12 tips to selling a used bike in Utah

KSL.com Bike ListingWhen you get the bug and want a new bike, most of us need to get rid of the old bike. I get a lot of phone calls asking if we buy used bikes or take trade ins. We don’t, but we can give a little advice on how to sell them. Selling anything used is tricky. The used bike market in Utah is pretty good, so do it right and make life easier for everyone involved. Good luck!

  1. Determine what your bike is worth to you. If it just collects dust in the garage and you have no intention of riding it, it isn’t worth that much. This is the concept of opportunity cost. You should be happy to get whatever, and it should sell quickly. If you need to get more money out of it, it will take more effort. If you have a nice bike, it does have value (to you and in cash).
  2. KSL.com is a great place to buy and sell bikes. KSL and Craigslist are free and people usually come pick it up locally. With eBay you deal with fees and shipping. Shipping a bike often runs over $100.00. Craigslist and eBay are also good, but have their disadvantages.
  3. Why are you selling it? If you don’t have a great reason, don’t bother saying why. “I didn’t like it cause it is too heavy” or “The shifting is terrible since I crashed it” are not good reasons, but “Looking to upgrade to the new model” or “It is simply too big/small for me” are better reasons if they are true.
  4. Know what you have. Most people shopping for a used bike know what they are looking for and want details. Lots of details. Full specs. If it is newer, visit the manufacturer’s website to help you list specs. Find out what manufacturer, size, model year, and the complete model name. Bikes are like cars, so list it accordingly. A good, full bike description would be “2009 Cannondale SuperSix 1-C 56cm white” as opposed to “newer white racing bike for average sized rider.” If you don’t know much about it, most dealers are happy to tell you about the bike if they are familiar with it.
  5. Accurately describing the bike’s condition is key. If you know or have a good idea, list how many miles are on it. List scratches, wear, last tune up, newer/upgraded parts, etc.
  6. Be honest about everything. If you know the shock is leaking or there is a dent in the frame, be sure to post it in the description. Don’t say it has some warranty or service plan as any manufacturer’s warranty only applies to the original owner. Our Lifetime Service is not transferable, don’t make false claims. If you aren’t sure about something, don’t guess. Either admit you don’t know or find out.
  7. Pictures are worth a lot. Don’t post the manufacturer’s stock photo of the bike as the main listing photo. People want to see the real thing. You can include the stock photo, but make sure you have plenty of other photos. Depending on the bike, it is appropriate to post 10 or 12 pictures. Higher end bikes should have wide shots of both sides (and at angles) and a closeup pictures of every component group. Potential buyers want to see the specs and condition. Clean your bike well before taking photos. Touch up the paint with nail polish if possible. Take pictures outside against a plain backdrop like a brick wall or garage door.
  8. Finding the right price is difficult. There is no Blue Book pricing for bikes. It is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Do some research (on the website you will be selling on and others like it) and see what similar models are selling for. Find out what the bike sold for new if it is less than 5 or 6 years old and include that in the listing. Call a dealer if you have questions about it. You can list high and take offers. If you list it too low, it will sell quickly and you won’t get what you could have out of it. You can always lower the price later, but you can never raise it.
  9. Create the listing with all of the information you have. In my experience, the more successful listings have a solid title, a couple brief paragraphs about the history and why you’re selling it, then a bulleted list of the specs and details.
  10. Make sure to list it in the right places and categories. If it is a road bike, don’t duplicate the listing in “mountain bikes.” That is annoying and buyers will think so too.
  11. Be sure you have good contact information listed so it is easy for potential buyers to contact you. Listing your email and text will make it easier for people to talk to you about it.
  12. Let people come see and ride your bike. Make yourself available so it is convenient for them. Include your willingness to allow test rides in the listing, it will help.

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