The Pro's Closet is staffed with a team of bicycle experts who evaluate high-end bicycles every day. We lead the market in high-end pre-owned bicycles. In this post, we will provide you with a couple of bicycle valuation strategies for when you are interested in selling your used bike.
The market value, or "blue book value," of your used bike is indispensable knowledge. It lets you know how money you should ask for your bike and what offers you should accept when it comes time to sell. But how do you determine your used bike's value?
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Bicycle values are not a static thing. They fluctuate, which is why a bicycle blue book databases like Bicyclebluebook.com will give you a wide range of values. It can be affected by a number of factors, ranging from the amount of available inventory in the market, current cycling technology, fashion, and trends, and seasonality. Blue book databases also struggle to take into account real-world demand and desirability when they present bike values.
What affects the blue book value of a used bike?
The sad truth is that all bikes depreciate. There are factors that help certain bikes hold their value better than others. If you're curious about how your bike might fair when getting an offer from The Pro's Closet or a private buyer, here are a few key factors that may increase or decrease the value of your bike.
- Less than 3-5 years old - Depreciation only gets worse with age. Sure there are some forever bikes, but if you're trying to get more money back for your bike, the sooner you sell the better.
- Small, Medium, or Large - If your bike is a common size that fits more riders, it will be in more demand. S, M, and L sizes will often sell for slightly more than an equivalent XS or XL size.
- Good condition - This should be obvious, but the better condition your bike is in, the more it will hold its value. Keeping it clean and maintained, replacing inexpensive parts like grips, bar tape, saddles, and protecting your frame and components from scratches and other damage will always boost your bike's overall value.
- Desirable models and brands - Some bikes and brands are just more in demand than others, and they hold their value as a result. Check out our depreciation story to find out what our sales data says about what bikes hold their value best.
- Unsupported technology or standards - Bike technology progresses fast. Over time, some bikes get left behind. Bikes with outdated components (rim brakes, old axle standards, 26" wheels, etc.) or bikes that lack spare parts and aftermarket support will struggle to hold value.
- Unusual upgrades - A few upgrades might increase your bike's value, but most have little effect. Some, however, can't actually hurt your bike's value. Obscure and proprietary upgrades can scare buyers off, especially if they're hard to maintain or lack compatibility with other aftermarket components. Linkage forks, carbon spoked wheels, and "unique" custom paint are just a few examples.
- Low original retail price - The cheaper a bike is when new, the quicker it will lose value over time. This is a major reason The Pro's Closet focuses on purchasing bikes with an original MSRP of at least $1,500. High-end and name-brand bikes simply hold value better.
To understand the value of your bike you must carefully study your bike and how it fits into the used marketplace. Since The Pro's Closet is the world's largest seller of pre-owned bikes, our experts can track asking prices, sale prices, depreciation trends, and customer demand using a mountain of data. If you're going to sell your bike locally, you will need to carefully examine their own marketplace to estimate value.
Let's look at a couple of easy options for you to quickly and easily determine an approximate value for your bike.
Option 1: The Pro's Closet Sell / Trade
If you don't have the time to surf the used bike market and go through the hard work of determining your own used bike's value, then listing it and selling it, then The Pro's Closet can help. With expansive expert knowledge and experience in all sorts of high-end bikes, plus the resources to collect every possible bit of information, we can give you a quote for selling or trading in your used bike quickly, accurately, for free, and with no obligations.
Find out how much your bike is worth from our pre-owned bike experts, go to the Sell/Trade page on our website. Follow the instructions to submit your bike and if we want to purchase it you'll receive an offer within one business day. Our goal is to make it easy for you to get a good value for your bike, and help you move on to your next bike.
*Note: The Pro's Closet only purchases bikes with an original MSRP of $1500 or more. Unfortunately, we don't purchase bikes that are low value, in poor condition, or too difficult to sell.
Option 2: eBay sold listings / Checkaflip
If you plan to sell you bike locally, the best way to determine its value is to look at comps, or comparable bikes in your area. This lets you know what other sellers are asking for the same bike, and depending on if they sell or not, what people will be willing to pay. But unless you live in a very bike rich area, you may not find many bikes that match yours. This is why studying an online used marketplace like eBay can be a handy alternative.
eBay sold listings are a great way to judge the value of your bike. The basic method is to search for your specific bike and see what sellers are asking. Even better, you can use the filter in the sidebar for "sold listings." This will show you what your bike has sold for previously. There's also an easy third-party tool that performs the task for you: Checkaflip.
Checkaflip is a simple online tool that helps approximate your used bicycle's value using eBay sold listings. It compiles data from sold and active listings on eBay and draws its sold listing data from items sold in the last three months, so it remains current.
Checkaflip will also show the average asking price of bikes that are currently listed and bikes that have sold and give you several recent listings that you can use as comps. This can help you price your bike to be in line with your competition. Armed with this information, you can then deduce your bicycle's real-world value. Often, you may find that what buyer are willing to pay differs from what blue book databases claim. From there, your selling strategy is up to you.
Please do not comment asking what your bike is worth! The tools listed above are your best options. Comments asking for bike valuations will be removed.
Submit your bike through our Sell/Trade page to receive a custom quote for your bike:Click To Sell