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How To: The Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Used Bike Online or in Person

There's plenty of options for selling your used bike. Some require more or less work than others, and some provide more value for your bike and your time. Let's look at the top five ways you can sell your used bike.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Guides

We've all been there. You need to unlock the value of your current bike so you can find a bike for your next adventure. There are plenty of ways to sell your used bicycle. Some require more or less work than others, and some provide more value for your bike and your time.

Let's look at the best ways to sell a used bike, how to use TPC's Sell // Trade feature, and the do's and don'ts of selling your used bike:

1. Sell your bike online to TPC

The Pro's Closet (TPC) operates the Internet’s largest used bicycle marketplace. Whether you want to sell outright or trade-in a bike toward a new purchase on our website, our online Sell // Trade process is designed specifically to help you get money for bikes quickly and easily.

If your used bike has an original retail price of $2,000 or more, we're interested in evaluating it. There's no need to struggle with listing your bike.

Simply follow the instructions on our Sell // Trade page to submit your bike and you will receive a response within one business day with an offer for the value of your bike if we are interested in purchasing it.

If we accept your bike and make you an offer, you will have a few options to get paid:

  • Instant Cash - We will pay you for your bike through PayPal after we receive your bike.
  • Store Credit - After receiving your bike you will receive TPC store credit. We generally offer MORE money for store credit than for instant cash. This is a great option if you want to trade-in your bike for a new one!   
  • Consignment - TPC actually started off as a consignment shop. Essentially, we clean, prep, and sell the bike for you, and then we split the proceeds. Often, this will get you the most money for your bike, but it won't be "instant" because we don't buy your bike outright. Ultimately, it's in both of our interests to get your bike sold at as high a price as possible. This rewards patient sellers who don't need instant cash and it benefits us too because we don't need spend cash. Consignment is low-risk because there is a guaranteed minimum payout, ensuring you will receive cash within 120 days even if the bike doesn't sell. Learn more about consignment here

[button]Sell your road bike[/button]

[button]Sell your gravel bike[/button]

[button]Sell your electric bike[/button]

[button]Sell your MTB[/button]

2. Sell your bicycle to a pawn or used sporting goods shop

If you're lucky, there might be a used sporting goods shop near you that'll buy used bikes. Many modern bike shops don't bother buying and selling used bikes anymore. Otherwise, one of the quickest ways to turn your used bike into cash is to find a local pawnshop. It is the old-fashioned way to turn most items into quick cash. If you're lucky, you may have a shop nearby that specializes in buying, selling, and consigning used sporting equipment.

The advantage here is the convenience of selling locally and completing a transaction the same day you walk in. The major concern, however, is getting maximum value for your bike. Many shops may lack the expertise to understand what your bike is worth, or their business model makes them unable or unwilling to give you the amount you want, especially for high-end bikes.

If you happen to be in Colorado, TPC offers a hybrid solution at our Louisville/Denver bike store. If you’ve received an offer through our Sell // Trade portal, you can bring us your bike in person (avoiding the shipping process), and get paid for your bike ASAP.


3. Sell your bike online via Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or another website

Online classifieds give you a free platform to list your bike. Just upload some photos and write a description. Once again, getting maximum value for your bike is the greatest concern here. The people who browse online marketplaces are diverse and can range from experts to enthusiasts, to complete noobs. These places are ripe for negotiation, which some people love, but many find it exhausting. If your bike is of high value, expect some low-ball offers and aggressive hagglers.

When selling online, be wary of scammers and bogus offers. Make sure transactions are safe and secure. Many police stations now offer special areas for such transactions to occur. This is also why I prefer Facebook Marketplace to Craigslist because you can scope the profiles of prospective buyers to see if they're legit. 

Your ad also has to fight for attention, as it continuously gets bumped down by newer ads. If someone isn't searching for exactly what you're selling, they may never see it. If you're up for the work and personal interaction it takes, then it may be the way to go.

