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  1. #1
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Buying off of Ebay...

    First, thanks to all who gave advice on my wanting a Brooks Saddle. A B17 Imperial is now installed
    on my Gunnar Street Dog. Someone gave advice on watching the saddle height, so I will do that, but at
    the moment, it is fine, right out of the box. No adjustment needed at the moment.

    So....
    I have never had an Ebay account. But, I am in the market for "something special", and Ebay looks like
    a good bet. Who here has purchased a bike from Ebay, and what were your experiences? Good, bad, etc.
    Ebay's competition, Craigs list, looks like a haven for people selling stolen stuff, and people who are just
    plain weird. Just sayin...

    Thank you, good night and good luck.
    "The Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on a government contract." Robert A. Heinlein

  2. #2
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I bought a bike off eBay, but the seller was local and I actually rode it before buying it. Got a great deal and still have it.
    Ride your Ride!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    First, thanks to all who gave advice on my wanting a Brooks Saddle. A B17 Imperial is now installed
    on my Gunnar Street Dog. Someone gave advice on watching the saddle height, so I will do that, but at
    the moment, it is fine, right out of the box. No adjustment needed at the moment.

    So....
    I have never had an Ebay account. But, I am in the market for "something special", and Ebay looks like
    a good bet. Who here has purchased a bike from Ebay, and what were your experiences? Good, bad, etc.
    Ebay's competition, Craigs list, looks like a haven for people selling stolen stuff, and people who are just
    plain weird. Just sayin...

    Thank you, good night and good luck.
    With Craig's list, you have no protections at all. It's buy at your own risk. eBay is not perfect, but there are some buyer protections built in. If you use PayPal, you have additional protections. PayPal essentially holds your payment in escrow until a few days after you've received the item. This gives the buyer a chance to report problems, etc. For new sellers, the waiting period is longer. Sellers with an established track record get their money quicker. It's not perfect, but certainly much safer than Craig's list.

  4. #4
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    About 1400 eBay transactions, a dozen bikes bought and sold on CL, a few cars. It's like anything else, if you are a moron, you will have drama. If you are professional, pay attention, are honorable..it's easy peasy.

    Afterall, you are just buying and selling to people like yourself...your neighbors so to speak. If you attract thieves, deadbeats, s/kickers,...take a look in the mirror.

  5. #5
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    For my 1st Time, I'm having an Ebay buyer returning an item --- in the claim of the cassette having the wrong size freewheel within the cassette.
    I listed a cassette that I bought some time ago from another Ebay seller --- a cassette that I never used and decided to not keep.
    The buyer claiming that the cassette having the wrong size freewheel within it; as I don't know how he came to this analogy. As I sold it in how I received it from the other seller.
    The buyer never sent me an image to the actual freewheel. Only sent me a picture from a source of a freewheel -- so to give me an idea of what he be talking about. As if I not know what I be selling & wanted to do something to him? But he claim to give me positive feedback be it that I accept the return. But Ebay said that I won't progress to make a return from the past Ebay seller who I bought the same item from.
    So I try to get this resolved without a case being filed by either of us.
    There are Ebay customers that want something for the lea$t they can get. Just like Criagslist Seller$ are with what they want for gaining from buyers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molten View Post
    For my 1st Time, I'm having an Ebay buyer returning an item --- in the claim of the cassette having the wrong size freewheel within the cassette.
    I listed a cassette that I bought some time ago from another Ebay seller --- a cassette that I never used and decided to not keep.
    The buyer claiming that the cassette having the wrong size freewheel within it; as I don't know how he came to this analogy. As I sold it in how I received it from the other seller.
    The buyer never sent me an image to the actual freewheel. Only sent me a picture from a source of a freewheel -- so to give me an idea of what he be talking about. As if I not know what I be selling & wanted to do something to him? But he claim to give me positive feedback be it that I accept the return. But Ebay said that I won't progress to make a return from the past Ebay seller who I bought the same item from.
    So I try to get this resolved without a case being filed by either of us.
    There are Ebay customers that want something for the lea$t they can get. Just like Criagslist Seller$ are with what they want for gaining from buyers.
    Something is a little confused there.
    Freewheel --> NO CASSETTE.
    Freehub --> Needs Cassette.

