Road bikes are high-tech precision machines that can be surprisingly expensive. The good news is you can score a great used bike for a fraction of the retail price by shopping online. Decent-quality listings should provide all the information you need – but don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is missing.
Look For A Seller With A Good Rating.
When buying a used bike, the most important thing is to find a seller with a good rating. This is true whether you’re shopping for a bike at your local bike shop, in the classified section of your newspaper, or at an online marketplace. A good rating indicates that you can trust the seller to deliver a quality product and treat you fairly.
To find a seller’s rating, navigate to their profile and click “See all feedback.” Then, check their positive feedback percentage and star ratings in each of the four feedback categories: item description, shipping time, and seller responsiveness. A seller with high star ratings in these categories is a solid choice. In addition to the seller’s rating, look for photos showing the bike’s condition. If a seller is using stock photos or photos that are obviously from another city, this could be a sign of dishonesty.
It’s also a good idea to save individual bike ads you are interested in. This will allow you to keep track of changes in the listing, such as when the seller lowers their price or adds more photos. It will also give you a document to use as evidence in a dispute. It is good to check websites such as BicycleBlueBook.com for more options and deals.
Look For A Seller With A Lot Of Feedback.
There’s no shortage of online marketplaces where you can score a used bike. But, since you do not see the bike in person before you purchase, research and communication with the seller are even more important.
Look at the photos carefully and read the description of the bike thoroughly. You want to be able to understand the specs of the bike and see any damage or rust. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for more photos or a closer look at any specific components. If there’s a lot of rust on the frame or an obvious mark on an element, you may get the seller to lower the price or provide additional photos to make up for it.
When you find a bike that interests you, saving the ad to your phone or computer is a good idea. This will help you keep track of the ad if it’s being updated or if there are any price changes. It will also help if you ever end up in a dispute with the seller.
Look For A Seller With A Lot Of Photos.
When shopping for a used bike online, look for a seller who posts many photos. This will give you a good idea of the condition of the bike and will help you avoid scams. Look for photos of the frame, wheels, handlebars, and drivetrain. Be sure to zoom in on these photos to look for any signs of damage or wear. Also, check the photos for any mounting points, such as rack mounts or braze-ons, if you plan to add accessories.
Another advantage of buying used is that you can often get more bang for your buck. For example, if you have $500 to spend on a new bike, you can get a higher-end bike that would have cost $1000 when it was brand-new. Bikes depreciate over time due to normal wear and tear and age. But when you buy a used bike, someone else pays most of this depreciation expense.
Look For A Seller With A Lot Of Feedback.
One of the biggest concerns when shopping for a bike is whether or not you’re getting a quality ride. This is less of a concern when buying used since you can inspect the bike yourself rather than relying on the recommendation and expertise of a shop employee. If you’re shopping online, take the time to look at a seller’s overall rating and feedback history. A solid track record indicates they’re likely reputable and won’t try to scam you. It’s also a good idea to save individual bike ads that interest you so that you can keep an eye on them and quickly compare options if needed. This is especially important when shopping for a bike on an auction site.
Some sellers will write very detailed descriptions of the bikes they’re selling. This is good since it gives you the information you’ll need to make an informed decision. If the description is missing a few key details, ask the seller if they can add them to the listing. Many people buy new bikes with big plans of riding them frequently, but they often sit in the garage collecting dust instead. This is why buying used is so great – it keeps capable, safe bikes on the road and out of landfills.