Most of us are familiar with the famous “Blue Book” for cars. If you are not familiar with it, this little book (now a website and app) would give you an estimate of what a car is worth.
So a blue book for bikes would make sense, right? I mean, we all want to know what our bike is worth if we want to sell it. As an avid buyer and seller of bicycles on Craigslist (I’m not a flipper), I can tell you that the bicycle blue book sucks. Here is why: the prices are no where close to what the Los Angeles market dictates. This means that if you list your bike at “market value” you always get that buyer who wants to buy your bike at “blue book value”.
Here is a couple of examples of my personal experiences:
I sold a 2004 Giant TCR for $500 on Craigslist, Max Bicycle Blue book value: $300. GTFO.
Sold a 2007 Bianchi Via Nirone 7 on Craigslist for $450, Max Bicycle Blue Book value: a ridiculous $169.
Friends have also told me that when they try to sell bikes, the bicycle blue book value is way off.
Why such discrepancies? Not sure but here is my theory: According to the bicycle blue book site, it gathers data from Ebay and other sources but it does not cite Craigslist as one of the main sources. As far as I know, Craigslist contains more bicycle listings than eBay and it really dictates the market value of a bike more accurately.
Sure you have idiots on Craigslist trying to sell piece of shit bikes for unrealistic prices, but that is where the art of bargaining comes in. On the other side of the coin, if you happen to be a buyer and you get that uninformed seller and throw the blue book value at them and they bite, you just scored a nice deal.
So if anyone is selling a Bianchi Via Nirone for $169, hit me at a firstname.lastname@example.org.