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Old 10-11-10, 10:16 PM   #1
vol
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How do you let potential buyer test-ride your bike?

When you test-ride a bike from a bike shop, they take your credit card and id card. If you are selling your bike, what do you do when the potential buyer wants to test-ride it, so that he/she can't take your bike and disappear?
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Old 10-11-10, 10:33 PM   #2
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I have not sold one of my own bikes to a total stranger yet, but when I go see potential bikes that I want to buy from strangers on Craigslist I leave them my driver's license. That and sometimes I will hand over the whole amount of money for them to hold on to whilst I go on the test ride.
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Old 10-11-10, 11:01 PM   #3
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Not sure of your situation, but for me, they would need to drive to my house. They will be leaving their huge hunk of metal behind. I guess they could steal a car, but that'd be pretty far fetched.
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Old 10-11-10, 11:19 PM   #4
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I looked at a bike today. When I asked about a test ride, the seller said he would like to hold my drivers license and credit card. A drivers license maybe, but no way am I letting a credit card out of my sight. I decided I didn't need a test ride, bought the bike and brought it home. It rides great.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:30 AM   #5
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when i sold my tri bike, i held the guy's drivers license, and knew which car was his. sat next to the car until he came back. If i do it again i'd probably ask for all/most of the money to be left, as the entire time he was gone, i was worried about not him stealing the bike, but crashing or breaking it and then refusing to pay me for it. luckily it worked out fine and after a short 5 min he was back, 5 min after that i has one less bike and 1200 more dollars.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:48 AM   #6
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Perhaps, unlike buying clothes, most people do end up buying the bike they have come to see and test, unless there is some problem the seller had not disclosed before the meeting?
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Old 10-12-10, 02:14 AM   #7
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Ask for all money upfront like the previous posters have stated. Don't accept the driver's license since it could easily be fake.

Though, I've never done this myself. Reflecting back to the many used bicycles I sold through craigslist, I consider myself lucky that no one stole the bikes when they went for a test ride.

If I were to sell any bikes now, I'd want the full amount upfront if they wanted to take a test ride. If it was a really expensive bike, I'll write up a document for them to sign stating that the bike will be considered sold for the agreed price of X if the rider damages the bike when test riding. End of story.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:10 AM   #8
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Take the money and the driver's license. As soon as he/she is out of sight, take off and drop the ID at the nearest postal box. fastest transaction ever
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Old 10-12-10, 07:35 AM   #9
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I sell lots of refurbished bikes. The potential buyers arrive by car.... Don't see a problem.

However.... Years ago, I got a call of a stolen motorcycle. I arrived to find the disgruntled owner of the bike, and the disgruntled cab driver who had driven the "buyer" to half-a-dozen sellers before he found the one he wanted.
He'd run up about 50 bucks in cab fare.... Took a test ride and never came back.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:49 AM   #10
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I've sold two bikes. With the first one the guy parked his SUV in my driveway with the keys in it. The second bike was sold to someone I knew.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:30 PM   #11
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If the person is a serious buyer they know to give lD and money
before taking a bike for a test ride. If they're offended they don't
know how the game is played correctly.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vol View Post
When you test-ride a bike from a bike shop, they take your credit card and id card. If you are selling your bike, what do you do when the potential buyer wants to test-ride it, so that he/she can't take your bike and disappear?
You answered your own question, mate. Take their ID card and their credit card while they test ride the bike. If they say no then it's no test ride just like the LBS does.
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Old 10-12-10, 01:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
You answered your own question, mate. Take their ID card and their credit card while they test ride the bike. If they say no then it's no test ride just like the LBS does.

Wow, you guys must live in some, um, great places. I've probably test-ridden dozens of bikes over the years, at many bike shops, and not a single one has ever asked for an ID, even when I've said I'll be back in an hour.

Maybe they think I'm just too fat to get very far. ;-)
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Old 10-12-10, 01:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by knobster View Post
Not sure of your situation, but for me, they would need to drive to my house. They will be leaving their huge hunk of metal behind. I guess they could steal a car, but that'd be pretty far fetched.
I figure they'll come back for their car. If not, the police can use the license to find the owner. I'd never leave a credit card with a stranger, especially not with my license. That's all that's needed to start using my credit card online.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
You answered your own question, mate. Take their ID card and their credit card while they test ride the bike. If they say no then it's no test ride just like the LBS does.
Problem is, even if I have their credit card, I have no way to charge the card like a business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
Wow, you guys must live in some, um, great places. I've probably test-ridden dozens of bikes over the years, at many bike shops, and not a single one has ever asked for an ID, even when I've said I'll be back in an hour.

Maybe they think I'm just too fat to get very far. ;-)
Maybe their worry more about their bike being crushed by you than it being stolen

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
I figure they'll come back for their car. If not, the police can use the license to find the owner. I'd never leave a credit card with a stranger, especially not with my license. That's all that's needed to start using my credit card online.
If they ride the bike away, you can drive their car to chase them.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:34 PM   #16
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Someone I know trying to sell a bike went riding with the potential purchaser. The 'purchaser' made a run for it and was promptly chased down by the seller on his upgeared, tricked out older ATB and was body checked into a curb. I think there was a scratch made on the paintwork of the crashed machine the potential thief had a rather bad day, however.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:43 PM   #17
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I sell about a half dozen or so bikes a year. Every single buyer showed up in a car, often with another person or two. I've never asked for any ID or money to hold before a test ride and never had a problem. I've also test ridden plenty of bikes myself and never been asked for any type of collateral.

As a side note, all the bikes I sell have been refurbished to perfect working order, and polished clean by me. I then price them below the going market value and list them as FIRM. Almost every one was sold to the first person who showed up, for my asking price. This is easy to do because I get most for free, or close to free. It's also fun watching folks get so excited about getting a great deal.
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