I need to sell a bike.
May 13, 2021 8:38 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to sell a bike online these days?

I find myself in a position where I want to sell a bike, in order to partially fund the purchase of a new one. I haven't sold a bike in like 15 years, and I'm not sure the best way to go about it. My first instinct is Craigslist, but all I've ever heard about CL is "the bikes on there are probably mostly stolen" and I don't want my prospective sale to get lost in that noise, so I'm looking for alternatives.

I have neither a Facebook nor a Twitter account, and am not willing to get one just for this, which I realize shuts off at least one good avenue for sales. I'm in Portland, OR if that makes a difference.

So I guess my question is twofold: Is CL a reliable place to sell a bike, and if not, what is?
posted by pdb to Shopping (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh and also if it matters, the bike for sale is listed at Project529 and registered so I can prove it's mine.
posted by pdb at 8:40 AM on May 13, 2021

Best answer: You could try pinkbike for a more specialized and interested audience.
posted by dum spiro spero at 8:42 AM on May 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

I just sold a road bike this week to The Pro's Closet online. You can trade with them for another bike, get credit to use at their network of other dealers (which I didn't really investigate), or get cash. The cash offer they made for my bike was well above the Bicycle Blue Book trade-in value, and I accepted it. Still going through the process - next step is to pack up and ship the bike to them - but so far it's been smooth and easy.
posted by sockshaveholes at 9:12 AM on May 13, 2021

If it's a reasonably desirable bike, you could get a paid membership at bikeforums.net and list it there (only paid members get to post for-sale listings).

You probably have a friend on Facebook, who could post it to Facebook Marketplace on your behalf; there are also a bunch of regional bike-specific for-sale groups on Facebook.
posted by adamrice at 9:20 AM on May 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

all I've ever heard about CL is "the bikes on there are probably mostly stolen"
Have you heard this in Portland? In Portland, I've sold a few bikes (that were definitely mine) on Craigslist over the past few years, and bought two or three this way as well. Otherwise I'd say Facebook Marketplace, but that's out.

Have you looked through the CL listings for bikes? Plenty on there seem legit to me, and I have bikey friends who buy bikes on there regularly too. Like, they go and visit the CL bike section as part of their regular internet browsing. I think that's your answer.

There's a bike boom right, and bike stores are having a hard time keeping anything in stock. This shouldn't be hard. Why not try Craigslist?
posted by bluedaisy at 10:21 AM on May 13, 2021

Best answer: It's true there are lots of stolen bikes on Craigslist but if you take the time to write a good listing with nice pics, savvy buyers won't miss yours amidst the noise.

Describe the bike and your ownership of it in some detail - where and when you bought it, what kind of riding you've done with it, components that have been replaced or upgraded, what your maintenance schedule has been, how you've cared for it as far as keeping it sheltered from the elements, etc. Basically try to think of the kinds of things that you'd see as signals of a legit bike owner. Thieves don't write listings like that.
posted by theory at 6:21 PM on May 13, 2021

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