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I have a bike that I have built up over the last few years. It's a good bike and works as it is, with a good quality components. However, I want to sell it. Is it best to sell it broken down as parts or as a full bike?

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The time needed to break it apart and individually sell, may outweigh any gains. Would 5 hours extra be worth the extra money? Also, what about unsold parts? –  Adel Apr 30 '13 at 20:39
    
Donate it to the local bike recycling group. –  Daniel R Hicks May 1 '13 at 3:21
    
I unfortunately live in a capitalist system therefore I will sell it not give it away on this occasion. –  Andrew Welch May 1 '13 at 6:03
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2 Answers 2

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It may depend on the overall age of the bike but I would guess that in most cases it's better to sell it as a whole. If the bike only consists of rather standard components that one could easily buy at a LBS, then they wouldn't make high prices and the additional work to break it all down and maybe set them all on on ebay separately may not be worth the money.

I can imagine only two cases where it may be better to sell it in parts or at least to sell some parts separately:

  • You have one or more high priced components on it that are still nearly new and unused, or
  • there are some (older) components that are no longer available from the manufacturers but make a high price even when bought second hand as they are required to repair an otherwise still working bike (imagine 7-speed shifters from the former higher priced component groups such as Shimano XT to replace a damaged one).
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Based on my experiences and assuming that you plan to use eBay, I would most definitely sell it in bits for this reason: No one will be searching for your custom bike config, so you'll only ever receive interest on a general level, and never benefit from targeted bargain/collectors frenzy :)

eBay is busy enough now that most items you can think of listing will have a specific audience. There WILL be someone searching for a [insert you particular chainset] or [insert your part-used front tyre] and that person will develop a vested interest in your item because they "need" it to complete their own custom bike, or to replace an exact part on their beloved shop-bought complete bike.

I've done this a lot, both as a buyer and a seller. eBayers will always bid over the top for something they "just want".

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hmmmm.... completely opposing viewpoints there. I would have been inclined to agree but these days I would agree with Benedikt because of the time it takes to break the bike down and sell everything individually. –  Andrew Welch Apr 30 '13 at 6:53
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I think it depends how and where you want to sell it. If you're going to eBay, I would say that individual pieces would work better, but if you're trying to sell it locally, then you might be better off selling it as a whole bike. Also if you're selling individual pieces it's probably likely that you'll end up with a few left over bits that you might have trouble selling to anybody. But many bike shops buy (or specialize in) old/used parts, so it's usually possible to get them off your hands if you need the room. –  Kibbee Apr 30 '13 at 12:54
    
@kibbee Yea totally agree, stripping only works well on eBay. –  Mere Development May 1 '13 at 9:13
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