I’m sure that, like me, the time comes when you want to buy or sell a car, and you decide to do some homework to determine a fair price to pay or a realistic price to ask. Kelly Blue Book is the biggie for cars. But now, sellers of bikes have their own resource to check — Bicycle Blue Book.
It’s a web site that offers a pretty comprehensive listing of bikes, whether road, mountain, or hybrid. It’s easy to use, and that makes it pretty slick. On the home page, you’re asked to pull down three drop-down menus: for make, model, and year. Bicycle Blue Book will then return the current price the bike can be expected to fetch.
For example, I decided to check the value of my five-year-old Specialized Allez Elite. When I entered the data into the “value engine” on the BBB home page, I was a bit disappointed to find that my pride and joy would bring me $491.00. I was hoping for more, but have to admit that’s a reasonable price for the bike.
The listing also provides a rundown of stock components.
Bicycle Blue Book claims to be the most accurate source for used bike prices. It draws on a database of thousands of bicycle transactions going back to 1993, which was compiled by searching sales records for bikes. The data is updated constantly, and the site says it does not favor either buyers or sellers — that’s it’s just a snapshot of a bike’s worth at a given time.
Details about who is behind the site are sparse. Their “About Us” page says it was founded by “a cross-section of bicycle industry professionals, technology veterans, and bicycling enthusiasts,” with experience in bicycle retail management, repair, and racing.
The site is worth a visit, whether you’re planning to buy or sell a bike, or just if you like to geek out about information about bikes. I’m sure it will be a valuable resource for many of us.
Andy M. says
I would take blue book values with a grain of salt. I think the best way to assess a bicycle’s actual market value is to look at what sellers on Craigslist across the country are asking.
This is easier to do than it sounds. If you go to a site called searchtempest.com, you can instantly search all CraigsList postings within a radius of 25, 50, 100, 250 miles… right up to 3,000 miles from your zip code. Moreover, you can specify search words or phrases to filter by.
Thus, to see all relevant listings for your bike you could set up a search for “2005 Specialized Allez’ within 3000 miles and search only listings under ‘bicycles’.
Of course, some bikes will be listed with lots of miles and wear and tear, while others may be listed as having been ridden only 50 miles and stored in pristine condition in a basement all that time. The photos help a lot, of course.
You can then infer and interpolate to get a realistic value of your bike. I’ve done this when selling several bikes and reached a price I could justify, though my buyers never really asked me to negotiate.
Mike O says
Regarding the Bicycle Blue book… The biggest loser in this situation is the person that gives any credibility to the bicycle blue book. This publication (if you can call it that) has no basis whatsoever in determining the values of vintage or used bicycles. It consists merely of low-ball guesses by a group who’s interests are in selling new bikes, and to discourage the used bike market.
The real “true” Blue Book is for determining car values and other vehicles that have to be registered through the DMV… or sold through dealerships, etc. This is how the records are acquired and accurately verified, making it possible to get a true determination of value.
The only thing that the “bicycle blue book” is good for is creating delusions and confusing good people about what they should expect when buying or selling a bike. On top of that, (regionally speaking) cities like Portland Oregon, or Seattle Washington are completely different planets when it comes to bikes and their values.
My best advice is to narrow your focus, and determine what bike is best for you. Searching Craigslist is by far he biggest and best resource for finding great deals in your area. Make sure to search often as the best deals disappear fast.
If you choose to refer to the bbb, it will only increase the chances that you end up without a bike at all.
Mel Hughes says
Very interesting… My 1998 Litespeed Natchez is worth $558 according to them.
I definitely used this as a guide for listing my two-year-old hybrid. Three emails of interest, no takers but I expect that for a hybrid bike – she can go to the right person in good time. 🙂
As a buyer, I love their price estimates. As a seller I’m disappointed. Seems most are surprised by the low ball estimates. This poses a problem. The real value of one’s bike is in the eyes of the buyer, so while you may dicker and negotiate price based on BBB, you’ll loose the bike you want to the guy who has full asking price in hand. Until there is a MASSIVE industry adoption to this, its just a meaningless tool for someone to try and get a cheaper bike. Whenever I sell a bike I state “Firm Price, no negotiations on price” The “good condition” IF Deluxe I sold in June for $1200 in two days, is estimated at 818.00. Not a real world estimate at all in my case, and I wouldn’t even bother to reply to anyone pointing me to BBB’s estimation on the bike’s value. That said, I hope there is an adoption of this in the industry. Once everyone is on the same page, it works, but its not there yet by a long shot.
