We all know that kids grow out of their bikes at an alarming rate. If you’ve invested in a kids bike that is languishing unused in the shed, now is the time to recoup some of that investment by selling it on. In this article we will be looking at how to sell a kids bike on eBay and ensure that you get the best possible price.
Before you start, you may want to check out our previous articles:
4 questions you should ask yourself before you sell on your old kids bike – this will make sure you’re ready to sell
Preparing your old kids bike for resale – this article will ensure that you’re bike is in the best possible condition, to hopefully attract the best price
The best place to sell your old kids bike – eBay is one of the most popular places to sell on used children’s bike, but have you thought of the other options first?
If you’ve got this far and decided that eBay is the place to sell your child’s old bike, then here are some handy hints to make sure you get the best possible price for your bike without risking your seller’s reputation.
In this article, we assume that you know the basics of how to list an item for sale on eBay and concentrate on how to get your used kids bike to stand out from the crowd.
What I try to achieve when selling a bike on eBay
It’s quite simple really. I have in my head a vision of the purchaser opening up the box and removing the packaging. Snipping off the bubble wrap and peeling back the tape to reveal a bike that is exactly as, or better than, they had imagined – a pleased smile spreading slowly across their face.
I want them to be happy with their purchase; that it satisfies their needs and that they feel as though they have got really good value for money. I have been there myself. I have experienced that warm feeling that is probably a mix of satisfaction and relief that it turned out well. After all, when you’re buying second-hand you have chosen to enter a lottery.
But what about me, the seller? I want to get at least the selling price I’ve decided on – preferably more if I’m lucky! I don’t want to feel as if I’ve given the bike away. And I certainly don’t want negative feedback at the end of it all.
How to sell a kids bike on eBay
Describing the bike – honesty is the best policy
The number one rule when listing a kids bike on eBay is “Do not under any circumstances be economical with the truth”. Be transparent and describe the bike honestly and clearly so that the purchaser understands the condition and knows exactly what they are getting.
This is the case with any eBay sale, but particularly so with a kids bike, where the safety of a child is at stake. If the brakes are worn, or the bike has had some serious welding work, be honest about this in your listing. There are people (like myself) who love restoring rusty old bikes to pristine condition, so make sure you’re selling to the correct audience.
Try to write the description in your own words, rather then cut and paste from the manufacturer’s website. It’s useful to include details of what sort of use the bike has had, plus how much it’s been looked after and maintained.
If you’ve followed our advice on how to prepare your kids bike for sale, make sure your potential purchasers know you’ve put in the time and effort to improve its condition.
If you’ve made any modification to the original specification (new saddle, change of gearing, paint respray), make sure these are clearly listed.
Of course the opposite also applies. If the bike needs some TLC, include this in the description. You don’t want a formal eBay complaint on your hands if you’ve promised ‘good as new’ and it arrives covered in mud and with flat tyres.
A picture paints a thousand words
Words can go a long way to describing an item, but add images into the equation and you get the full picture.
Make sure photos are clear and focus on any areas that you feel should be brought to the attention of potential purchasers. That applies to good AND bad, so if it’s got scratches that you want to highlight – show them.
If the paintwork is a mile deep and gleams like a full moon on a clear night – show it!!!!!
You don’t need to go overboard on photos, but at least one full shot of the bike plus a couple of close ups on specific areas will definitely help potential buyers know you’re not hiding anything.
Try and get a neutral background for your photos to show off the bike without distractions.
Offer to send any further information or more photos if required.
Auction or buy-it-now?
Whether to sell your used kids bike on ebay as a buy-it-now or via auction is down to personal preference. Do you like the thought of people battling it out for your kid’s old bike in the final seconds of the listing? The potential for you to get a few extra quid? Or does the thought of the bike selling for less than a set price fill you with dread?
There is no right or wrong answer and no guarantee that you’ll achieve a higher price at auction. Some purchasers love the thrill of the auction. Others want to buy it as quickly as possible.
Don’t forget, if you opt for the auction set a reserve price if you need to recoup a certain amount on the bike. No-one wants to give away a pristine condition £250 kids bike for £25.
