The problem was that my bike was nicer than anything else in these second-hand shops. So no shops were interested. I then put the bike up on Craigslist. The next day, on Ebay.it. That is a nerve-wracking experience--you have to make sure you read everything on each page and that the right boxes are checked. Otherwise, you could sell a €1000 bike accidentally for €20. It's scary enough when the site's in English. I made a bit of a mistake setting up the timing of the auction because it's ending right now as I'm writing this on a plane coming back to Rome from Dublin. Hope it's going well.
Right before I made the auction, I climbed up onto my roof to take some glamour shots. Imagine that, me coming out onto my little porch with the large frame of my dear bicycle over one shoulder. Clambering up onto the travertine railing I can see the street six floors below. I do a tightrope turn and slowly walk up the incline part to step over the ridge of the roof of the apartment. I make it up without any tragic accidents and am able to take my pictures with the shining dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the background. After my photo shoot, I sling the bike back over my shoulder and repeat the process in reverse order.
My first auction ended with the price at €300, so I contacted the buyer and told him I couldn't sell it for a price that low, and that my minimum is €500. I've explained my situation to a few Italians here in Rome, and they've all told me I wouldn't have trouble selling a bike up north in Milan, or Torino, but Rome and the South is a different story. It's strange to think that in the capital of the nation, they really don't have much expendable income. As Italians don't see any possibility of buying real estate due to the exorbitant prices, they wear their paycheck--they don't think twice about spending the equivalent of $200 on a pair of pants.
I decided to redo my auction so I took some more detailed pictures, expanded my description and ticked the “ship anywhere” option. This time my auction started at €475 with a buy-it-now at €750, and I set the length of the auction for seven days. Several days later, I received a message asking if I would sell it for €500. I responded yes. We talked over the phone a couple times and it became clear he was from where I was headed the next weekend, the Cinque Terre. He could meet me at the station and we'd make the transaction right there.
About This Entry
You are reading "Selling the ‘Rello on Ebay.it", an entry posted on 14 November 2008 by Andy Steves.