Why Buy Used Bike Parts?

The Reasons I Buy Used Bike Parts

If you’ve been cycling for any amount of time, you’ve probably played with the possibility of upgrading or building your own bike. There is a definite pleasure in the sense self-reliance, knowledge, and intimacy you can gain with a bike when you tune or build it yourself. It’s something I think every bike nut should experience. But upgrades and home builds can feel intimidating, or cost prohibitive and if you’re looking for something reasonably priced but of a certain quality, obtaining the specific parts you want can become difficult.

This kept me from building myself a mountain bike for years. I looked at the price of parts I wanted, Shimano XT, DT Swiss 240 hubs, Race Face cranks, and my wallet quivered in fear. Then one day a slippery rock garden sent my old frame into the afterlife. Living as a grad student, stinginess is necessary for survival. But for me, having a good bike I could ride to keep me sane was just as important.

Why buy used bike parts? To save money replacing the ones you'll inevitably crash. Stay safe!

Used bike parts are cheaper, generally work just as well as new bike parts, and can be just as easy to obtain. So when I finally dove in to the deep end, I turned to the place most everyone goes to get their used bike parts, eBay.

Don't got to the classifieds, The Pros Closet is the place to get used bike parts

Don’t got to the classifieds, The Pro’s Closet is the place to get used bike parts

If you’re looking for used bike parts, The Pro’s Closet (TPC) is the largest online retailer of used bike parts. No other used bike store has a larger selection or more expertise. Through eBay, TPC has worked to become the trusted marketplace for cyclists to obtain used bike parts. You can find anything from road to mountain, vintage and rare, to the latest and greatest. You can obtain complete groupsets, or just that one last piece you need to polish off a build.

It’s a company built on the philosophy that buying used bike parts not only allows you to save money, but extends the life cycle of quality components and gear. It’s the type of thing that keeps a sport like cycling thriving, and helps keep cyclists like me thriving as well.

Used bike parts are my therapy now.

Used bike parts are my therapy now.

I began my own build when I snatched up a modest, well priced Salsa El Mariachi steel 29er frame. TPC had obtained it from a local Boulder gentleman who kept it in great condition. Perfect for me to beat it up! I knew what I wanted to build, a solid front range trail explorer. I bike I could ride and climb comfortably on for hours on end, over huge stretches of singletrack, but spirited enough to rip some technical and rocky descents.

For me this meant, a Shimano XT 1×10 drivetrain and brakes, sturdy reliable rims laced to DT Swiss 240 hubs, some nice Race Face Cranks, a high quality 100mm xc fork, and a dropper post. Over the course of the next two to three months I patiently kept eBay tabs open on my browser (patience is key!), but I also regularly checked theproscloset.com. There, used bike parts are all organized into easy to browse categories and it’s the best way to see The Pros Closet’s entire inventory.

Browse a huge inventory and find the used bike parts you need

Browse a huge inventory and find the used bike parts you need

TPC sources its used bike parts from riders and bike shops all around the country. The best thing about buying my parts from TPC is the selection and the options. At any one time, TPC will be running a few thousand live eBay auctions. That’s a lot of used bike parts to choose from! A good example is when I wanted an Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus rear derailleur and, eventually, I found on their website that there were three available.

When you're buying used bike parts, The Pros Closet helps you get exactly what you're looking for.

When you’re buying used bike parts, The Pros Closet helps you get exactly what you’re looking for.

TPC provides detailed descriptions and high quality photos that allowed me to compare the three derailleurs and make the right decision for myself. I was able to pick one that was cosmetically scratched up, but functionally fine, saving me money while still getting me the performance I wanted. I repeated this process with almost every component I purchased until I finally got every single piece I wanted. In the end, by buying all used bike parts, I saved close to $1000 over a new build.

My Salsa El Mariachi - Built entirely from used bike parts!

My Salsa El Mariachi – Built entirely from used bike parts!

TPC made building my bike with used parts easy. They are a veritable well of cycling knowledge. During the process of the build, I was able to ask questions about everything I was buying, to make sure I was getting the part I needed. When I made a mistake (I bought the wrong type of chainring for my Race Face Cinch cranks), they made it easy to return the part and helped me get the correct part. I’ve been a loyal buyer ever since, even coming to work for TPC selling the very parts I was buying the year before.

Your average Pros Closet employee. Ready to help you shred.

Your average TPC employee. Ready to help you shred.

The Pro’s Closet is full of people who just live and breathe bicycles. They want nothing more than for you to get your bike dialed.

So buy used. Save some money. Then get out there and ride!


