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You throw out an example of something you think should follow a rule of always depreciating and I can find you an exception where something in that classification has increased in value.

Older small trucks have become increasingly desirable because everybody stopped making truly small trucks. 80s era Ford Rangers are actually quite desirable now. The older square body pickup trucks of all sizes are pretty desirable right now. Their values have changed, and quite possibly increased. And yeah, old car head units with a functional 8 track might fetch a high price on the collector's market for people who are doing restorations.
My mom and dad have a vintage Bronco that's worth more than they bought it for decades ago. They have people approaching them a few times per year asking if they might want to sell.
 

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Up In Smoke
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Be thankful you're in the know. This is really the uninformed buyers problem.
👽
 

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Interestingly, I’ve seen a market based argument in favor of price gouging on essentials.
If prices are capped and demand exceeds supply, then people will hoard items. If, however you enable gouging, then supply will more accurately match demand, and will also increase incentives for more producers to enter a market.

For a contemporary example, imagine that stores, instead of flat capping the number of essential items in April, instead made the price of each subsequent item double the first. Perhaps then, there wouldn’t have been a toilet paper crisis.

Ofc, gouging, like most issues with free markets, most negatively affects those with the least means. But hoarding as well typically isn’t performed by the poor either.
 

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Anyway, though... going back to the original post, in my mind there are price brackets regarding old tech. I'm not willing to pay more than ~$200 or so for an older 26er. I'd also not pay a lot for a bike that can't handle a tapered steerer or a dropper. And, based on what I can see, other buyers in my market feel a lot the same way.

Collectable bikes are a different thing, and while I own some bikes that are old enough to be on the edge of classic, I'm not interested in bike collecting; only about function.

Really, my local market (St. Louis) is a lot more normal than what I read on here. There is less selection, but bike shops still have new bikes for sale at affordable price points. Lightly-used bikes sell for less than new ones. Older bikes go for less than newer used bikes. A used 29 or 27.5 wheel bike will sell for more than a used 26" bike, all else equal. There's really nothing in my local market that's shocking to me.
 

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Milehi, I've watched the Barrett Auto Show before, and I don't recall seeing many, or any actually, pristine or even decent condition Toyota Corollas, Ford Rangers, Dodge Caravans, Mazda 626s, or Honda Civics rolling across the auction block.
Ironically Integra and Civic Type R's are starting to go back up in price here. But collectible cars needed to have some kind of value in the first place. I'm sure all the sales rep mobiles of the seventies have long gone, but the sports cars were always special.

$82,000 is pretty good for a four cylinder little Japanese car!

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Discussion Starter #86
I'm not saying you guys are wrong with the points you're bringing up, but these typical used bikes out here just aren't that special or highly sought-after. I'll pay more for anything if it's in better shape, but these old bikes are just blah, you know? I personally don't see the value. Everyone's entitled to their opinion though, and I don't think any of us are wrong. We just see things differently.

Read a verse or a chapter in the Bible. 30 different people looking at it will have at least 15 different interpretations.
 

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I'm not saying you guys are wrong with the points you're bringing up, but these typical used bikes out here just aren't that special or highly sought-after. I'll pay more for anything if it's in better shape, but these old bikes are just blah, you know? I personally don't see the value. Everyone's entitled to their opinion though, and I don't think any of us are wrong. We just see things differently.

Read a verse or a chapter in the Bible. 30 different people looking at it will have at least 15 different interpretations.
DEMAND FOR ALL BIKES IS HIGHER NOW THAN IT WAS A YEAR AGO
 

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Discussion Starter #88
I just thought of something else. Everybody brings up these specialized items that are rare that people will pay top dollar for; I suppose because they need it for a special project or it's got some inherent value that makes it more desirable than other items that do basically the same thing. I agree, those things can demand a pretty penny in the right situation.

It's funny though that no one mentioned how laptops from the late 90s or TVs from the 80s fetch top dollar.

A bicycle is a bicycle. If it's something special, or very rare, I can see the points you're making. But I go back to a bike that's just kind of... a bike.
 

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Everyone's entitled to their opinion though, and I don't think any of us are wrong. We just see things differently.
Common mistake. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not the truth. You don't understand how market economies work. It's as simple as that. And if you actually do understand it, then what you're actually complaining about is that prices are above what you're willing to pay and disguising it as some sort of consumer PSA.
 

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I just thought of something else. Everybody brings up these specialized items that are rare that people will pay top dollar for; I suppose because they need it for a special project or it's got some inherent value that makes it more desirable than other items that do basically the same thing. I agree, those things can demand a pretty penny in the right situation.

It's funny though that no one mentioned how laptops from the late 90s or TVs from the 80s fetch top dollar.

