How Do I Sell My Mountain Bike? 5 Important Steps (Complete Guide)
No matter how much you might love your bike, eventually, it becomes time to sell it. Maybe it’s time to upgrade, maybe it’s time to change to a different type of bike.
In this step-by-step guide, we walk you through everything you’ll need to consider when selling your bike. Ideally, you want to get the best price possible, while making the buyer feel like they got a good deal too – win-win!
1. How Much Should You Sell A Used Bike For?
Used mountain bikes normally range from $200-$10,000 (£150-£8000). The value of your bike will depend on the bike’s age, the model/spec, and also the condition of the bike.
First of all, it’s important to know the value of your bike. There are a number of ways to do this:
Ask your local bike shop. The staff there will have a good idea of the current state of the market and what bikes are worth. If there is a local shop that sells that particular brand of the bike then they will have an even better idea of what the bike is worth. They will be able to take into consideration what components are on the bike and what condition it is in.
eBay. Is great because you can search by recently sold listings, which will give you a good idea of what price people have bought a similar bike for recently. Every bike is different – they are in different conditions and have different parts on them – but checking for similar bikes being sold online can be a good benchmark for what your bike is worth.
Pinkbike.com. It’s a hugely popular site for selling bikes and bike parts, so there is almost certainly going to be a bike very similar to what you’re selling, and the chances are that the person selling has done a lot of the hard work for you to find out the market value.
Bicyclebluebook.com. This website is another very useful resource for finding what bikes are worth. You can choose your bike, the year it’s from and what condition it is in, but you can’t choose the components on your bike – the prices are only for stock bikes. It gives different ranges for MSRP, trade-in price, and private sale price.
To get the maximum price: If you are not in a hurry to sell, list your bike for slightly more than the market value and see if you have any interest (you can always drop the price later, but you can’t increase it). This will also give you some room for negotiation, allowing the buyer to think they got a good deal.
2. How To Prepare The Bike To Get The Best Price
When you have selected a price and are happy with it, it’s time to get the bike ready. First impressions are everything, so make sure that your bike is looking its absolute best for prospective buyers.
Clean your bike: This is the absolute minimum that you should be considering – get it sparkling and it will be a much more attractive proposition for buyers. It might seem superficial but it does make a difference – your bike will look better and it will also show buyers that it has been well looked after.
Minor maintenance: It’s also worth investing in new tyres, new grips a new gear cable, and a brake bleed. That way, when people come to view the bike they will see that everything is working well and it’s been looked after. They will know that it’s a bike they can ride away right there and then rather than having to invest time and money in.
Remove stickers and tatty frame protection: Simple by removing old stickers, and removing any tatty clear frame protection can make an old bike looks like new once you have removed all the old glue with some silicon spray and some elbow grease.
Touch up. Carefully touch up any scratches or blemishes with touch-up paint. A black permanent marker pen can help clean up black components with small scratches. It’s about paying attention to detail.
Make It shine: Nothing quite beats a clean, bike that shines! Take some silicon spray and polish the frame, tyre walls. A clean shiny bike gives the impression the bike has been looked after and has not been neglected.
3. How To Get The Best Photos
Make your photos look good: When the bike is prepped and looking good it’s time to show it to the world. You want your pictures to look as professional as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a professional photographer, however. Most phone cameras are so good these days that it should be easy enough to get high-quality images to catch the eye of buyers. Think about lighting, so that the photos aren’t too dark, as well as the background for the pictures. Getting a shot out in the wild will look much better than a photo of the bike against the wall of your garage.
Choose an angle: To give potential buyers the best view of the bike, focus on the side profile, which allows buyers to get a better idea of what the bike looks like. Shots from the front or the rear simply won’t show much of the bike at all.
Focus on components: Other shots should include close-ups of the components. Focus on the best parts – any upgrades that you think will help lure buyers in and keep the price as high as possible.
Be honest: However, it is also important, to be honest. If there are any faults it’s better to get them out in the open straight away rather than keep quiet about them.
Wide-angle pictures are another good way to get as much of the bike in the picture as possible.
4. When Is The Best Time To Sell A Mountain Bike?
The best time to sell a mountain bike is normally from May to easily June time. Mountain biking is most popular during the summer months and this is when people might want to start thing about getting a new bike. The worst time is early January as people are not thinking about mountain biking as much during the winter, and there is likely to be a surplus of bikes after Christmas.
Also bear in mind that mountain bike technology is consistently changing, so it is worth trying to sell your bike before a standard comes in, that way your bike will hold the most value.
5. Where To Sell Your Bike?
When it comes to selling your bike, you then need to decide where exactly you’re going to sell it. If you live in a town that has a healthy mountain biking scene then it might be easy to find a local buyer or perhaps one of your friends! Local bike shops might also be willing to let you sell it through them in return for some commission.
Places to sell your bike:
6. Should I Ship The Bike Or Meet In Person?
Always sell in person if possible: Once you have found a buyer it is always a much better option to sell it in person. From your point of view, you can meet the buyer and ensure they are happy with the bike before they take it.
Another thing, postage can be a lot of extra effort. First, you need to find a suitably sized box to pack it up in, then you need to take it apart to put it in the box, then you have to find a courier. Postage for an item as large and heavy (even if it’s carbon!) as a mountain bike can be expensive. This means that either the buyer has to pay more or the seller has to pay the costs. Either way it works out costing money. Always pay for extra insurance when sending a bike, as it’s quite common for nice bikes to go missing in the postal systems.
Be aware of scams. Another problem with posting the bike is that it can leave you open to fraudulent activity and scams. Unless there is no other possible way to sell it, it’s simply not worth it. If you do have to sell it in this way then at least make sure that you have fully researched potential scams.
7. Protect Yourself
Finally, to make sure that you are protected, print and sign a sales contract between yourself and the buyer. Make sure that the buyer fully inspects the bike and that they are happy with what they are buying so that there can be no problems later on. We have made a free bike sales agreement/bill of sale you can print off here, or click on the image below. (make sure to print one for both you and the buyer).
Question & Answers
Should I sell my bike with my pedals?
It’s common to sell a mountain bike without Pedals. People often keep their pedals as the type of clipless or flat pedals are often a personal preference, some riders prefer certain brands or styles of pedals. However, if you have an old set of pedals kicking about it’s often polite to sell a bike with pedals so the new buyer can test ride the bike to ensure the gears work, and there aren’t any major issues with the bike.
Should the buyer pay in cash or bank transfer?
If you meet in person then it’s common for people to pay in either cash or bank transfer (if using bank transfer make sure the funds have cleared before they take the bike). If you really must sell a bike and ship it, use a service like Paypal which can protect both the buyer and the seller if something goes wrong.
When selling your bike it’s important to make your bike look as clean and as shiny as possible, select the right time of year, list it for the right price. At the end of the day, it’s all about making both you and the new owner of your bike happy. Now you have sold your bike you might be thinking about looking at getting another second-hand bike, if so check out our second-hand bike buyers guide.