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How much to pay for a used bike?(13 posts)

How much to pay for a used bike?Strom
May 21, 2001 9:22 AM
Is there a rough guideline for how much to pay for a barely used 2000 model bike? I'm looking at one that has been ridden once and is in essentially new condition, but has been sitting in the owner's garage since it was bought last year.

The bike is a Bianchi Veloce, MSRP $1400 new. (It's a local sale, not from this site.)

How much should I expect to pay? Is there a general guideline to follow (e.g., a certain percentage of the new price)?
Extremely rough only semi-educated guess...Retro
May 21, 2001 10:04 AM
I've bought several used bikes the last 10 years or so (for myself and family members), and at least where I live, the market for road bikes is practically nonexistent. May be different where you live, but I'd be reluctant to pay more than 50 percent of the new price. The seller isn't going to like that, and if road bikes do better in your neighborhood than they do in mine, he may not go for it. Last bike I bought was a 2-year-old Allez, about $1000 new (this was a few years ago). The guy was asking $400, I told him $350, and about two weeks later he called and said he'd take it.
does the owner know what it's worth?climbo
May 21, 2001 10:33 AM
if it is unused they probably will take a low price to get rid of it unless they are trying to get several offers. If you are the only person interested in it, offer about half and see what they say. If they were smart they wouldn't accept that and you may get away with a nice bike for something under $800. Make sure to test ride it if you haven't already.
The owner is askingStrom
May 21, 2001 10:44 AM
about $1000 for the bike, but says the price is negotiable. I'm trying to figure out where to come in with an offer. It didn't sound like he had done a lot of research on the bike's value -- he's going primarily by the new price, as far as I can tell.

I'll be testing it out this afternoon.
$1000 seems high to meCory
May 21, 2001 11:22 AM
There are lots of pretty decent new bikes in the $1000-$1200 range...I'm not sure I'd go that high unless you really like this thing.
I agree with CorySpoke Wrench
May 21, 2001 12:02 PM
To me, the process of buying a used bike is the exact opposite of buying a new bike from a shop.

When you buy a new bike, you pick out the brand, the frame material and the component group and you leave it up to the shop to acquire the right size for you.

With a used bike, you need to revise your thinking. The FIRST cut is to determine if the size is right. If the bike fits, then you decide if you can live with the brand, the frame and the components and for what price.

If a shop had this year old bike for sale, they would probably be trying to get about $1,200 and would also provide you with a new bike warranty, some sort of service package, a deal on accessories, maybe trade seats, stems or pedals for you. You won't get any of that with a private sale.

If this bike is truly the right size for you, and if it is a bike you would buy new if you found it in a shop, I'd say $1,000 would be a fair price for a private sale. In most used bike deals that isn't the case. Usually there's something about the bike you don't like.

I'd say $600.00 to $800.00 would be fair. Not many people are willing to pay $600.00 for a bike regardless of value. If he doesn't sell it to you, he has to find another buyer who is both the right size and who is willing to pay that much for a used bicycle. Right now the bicycle has negative utility to the seller because he isn't using it and it's taking up valuable space in his garage.
About half of what it cost new!!Thioderek
May 21, 2001 11:37 AM
I bought a 2000 barely used De Rosa (Campy 10 speed Record-Merak model with Deda Newton bars and stem) for about 50% off new resale value. It was worth it bigtime, let me tell you. I put more miles on it in 2 weeks than he had in 1 year.

If you are being asked to pay 1K for 1.4k new, you are getting hosed. The guy is not going to get anything better than a 50-60% offer on the bike. I say negotiate. The bike is only going to go down in value the longer it sits in his garage.

Desperate souls think that bikes are good investments. Only in the purchaser's mind though. Not in resale value.
Just to clarify...Strom
May 21, 2001 12:09 PM
I am not considering paying $1000 for the bike -- that's just what the owner is asking for it, and it's well beyond my budget.