    Shimano and Campy are different.
    Shimano 10 speed aluminum freehubs only take 10 speed cassettes.
    Otherwise, one has 6 spd (old), 7 spd, (8,9,10 spd), and 11 spd freehub/cassettes for Shimano, and the customer should know what they are buying.

    Anyway, I don't see why you don't just take it back and resell, as long as the customer pays shipping, and hasn't damaged the merchandise.

    ===============

    As far as E-Bay vs Craigslist. You have the big protection with Craigslist that you can look at the item first hand in person. Even test-ride a bike if you wish. If concerned, look up the serial number in a stolen bike registry.

    I've bought lots of small items on E-Bay, but never a whole bike. However, it is great for locating rare items.

    Consider that shipping of a complete bike will be about $100 or so, more if it is coming overseas. So, if you are buying a $300 bike, then that really adds to the price. On the other hand, for a $2000 bike, that shipping cost will get lost in the noise fo the pricing. Nonetheless, it is not an insignificant charge.

  7. #7
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Here are many of the things I have learned about Buying Bicycles On Ebay. The article focuses on complete bicycles but the information, warnings and procedures all apply to components, as well. Hope it is a help.
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

  8. #8
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    --------Don't Do It--------




    “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.” Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    I buy and sell all sorts of stuff on eBay. With the exception of a couple of problems over hundreds of transactions it is all good.

    I use Paypal most of the time and they can help if an issue arises. Most buyers/sellers are, as stated, our friends and neighbors, not the bunch of
    dishonest predators some may imagine.

    A certain amount of caution is called for but that would be true of buying items at a yard sale.

    You can find just about anything and quickly compare prices, a great tool for sure.
    "ready to navigate"

  10. #10
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    I have had my paypal and ebay accounts hacked and while I have not lost any money it took a long time to sort out. Any item that I am worried I might have to return gets purchased from the LBS. In my business experience buying from a dealer or distributor has been the cheapest in the long run.

  11. #11
    Home School Valedictorian 02Giant's Avatar
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    I first registered with ebay in 1999, in all of the transactions since, I received the wrong item once, the seller quickly resolved the issue at no additional cost to me.

    Deal with people with high feedback ratings, look at any negatives they may have and decide from there.
    We've got no fear, no doubt, all in balls out

  12. #12
    Senior Member bruised's Avatar
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    It's a bit of a crap shoot. Obviously a key factor is the shipping. You're going to get people who don't want to take the time (and expense) that's involved in packing things properly. So now you have the eBay experience coupled with that of the shipping company. If the thing arrives bent, and it's sold as 'no returns', you could find yourself embroiled in a dispute with UPS or FedEx whereby you'll be piggy in the middle. The shipper will claim it was adequately packed, the shipping Co. may dispute this. Then somewhere along the line a finger may be pointed in your direction since you signed for the package and thus accepted its condition (not many UPS drivers will stand and wait until you unpack something and inspect it).

    I've been involved in one of these with another 'bulky' item which arrived with me having been damaged-in-transit.

    It's another good reason for buying from your LBS.
    More about Fat Biking, Touring and general madness at 'Fat Man Biking' Blog.

    I love 'soccer' - America’s Sport of the Future Since 1972.

  13. #13
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the advice. My LBS simply does not have what I want. It's the type of thing that can be purchased
    from Ebay, or, if you are very, very lucky, found at yard sales or thrift stores. i.e. The proverbial story about the guy
    who found a classic Corvette in a barn in the midwest...

    -Jeromephone, any guesses as to why your Ebay account was hacked?

