BicycleBlueBook.com takes guess work out of buying and selling used bikes

Extensive database solution insures fair pricing for sales and trades

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BicycleBlueBook.com signed up affiliate retailers at Interbike as well as extolled the virtues of developing used bike departments powered by their valuation tools.

Generally, the folks we ride with fall into one of two camps—the kind willing to pay top dollar for the latest, greatest; and the ones who buy their hand-me-downs. Regardless of which category you fall into, it means buying or selling a used bike is something you do every couple years.

But determining the real value of a used bike is surprisingly difficult, no matter which side of the transaction you’re on. Unlike, say, the used car or collectibles markets which have numerous valuation guides, pricing a used bike is often an exercise in guesswork, subjectivity and emotion.

Selling an old bike is a good first step towards funding your new one–BicycleBlueBook.com’s valuation and marketplace tools can help.

An upstart online valuation and marketplace solution called BicycleBlueBook.com is changing all that. Not only does the almost-two-year-old service provide pricing guidance, it’s building a network of dealers to verify the condition of bikes on offer, and has a built-in marketplace functionality designed to remove the reservations people have about using existing online venues like eBay and Craigslist.

“We saw a very real need in the bicycle sales ecosystem for a mechanism like this,” said BicycleBlueBook.com’s Director of Marketing Ryan Yee, noting used bikes in the US account for an estimated $2.4 billion in business every year. “Our database is a living, breathing thing and it’s updated daily with information on sales and depreciation so our users can have the utmost confidence in the information and services we provide.”

Database provides accurate, up-to-date values

Like similar guides for the automobile market, the app—which is available online and on iOS and Android mobile—uses a constantly-updated database consisting of millions of data points from numerous data sources that include eBay’s vast archives of used bike and component transactions to determine the value of each used bike. The estimate is based not only on current market value and condition, but on any upgrades and refreshes made to the bike over time through its component upgrade module.

If you, say, swapped out that cheapy OEM headset for a premium Chris King model, or replaced the bike’s alloy handlebars with carbon ones, the site accommodates and adds value for those changes. If you just bought a new suspension fork for an older bike you’ve decided to sell, you’ll be able to recoup some credit for that as well.

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Getting an accurate appraisal for your bike is easy with BicycleBlueBook.com’s database. It starts with the basics (shown here) but lets you get granular with the details, allowing you to add in any upgrades you’ve made to the bike over time.

Local shops verify condition

As a final step of reassurance, BicycleBlueBook.com engages local dealers to inspect and verify the bike’s condition making sure it was fairly represented in the Marketplace and that there’s full disclosure of its condition. That dealer can also pack and ship the bike right from their shop, upping the convenience for sellers.

Like automotive blue books, BicycleBlueBook.com valuation provides both a peer-to-peer price, as well as a wholesale value, which is what a shop would give you on trade-in for the bike.

In addition to condition verification through their Inspection Program, many of BicycleBlueBook.com’s affiliate shops are getting into the used bike business themselves and taking trade-ins as credit toward new bike purchases (see “Riders like trade-in, trade-up” below sidebar).

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Not unlike car dealerships, you may soon see more bike shops selling used bikes.

Continue to Page 2 to find out how BicycleBlueBook works »

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.


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  • Jared S. says:

    I use this bicyclebluebook a lot! i bought my bike used because i wanted a better bike than my old one but didnt want to spend money. I also told my friend about this so they could determine the value of the bike. It really helps when looking on craigslist. The next big step is to work to update what each bike comes with stock. I think it would be useful to also make it so you can select more models for each one. maybe make it so you could look at multiple years of the bike to help determine what the differences were between each model year.

  • Pegleg says:

    Just tried to look my bike up. There’s no listing for Santa Cruz Bronson, one of the most popular bikes of the last couple of years. Fail.

  • Scott Argyle says:

    Same for my Raleigh Tamland two no listing and my two year old 2012 specialized Camber expert carbon cost north of $5000 today bluebook $2600 ouch

  • I am going to sell a bike a mongoose Element Racing bike with 4bar link. It has 2 shocks . I dont know what to sell it for?

  • Ryan says:

    Site says it all, they use eBay as a source for pricing. eBay is NOT a trusted source for finding a price on anything. All it takes is one seller to list a “buy it now” listing for an inflated price and everyone who has the same product starts listing the same.

  • Frank Rizzo says:

    This site is Bullsh*t! Since they are also a marketplace (in other words they sell bikes) they make up very high prices.
    Besides Ebay, there is no aggregate of used bike prices.
    No one goes around reporting how much they sold their bike for!
    The site is a SCAM!!

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