Would others agree that 50% of new MSRP is a reasonable rough guideline for a barely used 2000 bike?
Just to clarify...pmf
May 21, 2001 1:13 PM
$1000 does seem high, but half MSRP seems a bit low if the thing is really only a year old and has been seldomly ridden.

Do you know for sure if the guy really paid $1400 for it? Is that what it costs at a LBS, or do they typically sell them for less?

If its an essentually new bike that hasn't been ridden and really does cost $1400 new (and fits you), then maybe $900 is a fair price.
re: How much to pay for a used bike?no excuses
May 21, 2001 12:51 PM
Point of Reference:
I paid $1,100 for a barely used/ well maintained Lemond Zurich. New bike price was about $1,800.
Positives are that you may get some cages or an upgraded seat thrown in. Negatives are that you should still plan $100 and up for your own needs. Having a cooperative LBS should help.
As stated above, start with fit, but be prepared to be flexible and spend some of your savings on getting the fit right; new stem, etc.
50% is a good starting pointbianchi boy
May 21, 2001 4:09 PM
I bought a used Bianchi Alloro in the fall for $900. The price for new one in local shops was about $1,800 retail, but they were knocking 15% off by that time of year, and I doubt if the retail price was that high for the model (1999) I was looking at. You have to consider several factors in reaching a fair price:
-- New bike will include a warranty, which is worth several hundred dollars, in my book.
-- With a new bike, dealer will swap components such as stems, saddles, forks to get the fit right at little or no cost.
-- Most new bikes include at least a year's worth of free service, which is worth another $50-100.

In my case, the bike was in excellent shape and the price low enough to take the chance. So far, I have spent about $175 getting the bike set up right for me, including:
-- New saddle ($50)
-- New cassette with different gear ratio ($75 w/labor)
-- New stem ($50)

However, I probably will have to spend another $200+ on the bike for a new fork as the handlebars are too low for me. It has a threadless stem w/ a fork steerer tube that was cut too low for my comfort.

So, if you include the cost of a new fork, the bike cost me an additional $400, or about $1,300 total. Still not a bad price, but not a steal. The big problem with a used bike is that it is highly unlikely that you will find one with all the components (stem, saddle, fork, cassette) just the way you want them. Most bike shops are pretty accommodating about swapping out parts or selling upgrades for nominal increase, providing the bike is new. Many people selling used bikes do not take all of these factors into account and price their bikes unrealistically high. Some of the people selling bikes in the rbr classifieds are asking nearly as much as what someone could buy a brand new bike in a shop. Now, whether they get their asking price is another matter.
My experienceAndy
May 21, 2001 4:39 PM
This spring I sold my 2000 LeMond Buenos Aires on eBay for $795. It cost $1375 new. Several LBS employees said to expect to get 50% of the retail cost of the bike. My LeMond had 2000 miles on it but I threw in a new Flite Gel saddle (I couldn't ride on it), new Continental Grand Prix 3000 tires, a Zefal frame pump and my old Avocet 45tt cyclometer. So I guess that comes out to roughly 50% of retail.

If he won't come down, look elsewhere... you may find an even better deal somewhere else. One thing you should be doing in the mean time is test riding some bikes at your non-local bike shop (you'll probably make your LBS mad if you test ride and then buy used) and find out what frame size you take in various models. That way, when you find a sweet deal, you'll know in advance if the frame will fit.
I test rode it today...Strom
May 21, 2001 6:18 PM
and it's in great shape, very nearly brand new condition. I offered $800 for the bike and shoes, which are new and fit me. He said he couldn't go lower than $900. He's got someone else looking at it on Friday, and if that person doesn't buy it he may call me.

He paid $1400 for the bike, shoes and helmet (but I don't need a helmet). The bike itself was $1300. So $900 would be about 2/3 of original retail, and $800 would be about 60% of original retail.

The height is correct, but I felt like I was a little stretched out, so does that mean I may need a shorter stem? The seat seemed quite hard -- I don't know if that's something I would likely get used to.