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  1. #1
    Senior Member BrianEugene's Avatar
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    1985 Cinelli Centurion Equipe

    Found this through the ebay/craigslist forum of C&V:
    http://chattanooga.craigslist.org/bik/1626806274.html

    I called the guy and he said that he would go as low as $240. It's about 2 hours away from me, but I really don't mind making the drive if this is an exceptional deal. The frame has been repainted, but the seller informs me that other than the wheels, all the parts are original (he specified omega crank, universal brakes, Campy nuovo derailers and mavic rims).

    I read these threads:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-(LOTS-OF-PICS)
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lots-of-images)

    They seem to say that it is a very nice bike, but is it worth $240 in the condition it is in? Is there anything I should check for if I go see it in person?
    He sent me a couple extra pictures (http://www.flickr.com/photos/2155574...7623434790743/), but they don't seem to be more helpful than the pictures in the ad.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I don't know that market, but in philly...I'll give you an unconditional yes, it's worth it (assuming decent condition). I also don't know what the original parts were...I am just going off value assuming it is original. Actually I think that frame is worth 200 even as a repaint.

  3. #3
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    At $240, I would be in my car driving to pick it up. the only reason it hasn't sold yet is that he is asking $400. It may be worth $400, but at that price on Craigs List, it can take a while to find a buyer (at least in my area).

    Craigs List buyers around here are looking for $100 to $200 bikes. So sometimes the best deals are bikes where the seller is asking $300 or more, while pure junk sells quick at $100. So you can get really nice higher end bikes at a sizable discount on Craigs List (in my experience, in smaller regional markets in the SE). I have even seen some really good deals languish on the Charlotte C/L due to being in this mid-level price range.

    I would check for rust, make sure the seat post and handlebar stems are not stuck, and check the fork and frame tubes for a possible front end collision. I do not see any evidence of that in these pictures, but the pictures are not really good enough to tell.

    If I was closer, I would be in my car myself on that one.
    Last edited by wrk101; 03-05-10 at 08:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    As far as I know, the Centurion Cinelli Equipe never came in that color, so either it's a repaint or it's not a Centurion. Cinelli also designed and manufactured a frame for Lotus. Of course, those components do seem to closely match the spec'd equipment on the Centurion, but the original rims should be tubular Fiamme I believe.

    At any rate, if the frame is straight and it's in very good condition, $240 is a steal. A Cenuturion Cinelli frame (including headset, crank, stem and brakes) needing a repaint and with a broken cable guide recently sold on ebay for $280 +$30 shipping: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

  5. #5
    Senior Member BrianEugene's Avatar
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    Wow...posted my question at 9:30am then called the guy at 10am to let him know I was on my way. I left the house at 11 and when I was half an hour away from the seller's house (and 1.5 hours away from mine), I get a call letting me know that someone saw my "blog post" and beat me to the bike. Perhaps, I don't understand the etiquette of bikeforums as a newbie, or perhaps I'm just frustrated at driving 3 hours (I'm still not home; I stopped at a McDonalds to post this) only to return empty handed, but this strikes me as pretty cold-blooded.

    Sorry if this is out of line, but I sort of needed to vent.

    -Brian

  6. #6
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianEugene View Post
    Wow...posted my question at 9:30am then called the guy at 10am to let him know I was on my way. I left the house at 11 and when I was half an hour away from the seller's house (and 1.5 hours away from mine), I get a call letting me know that someone saw my "blog post" and beat me to the bike. Perhaps, I don't understand the etiquette of bikeforums as a newbie, or perhaps I'm just frustrated at driving 3 hours (I'm still not home; I stopped at a McDonalds to post this) only to return empty handed, but this strikes me as pretty cold-blooded.

    Sorry if this is out of line, but I sort of needed to vent.

    -Brian

    EDIT: Comment taken back after reading the new posts. Glad this took a turn for the better.
    Last edited by mkeller234; 03-07-10 at 04:03 PM.
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  7. #7
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Agree...that's a seriously crappy thing to do. I think most of us try to respect one another's deals and abide by first come, first serve.

    I've been beaten out by members on bikes...but not because they sniped me...we're just all checking the same resources and you win some and lose some.

    I think that I'm going to leave off links and references to what I'm looking at if people snipe like that.

  8. #8
    Fanatic Dyermaker's Avatar
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    Beware the Trolls.

