A recent conversation in my house went something like this. My husband stated that he wanted to build a big barn for all of the things–cars, tractors, a fancier home office. (Yes, this was a two story dream barn).
I got all excited that I would now have a place to store my bikes! He suggested, instead, that I sell my bikes.
Not all of them, of course, but the ones that I don’t often use. Naturally, I balked at this. HE certainly wasn’t planning to part with any of HIS bikes!
I mean, I only have a couple bikes! He has way more bikes than I do. Still, and I know that some will argue this point, it actually IS possible to have too many bikes.
In fact, there are a number of reasons why you might want to sell your bike. Additionally, you may simply just want to know how much your beloved bike is worth.
In this article, I’ll go over how to figure out how much your bike is worth and where to sell in.
But, First: Reasons to Sell Your Bike
You, my friend, are running out of SPACE!
Unless you have a huge “bike barn” (and yes, I know at least a couple people who do!), at some point you are going to run out of space.
There is only so much space in the garage, basement, or shed to store all of your bikes.
I know some people who keep their bikes in their living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms as well!
If you want to use any of those spaces for something else, such as, you know, maybe a car or a dining room table, it might be time to sell one of your bikes.
Your Bike Isn’t a Good Fit
You may have an awesome, expensive bike. At the end of the day, though, it just doesn’t work for you.
You thought it was going to be great. You were SO excited to get it. But, after a year or two (you know, well outside of any sort of return window) it’s just not.
You have tweaked it. Your friends at your local bike shop have swapped out just about every component.
Every time you get a new saddle, make a new adjustment, you are hoping that THIS is going to be the change that makes your fancy bike just right.
Still, at the end of the day, it’s just not a good fit for your body or your riding style. If this is the case? It’s definitely time to sell.
You Want to Upgrade to Something Newer/Better
Another reason you might want to sell a bike is to get some cash, and upgrade to something newer and better! Maybe you bought that “entry level” aluminum bike and now your skill set and riding style would be suited to a fancier model. Something in the realm of carbon, perhaps.
Whatever your reason, you are making the decision to sell. Once you have decided that you want to sell your bike, the next step is to figure out what it’s worth.
How To Determine How Much Your Bike is Worth
There are a number of things to consider when you are trying to find out how much your bike is worth. The brand of your bike, age, type, and original retail cost are all important factors.
You can start this process quickly and easily on the internet. Below we have a couple suggestions for where to go to find out how much your bike is worth.
Step 1: Start With Bicycle Blue Book
This is easily the first place to start if you want to sell your bike.
If you have ever heard of Kelly Blue Book for cars, this is essentially the same idea, but for BIKES!
When you go to Bicycle Blue Book, they will ask you the year, the year, make (bike company) and model of your bike.Once you give this info, you will also have to estimate the condition of your bike.
You will then get:
- The retail value (what it sold for originally)
- Suggested trade-in value (if you want to trade it into a bike shop), and
- private seller value (approximately what you can get if you sold the bike to someone yourself)
Nick Lando from Competitive Edge Ski and Bike in East Longmeadow, MA, mentioned that this was a good starting point for getting a sense of what your bike is worth. When someone is interested in selling their bike to the shop, this is one of the first places they go to find a value.
It’s important to note, however, that it’s just a starting point. If your bike has upgraded components, especially if they are desirable ones, you can often get more money for it than if it has standard components.
Likewise, according to Nick, if you have upgrades or changes to your bike that are difficult to maintain/replace, that actually can decrease the value of your bike.
Step 2: Peruse Online Bike Classifieds
One of the best ways to see how much your bike is worth is to find a similar bike already for sale or sold. This will give you a sense of what the market value is for your bike. In other words, what you can actually get for it.
There are a number of places online where people or companies sell used bikes. The Pro’s Closet and Pinkbike are a great place to start. Just search for a bike like yours and see what it’s selling for!
Additionally, you can often find a local bike classified group on Facebook to check out prices. This might not help much if bikes aren’t super popular in your geographical area, but if they are? It’s a great way to see what someone close by might purchase your bike for. It’s an awesome way to avoid the hassle of packing up your bike to ship too.
