There are lots of reasons for selling a bike.
Perhaps you want to upgrade to a better one, and you can get yourself a nice little discount by selling your current bike.
Or, maybe you just have one too many bikes and need the space.
Whatever the reason, you’re going to want to get the best price possible when selling your bike.
This is definitely something within your control. The way in which you sell your bike has a huge bearing on how much you will get for it.
But where and how should you sell your bike?
We’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about selling a bike. To fill you in, we’ll be covering:
- Where To Sell A Bike: 3 Key Options
- 3 Steps To Maximize The Value Of Your Bike
Ready to learn how to sell a bike?
Let’s get to it!
Where To Sell A Bike: 3 Key Options
First things first, where should you sell your bike?
There are a number of options when it comes to selling a bike. Where you choose to list your bike does have an impact on the price you’re likely to get for it.
A number of factors play into this, including how many people your listing will reach, whether it’s for collection or delivery, and how accurate the search criteria are on your chosen site.
Here’s a rundown of a few of your best options:
Option 1: Part Exchange At A Bike Shop
This could be a good option if you plan on purchasing a replacement bike from your local bike store.
Many bike shops will be willing to knock some money off the cost of your new bike in exchange for your old one (given that they sell used bikes and parts).
Make sure you check a few bike shops in your local area for the best price.
The price that they offer you is going to depend on whether they have a large variety of used bikes and parts for sale in their shop, and how easy it is going to be for them to flog.
If your bike is in terrible condition, with worn-out components and a chipped and damaged frame, they might not even want the bike, never mind offering you money for it.
However, if your ride is in reasonable nick, then it might be worth trying this method of selling a bike.
There are a few definite advantages: you’ll receive a known price for the bike, you’re less likely to get conned, and it’s hassle-free – you can deliver your bike to the store and take a new one home with you on the same day.
But there is a catch.
The bike shop is going to have to sell your old bike for a profit. This means that they will likely undercut the market value in their offer, and you might not get the best possible price for your bike.
Option 2: Facebook Marketplace/Craigslist/Gumtree
Another option is local classified advertisement websites.
These are great resources for selling unwanted items. They’re easy to use and navigate and provide an opportunity to generate some cash for the seller with limited work, and the buyer might be able to a good deal without having to leave their city.
Some common examples here are Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist in the US, and Gumtree in the UK.
Just like any of the methods on this list, there are clear advantages to this method.
Firstly, you can choose your asking price. It’s a good idea to put a list price slightly above the minimum you would be willing to accept. Most buyers will attempt to haggle the price down a bit, as is the culture on these websites.
Additionally, you won’t have to pack it up neatly and carefully or pay for postage or even drive the bike anywhere.
You can often arrange for a buyer to turn up at your house, have a look at the bike (and try it out!), and take it home with them. All you have to do is be at home!
But, of course, this comes with a number of disadvantages too.
One of the major issues with online classified ads is that most of the time, people will only see your listing if they live within a certain radius of you. When a buyer goes to search for an item, they can input a certain distance, and most won’t be willing to travel too far.
This severely limits your audience and might reduce the price you can get for it.
Another issue, particularly with Facebook Marketplace, is the limited precision of the keyword search.
When searching for an item, Facebook Marketplace will bring up a result that matches any of the keywords in your search. For example, if you search for “gravel bike” or “carbon bike“, you’ll often get many results that only relate to the ‘bike’ part of your search.
This is an issue for the sellers because, no matter how precisely you describe your item, a search might not bring it up in the first few pages of results.
This means that your listing can get drowned in many, many others and won’t be easily found by a buyer. Ultimately, this can result in a lower price or a long wait for you as the seller.
Make sure to allow the buyer to pay via a payment protection service, such as Paypal.
This provides both parties with full protection and will make the buyer feel more confident in choosing your item.
Option 3: eBay
eBay is one of the places where you’re more likely to maximize the price your bike will command, but it will take considerably more effort from you, the seller.
If you’re selling a bike on eBay, you can set your own minimum price, set a Buy It Now price to tempt people into paying more for a guaranteed and immediate purchase, and add a delivery cost to your bike, meaning that it will reach a far greater audience.
You also get full protection as the seller against people attempting to con you, as well as the buyer feeling confident with their own protection when purchasing.
All of these factors add up to a platform that will likely maximize the cash you’ll get for your bike.
If more people see the ad, then it’s more likely to sell at a better price. If the buyer feels they have protection when purchasing, they’re more likely to take a risk and spend more on a bike.
However, there is a cost to these advantages: your time.
If you want to maximize the price, it’s best to sell with a delivery option. This means that you’ll have to pack the bike up extremely carefully and arrange for a proper courier to take it for you.
Additionally, if you’re going to have it delivered, make sure you send it tracked by a trustworthy courier that insures the value of your bike.
If your bike doesn’t sell the first time, you may have to re-list the bike, taking up a little more of your time.
However, if you know how to sell on eBay, these disadvantages will be outweighed by the clear advantage of maximizing the price of your bike.
3 Steps To Maximize The Value Of Your Bike
Now you’re aware of a few different options for selling a bike, it’s time to talk about the steps you can take as a seller to maximize the cash you’ll earn.
Step 1: Clean It!
This is imperative when selling a bike is to make sure you get what your bike is worth.
A filthy bike is going to not only put a buyer off the sale based on the aesthetics of the machine, but it also gives the impression that the bike isn’t as well looked after as it could be.
It’s important to give your bike a very thorough cleaning before selling it, whether you’re doing a part exchange, a classified ad, or selling a bike on eBay.
Step 2: Realistically Value Your Bike
This can be a little harder, depending on the type of bike you own.
A good idea to ensure that you have valued your bike correctly is to have a look on eBay, search for the model of your bike and select the filter “Sold Items”.
If you find the exact model of your bike with the same spec sold for a certain price, it will give you an estimation of what you can realistically expect to receive for it.
Sometimes, particularly if you have a rare vintage bike, you won’t find your specific bike on the ‘sold items’ list.
In this case, try and widen your search, and try to find a similar frame from the same era and the same brand with similar specs to yours. This will also give you a reasonable estimation.
It’s important not to overestimate the value of your bike, since it’s only going to put off potential buyers.
If you’re using eBay bidding, start at the minimum price you’d be willing to sell the bike for.
Step 3: Take Good Pictures and Accurately Describe Your Bike
This is essential for any good listing.
People are only going to be interested in your bike if the pictures are clear and diverse enough to accurately represent your bike.
Try and get a few snaps of the frame from different vantage points, as well as a number of photos of the components.
Don’t shy away from taking photos of any damage. It’s much better to be honest about the bike’s condition.
Firstly, this will save you trouble down the line when you have to refund the buyer for an item not as described.
Secondly, it helps to build trust with potential buyers, ensuring that they know any faults with the bike have been disclosed and they won’t get any nasty surprises.
In the description of the listing, make sure you specifically list the spec of the bike.
If you don’t know the exact spec, you can often look up the model of your bike and check the components it came with.
If you have upgraded or replaced anything, then make sure to include that too.
Now You Know All About Selling A Bike…
You can put it up and earn some cold, hard cash, and put it towards your new one!
Selling a bike can be an involved process, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s much better that your old bike puts some money towards new upgrades – and finds a loving new rider – than sitting rusting in your shed.
Make sure to follow the steps in this guide to get the most out of your old bike.
The price you will get for it isn’t set, and you can easily maximize this by investigating as many options as possible.
And if you’ve managed to sell your bike and are now in the market for an upgrade, check out our companion guide to Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Bike here!