'It’s been pretty crazy': Bike sales soar in Victoria amid pandemic

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of retail sectors have been suffering. But at the same time, stores that cater to outdoor recreation have been seeing record sales.

With more people looking outside to get some exercise and physically distance, bike sales have gone through the roof on Vancouver Island.

“It’s been pretty crazy,” said Bill Fry, owner of Trek Bicycle Store in Vic West.

Fry says that all of the store’s lower price point bicycles have been sold out, leaving some new customers shocked at the current inventory’s sticker price.

“We watched as the stock was selling out at different price points,” said Fry. “So, it slowly crept up and crept up. People were coming in and wanting to spend a bit less but were spending a bit more because that was all there was available.”

“So now, yeah, stock has become pretty hard to come by,” he said.

The situation appears to be the same for stores that sell used bicycles.

“We’re known for our used bike selection in town and currently we’ve got a pink one and a purple one down on the end here,” said James Ascher, a staff member of JK's Bicycleitis in Victoria.

With just two used bikes remaining, the bicycle shop has mostly new bicycles in their inventory.

“Well it’s the nature of this COVID beast I guess,” said Ascher. “Used bikes come from people selling their bikes and right now everyone’s buying bikes. You know, some people would say it’s a seller’s market.”

According to local used item website, Used Victoria, that assessment rings true.

Online searches for used bicycles have skyrocketed this summer. In Victoria, bicycles were the fourth most sought after item on Used Victoria in July.

“So, in the month of July it’s actually our number four search term,” said Used Victoria spokesperson Nicki Reich. “It’s actually behind kayaks, firewood and boats.”

Approximately 34,000 searches for bicycles were made on Used Victoria in July, and roughly 250,000 page views were registered in the website’s bike category.

Reich says that anyone looking for a used bike in Victoria might have luck on the website, with just over 1,600 bicycle ads currently listed for sale. 

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