4. Sell your bike on PinkBike Marketplace or another website forum

The Internet is rife with bike nerds and online forums are where they tend to gather. There are forums dedicated to every cycling discipline imaginable, from specific ideologies to brands to interests. Many cycling sites have specific buy and sell forums, which are slightly more educated versions of your local online marketplace. Still, visibility can be hit-or-miss depending on the site or bike, and you may run into low-ballers, potential scammers, or lack of views.

Remember, if your bike doesn't sell locally, you'll have to pack and ship your bike. This costs money (sometimes a lot!), and if you don't have the materials or experience, it can be difficult. Selling your used bike on a forum can be a bit of extra work, but it can help you find a specific type of buyer that you might not be able to find locally.

5. Sell your bike on eBay

eBay allows you to reach a pool of buyers that spans the globe. You have to deal with shipping and eBay fees, but in exchange, you get good visibility and a better chance that your bike sells.

You'll need to develop a reputation through positive feedback. Often, buyers prefer trusted sellers with good ratings. This isn't to say that you can't sell with poor or few ratings, but if you don't sell often or you're selling for the first time, there's a chance that you could be missing out on some buyers willing to spend a little more for confidence and security.

eBay is also a popular option for the “part-out.” Many enthusiasts will search for specific bike parts. If you're having trouble selling your used bike complete, or you want to maximize your return by splitting your bike into its components. With eBay's global marketplace, you can likely find that one (or hopefully more) buyers looking for what you're selling.

How to sell your bike to TPC

We get it. There's a premium bike in your garage. You used to love it, but now it's not right for you. That's where we come in.

We have a proven, efficient system to buy bikes from cyclists like you. Whether you want the cash or you're ready to trade-in for your next bike, our goal at TPC is to provide you with exceptional customer service and a trouble-free way to sell your bike.

[button]Sell Your Bike[/button]

We will offer to buy your bike upfront so you don't have to deal with the hassle of selling your bike through an online marketplace.

Simply follow the steps below and we will send you a quote for your bike within 24 hours. If you have a high-quality used frame or wheels, we're interested in those too! It doesn't matter where you live in the U.S. We cater to clients across the country, and we are committed to offering a fair price for your used bicycle. 

Go to Sell // Trade and enter your bike details

Visit our Sell // Trade page. You will be asked to log in with your TPC account. If you don't have an account, it's quick and easy to create one.

From the Sell // Trade page, select either bike, frame, or wheels, depending on what you're selling. Each item will require its own submission. 

Fill out the submission form to tell us about the bike you have to sell. You will need to know the make, model, and year of your bike. This information must be accurate for our team of experts to give an accurate quote for your bike's value. If you are unsure of any of these details, please contact our Ride Guides for assistance. 

If there is any damage, or you have made any upgrades or downgrades to the bike, please describe them in this form. These will affect our quote for your bike. If your submission is accurate, it will make the process easier and quicker for everyone!

Upload photos of your bike

You will be asked to upload a drive-side and non-drive-side photo of your bike. Make sure your photos are clear and well-lit so our team can make an accurate appraisal of your bike. 

You will be able to upload up to three additional photos to show upgrades or damage.

Describe the condition

You will be asked to describe the condition of your bike using a 1-5 scale. A condition guide will be provided to help you assess your bike's condition

Our team methodically prices each bike based on the make/model/year and its condition. If we receive a bike in worse condition than expected, we will have to adjust the offer, potentially delaying the process. So please honestly assess your bike's condition.

Submit your bike

After submitting, you will receive an offer for your bike within 24 business hours. You will be able to choose between cash payment via PayPal or store credit with TPC. Note that store credit will be valued 10% higher. 

Ship your bike

We will email you a prepaid shipping label for your bike. Ensure that your bike is safely packed so it does not become damaged in transit. Damaged bikes will be returned or have their offers revised. 

