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Old 06-21-09, 09:41 AM   #1
syoaran
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Buying a second hand Brompton, need advice

Hi all, been trying to pick up a folding bike within my price range and have a seller on gumtree willing to sell a 2009 brompton (M3L) for about 300. My reservations are two fold:

1) Firstly, he is quite young and got the bike as a present - selling it off to pay for a "cool" bike. I don't think he understands Bromptons model numbers and as such, can not identify it. HE says its red, so I presume it can only be a Brompton S2 or a M3L?
2)He states its very new and made in 2009, but I dont think he knows that for sure. What are the identifying markers for a 2009 model? As far as I can tell, its the seat only.

Is there anything else as a first time folding bike buyer that I should check?

Thank you all out there and wish me good luck.

/Syo
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Old 06-21-09, 09:46 AM   #2
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Can't really advise, but you could do worse than having a look at the brompton website which shows all the various current models. Make sure it isn't stolen goods. 300 sounds a snip. Good luck.

www.brompton.co.uk

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Old 06-21-09, 10:20 AM   #3
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Saddle, matt finish to the paint and new Brompton frame sticker showing the bike in various states of fold (on left side of frame).

Do you have a picture or link?
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Old 06-21-09, 10:43 AM   #4
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Syo - see this earlier thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-487587.html

I'd say it is worth Googling the phone number (with and without spaces) to see whether they are selling other bikes under different names.
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Old 06-21-09, 11:20 AM   #5
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http://www.gumtree.com/london/73/40654373.html (350 rather than 300, mis-typed)

Searched the number, 2 other bikes sold (one I couldnt bring up). After reading the thread you linked, starting to think its "hot"....

Consensus?

Last edited by syoaran; 06-21-09 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 06-21-09, 06:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by syoaran View Post
http://www.gumtree.com/london/73/40654373.html (350 rather than 300, mis-typed)

Searched the number, 2 other bikes sold (one I couldnt bring up). After reading the thread you linked, starting to think its "hot"....

Consensus?
1. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. (this includes bikes for sale).

2. I don't know how things are done or what is legal in the UK-assuming that you are there as you stated the price in pounds, but I don't deal financially with minors (children under the age of 18 here in the US) as they cannot sign legal documents or make major decisions without their parent's or guardian's permission. Since he appears to be a minor-or sounds like one-either speak to his parents, ask for formal identification (over here if the suspect is thought or looks like a minor, he/she must be carded), or forget it.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 06-21-09 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:27 AM   #7
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I think eBay might be a better (and safer) place to get a second-hand Brompton.
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Old 06-22-09, 06:04 AM   #8
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Id be wanting to assure myself that he is the owner - especially if he is vague about its model number etc.

Maybe when he says it was a present, he means that he found it outside a shop.

It happens a lot. There is an article in today's Daily Telegraph that lists the times it took for an unsecured bike to be 'found' and removed in various UK cities. In London, it took 17 minutes; in Liverpool nearly three hours, but somebody found and removed all of the bikes pretty quickly. As a person who once bought a second hand bike from a shop, only to be later told by a friendly policeman that it was on a list of stolen bikes, I would urge caution on any second hand bike purchase. If it were me, I'd want to talk to the people who gave him the bike and see a receipt if possible. That way, you know what you are getting, or at the worst can show that you carried out due diligence when being interviewed about receiving stolen property. The fact that I had a receipt for my stolen bike meant that the police were pretty helpful to me and advised me how best to proceed in order to retain the bike, but if I'd bought it from an unknown person in a pub, I might have been in some difficulty.
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Old 06-22-09, 07:39 AM   #9
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Started asking the guy the serious questions, he bugged out and dumped the SIM card - so I think that answers that question.

Fortunately, found another seller which has proof of purchase and is quite happy to prove its a 2009 model. A little bit more than what I was hoping to spend, but I suppose its better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:06 AM   #10
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Started asking the guy the serious questions, he bugged out and dumped the SIM card - so I think that answers that question.

Fortunately, found another seller which has proof of purchase and is quite happy to prove its a 2009 model. A little bit more than what I was hoping to spend, but I suppose its better to be safe than sorry.
good that it worked out ok in the end for you. do send pics of your brompton.....
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Old 06-24-09, 02:20 AM   #11
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I'm glad you pushed him and didn't end up with a stolen bike. Unfortunately, while most of the people we meet are honest and decent, there are enough of the other sort to make it worthwhile being cautious when buying second hand goods from a private seller. Usually, you can pretty soon get a sense from people of whether you need to ask for proof of ownership. On the other hand, some of the most successful con artists look unimpeachable....

Maddoff - Stanford, et al.
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