How To: Find Your Used Bicycle Blue Book Value

How to Determine Your Used Bicycle Blue Book Value

The Pro’s Closet is staffed with a team of bicycle experts who valuate high end bicycles, daily. In this post, we will provide you with some of our bicycle valuation strategies. Note: we lead the market in high end pre-owned bicycles. These strategies may not be applicable if your bike had an original MSRP of $1,500 or less.

The market value, or “blue book value,” of your used bike is indispensable knowledge. It lets you know what you should ask for and what you should accept for your bike when it comes time to sell. But how do you determine the used bicycle blue book value?

You don't need to be an expert to determine your used bicycle blue book value

You don’t always need to be an expert to determine the used bicycle blue book value!

In my experience the best way to determine a bike’s blue book value has been to use the same resource I use to sell most of my used bikes: eBay. eBay is the online marketplace for anything used and its growing cycling marketplace is powered by a vast global network of buyers. People go to eBay in search of bikes on every end of the spectrum, from bargain basement to high-end. As a result, most types, styles, and brands of bikes have changed hands on eBay at one time or another, making it the perfect tool to determine a used bicycle blue book value.

eBay’s selling format and vast customer base makes it very easy to see what people are actually paying for specific bikes. Compared to other methods, I prefer eBay because it provides recent real world examples of successful sales.

Bicycle values are not a static thing. They fluctuate, which is why other bicycle blue book databases give you vague ranges of values. It can be affected by a number of factors, ranging from the amount of available inventory on the market and the quality of inventory, to fashion and trends, to something as simple as the changing of the seasons. eBay allows you to monitor the blue book value of a bicycle in real time and make the most accurate determination of your bike’s current value.

Bicycle blue book value can change with the seasons. Road bikes , for example, usually sell for less in the winter than in the spring.

Bicycle blue book values are in constant flux. They can change with the seasons. Most bikes tend to sell for less in the winter than in the spring.

Let’s Begin

Option 1: eBay

Using eBay to determine a used bicycle blue book value is easy. I rely on two tools for collecting data from past auctions. The first is the most obvious, eBay’s own search engine. It’s always best to start the parameters of your search as narrow as possible. The more specifics about your bike you can input into the search, the more accurate the results will be. Start by inputing the yearmake, and model of your bike and any other relevant or unique information such as series, or edition.

Say, for example, race season has passed and you decide to finally sell your Cannondale CAAD10 so you can upgrade to the CAAD12. You’d input something along the lines of: 2013 Cannondale CAAD10 3 (year, make, model, series). For increased specificity select ‘Sporting Goods’ from the drop down menu on the right side of the search bar. You can also select ‘Shop by category’ to the left of the search bar to enter the eBay cycling category.

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When you hit enter, eBay will take you to the active listings for your bike. This is an inventory of what sellers are currently asking but it is NOT representative of what it is worth. To begin to assess the used bicycle blue book value, click the ‘Sold Listings’ checkbox under the ‘Show Only’ heading on the left.

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This is where we begin to see a picture of your used bicycle blue book value. In this example, we see three listings. One Caad10 3 has recently (within the last three months) has sold for $760. We also see two that had been listed at $1199.99 and $1400 that sold, where the seller accepted a ‘best offer’. eBay provides a handy metric here. Under the first listing price eBay has a caption that states: “Trending at $1,250.00.” eBay estimates this number based on similar items that have sold in the last 14-90 days.

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At this point you can begin to expand your search to include more results if you want more information. Maybe drop the 3 after CAAD10 or search without the model year because some listings do not include all the relevant information.

It is important that you compare the condition of your used bike with that of those that have sold. For example, look at the photos and description of the CAAD10 that sold for $760. Is your bike in better or worse condition? If you’ve expanded your search, is your bike newer or older than the examples you’re finding. Is your build spec (the level/tier of the components on the frame) higher end or lower end in comparison? How recently did it sell? Also keep in mind that size, location, and the quality of the photos can affect the sale price of a bike. An extreme size, long distance shipping, and bad photos can all work against a used bicycle’s blue book value, while average sizes, close/free shipping, and good, detailed photos can work for it.

By finding bikes similar to your own and making these comparisons, you can begin to paint the picture of your used bicycle’s current blue book value. Maybe in this example, your CAAD10 is closer in condition to the one listed at $1400. This, however, seems high and maybe too optimistic. Ideally you’d like to know exactly what the best offer was that the seller accepted. Or maybe you want to take all the of the sold prices and average them to get a sense of the mean selling price.

Option 2: Checkaflip

This is where, Checkaflip, the second tool I like to use to determine used bicycle blue book values becomes very useful. Checkaflip is a handy search engine the compiles data from sold listings on eBay. It draws all of its data from items sold in the last three months, so it is always current.

