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Old 04-22-07, 08:27 AM   #1
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Is is safe to buy Shimano parts off Ebay?

It seems that most new bike parts on Ebay end up selling for close to their retail value. However, a lot of Shimano stuff (pedals, cranksets ect.) have buy it now's that are half of retail. Are those scams?
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Old 04-22-07, 09:22 AM   #2
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I've bought 2 pair of Ultegra SPD-SL pedals ~ $75 off ebay and they were fine. Maybe what you're seeing are last years models, ie. pedal 6610 instead of the new 6620. Octalink crank vs. X-style, etc. Close-outs. Just always be careful. Pay with Paypal, buy from a seller you think you can trust. Inquire here about a specific one if you have doubts.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:27 AM   #3
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As long as the seller isn't a crook or the parts aren't damaged, I don't see why not.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:31 AM   #4
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I've bought lots of bike parts on eBay, Shimano and not-Shimano, and haven't found Shimano parts to be a different buying experience than non-Shimano parts.

That said, when you have "buy it now" prices for new items that are significantly below retail value, it's at least a reason to wonder. vpiuva's thought (last year's model stuff) may be the right explanation here.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodsterSS
It seems that most new bike parts on Ebay end up selling for close to their retail value. However, a lot of Shimano stuff (pedals, cranksets ect.) have buy it now's that are half of retail. Are those scams?
I'm sure you are checking the feedback of the seller to be sure they've been on ebay a while. I place higher value on feedback from other buyers rather than sellers.
When I'm in doubt, I ask the seller a question about the quality of the item. If I don't get a response, I pass on the item. The prices on ebay have to be lower than retail or no one would buy it. Well, almost no one.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:40 AM   #6
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i bought a brand new pair of shimano wheels for half price from ebay.
no problems!
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Old 04-22-07, 10:44 AM   #7
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I just got a new Nexave caliper & rotor for $30, still sealed in bag, all hardware & instructions. It works like a charm.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:45 AM   #8
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I've bought a bunch of Shimano parts on eBay. No problems really, and certainly no more than with other eBay purchases. The usual rules apply. Sellers are nearly always overly optimistic in their descriptions of the quality/condition of the items, and frequently when they say 'I know nothing about this item' it actually means 'i know there's something wrong with this item but i don't want to take responsibility'...

I've gotten some good deals though, for example on new parts that had scratches etc.
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Old 04-22-07, 11:25 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like the Shimano deals are as good as any. It probably reflects the fact that they are hugely marked up in the first place and these "gray market" parts are just closer to a reasonable cost.
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Old 04-22-07, 12:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodsterSS
It probably reflects the fact that they are hugely marked up in the first place and these "gray market" parts are just closer to a reasonable cost.
Up until a few years ago, these "gray market" deals were common through online/mail order places like Price Point. I think a lot of the Shimano stuff (and other brands, too) that Price Point had was OEM surplus stock, etc. What it meant for consumers was that you could buy just about any Shimano item for close to half of retail through places like Price Point. But Shimano changed their policy, saying these practices were de-valueing their product, and they put strict pricing guidelines in place to curb this. I don't claim to know or understand all the details, but basically if places like Price Point wanted to keep selling Shimano stuff, they had to be an authorized Shimano dealer and follow the pricing guiidelines. So now, for the most part, the deals aren't the same at places like Price Point. But I would imagine there are still ways to get these "gray market" deals, and more than likely that's what some ebay sellers are doing, unconcerned with "authorized Shimano dealer" status-
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Old 04-22-07, 01:34 PM   #11
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I've bought a lot off eBay, mostly used. Price beats the "grey market" any day.

I've had very good luck. The key is pictures. Lousy pictures - stay away. Good pictures let you evaluate the condition.
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Old 04-22-07, 01:56 PM   #12
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I've bought a lot off eBay, mostly used. Price beats the "grey market" any day.
Obviously used will generally be cheaper than new-
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Old 04-22-07, 02:12 PM   #13
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Here I thought I was stating the obvious.