    -Does Ebay offer two-factor authentication? This can go a long way toward
    keeping the criminals (Let's call them exactly what they are.) at bay.
    "The Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on a government contract." Robert A. Heinlein

  14. #14
    Senior Member Needles's Avatar
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    I have over 800 Ebay transactions. I can't think of one where I was just duped, nor can I think of one where the other party was not willing to work out any problems. I've restored a lot of old motorcycles, and without Ebay, it would not have been possible. (Where else are you going to find the chrome thing that covers the seam between the muffler and header pipe for an '82 Kawasaki KZ750 twin?) Part of my project to convert my '87 Giant MTB to a commuter is to have the rear rim laced to a hybrid Shimano rear hub (3 speeds IGH, 7, maybe 8 on the cassette. I found a NEW Shimano IF-C530 hub, and am waiting on the hub shifter for it. Oddly, and more to the point for the OP, I'm waiting for resolution on a 7 speed beach cruiser (Firmstrong Urban) I ordered, to have something to ride when I start on the Iguana. The seller, with over 12000 positive transactions, didn't have the color I wanted. I could point out that their listing was for the right color, but, it seems NOBODY has that color (Matte Gray) in stock. I went to Ebay because none of the LBSs had the bike I wanted. Anyway, They offered me a refund, but I elected to give them until the end of the month, as they were expecting another shipment from that manufacturer. My experiences with both Ebay and PayPal have been entirely positive, but, I am an informed consumer. I generally know what I want, much to the chagrin of many car salesmen.
    Jim
    "Use whatever works."

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Needles View Post
    I have over 800 Ebay transactions. I can't think of one where I was just duped, nor can I think of one where the other party was not willing to work out any problems. I've restored a lot of old motorcycles, and without Ebay, it would not have been possible. (Where else are you going to find the chrome thing that covers the seam between the muffler and header pipe for an '82 Kawasaki KZ750 twin?) Part of my project to convert my '87 Giant MTB to a commuter is to have the rear rim laced to a hybrid Shimano rear hub (3 speeds IGH, 7, maybe 8 on the cassette. I found a NEW Shimano IF-C530 hub, and am waiting on the hub shifter for it. Oddly, and more to the point for the OP, I'm waiting for resolution on a 7 speed beach cruiser (Firmstrong Urban) I ordered, to have something to ride when I start on the Iguana. The seller, with over 12000 positive transactions, didn't have the color I wanted. I could point out that their listing was for the right color, but, it seems NOBODY has that color (Matte Gray) in stock. I went to Ebay because none of the LBSs had the bike I wanted. Anyway, They offered me a refund, but I elected to give them until the end of the month, as they were expecting another shipment from that manufacturer. My experiences with both Ebay and PayPal have been entirely positive, but, I am an informed consumer. I generally know what I want, much to the chagrin of many car salesmen.
    My experience exactly Jim, anything I want I just type the description and, most of the time, there are several of what I am looking for. I have done up 4 or so vintage Italian bikes and always found any part I needed on Ebay. Same with motorcycles. I actually can not imagine trying to do a project using the local brick morter stores and the "you can't get that" attitude.
    "ready to navigate"

  16. #16
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    The ebay and paypal hack came at the same time and I never did find out which came first. I called my bank and they said my bank account tied to the paypal was drained I had just purchased something on ebay so I really don't know what happened different passwords etc. Got all my money back but don't do much with paypal or ebay anymore. Might have even been a bank problem but I suspect it may have come from someone getting into my work computer

  17. #17
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruised View Post
    If the thing arrives bent, and it's sold as 'no returns'....
    No such thing as "no returns" on ebay, use paypal and anything you buy can be returned, no matter what the seller claims.
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  18. #18
    Senior Member bruised's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    No such thing as "no returns" on ebay, use paypal and anything you buy can be returned, no matter what the seller claims.
    Yes you can return anything. That doesn't mean you'll automatically get a refund if you lodge a dispute. If the seller can demonstrate that what you've purchased was accurately described in the listing and that the item was adequately packed/shipped then you could be out of luck. So yeah, send it back if that makes you feel better.

    Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 7.28.18 AM.png
    More about Fat Biking, Touring and general madness at 'Fat Man Biking' Blog.

