Kelley Blue Book has been around for over 90 years, giving people perspective on used automobile value, but there’s also a bicycle version.
Bicycle Blue Book has only been around for 11 years, but in that time, it has worked to provide the same surety to used bike buyers. Is Bicycle Blue Book accurate?
Bicycle Blue Book prices are pretty accurate, especially on stock bikes. They vet and validate algorithmically generated values to ensure the prices accurately reflect market trends. Bicycle Blue book has recorded transaction history and bike values since 1993 and take factors like condition and maintenance into account when pricing bicycles and frames.
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Table of Contents
Is There A Blue Book For Bicycles
Bicycle Blue Book exists, but it’s essential to understand more. The online version of Bicycle Blue Book is directly tied to a business that buys and sells bicycles.
Although it also has a feature to connect buyers and sellers, there are significant similarities between this and the Kelley Blue Book used for cars.
As a bicycle business that profits directly from the sales, it’s not like perusing a book where the value of every possible bike is listed. Bicycle Blue Book hasn’t been around for as long as Kelley has for cars.
However, they both exist to define the resale value of their respective vehicles, and both have a hand in making those sales happen as well.
Pros And Cons Of Bicycle Blue Book
It’s essential to look closely at both sides when considering a business like Bicycle Blue Book. On the one hand, they follow an established model for creating a helpful resource while making a profit.
On the other hand, there are several flaws in this business. Below I’ve listed the biggest pros and cons.
- There is no other service like this. Cars and other vehicles have had a ‘blue book’ for value for decades, and this was long overdue.
- The people running Bicycle Blue Book seem to genuinely love bicycles and work hard to connect people with good used bikes that they want and need.
- Bicycle Blue Book buys and sells used bikes and has an actual physical warehouse with bikes you can go pick up.
- Some customers have been very pleased and claim to have sold bikes for a fair price or gotten excellent deals on used bikes.
- This site calls itself the “Cycling industry’s definitive valuation authority.” Since there’s no competition and BBB is directly involved in buying and selling, that statement carries less weight than it would otherwise.
- The store and showroom location of Bicycle Blue Book has closed down.
- Some customers and potential bike sellers swear the prices are undervalued.
- Bicycle Blue Book buys and sells bikes, so it benefits their business to buy low and sell high.
- BBB hasn’t been around as long as the Kelley Blue Book, so it’s not as inclusive or extensive and lacks the history of its automotive companion.
How Reliable Is Bike Blue Book
Bike Blue Book is very reliable for providing bikes at the promised price.
If you buy from the site and arrange to pick it up from them, you can be reasonably assured that you will get the bike you paid for. Sadly, this is not the only service BBB provides.
The private seller-to-buyer connections and overall price estimates are less reliable. However, price discrepancy and individual seller quality issues are not a direct result of anything BBB is doing wrong.
How Accurate Is Bicycle Blue Book
Bicycle Blue Book is moderately accurate. It is challenging to determine the resale value of bicycles because of unseen factors like maintenance and wear.
That said, the people who run this business seem to be committed to trying to show fair prices. Additionally, they offer prices on frame-only as well as whole bicycles.
Some of the bad reviews seem to be linked to individual-to-individual sales. Those are not overseen by BBB itself but rather a separate service it offers where people can buy and sell to each other more directly.
It’s not reasonable for Bike Blue Book to vet the state of a bicycle that has not passed through its doors.
Buyer beware, check your facts on the value, and deal directly with the site rather than third parties for the best results.
Is Bicycle Blue Book A Scam
Bicycle Blue Book does not appear to be a scam. The prices they list may not be what every reseller or rider wants to see, but there also doesn’t seem to be any overt attempts to ‘screw people over.’
There is no rating for this business on the Better Business Bureau website. However, there was a physical shop location before the pandemic, and there is still a warehouse where customers can arrange to drop off and pick up bikes.
Bicycle Blue Book Reviews
There’s no doubt that reviews are vital to a business in this digital era. Over ninety percent of customers read reviews, which means leaving your honest opinion matters.
Below I’ve collected 3 very different reviews to give you the broadest possible perspective on Bicycle Blue Book from real reviewers who have used the site.
Felix R. wrote the following review on Yelp, “Called in and spoke to Trevor and got a great deal… I am very happy with my experience and purchase and highly recommend this place to everyone. Great service and a great selection of bikes.”
There are lots of reviews like this. Overall, customers who deal directly with Bicycle Blue Book’s online and warehouse seem happy with their sales and purchases.
Endless Velo Love had this fairminded opinion after perusing the BBB site, “They do have quite an extensive list of inventory when browsing through the current choices, but (not every bike is listed) making me think that there is still work to be done with this website…the website appears to still be in “beta” format, so I presume there are upgrades and bugs still being worked out of the system, but this seems like a really useful tool for used bike buyers. In addition, there is an app available… so it seems like it would be a handy tool to have ready on the go as well.”
Not everyone loves this site. More than a few point out that it’s not a pure resource but rather a sales-oriented site where the owners make a percentage-based profit off of connecting buyers and sellers.
I would say that the owners of Bicycle Blue Book also need to make a living, but whether having them as ‘middlemen’ in used bike transactions is a compromise or not is up to the users.
This review comes from a contributor at the Michigan Mountain Bike Association, “I’ve found it to be far off on many bikes. When I’m selling, and someone tells me what my price should be according to BBB, the conversation is over. I’ve looked, just for fun. Occasionally it is close, other times a mile off. The market decides the price. Maintenance, quality of the original design, and upgrades are variables that are difficult to determine…”
Helpful Tips To Know If Bicycle Blue Book Is Accurate
Bicycle Blue Book is trying to offer customers accurate information as far as I can determine. This business hasn’t been around as long as its automotive counterpart, the Kelley Blue Book, but the goal appears similar.
Here are more helpful tips to know if Bicycle Blue Book is accurate.
- No blue book service can be perfectly accurate all the time. From hidden damages to rare models, there will always be some mistakes.
- To get a rough estimate of a bike’s depreciation, divide the original price by its working life.
- Expensive bikes lose value faster than their cheap counterparts. The tradeoff is that cheap bikes didn’t have much value, to begin with.
Bicycle Blue Book is as accurate as it can be. Resale will always be an iffy industry because there are so many hidden factors, and things can change quickly.
For example, the current high demand for bikes may drive up resale prices slightly. Still, at the same time, manufacturers are working hard to put out more bicycles than ever before, so the new bikes will be more common and possibly a lot less valuable in the future.
It can be very hard to tell, but Bicycle Blue Book appears to be doing its best to keep people informed of the best estimate.
Better still, BBB continues to collect data, which means the accuracy should continue to increase as the company ages and expands its catalog.