It really just sounds like you lack a knowledge in bikes… but hey lets base mtb resale based on “bo’s” way of thinking because he apparently knows better then the entire mtb industry and anyone in it. i get the quotes can be disappointing when its a bike you loved, but really are you going to try to tell me that a bike lets say from 2009 is still worth half of its original sales price ? if so youre bonkers af my guy !
Their MSRP prices are incorrect on many different models. Some more than a $1,000 off. Hard to be the best with these kind of errors.
I too think the site is horrible with its pricing. I have a bike that is high end for my area and I put it up for sale. Full suspension 2007 Gary Fisher Hifi came back at $350. No way, so, I put it at what I think its worth $650. I can’t tell you how many idiots tried to pull me down on price just because “bike blue book” said it was worth less. I hate the site and thinks it doesn’t show the true value of a bike. Bikes don’t have all the mechanics and options a car does. Bikes hold their value far better than cars. So ya, its a site made by idiots for idiots
A FS bike with known rear triangle issues, price may be closer than you think. Not just your bike but others with that asymmetrical chain stay design. I looked at these myself and with much research and they are not worth it, used. I contacted a Trek store and the manufacturer said they wont do much, if anything for the second owner of the bike. If that doesn’t kill your resale I’m not sure what will.
I was just checking on my trek superfly 100 carbon 29’er i want to sell. i was a bit disappointed when a 2200.00 came back.. i paid over 4k in 2012 for it. but i have noticed on ebay that’s what they have been going for.. so maybe it is right on pretty much…
Andrew Coolidge says
I have a 1978 (could be a 1978-84) Moxie (Canadian) BMX racing bicycle. The frame is vintage, even including the (“m” cutout), however the wheels, seat, handle bars, etc. are not. The bike has not been ridden in many years. The frame is in very good condition. Trying to find a value on it. Not sure if I should turn it over to my son to have fun on, or sell it to fund college for him. Any ideas. Bicycle Blue Book doesn’t even list Moxie since they were apparently produced in such a small quantity. Help please!
As i buyer trying to find a good deal on a used bike, I feel the problem is the opposite. I’ve noticed that bicyclebluebook started selling bikes on ebay, so its actually not in their interest to price the bikes low.
So before, if would have I emailed someone on craigslist, i might get lucky and get a great deal, because of random factors. Now more sellers are savvy enough to go online to see used bike prices, and bicycle blue book is the first thing that comes up.Then they quote me some absurd price of of say $2000, on a bike not worth more than say $650.
These usually leads to an argument, me trying to explain to the seller that those prices are made up, and there’s a conflict of interest since bbb sells used bikes on ebay.
Sadly it falls on deaf ears, since everyone is greedy, and wants max profit (who doesnt?).
i get what youre saying about causing arguments, however if you keep your cool explain to them that your willing to pay the suggested price on BBB, 90% of the time the seller will wait a week or two, get no offers then they come down in price . you just gotta be patient and play the waiting game, of course this doesnt work so well when the bike is your dream bike as your more likely to give into the high pricing but someone like me that buys and resells its great as i just explain to them from the start, “this is my offer , this is why , let me know if youre interested “, that way theres no argument no bullshit and best of all the seller knows you have bike knowledge and that you’ve done your homework . And theres nothing more satisfying then a seller crawling back to you after having basically having told you off for your offer then you just get to tell them ” you know what , im interested but for 100$ less then i offered you the first time !
Vince cary says
hello I’m looking at a Schwinn Del Mar any idea what I should pay ?
I am woundering why bluebook on bikes dont include professional BMX i mean these bikes range from 600 to 4,000 with a average price of 1000to1500. Like. FiT we the people. Or stollen or Macneil. Some Gt, haro, capix, kink, (sunday, funday,)(soundwave,) stranger danger.lol ok i just made that up but there actually is a bmx called that haha cool.
Everett goodman says
What can i get for austro-daimler olympic
Jeremy Lee Dyer says
I have an 1953 Schwinn Cruiser(from Chicago) all original but rims. Was wondering ballpark value? In average/good condition. Serial # A32230 If can email me info. be appreciated. Thanks!