Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-25-07, 06:35 PM   #1
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
Thread Starter
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
Posts: 4,699
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
Is asking for prrof of ownership on Craigslist or Ebay an over the top question?

I found a Trek 520 on Craigslist. The ad had very little information. The bike was selling pretty cheaply at $200. I asked the seller why so cheap? What is the year? And can he provide proof of ownership. I figured either it is very old or it is stolen (he did mention it was in working order but in need of a tune up). Well the guy freaked out. He said I was calling him a thief.

Do you think it is over the top to ask for proof of ownership when buying a bike?
spinnaker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-07, 06:38 PM   #2
BobFixedGerald
pretty generally unworthy
 
BobFixedGerald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Marblehead MA
Bikes: Moots PsychloYBB, Specialized Crossroads, LeMond Alpe d' Huez
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have asked sellers a couple of times for evidence of ownership and have not thought anything of it. The sellers did not seem to have any issues about it either.
BobFixedGerald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-07, 06:44 PM   #3
bobn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: South Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 726
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I would not be offended because I have proof of ownership. I can understand that someone would not want to be the recipient of stolen property. Why encourage these S.O.B.'s.
bobn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-07, 06:48 PM   #4
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
I don't think it's an unreasonable question. However, there are probably a LOT of legally owned bikes that don't have any proof of ownership available for them, either. Some of us just don't save stuff like that. Come to think of it, I've got a bike out in the garage that I bought for $15 off craigslist, and I doubt I have any paperwork for it now.

Related questions that might be informative are to ask how many miles on it, where did they buy it. If they don't seem to know much about bikes, ask who does their repair work.

A GOOD thief wouldn't freak out when you asked these things, he'd just tell you a GOOD lie. "I inherited it from my brother a month ago" might be a good start there.
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-07, 06:53 PM   #5
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
Thread Starter
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora
Posts: 4,699
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 337 Post(s)
He claims he "found" this one in someone's "garbage". I have to ask myself, who in their right mind would throw out a Trek 520?

Well I did find a huge stuffed bear in the garbage recently. It still had the price tag, $100 and not a spot on it. I keep looking for a bicycle but so far nothing.

Judging from two of his emails, he is either a freak or a thief. Either way I don't want to deal with him.

I thought maybe I broke some unwritten etiquette rule by asking for proof of ownership.
spinnaker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-07, 07:55 PM   #6
twahl
Tom (ex)Builder
 
twahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Manassas, VA
Bikes: Specialized Allez
Posts: 2,814
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For what it's worth, I doubt I have receipts for most of the bikes in my house. For the most part retailers have records of the sale, so I don't bother.

He may have found the bike, especially if it's an older one. I see stranger things sitting on the curb on trash day. Someone's wife decides the garage needs to be cleaned and the bike hasn't been ridden in 4 years, she says it's got to go. Someone inherits a house and there's a bike in the garage, out it goes. Any number of circumstances could lead to a decent bike sitting out as trash.
__________________
Tom

"It hurts so good..."
twahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 12:21 AM   #7
bmclaughlin807
Crankenstein
 
bmclaughlin807's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Spokane
Bikes: Novara Randonee (TankerBelle)
Posts: 4,038
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
He claims he "found" this one in someone's "garbage". I have to ask myself, who in their right mind would throw out a Trek 520?

Well I did find a huge stuffed bear in the garbage recently. It still had the price tag, $100 and not a spot on it. I keep looking for a bicycle but so far nothing.

Judging from two of his emails, he is either a freak or a thief. Either way I don't want to deal with him.

I thought maybe I broke some unwritten etiquette rule by asking for proof of ownership.
Actually, I saw a decent Trek on a trash pile one day... with trekking bars on it, even. I was on my way to work and didn't want to take the time to grab it... then a mile later I changed my mind, went back, and it was already gone.

edit: Oh, and I don't have proof of ownership on ANY of my bikes... well, maybe one of them, only because the Shop that sold it to me would remember me. At the same time I wouldn't freak out on someone that asked for proof of ownership... just explain why I don't have any proof, and if the buyer is uncomfortable with that, then I'll wait for the next buyer.
__________________
"There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson
bmclaughlin807 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 04:08 AM   #8
Doug5150
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: IL-USA
Bikes:
Posts: 1,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
...Do you think it is over the top to ask for proof of ownership when buying a bike?
No, it ain't.
If he bought it new he shouldn't get offended it anyone should ask if he's still got the original receipt.