If you're worried about properly packing your bike for shipment, our Shipping Manager, Steve has a few helpful tips:

  • Make sure there is no rub or contact between metal and carbon fiber, such as the front wheel against the frame, or handlebars against the frame. Use adequate packing material to protect areas of contact. 
  • Make sure nothing can move around in the box, such as the front wheel, handlebars, seatpost, or other small parts. 
  • Make sure the box is free of any old shipping labels. Take a photo of the box before shipping to record its condition.

Read our complete guide to safely packing your bike for shipping.

Receive payment

Once your bike arrives and passes inspection, we will send your store credit or payment via PayPal.

Thanks for choosing TPC to sell your bike! We're confident that we offer the highest level of customer service and the easiest way to unlock the value of your bike. 

[button]Sell Your Bike[/button]

The pros and cons of selling your bike on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace



Sell from the comfort of your home

Shipping your bike can be a hassle and cost a lot

Receive payment via PayPal or other cash apps

Many hagglers and scammers

Get a larger audience. This helps increase your bike’s value

Some sites require you to build a good “reputation” 

So, how do you avoid these cons of selling online? Well, with TPC, you deal directly with us. You have the option for either cash or store credit, and receiving payment is fast and easy via PayPal. Worried abou those high shipping rates? We have you covered, shipping is free for all bikes we purchase! Best of all, our team is available every day of the week to answer any questions you may have! 

The do's and don'ts of selling used bikes

DO clean your bike before selling. Do you want to buy a dirty bike? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. A clean bike gives potential buyers the confidence that your bike has been loved and well maintained.

DON'T sell your bike with extras. Pedals, computers, and spare wheels generally don't add much value to a bike sale and can be sold on their own for better money.

DO provide details of any upgrades you've made to the bike. Newer, higher-end components can add value to you bike.

DO make sure to outline anything that is wrong with the bike. Scratches and dents are inevitable on a used bike and nothing is worse than surprising your buyer with a bike in worse shape than they had expected. Be transparent and advertise the bike honestly.

DO take as many photos as possible. The old saying, “photos are worth a thousand words” is especially true when selling a high-end bike. Show off your bike in great detail and make sure to take photos using a background that won’t distract from the actual bike. If you don’t have access to a professional photo studio, we recommend using a concrete wall or a solid colored garage door.

DO give your bike a tune-up. Making sure your bike is ready to ride will give buyers the confidence that they won't have to do any serious maintenance once they purchase from you. Apply these simple principals the next time you want to sell your bike and once the dust settles, you will notice your wallet will be a little fatter.

Tips For Taking Great Photos of Your Bike

When selling a used bike, the quality of your photos can significantly influence buyer interest. High-quality images not only showcase the condition of the bike but also build trust and can set your listing apart from others. Here are practical tips on how to take effective photos for your bike listings.

Preparation is key:

  • Give your bike a good wash and polish to make it look its best.
  • Remove any unnecessary accessories like water bottle cages and phone mounts.
  • Check your tires for air and make sure the chain is properly lubricated.

Lighting is everything:

  • Avoid harsh sunlight, which can create unwanted glare.
  • Opt for soft, natural light, ideally on an overcast day.
  • If you must shoot in direct sunlight, try early morning or late afternoon hours when the light is softer.

Choose the right background:

  • Find a clean and uncluttered background that won't distract from your bike.
  • A solid-colored wall or a natural setting like a park or greenway can work well.
  • Avoid busy backgrounds that will make your bike look lost in the frame.

Set the scene:

  • Show off your bike's best features by taking photos from different angles.
  • Get down low for a dramatic shot from below, or take a side-on photo to show off the bike's profile.
  • You can also include a photo of yourself riding the bike to give potential buyers a sense of scale and action.

Focus on the details:

  • Take close-up photos of the bike's components, such as the drivetrain, brakes, and shifters.
  • This will help potential buyers see the condition of the bike and its features.

Smartphone vs. DSLR:

  • You can take great bike photos with your smartphone, but a DSLR camera will give you more control over the final image.
  • If you're using a smartphone, make sure to use the HDR mode to capture a wider range of tones.



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