or trade our current ride. I’d like to offer some tips for a quick sale so you can get your new or new to you bike.

I’ve worked in the retail side of the bike industry for many years and am experienced with evaluating, fixing and selling used and new bikes. I’ve done my fair share of selling and buying used bikes throughout the maritimes long before ‘officially’ working in the industry.

  1. There is NO MANUFACTURER WARRANTY on used bikes. A manufacturer warranty extends to the original owner only!

Note: The majority of companies have a frame replacement program that will allow one to purchase a new frame at a fraction of the cost.

  1. Just because you changed a few parts on your bike does not make it custom! If you have built your bike from the ground up with high end parts, handpicked from your local bike shop, then had them installed by a professional bike mechanic, then yes, your bike is ‘custom’. If you have had the frame built for you in a swanky shop based on your measurements, it is custom. If you have changed the seat and tires as an afterthought or when parts wore out, your bike is NOT CUSTOM.

  2. The last I checked there aren’t many $1000.00 bikes at Canadian Tire or Walmart (yet). Be honest as to how much the bike was new. When someone can check online the price of the exact same make and model, you will be caught bending the truth. If you include the taxes or accessories in your ‘bike’s worth’ state that as well.

  3. A department store bike does not hold its value like a brand name bike. The quality of the frame and components is not equal to a brand name bicycle, and doesn’t stand up to long term use the way a higher quality bike does. All bikes have their place, and I believe department store bikes do have a raison d’etre (reason for being). It’s like comparing a Kia to a Porsche. Both will get you to work, and both have pros/cons. Just don’t expect the Kia to hold it’s value in ten years.

  4. Some old bikes are just old bikes. The term ‘vintage’ can be a vague term based on availability, quality, condition and desirability. I had an 80’s Venture Cobra BMX which would not be considered vintage today. It was a generic, department store bike, of less than the highest quality. A Haro Freestyle of the same year would be considered vintage. In other words, just because your bike is old, doesn’t guarantee a big payday.

  5. Yes, you spent a lot of money on your bike. This doesn’t mean you can get that same amount back out of it. A bike is like a car…they depreciate. Technology changes, even the geometry of bikes change, thus changing the value of a bike. For example, we now have 29”, and 650b wheels for mountain bikes. This is certainly devaluing the 26” wheeled bike market both new and used.

  6. BE HONEST! If the frame is damaged, say so. If you have raced the bike on the downhill circuit, mention that. The last thing anyone wants is to spend money on something to find out it needs to be repaired or replaced. It might mean the buyer will take an extra long look at the bike, but that’s okay. That means you will find the right buyer at the end of the day.

  7. Use quality pictures in your ad. A cloudy, out of focus picture will turn more people away. I usually just skip over these ads. If you can’t afford the time to take a quality pic, I can’t afford the time to look at your ad.

  8. Be as accurate as possible in your ads. Find out about the bike. Size, brand name, model, components. This information makes the purchasers’ decision much easier. Finding out a bit about the bike will also allow to understand how much to ask for.

  9. Finally, be realistic on asking price. There are a lot of bikes that are overpriced on kijiji etc. Everyone wants as much as they can for the bike they are selling, but overpricing it can drive potential buyers away. If you have doubts, ask your Local Bike Shop. Impartial advice may be tough to handle, but it may mean you sell
    your bike. Don’t let sentimental feelings about your bike cloud your judgement

I hope these tips help you sell your bike and allow you to put that money towards a new one. If you have any other tips feel free to comment.

Happy Trails!

That’s solid advice right there! You’re bang on with the use/abuse of ‘CUSTOM’ , to me it means the person is trying to make it sound better than it is.
Did you post this on kijiji? I used to keep a post in the bike section with a couple of images on how to measure the size of a bike frame because I was so tired of seeing people saying they didn’t know what size it was.

Good advice except for #1. You can’t tell people that warranties are for original owners and then tell them that if a POP is included they might get warranty.

Warranty is for original owner only, no exceptions.

I hope this thread doesn’t divebomb fast because of this, but I think it is important to mention it.

You’re right tossed. Warranty is for original owners only.

I’ve heard of a shop that processed a claim believing it was the original owner as they had the receipt. There was some deception going on in that case. For the record, the shop did not willingly try to deceive any company, nor did I ever work at said shop.

Just to ensure that it’s clear I’ll edit that portion. I appreciate the input.