  9. #9
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +10 That stinks. Hopefully it was someone who spotted the Craigs List/ebay finds posting, but I kind of doubt it.

    Personally, I never post potential deals for this reason.

    I also hate getting beat out on deals when the seller knows I am in my car driving on the way. That has happened to me a couple of times, on two hour plus drives. There are no morals and no limits on Craigs List. One character even then wanted me to buy a different bike from him (that was grossly overpriced).
    Last edited by wrk101; 03-05-10 at 11:57 AM.

  10. #10
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    I don't remember the URL, but I believe there's a website that compiles "find" threads from different cycling sources in one place, so there are sharks even beyond the immediate 'community' of BF. Also, while I suppose most BF 'regulars' wouldn't have done this (though I'm certain some would), there are LOTS of lurkers in these threads.

  11. #11
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    called the guy at 10am to let him know I was on my way. I left the house at 11 and when I was half an hour away from the seller's house (and 1.5 hours away from mine), I get a call letting me know that someone saw my "blog post" and beat me to the bike.
    Let's back up and look at this a minute.

    There are two different issues here: 1) the value of the bike 2) some "perceived" etiquette

    1) On the frame/bike valuation, $250-$400 is reasonable, and it depends on what you want to do with the bike. You can upgrade and restore it somewhat, sell off some take-off parts, and in my opinion, even re-do the frame, and if you get back on it, with clean OEM or a nice swap of components, and a nice looking frame, for $600-700, you're doing just fine. My opinion.

    2) On the issue of some perceived etiquette, I know of nothing that says if you do some research on the value of a bike that is listed for sale on a public venue, it's therefore reserved until you get the information you need to make a decision. Anyone with the money is more than welcome to buy it; just ask the seller who sold it knowing you were on the way.

    a) It was listed on 3/3/10. Today is 3/5/10. Frankly, I'm surprised it lasted this long. Would you be upset if it sold last night, before you posted your inquiry? Do you know if that person was totally unaware of the bike until your post?

    b) I believe I've seen it before, and I'm pretty sure it's been for sale for a while. The price probably just got reduced to where someone else, who was already aware of it, and watching, snapped it up. Your blog post didn't say you were buying it. Maybe your issue is with the seller. You pretty much announced to the BF world that the bike was for sale for a reduced price.

    It seems to me, this is a situation of where you weren't sure what it was worth, and were doing your homework, and someone else, more sure of the decision, went and bought it. Happens to me all the time, but because of geography. I can't get to Raleigh to buy some bikes before people I know get them. No biggie, that's the market. I sure don't expect the seller, or WalMart or anyone else to hold a bike, thinking I'll show up, just so they can get my special money and no one elses.

    When I list a bike on CL, I sell it to the first person who shows up with the cash, unless someone makes some other kind of arrangement. I have one listed now, and 3 different buyers have said "I'm coming on such and such day to look at it." None have shown. When buying, even 40 miles away, I offer PayPal plus fees until I can get there, and that only works about 1/5 of the time.

    Now, if the seller was holding it for you, that's a different story. And, if some guy only knew about it because of your post, and went and got it, is that bad? Maybe, but he may not owe you anythng. Does he/she owe you dibs? I don't know. There is a courtesy on BF C&V that seems to exist, as far as going after something someone wants, but it's generally for more specific situations than you describe, often when there is no doubt as to anyone's intentions.

    You had the chance to go get it on 3/3/10 and didn't. And you didn't on 3/4/10. Again, I'm surprised it lasted this long. Generally a bike like that will go to a more aggressive buyer. I'm not blaming you; I'm just laying it out there. A value or a bargain is gonna get bought.

    I think that's what it was: you were deciding, as evidenced by your post, and someone else made a decision. I see nothing wrong with that. You expanded the CL market with your post, but I'd bet it went locally to someone who also watches CL. I can only say, if I lived there, and it was 54-58, and you asked me about, I'd say "go get it." But you can bet that I wouldn't wait around for long while you made up your mind. Kind of a "fish or cut bait" situation.

    It's always a tough break when someone gets to a bike before you do. As far away as you are, the idea of that bike being available without some special arrangement is just beyond the norm.
    Last edited by RobbieTunes; 03-05-10 at 01:35 PM.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member afilado's Avatar
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    FULL DISCLOSURE.........

    I'm the guy who bought the bike. Here's my part of the story.

    I'm acquainted with the seller. I live about 5 miles from him.

