Six tips to guarantee your bike gets the best price on eBay

Maximise your return with these simple pointers

It's time to sell your pride and joy and it goes without saying that you want to get the best price possible. We've compiled six tips to make your advert stand out from the rest and pull in the best price for your bike. Whether you're selling via eBay or the classifieds section of a website, the fundamentals are the same.

1. Don't skimp on the prep

We are always amazed at the amount of people that sell their bike without bothering to clean it :
We are always amazed at the amount of people that sell their bike without bothering to clean it :

It's important to get your bike looking its best before the sale 

First impressions count, and so not bothering to get your bike looking its best is probably the most common pitfall we see. With that in mind, treat your bike to a good clean before you take any pictures. Similarly, make sure you don't just lift an image from Google – using a stock image for a used item will make an advert look suspicious and it's also against eBay's rules.

Looking for help with getting that bike clean? Here's our video guide to quickly and effectively clean your bike

2. Take a great picture

Taking a good shot of a bike can make all the difference in a sale scenario:
Taking a good shot of a bike can make all the difference in a sale scenario:

Images are (almost) everything when it comes to selling your bike online

Undoubtedly the most important part of your ad and the part that everyone will judge – photographs – are all too often underestimated. The camera on most smartphones is more than capable of capturing excellent images, and you really don't have to be David Bailey to come up with a great shot of a bike.

Take the pictures outdoors in good soft light – a grey day is perfect, avoid direct sunlight as you'll have plenty of nasty reflections and shadows to deal with. Shoot the bike against a plain backdrop, there's nothing worse than an overly busy background. Ensure all shots are in focus and have enough detail to give a buyer a good impression of what they're looking at. 

3. Be honest

One careful owner..: one careful owner..
One careful owner..: one careful owner..

One careful owner (Image: Rusty Ol' Bike by Melissa Mahoney/Flickr used under CC BY 2.0)

Honesty really is the best policy, particularly when you are writing a description of the bike you are selling. Not being honest about the condition of an item can lead to an awkward situation later down the line, and nobody wants that. Wise buyers tend to research heavily before purchasing and will often expect receipts for any work that is claimed to have been done.

Don't be surprised if someone asks for proof of purchase either, with stolen bike numbers climbing daily.

4. Give your bike the description it deserves

Try to keep your description concise but informative:
Try to keep your description concise but informative:

(Image: MacBook Colors by Quentin Meulepas/Flickr used under CC BY 2.0)

When it comes to the description, try to include all relevant information for a buyer but don't blab on and it's a good idea to leave opinion out of it. Concentrate on making an advert that is concise yet informative and easy to read. 

5. Think from the buyer's perspective

First things first, make sure the title for your ad is on point:
First things first, make sure the title for your ad is on point:

First things first, make sure your title is on point

It may sound like common sense, and mostly it is, but using good SEO (search engine optimisation) principles will maximise the potential for your auction or advert. Basically, put yourself in the buyer's position – what would you search for in that search box? The title for your auction is particularly important – here are some examples:

(BAD) Specialized mountain bike

(BETTER) Specialized Hardrock mountain bike

(BEST) Specialized Hardrock disc mountain bike – size large

6. Link to professional reviews

Okay, so you may know that your bike is great but others may not be so well clued up. Linking out to impartial review sites – such as BikeRadar – will allow a reader to get a quick and honest verdict on their potential purchase.

Oli Woodman

Senior Writer, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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