    I love 'soccer' - America’s Sport of the Future Since 1972.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruised View Post
    It's a bit of a crap shoot. Obviously a key factor is the shipping. You're going to get people who don't want to take the time (and expense) that's involved in packing things properly. .
    I have bought and sold a dozen or so bikes on ebay. I always ask the seller prior to bidding if they have shipped a bike before. Ask them to describe how they will pack it,etc. Communication is key.

    I bought a frame from a guy in Poland. The frame arrived in a box, no packing material at all, and the fork end was sticking out of the box. Had to take it to the bike shop to get the fork ends aligned.

    Another bike was shipped to me, again no packing material. The seller put the wheels in the box with the freewheel facing the frame. In transit the freewheel ground away at the paint on the seat tube. An otherwise pristine paint job.

    Also realize a very small percentage of the population can measure properly. A 60cm bike I purchased on ebay turned out to be a 62cm. How that happened? The guy the seller bought it from told him it was a 60cm. So the seller never bothered to measure the bike. I have had this happen several times, particularly on CL.

  20. #20
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    Buying from "vendors" on ebay is great. After getting a flat Saturday and having a good size cut in the tire, I purchased a pair of tires and 2 new tubes off ebay vendors for about 1/2 the cost of getting them from a LBS... and i didn't have to drive to get them.

    Now buying from private parties can be tricky. Make sure you full understand what they are selling, the condition and if it's returnable.

    I've bought many vintage car parts off of ebay without any problems. There are also many sellers gouging the price and I guess they feel sooner or later a sucker will buy it. But that's not me.

  21. #21
    USMC Veteran, 1975-1977 qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I began using ebay in 2000, I never have had bad transaction, either as buyer or seller. I got my '97 R500T Cannondale, off of ebay, in 2007, it was totally painless, and the seller was great about his packing the bike, and its shipping. Lots of components and basic parts over the years, as well. The buyer protection plan is slanted towards the buyer, do some research in the C&V Forum about using ebay, and how to avoid the pitfalls that could spring up.

    I always carefully check the seller out, if they are less than 99%, its wise to read through the unsat transactions, and look at the time frame for the various actions. The Chinese and the Eastern European sellers get a pass, it it looks too good to be true, well, you know the rest. I won't buy a knock off under any circumstance.

    Just proclaiming the you are not to use ebay is kind of foolish, if someone had bad experiences then tell us what happened, without the dramatics, or embellishments. Nothing is perfect, but too many of those that are saying they will never use ebay again, tried to get "something for nothing", or were looking at things with rose colored glasses.

    All of that said, unless you just cannot get what you need, or want, at the LBS, ebay is a viable, safe, option.

    Bill
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

  22. #22
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruised View Post
    Yes you can return anything. That doesn't mean you'll automatically get a refund if you lodge a dispute. If the seller can demonstrate that what you've purchased was accurately described in the listing and that the item was adequately packed/shipped then you could be out of luck. So yeah, send it back if that makes you feel better.

    Screen shot 2015-06-01 at 7.28.18 AM.png
    You don't know what you speak of, if you had actual experience and knowledge you would not have made the post above.

    As a buyer, all you have to do is claim it wasn't as described and send it back, you'll get a refund. That's how ebay works nowadays. Ebay cranked up the buyer protection keep their customers several years ago. So send it back, not only will you feel better, you'll get a refund....
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  23. #23
    Senior Member 70sSanO's Avatar
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    I have bought a ton of stuff off of ebay for years. Complete bikes, frames, guitars, and who knows how many tools and parts. For the most part, I have had nothing but great experiences, but I have not sold anything on ebay. It really is the only place to easily find good used parts. Craigslist is fine for some things, but you have to be committed to drive to buy the item.

    You just need to do your homework, ask questions, and check feedback.

    John

  24. #24
    Senior Member bruised's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    You don't know what you speak of, if you had actual experience and knowledge you would not have made the post above. ...
    Wow. I'll just leave it at that.
    More about Fat Biking, Touring and general madness at 'Fat Man Biking' Blog.

    I love 'soccer' - America’s Sport of the Future Since 1972.

  25. #25
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruised View Post
    Wow. I'll just leave it at that.
    That's the best tactic to take when you're wrong....
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

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