March 19, 2009

Bugaboos On eBay: A Price Analysis


On March 1st, Bugaboo dropped the US retail price of its original model, the Frog, from $759 to $629. Since one of the key arguments people make to justify the Bugaboo's premium is its high resale value, I was interested to see if the retail chop had any measurable effect on the sale price of used Bugaboos.

Using the completed items search on eBay, I collected data on all the Bugaboo Frogs sold between Feb. 15 to Mar. 18, roughly the two weeks before and after the price drop. [I find that for folks in larger cities, craigslist is better than eBay for purchasing used Bugaboos. You save on shipping, and you can inspect the rig before you commit.]

Though the sample size is small--just 56 strollers nationwide--there appears to be a significant downward shift in the final shipped price of Frogs on the secondary market. Depending on age, condition, and the inclusion of accessories such as car seat adapters and buggy boards, the average post-chop prices dropped by as much as 20%. For a detailed look at the breakdown, including some fancy graphs, check below:

Categories and Sorting
I grouped the 56 Bugaboos sold on eBay into four categories: Brand New [16]; Extra Accessories Included, e.g., car seat adapters or buggy board [8]; "As New"-to-"Excellent" Condition [23]; "Good" or "Used" Condition [9]. 24 Frogs were sold on or before March1, and 32 sold between March 3-18. I missed the window for getting completed sales data for March 2.


New/NIB: Brand new Frogs for sale on eBay are a mix of private folks unloading a gift or something and sort-of dealers. Bugaboo is very strict about choosing their retailers and not discounting their products, yet some folks on eBay clearly have a garageful of Bugaboos for sale, and before the company dropped the retail price, the eBayers were undercutting it by an average of $54. Post-price drop, though there were a couple of soakings and a couple of deals, the average eBay price has settled pretty quickly and pretty close to the new official $629 number.


With Extras: The average pre--to-post drop in sale prices for Frogs bundled with extra accessories was $54. That said, an apples-to-oranges--or in this case, adapters-to-buggy boards--comparison on a small dataset is of limited usefulness, and all the post-drop prices are within the pre-drop realm of possibility, too. The average price for a bundled stroller was $20 higher [$551 vs $533, $497 vs $477] than strollers described by their sellers as "Excellent."


"Excellent": I had originally planned to build a whole matrix of Frog condition/model year/price data, turn Daddy Types into a veritable Blue Book of Bugaboos. Yeahright, I decided to hold off and let the next batch of interns tackle that project. Instead, I made the basic cut between sellers who described their strollers as "excellent," "like new," or something, and those who called theirs "used," "gently used," lovingly used," etc. The average price of the nicer-sounding strollers dropped by $56 after March 1st, from $533 [hi-lo: $370-615] to $477 [hi-lo: $390-620].


"Used": Interestingly, the average price for slightly rougher-sounding strollers didn't change much at all: $418 pre-drop, and $414 after. Though the numbers are small--just nine strollers--and the hi-lo is wide [$330-500], I'm tempted to see $400 as a price floor right now for Frogs.

Which means, assuming you don't beat the thing to pieces, you could reasonably expect to recover a remarkable 2/3 of a Bugaboo's value when you're done with it. Which makes me want to put the interns to work tracking the resale market for other stroller brands, too.

try it yourself by searching for Bugaboos on eBay [ebay]


What does the red line represent?

the diagonals are the average trend freehanded to fit on each set of data. the small vertical red line marks the date of the price cut, 3/1.

Good to keep in mind for when Jasper finally outgrows the Frog, thanks!

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