General ramblings

How buying secondhand ended up costing….

October 12, 2012

Some of you may be aware that BigSmall recently celebrated his 4th birthday.

In the way of Small people, he decreed that he should be given a bike for his birthday… We had already kind of decided this ourselves, so don’t panic that we were giving in to the dictatorial demands of a pre-schooler.

My parents had very kindly said that they would like to buy him his newest mode of transport, so we could really have got a new one without breaking any of the rules, but I had got it into my head that we were going to try and find a secondhand one, so the hunt began…

There must be thousands of pre-loved kids bikes out there somewhere, so I thought it would be easy, but I was yet again proved wrong.

I put the word out amongst friends and family that we were looking for a bike, and also put a WANTED ad on Freecycle (awesome concept-have a look at the website if you’ve not heard of it-you can get stuff, for free, and get rid of all your old junk too-win win), and we inevitably turned to E-bay.

The only problem with the E-bay option was that due to the size and weight of the bikes, most were collection only, so we had to narrow our search down to an area where we were happy to go and collect. The first couple of times we looked, there was not much out there, and we were beginning to despair. We were very kindly offered a free bike by a friend to use for a year or so, until her Small person was big enough to use it, so we had a back up plan, but then went for one more look on E-bay…

Within our collection area, the lovely hubby saw this secondhand bike for sale

It is an Isla bike, which we had never heard of, so hubby headed off to the website to read all about it, and got very excited. They are apparently the bees knees of children’s bikes, with a price tag to match.

So you know how it is, when you would have been with happy with a bog standard Halford’s special, but then you discover something better, and the Halford’s version never has quite the same appeal??! Especially if you are a male of the species(!)

We spoke to my parents, who were happy with the money involved, and placed our maximum bid, and held our breath to see if the E-bay Gods were smiling on us….

And we won!

But, my point is, if we hadn’t been buying secondhand, we would never have been looking on E-bay, and would never have known about the wonderfulness that is the Isla bike, and would have been quite happy with a £20 bike.

Bugger.

On the bright side, if the bike lives up to all the promises on the website, BigSmall will be whizzing along happily in next to no time.

And we can pass it on to SmallSmall when he is big enough.

And the re-sale value seems to be quite good.

Have I justified our possibly slightly rash and profligate spending enough…??

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7 Comments

  • Reply Jen Firth May 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

    The good news is that as Isla bikes have put their prices up ( a lot) so you can sell it second hand for what you bought it for. On the other hand, our bike cost £8 from the tip in Exmouth – bargin especially as he has grown out of a bike every year so far!

    • Reply Jen May 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Our tip don’t seem to collect bikes although the one near my parents does, so I might start staking it out..!

  • Reply My Make Do and Mend Year 2012 « My Make Do and Mend Year December 31, 2012 at 8:16 am

    […] thrifty, but definitley one of our best secondhand buys, is BigSmall’s ‘new’ pedal bike-he LOVES it, and zooms around like a mini Bradley […]

  • Reply Helen (@belledebrum) November 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Isla bikes are amazing, and yes you’ll probably make most of your money back when you re-sell. My hubbie is a bit of a cycling geek (honestly that comes from a place of great love!) and adores Isla bikes. My son has the next step up now and loves it. Ordinary children’s bikes can be soooo heavy, it’s a wonder that any child manages to shift them at all! I’m a newcomer to your blog – really enjoying it!

    • Reply Jen November 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Oh wow, that’s good to know! He absolutely loves it, and whizzes around disconcertingly quickly now! I can see already that we will be on the lookout for the next size up when he has grown!
      So glad you’re enjoying-thanks for reading!
      Jen

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo October 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Of course you have! Dont beat yourself up about it, its a wonderful bargin, well done you. :o) (dont forget that a ‘basic’ bike form Halfords probably would break before he grew out of it).

    • Reply Jen October 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Good point Jo. Thanks!

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