A Quiet Swap

I’m wondering if this will be my last year selling bike stuff at the BD Bike Swap. For the second year in a row, I sold quite a bit less than I expected, and overall traffic was pretty light. I sold a few things, which will in turn fund a few other bike things, but it could have been so much more lucrative.

Even so, a good time hanging out with my friends, talking to bike people, and generally trying not to spend more money than I brought in.

6 thoughts on “A Quiet Swap

  1. There is a point. Why wait for the semi-annual swap, get haggled by people over prices, end up selling for less than you want since you don’t want to haul it home, when you can just use ebay? 😉

    Anyways, I’ve actually sold a bunch of parts via the blog and mailing lists, and haven’t yet done ebay. Done some CL, though.

  2. SW says:

    Oh, I’ve definitely done my share of buying and selling of parts, frames, and entire bikes via CL, eBay, and FB groups, I still think there’s value in going to the swap–as long as the business is reasonably brisk and there are enough customers. It’s true that it requires hauling and haggling, but when it works well, it’s also possible to sell a lot of stuff in a relatively short period of time, all while drinking beer and hanging out with other bike nerds.

    In the end, the swap can be quite a bit more efficient than selling things individually over the internet. And, there seem to be fewer whack-jobs at the swap than CL.

  3. Yeah, there’s pros and cons to each. The swap is definitely a more social “fun” affair, whereas selling on CL/ebay isn’t. But I think that most people who want to “make money” off their parts go the ebay route.

    To be honest I’ve only gone to a few swaps, and tried to sell at one. I’m no parts hoarder, and the stuff I have tends to be the stuff that people who go to swaps don’t want. But when I put the same stuff on my blog or on a mailing list, generally they sell. It also helps that I try to keep my prices reasonable, which isn’t always the case with other folks.

  4. SW says:

    I’m generally not looking to make money, so much as get a reasonable price for things that I know that I’ll no longer use, or that didn’t get used in the first place. All of which mean that I tend to price things to sell, but not ridiculously low.

    The strangest thing about this year’s swap — the lower traffic wasn’t that much of a surprise, really — was that no one really wanted to haggle. I find this disappointing, because a good haggle between two reasonable people (no low-ballers, etc.) over a fairly priced item is both a fine art and something of a pleasure.

    But then, I sold three complete bikes this year, and all three of them sold for the asking price–so perhaps haggling is a dying art.

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