You’ve Got Your Starting Price! So How Do You Actually Sell It?
Where you sell your bike really depends on a few main factors. How much your bike is worth, what kind of bike it is, how much effort you want to put in, whether or not you’re using your bike as a trade, and where you live are all important things to consider.
Some online retailers will only deal with bikes above a certain price point. Others are more well-known for a specific bike type. Here are a number of places you can go to sell your bike.
Bicycle Blue Book Partner/Marketplace
If you are going to trade in your bike, the website will set you up with one of their partners so that you can get the new bike that you like!
Bicycle Blue Book also has a marketplace where you can list your bike for sale. You may be able to get more money through a private sale rather than trade in, but keep in mind you will likely have to deal with the cost/hassle of shipping your bike.
The Pro’s Closet
The Pro’s Closet is one of the most well-known places to buy or sell a used bike. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that they will only deal in bikes that had an original MSRP of $1500 or more.
If your bike falls into this category and is in good condition, they will likely buy it from you. According to their website, you just go to the Sell/Trade page, and they will get back to you within a day!
This is one of the best ways to sell your bike if you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of listing it. You snap some pics of your bike, send them along, and they will give you an offer.
The Pro’s Closet will give you a prepaid shipping label, you pack your bike up in a box, and once they get your bike they pay you. That’s it!
Pinkbike has a HUGE, and we mean HUGE inventory of off road bikes. If you are looking to buy or sell a Mountain Bike, Pink Bike is definitely a great place to start.
Essentially, Pinkbike BuySell is a place for online bike classifieds. Mountain Bike enthusiasts will often frequent Pinkbike even when they aren’t looking to buy or sell a bike because it’s primarily a mountain bike forum and community.
Another great thing about Pinkbike is you might even be able to find a buyer who is local!
Do keep in mind, however, that if your buyer is not local that you will likely have to pack up and ship your bike as you would with the Pro’s Closet.
Your Local Bike Shop
A great option to consider, especially if you are looking to trade your bike in, is your local bike shop.
Many bike shops will sell used, as well as new bikes. They might be willing to buy your old bike, especially if you are planning to upgrade to something new.
It’s important to keep in mind that not all bike shops will take a new bike as a trade, and some will only take brands that they sell because these are parts/components that they regularly have on hand.
According to Nick Lando from Competitive Edge Ski and Bike, when looking at taking in a bike as a trade they consider these factors, as well as the condition of the bike.
If the bike needs work, and if the parts are expensive/time consuming to replace, this can greatly impact the value of your bike.
Your local bike shop might not be the place to get the best price for your bike (think trade-in vs. private sale), but it might certainly be the easiest.
Local Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook Groups/Bike Classifieds/CraigsList
This is a GREAT option if you want to sell your bike locally, get decent money, and don’t want to deal with the hassle of packing it up.
It can be a little more time-consuming because you have to take photos and do up a listing, but this is the same process with big online classifieds like Pinkbike.
This is also a great option if you have a bike that didn’t have that originally $1500 MSRP minimum.
Most areas/regions have a Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group specifically for bike classifieds. The more general, not bike specific, classifieds would be a good place to sell an older bike. You know, that bike you really don’t want much money for, but want to get out of your space and into the hands of someone else to use.
Finally, Be Prepared to Get a Little Emotional if You Decide to Sell
The day you actually part with your bike may be a tough one. I think this is why so many of us hold onto so many of our bikes for so long, or refuse to sell altogether.
Our bikes have been with us on SO many adventures. Blood, sweat, tears are literal occurrences on almost all of my bikes, and I am guessing you have similar experiences.
When you go to pass off your bike to someone else, or pack it up to ship, you might shed a few extra tears. You might have a moment. Or two.
That’s completely normal, and completely human. At the end of the day, though, if selling the right bike is the option for you, you are prepared!
You now have all of the tools you need to find out how much your bike is worth, and sell it to the next rider who can give it the love and attention it deserves.