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Old 07-08-05, 08:59 PM   #1
Dougmt
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I recently re-sold a 21 year old bike that I had won in an Ebay auction this spring. The bike had a complete description and including the following "key" descriptions from the guy who sold it to me:
"Not ridden for the past 12 years."
"Frame has been touched up in many places due to small nicks and some rub spots on the paint (I did not want to take the chance of the steel rusting so I was always careful to get these scratches and rubs touched up with paint as soon as I spotted them)."
"New items: brake pads, brake and derailleur housings and cables, Forte GT2 27" X 1.25" tires, tubes, KMC HP 20 chain, bearing sets, alloy water bottle cage, gel bar wrap, Forte men's Contour seat. Fully tuned and ready to ride!"
"Have your own piece of history on this fully functional bike! This bike shows signs of wear but is running very nicely."

And I added the following"
"*NOTE:Most of the above is from the original EBAY seller. I purchased it on EBAY this Spring as a touring bike but I built up a Stumpjumper instead. There is some minor surface rust on the rear cassette and chain but the chain was brand new when I recieved the bike. The new gel tape has a very small tear on the left handlebar. There is MINOR surface rust on a few items on the bike like the reflector mounts. I did not ride the bike after I won the auction but everything works. "

Well they claim that the front skewer was missing- it wasn't. I distinctly remember putting it into the bag that held the pedals and seat. I live in an RV and boxed the bike inside the RV... if the skewer wasnt there it would be here and it isn't. I did offer to pay for the alleged skewer if they sent me a dated photocopy of the reciept.
The biggy is that they claim that after pedaling not more than 5 times the derailleur went into the rear spokes and caused a huge mess.
Now I checked the bike out very carefully before shipping it. I cleaned everything, adjusted the headset(it was loose), and gave it a good once over including checking the shifting and brake action before boxing up the bike. They want me to do "something" about it. I feel that they purchased the bike as described and that I could have absolutely no knowledge that the derailleur would misbehave.
This is their exact complaint:
"Doug,
Well, I received the bike today and with some assembly
(including a trip the bike store to purchase a font wheel quick
release) went for a ride. And, literally not more than five petals
in, the rear derailleur caught hold of something and ended up
snagged on the spokes in a mangled mess, bent in several
places and rendered useless. Considering you advertised the
bike as "fully functional" and "running very nicely," I can't help
but feel a little misled and more than a little disappointed. How
do you think we should we proceed?"

What would you do??????
Doug
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Old 07-08-05, 09:09 PM   #2
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Can you clue me in here, when you are shipping a bicycle, is the derailluer removed from the frame or shipped already attached?
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Old 07-08-05, 09:11 PM   #3
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Sounds like shipping damage.
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Old 07-08-05, 09:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Can you clue me in here, when you are shipping a bicycle, is the derailluer removed from the frame or shipped already attached?
Attached with the wheel in place.
The front wheel is usually removed and attached to the bike... after the bike is protected with foam tubing. This bike had a removable hanger added to it sometime in the last umpteen years.
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Old 07-08-05, 09:20 PM   #5
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Hmm - technically you are not obligated, as long as you did not expressly state or imply any warranty; but then, imagine how you would feel as the purchaser. You both acted in good faith to acheive a win - win result; neither of you could have foreseen the failure. If avoiding negative feedback on Ebay is important to you, you may want to come to some kind of compromise. You could offer to split cost of repairs, I suppose. That's being a "nice guy" and I don't think I'd go beyond that, personally. Or, like the poster above said, you could assume it was shipping damage and do nothing (unless you insured the package when you shipped it, in which case file a claim with the shipper).
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Old 07-08-05, 09:28 PM   #6
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Assuming they have a good feedback rating and you think they're being honest, I'd tell them that you're sorry to hear what happened but you had no knowledge of the problem, blah, blah blah. Then, throw it back at them and ask what they'd like you to do. Then, based on their response, you can agree, counter or do nothing.
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Old 07-08-05, 09:30 PM   #7
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Yeah it had $200.00 worth of insurance via fedex. I will lose money if I pay for half the repair... how do you find a replacement 6 speed derailleur (I looked on Ebay) and a rebuild on the rim, plus labor. I'm not a jerk, I offered to pay for the skewer if in fact it was missing. I also asked for pics to detail the damage. I don't think I'm gonna sell another complete bike on Ebay. I know thousands do.. but this is my first time.. and what a PITA!!!
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Old 07-08-05, 09:31 PM   #8
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The buyer should have inspected the bike before he got on it, something that catastrophic just doesn't "literally" happen. I cursory visual inspection would have helped, even a nine year old could tell if something is wrong. Who knows what happened after it he tried to put it together. In his letter he seems miffed at "some assembly". I'd apologize and refund the price of the skewer.
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Old 07-09-05, 05:36 AM   #9
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It's a bike, not a Frisbee. Would you take a bike out of the box and not inspect it before going for a ride? The only thing you owe your buyer is a bit of sympathy. Take this from someone who's completed over 1,000 mostly bicycle related transactions on ebay, with 100% positive feedback.
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Old 07-09-05, 09:12 AM   #10
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I would have to agree with expatriate here. Now that i have a better idea of how these things are packed it sounds like it was likely an error of assembly, or shipping. A bent derailleur hanger may be possible, and this can be fixed. Maybe pay for the skewer if your feeling nice but other than that, nope.
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Old 07-09-05, 01:00 PM   #11
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Find an old bike and take the skewer off there and tell them you're REPLACING the skewer they said is missing.