    I've been aware of this bike for about a year. It languished in my LBS for months awaiting some work being done on behalf of the seller who, having recently acquired it, had second thoughts about ownership and wanted to get it tuned up for resale.

    After "tune-up" it hung in the showroom several more months, first with a price of $500, then $400. A week or so ago the seller picked it up.

    The frame is too large for the seller so meanwhile he bought a Litespeed and never looked back.

    Presently, he has two kids just starting college, he's remodeling a house, he has auto problems, etc. Bottom line he just needs to generate quick cash.

    I offered him $300 for the bike several times along the way and, of course, saw the bike go up on CL the day he posted. My intention was to stay close to it because I doubted he'd get his $400 asking price.

    I noticed the first BrianEugene BF post - public knowledge at this point - this morning and saw nothing in it which should cause me to think I didn't have every right to continue my long-standing inquiries. it appeared to me that BrianEugene was simply gathering information re value. With that in mind I called the seller and asked specifically about any commitment to sell.

    I made a point of telling him about the BF post. He told me that the bike was still for sale. He further told me that "someone from Marietta" was going to call him back between 12:00-1:00 PM and decide then about driving up to "look at the bike".

    Again, I asked him if the bike were still available. He assured me it was. I asked him if I could drive across town to talk more with him about it; he said yes.

    When I arrived, I asked him again if he had any problem selling me the bike, given his apparent conversation with BrianEugene. I specifically told him I did not want to interrupt any serious transaction underway. Again he said no. He said as far as he was concerned, the first person to put his new asking price - $240 - in his hand was the person he wanted to sell to.

    All this, by the way, was before 12:00 noon.

    At any point along the way I was honestly prepared to walk away had there been the certainty that a buy/sell commitment was in place. I was assured - BY THE SELLER - at least 4 times that was not the case.

    I've been on both ends of this kind of situation a number of times. It's part of the "game". I've learned never to be too disappointed nor particularly elated at any outcome.

    I suggest that if anyone wants confirmation of my account they are certainly welcome to call the seller for the facts. I further suggest that those who care to form and voice judgments in such cases should gather ALL the facts before doing so.

    I rest easy concerning my behavior. Respects to all.

    BrianEugene, please feel free to contact me via PM to discuss this directly if you wish.
    Last edited by afilado; 03-05-10 at 04:09 PM. Reason: add info

  13. #13
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    So, is it a repaint?

  14. #14
    Senior Member afilado's Avatar
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    It's a home made repaint.

    Edit: Not a repaint. Original.

    J


    Quote Originally Posted by JunkYardBike View Post
    So, is it a repaint?
    Last edited by afilado; 08-03-11 at 10:36 AM.

  15. #15
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afilado View Post
    It's a home made repaint.

    J
    Lucky you! FWIW (and I'm sure you know this or will know this after you study other photos), the entire front fork, headlugs, right chainstay and rear dropouts are chromed.

    Oh, and I assume this means you're no longer interested in my frame? I'm sure that one is more structurally sound in any event.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BrianEugene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afilado View Post
    FULL DISCLOSURE.........

    I'm the guy who bought the bike. Here's my part of the story.

    I'm acquainted with the seller. I live about 5 miles from him.

    I offered him $300 for the bike several times along the way and, of course, saw the bike go up on CL the day he posted. My intention was to stay close to it because I doubted he'd get his $400 asking price.
    ...
    When I arrived, I asked him again if he had any problem selling me the bike, given his apparent conversation with BrianEugene. I specifically told him I did not want to interrupt any serious transaction underway. Again he said no. He said as far as he was concerned, the first person to put his new asking price - $240 - in his hand was the person he wanted to sell to.

    All this, by the way, was before 12:00 noon.

    At any point along the way I was honestly prepared to walk away had there been the certainty that a buy/sell commitment was in place. I was assured - BY THE SELLER - at least 4 times that was not the case.
    ...
    BTW, the seller was quite pissed off at me that you were made aware of his willingness to go as low as $240 (not that this aspect is anyone's wrongdoing and why I was given the low price, I'm not sure), telling me that "I cost him 60 bucks." I guess your prior $300 offer explains that.