And he should give out the serial number too, if anyone asks.
~
Doug5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 04:14 AM   #9
Ziemas
Senior Member
 
Ziemas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riga, Latvia
Bikes:
Posts: 10,082
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
You are asking him to prove he's not a thief. Wouldn't you be offended if someone accused you of stealing?

FWIW, I also don't have receipts for all my bikes, yet none of them are stolen.
Ziemas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 05:44 AM   #10
Stacey
Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP)
 
Stacey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 9,161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When my flip bikes come from Sally, GW, yard sales or garage cleanouts... How can I prove ownership?
__________________
Stacey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 06:00 AM   #11
JeffB502
Arrogant Safety Nanny
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Maria, CA
Bikes: 2007 Trek 7.2 FX, 2008 Trek Madone 5.2
Posts: 554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How about a bill of sale?

The one linked above is from the California DMV, but change a few boxes here and there and it should be able to work for a bicycle. Or just a straight handwritten bill of sale...better than nothing. If you get the bike from the original owner maybe they'll have the original receipt or a copy of it to keep with the bill of sale.
JeffB502 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 09:02 AM   #12
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Proof of ownership? How about proof of theft? Possession is 9/10's of the law and i suppose the other tenth relies on the proof of guilt. I would probably have to look pretty damned hard to find "proof of ownership" for a lot of things i own. Why do i have to prove that i own them?

I'd probably tell you to buzz off.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 09:39 AM   #13
bobn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: South Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 726
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Scenario-------------Your bike/any of your property is stolen. You see someone else with it. Demand it back. Other party tells you to buzz off. You call the police. Prove it's yours!! Any kind of bill of sale is better than nothing. I have bought bikes on Ebay and printed out all the correspondence kept copies of money orders envelopes and mailing labels. At least I have a paper trail. No one is going to keep copies of every bill they get, but the more important ones should be kept. Which are the more important ones? Leave that up to the discression of the owner.
bobn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 10:48 AM   #14
jnb-rare
Senior Member
 
jnb-rare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: Dahon Mu SL
Posts: 126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't be offended in the least if someone asked me. For one of my bikes (recent puchase) I have the bill of sale, anyway. For the other bike (20 years old), I don't, and would simply say so. If someone chose not to purchase for that reason, I'd understand.

If you're concerned, politely ask (via email or phone) before you go to see the bike. If you're concerned only after meeting the person or seeing the bike, you could simply say "I'm asking because I've had a bad experience in the past."

It sounds as if you were right to walk away from this one, though.
jnb-rare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 04:52 PM   #15
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Note that the proof-of-ownership is assumed with cars- it's called a "Title". Buy a $100 car, and the state issues a title to go with it, and it's a reasonable, in fact, an expected, question to inquire about having the title. Buy a $5,000 dollar bicycle, and there's no such title. If ALL bikes were pricy, they'd probably do titles like on cars.
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 05:04 PM   #16
lima_bean
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Bikes: Jamis Nova
Posts: 714
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portis View Post
Why do i have to prove that i own them?

Because you are selling a commonly stolen item and the buyer may want to try and protect himself from losing the item and facing possible legal consequences.
lima_bean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-07, 08:16 PM   #17
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Another thought: If you steal an expensive bicycle, and ride it until something breaks, what do you do with it? Take it to the bike shop and pay big bucks to have it fixed? Use your own knowledge and elbow grease to fix it? Or go steal another one and throw the first one on the trash heap? IE, just because it came from the trash doesn't mean it's legit either.
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-07, 12:30 AM   #18
Doug5150
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: IL-USA
Bikes:
Posts: 1,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
You are asking him to prove he's not a thief. Wouldn't you be offended if someone accused you of stealing?