Then tell them sorry, but it's a shipping problem and to contact the shipper.

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Old 07-09-05, 01:38 PM   #12
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When you tested the shifting did you do so on the stand or on the road under load? Fully functional isn't if untested under load. A slightly bent derailluer hanger can wreak havoc on a bike but be invisible and shift just fine or be dialed in just fine on the stand.
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Old 07-09-05, 01:46 PM   #13
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Sam, I indicated that I did not ride the bike after I recieved it. I didn't even attach the included pedals. I tested it on the stand.
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Old 07-09-05, 02:47 PM   #14
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I would send them a replacement front skewer.. possibly fell out of the bag/box etc.. unlikely but possible.. It could be damage in shipment, he can take it up with the shipment company.. fedex or however you used. Just getting banged around and etc he should have setup the derailleur properly upon receiving it. Alot of bikes being sold on e-bay suggest professional assembly for that reason.. so they are not liable when the person does it themselves. Figure just getting banged around bolt coudl come loose.. cable could stretch..

Offer him $10 for the skewer.. possibly out of my good nature unless it was high end derailuer offer him another $20 for deraileur.. You can pick up a cheap sun race derailuer on biketoolsetc for $10..
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Old 07-09-05, 03:15 PM   #15
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Like mentioned, you aren't obligated to do anything, used goods are inherently 'as is'. However, as a nice guy, you might send something like the following:

"As agreed, I'm happy to pay for the replacement skewer, just fax me a copy of the receipt. As to the derailluer problem, I can assure you the bike was fully functional when it left my hands. In shipping, boxes can get smushed, and things like derailleur hangers can be slightly bent. If this was the case, then it would be a shipping problem that you could take up with FedEx. Since the damage of riding with a bent hanger is done, it may be difficult to prove that it was a shipping problem, but you could file a claim with FedEx nonetheless. If you are not familiar with the pre and post assembly checks involved in assembling a bicycle, you may wish to take it to your local bicycle shop for assistance, assembly and a checkup usually isn't very expensive."

Basically, just be a nice guy, but don't offer to do anything more than you already offered to do. If the fellow has a great plan for how you can help, he'll let you know. If it came down to it, splitting the cost of a derailleur would be a nice thing for you to do. Just remember that, at this point, anything more you do is out of the goodness of your heart, not a legal obligation, and make sure that the buyer is aware of that fact.

peace,
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Old 07-09-05, 03:19 PM   #16
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1. Somebody buys a 21 year old bike from a person who not only admits to not being the original owner but even claims to not having ridden the bike. How much can they reasonably expect from you?

2. What makes you think that their version of the events is accurate? I don't think that you owe them anything. No skewer, no derailleur or wheel repair, nothing.

Not that it's relevant, but how much did you get for the bike? I'd think that the shipping cost would be real close to the value of the bike.
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Old 07-09-05, 05:07 PM   #17
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I smell a scam - ask them for pics of the damage -insist before you do anything else

just out of interest is there any sign of trouble on the feedbacks for this buyer?
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Old 07-09-05, 09:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royalflash
I smell a scam - ask them for pics of the damage -insist before you do anything else

just out of interest is there any sign of trouble on the feedbacks for this buyer?

Yeah, since I asked for pics and a reciept I've heard nothing back BUT there is a chance that due to the weekend they did not get the email yet. Who knows. This was their first time buying on Ebay.
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Old 07-09-05, 10:02 PM   #19
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If the buyer did not get insurance, then he is responsible. That said, it may not be worth the hassle arguing over. Offer to pay for a bike shop to repair the damage up to a certain portion of the value paid. The important thing is to keep your good feedback score or nobody will buy from you.
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Old 07-09-05, 10:33 PM   #20
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There is no insurance that's going to cover the damage they did to the bike. The carrier is not responsible for incidental damage that happened after delivery. And even a single negative feedback, unfair as it may seem, is not likely to deter people from buying form you again. Hopefully you haven't left them any feedback yet.
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Old 07-09-05, 11:11 PM   #21
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Don't forget, if the buyer does leave negative feedback, you can briefly respond with your side of the story. I've bought from sellers with less than 100 percent feedback because the complaints, coupled with the sellers' responses, seemed to be without merit.
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Old 07-10-05, 02:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougmt
This was their first time buying on Ebay.
Doug
that figures -

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Old 07-10-05, 09:46 AM   #23
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I'd offer to send them the value of a used skewer, and explain that shipping is expected to modify ANY bike's adjustments. I'd also explain that it is the customer's responsibility to verify adjustment before riding the bike. Finally, I'd offer them my condolences that they've ruined their perfectly fine bike, but firmly explain that the damage is their fault, not mine. Finally, I'd immediately go to my e-Bay account and prevent them from ever bidding on another of my auctions (look for how to ban a bidder).

I'd give them the benefit of the doubt on their veracity, but make sure that they know that it was their mistake that cost them the bike, not your error. It'll be an expensive lesson to them, but next time, they'll know.
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