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Old 10-15-07, 08:36 AM   #1
wharfrat
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Bike off eBay

Just curious..Has anyone bought a bike off eBay and had it shipped to you? How did it work out? I've never done that but considering it. Wondered if people's experiences have been positive...realizing it make a diff who you buy from and the care in packing. Thanks.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:43 AM   #2
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Packing makes a difference. I bought one that arrived with pieces of the foam padding inside the frame tubes, the crank was cracked, and the rd barrel adjuster was sheared off. Another arrived in great shape. The first was packed by the seller and shipped for $60 while the latter was packed and shipped by the seller's local bike shop for $100.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:54 AM   #3
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I have bought 2 bikes off E Bay and both arrived safe and sound. They were well packed, but the boxes looked like they were run over by a truck. I was probably just plain lucky.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:06 AM   #4
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Very positive experiences. Unless the shipper is an experienced bike packer, pay $75 or so to have a bike shop pack and ship (and insure) it.

If packing yourself, pack it in a used shipping box from a bike shop, and check the dimensions of the box closely to avoid paying huge oversize charges. I've had the best luck - both in cost and condition - using FedEx. Remove front wheel (& skewers) and pad the fork ends. (There's plastic shipping inserts you can get from a LBS.) Pull stem and lay bar over. Remove seat and pedals. You might think about removing the RD from the hanger. Pad tubes (Home Depot pipe insulation works great) and tie-wrap loose parts to the frame so they can't move and chafe.

If you have extra cardboard, reinforce the sides. Otherwise there's not much that packing materials will do for it, but wads of bubble wrap can't hurt.
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Old 10-15-07, 09:33 AM   #5
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I've bought three. All were packed with lots of foam, newspapers, bubble wrap. Whatever the seller had handy. All looked amateurish, but all were well padded and arrived in good shape, with no damage at all.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wharfrat View Post
Just curious..Has anyone bought a bike off eBay and had it shipped to you? How did it work out? I've never done that but considering it. Wondered if people's experiences have been positive...realizing it make a diff who you buy from and the care in packing. Thanks.

My 2 experiences were positive. The only 2 negative experiences I've had in the Bay were related to items that did not end up fetching much $. Almost as if both sellers hearts were not into following through on the deals, because they were not getting much $ out of them.

I would only buy a steel bike on the Bay, however, as any misalignments could stand a chance at being corrected. If it's aluminum you options are limited. Same w/ Carbon fiber
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Old 10-15-07, 11:59 AM   #7
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eBay bikes

bobn...Do you recall who the shipper was? The one I was considering will go FedEx (insured). I was told they do OK with handling.. I dunno.


Thanks to everyone for feedback...sounds encouraging.
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Old 10-15-07, 12:23 PM   #8
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I have bought two and sold one. All arrived in decent shape. One that i bought had the skewers poking out of the box, but this is a common rookie mistake.
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Old 10-15-07, 12:27 PM   #9
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I have shipped atleast 15 frames with Fedex over the past 4 years and have had no problems.
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Old 10-15-07, 12:50 PM   #10
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Four bikes, Zero problems. I shipped one out and the guy actually complimented me on the packing.
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Old 10-15-07, 01:13 PM   #11
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Wondering why this is on the mechanics fourm?

Have bought numerous frames and 2 complete bikes off scambay with no shipping or damage proplems. Some packed better than others. Poor packing is one of my pet peeves with ebay sellers. Some think throwing something in a bag and shipping via USPS is ok. The only thing you can do is request the seller take some care in packing the item.
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Old 10-15-07, 02:29 PM   #12
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I've bought a lot of individual parts on ebay, but only one complete bike. It was packed so-so and wasn't damaged during shipment. It did, however, have a crushed chainstay bridge due to an improper kickstand installation that wasn't apparent from the ebay photos. Other than that, the bike was beautiful, I got a good deal on it, and so instead of complaining to the seller about the crushed tube, I decided to make the best of the situation. I had a framebuilder replace the chainstay bridge and while he was at it I had him add the one thing the bike didn't have that I wanted, a third water bottle mount. Sixty dollars total for the framebuider, and he even repainted the repaired areas (I think it was an unusually good deal). It was a bike I really wanted, so all in all, things worked out fine. But the bottom line is that it can be an "adventure" to buy a bike on ebay. Most cases seem to go without a hitch, but there are definitely exceptions. Check the C and V archives for reference.

Last edited by well biked; 10-15-07 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 10-15-07, 03:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by waldowales View Post
I've bought three. All were packed with lots of foam, newspapers, bubble wrap. Whatever the seller had handy. All looked amateurish, but all were well padded and arrived in good shape, with no damage at all.
same here, but I've only bought 2.
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Old 10-15-07, 05:12 PM   #14
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I bought a bike and it arrived exactly as described.

The seller specified in the ad that it would be packaged by a bike shop - I think this is something to look for. They have experience in how to pad the frame and other parts, and have little pieces that protect the fork and axles.

