Who can remember the olden days, before the internet? When the only option when buying and selling used bikes was to peruse posters stuck to noticeboards and toilet doors, or ads in mags and newspapers. It was either that or let your local bike dealer pull your pants down. But fast forward to the 21st century, and the internet has provided countless platforms for buying and selling used bikes. There’s almost too many. So many, in fact, that it can be quite difficult to choose the right one. So to help you decide which one is best for you, we’ve listed the pros and cons of some of the most popular UK based bike selling sites. And here they are…
eBay needs no introduction. It’s the go-to auction site for most people when they want to buy or sell most things. Bikes included. Filtered searches mean you can search for exactly what you want, and with so many people using it, you can usually find it. Selling fees have got a bit silly now though, and the eBay rules are heavily skewed in favour of the buyer.
Pro: Great for the buyer, there is tons of stuff on there and searching is easy
Con: Expensive selling fees and eBay say you must offer a money-back guarantee
With over 50million Facebook users in the UK alone, it was only a matter of time before they introduced a buying and selling platform to the social media site. And it’s gone nuts. You can get just about anything you want on there, it’s free to use and you don’t have to jump through any specific payment method hoops.
Pro: It tends to be used by people that just want rid of things, so you can find some proper bargains.
Con: Facebook don’t offer a lot of protection to either side, in the same way that eBay does.
Unbeknownst to lots of people, Gumtree is owned by eBay so when you are searching for bikes you benefit from an eBay style filter list. But that’s where the similarities end, really. Gumtree is free to list a classified ad on (they don’t do auctions), but you can pay a bit so that they push your ad to the top of the list.
Pro: It’s dead simple to use as a seller and if you’re looking for something specific to buy, it’s always worth a look.
Con: There’s a lot of third party adverts on the site.
This is a new auction platform developed by the computer whizz kids at SuperBike.co.uk (what was SuperBike Magazine). Selling’s completely free, but the buyer pays a 5% ‘Buyer’s Premium’ on the final hammer price (up to a maximum of £3,000). But it’s more than just another auction site. SuperBike Auctions will be a site for very nice bikes, special bikes and sometimes even collectables. The team at SuperBike thoroughly vet their sellers and check that the bikes they are trying to flog are genuine and exactly what they say they are.
Pro: Buyers can peruse some of the nicest bikes going and bid with total confidence. Sellers can set reserves, and make a sale without paying a penny.
Con: It’s not the place to look if your just after a shitty old run-around.
These kids have been selling used bikes since before the internet, so they know what they’re doing. That said, it’s still not the most popular platform for buying and selling used bikes. It’s also not the cheapest. You pay between £20 and £40 depending on how long you want your ad to run for, and how much you want them to push it.
Pro: The site is pretty good and you can organise finance and insurance for your new bike in one place.
Con: A lot of the bikes advertised on Bike Trader are also advertised elsewhere (possibly because sellers feel like they need to be).
Rather than sell your bike in a newspaper, the old fashioned way, why not sell it on the newspaper’s website? Lots of people have taken to doing exactly that, so if you’re in the market for a new bike the MCN website isn’t a bad place to swing by.
Pro: You can search for specific bikes, in specific locations with the filters MCN offers.
Con: The vast majority of bikes on there are from dealers and up for strong money.
Racebuykz.com was set up a few years ago as the place to go to buy second hand race bikes. Or indeed, track bikes. With it being a little bit niche, it’s not quite as well-known as some of the other sites, but if you know you’re after a race or track bike, it’s the perfect place to go; saving you time wading through reems and reems of road bikes.
Pro: Not only can you find your next race bike, there are sections for spare parts, racing paraphernalia and race trucks. It’s a one stop shop.
Con: You’re not advertising your bike to the biggest audience (although this could be seen as a positive).
If you’ve got a bike dealership and you’ve neglected its website in the current climate, you’re probably about to go out of business. But most haven’t and are still buying and selling used bikes. If they’ve got bikes for sale, you’ll usually get the best deal going directly to them, rather than finding their wares for sale on a third party platform. That said, you’ll still pay a bit of a premium if you want to buy from a dealer.
Pro: Most dealers have finance options available if you want to go down that route. And if you’re any good at haggling you might be able to get a service thrown in for the price.
Con: Buying from dealers isn’t always the cheapest way to buy a used bike.
Owners clubs and forums
This is one of my favourite ways to buy bikes. Yes, forums are still full of wankers, but that’s the internet for you. Whatever model you’re after someone will have set up an internet forum or a Facebook fan club; and they always tend to have bikes for sale. If not, it’s sometimes worth signing up and posting a ‘wanted’ advert, and seeing what crops up.
Pro: You’ll likely come across stuff that you wont find on eBay or the other selling and auction sites.
Con: You’ll almost certainly have to deal with imbeciles.
Super useful – I’m currently looking for something for track use only and I’d never even heard of Racebukz – cheers Boothy