    To me, the most frustrating aspect is the wasted driving (I probably wouldn't be complaining nearly as much if I hadn't spent 3 hours in the car and $20 in gas). Time clarification: the seller called me when my clock said 12:10 saying that someone would be coming by to look at it, but since I was already more than an hour into the trip, I told him that I would keep driving and that barring any variations from the description I intended to buy it. I kept driving in the hopes that you would not, and was informed at 12:30 that the bike was going out the door (I'd already passed Dalton at this point). While unhappy with his decision, I understand the security of selling to the first arrival with cash in hand. And, thanks for making me aware of your prior relationship; it puts me at ease knowing that the bike is going to someone who has been lusting over it for a while, and not a flipper.

  17. #17
    Senior Member afilado's Avatar
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    I am relieved at seeing your note. Your hurt feelings are no small thing.

    I am a believer in candor and openness when I am certain that no confidence is being betrayed. I don't believe the seller has any legitimate complaint against you re "....lost...60 bucks".

    My past $300 offer was never a standing one. Every day is a new start unless promises are in place.

    It's pretty amazing sometimes how important timing can be. This case being such an example.

    I renew my invite to contact me. I am still mulling over my part in this and would like to remain on good terms with you and with BF. My number is 423-316-0075. I'll try to help find a way to ease your "loss".

    Sincerely,

    Julian



    Quote Originally Posted by BrianEugene View Post
    BTW, the seller was quite pissed off at me that you were made aware of his willingness to go as low as $240 (not that this aspect is anyone's wrongdoing and why I was given the low price, I'm not sure), telling me that "I cost him 60 bucks." I guess your prior $300 offer explains that.

    To me, the most frustrating aspect is the wasted driving (I probably wouldn't be complaining nearly as much if I hadn't spent 3 hours in the car and $20 in gas). Time clarification: the seller called me when my clock said 12:10 saying that someone would be coming by to look at it, but since I was already more than an hour into the trip, I told him that I would keep driving and that barring any variations from the description I intended to buy it. I kept driving in the hopes that you would not, and was informed at 12:30 that the bike was going out the door (I'd already passed Dalton at this point). While unhappy with his decision, I understand the security of selling to the first arrival with cash in hand. And, thanks for making me aware of your prior relationship; it puts me at ease knowing that the bike is going to someone who has been lusting over it for a while, and not a flipper.
    Last edited by afilado; 03-05-10 at 06:50 PM. Reason: add info

  18. #18
    Senior Member afilado's Avatar
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    JunkYardBike:

    Dadblame. I hope I haven't overlooked something with you. I understood from our last correspondence that someone else had dibs on your bike and that that you were still even undecided about selling it. Isn't that right? I put it out of mind because it was not a concrete buying opportunity.

    My thinking is always buy local if possible. No shipping fees (not inconsiderable these days) and it eliminates any
    prospect of damage enroute (always a possibility no matter how reputable the seller).

    So, what's the present story on your bike? I wouldn't be averse to trying to find a way to please several people at once. PM me if appropriate.

    Best,

    J


    Quote Originally Posted by JunkYardBike View Post
    Lucky you! FWIW (and I'm sure you know this or will know this after you study other photos), the entire front fork, headlugs, right chainstay and rear dropouts are chromed.

    Oh, and I assume this means you're no longer interested in my frame? I'm sure that one is more structurally sound in any event.

  19. #19
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afilado View Post
    JunkYardBike:

    Dadblame. I hope I haven't overlooked something with you. I understood from our last correspondence that someone else had dibs on your bike and that that you were still even undecided about selling it. Isn't that right? I put it out of mind because it was not a concrete buying opportunity.
    Indeed, I've not yet decided its fate. Honestly, I had forgotten you were the one interested until reading your second post (my message inbox would have assisted my memory had the time come). The person who has dibs (and is, incidentally, local) doesn't yet know he has dibs, and it's quite likely he won't want it. I, too, prefer local exchanges, especially given a number of less than pleasant transactions I've had recently. And, because my frame has a few issues, I'd prefer it be examined in person. I have given thought to offering it here, and still may be willing, but again, long distance transactions can be troublesome...

  20. #20
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    As usual, Robbie makes some great points. I have snapped up more than one bike while someone else was pondering what to do. I have picked up several garage sale deals where potential buyer #1 looked it, stared at it, got on the phone and called a friend, and then walked away. I then quickly grabbed the bike and paid the price (often $20 or $30).

    Sellers want a deal to close, I have had so many no shows on C/L, its unbelievable.

