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Forwarded to me by our pal Shek Mukherjee, this is a handy guide for bicycle sellers who advertise on Craigslist. In the famous words of Fat Tony from the Simpsons, “it’s funny because it’s true.

PLEASE NOTE: This probably doesn’t apply to you. But some sellers need to have a good long look at this.

Everyone has the right to sell their bikes for whatever they want, but those who do not know what they are talking about need a sanity check. Granted, I know the economy is bad and you might have found a “jewel” in the rough – but for crying out loud, do some research beforehand.

The following is an elementary guide for those of you who are absolutely clueless about your garage sale or thrift store finds:

1) Just because your bike was made in Europe doesn’t mean you’ve got a winner. They made a lot of junk, too.
2) A low end bike that was $97.00 in 1976 is not, magically, worth $400.00 now.
3) Adult bikes do not have goosenecks.
4) If the chain is conspicuously rusty and kinked in the picture, nobody is going to fall for your claims of “mint condition.”
5) If you get asked how many speeds it has and do not know nor care, pull your ad. Immediately.
6) Telling us that you found it in a barn is not a rationale for overpricing it.
7) Take OFF the $10 price tag from Goodwill before you take your Craigslist picture and ask $250 for it.
8 ) “Light and FAST!” . . . Ok, if you say so.
9) Not everything with those kooky, curvy handlebars is a race bike.
10) Neither is a race bike “improved” by flipping those curvy handlebars upside down.
11) Don’t be offended if someone offers you an insulting amount that is far less than you want for your bike – they’re just smarter than you.
12) Don’t get ticked off if someone low-balls you when you state “make offer” in your ad. You asked for it.
13) Tires are tires and wheels are wheels. These terms are not interchangeable.
14) Breaks should be referred to as “brakes”, petles or petals as “pedals”.
15) Your bike was not made by Shimano, Suntour, or Campagnolo. I know you saw that name somewhere on it, but just trust me on this one.
16) Vintage implies it was worth something when it was new, otherwise it’s just OLD.
17) High tensile steel – yeah, they put a sticker on the bike that says it but I wouldn’t be bragging about it.
18) Go ahead and repost that 10 speed Huffy every week – no one will tire of its charm. If you’re willing to endure the humiliation, we’ll be there for you until you reach your target market.
19) ALL CAPS DOES NOT MAKE IT A BETTER BIKE.
20) Pictures of the LEFT side of the bike aren’t worth much of anything, nobody can see the drivetrain. All things considered, perhaps you’d rather want to hide it anyway.
21) Blurry pictures add a negative symbol to your price tag.
22) If you steal someone else’s photos (not the manufacturer’s) from the web and use them to represent your own bike, you are absolute scum.
23) “Suitable for fixie conversion” doesn’t make a POS frame any more valuable. For that matter…WHAT makes it suitable?
24) If you think your bicycle is worth a four figure sum ($x,xxx), the LEAST you could do is to spell the brand and component names correctly (eg. Trek, not treck; Schwinn, not shwin; Campagnolo, not Campagnola; and Shimano – not shmano, shimono, or shamano)
25) Include the size of the bicycle! No, it’s not the tire size. It’s measured from the center of the cranks (the big sprocket) to the top of the seat tube (before the silver or black post that holds the seat [saddle].) It needs to be in either inches or centimeters. Both if you are nice.
26) NEXT, Magna, Huffy, Roadmaster, and Murray are NOT highly-respected brands. Get over it.
27) Taking a nice multispeed road bike that was posted here two days ago for a reasonable price raping it of all good derailleur parts, making it a single speed with a $22 Chinese bmx cog from performancebike.com does not double or triple its value or make it a “race bike” or “fixie”.
28) There is no such thing as a road mountain bike
29) Just because you are selling it for a friend doesn’t make you an expert if you are not
30) If you don’t list the brand and it is unreadable in the photos, we will assume it is a POS
31) Research the going price of your bike before posting
32) Just because it cost a lot 10 years ago when it was brand new and you have barely rode it, doesn’t mean it is worth 50% + of new price (see #31)
33) Just because you bought it within the past year doesn’t mean someone is going to pay close to what you paid, especially if the new model years are coming out and yours is now discounted
34) Don’t use terms you do not understand – if it does not have rear suspension, it is not full suspension
35) Proofread – I have never seen a bike measured in feet but I’ve seen a lot of 26′ bikes posted
36) If it is a *mart bike and you just paid to have it “tuned up”, you probably just wasted your money as the tune up was probably more than the bike is worth
37) We don’t want to call for basic information you should have posted or to have you send us pictures
38) Don’t sell a used helmet unless you really did just buy it, otherwise it may have been crashed and is a safety hazard

I hope this has cleared up some things for the cycling-challenged sellers .