What you might find surprising is the condition of the used parts. In some cases you can't even tell that they've been used.
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Old 04-22-07, 06:23 PM   #14
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ebay , if you are careful, is the best place to buy and save. I personally have my favorite sellers to buy all shimano items i need. I have saved hundreds of dollars on sjimano and cycling accessories as well as clothes using ebay!!
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Old 04-22-07, 07:14 PM   #15
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Shimano and others have put very strict guidelines on online sales for the devaluation reason you someone mentioned before. Most of these restrictions apply only to current year models which is why on the official website of the online dealers you will see the year listed clearly in the description or title of the product so that the manufactures don't get on them about discounting stuff especially in things like shimano, where they never change the names, just the product (i.e. XTR has been the top of the line since I can remember, but the product has changed dramatically over the years) On e-bay you will find one of a number of things. #1 a dealer blowing out old stock #2 a dealer bending the rules and trying to slide one under the radar or #3 someone who is buying "complete bikes" which include some junker of a $5 frame and a bunch of OEM shimano parts, which they immediately break down (or never build), throw away the frame and sell the parts for a Profit. In any case, there are often some Shimano pricing guidelines being bent, but you get a good deal on the parts, so shop on.
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Old 04-22-07, 09:02 PM   #16
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Tired of getting screwed by scambay sellers who don't know what they are doing.
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Old 04-22-07, 10:40 PM   #17
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I don't buy from someone outside of the US or with a rating of 99.8% or less, but I've never been unhappy with my purchases. One thing though, not just with Shimano, is that if the eBay seller is not an "authorized dealer", then any warranties known to apply to that product is null and void. My girlfriend found that out with a Sony Cybershot.

Oh another thing, I also only buy from people that know what they are talking about because it stands to reason that if someone is selling something that they nothing about, it can't be good. I would stay away from someone who doesn't know the length of and spline interface of a crank, weights etc. I've seen a stem marketed as a fork and I've read (on bikeforums) of someone trying to sell damaged bike parts.
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Old 04-23-07, 04:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodsterSS
Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like the Shimano deals are as good as any. It probably reflects the fact that they are hugely marked up in the first place and these "gray market" parts are just closer to a reasonable cost.
Gray market probably isn't the best term for what's really going on. So, here goes: Dirty little secret # 1. Distributors are generally prohibited from selling directly to the public. So, when they have a huge inventory of old or non selling parts they have to get rid of it somehow. The distributor might sell his inventory off to a large dealer for 1 or 2 points over distributor, which is usually 25% below dealer. Payment terms are usually pay as you sell.

When I was in the wholesale knife business that was standard practice. That's why you see so many knives on ebay offered for below dealer to the public. The sellers are usually big distributors selling through a shill dealer to the general public. The same deal is probably used in the bicycle industry.

There is nothing wrong with the parts. Good luck

Tim
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Old 04-23-07, 08:20 PM   #19
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All the custom builders always have spare parts to get rid of. They order say 25 complete dura-ace OEM kits, 50 ultegra, 200 105. Someone wants to upgrade their ultegra front brake to d-a, someone else wants an SRAM rear derailler, someone else an FSA crankset. Left are odd parts bought at OEM wholesale price. Enter ebay.

I just bought a rear 10sp Dura-Ace SS and an FSA SLK compact double from sellers with 5-figure feedback counts. They do enough business that I have no qualms, I'm willing to bet they're brand new, boxed, untouched, not even take-offs. If there's anything wrong with them the seller will exchange it if they're even remotely reputable. (They'll then return it to the mfg in turn for credit.) As opposed to many crappy LBSes that won't follow up with any service worth squat once they've put your cash in the register -- warranty or not, it's too easy to claim you did it yourself through improper use.

D-A SS RD and FSA SLK cranks... $350.
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Old 04-24-07, 12:11 AM   #20
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Before you buy genuine Shimano parts from Fleabay, consider one thing: Why would Shimano desire to not see their products devaluated? Are they good products and priced fairly? They certainly try, but any manufacturer must make a certain amount of profit in order to cover their manufacturing costs, advertising, research and development, racing programs, safety testing, warranties, legal costs, employee wages, benefits, overhead, etc, etc, etc...and still try to make enough to justify all their hard work and passion for their products.

