10 Tips For Buying Used Zipp Wheels

Buying used Zipp Wheels and putting down a ton of cash can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you buy used Zipp Wheels.

1. Be patient -  Relax, used Zipp wheels and wheelsets are in abundant supply. Don't worry if you miss a deal as chances are an even better one will come along. Often times people make bad poor decisions when they rush the process.

2. Do previous sale research - UsedZipp.com's pricing information comes directly from looking at over 2000 eBay listings. You can also see up to 14 days of previous sales on eBay if you want to get a pulse on the current market conditions.

3. Realize what you are Losing - Keep in mind that many times you won't be entitled to warranty if you buy used. In general wheels that are lightly used shouldn't sell for more than 60% of full retail price.

4. Timing is keyUsed Zipp wheels are generally cheaper in October-February when supply greatly outweighs demand. It is at this time of year that people list their old equipment.  Chances are they just want to clear out some space and get some cash and they will generally be very willing to deal. In addition, most buyers are not thinking about picking up new equipment at this time of year so demand is low.  For additional savings you can try to score a real deal on low-bid days such as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and other major holidays.

5. Leverage eBay fees - Between eBay fees and Paypal fees, sellers can expect to pay 12-15% in fees.  When working off eBay try to score a pair of wheels at a significant discount to eBay. eBay offers a lot of recourse to buyers with their built in protections - there is no reason to pay a premium to buy wheels off a message board.

Bare Carbon Is Beautiful - Especially When It Saves $$
6. Seek out stickerless options - If you are looking to save a buck then seek out Zipp wheels without stickers. These wells tend to sell for less than stickered wheels.

7. Buy in pairs - It is usually advantageous to buy wheels in pairs.  If buying wheels separately keep in mind that the rear wheel usually costs several hundred dollars more than the equivalent front. The exception to this recently has been 10-speed hubs. These sell at a steep discount to their 11-speed peers.

8. Avoid the friends "special" - Often times friends will try to sell their old equipment to someone new to the sport, and often times the seller and buyer have no clue about the fair value. This price tends to be much higher than fair resale value and can often result in a soured friendship once the buyer realizes they are worth far less than they paid.

9. What did the wheels originally retail for - In the last 10 years the prices of wheels have gone thru the roof seeing as much as 100% increase in price while core inflation measured by the US government doesn't come close. Use this as a bargaining chip when buying older wheels.

10. Ask questions - Don't be afraid to ask questions.  Some good questions to ask include:

  • Are the bearings smooth? 
  • Are there any teeth marks on the freehub body? 
  • Are the wheels true? 
  • Have the wheels been ridden in the rain? 
  • Have they been crashed?  
  • Are you the first owner of the wheels?  
  • What model year are they?  
  • Have any spokes been replaced?
  • Have they ever been serviced?
  • Was the 11-speed hub built with 11-speed in mind, or was it upgraded from 10-speed. If upgraded were the wheels re-dished?