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Sell Your Bike For $500 More

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Oct 25, 2012
  • Updated Feb 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM UTC

A few simple steps can make your listing more appealing to buyers and net you more cash for your wheels.

When you’re selling a bike, “put yourself in the customer’s shoes,” advises Nick Martin, founder of The Pro’s Closet (Theproscloset.com), eBay’s most successful cycling store. This simple approach, combined with the employees’ vast knowledge of the cycling market, is how The Pro’s Closet continues to help sellers get the maximum value for their bikes. Apply their trade secrets to your next sale.

» Don’t photograph your bike against a cluttered or poorly-lit background.

» Take off all your stickers. No one cares where you’ve raced or who your sponsors are. Clean your frame and get a tune-up—buyers will appreciate not purchasing a mechanical nightmare.

» Replace your go-to saddle with a clean one that’s only lightly (or never been) used. Most athletes already have their own preferred saddle.

» New bar tape will make it look crisp and clean. Use neutral colors (white or black) to appeal to the masses.

» New tires add value and help the bike look brand-new. The money spent will come back in the final sale.

» Ditch the extras. Computers, bottle cages and pedals make the frame look cluttered and don’t add much value. And they can often be sold for more money on their own.

» Take multiple close-up shots—buyers feel better about their purchase if they can see all the details.

Sale Tips From The Pros Closet

» Choose the right venue. As Pro’s Closet co-owner Pete Lipinto says, “Craigslist is a great place to give away a free couch— not to sell a bike.” EBay is a safe marketplace that reaches a worldwide audience, while Craigslist is only local and can be a little, well, shady. Other channels include forums (go with ones requiring a certain amount of posts) or reselling to a bike shop (likely the lowest return but good for buying power).

» Sell at the right time of year. In the U.S., people tend to buy bikes at the start or end of the season, and from Thanksgiving through the new year.

» Start with a listing search. Search for your bike on eBay in the past 60 days to get an idea of market value.

» Mention everything. If the bike has a large scratch or has survived a crash, be upfront about it.

Want to take the stress out altogether? Use The Pro’s Closet for your sale. Not only can their crew of experts get you maximum cash for your bike, their process is incredibly easy. They’ll send a call tag to your house, use their “auction science” to figure out your bike’s value and mail you a check once it’s sold.

FILED UNDER: Bike / Gear & Tech TAGS:

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a senior editor at Triathlete magazine, a four-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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