Which is better? Craigslist or Ebay

I’ve been a fan of both sites. In recent months I’ve purchased items through Ebay such as Members Only Jackets, bike tools and many more. I’ve also used Craigslist (CL) to find things that I’d want to buy. However, when it comes to selling items, I lean more towards CL than Ebay.

Why? For starters, CL is free. Plus you don’t have to worry about shipping since your buyers are typically local. However, Ebay does offer worldwide exposure, and you have more chances of selling your item(s) at a higher price. But there are fees associated with Ebay and Paypal…

So, let me get your opinion, which is better in your book? Ebay or CL? Are there any other sites or services that can help you sell your bike stuff faster and with a higher profit?


  1. Raiyn October 27, 2010 11:11 pm 

    It’s kind of a toss up for me: I found my ’71 Varsity project bike on CL but I actually buy more on eBay. For the most part the stuff I see on CL (locally) is overpriced for what it is. eBay seems (to me) make separating the wheat from the chaff easier.

  2. RL Policar October 28, 2010 12:02 am 


    I’ve sold all the bikes I’ve flipped on CL. But, just like you, I do buy quite a bit from Ebay. One thing I can’t stand about Ebay, the stupidly high shipping fees…

  3. Ghost Rider October 28, 2010 3:26 am 

    Don’t blame Ebay for the shipping fees…that’s up to the seller, and a lot of sellers jack up their fees to make extra money. I sell a lot of stuff on Ebay and usually get my shipping quote wrong…having to shell out an extra dollar or two to ship an item.

    I look on CL, but like Raiyn I have discovered that stuff here is horribly overpriced (and usually junky). The only good thing CL ever did for me was hook me up with The Squirrel Guy, from who I bought several project bikes (including my prized French Astra).

  4. ken worth trucks October 28, 2010 5:08 am 

    i liked your article, i am not going to participate in debate.
    thanks for info sharing,
    keep it up.

  5. Andy October 28, 2010 5:19 am 

    I use both, depending on what I’m buying or selling.

    Ebay is great for when you need protection. If you use shipping tracking and PayPal, than it’s a lot harder to get scammed, and if you do, you can often get your money back. The fees are killer though – the last batch of things I sold, all told I only made 62% of the selling price after paying for the listing fees and shipping.

    Craigslist is good because it’s totally local and avoids all of those fees. For things like bikes, where you really need to see the item in person, CL is great. I’ve bought 3 bikes on craigslist now for reasonable prices, and was very happy with my purchases. At least with bikes, the selling prices are way to high usually, but you can talk them down. It’s very common to see a 5 year old bike selling for near-MSRP because the seller didn’t ride it. Unfortunately for them, parts update, things get old, and your 2005 bike is no longer worth what it was new. They always try to throw in a few extra parts too, and assume that means we should pay more.

  6. Eric October 28, 2010 7:36 am 

    eBay is great for selling a rare item that most people in the area won’t appreciate, or buying items that local people generally don’t deal in.

    Craigslist is great for picking up an occasional high end bike cheap, but most buyers on CL are looking for clearance prices, and most sellers are thinking that a 15-20 year old bike is worth 80%-90% of the purchase price.

    There are a few people trying to scam but they generally don’t get anywhere. With everyone trying to get into low end fixies, the crappy old steel frame conversions no longer command a price of $200 or more. One guy in my area has been trying to sell a hybrid for more than purchase price by claiming he spent three times the purchase price on it. Fools, does he think we don’t know how to use Google?

  7. G. Tyler October 28, 2010 8:19 am 

    Now there is Pedalr (http://www.pedalr.com/) sort of an Etsy for bike only stuff. I prefer Craigslist if you factor in having to deal with flakes. Ebay got to be too expensive.

  8. Matt October 28, 2010 8:19 am 

    Not much different than others… I prefer to sell or buy on Craigslist if the item is available (buying) or if I think there is a reasonable market for it (selling). I’ll use Ebay only for more specialized items.

    A lot of the stuff on Craigslist is overpriced – but I’ve bargained pretty successfully in the past.

    My problem with Ebay is that the “auction” part of it gets people excited about winning, and someone is usually willing to pay more and “win” than I am. For example… I’ve seen a used Redline Monocog frame go for more than my new frame cost me.

  9. Ghost Rider October 28, 2010 8:48 am 

    “My problem with Ebay is that the “auction” part of it gets people excited about winning, and someone is usually willing to pay more and “win” than I am. ”

    I don’t see that as a problem, but more as cheap entertainment: “ha ha, that sucker paid retail PLUS for a used part!”. Besides, unless something is really rare, another example comes along and I’m often successful on the second (or third) go-round. The only real gripe I have is when I bid on multiple examples and mis-time things, winding up winning both. Of course, I can just go and resell.

  10. Andy October 28, 2010 11:01 am 

    Eric, I love using bikepedia.com for finding out the prices. I think it has accurate MSRP from when it was new. You can also see what parts came stock, because there’s potential that someone bought a new frame, moved over the good parts and put junk on the old frame, and is now selling poorer bike than it really is.

  11. Cycling for Beginners October 28, 2010 1:46 pm 

    I like to buy on eBay from sellers with good, well-established feedback ratings. It really makes a difference.

    I’ve sold using both Craigslist and eBay. What you save in fees by using CL, you often lose in time/hassle in meeting people and dealing with low-ball offers, etc.


  12. Raiyn October 28, 2010 1:49 pm 

    @ Ghost You’re right, I totally forgot about Squirrel (though he doesn’t use that name anymore due to some crazed CL cyber stalker. We got my better half’s Jamis from him. (the affectionately named Chromey the Clown) Does he still have the Root Beer socials @ Al Lang?

  13. RL Policar October 28, 2010 2:40 pm 

    BikePedia.com is awesome. I used them to get specs of an older tandem that I was buying.

  14. Jeff S October 28, 2010 3:09 pm 

    My time is too valuable to waste it dealing with the flakes on CL.

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