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As you can see, when using the same search terms as eBay, Checkaflip will present the exact same listings. The difference here is that the prices displayed represent the offers the sellers accepted. For the $1400 listing it shows that the bike sold for $1100. That means if your bike is comparable then it is likely worth close to that amount, and it is conveniently close (though just a bit below) what eBay reported as trending. Checkaflip also provides two very handy metrics at the top of the page. The first is the average selling price compiled over the last three months. In this case it’s $1015. The second is the sell-through rate. This lets you know how well the bikes sold at that average price. Anything above 50% is a fairly decent sell-through rate and the higher it is the better the bikes are selling.

So after doing all this, you should have a fairly good sense of your used bicycle blue book value. In this example, the CAAD10 is comparable in condition and build to one selling recently for $1100, CAAD10s in general have been selling well for the last three months at around $1015, and let’s say this one is a common size, and you’ve taken great photos. You can fairly confidently figure your CAAD10 is worth at least around that $1015 mark up to maybe just past the $1100 mark. Armed with this as the bicycle’s blue book value, your selling strategy then is up to you.

Option 3: The Pro’s Closet

If you don’t have the time to determine your own used bicycle blue book value, then The Pro’s Closet (TPC) can definitely help. With expansive expert knowledge and experience in all sorts of high end bikes, plus the resources to collect every possible bit of information, TPC can determine your Trade-In value quickly, accurately, for free, and with no obligations. To make things even easier, TPC can make you an offer of your bike, today!

For more information, visit The Pros Closet’s website to learn about Selling, and Trading your used bike.


The Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Used Bike

 The Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Used Bike

Sell your used bike

You’ll know when it’s time to sell some of your bikes

There really is something cathartic about cleaning house and turning my used bikes into cash. Maybe you’re like me, and have a nice used bike or two (or ten) you can live without. Maybe you want to fund your next build, or maybe your bike’s been neglected, unridden, and you just need it gone. Why not turn it into cash? But how? I’ve already gone through the painful process of selling most of my collection and have found a multitude of options.  Let’s look at the top 5 ways you can sell your used bike.


5. Sell Your Used Bike To A Pawn or Sporting Goods Shop

If you’re lucky there might be a used sporting goods shop near you that’ll buy used bikes.

Many modern bike shops don’t bother with buying and selling used bikes anymore. One of the quickest ways to turn your used bike into cash is to find a local pawnshop. The old fashioned, if inelegant, way to turn something like your used bike into quick cash. If you’re lucky, you may have a shop nearby that specializes in buying, selling, and consigning used sporting equipment. 

These guys might buy your bike, but for the right price?

The advantage here is being able to sell locally, and having the convenience of completing a transaction the same day you decide to walk in. The major concern, however, is getting maximum value for your bike. Many shops may lack the expertise to understand what your bike is really worth, or they may simply be unable to give you the amount you want. The lack of competitive buyers in a marketplace can prevent you from getting the highest return, or even the true market value of your bike. You might not even have a local place in your town to sell you used bike to. If that’s the case, then the Internet is the only place to go. 


4. Sell Your Used Bike On Craigslist

Everyone knows Craigslist. It is the place for online classifieds. Listing your bike is quick, easy, and free. Upload some photos, write a description, and within seconds your bike will be listed online. Once again, getting maximum value for your bike is the greatest concern here. The people who browse Craigslist are diverse, and can range from experts, to enthusiasts, to complete knobs. And the selling grounds on Craigslist are ripe for negotiation, something I personally find exhausting. If your bike is of any decent value expect low-ballers and aggressive hagglers.

Sometimes selling your used bike can be frustrating

When selling online, always try to be wary of scammers. Craigslist, in my experience, is full people who’ll spam your email with bogus offers. The most important thing when dealing with and meeting Internet strangers is to make sure transactions are safe and secure. Many police stations now offer special areas for such transactions to occur.

“Sell” me your used bike!

One thing to consider is that your ad has to fight for attention, as it continuously gets bumped down by newer ads. If someone isn’t searching for exactly what you’re selling, they may never see it. I’ve dealt with a couple obscure vintage bikes that went ages without a single good offer. Craigslist just wasn’t the right place. But it’s hard to beat the convenience and lack of fees, and if you’re up for the work and interaction it takes, then it may be the way to go.


