How to buy and sell bicycles

Selling a bike - you should keep this in mind - instructions, top platforms and the best tips

Why is it worth selling a used bike right now?

There are 76 million bicycles in Germany alone. According to the ZIV and VSF, around 2.95 million bicycles and 1.36 million e-bikes were sold in Germany in 2019. Significantly more bikes were imported and manufactured. As a result, more than half of the bicycles produced were either not sold at all or were sold well below their actual value.

That makes it difficult to sell your used bike - especially since Corona. Because of the pandemic, the market looks completely different: Bicycle sales are booming, dealers' warehouses are empty and manufacturers cannot keep up with new production. The effect: more used bikes are sold.

As your bike search engine, we want to help you sell your old bike as quickly, easily and profitably as possible.

So we're giving you one here Step-by-step instructions and tell you our best tips on how to get your bike sold quickly and profitably. Below you will also find a list of the top platforms that we recommend for buying bicycles. Here we go!

1. Identification - Which bike are you selling exactly?

Illustration of a bicycle icon. What kind of bike do you sell?

The very first step should always be the exact identification of your bike. Otherwise you will inadvertently sell off a collector's item ... In addition to the brand, the model name and year of manufacture are actually important for identification. Namely, this is the information that buyers are primarily looking for.

In most cases, the brand can hardly be overlooked and the model name can also be easily found on the top tube. However, it is different with the year of the bicycle. This is namely not stamped on the pipe, but must either be known or looked up. If you don't remember the year, the Google image search will help you in most cases. Simply enter the brand and model and then search for the bike that is exactly the same as your bike.

A bike from two different years. The Scott-Sub-Cross 20-Trekking-Bike-Model-2019 and the Scott-Sub-Cross 20-Trekking-Bike-Model-2020
The Scott Sub Cross 20 trekking bike. The model from 2019 and the newer model from 2020.

Bonus points are given if you determine the frame height and the tire size. Buyers are more likely to strike if all the information about your bike is complete. This is the only way you can be sure that the bike will fit you. Here you can determine the frame height and wheel size of your bike

2. Get the best out of your bike!

Illustration: Bicycle icon that says, this is how you upgrade your bike.

Washing is not only important before a date or a business meeting. Thorough washing and polishing of your bike also ensures that buyers are flirting with it. It's best to use a bike cleaner that removes mud, oil, and dirt from your bike without attacking metal and tires. You can find such bicycle cleaners here.

A soft sponge will help you scrub your bike without scratching or damaging the paintwork. Afterwards, we recommend rinsing with the garden hose, as this, unlike a high-pressure cleaner, cannot damage small and delicate components of the gear shift and suspension.

After washing, the only thing left on the chain is a little oil to protect it from wear and rust. The fact is: a well-oiled chain not only lasts longer, but also gives the gear mechanism a certain suppleness, which can make a big difference in the buyer's perception of quality. You can find high-quality and inexpensive care products and lubricants here.

Care and lubricants

After your bike has been washed, scrubbed, and oiled, it's time to inspect it for damage. Small scratches and paint damage often disappear just by scrubbing and polishing, while larger ones often need a small brushstroke of paint. If the saddle or grips of your mountain bike are damaged, replacing them can be extremely worthwhile. With road bikes, it's often a new handlebar tape that makes the bikes look new.

Such cosmetic improvements are always a good investment when selling a bicycle, because even small changes can make a huge difference in the perception and appreciation of the buyer. Larger investments in gear shifting, brakes or new tires, on the other hand, are not always worthwhile because costs and effort are often higher than the additional sales proceeds. If in doubt, you can always have your bike checked by a professional in order to find profitable upgrades.

3. A photo that completes everything.

After you've given your squeaky clean bike the final touches and upgrades, it's time to put it in the limelight. This step is incredibly often underestimated. In fact, it is not enough to just provide written information about the bike; buyers also want to see proof that they are correct.

In addition, a good picture can get a lot of attention and generate a lot of prospects. These can drive up the purchase price and accelerate the sale.

The following points are important to note for the photo:

  • The background should be neutral and not distract from the bike.
  • Natural light conditions without shadows or blazing sun are best suited.
  • The best photos are taken while kneeling (at the same height as the bike).
  • Photograph the side of the bike with the chain.
  • You don't need professional equipment, smartphones also take great pictures!

Examples:

Selling a bike, example good photo.

Example of a good photothat your bike is shown in the right light. All details are easy to see, the bike looks attractive. Potential buyers will think I have to have the bike.

Buying a bike, an example of a bad photo that doesn't sell.

Example of a bad photothat makes your bike look unattractive. The details cannot be seen, the picture is too dark. Potential buyers do not recognize the bike and the details. Nobody wants to buy the pig in a poke.

4. Where can I sell my bike now?

Bicycle icon with marketplace symbol

You brought your bike into shape, put all the information together and took great pictures - now it's just a matter of choosing a platform.

For local sales, in addition to bicycle shops, bicycle flea markets and classified ads on the Internet, bulletin boards in the supermarket can also be a good option. However, if you want to sell as quickly as possible, you can use a supra-regional platform. There are dozen of platforms on the internet where you can sell your bike. There are also some who offer bicycles for sale.

Because the decision can be difficult with so many options, we have summarized the best providers for you:

Cyclique

Bicycle community app

  • over 30,000 active users (only cyclists)
  • multiple award-winning app
  • Sell ​​bikes conveniently via mobile phone
  • virtual bicycle flea market

We'll buy your bike

Bicycle purchase

  • free application
  • free collection at your home
  • quick sale

Ebay classifieds

Marketplace

  • one of the largest marketplaces in Germany
  • free listings
  • optional chargeable additional services

Shpock

Marketplace

  • Marketplace for various products
  • regional sale and purchase possible
  • quick and easy ads

5. The display

Selling a bike, the checklist for a successful bike purchase

Regardless of whether you opt for the notice in the supermarket or an online marketplace, the process of displaying is always the same. Simply enter your details from step 1 (brand, model and year of manufacture) and add other important data such as color, condition and the number of kilometers you roughly rode with the bike. Don't forget the tire size and frame height.

Important tip: Emphasize the advantages or particular strengths of your bike in the ad, e.g. B. "smooth ride", "individually adjustable suspension", "comfortable saddle" etc. But don't forget to describe the flaws of your bike openly and honestly. No used bike is 100% flawless. Failure to disclose scratches or other flaws leads to an implausible advertisement.

Also important: Also state the reason why you want to sell your bike. It doesn't matter whether you stop cycling, move or just want a newer model. If you omit this information, however, potential buyers automatically assume that the bike no longer rides as well or that something else is wrong. This is especially important if you are selling your bike for a reasonable price.

How much can you ask for your bike?

As a rule of thumb, if your bike is more than 3-4 years old but is still in very good condition, you can easily ask for 50% of the original price. For newer, rarely used bikes you get around 70%.

Secure yourself legally when selling bicycles and download our free sample contract 2021 here.