How to Sell Your Bike
Has the day come when you’ve decided to sell your bike and upgrade to a new one? Luckily, selling a bike isn’t limited to placing an ad in your local newspaper anymore. The internet will help you reach a broader audience and hopefully sell your bike for a bit more money and much faster. Bike Exchange is a great venue for selling your used bike. However, before you push upload on your ad, be sure you have done your homework and are prepared. Remember, once you go to the World Wide Web, it’s no longer the guy from the club ride coming to your house to look at your bike.
First step to ease the pain of selling a bike is to make sure the bike is in perfect working order. Take the bike to your local shop, get it tuned up. A well-tuned bike will give your buyer confidence that a professional has looked at the bike and made it safe. A worthy investment and additional protection that when the buyer receives the bike they will be happy. A fresh set of tires can be a small investment but offer great returns on how the bike looks online and what you can charge for it.
Secondly, when the bike is returned from a tune up get it sparkly clean. If you aren’t interested in doing this yourself, then include it in the tune up. Shiny, grease free, clean cassettes and chain make a bike look new and well cared for. Products like Finish Line degreaser and a simple brush make this job quick and easy. One of my favorite tools is Finish Line Gear Floss; saves time and works so well for in between gears; if you haven’t used this, you haven’t been treating your bike well! Savvy internet buyers will be zooming in on your groupo, make sure the photo does it justice. Finish off with some bike wash, clean the bar tape and show room polish to your frame then your bike is photo ready. Be sure to use a camera and take quality photos of your beautiful bike. The investment of time and money to prep your bike will gain you dollars on the sale end. Think about how happy the end buyer will be to open a box with a clean, well maintained bike that is ready to ride.
Last step before placing an ad is to do your homework. Find out what your bike is worth. Your local bike shop can give you an idea of the value of it as is, as well as the value of the equivalent bike new. This is important when selling because if it can be bought new at the same price, you’ve priced it too high. Online homework is good too. Check other ads for the same bike and see what the going market rate is. If you price the bike right, it will sell quickly. Overpricing will delay the process, result in a lot of time consuming negotiations and hassles. Be realistic—this may be your first bike or the one you got your first age group win on at Levi’s Gran Fondo, but in the end it’s a used bike, so try to take the emotional and sentimental attachments out of the equation for pricing. If you have your original receipt for the bike with serial numbers, this will help you research its value and once again give the buyer confidence in buying.
Now that you are ready to place an ad, remember that time is money too. Pick your venue such as Bike Exchange and write your ad. You can view the T&C’s that clearly explain the process of selling and how to place the ad. Read these BEFORE hitting send. They contain important information on photo sizing, ad size, shipping/handling of the bike etc. Most importantly these contain valuable insight into scamming and how to avoid being taken advantage of. Scamming will happen, be a smart seller/buyer. If it sounds too good to be true, trust that it is. Insurance is a key component when it comes to safety, shipping and confidence; make the investment and/or pass the cost to the buyer, but don’t forego it…we’ve all seen photos of the moving truck with the top ripped off right? As with any site be sure your personal information, location, etc. is hidden. Bike theft is a common crime; don’t let them steal your valuable assets. Lastly, clearly state a return policy in the ad. Shipping bikes back and forth will quickly make the entire transaction worthless.
Shipping Your Bike
Before your ad goes live be sure that you’ve picked up a used shipping box from your local bike shop. Have the bike packed and ready to send before placing the ad. Why? This way you know exactly what it weighs, how much it will cost to ship and you’ll be able to ship it promptly when you find a legitimate buyer. We live in a world of I want it now and I want it delivered. Don’t let your buyer get frustrated and cancel the sale waiting for you to be ready.
Now you’re ready. Write your ad, upload your photos and start shopping for that new bike!