If there are no profits to be had, then cost-cutting measures must be implemented, cheaper alternatives must be offered, service must be reduced, and the entire product line goes downhill due to not being able to get anyone to pay for true quality (please see any X-mart bike for an example).

If you truly want to see Shimano products go to pot, then by all means, buy them on Ebay from people with no interest in furthering your cycling experience, no knowledge or experience in applying or using them, no interest in any relationship other than a cash transaction, desparately turning them over for a quick buck with no service after the purchase as they were intended to be sold. I have personally had enough of people paying far less than retail and yet still expecting the same service one gets with paying full retail and feeding the families of those that have chosen to serve them (even with products and services other than bicycle parts).

Everyone wants a deal, but consider that deal will always be at someone's expense....often yours due to no guarantees, or someone trying to scratch out a living. You still do get exactly what you pay for.
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Old 04-24-07, 01:15 PM   #21
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Bull. The manufacturer's price to the distributor/OEM supplies all of it's profits.
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Old 04-24-07, 09:25 PM   #22
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Bull. The manufacturer's price to the distributor/OEM supplies all of it's profits.
Right. And if no one can afford to distribute it or resell it...then what?
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Old 04-24-07, 10:33 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodsterSS
It seems that most new bike parts on Ebay end up selling for close to their retail value. However, a lot of Shimano stuff (pedals, cranksets ect.) have buy it now's that are half of retail. Are those scams?

Buyer beware. There are a bunch of Campy scams out there. Someone posted of this a long time ago, but this is the 1st time I heard that there are now Shimano scams. Geez! When are these scammers gonna learn. That said, I've bought tons of stuff on Ebay and luckily haven't had any problems so far. Make sure you only buy from reputable sellers and follow all the Ebay rules.
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Old 04-25-07, 10:59 AM   #24
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Right. And if no one can afford to distribute it or resell it...then what?
Then we'd all be living in Flatland. Your hypothesis is invalid.

If you think it's valid, show us how "no one can afford to distribute it or resell it".
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Old 04-25-07, 12:45 PM   #25
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Gray market probably isn't the best term for what's really going on. So, here goes: Dirty little secret # 1. Distributors are generally prohibited from selling directly to the public. So, when they have a huge inventory of old or non selling parts they have to get rid of it somehow. The distributor might sell his inventory off to a large dealer for 1 or 2 points over distributor, which is usually 25% below dealer. Payment terms are usually pay as you sell.

When I was in the wholesale knife business that was standard practice. That's why you see so many knives on ebay offered for below dealer to the public. The sellers are usually big distributors selling through a shill dealer to the general public. The same deal is probably used in the bicycle industry.

There is nothing wrong with the parts. Good luck

Tim
Your describing a closeout dealer, they can work this way, another way they work is say Shimano has a shelf full of older components, a guy walks into the warehouse, and says I will offer you $50,000 for the whole shelf full, it might be a shelf that is 8' wide, 40' high and 80' long, He loads it all into several trailers, and hauls it to a warehouse unit he has rented. He then goes through and does an inventory, so many of these, so many of those, puts it all into a computer, and puts up an ebay store, as orders come in, a copy of the order is sent to the warehouse, where a couple of minimum wage clowns pack the stuff up, and a carrier does a daily pickup. Paypal or a credit card billing company deals with the payments. When all is said and done, he might sell for 30%-50% below retail, and still double his money. He has Shimano's blessing, because they know exactly what he is going to do with it. Manufacturers warranties are in full effect, because items are legitimate, and were sold through a dealer known to the company.

I work in the courier business, and we have several of these as customers, it's a legitimate business, they pay and collect the proper taxes, many of these guys deal in many different kinds of products, basically if they can buy a lot of something, they have it. The same guy may run several ebay stores out of the same warehouse, dealing in different kinds of products. There is usually a small office in one corner, where they have the computers, and another corner is used for packing goods.,
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