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  1. #1
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    Selling a bike on CraigsList

    My desire to start commuting by bike led me to make a purchase before I truly knew what type of bike I actually needed. If I could do it over again I would have joined this forum prior to making the buy. Lesson learned.

    The situation is that I have found several prospects of used hybrid bikes to suit my needs, and I have a almost new mountain bike that needs to go. My mountain bike, even though looks brand new, shows too many signs of use to return to the store. So I'm left with ebay or craigslist.

    My question is what types experiences do people have with selling a bike through craigslist? It's perfectly understandable that someone would want to test ride a bike first, but I'm concerned with having it stolen in the process. Anyone ask for a driver's license first, or any type of collateral? Is just having their phone number enough piece of mind to let a stranger ride off on your bike while you're standing in some grocery store parking lot?

  2. #2
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    I have sold three bike using craigslist. I state in the ad that it is a local sale - cash only basis. In all cases buyers met met me at my house for the test ride. Given that their car was parked in my driveway, no worries about taking off with the bike.
    It's a good day to ride.
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  3. #3
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    Yes, naturally if they drive up I wouldn't have much concern. However, I have sold through CL before where the buyer showed up on foot.

    About a year or so back I met with a buyer for a roof rack I was selling. This guy wanted the rack and asked if I would trade for it, and preceded to pull out a Crocodile Dundee sized bowie knife (to offer up for trade). I was standing within a meter of this guy when he pulled it out so I wasn't happy about that. This is why I prefer to only deal in public places away from where I live.
    Last edited by Radials983; 05-07-11 at 04:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    I've sold dozens of bikes on C-list, no problems. Only cash. Not checks, money orders or drafts. Meeting in public areas with a lot of folks around might increase your comfort level.

  5. #5
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Meet in a busy public place and if you feel sketched out by the buyer ask them to give you the cash as collateral before they test ride

    there was a post in the fixed gear forum where someone did a test ride and the potential customer rode away with the bike so it is possible. So far i haven't asked for collateral up front, though if I were selling a bike worth $500 or more I definitely would expect some kind of collateral
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
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  6. #6
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    Our local police dept. says to come on up and do it in their parking lot. Their office windows overlook the lot. bk

  7. #7
    cycling 4 fun
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    As others have stated, always meet in a busy public place. Inviting strangers off CL to your home is just asking for trouble.

  8. #8
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    I sold a bike on Craigslist to a guy who lives in New York. I was suspicious about the transaction and told him that I wanted to deal locally but since the bike was a good deal for him, he went through the trouble of contacting bike shops to find out if they would ship it to him. He was serious about getting this bike. I helped him out and contacted a non-profit bike shop that was willing to do it much cheaper. He paid for the bike before I took it down to be boxed then paid the shop. The bike was sent and arrived intact. A few weeks later he was kind enough to send a thank you note and to state his wife was most pleased. I consider myself lucky with that transaction because I know how shady people can be about buying/selling in any forum, but I do not think I would do it again.
    Two Wheels One Love

  9. #9
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    Got some good stuff out of this. Thanks everyone.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radials983 View Post
    Yes, naturally if they drive up I wouldn't have much concern. However, I have sold through CL before where the buyer showed up on foot.

    About a year or so back I met with a buyer for a roof rack I was selling. This guy wanted the rack and asked if I would trade for it, and preceded to pull out a Crocodile Dundee sized bowie knife (to offer up for trade). I was standing within a meter of this guy when he pulled it out so I wasn't happy about that. This is why I prefer to only deal in public places away from where I live.
    I sell on craigslist and ebay on the side for spending money while in school and do several transactions per month. We are talking Ipad's, macbooks, motorcycle, and other high dollar (high profit margin) things I know a lot about.

    Meeting at your bank is always an option.
    Meeting in Wal-Mart lobby happens from time to time.
    I only bring people to my house if I talk to them on the phone first and know where they work or have seen they're online profile. (eg. I don't make people dropping off iphones for repair meet me at walmart, but I do my due diligence first.)
    It's perfectly acceptable to ask to hold collateral if they want a test ride. But think about this: It costs $35 dollar to get a new ID here.

    So for example, with a motorcycle, when they ask to test ride it, I say. "Oh yeah, no problem, but I will have to hold on to the money. 'Cause if you wreck it, you bought it."

    Say that and you're not preemptively accusing them of being a thief

  11. #11
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    Sale went without a hitch, and I got my full asking price.

  12. #12
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    ^ great
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
    1993 Trek 8300 Composite ~ 1993 Diamondback Axis Team Titanium ~ 1995 Diamondback Apex

    Join the Chainstay Brake Mafia!

  13. #13
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctyler View Post
    I have sold three bike using craigslist. I state in the ad that it is a local sale - cash only basis. In all cases buyers met met me at my house for the test ride. Given that their car was parked in my driveway, no worries about taking off with the bike.
    Same with me. Three bikes sold on CL with no problems. Just be prepared for the buyer to try and talk you down on price after the test ride. They'll always find some very minor problem or something that they're not happy with.
    Get cash or a local check and make sure they have a local DL and get the info from the DL.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  14. #14
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Get cash or a local check and make sure they have a local DL and get the info from the DL.
    i would not recommend taking a check.. cash only. do you really want to have to track this person down when the check bounces?
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
    1993 Trek 8300 Composite ~ 1993 Diamondback Axis Team Titanium ~ 1995 Diamondback Apex

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