A bicycle is a bicycle. If it's something special, or very rare, I can see the points you're making. But I go back to a bike that's just kind of... a bike.
Laptops from the 90s and TVs from the 80s won't run today's software/streaming etc while old bikes can still ride today's trails. If TVs were scarce and you could hook a cheap box up to an old TV and access streaming, people would pay higher prices for them if they needed a TV.
 
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Discussion Starter #92
You don't understand how market economies work.
I've got over 7000 classroom hours and somewhere between 700 and 800 credit hours for all the papers I have hanging on the wall, but I've never taken any economics classes. I don't listen to much financial news. I admit I'm nowhere near an expert on this.

I just think people like to price their used bikes too high, especially so with older bikes when compared to newer used bikes, or even new bikes. I also think there should be some typical ballpark prices for bicycles from certain eras, with certain standards, in certain conditions. I can think that and I'm sure there's other people who think the same thing. We might not have the benefit of a finance degree, but it makes sense to us in a practical way as consumers.

I'm reminded of the movie Tommy Boy, when Tommy was pitching a sale and said something about taking a dump in a box. I can take a dump in a box and put a thousand dollar sale price on it if you want... I've got spare time. I doubt I'll get any takers though.

If TVs were scarce and you could hook a cheap box up to an old TV and access streaming, people would pay higher prices for them if they needed a TV.
I agree, that would probably happen, but those older TVs would not then bring as much money as a more modern used TV which could do more things, that is a higher quality item, and benefits from the greater availability of a larger parts base because they had been more recently manufactured.
 

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Discussion Starter #93
Do you still not see the issue with this?
I completely understand everything you mentioned in your post. I especially appreciate your description of an auction style listing. Those listings circumvent all the frustrations and agitations between seller and buyer regarding an initial asking price that is too high for what they're trying to sell. The item would bring what the item is worth. If someone bids higher than I do, so be it. I'm not spending that much because I only bid what I think the item is truly worth. Other people can spend their money how they want and if spending too much for a used bike is what they want to do, they can do that.

I think the problem is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy situation, at least to a degree.

Back in the beginning of the pandemic we were told there was a coming shortage of toilet paper and people saw everyone leaving grocery stores with massive amounts of toilet paper. It wasn't long before you couldn't find any toilet paper. If people just chilled out about toilet paper, it wouldn't have been the problem it was. The market corrected itself soon enough. I don't see much difference with bicycles here, except not many people were selling used toilet paper for inflated prices, at least not as far as I know.

I'm not expecting or demanding anyone to spend less on bicycles if they want to buy them. I just think they're being a little foolish with their money. As someone else mentioned in a previous post...

This is really the uninformed buyers problem.
...and I don't make panic buys because everyone else in the world is buying bicycles all around me.
 

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Laptops from the 90s and TVs from the 80s won't run today's software/streaming etc while old bikes can still ride today's trails. If TVs were scarce and you could hook a cheap box up to an old TV and access streaming, people would pay higher prices for them if they needed a TV.
Exactly, I've got bikes from 2004 and 2006 that are within seconds of my current bike on my favourite downhill segments. And they've got the obsolete 20mm front axle standard! I can still buy tyres for them, modern stems, bars, grips, saddles, droppers and so on can be bought and fitted.
This thread seems to be going round and round. Perhaps the OP needs to walk into their nearest shop and ask to buy a Yeti SB130, Stumpy Evo or Enduro in a spec or size that isn't on the floor and see how long the wait is...
That's a big reason second hand stuff has got pricey. That and people realising in lock downs that riding a push bike was one of the few fun things still allowed.
 

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Back in the beginning of the pandemic we were told there was a coming shortage of toilet paper and people saw everyone leaving grocery stores with massive amounts of toilet paper. It wasn't long before you couldn't find any toilet paper. If people just chilled out about toilet paper, it wouldn't have been the problem it was. The market corrected itself soon enough. I don't see much difference with bicycles here, except not many people were selling used toilet paper for inflated prices, at least not as far as I know.
...and I don't make panic buys because everyone else in the world is buying bicycles all around me.
There is a significant difference in a run on toilet paper and folks buying bikes. The toilet paper run is the fear of shortage that leads to hording. People are not buying bikes out of a fear of shortage and they are not hording them. The bikes are being sold at record numbers because people find it's a great way to escape the confines of COVID and get out. A simple example of supply and demand.
 

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Discussion Starter #96
Mudguard,

I agree older bikes are perfectly suitable. I have a 2009 model that I absolutely love and I won't get rid of it, but it came from someone that only put about 20 miles on the frame by the time I bought it three years ago, and it was set up as a single speed with bmx bars and every part on it was junk except for the brakes. I put good stuff on it and it has been my favorite ride for years.