    My basic rules on selling: 1) I never hold a bike. Too many no shows, the first one with cash gets it. 2) If someone is on the way, I tell them to call me when they leave their house, and I will hold it for them until they arrive, given a reasonable travel time (taking in account where person is coming from). I had a buyer drive four hours one way for a bike (it was an extremely small frame, sweet bike). They called when they left, and I held it. Note, we had an understanding on price, it was not one of those hold it for me to look at it. I definitely will not hold a bike to negotiate when they arrive. What if someone else shows up ready to pay full price?

    I took a deposit one time on a bike, never again. The buyer told me" tomorrow is my payday, can you hold it til then?" It took me three weeks to get paid, excuse after excuse "I got shorted on OT", "my deductions were higher than I thought", etc. Meanwhile I had several people willing to pay more for the bike. Next time it will be "when you have the money come by, and if I still have the bike, it is yours for xxx." The other thing I will never do again is bargain on price with someone who is not ready to buy. I had someone do that to me once, they walked away, then three weeks later wanted the deal, and even asked for additional price concessions.

    Craigs List is wide open. Sellers and buyers can make their own personal rules and deals.

    When I drive longer distances for bikes (I have made several buying trips this year), I ask for the same consideration and I always agree to pay full price. I figure in asking someone to hold a bike for the three hours it takes for me to get there is concession enough. And if the bike was not a smokin hot deal in my opinion, I would not be on a road trip to buy it anyway.
    Last edited by wrk101; 03-05-10 at 07:27 PM.

  21. #21
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    While I have been beaten out on deals while I am in the car, I have improved my batting average quite a bit by making some reasonable requests of the seller. First, I tell them I will be driving a distance (I usually give them a time, like a two hour drive). I then agree with them on price, usually full price, which I think encourages them to hold the bike. I then share some stories of getting scooped while I have been driving to buy something. I thank them for their agreement, and then I immediately get in the car and drive, right then.

    As a seller, I do not negotiate price via email or the phone. I explain to the potential buyer that I want them to see the bike first, make sure it is what they want, it fits right, etc, and then they should feel free to make me an offer in person of what the bike is worth to them. (I leave off my main reason is that most potential buyers never show up, so I consider it a waste of time, and the only one really agreeing to the offer is me the seller. If they show up, I am obligated to honor the deal. If they do not show up, I have no recourse).

  22. #22
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    Well, all sounds good. There is still a 62cm Paramount sitting here near me, series 5 OS (Tange).
    5 miles on it. That's right, 5 miles.
    All you tall fellows, someone shake a leg.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    Perhaps you didn't really hear what you thought I said...
    ...or maybe you did, and that's why you're so mad.


    1979 Centurion Semi Pro
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  23. #23
    Paceline Lead Blocker
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
    Well, all sounds good. There is still a 62cm Paramount sitting here near me, series 5 OS (Tange).
    5 miles on it. That's right, 5 miles.
    All you tall fellows, someone shake a leg.
    Got photos?

  24. #24
    Senior Member afilado's Avatar
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    When it's time to pass this bike along, Brian, you'll have dibs. And I'll offer it for no more than I have actually invested.

    Best,

    Julian

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianEugene View Post
    BTW, the seller was quite pissed off at me that you were made aware of his willingness to go as low as $240 (not that this aspect is anyone's wrongdoing and why I was given the low price, I'm not sure), telling me that "I cost him 60 bucks." I guess your prior $300 offer explains that.

    To me, the most frustrating aspect is the wasted driving (I probably wouldn't be complaining nearly as much if I hadn't spent 3 hours in the car and $20 in gas). Time clarification: the seller called me when my clock said 12:10 saying that someone would be coming by to look at it, but since I was already more than an hour into the trip, I told him that I would keep driving and that barring any variations from the description I intended to buy it. I kept driving in the hopes that you would not, and was informed at 12:30 that the bike was going out the door (I'd already passed Dalton at this point). While unhappy with his decision, I understand the security of selling to the first arrival with cash in hand. And, thanks for making me aware of your prior relationship; it puts me at ease knowing that the bike is going to someone who has been lusting over it for a while, and not a flipper.

  25. #25
    Senior Member BrianEugene's Avatar
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    Thanks, man. That's really nice of you. I'll almost definitely take you up on the eventual offer.

    In the meantime, I just need to find another bike to entertain myself with!


    Quote Originally Posted by afilado View Post
    When it's time to pass this bike along, Brian, you'll have dibs. And I'll offer it for no more than I have actually invested.

    Best,

    Julian

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