FWIW, I also don't have receipts for all my bikes, yet none of them are stolen.
Yes--and if you were selling one to me, I'd ask for the serial number beforehand. I'd search it online, and I'd also go to the local PD and ask them if it's been reported stolen.
~
Doug5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-07, 03:24 AM   #19
CommuterRun
Conservative Hippie
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wakulla Co. FL
Bikes:
Posts: 4,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Do you think it is over the top to ask for proof of ownership when buying a bike?
Not at all. In fact, that's a very good idea. However, if I were the seller you would be buying from someone else, simply because I would be unable to provide what you asked for.
CommuterRun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-07, 07:37 AM   #20
operator
cab horn
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione
Posts: 28,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
IE, just because it came from the trash doesn't mean it's legit either.
It doesn't mean it's not legit either. What's more likely. Someone throwing out a good bike because they don't use it anymore or something trivial is wrong with it or your convuluted story about a theif.

Asking for proof of ownership is a waste of time on CL. Do you do that for ebay as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
Yes--and if you were selling one to me, I'd ask for the serial number beforehand. I'd search it online, and I'd also go to the local PD and ask them if it's been reported stolen.
~
Rofl.

Quote:
Do you think it is over the top to ask for proof of ownership when buying a bike?
Not over the top. But bordering on rude since it tells you jack ****. What are you going to do, not buy any bike off cragislist without proof of ownership? How many people do you think have "proof" of ownership? I don't. I built my bike from the frame up. I certainly aren't going to waste 300 hours of my time wading through my receipts if I even have them to give it to you so you can "check". I would click next email and reply:

Yes the bike is still available.

Last edited by operator; 11-27-07 at 07:42 AM.
operator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-07, 12:24 PM   #21
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
"What's more likely. Someone throwing out a good bike because they don't use it anymore or something trivial is wrong with it or your convuluted story about a theif."

My point is that even if the story is true, it doesn't guarantee legal ownership. That doesn't mean you oughtn't ever buy a bike- see above. I'm not saying that is why bikes really end up in the trash (that could be a research job for somebody...that and the 1-shoe beside the road thing).
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-07, 12:31 PM   #22
edzo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 1,564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
He claims he "found" this one in someone's "garbage". I have to ask myself, who in their right mind would throw out a Trek 520?

Well I did find a huge stuffed bear in the garbage recently. It still had the price tag, $100 and not a spot on it. I keep looking for a bicycle but so far nothing.

Judging from two of his emails, he is either a freak or a thief. Either way I don't want to deal with him.

I thought maybe I broke some unwritten etiquette rule by asking for proof of ownership.
come to my neighborhood. you would not believe what people toss to the curb. (garbage collection will pick up anything you put there any week)

I could wait 1 year and essentially have furniture, a computer, several bikes, books, microwave and fireplace...all from the local garbage put out for collection.

oh yeah and a Trek 520 ?, hell I'd throw it out if I had one. I have a specialized rockhopper I need to get rid of. 100% functional, I just don't ride it and it is taking up space
edzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-07, 12:53 PM   #23
swc7916
Senior Member
 
swc7916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Machias, WA
Bikes: Rodriguez Toucan tandem, Rodriguez Rainer Lite sport/touring
Posts: 718
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would find it offensive. I would not do business with someone who was suspicious of me and began the transaction by making me first prove that I was honest. If the deal seems too good to be true and you have bad feelings about it to begin with, let it go.
swc7916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-07, 01:55 PM   #24
bobn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: South Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 726
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I think a lot has to do with HOW you ask for it. IE: Do you have the bill of sale so we can transfer ownership? I just want to be able to prove that I bought and paid for it and I am the new owner. Do you have the owners manual? Can you provide me with a bill of sale for my records? I wouldn't worry about a $50 transfer, but once you get into the hundreds or thousands, I want peace of mind that I'm not going to get a knock on the door and perhaps be accused of receiving stolen property and lose the item to the rightful owner. This is just my opinion.

Last edited by bobn; 11-28-07 at 02:37 PM.
bobn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:51 PM.