Saturday, August 07, 2010

old bikes are not vintage anything

This ad wins "ripoff of the year" award

Vintage Schwinn “Suburban” Bicycle for $1200

We find it amusing (and appalling) that people think their 1970s piece of rusty junk is of great value because of its age.

A $100 bike doesn't go up in price every year just because the calendar has turned another page.

Throwing the label "vintage" on the for-sale ad doesn't automatically increase the old bike's value by 50-10000%.

This local craigslist ad takes the cake for this unwarranted price inflation. Take a 1970s Schwinn 5-speed bike. Call it "vintage." Without any basis in fact, describe the bike as highly valuable to collectors. We wouldn't be getting all agitated if the seller wasn't asking $1200 for this highly dubious collectors item. Sure the bike is old, but so are we and we aren't getting any more valuable with age.

Let's be clear, the seller can call it "vintage," but you don't have to believe it. In fact, you shouldn't believe it, because it just ain't true.

Elsewhere on the internet, the "old bike blog" describes this exact bike as "the Suburban has (according to one website) "absolutely no value to collectors."And they bought theirs at a garage sale for $40. Of course, our seller bought the bike at "Curbside Cycles" in the core of the hipster-central universe part of Toronto. P.T. Barnum would be so proud.

Who was P.T.Barnum? P.T.Barnum was a famed entertainment entrepreneur who said "there's a sucker born every minute."

Don't be the sucker!

A cheap 1970s bike should not be selling for more than it's original retail price. Not now, not in ten years, not ever. And this guy isn't just asking an extra $50 because it has new tires and chain (which make a price of between $100 and $200 fairly reasonable), no, he's asking $1200. Which translated into non-hipster regular english as "world-class ripoff."

This would be funny if it's wasn't so purely exploitative.


At 11:33 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree with you.

Here at we specialize in vintage bikes. Rare to find road bikes from the 70 to 90 eras.

We have a few bikes over $1,000 but most of them are below the 300$ bar. Yes there are some crazy prices on Craigslist just because its old. However some bikes are really worth it.

Take for example our feature Nakamura Columbus SLX frame.
It's a one of a kind bike that dates back to the 80's. Its old, much heavier than carbon bikes, yet still cheap at $1,200.00

To come back to your Schwinn example, there are cult out there for Schwinn bikes... some people are willing to pay a lot of money for them!
Also think about it, you price your bike at $1,200, because its old and you think old = $$$... wait 2 months, summer is almost and you haven't sold your bike. Nevertheless during the summer you had a dozen people call you because they thought you made a mistake and your price was really $120. Guess what... the lucky guy who call/email him the last, WILL SCORE THE BIKE AT $120. Talk about a deal!

Don't just look at the price... but consider, what is this worth to ME.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

Pay attention here: Nakamura was Sports Experts mass market sports store house brand bike line. Never, ever, was it worth 1200. You should be aware of ripoff artists on the internet robbing naive buyers, and the comment above about the Nakamura frame is exhibit A.


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