The only problem I had with my bike was that the computer head fell of the mounting bracket enroute and the display got a lot of fine micro-scratches on it from bouncing around in the box. No damage to function, and I was able to polish all/most of the scratches out with plastic polish so it bothered me just a little bit. I told seller to discuss this with bike shop and recommended that computer head be sent in a padded envelope in the bike box, or taped in place.
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Old 10-15-07, 05:42 PM   #15
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I've also bought and sold several bikes and frames with ebay, maybe a dozen or so and have had the gamut of packaging qualities, however, every bike I've received, and thankfully shipped have always arrived and gotten to their destination okay. The worst packing is when a frame is just plopped in a box and out the door. There's nothing wrong with using plenty of newspaper and wrapping the frame tubes. Not only is it ok, it's far more friendly to the environment and is actually a far better material than plastic products. The only other thing is that I always use USPS rather than UPS or Fed-Ex. They are faaaaaaaaaaar cheaper, offer good insurance and are by no way any faster.
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Old 10-15-07, 05:49 PM   #16
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I just bought a bike and am trying to negotiate with the seller the packaging at a LBS and getting it on its way. Unfortunately the seller is a bit slow...I'm sure it'll arrive in fine condition, I just want it sooner rather than winter,
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Old 10-15-07, 05:51 PM   #17
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2 bikes bought and 3 bikes sold... no problems but u need to pack really well. Foam in the front tube, 2 pieces of hi density foam crossing the tt so the box keeps integrity. Put the fork backwards, stick the 2 fork blades in hi density foam if u dont have the fork packing plasting thing a guy was talking about.and drop the front/fork into the box, as with the TT the foam will keep the box integrity in the front. Do the same with the rear end if u are packing a frame. If packing a bike just dont take the read wheel out. Tape the cranks with the rear wheel spokes and basically u are all set. All the other stuff can be set aside or on in a small box taped to the seat stays. put more foam here and there and the bike will get safe anywhwere

Thanks.
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Old 10-16-07, 08:43 AM   #18
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Avoid UPS at all costs!!!!!!

Look what they did to my wife's new bike!
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Old 10-16-07, 03:49 PM   #19
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resolution

How was that taken care of? Tell me UPS covered this.
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Old 10-17-07, 01:29 PM   #20
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Actually, the seller (bikesdirect.com) sent me a new bike, and dealt with the UPS claim themselves. Kudos to bikesdirect.
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Old 10-17-07, 02:17 PM   #21
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Bought my 2006 Jamis Eclipse frame on eBay. The seller packed it incredibly well: closed-cell foam around all tubes, plastic plug in seat tube, bones in the fork and rear dropouts. It arrived in pristine condition.

And it was shipped UPS, for what it's worth.

It also built up rather well.

But it's really hit-or-miss on eBay. Be careful, but don't be scared.
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Old 10-17-07, 04:25 PM   #22
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Actually, the seller (bikesdirect.com) sent me a new bike, and dealt with the UPS claim themselves. Kudos to bikesdirect.
Did BD not put any packaging on the bike? From the look of the initial picture it seems like there is no padding at all. If that's how it was sent and I was UPS I would just think "Eff that, there's no protection on the bike."

But then again, I don't know if it was packed superwell and you removed it all and then took the picture (or if there are other pictures).
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Old 10-17-07, 05:53 PM   #23
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I bought a frame packed by a bike shop. The dropouts and the fork were chocked correctly, but the guy who packed it put the seat post in a cyclinder where it promptly exited and scratched the frame.
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Old 10-17-07, 06:08 PM   #24
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I've received about 12 bikes from ebay sellers. The best packed bike had pipe insulation neatly taped around all the tubes. This was a complete surprise as this particular seller was actually proud of his "Vintage Mobile Home!".

The worse packed bike was from a guy that said not to worry, he was having it professionally packed. It was disassembled further than necessary and all the little bits were thrown in a sandwich bag that was taped open to the side of the box! All the parts fell out of the bag and most escaped out the poorly taped up corners. I think his "Pro" packer was one of his kids.

The fact that a bike shop packs and ships it may or may not be a good thing. Some do a fine job, others get lazy or don't care if your paint gets scratched.

In spite of all the above, I've had good overall experiences. Take a look at the sellers past feedback. If they've never shipped a bike you might offer a link to a website on how to do it. Here's a good one...

http://chainwheeldrive.com/page.cfm?PageID=286

Last edited by McDave; 10-17-07 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 10-17-07, 06:38 PM   #25
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I think the key is to research the person or seller who is sending the bike. If it is on ebay see if the seller has a history of shipping bikes and see what the feedback is. I got two bikes off ebay. The first was from Bikes Direct about 2 years ago fairly early on in their selling but there were at least 25 bikes shipped with good feedback and no complaints so I wasn't worried. The bike came in perfect. Recently I took more of a chance with a carbon bike from someone who didn't seem to have any history shipping bikes. But his overall feedback shipping many different kinds of items was perfect so I took the chance. The price on the brand new Bianchi was so good I figured I'd take the chance. Luckily the bike came in perfect condition.
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