Going Going Bike

Mar 272011
How to sell my bike

If you’ve got an old bike that you aren’t using there are a number of options available to you. However, according to our research most people choose the least profitable options.

Most people either store their excess bikes at home (33% of UK households have a spare and unused bike) or abandon them on the street (66% of people told us they’ve done this).

However, selling your old bike is a great and underused option. Clearly, the main aim is to get as much money for your bike as possible. Below are our tips and tricks to help you sell your bike fast and for the best price.

Sell online

Selling your used bike online is a great way to sell your bike and make some money. It gives you access to a huge pool of potential buyers who on the internet looking for good deals on bikes. Selling online will increase your chance of selling and, if you are using an online auction, getting a higher price.

Make your bike look good

Spending a little bit of money on your bike to improve its appearance may increase your selling price. It’s a bit like the old trick of giving your home a lick of paint before you put it on the market.

Cleaning your bike, putting on new handle bar tape or even replacing the tyres can all help restore your bike to a good condition and be more appealing. The simple rule is to make your bike look and feel great.

Good condition

Ensure that the gears and brakes are working at their best, the tyres are pumped up and the chain is well lubricated. Although you can sell a bike that is not in good condition you will sell at a far lower price.

Winning advert

Clarity and honesty trump persuasion. Make sure your advert includes the following details:

  • Size
  • Condition
  • Frame number (to show that your bike is not stolen!)
  • What the bike has been used for.
  • What use the bike is suitable for.
  • Any extras that come with the bike eg. a bike computer, lights or lock.

Compelling Price

A used bike is only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. You can gain a feel for the value of a bike by looking online or peering through classifieds in cycling magazines. However, the price someone is willing to pay for your bike will depend on a range of personal factors. Generally road bikes with drop handlebars and mountain bikes raise the highest prices whilst kids bikes struggle to sell for a high price.

If you are selling at an online auction you may be able to set a reserve price below which the bike will not sell. The advantage of the reserve is that your bike can garner interest from competing bidders that drive the price higher than they would have gone had you listed the price at a higher level.


Bikes are big and they’re not easy to post. It’s not impossible (I’ve FedExed two bike from California to the UK) but takes a bit of effort.

The simplest way to deliver a bike is to get the buyer to collect it from you in person. For safety reasons it is advisable to meet in a public place and take a companion with you.

Posting a bike requires a cardboard box, bubble wrap, tape and a bit of knowledge of how to pack a bike. It also costs about £30 in postal charges. However, if you are willing to post your bike you will reach a larger audience.


Unfortunately there are scammers who will take advantage of people trying to sell items (bikes or otherwise!). Below are some tips to protect yourself.

  • Do not pay any money to the buyer
  • Unless you have the cash in your hand or money in your bank account, you have not been paid
  • Do not respond to text messages asking you to contact them via email
  • Control the transaction. You decide payment and transport details
  • Talk to the buyer. A scammer will avoid talking to you
  • Do not trust documents sent to you via email. Fraudulent copies of paypal or western union documents are easy to create.

See also:

Used bicycle buying guide

Guide to London cycle mechanics

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