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Why do bikes de-value so fast?

MattceeMattcee Posts: 148
edited December 2017 in MTB general
While I'm not looking to buy another bike (yet!), I often see whats about on eBay and am pretty shocked to see how cheap used bikes go for - even if almost new condition.

For example, I've been watching a couple that finished last night and both remained unsold. Both had been ridden only a few times and from the pictures, looked in new condition and had a new price of £5k+.

Just seems odd why they didn't sell at just over £2k?
Kind of reminds me of the car industry, once you've driven your brand new motor off the forecourt, you lost a good chunk of its value already.


  • tomb57tomb57 Posts: 2,043
    New bike prices will have a vat element in price quoted
    this is lost as soon as you take delivery, that’s 20% gone ,
    Plus people bidding are going to put in a value they want not
    What you want as a seller therefore on these sites prices
    Will be low .
    Whoops who did that!
  • I can't afford £2k. Even if I could I would buy new just because you're getting the bike that's had no other owner. Perhaps that's the reason. Someone with that budget prefers a new bike without the hassle of a potentially dodgy used bike. Whether they're missing out with this attitude is another topic.
  • matudaveymatudavey Posts: 108
    normally the warranty cannot be transferred to the second owner, and there's uncertainty of it not being quite in the described condition or having a hidden flaw, so the risk of it being a waste of money is much higher
  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,473
    ???VAT??? Nonsense. VAT's got nothing to do with second hand pricing of bikes, unless they are being sold by a company as part of its business. If I was privately selling a bike online I wouldn't think "OK, I bought this new in 2016 at £1500, that's £1250 ex VAT, so I'll sell it second hand for £800 ex VAT". To a consumer, the VAT is simply part of the cost of acquisition.

    The discount for second hand is all about provenance and ownership history. It's purely what people are willing to pay.
    2015 Canyon Nerve AL 6.0 (son #1's)
    2011 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (son #4s)
    2013 Decathlon Triban 3 (red) (mine)
    2019 Hoy Bonaly 26" Disc (son #2s)
    2018 Voodoo Bizango (mine)
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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,629
    Some bikes are just overpriced to start with, look out for previous year models when the discounts start to fly. I've only ever paid full price for one bike and that was my first new bike, all other new bikes since have been discounted. Once you get past the bike specification the biggest difference will be the rider. So a decent rider should get a 2k bike to perform as well as 5k bike.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,810
    Supply and demand, its worth what someone will pay and in an auction it will sell for one bid over what the second highest bidder was prepared to pay!

    Value is elusive, for example a top end Scott Spark is an awesome machine for what it's designed for, but its £9K to buy new. As a used bike its not really in the trendy area of 'long, low, slack' people now look for and as such it's only really going to appeal to an XC racer or someone with deep (and full) pockets who wants a fast XC style to trail bike, it would probably struggle to make 50% of that at even a year old, while a more fashionable and modern bike will hold value a lot better, like say a Spesh Enduro.

    At the bottom end though prices have gone up, it used to be easy to pick up some semi decent and totally useable MTB's (Damped forks and hydraulic discs) for circa £100, now you'll often pay nearly double that for a similar bike.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Another factor in used prices is end of year discounts in shops. I've seen a top end Giant Reign discounted by £1500 just because the latest version had different paint! When you can get deals like that new, with a warranty you can see why used prices are so low.
    I bought my current bike used for a bargain price. One year old, owned by a Transition team rider with a love of huge jumps. Most people see that as a bad thing and wouldn't touch it. I know that a pro rider lands 60' jumps smoother than a punter lands a 6' jump.
  • mattyfezmattyfez Posts: 638
    Plus the second hand market is saturated.. Lots of people buy bikes, don't really use them, once it's gathered dust for 6 months they look to sell.
  • slc123slc123 Posts: 407
    I think it will also have something to do with technological enhancement. The MTB world of innovation is rapidly changing so something 2 years of even barely ridden could be considered out of date, so people may look at buying it cheaper. For me reality is a lot of parts are made cheaper these days and not built to last, so bit of a false economy. A lot of people always want the newest model. Good thing for people who don’t mind buying older and second hand!
    Cannondale Trail 27.5 | 2015
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  • pbassredpbassred Posts: 208
    Technology is a factor, but there are also fashion trends in equipment (who'd have cable disks?). No one wants a used bike. No one trusts a use carbon frame. On Ebay, no one can see wheel alignment so that makes it a risk. Thats the nature of used mechanicals. Cars loose 25% as so as you drive it off the forecourt. Bikes are easier to get wrong.

    Embrace it.
    I bought a used CX bike that was originally £1000+ but knocked down to £800 as it was "last year's model" (Jan 1st). 15 months later I bought it for £350 because he realized that he didn't like it. That gave me a lot of upgrade budget.
  • 02gf7402gf74 Posts: 1,168
    Yes. Good if you are buying, pretty disastrous if selling.
  • Because we don't know what you did to it!
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