'Tis the season for people to be selling their bikes for absolutely ridiculous prices on the used market. I would not say I have a "ton" of experience in retail and the selling of bicycles and their related equipment and accessories, but I would say I have more than "most" - especially considering "most" don't have any experience...
So I am a pretty fair judge of prices, I think. What a bike and/or equipment is "worth" to the average consumer. To a certain extent what a bike is worth is whatever someone is willing to pay, but set prices narrow it down a little bit and consequently make life a little easier. I would guess that if someone walked into a bike shop and a price tag said "whatever you think this bike is worth" most people would "lie" and say "very little" (but we sure would sell a lot of bikes that way!).
There are a couple of different types of people that acquire really expensive and/or "nice" bikes:
1) Those that can actually afford them
2) Those that can't and receive some sort of "deal"
# 1 is not who I am concerned with on this day.
# 2 is the category that concerns me.
This group includes elite athletes, club athletes, buddies, etc that get a "deal" through some sort of "contract."
They could be a part of a "team" or they could be an individual "sponsored" by a shop or they could be "sponsored" by a company. The list goes on and on... The point is, these types of people are either getting their bikes very discounted or they are getting them free.
This is the annoying group of people because then they turnaround and sell those bikes or that equipment. And they try to GOUGE you.
Here is a great example:
"FS: Litespeed Ci2 Ultegra Di2 sz 54"
blah blah blah ridden for a year blah
can come with blah for blah
or blah for blah
maybe some blah for other blah
or in its original build (original msrp $6000) for $2800
And so it is listed for sale. Don't get me wrong, this is a really nice bike. The issue lies within the manner in which the seller is selling it.
First of all, the seller has listed all their sponsors down at the bottom of the post in their "signature." One of those sponsors is "Quintana Roo/Litespeed" (ABG). So at the same time they are "marketing" their sponsorship they are selling a bike the user is supposed to think "retailed at $6000."
Second of all, the msrp of the bike doesn't matter once it has been used. It doesn't matter at all. This bike may have "msrp'd" at $6000 but you can buy it BRAND NEW for basically what the seller is asking.
Third of all, if this seller did not get this bike free I know exactly what he paid for it. And his asking price is gouging whoever buys this. No arguments there, even if the seller reads this. They'll know..
When you purchase a bike at a steep discount or get it for free or whatever you may get as a "sponsored" athlete you have an obligation, in my opinion, to "pay it forward." The goal of YOU getting the sponsorship or discount is because, in some way, you DESERVE it. You have helped the company or the business by purchasing that bicycle or accessories/equipment in the past. You have marketed that company/business to the general public in a positive way.
So when you turn around and sell the product (which is perfectly reasonable) you SHOULD offer it at a reasonable price. A "fair" deal so that the bike continues to enjoy life under someone who will APPRECIATE it and grow to love the company (hopefully). You don't get a free bike or a discount so you can MAKE money when you sell and buy/receive new bikes. That is not the point. The point is to grow the brand from whom you are receiving the relationship.
Right now is when a lot of people are selling bikes (myself included) to get something new for the upcoming year. If you are selling your bike, be fair. Be reasonable. If you are buying a bike from someone you assume gets a discount or product don't be afraid to call BS on them.
Happy Holiday Shopping, athletes.