You are here marketplace seeks to aid retailers

Published April 14, 2023

(BRAIN) —Rob Einaudi hadn’t worked in a bike shop since the mid-1990s. After a couple decades of experience with automotive marketplaces and communities, this lifelong avid cyclist was looking for a way back into the bike industry.

“I was seeing a mounting frustration among cyclists regarding the main options available to them for buying and selling online — eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace,” remembered Einaudi. “And I personally had had several bad experiences buying and selling bike stuff through these channels.” 

When Dan Marx, a super-experienced former colleague who worked at Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia, reached out to Einaudi about wanting to do a new startup, BikeList was the focus of their planning.

Marx and Einaudi each contributed $45,000 plus their time, and was launched. “We started building the site in January 2022 and went live in May of 2022,” Einaudi said. “We raised $150,000 of pre-seed money in August 2022 and are starting a seed round now. BikeList aims to provide a great place to buy and sell new, used and vintage bikes, e-bikes, parts and accessories,” he said.

BikeList makes a commission of 9.9% on all sales, which shrinks to around 7% once credit card fees are figured in. Einaudi declined to share revenue or profitability data. “We’re growing 20% month-over-month and we’ve had nothing but good feedback from sellers and buyers,” said Einaudi. “We’re ready to pour gasoline on the fire and we are seeking investment to really expand marketing and development.”

While BikeList was initially focused on peer-to-peer sales, Einaudi’s goal was to create a business that would allow him to partner with bike retailers. “I have an affinity for small independent shops and they’re having a hard time now,” Einaudi said. “When we launched, shops didn’t have inventory and were too slammed to read e-mails let alone respond to them. Now we’re getting good traction.”

Einaudi’s retail partners include shops of all stripes. “We launched a non-profit program right out of the gate. We waive all fees for non-profits, and even cover their credit card fees,” he said. “BikeList is a great solution for non-profits who get donated inventory that won’t serve their demographic–they can use the proceeds from the sales on BikeList to help better fund their mission,” he continued.

Pedal it Forward in Bentonville, Arkansas, is one of many non-profit shops using BikeList to move stagnant inventory. “Local shops have given us tons of leftover stuff like apparel, accessories and shoes,” noted Executive Director Kenny Williams. “We don’t have much demand locally, and we’re selling several items every month on BikeList.”

For-profit shops are selling complete bikes as well as accessories and apparel. “We attended the three CABDA shows to reach out to bike shops directly and learn more about their needs,” said Einaudi. “We plan to roll out more features specifically for bike shops in the future.”

One shop taking advantage of BikeList in the present is Acme Bicycles in Rapid City, South Dakota. Owner Tim Rangitsch recounted his experiences. “When Pro’s Closet had overbought and stopped taking shop submissions, we were left with a bunch of old road bikes we couldn't give away,” he remembered.

“eBay’s fees were too high and their policies were shitty and not shop-friendly, so we turned to BikeList. You know you’re going to get your 9.9%. With eBay it’s a bit of a mystery. Plus BikeList uses Stripe for payment, so it’s always secure,“ Rangitsch concluded.

Einaudi is heading to his first Sea Otter Classic next week to gather intel and talk to retailers and suppliers. “We are dedicated to making buying and selling bike gear fast, safe and fun for both retailers and consumers, and we’re always looking for ways to get better at it,” he said.

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