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  1. #1
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Long distance CL problem - Looking for advice.

    I have a bike on my local craigslist and got an email from someone in Louisiana that says they want to buy it because they had one as a kid.

    It seems legit but I am weary of scams. My idea was to put it on ebay with a buy it now price and sell it to the guy that way. He agreed with that plan. I feel like this way I get some protection. Can anyone see any holes in this, is there something I don't know?
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  2. #2
    Ironwoman Velo Gator's Avatar
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    Make sure you have him sign for delivery, it's the only way PayPal will cover you.

    There's always the chance he says the bike is not as described, does a chargeback, etc. You may also prefer that he pay with some type of money order, but it would be up to him if he were willing to send you payment before you shipping the bike.

    (I got burned selling an iPhone. Zero feedback buyer said the phone arrived broken, and PayPal sided with her with no photos, police report, etc. I was out $350.)

  3. #3
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    You can sell it "as is".

  4. #4
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Actually, you can avoid ebay entirely. Just have the person send you a check. Hold the check til it clears, then ship the bike. Sell for a price high enough that waiting for the check is worth it to you.

    The ebay option is not a bad one, but will cost you about 10% in fees by the time you pay everything.

  5. #5
    Curmudgeon in Training 20grit's Avatar
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    what bill said... only have him send a postal money order.

  6. #6
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks for the tips. I will give him the option between ebay and a postal money order. Ebay gives him a certain amount of protection as a buyer also, so it may be worth 10% extra to him. I have traded 3 emails with him so far and he still seems to be genuine.
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    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
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  7. #7
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    There is such a thing as a 'private sale' through ebay; I haven't done it, only heard it mentioned. I gather it's set up so only one person can bid on it.

  8. #8
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    Postal Money order is the only way to go, cheap for the buyer, no fees for the seller.

    I had a buyer send me a small portion through Paypal, so he had some protection, but the bulk via USPMO.

  9. #9
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    I had a buyer contact me in the same way...really liked the bike I was selling, but lived in California...we made an arrangement where he paid me for the bike via PayPal first...once that was completed, I gave him the name of a reputable LBS for bike packing...at that point, all I needed to do was drop the bike at the bike shop...he took care of the rest with them, paid for the packing with them via credit card, they then took it to a shipper down the street for him and he paid for that as well via CC. I was pretty much out of the transaction when I dropped the bike at the LBS.
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  10. #10
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    If you have an option to sell it another way, don't do it through ebay...as others have said, you're totally at his mercy with Ebay and Paypal.

    I'd do it one of two ways...

    1. Check/money order (as stated above)
    2. Paypal, but not through ebay.

    I'd do it via paypal...here's why...so long as there is proof of delivery, you're covered. Paypal only supports buyers for condition through ebay purchases...on paypal, they only require proof it was delivered.

  11. #11
    Senior Member r0ckh0und's Avatar
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    I have gone the PayPal route with a California buyer. He agreed to my asking price and took care of the shipping charges directly with REI and I just dropped it off.
    "Stay thirsty my friends"

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  12. #12
    OldSchool
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohjonnybegoode View Post
    I had a buyer contact me in the same way...really liked the bike I was selling, but lived in California...we made an arrangement where he paid me for the bike via PayPal first...once that was completed, I gave him the name of a reputable LBS for bike packing...at that point, all I needed to do was drop the bike at the bike shop...he took care of the rest with them, paid for the packing with them via credit card, they then took it to a shipper down the street for him and he paid for that as well via CC. I was pretty much out of the transaction when I dropped the bike at the LBS.
    I have bought many bikes long distance through Craigslist ads and this is exactly how I structure a purchase. Once the seller is satisfied his money is secure, he simply drops the bike at a local shop and he's done. The only thing is, as a buyer, you have to have a seller who is willing to take lots of pictures and answer lots of questions and taking accurate measurements is very important. I have very short arms and I've gotten more than one bike that was mismeasured on top tube length and I had to turn around and sell it. Sometimes I'll have the bike shop doing the packing confirm the measurements if there is a concern.

  13. #13
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    I have heard stories of sellers who "had the check clear the bank" (usually in a week or so). Then later, about a month, there is a charge-back because the check actually bounced, or the account was closed, or... I believe the same thing can happen via Paypal/ebay.

    Postal money order sounds good.

  14. #14
    Senior Member custermustache's Avatar
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    I bought a mixte from someone in Michigan - I sent the check and when it cleared he sent the bike. There has to be some trust on both sides. Have you talked to him on the phone yet? Also, we need to know what bike it is, obviously.

  15. #15
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Agreed on either cash or a U.S.Postal Money Order, and with the money order cash it at the Post Office if they'll let you. Have a signed receipt and a copy of your ad in your pocket in case the buyer does get sketchy.

    But, better yet, with the buyer shopping out of state on CL there is a good chance they are on some forum or one of the sub-forums here. Ask and if so see if there is someone local to you that the buyer knows and trusts who can help facilitate the deal. The buyer cuts a deal with their friend, the friend brings you cash and signs a receipt and takes the bike, eventually the buyer posts a "look what I found in Ohio" thread.

    An added bonus is you can search on the buyer's username and see how legitimate they seem to get a feel for how the detail will turn out.

    But for a generic out of state CL sale, I'd take the bike to an LBS, have them sign that they received it, and let the buyer work out a shipping deal with the shop.

  16. #16
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    Postal money orders can come back too - make sure you take them to the PO and cash it there, if you are at all not sure.

  17. #17
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    UPDATE:

    First I would like to thank everyone for the great advice. The seller from Louisiana just received his bicycle yesterday and I thought I would post the process of how that happened.

    -I talked with the seller through email and phone extensively about the bike, every scratch, every non-original part, Everything. Then I sent 30 or more high-res pictures of anything I thought was significant, the photos are here if you are curious:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30894973@N04/tags/118/

    -After the condition was accepted, shipping was discussed and agreed on.

    -After a verbal handshake the seller sent a Postal money order

    - I cashed the check at the Post office

    -I took the bike to a local bike shop and did not pay a dime. The lbs contacted the buyer and charged him 20 dollars for packaging, which came to a total of 70 dollars shipped to Louisiana from Ohio.

    -The bike arrived unharmed and I got a very nice email with pictures of the happy owner and his new bike.

    This was a great experience and a lot had to do with the great buyer. I was very tempted to refuse a long distance sale but this has changed my mind in the future. As long as I can establish that a buyer is legitimate and find a safe way to make the exchange I would do this all over again. This is the same bike the buyer had as a teen and he told me he has been looking for a long time.

    Thank you everyone, your advice really helped.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
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  18. #18
    Champion of the Low End Primitive Don's Avatar
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    Good deal. An LBS only charged $20 for package a bike for shipping? Wow.
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  19. #19
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primitive Don View Post
    Good deal. An LBS only charged $20 for package a bike for shipping? Wow.

    I know, it's seemed to good to be true. Not to mention, the frame was 63cm. It would have cost me at least 10 dollars for the pipe insulation to go it myself. PLUS, it shipped out the same day that it was dropped off so the seller got it very fast. The best part of all is that I did not have to do much work, it was just as good as selling locally on craigslist.
    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
    "(@)'(@)"""''"**|(@)(@)*****''(@)

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