If it had signs of hard use when I looked at it, I might have passed it up, because the risk of problems would be high enough that I could spend my money more responsibly on something else.

I listened to a pinkbike interview of Gary Fisher a few days ago. He said one of his riding buddies when he was racing as a teenager would only buy Schwinn bicycles because they warrantied the frame. He was such a hard, powerful rider that he broke a frame every year. He said everyone believes that a steel frame is indestructible, but if you ride long enough and hard enough, you can destroy them.

I know a steel frame can be repaired, but that's a big hassle I don't want to have to go through on anything I buy, at least not until I've put it through its paces for many years myself. I don't want to buy something that has been ridden hard and put up wet only to have to try and repair it within the year. I may be wrong, but I don't think you can repair an aluminum frame. I've heard people say that you can, so it might be possible to do so, but I think you have to have incredibly specific equipment do it, and it's out of the realm of possibility for most consumers. Most bicycles that are older have aluminum frames and have seen a ton of use. Not only do they suffer a lot of cosmetic damage that simply makes a bike look bad, it suggests they have seen so much use that the frame might be nearing the end of its life. The components on these older bikes have seen years of use too. They may need to be replaced soon.

All of these things represent a hassle and an extra expense to figure into your purchase of an older used bike. This should bring the price down compared to newer used bikes that don't face such a high risk of having to deal with these problems. Sellers, and a lot of the people in this thread, are ignoring those facts.

Component functionality has changed over the years too. I had a bicycle with an XT groupset from three generations ago. My hardtail has a Deore groupset on it from two generations ago, and it performs better than the older XT stuff I had. Components from 10-20 years ago don't have the benefit of all the technological advances and don't have the trickle-down technology the newer parts have, so this also represents a value to consider in the pricing and purchase of a used bicycle. Yes, you can buy new things to place on these old bicycles, but then you're just looking at more expense after your purchase, which a buyer would need to figure into his total expense. So a seller needs to consider that the componentry may be substandard compared to what could be bought on newer used bicycles and adjust his price accordingly. If a bike is being sold with wear items that will soon need to be replaced, a seller should consider this in his pricing as well.

It just seems, historically even before this pandemic, that sellers ignore these considerations when pricing an older, used bicycle. Maybe they're hoping for someone who doesn't know much to think the deal they're offering is a good one, but for someone who is informed, we're probably not going to pay the lofty asking prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #97
A simple example of supply and demand.
Yes, this has been brought up many times. Someone mentioned earlier, I think it was Harold, that he was surprised retail prices on new bikes had not climbed as much as asking prices on used bicycles had. That's what I'm getting at... the logic that a seller will use when pricing their bicycle.

It doesn't make much sense to overspend on older used bicycles, when you could simply wait and buy something new with a warranty that probably functions much better and will have a longer service life for your investment. This concept makes me wonder if there's any logic, at least logic that holds water, that a seller uses when pricing a used bicycle.
 

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Comparing bikes to consumer electronics is a poor comparison, since semiconductor technology advanced exponentially for decades. So there's a huge performance difference between modern and old laptops. At the far other end, you could compare bikes to firearms -- the basic designs matured about 100 years ago and it's just been refinement since then (IMO) so used models hold value well.

And comparing bikes to toilet paper is even worse. The used market for TP has always been pretty crappy.


I DO think you are on to one thing, though. I believe bike companies are slower to respond to market forces than individual used bike sellers. So new bike prices may have risen 10% or more, but used prices have jumped by a greater amount. This makes new bikes a better deal, relatively, but it also pushes more buyers towards new vs. used and exacerbates supply issues.
 

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Yes, this has been brought up many times. Someone mentioned earlier, I think it was Harold, that he was surprised retail prices on new bikes had not climbed as much as asking prices on used bicycles had. That's what I'm getting at... the logic that a seller will use when pricing their bicycle.

It doesn't make much sense to overspend on older used bicycles, when you could simply wait and buy something new with a warranty that probably functions much better and will have a longer service life for your investment. This concept makes me wonder if there's any logic, at least logic that holds water, that a seller uses when pricing a used bicycle.
The used market works differently than the new market. Always has. It reacts much faster to market forces. This is not just true for bikes, but for the majority of retail items.

Can you imagine what would happen to the reputation of a bike shop if they started charging 50% over MSRP during the pandemic? Sure, they may not be giving discounts that they normally do, but there are practical reasons why it is not in their best interest to jack up the prices for a temporary shortage.

The prices that shops pay for their inventory is already mostly locked in. And since MSRP is clearly indicated on most company websites, it is going to be really hard to charge over that.

None of this applies to the used market.
 
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