With the decision to buy an electric bike I had to sell my Brompton S6L. Okay, I hadn’t ridden it much and I didn’t “bond” with it but choosing to see the Brompton was a tough decision to make. Brompton bikes are unique and also a crowd pleaser, which bothered me at times but it did often break the ice when striking up conversations with fellow campers and cyclists.
The problem I had with the Brompton was that I paid a lot of money for it, I had only owned it for nine months and I had barely ridden it. In fact, the day I collected the Brompton I took it for a quick blast down the road before putting it in a bag and then leaving it in the garage for the winter. My first proper ride out on the Brompton didn’t happen until the following June (I collected it in November) when I managed two short rides during a dry spell when touring Ireland in the motor home. Over the entire time I owned the Brompton I had managed no more than twenty five miles, which is pretty shocking.
Despite the new condition the Brompton was second hand/used which meant I was going to suffer a loss. Although I wasn’t happy about it I was prepared to take a loss on the sale of the Brompton but I wasn’t going to “give it away” for £600 or so. I was prepared to lose £250 on the sale of the Brompton and no more. With this in mind it was time to resurrect my Gumtree account and advertise the bike for sale.
Even though I say so myself my Brompton ad was pretty good however I couldn’t show the immaculate condition of the Brompton regardless of the number of photos I put up together with some video footage. With the ad posted it was time to sit back and see what kind of appetite there is out there for a barely used Brompton bike……………….
Within a couple of hours of posting the Brompton on Gumtree I received interest from a bloke who lived three miles down the road, which is a tiny village in the sticks of East Anglia was ironic. Long story short, the bloke came over took the Brompton for a ride down the road and came back with a grin on his face.
I have to say that when I sell something I advertise it at what I will accept for it. I do not price it high and then haggle, as that’s not me - I have no interest in haggling. As soon as the bloke said he didn’t want to spend no more than £650 (i.e. £150 less which is 23%) than what I advertised the Brompton for I instantly knew I had a time wasting tyre kicker, although I knew from his face he wanted it. His expression said it all, and it was the same expression I had after my first ride on a Brompton bike. The fact he wanted it was good the fact he only wanted to pay £650 was not.
I have to ask the question “Why do people go and look at things when they are out of budget?” I just don’t get it. If I had £10,000 to spend on a car I wouldn’t go and look at (and test drive) an £12,300 car because I would be wasting everyone’s time – yet this is effectively what this bloke did to me.
Brompton bikes are cult bikes, they are expensive (but you do get what you pay for) and it is rare to find a used one that is any good, let alone in new condition with so few miles put on it.
There was no way I was going to accept £650 or even £700 for the Brompton, it was £800 or nothing so I had to (politely) get the bloke to finish up and leave and prepare myself for other tyre kickers I was likely to encounter.
From this first encounter I could tell selling the Brompton was going to be “fun” but hey, it had to go.
The process of selling the Brompton was painful – check out a small sample of the replies I got below:-
"I got loads of offers like this, which I found insulting more than anything"
"Another time waster who never bothered to get back to me even though I responded and left a voicemail"
"Perhaps lazy people like this should do a bit of research first - like check out the Brompton site!"
The above is just a small sample and I had loads of other insulting offers and comments too. I even had one idiot sabotage my advert on Shpock with the stupidest question ever and I couldn’t delete it because the website wouldn’t let me. I basically had to delete the advert and re-list it. Check out the following :-
Out of interest I thought I would head on over to eBay and see if I was expecting too much for my Brompton. Well below is a screen shot showing the first few results:-
"Hmmmmmm....... I couldn't see any Brompton S6L bikes for £300!"
In addition to the above I had people wanting the bike couriered to London (at my expenses), people wanting to pay via Paypal…….. the list went on. There are some real idiots out there and I was dealing with them.
The thing that really annoyed me selling the Brompton was a bloke who came to view the bike, had a test ride, went home to think about it and then emailed me an offer £25 lower than the asking price. I refused and the offer was increased to the full asking price.
The bloke then disappeared off “on business” for a few days, during which I was turning away potential parties. The sale of the bike was supposed to take place the following weekend but the bloke cancelled, but said he would still have it. Sticking to my word I didn’t take any calls, respond to emails or allow viewings over this period because, as far as I was concerned, the Brompton was sold. I had to chase the bloke to see what was happening and after many emails he finally responded with “it’s too expensive and I have been offered a higher spec model for £700”.
This comment really pushed my buttons. There is no such thing as “a higher spec” Brompton because they all use the same components, gears, saddles etc. Okay, there are single speed, two speed, three speed and six speed Bromptons but the gears are the same grade. The higher the number of gears, the higher the cost so my 6 speed is expensive. Brompton also make bikes with a lighter frame but these are relatively new out and they cost half as much again as a Brompton with a standard frame. There is no way you can buy a 6 speed Brompton with a light weight frame for £700. This bloke clearly had no idea what he was talking about and was playing a game to get me to reduce my cost.
My response to his email was simply “A higher spec Brompton for £700 – nice. I suggest you bite the seller’s hand off because there won’t be many of those come up”, and left it at that.
I’m pleased to say that I did end up selling the Brompton and I got what I wanted for it. The guy who bought it called, came over the next day for a test ride, loaded the Brompton in to his car and handed over an envelope containing cold, hard cash. The guy who bought the Brompton didn’t quibble the price, didn’t attempt to haggle and didn’t even ask the question how much I wanted for the bike.
With the Brompton out of the garage, and a few notes in my hand I could now seriously think about the electric bike.
Electric bike video playlist that may be of interest
A relatively new eBike owner and loving the experience – I really wish I had bought an electric bike before