3. Sell Your Used Bike On A Forum Website

When your Strava KOM gets poached it's time to sell your bike. sell your used bike on a forum

When your Strava KOM gets poached it’s time to sell your bike

The internet is rife with bike nerds, and places like online forums are where they gather. There are forums dedicated to every cycling discipline imaginable, from specific ideologies, to brands, and interests. Sometimes they may be just the place to find the right buyer for you bike. Many cycling focused sites have specific buy and sell forums, which you can think of as a slightly more educated Craigslist.

Still, visibility can be hit or miss depending on the site or bike, and you may run into similar issues that you do on Craigslist with low-ballers, potential scammers, or lack of views.

If you're selling your used bike online, you better learn to pack and ship. Sell your used bike

If you’re selling your used bike online, you better learn to pack and ship

Remember, if your bike doesn’t sell locally, you’ll have to pack and ship your bike. This costs money (sometimes a lot!), and if you don’t have the materials or experience, it can be difficult. Here is an excellent post on How to Pack & Ship a Bicycle which can help. Selling your used bike on a fourm can be a bit of extra work, but it can definitely help when you want to sell to a more specific type of buyer that you might not be able to find locally.


2. Sell Your Used Bike On eBay

eBay, unlike Craigslist, allows you reach a pool of buyers that spans the globe. You have to deal with shipping and eBay fees, but in exchange you get great visibility and a high chance of your bike selling for what it’s worth. The reason is the nature of eBay. Auctions tend to bring out a used bike’s true value.

sell your used bike on ebay

I would like to bid on your used bike

A major hurdle involves developing a reputation through positive feedback. Often, buyers are more inclined to purchase from trusted sellers with good ratings. This isn’t to say that you can’t sell with poor or few ratings, but if you don’t sell often or you’re selling for the first time, there’s a chance that you could be missing out on some buyers willing to spend a little more for confidence and security.

Parting a bicycle is a great way to Sell your used bike

Sometimes to sell your used bike you have to part it out

One great advantage, however, is that eBay is the king of the “part out”. More than forums, eBay is where I trawl the internet for specific parts I want to buy. It’s search and filtering functions make finding what I need easy. If you’re having trouble selling your used bike as a whole, or you want to try and maximize your return by splitting your bike into its component parts. With eBay’s global marketplace, it’s just easier to find that one (or hopefully more) buyers looking for what you’re selling.


1. Sell Your Used Bike Using The Pros Closet’s Services

The Pros Closet is the final addendum to this list because TPC operates the internet’s largest used bicycle marketplace. TPC is an amalgam of all the best methods of selling your used bike. You will discover the convenience of a consignment shop along with worldwide visibility, as well as the expertise and security of being, not only the largest online seller of used bikes, but the largest buyer of used bikes. TPC does business all over the world and has the experience and selling power to ensure that you the get most money possible for your used bike. Best of all, it’s easy!

If you’re local to Colorado, you can walk your bike into our headquarters, located in the heart of Boulder.

Sell for Cash: If you’d rather sell your bike for cash, you can go to the Sell Your Bike Now page, list a few item specifics, attach two photos, and within 24 hours TPC’s team of used bicycle experts will quickly and accurately appraise the value of your used bicycle and make you a cash offer!

With TPC, there’s no easier or more effective way to sell your used bike.

How to Save a Search on eBay

8 Steps to Save a Search on eBay

eBay is a great source for buying…well…almost anything! The right tools and a little patience will allow you to find the right item at the right price! This post will walk you through setting up one powerful tool, “Saved Searches”.

1. The key to creating a “Saved Search” or “Followed Search” is to start broad, then narrow down your results. To start, enter a broad search topic. Today, we’re going to search for a vintage Klein Attitude mountain bike.

8 Steps to save a search on ebay

2. Browse through the results to see what types of listings eBay has found for you. In this instance we’re getting results from Calvin Klein so we need to narrow our results.

8 Steps to save a search on ebay

3. Select the correct store category. In this case “Cycling”

8 Steps to save a search on ebay

4. Next, select the condition, price, and location. For this bike we want a used bike and will look worldwide. We know this bike can be rare so it is worth paying international shipping to get the exact bike we want!

8 Steps to save a search on ebay

5. Advanced Tip: Use negative keywords to narrow your search even farther. In this example we can enter (-comp) to remove any Klein Attitude “Comp” models.

8 Steps to save a search on ebay

6. Refine by “Time: Newly Listed”. This refinement is crucial. Whenever you come back to this saved search, the newest items will be at the top of the page, saving you time in your search!

8 Steps to save a search on ebay

7. Finally, select “Follow This Search”

8 Steps to save a search on ebay

8. Now, you can easily view your saved searches through the “My eBay” tab at the top of your screen.

8 Steps to save a search on ebay