If you’re selling buy-it-now, then consider allowing a “Best Offer” as some people do love to haggle and might well be tempted. Even if it’s just a couple of pounds reduction, they’ll feel like they’ve got a bargain.
Decide if it’s collection only
Kids bikes aren’t the easiest to transport, so decide up front whether you want the buyer to collect, or if you’re going to post out.
Having the buyer collect is easier (assuming you’re around to meet them) but will limit the number of potential purchasers and may affect the winning bid if you’re selling by auction.
This may or may not be a concern, depending on what the demand for used kids bikes is like in your area.
One benefit of collection only is that it allows the buyer to examine the bike before handing over their cash, which means less chance of any complaints.
If you’re going to ship the kids bike, then make sure you’ve worked out how you are going to pack it, how much it is going to cost, which courier you’re going to use and, very importantly, when you will be able to send it.
Buyers get frustrated/nervous if the bike they’ve bought for their little one hasn’t turned up sharpish.
It may be that you didn’t get time to pop into the post office at the weekend to send it off. Unexpected delays may conjure up images of you dining out on their money, or of their bike box, mangled after falling out of the courier’s van. Keep them informed of progress and what’s happening. You have been warned!
Decide your price
Do your research on completed eBay auctions and other classified sites such as Preloved and Gumtree to see what sort of prices similar bikes are commanding. It’s the final price, not the listing price you’re interested in on eBay. Look at what makes a bike sell and conversely, which bikes fail to attract a buyer.
When setting your asking or reserve price be realistic, taking account of the bikes condition. Decide if it’s more important to get a certain price or to shift the bike. Will you be happy with an unsold kids bike at the end of the process?
Don’t forget to accurately calculate postage costs, and remember you will have to pay the eBay listing fees and any PayPal costs. Do your calculations take this into account?
Get the basics of your ebay listing right
We said at the beginning that we were going to show you how to sell a kids bike on eBay, not how to list on eBay. However, it’s worth reiterating a few common mistakes:
- Make sure the title sells the bike. “Kids Bike” will get you a lot less interest than “Islabikes Beinn 20 kids bike in excellent condition”
- Make sure the spelling is correct: A “Forg Kids Bisycle” won’t sell nearly as well as a “Frog Kids Bicycle”
- Choose your auction closing time carefully – just because you finished preparing your listing at 3.42am on a Tuesday, doesn’t mean it’s the best time for the auction to end. Sunday and midweek evenings tend to be good times to end auctions, but avoid clashing with major sporting events and the final episodes of popular TV series.
- Don’t go on holiday during or shortly after the end of your listing.
- Check and recheck your description for spelling and grammatical errors and ensure your photos are well focused and show the bike at its best.
- Make sure you’ve input your prices correctly (decimal places in the correct place).
You’re now ready to list your kids bike on eBay.
Make yourself available to potential buyers
Answer any questions posted quickly and honestly. Remember all potential buyers will see your answers at the bottom of the listing. Offer to send any further information or more photos if required.
If someone wants to pop round and have their child test ride the bike this bodes well!
Keep an eye out for last minute questions just before the listing closes. Answering could help you get an additional bid!
Keep in touch with your buyer
If all goes well, you’ve made your sale – congratulations!
You now need to reassure your buyer that they’ve made the correct decision. Keep them informed of progress.
Before handing over or posting the bike, give it one last check to make sure that everything is exactly as described in the listing. (Be aware of the previous owner, who may think it’s “fun” to take their little bike for one last spin through muddy puddles).
Send your buyer a message letting them know that you’ve packaged the bike up and will be sending it out on such a day. Provide them with as much information as possible – courier details, tracking numbers, when it was posted and the likely day of delivery. It all helps to show you are in control, giving comfort and providing reassurance.
If you’re arranging for the buyer to collect, make sure the arrangements are clear and that you are fully available when they arrive.
Last but not least….
Once the bike is with its new owner and the purchaser has left you feedback, do the same for them. If for any reason they leave less than perfect feedback take any disputes off line to avoid deterring future buyers.
I hope you’ve found this article useful – do let me know via Facebook how you got on selling your bike via eBay.
Here’s some more of my articles you may like:
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