When it comes to shopping for a new bicycle or bicycle parts nothing supports the local economy and bicycle scene more than purchasing at your local bike shop (LBS) but what if you’re looking for an older part, a discontinued part or maybe some spare parts that you need to make a complete set of shifters, brakes, cockpit? What if you’re on a budget, money is tight and you can get by with something used or buying from someone who no longer has a need for the item?
Sure you can go online and visit eBay or Craigslist. We’ve all used these sites but there is a new way to buy and sell new, used and rare bicycle parts that you may not have heard about. The solution is Facebook Groups.
One of the more popular and active Facebook groups for bicycle parts is the group named Online Swap Meet moderated by Travis Sherman. As of this writing the group have about 26,000 members and growing. Parts are listed constantly throughout the day, every day. With each new visit you’ll discover new items for sale and also items that are in demand by other members. It can become quite addicting and expensive if you’re not in control. If you want to learn more about the Online Swap Meet Facebook Group a full description can be found here.
There a 2 key points that I find most important when reading the definition for what a Facebook Group is are the words “connect” and “dedicated spaces”. The very best feature of using Online Swap Meet, or any other group for that matter, is that you can “connect” and communicate in a “dedicated space” with people looking to buy and sell bicycle parts. If you’re looking for a part you simply post a message stating your ISO (in search of) or WTB (want to buy) something. If you’re selling something its ridiculous easy, you simply click the sell button, enter the price, location, description and picture. You can do this from your PC or smart phone in about 1 minute.
Facebook Groups like Online swap meet are not just geographically broad. You can also find more localized groups that buy / sell bicycle parts or anything else for that matter. Our local Group is called Greenville Bike Nexus. The member base is around 370 as of this writing. The benefit of browsing a local group is that you tend to know who’s selling and who’s buying because you probably have ridden with the seller /buyer or know someone who has and you can pick up the item just about the same day. The best way to find a local group for your area is to search Facebook or ask some folks on your next local group ride if one has been created. If not, you can create one and invite people to join.
- Did we mention Online Swap Meet goes out to 26,000+ group members instantly?
I think we can all agree, everyone loves a good bargain. The thrill of finding a deal that just can’t be passed up or the discovery of someone selling something for such a low price it’s like hunting for treasure. For many the thrill of the hunt for a rare replacement part for your bicycle is just as exciting as the deal itself. For many of us we are used to going online and we start by hitting up the 2 most popular sites, eBay and Craigslist. We think the future of second hand selling is through the use of Facebook Group and for someone looking to buy or sell bicycling related gear Online Swap Meet is great place to start.